[8:37:21 PM] ST: So. Let’s begin.
[8:49:39 PM] ST: Grayish white clouds cover much of the sky, but the air is crisp and relatively still. Not exactly ideal running weather, but it’ll at least be dry for as long as you desire to run. With your earbuds in your ears and your MP3 player blaring your chosen playlist, you begin pounding the pavement with your worn but comfy shoes. It only takes a few blocks before you begin to notice the cool air feels good against your skin. What’s today’s route? Are you going about your usual rounds or will you be changing it up?
[8:50:53 PM] Harry: Well, that needs a question answered. Have I gotten my Nike sponsorship yet?
[8:51:31 PM] ST: Not yet.
[8:52:04 PM] ST: This is pre-Visitation, so your powers aren’t yet awakened.
[8:52:28 PM] Harry: Gotcha. Then, I’d hit the track, smoothest one in a hour drive.
[8:52:47 PM] Harry: Public, stadium, mall parking lot.
[8:53:09 PM] Harry: Whatever’s out there, so I don’t have to worry about potholes or gang hassle.
[8:54:44 PM] ST: Your school’s track field would be ideal in this case.
[8:56:12 PM] Harry: Perfect. That’ll be it then. Secondhand iPod’s pumping Twizta, Busta Rhymes, some of the fastest rappers.
[9:06:21 PM] ST: The track field: familiar and well-kept. The music helps provide the closest to a suitable rhythm for your constantly zipping thoughts, your breathing, and your pounding feet. Song after song starts and ends… it’s hard to tell how many until you suddenly notice your skin getting a little tingly and your fine hairs rising. The start of a new song briefly demands your attention: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRfj4mojZUc
[9:07:55 PM] Harry: He grins, taking it up a pace, doing his best to track the words…even the ability to hear that fast is fun, and he dreams in motion of being able to rap that fast.
[9:09:17 PM] ST: The clouds quickly begin to darken. You spot something in the sky, some sort of speck that’s zipping about in an erratic pattern. It appears to be drawing closer.
[9:12:46 PM] Harry: Herman drops pace, and comes to a stop. As the words pour into his ears, he shades his eyes, wondering what that is up there.
[9:17:45 PM] ST: It’s not long before you can make out the thing’s general shape… is that a /man/? Better question: is he /flying/? He’s quick though, only taking a couple moments before he halts and hovers just five feet above you, staring at you in surprise and recognition. He’s wearing little more than running shorts, an Angels baseball cap, and running shoes with wing decals on it.
[9:18:14 PM] ST: (( http://www.craniumfitteds.com/images/4-California-Angels-MLB-Black-And-Red-Custom-Fitted-59fifty-5950-New-Era-Cap-3.jpg, if you were curious ))
[9:19:08 PM] Malif (OOC): heh
[9:20:49 PM] Harry: “What the fuck?” He blinks. “Okay…you’re…looking alot like Mercury.”
[9:21:04 PM] Malif (OOC): (Someone loves the roman names)
[9:24:59 PM] ST: He opens his mouth to respond, but suddenly looks up, looks back at you with wide eyes, throws his hand out towards you and says “DIVE!”
[9:25:00 PM] Harry: He pulls the earbuds from his ears, and looks this guy over.
[9:25:28 PM] Harry: And out of sheer reactive instinct, hits his belly like a football drill.
[9:30:00 PM] Harry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=o8Kfe4qZmoA#t=41s
[9:30:33 PM] ST: All your hair stands on end and you catch a whiff of ozone before your vision goes white and your every last nerve feels like they’ve caught fire. It’s only a half an instant, but at the same time it’s an eternity. You don’t know how long it is before you come to, but when you do this guy is standing over you, concern creasing his brow.
[9:31:16 PM] ST: Instead of sky, you can see the familiar overhang of the shelter over the stands.
[9:32:00 PM] Harry: “nnnnnggghhh, the fuck just happened?”
