Thee_Champion

"Above and beyond"

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@tassiana_pettis: @ziccarra_liafador:

If not was not clear before, it was now. Within Tassiana, Thee Champion's ability to unravel darkness and gaze into the light trapped within, was alive and strong. Wiping the tears itching down his daughter's cheeks, the divine warmth of his touch drying them out, the Great One held Tassiana's gaze and answered her plea with a smile that was both hearth and home.

"I promise".

Easing away from his daughter and ex-wife, Thee Champion's eyes followed Ziccarra's stride down the hallway as her voice called for them. Encouraging his daughter onwards with a gentle push on her back, Thee Champion glided an inch behind her. His cosmic sight had swept into Angel's room the moment they'd arrived in Catalina's apartment, but as all three strolled past the door to gaze upon the baby slumbering in its crib, the experience was different. In his time away from the nU, the Great One had fathered a universe of his own.

Deus was his novel, its galaxies the chapters, and the stars its protagonists.

And yet, as he stood before Angel, his eyes glued to a soul pure and unsullied by a world dark and cruel, Thee Champion was reminded of his greatest creation - his and Ziccarra's children. Standing in silence while Ziccarra spoke to Tassiana, the Great One's heart swelled and his thoughts drifted to memories of Maya and Tassiana as babies. To how they stirred in the warmth and security of his arms.

And it was for them that he created Deus.

Flicking his eyes towards Tassiana, a father's smile played on his lips and he allowed his daughter her moment with her mother. For they would soon leave this wretched universe and return to his. But she would see Ziccarra again - not here however, but in Deus.

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@tassiana_pettis: @ziccarra_liafador:

Pain swarmed their daughter's eyes, and Thee Champion swore - that for the briefest of moments - he heard Tassiana's heart shatter like glass. His daughters were the Sun around which his world revolved. To see Tassiana in such distress was to feel the very ground beneath his feet unravel and drag him to the pits of Hades. A lump swelled in his throat, but as he closed his eyes shut, the Great One dug into an ocean of bottomless strength, opening his gaze with renewed vigor.

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"Stop", Thee Champion echoed, gliding forward, his warmth - his light - draping both mother and daughter the closer he drew, "While you're being honest, you're also being too hard on yourself, Z".

Sweeping Tassiana into the familiar strength of his arm, Thee Champion found Ziccarra's eyes, and waves stirred by longing rose in his gaze, "You weren't faultless but neither was I. I should've done more than just stand by your side. I created an entire universe for our daughters to be safe in, but I failed to help their mother - the woman I love - fight her demons. Because when you turned against us, your own family... I was afraid of the possibility that even together... we'd fail to overcome the darkness in your heart, because it had overcome your love for me, for us".

Then and there, the glow of the Great One's godhood dimmed, and a storm brewed in his soul. He was furious with himself, for as he held Ziccarra's gaze, his heart was still colored in shades of hers, and he had forsaken her to the whims of fate. For what is a god if not one who stands above destiny and shapes it? Why then, hadn't he done so for Ziccarra?

"But in believing that, I allowed my fear to overcome my love for you", he confessed, marrying his eyes to hers, "In so doing, I failed you. I should've believed in us more than I feared what you could become".

Pulling Ziccarra into his silken warmth, Thee Champion tucked an arm around her waist, his touch easing into her core to unravel the knots bundled in her soul, "The universe is all that was, is and ever will be. And I can describe it in one master equation. But my love for both of you escapes even my ability to describe, because the feelings I have for both of you exceeds anything that can possibly exist".

Holding his daughter and ex-wife with all that he was, the Great One smiled, and its divine curve swept the world into a stop, as if it were meant for just the three of them to wander together, "Tassi, when I first saw you, you were just a baby. You couldn't speak, you could barely even see, and I had no idea how you'd turn out as you grew older. But from the moment I saw you, I was in love, and I couldn't wait until you were old enough to tell me about all the things you dream of and want to do. You can tell me anything and I'll always be there to listen. Maybe I don't always know what to say or do to comfort you or make you happy, but I will always at least be there, and I will always try as best as I can".

