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Underworld Hit(IC)


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February 6th, Monday, 11.57AM, 2017

Kokinos' Greek Restaurant, West End, Freedom City


The bell on the door chimed pleasantly as Moira walked in, the music cutting through the cacophany of conversation bubbling throughout the bright and crowded room, alerting the burly, bald and mustached Michel Kokinos behind the tall counter. Pausing briefly to smile in welcome, Michel marched out onto the floor to a corner table where two men in suits were chatting. One was bursting with confidence and intelligence, a handsome and bearded devil with mocking green eyes. The other had leonine hair, they were lean with hungry grey eyes that darted longingly between the enormous meal spread before him and those at the other occupied tables.


Settling the plates of steaming fish and piled greens before what looked like a military couple off-duty, Michel stomped up to Moira, nodding in recognition as he said briskly "G'noon, Moira. What'll it be today, enh? Old Sean doing well?"

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Moira was just getting back into the daily life, though she had a few more provisions. She had to sleep and she had to eat. Not that she minded the acts. It was a little less day in her day.So, she woke up, she showered, she ate breakfast while she watched the news. And then she would get on her morning walk about of the West End.


There was a lot of area to cover. People usually policed their own, but every once in a while you'd get the odd break in or fight that needed to be stopped. That's where Scion came in. She'd play peacemaker, if she could. Luckily there weren't any incidents. Yet. Most people see a hero they cut it out quick. She wasn't hoping for anything bad to happen.


Around lunch time, she had to eat again. She loved food. And right now she was craving something home cooked. Kokinos. She'd been there ever since she was an early teen. Michel was one of the many 'family' members she had. Walking in the door, she saw him for the first time in a long time. She greeted him with a hug, ">Hey Mic<," she said happily in Greek. ">Sean's fine, yeah. Me? I'm getting back into the swing of things!<" she poked a finger towards the back, ">still got that awesome deal you always had? I need me some of that thick sandwich?<"

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  • 2 weeks later...



The older man grumbled a little, but returned the hug with a gentleness that belied the iron slabs he and most of the restaurant family had for muscles. He switched gladly to Greek.


">Bah, I'm rustier in this lingo than you are. You go to Crete or something? I think my cousin there mentioned seeing you once by the old Knossus ruins, that true?<" Michel waved his own questions away with one hand while another rummaged in his faded apron for a pad and Biro ">Sure, we still do that sandwich, I'll get the meat from the missus and give a ring when it's ready. Have a seat, Moira, and welcome back. Praise the Thunderer!<"


With a fond smile the stocky sandwich savant stumped back into the kitchen, hollering for lamb.


The two men in suits had stiffened and glanced around sharply at the word "Thunderer", but resumed their conversation, with occasional glances at Moira.


Finding a seat was fairly easy, a good one only mildly less so. However, the moment she sat down somebody dropped promptly into the chair across from her.

He was dressed in simple grey coveralls embroidered with the Helios Energy logo of a smiling sun, his face was drawn and severe with narrow features, a pair of the angriest eyes Moira had ever seen burning under a shelf of shaggy brown hair.


He looked her in the eye "Welcome to Earth, Edone. I'm Ixion. Your great-uncle, Lord Hades, wants those" he pointed at the bracelets on her arms "and he's fine with us getting a little rough to stop you polluting the Earth with divine artifacts. That's against the Pact, you know."


The feral gleam in his eyes said he'd be fine with violence no matter what the excuse.

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Moira smirked when Michel mentioned going to Crete. "Yeah, I've been a little bit of everywhere, you could say," as he rummaged. She did enjoy Michel's energy. His boisterousness was infectious. On top of that, the smell of this place brought back thoughts of her earlier life.


"Praise the Thunderer," she called back just as with as much brag as Michel did. Sitting down at the table she was offered, she fawned over some old memories. That table over there were some guy was poking at a keyboard was where she had her first real date. That cork board over there with a hundred or so notes and business cards is where she would put flyers for the temple. She sighed, those were the days.


Of course, there was the thing of uninvited guests. Though she didn't believe any guest was uninvited unless they broke the rule of hospitality.You come in and start taking things and causing a ruckus, you're certainly uninvited. But come in with no quarrel and a friendly attitude? Stay a while and chat. This guy however.


