London England ( CVNU Location)

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Catalina_Liafador

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She sat back in her seat in thought, The Goddess could've been the reason her body was always tired, but she did have two teenage girls in her house too. "I think that's an accurate assumption, though I'm sure Mari and So-So don't help the situation at all. I had the power to fix all this. My situation with the Goddess. I had the Mind Lavaliere, but in my own fear, I gave it away to my dad. Idl I guess I was scared of what I'd do with it. Or if it fell into the wrong hands."

Cat explained making short work of her main dish, before downing it with wine. Deep down she didn't need to ask Zoe if she were having a good time, she could see it on her face; her reply drew a teethy smile from Cat which prompts the De Facto Matriarch to sit up in her chair.

"I was hoping you'd choose the eye, It's right next to the river too!" She said sounding excited herself. "I don't know if I told you, about So-So; she's this child that kinda just found me. No parents, No name, so I named her Sophia or Sofia. I honestly don't know which one she prefers. But I think she may be related to me. Strange right.?"

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#1802 Feral Nova  Moderator

@catalina_liafador:

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These Lavaliere, she kept hearing about them, but she still had no idea what they were. Cat has mentioned the “Mind Lavaliere” a few times to her but she never really pushed for further information on them. She took another bite of her food before finally digging for more information on these… things. “Sooooo… um… what exactly is this Lavaliere? You’ve mentioned the Mind Lavaliere a few times but… what is it? How would have the Mind Lavaliere helped you?” She was genuinely curious to what they were, and wondered if ‘fallen into the wrong hands’ could they cause a threat that was big enough for Zoe to maybe one day get involved in?

“Yes! It’s going to be an amazing view!” She almost wiggled in her seat that Cat was just as excited as her smile beamed.

But then the conversation took a strange turn. The talk of the little assassin girl that Cat let stay with them. She thought Cat was crazy to let an assassin that she didn’t know stay with her daughter and youngest sister but… it was Cat’s life. And if she was trying something against the Liafador, well that little girl was crazy too. “So-so? Uh, yeah you mentioned her like… once. Why do you think she’s related to you? Has Tassi gotten some sort of energy reading off of her?” She asked knowing that Tassiana was able to recognize people by their life energy.

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Catalina_Liafador

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"It's a cosmic power source, that's the easiest way I can put it, but the one I had, gave me ridiculous control over nearly every mind on the planet. Though I never used it for that. It's why I have Psionic Powers"

Cat still had very little knowledge on what the gem actually was, but she could recall from her conversation with both Leonel and her dad that if they fell into the wrong hands the universe was in the balance.

"I know my brother Leo is concerned about what'll happen. This Ancient Alien race is supposed to be moving this way to collect those stones--if he gets just one Zoe we're done for. But I would've been able to use the Mind Lavaliere to control the Goddess' into doing what I want"

It was currently working the opposite way around, Faore often capitalized on moving about while Cat was asleep, or drunk. The conversation soon switched back to So-So, and Cat was finally forced to finally come to terms with why she allowed the assassin stranger into their home.

"Tassi's energy readings are weird. But then again all of ours are. I mean I'm sure mine is different from hers and Maya. The girl has a similar energy pattern that much is true, but she has all Liafador features. And manage to navigate the pit. I think she could be a long lost cousin of something"

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#1804 Feral Nova  Moderator

@catalina_liafador:

Might just piss her off...
Might just piss her off...

“Wait wait… you could mind control EVERYONE on Earth with the stone?” There was a disbelief in her voice as she leaned back in the seat as she took another sip of her wine. Then there were other stones too. But then she began talking about some… evil alien empire thingy that wanted to collect the stones who were slowly making their way towards Earth. “Well… we’ll just have to make sure they don’t get one then.” She spoke with confidence. “And if he does, well… we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. As for the Goddess… I don’t think she would appreciate you using the stone on her. Might just piss her off more than she already is. I think it would be better to figure out why she’s so resistant to helping you. Is there a way for the two of you to… talk to each other? To try and... I don't know, work things out?”

As Zoe listened to her girlfriends explanation of So-so possibly being a Liafador, it began to make sense why Cat would have allowed an assassin to stay with them all this time. “Can you use your… psionic powers to read her mind or go through her memories to try and figure it out? What family member do you think she belongs to?”

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Catalina_Liafador

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"I suppose you're right" Cat sighed on the subject of The Prize Fighter, Zoe's comment brought forth the realization that at any moment the Pre-Liafador Goddess could emerge and ruin their evening. She did her best not to show it but there was a hidden sadness swelling within the bosom, the events Leonel warned her about were starting to take form; and as the protector of the family, she was powerless to help them. Then there was the idea that she'd eventually lose her humanity, it was evident and both Leo and their dad; and she was pretty sure Maya would experience it too. Would Tassi also experience the same thing?

