|yegods_npc (yegods_npc) wrote in yegods,|
@ 2012-07-01 16:13:00
|Entry tags:||!log, #npc:mitra, isabelle cooper|
WHO Izzy Cooper and Mitra (NPC)
WHERE Central Park
WHEN July 1st, 5 o’clock
SUMMARY The punctual god Mitra has a request of the daughter of Coyote.
The punctual god Mirta sat on a bench in Central Park eating a cone of vanilla ice cream adorned with chocolate sprinkles. Occasionally the melting confection would threaten to drip down the side of the cone onto his hand, taking the sprinkles with it, but Mitra would laugh and lick the ice cream up before it made a mess. To the mortals passing by, he was a well-dressed, slightly portly man eating ice cream. To the demigods, or whatever else might be lurking through the park at this time of day, he was a god, in long white embroidered robes and sandals, radiating a sense of friendly competence. And eating ice cream.
He turned away from his ice cream for a moment to look up at the sun, moving slowly along through the trees. It was bright in the summer, and he enjoyed the heat even though the sun moving through the sky went the time was passing by. He had summoned the daughter of the trickster god Coyote. Her father had gotten up to a bit of mischief, and Mirta knew enough to see how such mischief could destroy the things that held dear. Friends would turn on each other. People would break agreements. Rampant tardiness everywhere. Truth itself could be at risk. Some beings perform actions not understanding the larger outcome of them. Coyote was not such a being. He understood the scope of what he had done.
But it could be fixed, Mitra hoped, devouring the last of the sprinkles, if caught soon enough. He did not know how well the daughter of Coyote could be trusted, but that was why Mirta had drawn the contract. If she agreed, if she signed, then all would be well. Now she just had to show up on time.
Izzy had enjoyed herself at the potluck. For her, it was always nice to get to know her fellow demigods better. It wasn’t that they hadn’t been friendly or welcoming or just generally awesome. It was just sometimes a struggle when you were new and everyone seemed to have so much shared history. But today had been a step towards adding herself to that shared history and that was enough to make her day. Or it normally would have been. If it hadn’t been for what she found resting on her nightstand when she woke up this morning. Sitting on her nightstand next to the glasses she rarely wore these days was a piece of parchment. Not a piece of paper or even a piece of cardstock (what could she say Aimee was a scrapbooker she knew more about paper than any human had a right to) but a genuine piece of parchment.
Curiosity had her reaching for it before she even put her glasses on so she needed to squint a bit to make out what the gold lettering said though she was completely unable to read the signature which was clearly not in an alphabet she was even familiar with. It asked her to meet whoever it was at five pm in Central Park. Which gave her plenty of time to still go to the potluck. She’d folded the note up and put it in the back pocket of her jean shorts before she left hoping that she could corner Roddy and he’d have some insight on what it might mean. Once she’d found him and he’d looked at the note all he had been able to tell her was that the word at the bottom was Mitra. Which was something she supposed.
At 4:58 Izzy was in the park wandering hoping that she could recognize whoever had written the note. She didn’t need to go far before she found a man in white robes eating ice cream. The sense of calm power surrounding him told her he was likely who she was looking for. The ice cream made her like him. Because how can you dislike someone eating ice cream?
Mitra was getting down to the cone by the time he sensed the presence of the person he was planning to meet. Before looking at her, he looked up into the sky to read the sun. It was not the morning sun, his favorite, but he could read it and know exactly what time it was. Unless it was daylight savings time. He just had no concept of that at all. She was on time. Good. That pleased him very much, so he looked at her and smiled. He was a portly god, with a round belly and a full face that seemed to grow rounder as he smiled. Mitra got to his feet, ice cream cone still in hand and he walked over to her, the train of his white robes trailing across the sidewalk behind him.
“Daughter of Coyote. Daughter of Coyote,” he said walking over to her. He had his hands outstretched in welcome but he did not touch her. He came to a stop a few feet away and looked her up and down, as if she were an old friend he had not seen for some time, and rather thought she had grown. “I am welcome to have you in my company, Daughter of Coyote. Come, we should be friends first. Come, sit. Would you like ice cream? It is hot and a good day for it, though I would suggest a dish and spoon.”
He seemed to waver between returning to the bench or walking over to the large, non-permanent metal structure a bit down the way where he had gotten his ice cream cone, and were currently a girl with pigtails and few teeth was attempting to say ‘strawberry.’ He watched Izzy, seeing which she would prefer to do.