[9:36:21 PM] ST: “Sorry,” he says. “Pissed off Zeus. Actually it’s Eris’s fault. Not mine. But I kinda helped. But only a little. Didn’t mean for you to get in the crossfire. This’ll only take a second.” He puts his hands on either side of your head and the residual burning pain melts away. You can feel vigor flooding your limbs again as if it never had before.
[9:36:59 PM] Malif (OOC): XD
[9:38:09 PM] ST: Lightning strikes the track nearby, followed shortly thereafter by deafening thunder which rattles the stands.
[9:38:59 PM] Harry: Herman gets to his feet, with long-trained reflexes. “Well, goddamnit. I meet the real Mercury, and he’s gonna get me fucking killed.”
[9:39:03 PM] Malif (OOC): (“I kinda helped. But only a little!” XD )
[9:43:28 PM] ST: Mercury ducks instinctively and looks around wildly, his eyes settling briefly on the scorchmark on the track. “Sorry! At least you got a tattoo.” He motions to your left arm. “Uh but I can heal that away. If you want. Looks cool though.” Again a lightning bolt strikes, a little farther away this time.
[9:43:38 PM] ST: (( http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0l8n4g8VA1r1o132o1_1280.jpg ))
[9:44:32 PM] Malif (OOC): (heh, you do such a good job on the personalities Meg!)
[9:44:46 PM] Malif (OOC): (Or should I say Megnitude!)
[9:45:02 PM] Harry: “I know I’m named after you twice, and that’s cool and all, but is there a better reason than my Mom’s thing for mythology as to why the fuck I’m in the middle of two gods fighting?”
[9:45:40 PM] Harry: He looks at his arm…“Did you get me hit by fucking lightning?!”
[9:48:54 PM] ST: He winces and gives you a beseeching look. “Sorry! Look, I didn’t know his beard would catch on fire!” Another lightning strike followed by another wince. “Sorry! I can heal it! I promise! Here. I can explain. Err I should get us safe first. Take my hand.” He holds his hand out to you.
[9:49:15 PM] Malif (OOC): XD
[9:49:21 PM] Harry: “There better be answers in this…” He grabs hold.
[9:49:39 PM] Malif (OOC): These prologues are awesome :D
[9:54:27 PM] ST: You feel your stomach lurch. In an instant you’re… well, not on the track anymore. Instead you’re on the roof of a high-rise building, beside a big, clear blue pool. It’s a little dizzying. Mercury lets go of you and zips to the roof’s edge quicker than you can blink, clutching at the sternum-high barrier and looking at the sky warily.
[9:55:08 PM] Malif (OOC): chest-high walls? Look out, you’re in Gears of War!
[9:56:08 PM] Harry: “So now we’re higher in the sky. Greeeaaat.” His mind is flying, looking for somewhere to be, somewhere to run.
[9:57:57 PM] ST: “Looks clear. Don’t think he knows yet. We have a few.” Mercury turns back to you. “Sorry. We can talk now.”
[9:59:00 PM] Harry: “High rises have lightning rods, right? Why don’t we go inside and you explain why the hell you just pulled a goddamned Jay Garrick on me.”
[10:01:00 PM] ST: He nods and suddenly he’s in front of the door that leads inside, holding it open. “Go on in.” He keeps his gaze on the sky.
[10:01:36 PM] Malif (OOC): (So ‘arry is a comic nerd too? XD )
[10:02:01 PM] ST: (( I thought you’d appreciate the reference, Hans. XD ))
[10:02:46 PM] Malif (OOC): (What reference did I miss? o.o)
[10:02:49 PM | Edited 10:03:15 PM] Harry: Herman jogs inside, and once he’s relatively sure he’s not gonna be struck by lightning AGAIN, sighs. He starts ticking off fingers. “Met Mercury, who’s probably about to die. Hit by lightning. All I need now is a explosion of heavy water, and I think I’ll have every fucking Flash’s origin at this rate…”
[10:08:31 PM] ST: You hear the door shut. Mercury is in the corner opposite you. “Okay. It’s Eris’s fault. I swear. I don’t see the big deal anyway. He can grow it back!” His pause is brief as he grins. “Hey, your mom! She still thinks about me?”