Her eyes widened at the call of her birth name. "Hades wants everything, doesn't he," she sneered a smile, "also I don't pretend to know everything about magical barrier laws, but this is a gift. Given freely. That Pact deals with gods not roaming freely around the mortal realm." She stroked the golden bracer with a finger, looking at Ixion, speaking with a taunting tone, "but if you want to take it from me, let's not bother these people's lunch and find a more suitable place. Shall we?"

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"I wouldn't expect the Oathbreaker's get to know the law. The Pact states that anything of divine origin can only come into the world at the request of a mortal on Earth. Nobody asked for those bracers, nobody asked for you, Edone." There was a thin triumphant smile on the unkempt and uncouth man's face, pleasure at finding a chink in the woman's armor. "Lord Hades, King of the Dead and all the Earth, is gracious. He only asks that the bracers return. Be smart and hand them over."


"I'd be happy to take this elsewhere, girl. All of us would." Ixion glanced meaningfully across the restaurant floor. Several of the patrons were watching the muttered altercation worryingly, but several of them were watching with very different airs.


One, a giant of a man in military fatigues, chewed on a side of beef and watched like a hawk, every muscles tensed. The weary-looking woman across from him stared at her plate but now and then glanced over, swirling her water glass moodily.


The two well-dressed men in the corner surveyed the goings-on with idle amusement from the leonine, fitter one while the gaunt scarecrow in a suit stared with his teeth clenched tight.


Ixion turned back to Moira. "Your choice. That gold worth your life?"

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  • 3 months later...

Moira was not amused at the chiding. She knew she was right. She just just didn't want to bust up Mic's place. "So Hades had a to bring a little squad to take care of this?" She looked at the worried patrons, "don't worry, folks. No harm will come to you." She narrowed her eyes at Ixion, "so, you take your friends and we leave here." She pointed towards the door. "Follow me." She kept her eye on every potential member of the group. If one of them even thought about getting crazy she would smack them down. Passing a waitress she whispered, ">tell Mic that this won't be long. I'll be back in no time.<"


She waited at the door and eyeballed everyone of the group. As soon as she stepped out of the door, she donned her costume with a quick thought. Green this time? Weird.

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  • 2 weeks later...



">Oh sure!<" the waitress's pulp face crinkled until her eyes nearly vanished ">I'll keep your plate warm 'til you're back!<" The rest of the people shifted a little, but most of them took the warning in stride. It wasn't like the West End was off-limits to the struggles between superhumans, even before the Interceptors had made it their turf. 


For their part the minions of Hades got up and followed Moira out the door without rancor. Ixion and the hulking mass of muscle in the vaguely military clothes even seemed relieved to be outside. The scrawny, wide-eyed man in the ill-fitting suit had to be pried off the door to the restaurant, an imposing piece of olive wood Mic's grandfather had hauled to Freedom City seventy-four years ago. Seeing Scion transform, the green-eyed businessman grinned and snapped his fingers, a signal for the rest to shed their own disguises.


With a rattle of steel, a hiss of steam, a creak of bulging muscle and a slosh of water, the Avernus Legion stood before Scion. 


"Nice of you to get us to this isolated..." Ixion glanced around "...parking lot. But it's free of anyone who isn't a target, so nobody for you to hide behind, not like usual, is it?" Chains dragged across chest, binding his arms tight as a straightjacket, though not as tight as the vicious twist of his face "Not even Daddy or Mommy can step in, all your friends are gone or dead. Just you, and us." 


"What my colleague means to say, Edone, is that we appreciate you not running. They always seem to run from the Earth King." the smiling man in the expensive suit with the cat's eyes hadn't changed outwardly, but a handsome carbine was slung under his arm, one hand languidly cradling it to aim at Moira's gut. "Now then, will you go first, or shall we?"


The nurse shifted an enormous amphora onto the other white-clad shoulder, staring moodily at the ground, ignoring the lengthening dark streaks spilling over her clothes. "Why are you dragging this out, Sisyphus?" she demanded quietly "I could have stolen the bracer and we could be gone by now." With a weary gesture, black water arced from the amphora and shaped into a thin wall surrounding the loose posse and Scion.


"'Lethi, sooner we pound her, sooner we go home. We'da had to fight anyway." Now looming several heads above her, the giant eyed Scion hungrily, slamming fists as big as her chest together. "Not like you won't put up a fight right, Edone?"