Izzy considered her options. She knew that it was likely rude to refuse a god when he suggests ice cream but she’d just spent the last several hours eating more food than most people packed away in a week. She wavered for a moment before answering, “Perhaps a small ice cream is just what I need in this heat. Anything bigger and I’m likely to burst since I just left a party where there was a lot of food.”
She smiled at the god, something about his presence was almost comforting. It wasn’t something she was used to feeling when in the presence of a god. Even before she’d known Coyote was a god he’d always made her slightly anxious. She’d always assumed that was just what it was like to be around any god. Clearly she was at least partly mistaken.
She was insanely curious about what Mitra wanted with her but she understood that this was a time to do things at the god’s pace, not her own. And showing her curiosity may put him off and she didn’t want to do that. Partly because she felt like she could like the portly god and partly because she was smart enough to know that it wasn’t a good idea to push a god when they weren’t ready to talk. So she would eat ice cream and let him get to know her at his own pace. Even if it killed her.
He smiled and gave a firm nod of his head and headed toward the ice cream vendor, his arm still out toward her but never coming close enough to touch, just to usher her along beside or even in front of him. “Than a small ice cream it will be,” he said, remembering to eat some of his own, though he had eaten enough that the melted parts were contained within the cone. “I hope you were with friends having a most wondrous time. Every summer should be spent with friends. It is very important. All seasons,” he held up a finger as they walked. “All seasons should be spent with friends. They keep the winters warm and the summers cool. And they make seasonal allergies in the spring and autumn far less irritating. It’s a proven fact, Daughter of Coyote.”
He was not a fast moving god, and it took them some time to reach the vendor. There was a family in line of ahead of them, so Mitra stood and waited his turn as the children in front of them made up their minds. “It is good we start as friends. Our knowledge of one another is not great, but that does not mean we cannot be friendly and kind to one another,” he said before tasting his ice cream again. “And I have a favor to ask of you, Daughter of Coyote, but it is not good to start a friendship with favors. So I shall provide with you food, and thank you graciously for meeting with me. I shall be honest and say I am very glad you did, for there is something I need to ask of you. Put first there shall be ice cream.”
The god smiled at her again as the family walked off and they stepped up in line. A man stood inside the side of the van and looked down at the unlikely customers. Mitra motioned from Izzy to the man. “Please, ask him for what you’d like. I spare no expense on friends, new or old.”
Izzy quickly ordered a single scoop of Dutch chocolate. If she was going to have ice cream it needed to be chocolate or have chocolate in it. She smiled at the man when he handed her the ice cream and thanked him. She might live in New York now but she was raised to say please and thank you and be as polite to strangers as she was friends. Those lessons weren’t easy ones to forget. Especially since she could still feel the slight sting of Aimee’s admonishment when she would forget when she was very young.
She ate her ice cream while they made their way back to the bench where she’d first found Mitra. Once they were settled on the bench she put down her spoon for a moment and turned to Mitra, “What pantheon do you come from?” she asked deliberately ignoring the favor he had mentioned.
She hoped that showing him that she wasn’t impatient was the right thing to do. In all honesty she was going crazy wondering what exactly it was that he wanted from her when she knew so little and how such a small amount of power. But that could wait. He wanted them to be friends before speaking of potentially unpleasant things so she would be friendly. Years of conditioning made this kind of small talk second nature to her though she was more used to politicians than gods.
The coins Mitra used to pay for Izzy’s treat seemed to appear in the palm of his hand before being passed on to the ice cream vendor. He had moved on to the cone of his ice cream and made a good way through it before they reached the bench again, because he still moved slowly and carefully and took the time to enjoy things. He gave himself time to enjoy things. Mitra was always on time, yes, he expected things to be on time, yes, but that did not mean he hurried places. Mitra took his time and arrived exactly when he meant to.
He sat on his bench again, happy to sit and eat together for a moment. The human world was alive today, but the park was one of the quieter places. But Mitra could still see it living and moving, in a way that only someone not from the world could experience it. He smiled and then chuckled slightly at her question. “That is not an easy question to answer, Daughter of Coyote. Some will call me Vedic, or Brahmanist, or Hindu. It may be best for you to consider me as coming from a hot part of the world, where the land cracks and the mountains heave and the people move like water in a mighty river.”
