Competing Claims

Summary:
July 28 2014: What happens when two gods claim the same ground? Well… there's a small chance they might be reasonable about it.

New York Street

Outdoors, a bit off the Colombia Campus


Characters

NPCs

  • Alphabet the Demon
  • Terrified Bystanders

Mood Music:
[* None]


Near the end of the day and Manhattan is busy as people rush about hither and yon in their efforts to return home, head to dinner, or beat the commute. There are storm clouds hanging low in the sky, heavy with rain and grey in color. Just along West 59th street, amongst all the mortals about him, the God of Fear heads to an off-campus meet for one of his late classes.

Shrugging his shoulder as he walks, making sure his backpack stays in place, the young deity grimaces at the hustle and bustle about him. Of course that hustle and bustle about him explodes into panic as soon as out of nowhere a gate of fire bursts into being and sends people rushing away screaming when a large long-nosed serpentine horse-like demonic creature steps through that gate and points a blazing finger at Alexander.

In an unearthly voice the creature howls, « I am Kzynthanquolacrux! War Lord of the 60th Legion. Belasco's own! I am here to force you to relinquish your claim, flesh creature! »

To which Alexander looks up frowning as the people flee in terror. "Which claim do you mean, Alphabet?"

« What? »

"Which claim? I make lots of claims."

« The claim to the girl. The claim to the island! »

"And you thought to press this in the middle of a crowd of frightened people, basically surrounding a god of fear in his element. Does that seem wise to you?"

The demon blinks.

*

Fenris does not approve of poachers, and with the recent spate of magical activity he's on the lookout more than ever. After what he's had to deal with recently, the Old Wolf is pissed and not in a mood for subtlety. A portal tears open about twenty feet to the demon's left and a tall, lean man who feels like a predator steps out, long silvery sword in already in hand.

"What…" He growls at the demon, "Have I told your kind about staying out of my hunting grounds." The tap of sword blade against the man's leg signals his irritation. Why is it that Those Below can't ever quite seem to get the memo.

*

And suddenly the demon is perplexed. A great talon lifts as Kzantanquolacrux gestures towards Alexander, « But my quarry is this godling, his claim… » The great demon shifts its weight back a step as it looks between the two and declares, « Perhaps… there has been some mistake. »

And having perhaps read the room accurately, the Demon turns and breaks into a run, each footfall crushing cement with its steps as a portal opens in front of it which it dives for.

As for Alex, he seems content to let the creature run.

*

Fenris snorts as he watches the demon go. Fine. One less horror for him to deal with. The blade in his hands, a large two hander that he doesn't seem to feel the need to actually use a second hand to hold, shrinks as he turns to face Alex. In seconds it's simply a shard of unworked silver at the end of a thin chain of the same. The god-wolf hangs it around his neck as he considers the demon's apparent target. No… this one is not normal.

He doesn't say anything for a long moment. Just gives Alexander a very intense stare.

*

"Hunting grounds?" Alexander turns back to look across the way at Fenris. The young blonde man is rather handsome in a classical way, but the eyes and their faint gleam of crimson lends that subtle otherworldly aspect to him.

"Are you the gameskeeper or the huntmaster?" The question is offered easily, calmly and delivered in that steady manner that bespeaks a lack of nervous energy.

Meanwhile the people who so recently ran in fear are starting to silently reclaim the street. Some are looking at the two men curiously but most have their attention on the spot where the demon fled.

*

Fenris regard lasts for a few moments longer, the god-wolf letting the question hang in the air before he nods to himself. Alexander's magic has not been responsible, that he can tell, for any of the recent near disasters. That said, he seems very potent. Unusually so.

"Neither. I'm simply the fiercest predator. You though… you are… new." Well, new ish. Fenris has been living here since the 50's and that's not a long time by his standards, so many things are 'new' in his view. Magical things though usually gain his attention one way or another much more quickly, especially things so potent as Alexander. That Alex has not is actually a point in his favor. It means Fenris doesn't start the conversation upset.

"Who are you?"

*

The young man smiles a bit, and when he does so it's a smile that reaches his eyes and adds something mystical to his manner, as if he were some platonic representation of youth. But those eyes lend an element of the malicious to an otherwise seraphic countenance.

"There are three answers to that, answering them is a binding of sorts." He looks terribly innocuous however, what in the jeans and t-shirt and the ESU backpack. "There's the practical, the poetic, and the biologic. I'd prefer you ask for the practical. The poetic is long and involved… the biologic is a bad joke that will amuse neither of us."

*

Fenris folds his arms. He himself does not look precisely young. More in the range of thirty, and his eyes speak to a weight of age and an inhumanity that set him apart from most others even overlooking his frightening aura.

"Very well. Who are you in your preferred mode of answering? And what, may I ask, did that snake mean when he said you'd claimed something? And, comes to that, what do Those Below have to do with you to begin with. There's been rather too much of that here lately."

*

The young man scrunches one eye and answers without hesitation, speaking at ease and without extraneous gesture for the most part. "I am Alexander, Alexander Aaron. My father is John Aaron, also known a Ares." There's a moment of pause before he adds, "In turn I am Phobos." He motions towards where the demon fled, "As for their interest, well that is a telling."

