The Laws of Gods and Men

Summary:
October 29, 2014: Noble gods must aid damsels in distress, but Elektra might not be as distressed as she lets on.

West Side - New York City

Midtown Center is the site of one of the most famous commercial districts in
the US. This, right here, is the reason they say the city never sleeps. This
area pretty much doesn't. It's also the site of a growing financial presence,
already a major influence in across the nation. Times Square is here, along
with notable businesses and landmarks such as Stark Tower, the Baxter
Building, the Daily Bugle and St. Patrick's Cathedral.


Characters

NPCs

  • Random mark

Mood Music:
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxZtkxT-lYo&list=PLRusbDAzV6ZVibIV-Zs_NA-8oktMF5er9&index=12]


New York is quiet this time of night. Well, quieter. Elektra Natchios, twists around corkscrew-kicking the man in front of her as she presses him into the wall. The sai in her hand twists and is then held against the opposing ninjas' throat. With a hiss she allows her breath to emit from the back of her throat and she slides the blade across his neck.

And with that, the mark is made. Her eyes narrow and she slides down the alley back towards its mouth. Her duty fulfilled, Natchios returns the sai to her holsters.

Her red leathers make her appear more like her regular self. She manages a smile as she strolls down the sidewalk.

Alone in one of the many pools of light cast by The Big Apple's street lamps, Hercules stands with arms folded across his chest, staring at a reasonably busy bar across the street. A college crowd can be seen through the window, and the sounds of a mediocre cover band occasionally drift across the street when someone enters or leaves the establishment. Dressed in a fustanella of emerald green, with leather sandals that lace up his calves and a leather harness over his shoulders, The Prince of Power clearly is not dressed to join the raucous crowd. Still, the sight of revelry sees a smile playing across his lips, and the look in his dark eyes says he is lost for the moment in thought.

As Elektra turns the corner and catches a very familiar demigod, her lips edge up into a predatory smile, complete with a dimple on one cheek. A glance is given to the sidewalk grates and the memory of their first meeting earns an easier, more reminiscent smile as she slinks up to him. "My goodness," she virtually purrs as she slides next to him and, assuming he's willing, links her arm with his. "And here I thought the entire street corner was void of all worth knowing."

Her gaze warms, she slides even closer to him, and she cants her head up towards him, "And how have you been? Rescued more damsels in distress since our last meeting?

"Miss Natchios," Hercules booms, his grin growing broader still as Elektra's arm winds its way through his, "I find this suddenly the most interesting street corner in all of New York City. It is too long since my eyes lay upon a daughter of Greece — and such a lovely one!" He is more than content to allow her to draw up alongside him, not giving an inch as she invades his space.

His laugh at her question is warm, and full of good humor. "None to speak of! The nights since we parted have been dull." A moment's thought, and a grin tugs at the corner of his mouth as he adds, "For the most part. And you? You've been well? You look well."

While Elektra links one arm with Hercules, her free hand reaches over to rest on his bicep while the pair fall into step. "Elektra, please," she says smoothly. Her smile broadens. "Well, then you must certainly rectify that. Life should always have excitement. And damsels certainly present opportunities for excitement," her eyes sparkle with mischief.

"Tell me, dear Hercules," she shoots him a flash of teeth in a very put on shy smile, "what kind of excitement do you seek?"

"What manner of excitement?" Hercules' dark eyes are cast sidelong at his companion as he allows her to steer him along, content to wander aimlessly if that is her plan. "I crave a challenge," he admits, adding with a touch of pride in his voice, "Elektra." He says it as though saying the name, in itself, were a small victory. "In truth, I returned to the mortal world to…" He seems on the verge of saying one thing, but opts for another: "To clear my good name. My reputation is a colorful one, as you are no doubt aware. I would see that put right."

Elektra mmmms. "Indeed. But aren't all reputations colourful?" she challenges as her steps slow some. "And, I'd like to believe," her green eyes flit towards the skyline as she squeezes his arm just a little tighter, "that, like many things, the goodness of one's name is in the eye of the beholder." Her lips twist to the side thoughtfully. "Take, for example," there's a slowness in her speech, "the person who takes the life of someone who harms others. While taking a life is, inherently, considered evil, when in service to protect others, it becomes good." Pause. "Does it not?"

"Mm," Hercules grunts, nodding his head. "You needn't convince me — I've killed men and monsters in my time. Assigning evil to the act is a modern conceit, or so it seems to me." He finally turns his head to smile down on Elektra, a wry twist of the lips. "There was a time when heroes and killers were one and the same: Jason, Agamemnon, brave Diomedes." The rise and fall of his shoulders is a dismissive shrug. The Lion of Olympus is no philosopher; this is unfamiliar territory for him.

"So you believe, then, that the opinions of others give our names their worth? That we are heroes or villains not on the merit of our actions, but on the word of the masses? Or of a few select men or women?" The thought sees his smile diminished somewhat as he considers it.

