|Isobel Brandt \\ Persephone (praxidike) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-11-07 19:08:00
|Entry tags:||hades, persephone|
holy water cannot help you now
Who: Isobel [Persephone] & Obed [Hades].
What: Seph and Hades have a go at Pax Letale's owner, and get in over their heads.
Where: Rec room, then the pool area.
When: Oct. 31, during the Halloween party.
Notes: Completed gdoc.
The world was exploding. One moment, Persephone could see through Isobel's eyes; the next, she was there, next to Obed. Except, it wasn't Obed, it was her Aides. She grabbed at his hand, rising to her feet to help steady him as well. Her ridiculous dress made the attempt difficult, but she managed; the wig Isobel had been wearing was on the ground, her dark hair plastered to her head.
"Aides," she breathed, looking from him to where the monster had disappeared. Eris was beaten, bloody on the pool table; she knew others were here, too, and she wished there was more time. But the hourglass was already spun, the sand immediately working against them. They were the closest to the doorway where this man—the beast, whatever he truly was—had disappeared.
"We need to protect them, Aides," she said, turning back to him, holding his grip. The sight of him, tall, pale, and chilly eyed, warmed her to her core. Would that they had more time in these forms, in this world. But the man who'd put them all in this position was escaping, and she could hear her friends—the people she'd sworn to protect—crying out for help. "Should we follow him?"
He nodded, and tightly squeezed her hand. As they started out of the room he could not help but cast a look around for Cerberus. He could feel the hellhound's presence, and it would have done the king's heart good to see his most loyal beast at his side. But he had his queen, his beloved Praxidike, and he knew she would be enough.
He swept out of the room in a cold fury, Obed's ludicrous costume straining against the wide gait of his legs. He rushed through the doors that led out past the massive skeleton, neatly evading the sweep of one monstrous, pale hand. He could see the retreating back of the beast who had harmed them, who had pretended he was nothing more than a man; the sight filled him with a fresh wave of anger, and the god of the underworld quickened his steps.
Persephone fell in behind him, losing his hand in favor of hitching up the ridiculous hoops and skirts of Isobel's costume. Her steps moved as quickly as her husband's, but the dress slowed her, weighing her down. As she came around the pillars leading out into the pool area that was now all too reminiscent of the river Styx, the giant skeleton's hand swept down and caught the hoop that held the skirt's form. She was jerked back, all but skidding to a stop as she looked over one shoulder at her impediment.
Their quarry had unwittingly run himself into a corner; it turned, snarling, one arm shoving back the great cape that had half hidden his form; then, with one swift movement, he hurled the cape to the ground, revealing a figure that was more beast than human. He swung his arms wide, lurching forward, and bellowed at Hades' oncoming form. Without pause, he hurled himself toward his aggressor, swiping sharp claws with powerful strokes through the air.
Hades moved, but too late. He looked down to the deep cuts already blooming with blood, to the open wounds studded with shredded fabric and gilt-colored thread. He was earnestly stunned he had been harmed, having forgotten utterly what it was to possess such a soft, mortal form. He liked Obed's dreams better, he decided, as he launched himself back into the creature's grasp. He tried to think of them as he beat the wolf-thing with his fists, tried to focus on the strength he had once possessed and thought so little of. His balled fist struck Savoy's jaw; the beast-man's head jerked back from the blow. Hades felt something break in his human host's hand, but counted it a worthwhile loss.
Only a stone's throw away, Persephone watched her husband grapple with the monster; the giant skeleton tugged her toward it, gnashing yellowed teeth. Baring her own, she jerked the skirt back to herself, loosing what she could of it from giant, bony fingers. The gashadokuro snapped at her face, and Persephone pushed away its chin, doing enough to divert the thing slightly upward. Another pull snapped the wiring that held the shape of her dress together, and freed her. She turned back to where Hades was fighting, feeling her heart palpitate in her chest.