"And Z", his features softened, "Even now, after everything, you're still heaven-sent, still a goddess. It's as if the universe made you knowing that if we ever crossed paths, I'd know with everything in my soul that you were unique. We've experienced so much joy and so much pain together, but never for a moment did I want anyone else. I only wish I'd been brave enough to take your hand and fight those demons of yours with you. I love you, and I always will. And we will always be a family", he swore, dragging his eyes back to Tassiana, "Even if it's different from the way things were before".

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@tassiana_pettis: @ziccarra_liafador

No sight was brighter, and no light more radiant than a mother's love. So as Thee Champion watched the reunion between mother and daughter unfold, he smiled. In the comfort of her mother's arms, Tassiana found her forever home. And in the longing of her daughter's gaze, Ziccarra saw the gold of a heart aglow. The air stirred, and as Ziccarra eased out Tassiana's arms, hope blossomed in their daughter's face as the Great One and his ex-wife met eyes. A rising tide of emotion carried her into his arms, and the room warmed as Thee Champion and The Goddess embraced.

No Caption Provided

Her lips gentled his cheek, and his hand caressed her face, his touch a Sun goldening the day. Holding her gaze, the Great One stroked her cheek and his warmth bloomed into her soul. His eyes shone like evening stars, as if the cosmos itself had come to admire the mother of his children. And as his mind faced the irony of a god struggling to believe that a mortal was real, a small smile played on his lips.

"You and I should talk", he paused, withdrawing his hand, his eyes drifting back to Tassiana, "But only after you and Tassi have had ample time to catch up. She's grown so much, although we're all a little unhappy she no longer calls Leo "Weo" anymore", his smile warmed, allowing their daughter to run Ziccarra through all the changes and milestones she'd missed. Time ticked away till finally, Thee Champion bent it to his command.

"Tassi, mommy and daddy are going to have a brief chat. You won't even notice any time has passed".

At the echo of his voice, time wrapped both him and Ziccarra in a bubble wherein seconds ticked as years. Their conversation, however long it would be, would last no longer than a second in their daughter's eyes.

Silence seized the air, its grip loosened only by the low crackle of the divine fire swaying in Thee Champion's gaze. An eternity of thoughts raced through his mind, but as the Great One inched closer, he gave voice only to the ones that mattered.

"The kids really missed you. And so did I", he confessed, "I haven't been with anyone since you. It wouldn't have felt right, and Tassi would've never forgiven me. Funnily enough, I don't think Cat would have either", he laughed, Thee Champion of old - Alexis - slipping through the cracks of his godhood, "Tassi...", he lamented, "She still wants us to be a family. To go back to the way things were before. But so much has changed. I could never allow her and Maya to live here, in this universe. Not until they're older. They're safer in Deus, where they're guarded and mentored by my other children, motherless demigods".

"And as much as Tassi would want you there, it wouldn't be fair of me to ask you to leave this universe behind for mine. I know a mother will do anything for her child, but you have a life here, and I don't imagine you'd want to leave it".

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@lebreau_liafador:

No Caption Provided

In so small a span of time, Chance raced through the totality of her emotions. And as his image burned across the heavens, Thee Champion watched her internal strife as gods often did - in silence. Yet as a breeze of eventual composure hushed Chance's nerves into silence, the Great One finally answered.

"It is a good thing, Chance. Your family hasn't been very kind to you. You've suffered more than I should've allowed. I could have been there, but I wasn't. Seems it's a habit of the gods. So now, I will watch over you as if you were my own daughter".

Smiling as Chance straightened her back and named her two conditions, Thee Champion beamed, and no light in the day sky shone brighter than his.

"I accept. My daughters will hold back their powers during your lessons", he paused, the echo of Abigail's name summoning a memory of the one time their paths crossed, "I've met Abigail", he had gifted her the Reality Lavaliere, "You're wise to train with her".