"I told myself I wouldn't use my powers, I know it sounds strange, but they're teenage girls, I don't want to break their trust by listening to their thoughts. She said speaking on both So-So and Mari, despite being polar opposites the two only had each other now that they were in the academy.

"I want her to choose to come to me if she's going through something, hopefully, she believes she is family. And not just my grocery carrier. But I believe her mother was my sister Isadora." Cat's South American accent triggered by her wine, the Liafador beauty fell back in her chair thinking about the complicated relationship she and Isadora had. They never actually met each other but tried to indirectly kill one another.

"Eh, it's whatever we can talk more once we get to the 'eye' Are you finished?" She asked crossing her legs under the table whilst finishing the rest of her water.

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#1806 Feral Nova  Moderator

@catalina_liafador:

Isadora? Zoe’s brow slightly arched with curiosity, she had never heard of an Isadora Liafador. But her attention was pulled away as the Goddess accent came out to play. She couldn’t help it, the corners of her lips gave a faint curve of a smile. Seemed even the Liafador’s weren’t immune to their own wine.

“Are you finished?"

No Caption Provided

With a blink Zoe took her final bite of her meal and as quickly as she could, got the attention of the waiter so she could pay for the meal (but not before snatching one more bottle of wine for later). As the two walked out, Zoe this time took the lead, her fingers entangled with Cat’s. The moment the couple stepped out, she pulled out her phone with her free hand, holding it out before the two of them. “Smile!” said as she leaned in towards Cat and smiled as she snapped a couple of pictures. Not to post on social media, but just to have for memories.

“I’ll get the cab this time.” She refused to let go of the comfort of Cat's hand as she went to call for a cab. “Hey! Taxi!” She yelled out and threw her hand up towards the sky in true American fashion, the entire time a huge grin on her face as one finally pulled up after the third try. As two got in, and told the driver where to go, Zoe’s face was lit up with excitement. She couldn’t wait for the two of them to be able to experience the London Eye together. “Cat…” The young blonde spoke up. “Um… I know I already said it, but I’m having a great time with you.”

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Catalina_Liafador

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#1807  Edited By Catalina_Liafador  Online
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"I'm having a good time too for the second time," Cat said reaching over to grab Zoe's phone to take a selfie, normally she wouldn't do it but she kind of got caught up in the mood.

As the taxi pulled up to the massive Ferris Wheel Cat tugged on Zoe's hands even jumping in front of people so they might be next in line.

"I swear Zoe sometimes you don't even act American" she teased paying for their tickets.

Escorting Zoe into the seat the Spanish beauty took a seat right next to her never unlocking hands. "Hey, if you friends found out you had a super sexy girlfriend, what do you think they'd say?"

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#1808 Feral Nova  Moderator

@catalina_liafador: Are they alone in the thing or are there others? >_>

Zoe’s head literally looked around the entire capsule they were escorted to. “Woaaaah.” If Cat hadn’t sat her down, she would have probably still be standing at the entrance. Her eyes were looking outside the window admiring the view. It wasn’t until she heard Cat’s voice that she turned her attention back to her girlfriend.

She blinked, thinking about the question for a moment as she gave a small smirk and a light chuckle. “They would probably be suuuuuuuper jealous of me, and rightfully so.” She tilted her head back to exacterage as she spoke before looking over at her with a bigger smile. “After all, I got the most beautiful girlfriend in the universe. Then they’ll ask how we met and all that usual twenty questions. When did you start liking girls and that whole mess. They would probably ask if I was trying to 'punk' them. Finally they’ll ask if you have any sisters, which I would then say that they’re off limits.”

“Alright, my turn.” She adjusted herself in her seat, turning just a bit to face Cat. Her smile slowly vanishing as she began asking her own question. “What do you think you’re family will say if you told them we were dating?

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Catalina_Liafador

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A smirk crept across her face as if often did when Zoe exaggerated how beautiful she was. "You can stop with the flattery, your trip to the inside of my pants has already been secured" She chuckled before taking note to the massive wheel slowly hoisting them upwards.

"I know my brother wouldn't care, In my mind, I think he already thinks of me as a lesbian. It's nothing he ever said, but I might've let it slip that I had a secret crush on his green alien friend once" As older brother and sister the two often shared different ideals with the same goal in mind. It was kind of crazy how distant they seemed now.

