|BRADY MCALISTER MORRISS THE BERST! (Also a saint.) (latetomyseance) wrote in yegods,|
@ 2012-01-17 11:51:00
|Entry tags:||!log, brady morris, sunyoung dupont|
WHO Sunyoung “Sunny” Dupont & Brady Morris
WHERE An Island in the Vicinity of North Africa
WHEN 8th century BCE, Midday
SUMMARY There’s danger around every corner... if they can even remember to look for it.
Brady read The Odyssey in his final year at high school. It didn’t really stick with him. Like The Iliad, the wording was not so much archaic as just awkward, and something about it just didn’t enthrall him. His memories of the story are more entrenched in the the late 90s’ NBC mini-series. He remembers there is a cyclops and sirens and maybe a sea monster? But that’s about it. He has no idea when any of those things might be expected, either, only that they are expected. It makes him a little uneasy. As of yet, they haven’t really had a chance to get close to their clever but brash leader. He isn’t sure if they’ve been cursed by the gods yet or not. He seems to recall that Odysseus is cursed at the very beginning of the movie, but the book was somewhat different.
However, after rowing for a day and a half, they found this place with fresh water and food. Brady didn’t feel like eating. He’d thrown up pretty much everything he’d had for the last day or so not long after ingesting it. Life on the sea doesn’t seem to sit with him very well. So when they made dry land, he could have cried with relief. Also, because it meant being able to rest his hands, which - despite the aid of the healing gun (which locked up twice the night before before he managed to force it to work) - are looking rough. The other men have been laughing about his “womanly” hands to his great chagrin, but it seems to have momentarily distracted them from the actual woman on board.
And here they are, on some random island, and Brady can’t recall if this was immediately addressed in the story or not, but after refreshing their water supply and resting, Odysseus has gotten up to direct him, Sunny, and one other man to go and speak with the locals and see what they’re like. Brady has a very bad feeling about this. They do have swords and shields, which are a whole lot heavier than they look on TV, in case the natives aren’t too friendly, but Brady has never fought with a sword or shield before, so he imagines that they won’t be a whole lot of help. Most likely, he and Sunny will be a whole lot of dead.
They walk a few yards back from the third member of their party. It’s a warm day, the scenery is pretty enough, and it’s quiet as they come upon the lotophagi settlement. Before them are a number of men and women, lounging wherever’s most comfortable. They barely even turn when the newcomers break the forest and enter into their domain. And those that do simply smile at them mildly before taking languid bites into a strange fruit.
“This doesn’t seem too bad,” Brady mutters to Sunny, mouth twitching as he attempts to smile for the locals.
”You think so?” Really, it’s miserable. She’d spent much of their journey to land bitterly wishing they would row faster. Now that she was on solid ground, it only seemed to exacerbate the ill feeling she’d come down with on the boat. Ever since the break of the new day she’d been matching Brady heave for heave. Even Loki’s child wasn’t cut out for life on a boat.
The realisation was disappointing, as well as the fact that her skin was beginning to veer from bright red to brown. It would take months to lose the tan fully, at the rate they were going. To add insult to injury, there wasn’t any appropriate amount of resting. It felt like she’d just barely passed out on the sand before she had to get up again, stumbling and straining against the weight of the shield on her back. The other men had laughed at her and patted her roughly on the head. To them, she’d learned, she was just a very girlish boy. It still didn’t make sneaking around the ship at night to use the bathroom any easier, though.
She sighs at the sight of lounging men and women. That looks like fun. Anything besides wobbling around and island in a story she knows nothing about sounds like way more fun. “The ground feels like it’s moving like the water,” she mumbles, and swipes the back of her hand across her forehead. “Whatever they’re eating looks way better than beef jerky.”
”Yeah, it does,” Brady agrees. The beef jerky - or sheep? fish? whatever - is particularly not sitting well with him, given the fact he’s been a vegetarian for several years now. One more thing to add to the list. So all this fruit looks almost good. Almost, because he’s still feeling a little like he might be revisiting breakfast again. But lounging. Lounging on solid ground looks so, so nice. He takes an unconscious step forward, swallowing a little. The third member of their party is just staring at them expectantly. Brady imagines he’s meant to actually talk to some of these people. He bites his lip, which is almost as ragged as his hands by now, and cautiously goes over to a man lounging on a grassy knoll.