Though as his voice rolled across the sky, blessing the air with a timbre heaven-sent, it was his gaze that seemed most present. Sighting the picture of Chance's late brother, a flicker of human empathy broke through Thee Champion's godhood, and his features softened.

"I'll do better than an autograph", he promised.

Lifting the cape from his shoulders, its scarlet fabric draped the sky from end to end, muting the Sun's light for a fleeting second before the Great One cast it down the heavens. Through the seams of reality, his cape drifted, crackling with a divine flame, shrinking the closer it drew till finally, it glided towards Chance, returning to normal human size.

"What was his name?", he asked, unraveling the folds of spacetime as the flaming maw of the gate between this universe and his parted before Chance, "I'd like to give you a tour of the place you'll be training my daughters in. And also introduce you to my son, the one who'll be training you".

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@lebreau_liafador:

No Caption Provided

In a garden rich in color and fragrance, Chance sat by a blossoming rosebush, for once enjoying the peace and sanctity of a fair day. Yet as the seconds ticked away, rays of gentle light came from above to caress her face, for across the London sky, a miracle stretched over the clouds and Sun, writ into the pages of the cosmos by the divine pen of Thee Champion. A glowing apparition - of the Great One himself - spanned the heavens, goldening Chance's home in the light of his inescapable gaze.

But while Thee Champion claimed dominion of the sky from the afternoon Sun, nary a soul but Chance's would sight the massive image of the Great One sprawled across the sky nor hear the calming bass of his omnipresent voice.

"Chance", he began, his voice filling the air like thunder billowing across a stormy sky, "I apologize for disturbing your day but unfortunately, we haven't yet met, although I'm well acquainted with your family. I'm Thee Champion, and I was once married to your aunt, Ziccarra", he paused, eyeing the Liafador whose heart was stouter than all heroes combined, "She was a mortal once, then - through apotheosis - became a goddess. But power corrupts those ill-equipped to wield it. A beggar made into a king cannot control his gluttony", the Great One reasoned, "Just as a king cannot know a beggar's suffering".

"And the daughters Ziccarra gave me do not know how to be good, and I can't teach them", he confessed, divine fire swaying in his gaze, "But you can. Because you're no god, no mutant, no metahuman. You have neither natural gifts nor a wealth of resources. You face death, willingly, every time you play a hero's role. You - a mortal - answers the prayers of others more than even I, without the power but with the willingness. The sense of love and duty from which you work, the desire to protect, and the will to take on suffering to keep others safe is something I cannot teach. Because gods do not suffer, but you suffer for the greater good".

"Which is why I've chosen you to teach my daughters. I'll train them to be good goddesses, but only you can teach them to be good people. However, I'm not here merely to ask for your help", Thee Champion paused, the crackling of cosmic fire the only sound riding the air as he held her gaze.

"You died once. Your soul was taken to the Cardinal afterlife. No more", he declared, binding her soul to Deus, "You are under my protection now, and if you request it, training from one of my greatest sons. And just as I asked a favor of you, you can ask one of me".

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@catalina_liafador: @tassiana_pettis

✹✹ Catalina's Apartment ✹✹

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Tassiana - youngest daughter of Thee Champion and Ziccarra Liafador - had endured a lifetime's worth of experiences in her eleven years. But perhaps no event was more prominent in her life than her mother's untimely death. Yet as the Great One grappled with thoughts of taking his youngest daughter to her freshly resurrected mother, he could not help but wonder. Tassiana had lived most of her life without her mother. Did she even remember what Ziccarra was like? What she could be like?

Sweeping his daughter into the security of his arms, his cosmic sight swarmed the universe beyond his own, and the Great One glimpsed into the corridors of Catalina's Daytonville apartment. There on an empty couch lay the mother of his children. The folds of spacetime bent to his will and the borders between realities collapsed at his command. For a fleeting second, the evening sky of Daytonville was set alight as a figure more golden than the Sun drifted through the barrier between their world and his. Easing into Catalina's apartment, his skin caressed by a divine glow, and his eyes ablaze with heaven's flames, Thee Champion glued his glowing gaze to Ziccarra.