"Maya was bisexual at one point, I don't see her caring too much, though I'm sure all the jokes I made about her being a bottom will come back to haunt me" The Sibling Rivalry cliche was personified in Cat and Maya. Cat was historically the problem child, Maya was a prodigy. Cat always held her younger sister to a higher standard because their mother believed she was on one. Their father was typically the medium, he understood all of their strengths and weaknesses and spent extra time to ensure Cat got back on the right path. Still, she felt like she could've been a better sister to Maya.

"My dad is just a dad, these days he's happy we're happy. He's become so...distant that I don't think the concept of relationships matters to him anymore. You made me happy, he'd be grateful, but I don't think he'd care what your gender was. Though I still won't tell him not out of embarrassment or anything, I want him to see the final product. He knows I don't have any friends, all I have is family; and for me to show up with someone I could potentially be in love with I think he'd like to see that" What was weird about her dad was that his humanity was declining. The death of Ziccarra was the final straw for her father, it pained her to see him- them, all of them; that way but beings of that caliber processed things differently.

"Tassi and Star would probably be confused, you'd just be my friend." As intelligent was Tassi was; she was also innocent things like that often went right over her head.

"Given everything, she's had to deal with I can't imagine Sophia caring either. I mean she's an assassin so I'm pretty sure she's seen or done worse. But Mari?" She couldn't finish her sentence. Mari was often a ticking time-bomb and Cat was the fuse. The two of them argued over big things, small things and sometimes thing that didn't exist.

Mari didn't have an in-depth perspective on Cat's life before rejoining the family, she just knew Cat wasn't a good person; and for all Cat knew Mari just ran away from home just to do it. They didn't understand each other, they wanted to, but any attempt at a conversation was cause for an argument. They probably needed to, just yell at each other until there was no more anger to be had. But Catalina as much as she hated to admit it was a child of Ziccarra, a yelling child typically got punished.

"I don't know about Mari, to be honest" She finally said breaking away from her thoughts. Resting her head on Zoe's shoulder, hands still interlocked, legs crossed she allowed herself to loosen up a bit. "I'll cross those roads when we get to them. What's up with you and not knowing how to cook?" Her accent flaring up again.

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#1810 Feral Nova  Moderator

@catalina_liafador:

She could physically see Cat’s body language change with member of her family mentioned. The different emotions she felt between each of them. Subtle sadness in her cinnamon brown eyes as she mentioned her father, the faint smirk at the mention of Maya… but Mari? She could see her lips lighten with worry. She knew Mari meant the world to Catalina. It was a deeper relationship than Zoe would be able to understand, but she knew Mari was the most important person in Cat’s life.

As Cat laid her head upon Zoe’s shoulder, she squeezed Cat’s hand just a bit tighter for a moment before giving her a loving kiss upon her head. But a laugh escaped her as she was questioned about her skills (or lack of) when it came to cooking. Zoe looked out the window, a bit of a cringing grin.

Wanna give me some cooking lessons?
Wanna give me some cooking lessons?

“Um… well…” She began as she then carefully tilted her head to the side as it rested upon Cat’s. “My family was always busy Laura and Jordan. So we never really had any home cooked meals. It was really just… take out.” Zoe had never gotten much (if any) attention from her family as a child. It all went to Laura (her older sister and former Feral Nova) and Jordan (her younger brother). She never held it against her family, because it allowed Zoe to get away with little things as she flew under her parents radar. “I didn’t care much because… well… what kid didn’t want pizza for lunch and Chinese for dinner. Then when Laura died my mom just… didn’t care anymore. Frozen dinners, hot pockets, all that stuff. Again, I didn’t care cause if I was hungry I just threw it in the microwave. Then when I became Feral Nova I was at We Are Legend and Mr. French was there and he always cooked for us so… there was just no reason for me to learn. Now living on my own… I guess I just picked up on old habits and just order out.” She admitted, a little ashamed now that she was saying it out loud.

“Wanna give me some cooking lessons? I’m a fast learner.”

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Catalina_Liafador

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"We can start with something basic" her voice dimmed it was soft and almost intimate, Cat's attention had been on their interlocked fingers, thinking of nothing in particular. That was a good thing, the fact that she currently couldn't worry about anything told her Zoe was the right remedy.

"Bendeja Paisa" She said purposely allowing her South American accent to seize her elocution. In truth, it was a dish that could be made in various ways.

Before she was actually sent to work in the whore-houses, as a child Catalina was a servant to "Abuelita" her master's grandmother; the old woman took pity on Cat and taught her how to cook clean and other things she'd need to survive.

Out of everyone that was killed when the Cardinals came looking for her, she was saddened by Abuelita's death the most.