"I believe that the motivations of our actions determine our alignments," Elektra counters. "If your motive is selfish then you've already lost considerably and are truly the villain anyone would paint you as." She takes a few steps ahead of him. "If, however, your motivations are in line with the interests of others, if there's an element of selflessness to them, then you are, truly, a hero." Her eyelashes flutter to emphasize the point.

Hercules considers this a moment, nodding absently as Elektra steps past him, his own stride slowing somewhat to allow her to range ahead. "So it is our motivations, then, that determine our worth? The opinions of lesser folk mean nothing?" He is skeptical, but surely listening. "Two men go to war: one for love, and his brother for power. The first man, the lover, is the worthier though their deeds are alike?" His free hand rises to rub at his chin, and for a long moment he falls silent, contemplative. "You are a complex woman, Elektra. This is weightier conversation than I was prepared for, this eve."

"Precisely," Elektra replies with a twitch of a smile. Her eyes lid and she inhales a long slow breath. "Who would be more in the right? If people understood their motives everyone would agree that the brother in love is more just than the brother longing for power." She giggles brightly, perhaps even flirtatiously, at the notion of being complex, "Resurrection changes a person. And possibly, a person should be resurrected every day." At this she finally steps backwards to fall into step with him again.

Her tone softens. "And then there are moments when service to others and oneself intersects." Her lips twist thoughtfully tot he side. "There's something I find myself needing to do. For both my conscience and as a service to the world at large. So my motivations may be in question to others. But not to me. Never to me."

@emit "Resurrection?" There's no disbelief in Hercules' voice, and little enough surprise. He is, after all, an Olympian. If the legends are to be believed, his own story might include a similar incident. "You raise a fine point: any day may be our last. Why not, then, treat it as our first as well? Our only?" His broad shoulders rise and fall again, this time in agreement. "Let waking be your resurrection, then? Though that makes sleep a death of sorts." That draws a low chuckle. Perhaps it's not a flawless metaphor.

"A plague of conscience," he goes on more softly, "Is a condition I know too well. What is this labor, then, that you have set yourself?" It would be clear even to a fool that she has piqued his interest, and surely Elektra is no fool. "Your task — and your motivations — intrigue me."

"Resurrection," Elektra repeats. "I was dead. Not just in sleep, but in life. I died at the hands of a man — a vile, cruel, awful man." Her head turns to the side. "The same man who murdered my father — who murdered countless others," her voice cracks, evidently the emotions surrounding her death are still incredibly raw. "But he still has breath in his lungs," she virtually whispers. "He's allowed to live though he shouldn't be. While he sits in a cell, waiting for another opportunity to snuff life out of others, I intend to get him out. And eliminate his need to breathe."

Her breath catches in her throat, "Yes, he killed me and my father, but more than that, he murdered many others without a second thought. He didn't question who they were or what they were doing, he killed. I must set the man free and then herald him to whatever lays beyond this world."

"Who is this man?" Hercules' tone is grim now, the words spoken softly, but no less grave for their low pitch. "In what cell does this knave languish? Is he convicted by these United States, then? Or by your native Greece?" His eyes narrow slightly, and some protective instinct sees him guide her nearer to him as they continue to slowly walk. "The murder of one's father demands vengeance. That he killed you as well…" His words trail off, and a shake of his head says that he won't be finishing the sentence. "I can see that it demands an answer. Who, then, were these innoncents he laid low?"

"He goes by the name Bullseye," Elektra whispers. "He waits in a prison not far from here in these United States." She actually leans into him as he draws her near, evidently feeling some measure of protection at his side. "There were too many innocents to count. He is a man with no loyalty, no moral centre, and no compass to speak of." Her green eyes flit towards Hercules, "If I managed to come up with a plan to free him with the sole purpose of finishing his time on this planet, would you assist me, dear Hercules?" There's a pause. "I implore you, as a god of my people, dwelling among the men of this earth, for your aid." Pause. "As both a Greek. And a damsel in very obvious distress."

Hercules' broad chest swells as he takes and holds a deep breath. The pause is brief, but heavy. "I…" With a furrowed brow, The Prince of Power nods a single time. "Though this course would put us at odds with the government of this country, and perhaps with old friends as well, I would lend you my hand. The laws of gods — and the ancient laws of men — demand that a father's murder be punished. How could I do less than to aid you?" That it troubles him is obvious, but he is willing, and once he has set his mind on the course his apprehension begins to fade almost immediately.

Elektra's expression softens at the remarks and she issues Hercules a small nod. "Thank you. There are more important laws than the laws of governments. The laws of the gods themselves demand action," she agrees in a whisper. "I will plan, and I will include you, dear Hercules, in my machinations. Come. I will show you some of my intentions."


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