Mitra nodded, pleased with him and took a few more quiet bites of his ice cream cone before devouring it completely. He dusted off his hands in the air in front of him as he chewed the last bits of it. “Now,” he said, once he had swallowed. “Daughter of Coyote. My friend, Izzy Cooper. Your father has been busy. He accomplishes many things before most beings can decide to do one thing. And because of this I require your assistance before the ties of friendship are tested unfairly. Before the gentle fabric of truth is torn and mottled gray. The level of danger... I do not expect to be great. To you. Unless certain things are removed from the hands of the people who do not even realize they hold them, things may become dangerous indeed. You see your father has exploited a simple truth. Perhaps the simplest truth. The universal truth, I dare say. People will believe anything. And that can be very dangerous, my friend.”
Izzy’s first thought was that Mitra was referring to Zacharie not Coyote but she quickly realized who he meant and inwardly groaned. She had hoped that her father would stay out of things and not play with people while the tension felt so high and, quite honestly, before she could prove herself to everyone. But she knew that was asking for too much. Coyote was who he was and he could no more change his nature than they could change the nature of the tide.
She closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. Placing her melting ice cream on the bench next to her she turned to Mitra, “What do you need me to do?”
It wasn’t a question to her of whether or not she would do what was asked of her. If her father was making mischief she would see that it was quelled. In some ways it was her responsibility to do so and she wasn’t one to ignore her responsibilities. The question then became what had he done. He was a trickster so she assumed it was something to create chaos among the demigods. And clearly it was something that Mitra felt she could handle which led her to believe his claim that it wasn’t dangerous though it was important.
Mitra smiled and gave her attitude a firm nod. The children of the trickster gods were often as much to be trusted as the gods themselves, often just as prone to foolishness and chaos and, yes, treachery. But Mitra was a god himself, and therefore felt that no matter what possible trickery his new friend may get up to, he could tame it, and control it. Because he was a god, and she was half-human. That allowed him a certain sense of confidence in the situation.
“This morning the god Coyote cursed the hand held communication devices called cell phones of eight of your fellow demigods around the city. Cursed in a most particular and cunning way.” Because all of the trickster gods could, perhaps at best, be called cunning. They left it to other gods to be brutal, but somehow the results always looked the same. “He has made these cell phones create the truth. Not tell it, not confirm it, but to create the truth. Through the use of the texting.” He held his two hands up in front of him and moved his thumbs as though he were texting someone. “A thing texted once will seem more likely. A thing texted twice will be accepted as truth. A thing texted three times will walk and breathe and move through the world as real as stone.”
He paused, looking at her, his new friend, the Daughter of Coyote. “You are young in this world, still. I trust you can comprehend the danger that the texting causes. People do not watch their words, and your father the trickster has made to take advantage of this. You must stop the people before such truths learn to walk. I request you to find these eight cell phones, and disarm them of this curse. To stop the false truths from walking, and the stop those which already have legs.”
Izzy nodded her expression serious. This was bad, really bad. Her mind was already going round like a hamster on a wheel trying to figure out how to find the demigods in question and what she would do once she found them. Part of her hoped that they were people she knew but part of her was also a little concerned about the same thing. If she told them why she needed to see their phones it was just a reminder that her father wasn’t one of the good guys and though she saw no sense in pretending that she wasn’t Coyote’s daughter it did cause her a degree of worry that people would think her loyalties were with him. She cared for Coyote but she did not share his love of chaos for the sake of chaos.
“Okay, who are the demigods in question? And once I get to them what do I have to do with the phones?”
For some reason she was imagining some kind of covert 007-esque actions with the Mission Impossible music playing in the background. Which was ridiculous but one couldn’t be held accountable for what one thought when they were given this kind of task to complete.
“I guess I should just be glad there are no zombies,” she muttered under her breath.
There might be zombies. That was the scary part, but Mitra said nothing. In this case metaphors could be dangerous things. A joke or two could spiral into reality. He hoped there were limits to this, that Coyote’s grand, horrible scheme for the people of the world wasn’t to destroy themselves with the texting. But Mitra didn’t know. He smiled gently down at his new friend, and did not share these concerns with her. All she had to do was stop them. She didn’t need to worry as he worried, or know all that he knew.
“I will give you this, Daughter of Coyote,” he said, reaching into a fold of his robe and retrieving a golden chain, at the end of which hung a rather large golden pendant. It was shaped like the word सच, which made more sense to Mitra than it made to Izzy Cooper, but it was none-the-less the most important word to him. He smiled at it slightly. “Wear this, and when one of the cell phones is near, it shall glow. And the closer you get the brighter it will become. Track the phone down, and place this charm on the phone. When it stops glowing you will know you have done well.”