He clears his throat faintly, and the man lazily turns to him, slowly chewing on his fruit. “Uh, greetings. We’re trying to get back to Ithaca...”
“I’ve never heard of Ithaca.”
Brady’s cheek twitches a little. “Are there any shrines around here? Apollo? Athena? Hermes?”
“No,” the man drawls, licking his fingers as he finishes one piece of fruit and starts on the next. “No shrines.”
“What are you eating?”
“Would you like some?” the man asks, smiling with a little more interest this time. “Take some. For you and your companions,” he says, picking up the fruit wrapped in leaves and holding it out to Brady.
Brady takes the offering, feeling a little glum, because he really would like to dial in to one of his friends’ parents and get out of here, but at least, there’s food. He returns to Sunny and the other man. “He says there’s no shrines here, and he doesn’t know what Ithaca is, but he gave us this...”
While Brady is chatting it up with a local, she eyes the sailor they’ve been sent with. He looks not unlike her little brother’s toadie. Maybe this is a distant, ancient relative. Either way, she decides to mentally refer to him as ‘Slammer’ for all further intents and purposes. It works. Her and Slammer continue to stare at each other tensely for no reason, and the earth beneath her feet still feels like it’s rolling. This experience is quite possibly the worst of her life. For now.
By the time Brady returns, they’re still staring at each other while he awkwardly juggles his fruit. Her eyes narrow determinedly until Slammer looks away first. That’s right, Ancient Greek Toadie. Her only preening gesture may only be a satisfied smile as she takes one of the fruit from Brady, but she still feels victorious. “These did look pretty goo- hey!”
Slammer snatches it right out of her hand and puts it right in his mouth, looking equally as satisfied. She sees red for a moment, and wonders if her rage is enough to give her the strength to take her shield off and drop it on homeboy’s toe. Her feet shift slightly at the thought, and the weight of the shield sends her stumbling a few steps to the right. “Did you see that?” she scowls as she stutter-steps to a stop. “He stole it!”
There is something to be said for the 6th century BCE. That something is that people in general were much shorter then, so Brady is easily a head taller than the majority of the crew, including Slammer. Perhaps this has even worked to Sunny’s benefit, since her shortness doesn’t immediately give her away as a woman. Probably just her noodle arms. Brady’s aren’t that great either. Two months of the gym is nothing compared to half-days of rowing, and admittedly, he’s not sure he could actually do much with that sword the way his arms and back are cramping, but he is still taller than Slammer. When the little jerk snatches away Sunny’s fruit, that’s just about all Brady can take.
He is horribly sunburned, sick to his stomach (and hungry), dehydrated, aching in every part of his body, and his hands are scabbed over mess. He very calmly puts the rest down on the ground, making sure to keep the fruit on the leaves, so it doesn’t get dirty, and then he turns on Slammer. “You wanna give that back to her?” he asks, advancing on the other man with one of those patently dark and stormy Brady looks. “You were gonna get one anyway, so you don’t have to be taking things from your comrade’s hands.” Violence may be imminent.
That’s kind of almost cute, how angry Brady gets. She watches him advance in a daze. The last time she’d seen Brady do anything physical, he was getting beat down by Slammer’s modern day equivalent. Now he looks a little different and a bit thicker, but does he really think he could be a match for someone who can row and not throw up at the same time. Oh, but this could be amusing all the same--
“Brady,” she snaps hotly, mood changing suddenly when he refers to her as she. “Stop.” Her face grows hot under the dirt layered to it, but it’s already too late. Ancient Slammer is glaring at her with a look of disbelief mixed with disgust and other unsavoury emotions. “Fuck. I don’t have my rune,” she mumbles and shifts again, the sudden change in weight making her reel five or six steps to the right this time. Luckily, it’s in the opposite direction of the two men.
“Can you do something that’s not exposing my vagina to the rest of the crew, like taking this and beating him over her the head with it?” How had she ever gotten the damn shield on? Her shoulders burn and throb in protest as she tries to loose it from her back. Slammer is still looking on, chewing his stolen fruit thoughtfully. This has to be the most drawn out, extended situation in which she’s even been in mortal danger ever.