[10:09:44 PM] Harry: Herman just looks at him. “Ooookay, should have seen that one coming.”
[10:10:38 PM] Harry: He sighs. “So, you’re Herman Mercury Senior.”
[10:10:52 PM] Harry: “Or should that be Hermes Mercury?”
[10:11:34 PM] ST: “How about ‘Dad’? I like that one better.”
[10:12:03 PM] Harry: “Dads show up for your races, or so I hear.”
[10:12:26 PM] Malif (OOC): o h snap!
[10:12:29 PM] Malif (OOC): God got TOLD
[10:18:43 PM] ST: Mercury puts his hands up in concession. “I get busy! Godly things. You know. I bet those dads don’t —” He pauses and closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and presses his hands together. He opens his eyes again. “I’m sorry. I wish I could.” The cadence of his speech is a little slower and less jumbled together. “That changes nothing. I know. But I’m here now. So I’ll answer your questions.”
[10:19:14 PM] Harry: “Okay, question one. Does this make me a god too, or a superhero, or what?”
[10:23:38 PM] ST: “Yes. Kind of. I mean.” He takes another deep breath. “You have it in you but you have to earn it. Godhood, I mean. Through deeds. Fighting Titans, for example. But you are superhuman.”
[10:24:10 PM] Harry: “Fucking sweet. Second question is, is Zeus gonna kill you here in a minute?”
[10:24:56 PM] ST: Mercury looks around warily. “Careful. He’ll hear. And no. Not much, at least. I think.”
[10:25:27 PM] Harry: "Okay, do I have to do the whole “secret identity” thing? Or can I pull a “I am Iron Man”?"
[10:25:49 PM] Malif (OOC): LOL
[10:25:59 PM] Malif (OOC): (Is Zeus gonna kill you? No, not much, at least. XD )
[10:26:32 PM] Malif (OOC): (Damn Meg rocks at dialogue writing!)
[10:28:15 PM | Edited 10:28:20 PM] ST: He inhales sharply through his teeth. “Tricky. Gray area. You can. But Fate is weird. It can get hairy. Too much too soon. All that. Ooh, sorry, bad pun. No one’s stopping you. Be careful.”
[10:29:05 PM] Harry: “Okay. Tabling that, number four. The fuck do you mean ‘Fighting Titans’?!”
[10:29:54 PM] Malif (OOC): (I love how Hermes’s speech patterns are like his thoughts never stop moving :D )
[10:31:13 PM] ST: “Your mom tell you about Gaia? Titan. All her monster kids? Titanspawn. They don’t like us much. Uh but some aren’t so bad. It’s complicated. Just a for-instance, anyway.” He pauses, his every muscle tensed. “Did you hear that? I think it was thunder. Was it thunder?”
[10:32:19 PM] Harry: “I thought you guys were down with Gaia, she was on your side…okay, tabling that. Let’s talk powers. What can I do?”
[10:33:26 PM] Harry: Her—fuck that name, his dad wasn’t a Herman. He was Hermes. Might as well just use the name he used around school. Harry’s speech was already beginning to accelerate, already easily keeping pace with any mainstream beat rapper.
[10:40:23 PM] ST: “She is. Her kids aren’t. Like I said: complicated.” Hermes clears his throat, examines you through narrowed eyes, and says, “Lots of untapped power there. You can do stuff. You need something. You know. To help you.” The potted plants quiver. He jerks his gaze off to the side. “Okay, /that’s/ thunder.” Hermes’s attention snaps to you again. “You shouldn’t have said his name!” He pauses, closing his eyes and furrowing his brow in concentration. “Not your fault. Not blaming you. But I should go soon. Or you might get hit again. Next question.”