"Of course as long as you're with me I'll keep you fed. You just need to make sure you eat while you're on your own. Don't get so caught up in work" She damn near commanded while doting the bottom of Zoe's chins with a superficial kiss. "So..." She said turning her body so that a portion of her weight was now on Zoe. "I've been thinking about going back to school too"

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Feral Nova

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#1812 Feral Nova  Moderator

@catalina_liafador:

Bendeja Paisa? Zoe tried mouthing the words as a puzzled look was on her face. Wasn’t that a bad word in Spanish? What the hell was that? It sound super complicated! But if Cat thought she could do it, then… “It sounds perfect.” She nervously smiled. She thought maybe something like pancakes, or soup, or even grilled cheese sandwich. Maybe it was a type of soup she never heard of. Or a salad! God she hoped she wouldn’t burn the kitchen down.

“Oh trust me, I eat fine.” She laughed as she pat her abdomen, even though she was thin, she had a healthy appetite thanks to her abilities. She literally burned fat. “If you look at my Uber Eats account you’ll wonder how I keep my figure.” she joked as Cat gave a kiss on her chin which made her head held high as she gave a content smile.

But then Cat revealed something to her. “You are!?” Zoe would have jumped out of her seat if Cat wasn’t using her body to hold herself up as she sat. “Cat, that would be so great for you, and your family. It would open up doors for you. What are you thinking about majoring in?” She spoke with excitement. “I completely support this idea, if it wasn’t apparent already.” Anything that would make Cat’s life better for not just her, but Mari, had Zoe’s support. “We can even have study dates together.” She joked, giving her a little nudge. She was excited that her girlfriend was thinking about going to school, it meant that she was thinking about her future and her families future and she was taking it seriously. It made Zoe proud, even if Cat was just considering it.

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Catalina_Liafador

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Zoe's excitement startled Cat, she made a bigger deal than initially thought. "Yeah it would be, I think I'd be the first to do so. I was thinking about doing something along the lines of business management, I think I want to try and resurrect Liafador International" The Company that Ada destroyed was technically the property of Zeon, but it was clear she wasn't going to try and restart it. She hears Zoe speaking, but the food she ate begin to settle in her stomach causing her to get tired.

"I am not studying with you" She replied lethargically before positioning Zoe's hand in her hair indirectly telling Zoe she wanted her hair rubbed. "We're going to get 20 minutes into studying, you're going to realize how hot I am or vice versa and then boom we're having sex" She explained shifting around under Zoe's arm a bit to increase comfort.

"I think I wanna do everything my mom did, but better"

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Feral Nova

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#1814 Feral Nova  Moderator

@catalina_liafador:

Her fingers gently ran through her girlfriends flowing, silk soft hair as the tips of her fingers massaged her scalp (but careful not to mess up her hair) as she also adjusted herself accordingly to what Cat needed. “Liafador International? That'll put your family back on the map.” She remembered the company but couldn’t remember for the life of her exactly what the company dealt with. But details didn’t matter to her right now as she watched the energy that Cat once had when they first met up earlier today was now nothing but a distant memory. Zoe's bright blue eyes down upon her sweetheart in contentment, she was so adorable as she could see her cinnamon eyes become heavy.

But she couldn’t help but give a small laugh at Cat’s refusal to ever study with her. “You say it like it’s a bad thing.” she teased as she looked out the window for a moment as the two were ever so slowly continually rising as their view of the city widen little by little.

"I think I wanna do everything my mom did, but better"

She knew Cat always struggled with trying to separate herself from Ziccarra. For years she didn’t want to have anything in common with her mother. For years she denied who she was. But now she was finally beginning to not only find herself, but accept who she was. While she was a clone of Ziccarra, and while she had similar traits and talents as her mother, Cat was very much her own person, and very different than her mother. “Well, you’re already well on your way to doing better.” Zoe lovingly gazed down at Cat. “And I’ll be there for you every step of the way, I promise.”

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Catalina_Liafador

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"Unfortunately I know" She responded in regards to "Putting her family back on the map" While the Liafador Heir begins to blueprint her design for reconstructing the family legacy, there were loose ends that needed to be tied. For one, despite being referred to as the De Facto Liafador Matriarch, she wasn't but lineage--Chance was. Two, bringing back L.I would have to be something she ran past her family because the mainstream media would swarm on such a notion.

Cat's eyes peered out toward the London skyline as it moved to eye level. "Hey when's your birthday?"

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#1816 Feral Nova  Moderator

@catalina_liafador:

She continued to run her fingers gently through Cat’s hair as the two looked out the window. It was so peaceful, you could almost forget there was chaos going on in the world. But her question, kinda threw Zoe off. “My birthday?” She blinked, realizing that the two never shared when their birthdays were. She couldn't help but give a light chuckle at that fact they didn't know each other's birthday. “It’s March 23rd. What about yours?”