Brady realizes a second too late that he’s just exposed Sunny. His mind races as he tries to think of how to justify it. There are stories about women warriors. There’s that, uh, the one with the golden apple, who refused to marry any man who couldn’t beat her in a race. Plus, Artemis and Athena are both pretty active goddess. Right, Artemis or Athena. They don’t have to beat this guy senseless. They just have to convince him that she’s on a secret and holy mission for Artemis, and that he’ll be castrated if he does anything to her. He steps a little, trying to block Slammer’s direct view of Sunny as she stumbles around with her shield and sword, reminiscent of early movie!Mulan.
“She’s a priestess of Artemis, so if you do anything to her, or tell the others...” Brady starts to say, but it doesn’t look like Slammer cares. In fact, it doesn’t look like he’s even looking at Sunny or listening to Brady at all. His eyes have a kind of glazed look. Brady blinks, rubbing the back of his head and then turns to Sunny. “Um, he doesn’t seem to be a threat... Maybe he’s half-deaf or something?” He turns back to Slammer, waiting for him to advance on Sunny or go running, but he just sits there eating the fruit. Unsure of what to think about this, he looks around. Throughout this little drama, none of the people lounging nearby have stirred. They’re just happily eating their fruit as though they don’t have a care in the world.
He goes over to the remaining fruit on the ground and picks it up, sniffing it. It smells like citrus. Sweet, aromatic. He picks up a piece and takes a bite. Instantly, he has a mild sensation that there’s just... no reason to be so worried. His aches and burns and blisters don’t bother him. The idea that Slammer might tell on Sunny and force him to try to fight Odysseus’s full crew doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Even getting out of here doesn’t really seem that important. He stares vacantly into space, slowly savoring the fruit.
Strangely enough, the story Brady rattles off while she’s still struggling with the straps of her shield sounds very familiar. So familiar that some parts of it might even be true, or at least it feels that way. Maybe that’s why she’d woken with such a crippling fear of being discovered. The shield finally drops from her back with a loud thud, and she groans at the protest from her shoulders. She’s going to be a hunchback for the rest of her life because of this, she just knows it.
The fact that the situation has calmed seems.. odd. She glances around at the spread of people lying about and pads over to Brady. “Well, um,” she she says, tilting her head to follow his line of sight. There isn’t anything special over there. “Huh. Okay. You sure showed him.”
Shrugging, she stoops to scoop up her own piece of fruit. Frankly, it’s the best thing she’s ever eaten. She leans back until her rump hits the ground and sits crosslegged, staring down at the fruit in her hands. It’s really good. Really, really good. Sunny sighs quietly and takes another bite, feeling almost serene. “This is nice...”
Slammer is sitting. Sunny is sitting. Unconsciously, Brady sits, too. This is nice. It’s so nice. In fact, he’s never had a nicer afternoon than this one sitting with his crew mates on the thick grass, eating this delicious fruit. With every bite, memories of what they were even sent here to do grow further away. With every swallow, recollections of New York, his friends, Luz, his family, art, school, and all that begin to fade, too. Everything that seemed painful before, everything that worried him... It just slowly evaporates. Sunny killed him before? Nah, they’re good now. Look at her, happily eating fruit. That’s what everyone should be doing. They should all just happily eat their fruit. This is like, the perfect utopia, because everyone here is doing exactly what they ought to be doing.
By the time he has finished his first slice, he can barely even recall his own name. “This is nice,” he agrees softly, smiling vacantly at Sunny. “What a nice day.” What is her name again? Does it matter? They don’t need names and labels. Everyone in this meadow is One. For the first time, he thinks he might understand what Enlightenment means, except that he doesn’t really care about that either. That’s another unnecessary contraption. They are completely free. They are the essence of being. He sighs dreamily and sits back more, and despite the shield on his back, finds a way to better lounge. “I’m glad we came here.”
It’s amazing, how good she feels. She doesn’t think of the how or why, simply riding high on the feeling of true serenity coursing through her veins. Everyone here is happy. There’s no reason to do anything besides, sit, eat, and enjoy. Sunny hums with contentment, a wandering, random little tune that goes nowhere, but it still sounds nice all the same. It trails off after a few minutes into more of the same stretching, contented silence.