She'd grown older and he'd grown stronger.

Yet the light of youth still burned bright in her soul. A gentle smile played on his lips and the divine timbre of his voice seized the air.

"Go on, Tassi", he encouraged, setting his daughter on the ground, "Go greet your mother".

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@maya_liafador: @tassiana_pettis:

In all the cosmos, no light beamed brighter than the summer glow of his daughters' smiles. So as his eyes found Maya's, the corners of Thee Champion's lips twitched, riding the subtle curve of a father's smile. Soon, his eldest son's name leapt from Maya's mouth, and the Great One dragged his eyes into empty space, the divine flames crackling in his gaze burning a tunnel through the cosmic border that kept his heaven separate from the nU. Glimpsing into the universe his son roamed, Thee Champion crossed his arms over his chest and nodded.

"Of course you can, Maya"

"Of course you can, Maya", he paused, his voice like low thunder rumbling here, there and everywhere, "You should come as well, Tassi. You haven't seen Leo in a long time. I'm sure he misses you both", the Great One smiled, collapsing the spacetime tunnel with a flick of his gaze, "Under normal circumstances, I'd have Orion take you to Augusta, but I'd like to see Leo as well. And on the way, we'll help rescue someone who has been missing for a long time. As for summoning Nayru, you can do so. It's time you both learned how to master your abilities. It's what separates a god from a force of nature".

"A storm has no control over itself, it's mindless, doing what nature wills it to. And in the ancient world, man believed gods to be the unseen hand behind nature's doing, steering river streams, casting droughts, erupting volcanoes, hurling bolts of lightning at those who displeased them. You, my children, are not forces of nature", Thee Champion remarked, wrapping both Maya and Tassiana in the comfort of his glowing gaze, "You are the wills to whom those forces answer. Just as men bow to their kings, nature bows to its gods - to you".

Extending both hands to his daughters, his fingertips humming as the sea of non-Einsteinian energy flowing inside thrashed against his flesh, the Great One smiled and his face bloomed like a rising Sun, "Come. Give me your hands, we're going to see Leo".

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@maya_liafador: @tassiana_pettis:

✧✧ Deus ✧✧

The glow of a golden god blessed the heavens, illuminating the black expanse of a distant cosmos spangled with stars young and bright. Yet as the light faded, its bangs glinting a final time before receding from sight, a figure more radiant descended upon one of the millions of worlds he'd forged. Landscapes stunning and verdant, coastlines wild and rugged, it resembled the world that had inspired its creation - Earth. His cape danced in the sweeping air, the scarlet shade of its fabric drowned in the divine light riding over the Great One's skin.

The Great One
The Great One

In so short a span, death had claimed his eldest daughters, wrapping them in its icy grip and dragging their souls down to the abyss that so greedily awaits all life. He had mourned them, commanded the stars in his cosmos to twinkle with tears of heaven above. But from the misty heart of sorrow, a flame of burning certainty crackled to life. He was right to have moved his youngest daughters to Deus, to a floating city in an infant cosmos under the omnipresent eyes of his pantheon of supermen. Passing his gaze over the land, the flora and fauna standing to attention under the smoldering light of his celestial gaze, a thought raced into his mind.

In time, life here will evolve to worship my Marvelmen. It'll my duty to make them worthy of that worship.

But as the light dimmed in Maya and Tassiana's hearts, it was his duty to his daughters that soon crowded his thoughts. Ascending to the sky, the Great One lanced through the unseen folds of spacetime, abandoning the grassy fields of a newborn planet for the city of gods glimmering among the stars - Deus. Drifting through the seams of the reality he had forged, Thee Champion eased into Maya's bedchamber, wrapping it in the soft, comforting glow of his cosmic light as he pulled her and Tassiana into his sight. They were sitting in an illusory world molded after their old life on Earth. Maya's doing no doubt. Her powers, it seemed, were reaching new heights.