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Catalina_Liafador

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Zoe look a bit taken back and like the look of confusion came and went, it then settled on the brow of Catalina. "Ah, I see we've already missed your birthday" Zoe's question cause Cat to sit up a bit perplexed. She wasn't sure if she even had a birthday. Sure there was the day the Cardinal Scientist determined that she'd survive the cloning process, but that was hardly a birthday. "You know, I don't know" Her eyes shot skyward as if she were trying to recall that memory.

Come to think of it, she didn't know her mother's birthday either. The only two of her siblings she knew for sure had a birthday was Maya and Tassi.

"I guess one of these things, I need to go back through my mother's things and find her first mentioning of me. I guess whatever day that is would be my birthday. I guess I still have things about myself I need to figure out. One of them being whether or not I have diabetes"

Cat received just about all of Ziccarra's traits, but as of today, she hadn't felt any symptoms of diabetes; which also meant she needed to get Maricela checked. "Adios Mio" She halted her eyes pushing the limits of the sockets. "Zoe, what if the place I was created in is still standing?"

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Aww, these two are so wholesome! ♥ I want nothing but their undying happiness. [Although there's a part of me that's eagerly hoping everything falls apart just because it'd be delicious.]

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#1819  Edited By Maya_Summers

@rosso said:

Aww, these two are so wholesome! ♥ I want nothing but their undying happiness. [Although there's a part of me that's eagerly hoping everything falls apart just because it'd be delicious.]

LMAO!

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#1820 Feral Nova  Moderator

@rosso said:

Aww, these two are so wholesome! ♥ I want nothing but their undying happiness. [Although there's a part of me that's eagerly hoping everything falls apart just because it'd be delicious.]

Image result for nervous laugh gif

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@feral_nova: Why are you so focused on the bad? Focus on the love and happiness I want for them!

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#1822 Feral Nova  Moderator

@catalina_liafador:

She shrugged her shoulders lightly. “Meh, there’ll be another one next year.” But then when she realized that Cat didn’t even know if she HAD a birthday, Zoe blinked, taken back. She began to feel guilty taking her own birthday so lightly when her own girlfriend didn't know if she even had a birthday.

But then one trail of thought lead to another. Diabetes and then, worry of where she was created was still standing. She could hear the sense of panic in her voice and her fear in her eyes. Zoe got up and sat down in front of Cat so she was facing her, looking at her eye to eye as she grasped both of Cat’s hands into her own. “Catalina.” She her voice was soft, but firm as she held onto her girlfriends hands, lightly squeezing them to try and bring her mind back to her. “If it’s still standing we can go there, together, search it, gather whatever information we can find that they have on you and then do whatever it is you want to do it. But together.”

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Cat's eyes focused in on Zoe as she kneeled in front of her. She worked herself up, Zoe could see it and like any good girlfriend, she reassured her that everything was going to be ok. Even though it probably wouldn't. The Raven Haired Goddess bit her bottom lip, it was in that moment she could see how much the two of them had grown in such a short period of time.

"Hey, let's go back to the apartment..."

(I really cheated you, but we needed to end this)

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#1824  Edited By Ishin

◈◈ Primrose Hill ◈◈

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In parts forever unknown to the maps of men, a figure of many trades sat on a hardwood floor. He was a grandmaster, of both blade and limbs. He was a scholar, of mysteries that so easily eluded those who sought to understand them. He was a father, to a child who shared neither his blood nor his name, but his spirit. And he was a warrior, for both goodness and savagery. He was Ishin - the Demon King.

Outside, the wind raced through the farm he had cultivated, and though his robes billowed from the breeze that came through the window in a sweeping rush, Ishin sat still. Hands on his lap, legs crossed, and sword at his side, the Demon King surrendered to the call of higher worlds, and entered a trance that drew his spirit out it's prison of flesh and bone. His spirit soared through the sky, nudged not by wind, but an energy known to many and mastered by few - ki. Like a dragon with a flame, it guided his spirit, and in the ticks between seconds, his spirit had reached it's destination.

Primrose Hill.

A public park to the modern world, but a cherished memory to the Demon King. Thousands of years before bulbs of artificial light were as plentiful here as the trees, it was where Ishin had met a woman he held dear to his heart; Zhu, the Phoenix. Generation after generation, they'd return to Primrose Hill. And thousands of years later, Ishin returned alone, finding company in the memory of a simpler time. For he had sensed the cosmic tides shifting towards the apocalypse. He came seeking peace, for there would soon be none. The end was nigh, and Ishin was ready to duel the gods of fate.