"G-good friend Tityos, w-we must temper o-our ur...urgesshrGMPH" the thin man had to stop talking as he crammed what looked like an entire cherry and cream pie into his mouth, juice and crust squirting and spilling out of his mouth as he chewed frantically, pausing only to tear a bottle of wine out of his pocket, pull out the cork with his teeth and pour the wine down either side. Swallowing noisily, his throat working like a piston, the man wiped his mouth with a sleeve. "I-if you'd like to-I me-me-mean, should you desire it daughter of Love and Slaughter surrender now, renounce yon trinket I at least mean you no harm." His attempt to smile was ghastly after the cherries, giving him a gaping red and black maw. 

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  • 1 month later...

Piling out of Kokinos, the motley crew of Hades' minions, Scion sized up each and every one of them. She recalled passive knowledge on each of them, from her time on Olympus. Tales from the Muses and her company with her mother, father,  and Olympian friends. "So," she took a head count, "I'm seeing we're a bit lopsided on teams here. Like some kind of jabroni crew is come to challenge me." She quickly girded the ever long costume for battle. "Now," she clapped her hands, "what were we all on about? Coming to take something from me?"


She pointed to each and every one of them. "You all. Tell me why you're on this crew and I'll tell you why you shouldn't be." She grinned, "or we can make this physical."

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  • 2 weeks later...



The giant smiled one of those all-too-familiar smirks. The kind that urged you to cross the street and consider an alternate route home, even in absence of all other evidence. "Get physical? I can do that."


Then he tensed and leaped, the puny colossus rocketing straight at Moira's face!


Only to jerk to a halt with a cry of surprise and pain, hissing, red-hot chains holding him still and coming from seeemingly every direction, all but that of the nondescript man who had just moments ago been in a blue-collar disguise and now sulked in a plain brown exomis tunic, manacles embracing his wrists and ankles.


"Lady Edone, please excuse my comrade Tityos. He is an idiot. I'll take you up on your offer." The leonine fellow in the fine suit now wore kingly dress, a thin gold band around his head and a sea-blue tunic conveying the same message as his corporate uniform from moments ago. Spreading his arms genially, he went on with a smile "I am Sisyphus, lately king of Ephyra, the man who dared tweak Olympus' up-turned noses. Most unjustly imprisoned in Erebus, I've petitioned...the Lord of that realm to release me on parole. He has accepted and sent these other former inmates with me, on one condition: we return that which belongs to him and the divine family from Earth. The rest were daunted by the challenge, but I met it willingly!"


As he spoke, Tityos had grimaced and writhed in his bonds, flesh sizzling, but unable to cry out thanks to the chains locking his mouth shut. At the one-time king's description of their departure, a roar of rage burst from his searing lips. Only Ixion seemed to notice, flinching and glancing hatefully at Sisyphus, who smiled blandly and added "Tityos is the exception, he has been released to keep him away from the tender ladies of the outer realms."


The lean one had seemed to lose his stutter. The wine, probably. "They sent me, Tantalus" the hollow-eyed scarecrow of a man whispered, but his voice carried far and clear, clad in the tattered remnants of old finery stained with food and drink "down there because...I made a bad meal. Very, very bad. Not savory at all. Then they let me out like King Sisyphus says." He licked his lips and said no more. 



Sisyphus nodded to Ixion, who was laboriously pulling Tityos through the air back to the small semi-circle "Our third king there got it into his head to seduce the Olympian queen. Now he's the father of centaurs. A man who adjusts his expectations is such a rare thing." He was the only one who laughed.


The water-bearer was now in simple white linen, which did not mesh well with the water pouring steadily down her side. With an air of utter weariness she looked at Divine and asked bluntly "Will you just hand over the jewelry? I promise, nothing else needs to happen. I need...we need to atone for our crimes, or we'll never leave Tartarus again. Murdering my husband was bad enough. 'Alethia' is 'truth' in your tongue, such was I named and such do I speak." She turned sharply to Ixion, pointing at the struggling giant "Drop him. We all need to at our best." The chained man ground his teeth but obeyed, letting Tityos fall in a heap on the asphalt.


At a gesture from Alethia water flowed from the amphora. It flowed over the cuts and burns, washing them away and leaving soft pink skin in its wake. 


The giant stumbled to his feet, feeling his face with wide eyes...until he saw Scion, whereupon the softness vanished.


"You might best one of us, Lady Edone," Sisyphus' voice was cloying, as patronizing as someone talking to a small child "But surely, as you observed, this fight is hopeless? Surrender the weapon, there's a good girl."


With long, swinging strides, the past king stepped up to Moira and stretched out a hand expectantly, his gun in his other hand.

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