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Tiffany Korta

Set in His Ways

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South Pointe, Miami Beach
10th July 2017, Early Afternoon

 

One of the places you went to in Miami if you wanted to see and be seen it was Miami Beach and today the one place to be seen was the extravagant beachside party to celebrate the coming of age of heiress Ruth Aster. The entire party had been painstakingly designed around an Ancient Egyptian theme, from the Hollywood accurate costumes of the staff to the slightly less accurate but much more expensive designer dress that Ms. Aster wore. The whole party area was even decorated with Ancient Egyptian art, the center pieces being two massive, and real, statues of Horus and Set towering over the party and glaring at each other.

 

The guest list was a veritable who's, who of the business and entertainment world with rumors abound that Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella had been invited due to the suitably timed themed. One thing that Ruth had wanted, and had sent feelers through almost every media method for weeks, was for Ancient Egyptian themed superheroes, with a promise of a very generous donation to their charity of choice if they'd turn up to the party to meet the young heiress.

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On one side of the scales Set didn't have much patience for the imagery of his most ardent followers' fallen empire being used as set dressing. On the other side Set really enjoyed statues of Set. The charity business didn't hurt, either, he supposed. "They really managed to capture my good side," the godling mused, bright orange shutter shades perched atop the snout of the animal head he'd adopted to match the towering replica. His usual shendyt had been switched out for tiny bathing suit patterned with the eye of Ra which left precious little to the imagination.

 

The young couple who had been taking a selfie with the statue of Horus hesitated, not sure if the unexpected figure was talking to them. "It's... three dimensional?" the blonder and taller of the boyfriends pointed out, his unsure tone inadvertently turning the statement into a question.

 

Set gave his head a shake, sending brick red dreadlocks bouncing across his shoulders while his features returned to human proportions. "And every side a good one!" he replied with a dazzling grin.

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From a sea of camera's and cell phones came Ruth, who paused and tried not to look like she had just rush over her from elsewhere at the party. Behind her was an obvious bodyguard who was a fairly passable match for Sekhmet, though she didn't look anywhere near as comfortable in the costume as the goddess.

 

"It's an honor that you could attend Set." she stepped forward and threw her arms out ready for a hug as if they'd always been good friends, though she had the sense not to press the issue, just in case.

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One person who wasn't attending the party, though she was in Miami and was technically invited, was Kamala Khanufasa. Instead, she was here on business trying to convince a local conservation group to use her new waterproof batteries on their trackers. They would barely be at cost, but the data on their survival in various environments would be useful in improving her suit designs.

 

As she talked away extolling the virtue of her product her aide sat just in sight looking like she was bored and looking at her cell almost constantly. In fact, Nadiya was watching the newsfeeds in case her boss had to quickly leave and do the hero thing as she called it.

 

"Apparently that Set has arrived at the party, maybe you should go after all?" Nadiya whispered at an opportune moment

 

"That's one more good reason not to attend them." Kamala didn't break her smile as she whispered back.

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"How could I resist, Aster-Blaster?" Set replied with a broad smile full of perfect, gleaming teeth as he accepted the hug with his usual gregarious aplomb. "The event of the season, truly. Happy birthday!" Stepping back a pace once he was sure the surrounding crowd had had ample time to take their photos the godling regarded the bodyguard behind the socialite. "Tis probably for the best that the Lady of Slaughter was unable to attend. She tends to respond to someone biting her style with, well, literal biting." His low conspiratorial tone made it clear he was joking while a subtle raise of the brows he gave the broad shouldered woman turned the look to one of commiseration. He didn't get the impression she'd chosen her current cosplay outfit herself.

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Kamala ignored her aide and continued her pitch the assembled group, which she felt was going well. As much as she enjoyed the little heroing she'd done this was what she wanted to do to build a company that could help the world in its own way. And God willing she'd be able to achieve just that. Though today it seemed God had a different plan, as Nadiya got her attention.

"Coast guards are reporting some suspicious shapes in the water moving towards South Beach, that can't be a coincidence. You really should go check it out."

Kamala was going to protest, Miami must have had its own heroes and Set was right there on site, but it was her duty to help out where she could. And she couldn't fault her assistants, her friends, enthusiasm.

"I think that's a good time to take a break ladies and gentlemen, let's reconvene in an hour."

With a well-practiced routine she was in her costume and equipment and in the air within minutes of halting the meeting and in the same amount of time she was over the party and looking out over the sea.

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As Ruth swept around to gently guide Set, and as Set was well aware show him off, her bodyguard gave a little look that showed she agreed and appreciated her comments. She was still professional stoic as she fell in behind them though.

 

"I have some people you must meet. Oh look it seems someone else has turned up to my little party!"

 

With a crack of someone traveling at high speed, another hero came to hover above the party looking out to sea. She was a quite impressive sight in a costume of red and yellow, a pair of vambraces glinting in the Miami sun. The apparently technological hero was definitely aiming to fit in at the party the backpack she was wearing done in an Ancient Egyptian style.

 

"They look familiar but I can't quite place who they are?"

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Set frowned slightly at the crimson armour, raising a hand to shield his eyes against the sun in a gesture that was more theatre than strictly necessary. The technological accoutrement wasn't familiar but there was only one person the godling could think of who would commit so wholeheartedly to that colour scheme and insect motif. Or rather several people, sharing one . It was a story both complicated and tremendously amusing, from a divine perspective.