Savoy growled again, baring his teeth in Hades' face. They snapped shut near his nose, uncomfortably close; warm spittle drenched his features. Bringing his claws around again, he swiped over that same expression; where once was only pale flesh soon ran red as several long lines opened up over his features. Persephone did her best to close the distance between them, it didn't seem quick enough.
Though blood flowed freely down Hades' face, his struggle against the beast did not abate. He shook the gore from his eyes and swung hard again, frigid hands made warm with shed blood striking again and again at the wolf-thing's body. He felt a rib crack, then a second; the beast roared, trying to retreat. Cold fingers dug into the wounds, gouging deeply into torn flesh, twisting and rending all within reach. He pushed forward, backing the creature slowly toward the pool. The water felt like home, though it wasn't; he could not help but feel a kinship with the grasping souls that resided there, that reached out for the living with insatiable hunger.
Savoy fought back with everything: claws, teeth, his immense form. He rushed at Hades, nearly lifting the god from his mortal feet, shoving him back and away from the water. They seemed locked in a stalemate, and he could see the other deity closing in that would tip the scales in his opponent's favor. A growl ripped through the air, and he twisted to force the death god down. Persephone skidded to a near stop just behind her husband, and turned momentarily from the fray to survey what was around them; despite the pool becoming a parody of Styx, the foliage remained unchanged from its normal, human settings. She reached forward, calling some of the vines that climbed up the building's far side to crawl toward her, which they did without hesitation.
They did not move fast enough. Seeing his opportunities shrinking, Savoy threw whatever last piece of caution to the wind and tore at Hades' middle, sundering the nobleman's costume apart in favor of white flesh and red blood.
Hades bowed, but he did not break. As blood poured over the plush fabric of his vessel's elaborate costume he struggled to keep himself standing; he pushed forward, clawed, cold hands digging all the deeper into what wounds he had managed to make. He heard his queen's vines moving before he saw them, and he pushed his opponent toward them, pinning him between reaching vines and grasping pool. He made no sound, even then. He neither bargained nor pled. He only pushed, and clawed, and struggled even as his weak human flesh began to collapse around him.
Strength bled from him with every passing moment, but he would not give up. His nails skidded over a blood-slick rib. He grasped it, twisting; felt it break in his hands. Clinging to the shard of bone he thrust his hand deeper into Savoy's gut, carving his way through whatever soft, pliant tissue he could find.
Savoy roared, trying to pinion his opponent with increasing failure. Vines began to wind around his legs, holding him in place; he screamed, feeling undone. Persephone could well see the wounds strewn about her husband's form, and she bid the plants wrest the offending party from her sight. Savoy struggled against them all, but just as his legs were bound, his arms were pulled toward his torso and he was rendered utterly impotent.
With a jerk of her hand, Persephone slung Savoy into the river, where ghostly, grasping hands pulled him down. He sank, for a moment; then came gasping back up, one arm suddenly freed. A vine slithered around his face, doing what it could to pull his mouth shut, cover his nose, do whatever it took to bring the beast to heel. Persephone stood by and watched, cold-eyed and unfeeling, waiting for the creature to breathe its last.
But it would not be so easily undone; Savoy ripped at the vines, freeing himself just as quickly as Persephone could bind him. Enraged, the goddess slammed him against a far wall, water and leaves and cold air spraying against them all as he swung from one point to the next. Dust and dirt flew up in a cloud, and nothing moved.
She turned her attention to her husband, hands that had been still because of their duty now shaking as she tried to make sense of the mess the creature had made of her Aides.
"You need help," she said, a hand pressing to one blood-stained hole near his chest. The other went to his face, ghosting over the lines there. "Obed... I don't know if he'll survive this."
"Then he won't." Hades' voice was even and calm, the very sound of acceptance. He smiled softly, and raised one bloody hand to Persephone's face. "Everything dies, my Soteira. We know what it is to be separated, don't we. Your Isobel can learn. You can help her."
Cold eyes flicked briefly toward the pool, to where Savoy's corpse lay. It lasted only a moment. Then he looked back to his wife. "The others should be safe now. At least for a while."