He looks so comfortable. Brody, right? Something with a B. She crawls over to sit by him, legs stretched out in front of her while she enjoys the same beautiful view as he does. “This is so great,” she sighs, and leans against his shoulder. He’s so nice. There’s only a fleeting memory of ever being mad at him for anything. “You’re so great. I’m glad I’m here with you.”
She takes another bite of her fruit and contemplates the beauty of the surrounding area some more. The flowers are especially beautiful. A slow, happy thought comes to mind, and she begins to delicately pick at the small wildflowers sprung up around them. Humming again, she starts to wind them into a crown in between tiny bites of fruit. When it’s complete, she turns to Brady and gingerly places it on top of his hair.
“Wow,” she breathes. “It looks great on you.”
It’s so nice to be here with her. Everything is just so warm and comfortable. She smells nice, her singing is nice, and no one is causing any problems. “I’m glad I’m here with you, too,” he agrees with another dreamily little sigh. He does not protest in any way as she puts her crown of flowers on his head. It only makes the feeling of oneness with nature greater. Really, he’s never been this happy or content in his entire life. He wishes it could just go on and on forever and ever... Even when the sun starts to go lower on the horizon, and it isn’t quite as warm out, he doesn’t mind too much. What is cold? It has no more meaning than being burned or blistered. What is unhappy? He doesn’t even recall an instance in which he has been to define it. All that exists is this.
Or at least, that’s all that exists until a certain angry captain comes storming into the meadow. Odysseus appears through the trees in all his bearded glory, looking very irritable. Now, that probably would normally get a reaction, because dude looks pretty intimidating with his hair all wind swept and his bear all gnarled. He’s got a few scars on that broad chest of his, too. But Brady does not understand why he looks so grumpy. It’s none of his concern, even. So he just keeps sitting there, nibbling on fruit and smiling at Sunny right up until the moment that Odysseus is standing over them, bellowing at them to get up. Even this only makes him turn to their esteemed leader with a vacant smile. He has no idea why he’s being yelled at, but he doesn’t mind. Rather, he doesn’t care at all.
He doesn’t even care when Odysseus moves to wrench them both to their feet. “I like this place,” he says to no one in particular. “I like being here. Being here with you is nice...” He stumbles as Odysseus begins to drag him by the shoulder of his robes back towards the forest path leading to the ship. “Where are we going?”
Sunny doesn’t particularly mind being yelled at. She doesn’t mind anything at all, actually, and doesn’t stop gazing at the world in a serene daze as Odysseus drags them back towards the ship. But what is a ship? This wooden contraption is something she doesn't remember seeing before. Her eyes are wide with wonder as they're dragged back on board, head tilting to take it all in. It's marvelous, this thing called wood and that dark thing called water. The sun burning clear and low on the far western horizon is equally as hypnotising, and she stares at it while being jostled onto a rowing bench next to the nice boy she'd made a crown for. Now there's a new sensation- rope.
"This is so great," she says to no one in particular. It's as strange and wonderful as everything else she's experienced thus far, and she can only observe peacefully as the other sailors tie her and Brady to the bench. When it's done, they're left alone to ponder their new surroundings in the same blissful state they've been in for hours now.
However many hours pass next, Sunny isn't sure. There's a sure but slow change in the way she perceives her surroundings. She becomes aware of tendrils of cold ticking at her bare shoulders from the chill of the night and the stiffness in her back from sitting so long, though it's not more more than a vague discomfort so far. Her head tilts to examine the boy next to her. She's been leaning against him for quite some time. There's something familiar there. There's something familiar about everything, actually. Memories are still dim and thick as molasses, but the image of a temple and secrets floats through her mind, as well as pictures of a life in a busy city of stone, glass, and metal. "Brady," she whispers cautiously to him. It feels right.