[10:41:11 PM] Harry: “I need something? What do I need?”
[10:50:12 PM] ST: “A —” The nearby elevator dings and opens, revealing a well-groomed man with brownish-bronze skin and short black hair, and a little girl—maybe 7 or 8 years old, but it’s hard to tell due to the extensive burn scars on her right side save her arm which appears unscathed but has an odd sheen to it. They’re both dressed in swimsuits. As they exit the elevator, the man stops short and flinches as if hit by some a wall of some sort of strong aroma. Hermes is suddenly there in front of him, his hands on placed on the newcomer’s shoulders. “You—I knew I chose this place for a reason! You’re—you can help him. My son.” Hermes looks to you beseechingly. “He can help you. I promise.” Thunder rumbles in the distance.
[10:51:51 PM] Harry: Harry’s grasping the situation. “Gotcha. Get out of here, smooth out things with the Man, jump back by later. I’m sure you can find me on Facebook.”
[10:52:37 PM] Malif (OOC): (And get those zeus bolt away from here, walking target! XD )
[10:57:17 PM] ST: You get a glimpse of Hermes’s last expression—a smile tinged with equal parts gratefulness and apology—before he disappears. There is a long, awkward pause while the newcomer looks at you, searching for words, and the little girl eyes you openly with fascination.
[10:58:03 PM] Harry: Harry looks at the two of you. “Hey. I’m Harry Mercury, that was my Dad, and you are…?”
[11:02:59 PM] ST: He shakes his head and chuckles, which seems to help him gather his thoughts. “Alejandro Xaxalpa.” He offers you his hand. “Sorry, I’ve never walked straight into the middle of a Visitation before.”
[11:04:39 PM] Harry: Harry gives it a firm, but not asshole-crush shake. None of this overtestosterone shit, but not letting him get away with a half-assed finger grab. “Okay, how do you know my Dad, why are you here, and where is here?”
[11:09:17 PM] ST: Alejandro shakes just as firmly and smiles and looks you straight in the eye with the practiced natural ease and preciseness of a businessman. “It was a guess, based on what I know. I’m here because I live here and was going to go for a swim with my daughter. You’re on the top floor of Avalon Sunset Towers in San Francisco, by the way.”
[11:10:02 PM] Malif (OOC): (Congrats, now you’re on B+E XD )
[11:10:19 PM] Harry: “Well, that is definately not Alabama…” He blows out, and looks at the girl. “And you are?”
[11:14:10 PM] ST: She looks to Alejandro. “Daddy, can we still go swimming?” Alejandro replies, “Don’t be rude, sweetheart, we have a guest.” She looks at you. “I’m Sofia. And you can swim too, if you want. Daddy has lotsa swim trunks you can borrow.”
[11:15:38 PM] Harry: “That could be fun. Though I’m gonna have to call my mom and explain everything in the next hour or so…and your Dad is apparently the guy to talk to, so, sure.” He shrugs.
[11:20:44 PM] ST: It’s not long before you’re set up with your drink of choice, a pair of trunks, and a towel. You get a glimpse of the inside of Alejandro’s apartment: quite luxurious, with the sharp, clean lines of modern deco, dark granite countertops in the kitchen, and a massive flatscreen TV. After that, however, you’re led back to the roof. Though not thunderstorm weather, the day isn’t exactly nice. Still, Sofia eagerly jumps into the pool and paddles around. Alejandro pulls up a beach chair and has a seat. “So how can I help you, Harry? Your father didn’t exactly leave me instructions.”
[11:24:45 PM] Harry: “Well, are you two…superhumans, demigods, whatever you call it? Have you worked with my Dad before? He said I needed something to use my powers, but we got sidetracked…I have alot of questions.”