"The two of you have dealt with death more than people your own age - or any - have any right to", he lamented, disturbing the somber peace with a voice pitched more by power than sound, "And you've seen even worse than that. Families torn apart by conflict. Mothers, aunts and siblings turned murderous. But here, on Deus, in my newborn universe, you're protected. It may not be the home either of you remember", he paused, flicking his eyes to the Carthusian horse running to and fro, "But it's safe", a small - genuine - smile played on his lips.

"I'm lifting the restrictions on your powers, Maya. They've heightened. Tomorrow, I'll teach you how to control them in a journey across the cosmos. You too, Tassi. Bia tells me you're turning into a fine warrior", Thee Champion nodded, a soft smile riding a curve of approval before a short silence settled in the air, "At times I wonder about returning to the way things once were. But looking to the past for comfort can be dangerous, because it distracts us from moving towards a better future. It turns us into grains of salt carried by the tide in a sea of insignificance. Things change, and we must adapt to face them".

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#9  Edited By Thee_Champion

@tassiana_pettis:

Try as she might to cling to her courage, Tassiana was but a child. Her tears flowed freely, and her heart surrendered to fear. Seeing the grip of despair tighten round his daughter's throat, a quiet fury sparked in Thee Champion's heart. So, while he stroked his daughter's face, wiped it free from her tears, and comforted her with the warmth of the Sun, the wrath of a god spiraled to every inch of his soul. Those who dared cripple his daughter's spirit with such pain, would pay a price man did not even know to exist. Yet as he chained the storm brewing inside with a Spartan reserve, Tassiana's words set his eyes alight with rage.

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Chance, the purest Liafador - the only good Liafador sans his daughters - had been slain. The seconds ticked away, and the burning light faded from the Great One's eyes. The specter of death and disaster loomed near, and whatever had taken Chance from the land of the living would surely threaten the lives of his daughters. Leonel was no Liafador, and his abode was far beyond the reach of Earthly threats. But Catalina, Selene, Maya, and Tassiana? Thee Champion would not see a single finger laid on his daughters.

"You and your sisters will be moving", to Deus, where they will be kept a cosmos away from the dangers of the mortal world, "Any time you want to come to Earth, for school or something else, you'll all do so under supervision", his other children - the Marvelmen - would act as their bodyguards.

"No one will hurt you. I'll find the ones who did this to Chance, and I will personally introduce them to the Sun".

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@tassiana_pettis:

A goddess of the highest order had gone rogue, poisoned by the very universe she had come to judge. From it's timeless void, fate watched with the same distant regard it had always held, tipping the scales towards a cosmic apocalypse. And so, from a floating city a reality away, Thee Champion became a creator, an author. In a separate, independent region of space-time, he wrote a book. Atoms became his words, the stars his characters, and the galaxies his chapters. Though as he penned the dawn of a new universe, young and small, and his heart narrowed on creation, the Great One's mind focused on destruction.

Fate was a cruel mistress, and High Queen Ishara had to die so that his children might live.

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Yet as he worked tirelessly on the design and sophistication of an infant cosmos, a cry from his youngest daughter sailed through the seems of reality, drawing his attention back to the mortal world.

Descending from the stars, Thee Champion set the night sky aglow with a golden light, and for the briefest of moments, the Sun seemed to rise before it's call. But as the ground drew closer, the light dimmed, then faded. Gliding into the halls of Villa Sol, the Great One felt Tassiana's energy hanging thick in the air. But where it was once bright and daring, it was now distressed and frightened.

"Tassi", Thee Champion said, hovering into her room and lifting her into his arms, "What's wrong, baby?", his voice a comforting blanket to keep her warm, and his chest a stable mountain for her head to rest against.

"Who's gone?".