Tears limned her eyes, and she wished (not for the first time) for those all too short times in the underworld during winter. That season had come again, so for him to be taken from her once more was too great of an offense.
"And I will make you safe as well, my love. I am tired of separations and being told to wait for what I want." With her hands still fast on Hades' form, ensconced in Obed's mortal shell, her mind sought out Isobel's.
I have helped you regain what you love, she said, her voice firm. Even still, Isobel could hear the dread threaded throughout. Now I need you to help me, if we are to both keep what is ours.
Call 911, Isobel replied, almost instantly. That will bring medical help, quickly. We need... If you can get both of us, and him, to the lobby, I can help.
Persephone nodded, the motion visible to Hades, and she slid her arms around her husband. "She says we need to find the lobby. We have to go back. I refuse to lose you, Aides, even if you will not help yourself."
A smile twitched over his torn lips. Blood bubbled from the corner of his mouth. He heard nothing of Obed's thoughts, but he could still sense his presence, faint and fluttering, a weakening pulse. In that moment, he made up their joined minds. "Very well," he rasped. "As my queen… commands."
"Oh, she commands," Persephone returned, trying for humor and failing spectacularly. She brought an arm around his torso, doing the best she could to hold him up.
His arm rose to her shoulders, sending a fresh cascade of blood over them both. He struggled to his feet, clinging to her all the while; both of them swayed beneath his weight. Every step was a fight, but he took it, Persephone carrying him as they shuffled toward salvation. He could not open the door for them, but he staggered through it all the same, willing the obstacles placed in the path away.
It would not be so easy; the giant skeleton had pulled itself together as much as it could, but Persephone was in no mood to brook the contest of others. It brought down an oversized hand to bar their path back inside the party room; disco lights flashed over its bones. Vines immediately wended their way around the humongous thing, ripping it apart into a pile of detritus as she suddenly wished she had to begin with. Its huge skull was still snapping, teeth ringing in the air as it futilely tried to gain some purchase now that it lacked limbs. Even the arms and hands still scooted forward, trying to reattach themselves.
"Inside," Persephone breathed, carrying Hades forward.
He shuffled in with her, feeling more of Obed's blood and life draining away with every step. The weakness in him felt pervasive, inescapable. "I do wish…" He smiled, a shaky laugh sending a new thread of deep red over his lips. "They'd brought Cerberus."
He shifted his weight, leaning more heavily against her as they stepped over one detached fingerbone. Cerberus would have loved that, Hades thought; it would have made an amusing toy, at least for a time. And then the king of the underworld was distracted once more, less by his own spiking pain than by the destruction Savoy and his minions had wrought, the violence that had marked every room within sight.
"You will see him soon enough," she chided him, making her way carefully through the party. The other beasts that had been called forth by their presence—the deities reshaping the world around them—seemed distracted enough for them to continue their slow shuffle toward the doors. The snow that had built up around it seemed softened, perhaps by the simple room temperature and those within it.
She stumbled slightly as they moved past the food table, one of the sprites therein throwing a glob of meatloaf at her face. Persephone stumbled back, trying to regain both her balance and keep hold of Hades.
He had little enough energy, but what he did have was turned on the obnoxious creature thwarting their escape. Glaring at the little beast, Hades angled his body to cover Persephone's. A cup of red liquid was next to be thrown, connecting with the back of his bloody head. Liquor stung his open wounds, and he drew a sharp, hissing breath. But soon all thought of the sprites fled, and his focus turned to the burrowing beasts rising up now to greet them.
Two of the creatures moved toward them. A thin crust of ice covered their fur; thick, powerful muscles rippled as they moved toward the couple. Hades' shoulders slumped. He was tired already, so very tired, but there were miles to go yet. He reached for a fallen frond from the palm tree. It was a weak weapon, no doubt, but it was better than nothing. He swore at the little beasts as they drew near, swiping at them like an old man with a broom.