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@arquitenens:

✯✯ The Blue Eagle ✯✯

The murder of Chance Liafador had not gone unnoticed. In Thee Champion, it set alight a rage that compelled him to condemn those responsible to a fate that most - even his son, Achilles - once thought too cruel for the Great One. His father's daughters were in danger, and Thee Champion would first smite the entire Solar System than see his children harmed. But Achilles - Thee Champion's chosen heir - had managed to sway his father from the path of a destroyer god, convincing him to take his daughters and granddaughter to Deus, where they will live a cosmos away under the protection of Thee Champion himself, and his Marvelmen.

While on Earth, it would be Achilles and a golden saint chosen to stand against the world's latest evil. And to recruit her, Achilles - a demigod of the New World - had come to the greatest kingdom of Old Europe.

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From the Blue Eagle, the American God lanced through the clouds as the skies of British royalty gave way to raw American power. Though as he landed, it was with neither a thud nor a crash, but silence, courtesy of his spectacular anti-gravity sciences. Lifting his gaze to take in the grand sight of Abigail's manor, Achilles smiled, Nice place.

Ringing the doorbell, the bass from his voice soon rolled past the doors, "It's Achilles. The American, not the Greek".

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Abigail sat in the foyer, in a chair directly facing the entrance. Her eye was glued to the door, as it had been for the better part of an hour, her expression alternating between worry and a thousand yard stare.

Between communications with Achilles and her fianna she'd been scanning various international systems for any sign of Chance through facial recognition. But peering through the NOOCS, her eye in the sky, had for once been a useless endeavor.

"He's late. Why is he late? What's taking so long?" she moaned, prying herself away from her search long enough to lament the slow-seeming passage of time. She glanced at the clock. Three minutes til noon. Okay, so he's not exactly late. But whatever happened to "fifteen minutes early?"

No sooner had she thought it than the security system alerted her to the new arrival on the manor grounds. Abby rushed to answer almost before the doorbell rang, swinging the door open with such force that the mahogany slab rebounded off the wall and back into her as though in retaliation. And as she answered, hostess' instincts primed, she gave a jovial smile—only half-forced, for she was glad to be that much closer to answers—and welcomed him inside. "You colonials, so dramatic," she teased. "Always at the last second.""Please, come in. I'd offer you tea but I'd like to avoid playing into stereotypes until we're more familiar.

"Unless you insist," she added, unable to completely abandon her habit of hospitality.

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8th_Wonder

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@arquitenens:

"There's no easy way for me to say this"

Knowing how greatly the mood would soon shift, Achilles couldn't resist matching Abigail's wit with his own. To the cup of tea she semi-offered, the American God smiled, "No thanks, I'd probably throw it into the harbor anyway". Soon however, the humorous glow faded from his face, and Achilles' eyes hardened like stone. Having poured so much of his recent time and energy in the pursuit of a solution to the cosmic threat posed by the Abyssal Imperium, the American God knew little about the relationship between Abigail and Chance. He was no Liafador. Like Athena to Zeus, he was the brainchild of Thee Champion, motherless and miraculous.

He had taken on the heroic burdens his father once shouldered, and in so doing, had little time to acquaint himself with the mortal half of his father's family. Until now.

Sighing, Achilles felt the warmth sail out the air, replaced by the cold hand that fate had so cruelly dealt Chance, "There's no easy way for me to say this. My youngest sister can sense the energy emitted by the life-force of every single Liafador, and about a week ago, she stopped sensing Chance's", the grim specter of death loomed over his words, casting a shadow that Abigail had grown all too familiar with. Allowing her the seconds to process his words, Achilles soon resumed.

"I'm afraid.. Chance has died, and based on my sister's words and the sudden nature of her disappearance, my father and I suspect it was murder. My sister felt something else, something that scared her, and we think whatever that thing is, is what murdered Chance. My father's taking the girls to an infant universe he created, where they'll be safe and guarded by his army of Marvelmen".

"He wants you and I to investigate and avenge Chance's death. But if you need time, I understand".

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The look on his face was all she needed to understand what he'd come to say, and even that felt a bit superfluous. It wasn't, entirely—even as Achilles explained how he knew what she herself had already feared, Abigail found herself bargaining with...God, Fate, or whatever nebulous force brought amiable girl into her life only to rip apart the hopes she'd had for her future. How could they know? A child said she "couldn't sense her energy," and that was enough to write her off? What a joke.