 

"Oi, Heru-Ra!" the godling shouted at the top of his lungs, hands cupped around his mouth before raising them to wave at the newcomer. "Did you get your hilarious buttocks killed again? How many times does that make, you cheeky so-and-so?"

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With all the enhanced senses in her suit she couldn't help but hear what Set had to say, and it gave Kamala a moment of pause. According to the teachings, he was a Jinn Marid and hence shouldn't be trusted in the slightest, and yet the name it used was one she recognized from her dreams, one that she hadn't told anyone about. A quick check out to sea showed she had some time before the shapes would reach the shore so she set Safiya to give her a reminder and dropped down to beside the fake god, dropping down to her knees to soften the landing. She stood back up and stuck a suitably heroic pose.

 

"I don't think I'm who think I am." her voice had a metallic tinge that hid her true identity "Though that name you used, where does it come from?"

 

Before Set could respond there host interrupted with a question

 

"Who exactly are you?"

 

Without missing a beat Kamala gave her well-practiced response

 

"I'm The Scarab"

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Set squinted at the armoured figure for a moment before shaking his head. "Mh... Don't think you are. Nice landing, though, love the pose."

 

The godling turned to Ruth and raised both hands as though sharing a bit of juicy gossip. "So, twas a sorcerer, eh? Awful sort, truly a garbage person, blech, decides to slay his prince. The prince, suitably annoyed as one might expect, slays the sorcerer in turn. Both dead, very dramatic, very Hamlet." He clapped his hands and spread them again, illustrating his story with broad gestures. "Tis before almighty, shiny Ra delegated dealing with that sort of nonsense to Osiris so we're all present, souls being weighed, Ammit ready to do what Ammit do, when the prince begins mouthing off! He says, should anyone be condemning the sorcerer's bâ to oblivion it ought to be him! Righteous fury! Much foot stamping!"

 

Set placed a hand alongside his mouth and lowered his voice slightly. "So I say to Horus - the first one, mind - they must have required two separate canonic jars for the pair of dung balls on this scarab! And Isis, well Isis gets a look and if you knew Isis, whoo now! Tis the sort of look to send god and mortal alike fleeing. Long story made short, the pair of them get cursed to reincarnate endlessly!" He spun his index fingers about each other to demonstrate. "Locked in eternal combat, each forever seeking out his bitter enemy!" He shook his head wistfully. "Good times, good times. But you, Ms. Bronze Britches, you ought to know the tale already! Tis a new note in an old tune."

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If Kamala had to describe a trickster spirit she wouldn't have imagined one that would be so... gossipy. The fact that Set was talking about stuff she'd learned as a child, and very specifically the dreams she still had, gave the whole thing a very surreal air. Still, she'd learned not to show any dislike or discomfort when dealing with others, it was a useful skill for the very few time she had to deal with the worst kind of businessmen.

 

 

"You have a very interesting version of that tale Mr. Set, when we have time I shall have to tell you the version I know. It is mainly a tale of the humans involved and how they dealt with the whole thing."

 

Very much aware of the timer counting down to something bad happening here she turned to the hostess.

 

"Excuse me ma'am but you're going to have to evacuate this beach something is going to be here very shortly."

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"Well, I'm a very interesting version of me! Your version sounds depressing," Set opined, giving his dreadlocks a little flick. One really would have expected that after six, seven reincarnations at most the pair of them would have gotten their fill of killing each other but mortal did tend to be massively stubborn over the strangest things. He wasn't entirely clear why this woman was cosplaying as Heru-Ra but evidently she was familiar with enough to the story to take issue with the details. That was passably interesting, at least.

 

Looking out over the water the godling squinted. "Best of fortune emptying a beach in fair Miami. What dread threat shall sending us fleeing to the hills, perchance?"

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I was probably for the best that he was so... challenging, or she'd be torn about how to deal with someone that by all she'd learned shouldn't be walking around. Best for now not to pay him much heed, beyond any assistance she'd, might need. At least he couldn't see her rolling her eye so hard right now.

 

"Something has been moving towards this part of the beach, in fact, we should be able to just about see what coming our way."

 

Kamala strolled confidently towards the waterline, without waiting to see if he'd follow. She'd not quite managed to get the zoom function to work properly yet, so she'd have to use her thankfully good vision.

 

"Alligators, big ones at that." her voice sounded slightly unsure, though she could only see their snouts above the water, something told her that they were different in some way.

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"Crocodiles," Set corrected casually, turning away from the approaching creatures with a shrug. "The Nile tis not merely a river in Egypt but tis still a river in Egypt, should you take my meaning. Big fellows but nothing worth ruining a perfectly good party over." A pair of overlarge reptiles was hardly the wrath of Sobek made manifest after all and the godling didn't care to risk their hostess deciding that an appearance cut short meant she didn't need to uphold her promise of charitable donation. "Come on then, Ms. The Scarab. You seem new to your position and a bit of glorified animal control tis a lovely way to get your metal booted feet wet. I'll even coach you through the process, you fortunate thing."

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As the crocodiles reached the point where the beach began to slope up to the shore they should have smoothly carried on towards the shore. Instead, the heads began to rise slightly from the water and there was a hint of powerful shoulders beneath that toothed maw. These were obviously no normal beasts.

 

Some on the beach were beginning to notice as well, pointing and getting out camera phones at the strange phenomena. No one seemed particularly bothered yet, after all, there were a couple of superheroes to deal with the issue.

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