He looked from the pendant and back to his new friend, still smiling, as though the sight of the necklace warmed his heart. “You accomplish this task, and I shall give you this necklace to keep, and I vow that it will help my friend on her journey.”
But he did not give it to her yet. He held it back, out of her reach. “But first I request that my new friend Izzy Cooper sign this.” With his empty hand he reached into another fold of his robe and produced another parchment, similar to the one she had found that morning, although this one had quite a bit more writing on it. He handed it to her to read. “It is a simple agreement, stating that you give your oath to perform this task I have requested of you. That you will abide by my request, and should you break your oath, or acquire and use this pendant or those cell phones for anything other than what I have requested, that you shall pay the price agreed upon in this contract.”
He voice had gone a bit more professional, a bit more serious, and if Izzy read the golden lettering she would have found the contract stated exactly what he said. With the price of breaking her oath something involving turning into a bird for a hundred years. And not a pretty birds, but a big ugly one with a large beak that could eat rather large fish, and had short, unattractive feathers. At the bottom he had already signed it, and he offered her a pen and a smile to urge her to do the same.
Izzy knew better than to sign something without reading it. Especially when that something was written by a god. So she read through the contract carefully the way her father--the way Zacharie Cooper-- had taught her. It was remarkably straightforward. So much so that she couldn’t hold back the snort when she read the price she’d pay if she fucked things up.
She glanced over at the god, “You’re definitely creative in your punishments. I’ll give you that.”
She looked back down gripping the pen he’d given her. There was no doubt in her mind that she was going to sign this and do everything in her power to fix what Coyote had done. But there was an enormity to the situation before her and she was aware that this was also the moment that she signed at least part of her life over to being a demigod.
Before she could let herself get bogged down by what that meant Izzy signed her full name at the bottom of the contract.
Mitra smiled and nodded again, taking his pen back when she was done, and the contract, and handing over the pendant, which would have seemed unnecessarily heavy. “I am glad that we have become friends and could come to this agreement, Daugher of Coyote.” He nodded again, glad to have everything down nice and neat in print. Things that were verbal got so messy, so out of line, so open to interpretation. Mitra liked to have things down in print. It made things final, definite.
He stood, and took a few steps away from her to let her inspect the pendant and hopefully enjoy the rest of her ice cream. He began the careful process of folding the contract, preparing to say his farewells (perhaps just for now, there was nothing so sad as a weedy pathway to a friend’s door). “I wish you the best of luck, my friend. May truth and loyalty and friendship speed you in your task. And remember this oath you have made,” he said, holding up the contract. “Our word is the one thing we have control of in this world or any other. It is the most sacred of things. Protect it, my dear young friend.”
Mitra intended to make his exit, and turned to step away from his friend. But he turned, and stopped, his eyes round and white. His jaw dropped slightly but he was unable to utter a sound. He could only gasp as a row of teeth seemed to form in the air in front of him, out of an increasingly dark miasma. Another row of teeth appeared below, and together they snapped once, twice. Sharp and large and growing. The mouth opened, revealing more teeth and a dark, impossible void.
The god could only gasp again, a sweat of fear forming on his brow. He dropped the folded contract to the ground and remained still as the teeth opened and came for him, capturing him completely in the void inside its mouth before clamping its teeth shut.
With a sense of stillness the creature moved toward Izzy, for as it moved the sense of creature around the mouth seemed to come into blurry vision. A nose, perhaps. Or eyes set higher up. The teeth neared Izzy, larger than her, just as easy to capture her behind them as it had Mitra. The nose that was there smelled her, knew what she was and did not want her. It vanished again into the air, teeth and nose and eyes gone. Leaving only the folded contract on the ground, signed and binding.
Izzy bit back a scream as the thing...ate Mitra. When it turned it’s attention to her she seriously thought she might lose it. But she stayed as still as possible the only things moving were her chest as she tried to catch her breath and the tears that ran unchecked down her cheeks. If this was the kind of thing she was up against she wasn’t sure how much training Ken could possibly give her that could ever prepare her for it.
When it clearly decided she wasn’t to it’s taste and disappeared Izzy let out a muffled sob before sliding to the ground to pick up the contract she’d just signed. Grasping the parchment so tightly her fingers turned white Izzy vowed that she would do what Mitra has asked of her. She felt like the god had died partly because he had put himself in harm’s way in order to ask her to fix her father’s mess.
With shaking hands she reached into her bag to get her phone. She found his name under her contacts after a couple of tries since her fingers didn’t seem to want to work. It took a couple of rings before Roddy answered, “Um, Roddy, I think I just saw a god get eaten.”