The young man looks back to Fenris, "There was an incident last night at a musical gathering. I was there and witnessed smaller creatures there attacking a girl who had a blade of sorts. She fought them, did not do too well. I granted some measure of aid."

One eye narrows as he perhaps chooses his words carefully, "In order to save her life I browbeat one of the demons and gave her my protection, as well as the island. The demons fled, but it looks as if now they protest."

*

Fenris lets out a long, almost annoyed sigh. The annoyance doesn't seem to be directed at Alexander though. "Greeks. Lovely. Not my favorite people." The Norse and the Greeks never did get along well. This is partly because the Greek Gods were… well, one has only to read the stories to get an idea.

"I am The Fenris Wolf." He says at length. "But just Fenris will do. I go by Jeremiah Wolfson these days. Well, these last few decades anyway."

There are many magical beings in the Three Cities area but only so many that use swords, and only so many after that that are likely to be entangled with demons.

"Did this girl have a name, this sword wielding warrioress? And are you… surprised by this? Those Below are many things, persistent among them. Your protection, I fear, has been interpreted as a challenge. Such things frequently are among them. They fear their master more than you, and so rather than drive them off, it simply entices them to show your claim false."

*

Lips parting in recognition as he tilts his head to the side, "Loki's son?" He asks that as a question though no hint of his features register it as such and more a declaration. He gives a nod then, "Illyana was her name. She fell before another demon, did what I could in the moment allowed."

Then there's a small half-smile as he registers, "It did misplease her a touch and asked for me to relinquish the claim. I did but looks like news has not gotten around yet."

At the mention of the demons he waves the concern away, "If it becomes too much of a hindrance then I shall address it, for now…" He seems content to let it lie, curiously enough.

*

"Illyana Rasputina… I thought as much." Fenris shakes his head with a chuckle. "Yes, I imagine that did 'misplease' her. I am glad to hear that your motivations were noble, though." Otherwise he might have had objections of his own. Fenris' psychology could feed doctorate thesis papers for years.

"Hindrance? Mmmm, now that is a curious term. Hindrance to… yourself? This is not the first demon lose in my hunting grounds that I have had to contend with in recent weeks. Someone is deliberately stirring them up and this does not help matters any."

Ah yes, it does figure that Phobos would know of his parentage. "The same, but speak not that name too loudly. He is closer than I would like."

*

It is unfortunate that at times sons are tarred with the same brush as their father. In Alexander's case it's accurate as in many ways he is his father's son. Fenris, however, might not like the comparison made so freely with his. In any case, Alex gives a small nod of acknowledgement to Fenris' wishes. Then he adds calmly, "To be fair I did not entirely act out of altruism. There was a tinge of annoyance at her manner as well as the demons'. Also perhaps a smidge of ego since I felt terribly insulted to have my leisure time so disrupted."

A small shrug is given, "I don't plan to rescind my claim to the island, or in truth to any land upon which I stand. I simply feel my demesne extends to as far as I can reach, as it were."

*

"Really? I found her rather polite and pleasant myself." Then again, Fenris' standard for polite and pleasant demons has had two thousand years to take shape. And is, as are many things about him, a bit unique.

Now that is an attitude Fenris is well familiar with. Agrees with, even, to a certain extent. "Did you come to that on your own?" The god-wolf asks quietly. "Or learn it from family?"

He blows out another sigh. "No matter, I suppose. You are not alone in that feeling, nor is it only to the gods. Lesser spirits, alfar, and even man often behaves the same. And I'm old enough to not raise my hackles at every competing claim. I recognize the claim of any… so far as they are able to enforce it. Understand, though, that I do regard these cities as my hunting grounds and I am in the habit of enforcing that claim on those I feel are… behaving dangerously." Most recently upon amateur summoners playing with power they can't control, and soon enough on whomever is equipping them.

"Not a threat, I hope you understand, but I do not wish you to be under any illusions about my stance on my home."

*

There's a slow blink as Alexander looks towards Fenris and then gets a wry smile. For an instant he looks more like a 20 year old student as opposed to the shoulders that bear the mantle. He lifts his chin, "So damned curious that we're being terribly reasonable. At this point most of my family would be shaking fist, stomping around, proclaiming vendetta from ancient feuds and declaring blood must be spilt."

As he says this Alexander shakes his head and glances to the side, as if half expecting family members of either one of them showing up. "My father for one would be very disappointed."

*

"Mine would be expecting to put a knife in your back at some point. Not my style though. And I've been here too long to think that excluding every other being of power and potency from my grounds is a good idea. Or even a practical one." Fenris chuckles and shakes his head.

"The Demon Queen of Limbo is an ally of mine, mostly because she is more reasonable than the previous ruler. I see no reason why the same cannot be true here, so long as no one is attempting to summon eldritch horrors from beyond the veil." Which someone is, but for the moment Fenris is satisfied that it's not Alexander.

"Or stirring up the increasingly resourceful and dangerous mortals."

*

There's a small shake of his head, "Not intentionally. I have enough difficulty getting through statistics, perhaps next Summer. Who knows?" That having been said, Alexander starts to head off again, offering a wave over his shoulder, "Until another time, Mr. Wolfson."


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