Abigail glared at Achilles' features, solemn but somehow distant, with a look she'd normally reserve for only her worst enemies. Why are you even here? she found herself thinking at him, dialing in on her anger to keep from breaking. So calm, throwing around mention of "Chance's death." Was there any real concern behind those eyes, or was he just carrying out another order from his father? And what about Alexis? Some 'Champion.'Couldn't be bothered to deal with it himself? If that's all he had to say, couldn't he have said it from afar, and spared her struggling to hold herself together right in front of him?

Her damaged heart beat a painful and unsteady paradiddle inside her chest but, crossing her arms, she managed to keep herself from visibly trembling. She forced herself to remain standing, knees locked to keep from buckling. And eventually, to stop hating the messenger. He wasn't the one at fault.

If anything, she was.

"I could've stopped her," she murmured, remembering their last meeting. All those future plans seemed so distant now. "Or at least gone with her, what the feck was I thinking? I knew she was running into danger, knew I shouldn't have let her go alone, I just...I wanted to show her I trusted her. Then...maybe she'd trust me?" Abigail became distant herself. Mentally walling herself off from him and from her surroundings. Looking at the characters and events of her life as if through a veil. "Against my instincts, against everything history said would happen if I got attached—every time, without fail.

"She seemed...so alike but her instincts were better. I was supposed to mentor her, tell her about my feck-ups so she could avoid them in her journey. You see the irony, yeah? I thought in her I saw someone to carry the torch. I never would've agreed if I knew I was just looking at my next failure." Abby winced. It hurt to see her supposed protege reduced to that, but in hindsight it just seemed stupid to expect any different.

"I really tried this time. To be happy, to go forward with nothing but my best self, to have faith. I've always figured I wouldn't be around for long. Guess I just hit that point, you know?" Of course he didn't. A godling with less than a year of life to his name? He never would. "I just thought it'd be nice...to know that someone would mourn me - really miss methe real me—when I'm gone. But the great SaintAensland lives on. The legend continues." Her voice dripped with sarcastic revelry, in mockery of the reputation she'd garnered and those who bought into it. "Another cautionary lesson for the next one, right?"

She gave a miserable sneer and sank back into the chair.

"Yeah, right. There won't be a next one.

She looked at him for the first time since she'd started, shoulders slumped, pleading for understanding with her expression. "Achilles I'm sorry. I can't help you with revenge. I just...don't have it in me. And I don't know that I ever will."

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8th_Wonder

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#1829  Edited By 8th_Wonder

@arquitenens:

Anger bred from sorrow often gives rise to irrationality. So, as Achilles met eyes with the cold fire in Abigail's gaze, he was not surprised. Death is a permanence whose ways still eluded the human mind. The death of a loved one summons a storm of emotion, and with it, an inborn desire to blame something, someone. Assuming agency behind nature was, and remains, an instinct that's crucial to the survival of man and every animal that walks among him. The creature that incorrectly determined the ripple in the river to be from the wind and not a crocodile stalking nearby - perished.

So, as Abigail glued her fury to him, as though he were the agent behind Chance's death, Achilles simply understood. She could not blame a killer without a face, pin a murder on a culprit without a name. Why not the messenger, then? Crossing his arms over his chest, the American God allowed Abigail her moment, her grief. Watching silently as she surrendered to her sorrow, and ultimately misery, Achilles felt a grain of pity as the Aensland Saint of legend now blamed herself. Slumping back into her chair in defeat, Abigail, it seemed, could not raise her sword in vengeance.

"Fair enough"

Achilles sighed, as if conceding, "Fair enough". Yet Abigail's words rolled in his mind, echoing to and fro.

"I just...don't have it in me"

Uncrossing his arms and holding her gaze with his own, hers defeated, and his determined, Achilles spoke his mind, "Look, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that there's nothing I can do to ease your pain. Direct your anger at me if you have to, but you need to hear this, because I don't think anyone has ever had it in them to say it to your face. While you don't have it in you to help me with revenge, I know you have it in you to face injustice, and undo the suffering of others. And though the details aren't important, the Liafador family has suffered, a lot, in recent years. They, and the world at large, will suffer even more if the person or thing that did this to Chance isn't stopped. And as much as you try to separate Abigail the person from Abigail the hero, they're one and the same".

"Like Alexander the Great, you started off young, and achieved greatness at an age when most people still haven't figured themselves out. You can't separate the Great from Alexander, nor the hero from Abigail. Although he gained land and wealth, you gained no reward but the knowledge that what you do is what is right. You're the good person who can't stand by doing nothing while evil is free. A hero. And though you consider what's happened to Chance to be a failure of yours, what'll you consider allowing the real culprit behind this to run free?", the question, it's weight, it's gravity, all hung in the air.