“Who is Brady?” he asks, the light of recognition not yet in his eyes. In fact, he resumes staring off into space for some time yet, now and then blinking with a kind of glazed expression. The cold air on his sunburn doesn’t bother him, and he doesn’t feel particularly sea sick, either, though the boat does rock as steadily as ever. The person beside him is helping to keep him warm, and soon, they’ll be allowed to go to bed. Perhaps that’s his first focused thought: that the sun is setting, and they will go to sleep soon. But it is not a particularly solidifying though, and his mind continues to wander, unable to stay on any one topic for long. Not really able to care about any one thing for very long. But after a time, as the stars first begin to blink onto the horizon, a little more intelligence returns to his expression.
“Brady,” he says, considering the name. “That’s me, isn’t it? I’m Brady... Or am I?” His thoughts are getting tangled in something else. “No, who is Brady...?” Memories collide. One is of skyscrapers and open fire hydrants and a fat cat and a guy who smells like coffee and another with shoes that fly. It’s peppered with recollections of kicking a ball around a field and a two storey home and fields and trees. However, blocking the full-fledged return of these memories are another set. These memories are of pigs and sloping hills and the bend of olive leaves before a storm. They’re about running away from home to join Odysseus’s crew and watching Achilles do battle and blood and violence and life at sea.
He narrows his eyes, trying to perceive something that can’t easily be distinguished given the state of his mind. “I’m Glaucus? And I live in New York. No, that’s not right... I’m Brady, and I’m from Ithaca...? Who are you?”
”I think.. I think you’re Brady,” she nods, head tilting as she considers his stumbling explanations. That name sounds familiar. Grounding. A swirl of a big, dark house flits by in her mind, gone before she can focus on it. She looks down at her hands, thinking hard. “What’s New York? I think I live there too.”
The harder she ruminates, the more the familiar apathy of the hour threatens to overtake her. New York sounds like a nice, fresh place. Lots of people. She thinks she likes people. Maybe. A sudden dip in thought takes her to broken pieces of familiar faces. “I think I’m Sunyoung.” A dark featured, almost fox-faced man remains for a moment. She recognises it, but only distantly. “And my dad is... Loki.”
Yes, that has to be it. Affection for the man warms her through the damp cold of the air, and she smiles lazily at the sailors on the bench ahead of them, who are now muttering about ‘witchfruit’ and ‘forgetful sorcery’. Her head tilts to gaze out at the black looking water, the back to Brady. “But I think I’m someone else, too. Maybe that’s right.” She nods, then shrugs, still smiling. Whatever importance the memories seem to have had is gone for now. She’s still content to sit upon the bench, even with the growing seed of physical discomfort blooming through her. It’ll all work out, somehow. No need to worry.
“Yeah,” she sighs, “that’s it...”
“A... it’s a city,” Brady says, straining to remember anything about it except shadows and concrete. His brow pinches in consternation, but goes smooth again as the moment passes and he returns to distraction. The stars are popping out into the velvety spread of blackness, and the other crew members are bedding down for the night. It feels a little chilly still. There’s something he usually does around this time of night. Something that... makes him less uncomfortable. But why is he uncomfortable? Why is he cold? He can’t remember. He shivers a little, not really taking the fact into account. “Gun?” he says after a moment, but he can’t remember what that is. A flash of silver, a ball of light. What is that? He doesn’t know, and the memory fades away.
“Sunyoung,” he repeats. The name has meaning to him, and for a moment, he starts to remember something: something about a blackened hallway and an argument. But that doesn’t seem right. He’s pretty sure he can’t remember ever being angry at someone named Sunyoung. The name Loki... Loki, Loki, Loki. He repeats it in his mind. It’s important that he remembers that. He doesn’t know why, but he’s struck with the sudden knowledge that he has to remember that name. He grapples with it, trying to cement it in his mind, though he doesn’t know what it means. But Loki is important...
However, as much as he tries to cement the name in his memory, he soon finds his thoughts drifting again, disappearing on the cool evening breeze, seeping into the soft sound of waves lapping at the hull, the last cries of seagulls, and magnificent darkness above. He smiles up at the stars, nodding to himself without any recollection of what he might have to be agreeable. This is essentially how he remains until sleep overtakes him. Unaware of the fact that it’s even uncomfortable to sleep sitting on the bench in the first place, he sags in her general direction, lost in a confusing world of dreams about cities and a redheaded woman and pigs.