[11:27:59 PM] Harry: Harry, who bears a frame very similar to a certain soccer star/model, makes quite the sight in swim trunks.
[11:31:02 PM] ST: Alejandro nods. “Yeah, I did too. My father wasn’t very forthcoming with the answers, either. I had to figure it out on my own.” He takes a deep breath and releases it. “You, me, Sofia… we’re scions of the gods. And usually Visitations come with gifts that allow you to access divine powers. But I guess your father was in a hurry.” He pauses and watches Sofia paddle around. “Some things come naturally, though. Enhanced strength, agility, intellect, awareness… it varies.”
[11:33:14 PM] Harry: “So, he said secret identities were a gray area. Something about Fate being weird?” As Harry swims, he’s already trying to test his limits, see how much has changed.
[11:38:57 PM] ST: The water seems far less resistant than you remember water being. You flow smoothly and quickly through it with less effort. “Think of us as flames in the dark. Those with divine blood shine… and they attract all manner of things, flies, moths… usually those things die when they touch the flame. The brighter you shine, though, the bigger things you attract. And more of them.”
[11:39:55 PM] Harry: "So it’s not so much “protect your friends and family with a costume” as “Make too much noise and a giant monster may eat your head”. Gotcha."
[11:41:36 PM] ST: Alejandro gives you a half-smile. “Yeah, something like that. Although some of these giant monsters are smart enough to find and exploit your weaknesses.”
[11:42:46 PM] Harry: "Not good. So, what about this “thing I need”? Came up when I asked him what powers I have."
[11:46:57 PM] ST: He shrugs. “I don’t know what thought process is used when the gods choose what gifts to give their children, which powers to unlock and why. But some powers require some sort of… focus, you could say. A crystal ball to look into the future, for example.”
[11:48:57 PM] Harry: “Okay. I got…none of that. Unless this is some kind of magic scar…” He sighs. “God, I hope I am not a guy named Harry with a magic scar.”
[11:50:29 PM] Malif (OOC): lol
[11:51:11 PM] Sanura (OOC): [omg -yesp]
[11:51:14 PM] ST: Sofia begins humming the Harry Potter movie theme. Alejandro rubs the back of his neck as he considers. “I haven’t heard of any gift like that, but stranger things have happened.” He smiles to himself wryly.
[11:52:16 PM] Malif (OOC): -yesp?
[11:52:48 PM] Harry: “Okay, so, agenda. Get a disguise. Get home. Figure out what I can do. Get tools to do those things with.”
[12:00:07 AM | Edited 12:00:15 AM] ST: “Good plan.” Alejandro pauses. “I can help ease the process for you, if you want.” He smiles. “Hermes was right—I’ve been where you are,” his eyes turn to Sofia, then to the water, “and I made the mistakes you don’t want to make.”
[12:02:45 AM] Harry: “Okay, then I’m definately going to want to keep in touch with you. If for no other reason that I could use reminders that I’m not hallucinating this…”, he climbs out of the pool, and begins toweling off. “So, I’m gonna hit the mall, get some clothes to hide my identity, and call my Mom, and let her know I’m okay.”
[12:03:16 AM] Harry: http://andypoondesign.deviantart.com/art/Flash-Concept-302251723 plus http://www.paintballrevolution.com/images/products/detail/2012i43QCloth_Red.png
[12:03:31 AM] ST: Alejandro nods. “How much are you planning on telling her?”
[12:04:32 AM] Harry: "Well, she’s literally Miss Mercury, so I figure I’ll start with “I met my Dad”, and see where it goes from there.
[12:11:51 AM] ST: “Let me at least give you a ride there. I’d be a terrible host indeed if I released someone from Alabama into the wilds of San Francisco.” He smirks.
[12:13:19 AM] Harry: “I might take you up on that…but first…I want to stretch my legs.” And with that…he vanishes out the door.
In which Harry gets hit by a real shocker
[8:37:21 PM] ST: So. Let’s begin.