"But", he shrugged, "Maybe I'm just talking out of my ass and I know nothing. I'll investigate Chance's death on my own, starting with Castello Cardinale, the Liafador Winery in Sicily. If you change your mind, you know how to reach me. I hope things get better for you", with a nod, the American God strode out the doors of her manor.

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#1830  Edited By Arquitenens

@8th_wonder:

She knew it was inevitable but Abby dreaded his retort all the same. It stung, all the same. Pressing the knife deeper, whether he'd intended to or not. She couldn't hold his gaze so she focused intently on his moving mouth and the words that bombarded her like blows on a downed fighter. As short as his visit had been, it couldn't have ended soon enough. Yet something within her called for him to stay.

"Wait a minute," she said, starting to stand before realizing she still didn't have it in her. "I have to know. Do you actually feel anything at all? Or is it all just programmed responses to move people about, get them where you want them to go? Just...trying to see things through the eyes of a god. It might as well be you, right? Probably the closest thing I'll get to answers, considering the one I've spent my life serving is either apathetic, cruel, or totally nonexistent."

She'd forced herself to contend with his words. He wasn't all wrong, but more even than illustrating, he embodied her problems exactly.

"All that good. All that greatness, and what does it all matter? At eighteen I still hadn't figured myself out. Feels like I still haven't, so busy worrying about everyone and everything else. All that time, a child trying to bear the world on her shoulders, and the world couldn't get enough. 'Abby, people are suffering,' I've suffered too!"

Her voice fell. "And there's not even anyone to listen, because anyone who gets close to me comes up dead or has their life ruined. And everyone else just sees the next Alexander the Great. I've met a solid handful of individuals claiming to be gods. All stood before this human and expected her to be like one of them. Not Chance - somehow she didn't have a clue who I was. A nice, manageable change of pace from playing Atlas—well, I thought. To her I was just a good person. That's all she needed from me, and I couldn't even give her that." Her mouth curled into a joyless smirk. "Maybe that's God's problem. Easy for him in the beginning but now he's worn down, overwhelmed. Or maybe he's just more of a big picture thinker. Saving a nation from a dictator, but he doesn't have a clue how to take care of the ones who depend on him.

It was hard not to feel guilty, a stranger unloading her baggage on someone who clearly observed it all from a distance, while still barely scratching the surface. It seemed unfathomable that he'd still think asking her help was a good idea. But she was also beginning to feel guilty, leaving Chance's memory and affairs in the hands of one who seemed to have no real feeling for anything at all.

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@arquitenens:

The doors swung open, but as rays of sunlight warmed his face, the strong tug of Abigail's voice drew him back into the manor. Achilles turned round to face not the greatest of this generation, but a young girl whose shoulders had grown weary of carrying the weight of expectation, and greatness. He recognized the wave of emotion flooding her eyes. She needed an ear but had no one, only him, a demigod who knew her more from legend than any time spent together. Sympathy wrinkled his face as the need for answers and solace claimed Abigail's spirit.

She was angry, that much he could see. But she was tired. Alexander the Great died planning his next brilliant conquest, Arabia. Abigail Aensland, it seemed, feared dying as the hero looked up to by many but loved by no one. So, as her voice sailed back into silence, the American God answered her with patience and understanding.

"Of course I feel things, Abigail. But I didn't know Chance like you or my father did. I'm investigating this partly on his behalf, because I have sympathy for what he's feeling, the same way we'll go to hell and back for a relative who just lost someone we didn't know very well. We might not be in mourning, but we care about how they're affected. I'm doing this because my father fears losing his daughters", his voice rose, the emotion, the passion thundering quietly like a distant storm, "I fear losing my sisters. Because I know the kind of danger that routinely comes for the family my father chose to inherit through marriage".

He pitied her, as much as a homicide detective pitied the grieving wife they'd just informed of her husband's death. "You've suffered. And it seems that the god you pray to hasn't yet answered you. So in the meantime, I suggest speaking to a god you'll be able to relate to, my father. Because he's suffered too, more than you'll ever know. And he's angry, too angry for me to trust him to deal with Chance's death without ending everything and starting it all anew in the new universe he's creating to keep his daughters away from the dangers of this one".

Resigned to seeking justice for Chance on his own, Achilles undid his previous request. "You've been through a lot. And the world's asking too much of you, and I made a mistake to think you're built for it, because you need saving just as much as everyone else you've saved. You need time away. Go speak to my father if you really want a god's take on all of this shit. Because me?", he shook his head, "I'm just a warrior. And I'll take care of this as warriors do", determination glinting in his eyes.

"Sorry to have bothered you". He waited no more and raced out the doors like a gale force. In a heartbeat, the ground became a distant sight as he leaped into the sky and took off in the Blue Eagle.

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