The whole palm tree followed suit, crushing one of the beasts as it pinioned it to the ground beneath its trunk. Persephone was wiping meatloaf from her face as she listened to the dog-like creature squeal, and then go silent. Those near it reconsidered their plan of attack as the goddess lifted the tree trunk, shaking it a little to clear what she could of the beast's blood and fur.
"Don't strain yourself," she whispered to Hades, pulling him back toward her as the palm tree guarded them as far as the next corner. Their exit loomed closer, even as covered as it was. Persephone took the palm frond from Hades' hands and started to scoop the snow away as quickly as she could.
He watched her work, silently seething at his own impotence. She shoveled quickly and well enough, given their circumstances, but he slumped lower and lower against her with each passing moment. The ice-flecked creatures began to turn back to them, creeping cautiously back toward where the pair stood.
"I'm tired, Seph," Hades said. "Perhaps you should…" He kicked halfheartedly out at one of the beasts, sending it skittering backward. Every breath, now, came more shallow and ragged than the one before. "Help the others. Instead."
Persephone shushed him, using her worry and frustration both at him and at the situation to shovel faster. Then there was enough doorway to slip both of them through, and she dropped the palm frond to the ground in favor of scooping him back up.
"It's a wonder the underworld ran as well as it did, for as long as it did, before I arrived," she teased, trying to keep something of his spirits up. He chuckled quietly, a sound that soon tapered off to nothing. Her hand went gently back around his middle, and she started to guide him through the doorway.
"You'll get to sleep, after this... Just a little longer, my love," she started, leading first through the door, pulling him along with her. She felt a shift, and then a pull; and then it was Isobel in her tattered dress, doing her best to hold Obed up.
"There's a phone...Stephan's desk. Please, Obed, hold on, just a little longer," she pleaded, starting them off in that direction.
His fingers dug into her shoulder, holding himself up with a will he found quickly sapped. Stephan's desk seemed so very far, and Stephan himself was of course nowhere to be seen. The anger Obed felt at that very nearly carried him on its own. He stared at Stephan's desk, feeling the warmth of Isobel's body against his own, and fought for every step between them and the telephone.
"Thank you," he said, as his breath began to fail him. He placed one foot improperly; he slipped and fell from her arms, collapsing into a sodden heap at her feet. Isobel went down with him, worried. She didn't have the strength to lift him again, so she put one hand to his face.
"I'm going to find the phone, but I'll be right back. You are not allowed to die, do you understand?" She said, her words half-filled with tears. Isobel stayed kneeling next to him, hands on his face, half wondering that if she left for a moment that all her and Persephone's hard work would be undone. The torn hoopskirt was thrown out behind her, most of her legs exposed as she finally climbed to her feet.
"I'm coming right back," she repeated, moreso for herself than for him. Then she ran, as quickly as she was able, closing the distance between herself and the concierge's desk. Whenever she found that man, he was going to get much more than a stern talking to. The phone came to hand quickly, and Isobel put the receiver to her ear while turning back around, seeing how long the cord would stretch to Obed's prone form on the ground. A deep sense of relief flooded through her as a dial tone echoed in her ear. Her thumb hit the three necessary buttons—nine, one, one—as she moved back toward Obed.
"Operator, how can I be—"
"I need help, an ambulance, at—" she started off, giving the Pax Letale address. The cord drew taut less than three feet away from Obed's form on the floor. "My fiancé, he's been attacked, he's bleeding, I need help now." The more she talked, the more harried her voice became, as much as she was trying to modulate it for Obed's wellbeing.
She put the phone cradle down, keeping the receiver to her ear as she pulled it toward Obed. "OK, ma'am, I need you to breathe with me. Can you describe his injuries?" Isobel knelt next to Obed, one hand on his chest, the other holding his hand tightly. She started to rattle off as much as she could, saying it was a man with a knife, someone who'd snuck into the complex's Halloween party, who'd taken them off guard. They didn't need police, they needed medics, there might be other people who were hurt. The voice on the phone kept trying to distract Isobel, but tears were already fogging her sight.
"They're coming, Obed, they're coming," she instead repeated, continuing to insist that everything would be all right.