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"Bro... dad's gonna... seriously..." And he's asleep, with a smile on his face.
So, Trev, your dad's gone when you get back, as is Mrs. K. Only Mr. K, Tandy and Margie left in the waiting room. It's mid-afternoon and Reggie's doing her thing.
Jake's dad says, "You kids should go. I've got this. Iris is coming back to spell me at dinnertime, and I promise I'll send up a flare if anything happens you need to know about." Margie demurs. She's staying for a while at least. Tandy, though, seems inclined to go home and take a nap. She'll ride with you, if you're going, or catch a cab.
What do you do?
She shrugs, angry, but not at you. "Did he not tell you what they said? He'll probably limp for the rest of his life. They may have to remove his spleen. What does a spleen even do, anyway? His left hip's going to need replacement, which is fine, but..." She turns into a hug, on your way to the car.
"That bitch broke my brother. She's going to get 60 fucking days in jail, max. We should break her."
Tandy pretty much collapses at your rejection of her revenge proposal. "I haven't really slept since I got the call, Trev. Not even last night. Take me home, okay?" You have to actually help her to the car, from there. She's asleep before you get behind the wheel.
You do wind up half-helping, half-carrying Tandy inside and putting her to bed. She's in comfy clothes, so taking her shoes off is sufficient for the short term. Do you leave with a kiss on the forehead (or cheek), or just leave? So, it's just you now. Reggie's at her place tonight, and you'd be welcome there, of course. It's really early, just past dinner time, actually.
You're listening to the silence for a minute when your phone buzzes with a message from Jessi. Just a picture, no text.
Shortly after, Reggie calls.
"Hey, T. How is everybody?"
"Hey, Trev? Feel free to keep trying, and I hate to be a bitch about this, but 'Ree Ree' doesn't really work for me. Okay? You're right about tonight, though. Once I'm in the zone there's a good chance bystanders could become collateral damage, and I'd hate to hurt you. Maybe tomorrow you can help me move a few things around, though? Everything else should be done by then. You don't mind TSoling on your own?"
You are going to wear yourself out
with that. Literally.
You so crazy.
Just before you get through the login, your phone buzzes again. Another picture. It's, well, an action shot.
You're in an area of rolling hills. Little paths and trails lead in many directions. No obvious starting point here to find a hundred-eyed monster guarding a heifer and a tortoise. How do you go about picking up the trail?
You follow the sound of water to a stream, and follow the stream to a small holding, where a young man is tending goats in a fenced field. A healthy olive tree grows nearby, and grape vines crawl up a rough trellis. An old woman sits in the shade of the tree, mending a tunic with needle and thread. She looks up, sharp-eyed.
You notice that the young man perks up when you ask your question. The old woman gives a laugh somewhere between a chuckle and a cackle. "Why would you go looking for old Argus Panoptes? If he wants to see you, surely he can. Hundred eyes..."
"Ah, so the Quicksilver one has enlisted you in his schemes, eh?" She continues to sew, each stitch steady and certain even while she looks at you. "Well, if you insist on risking yourself, you'll find Argus up in the hills to the west of here. Look for a great boulder shaped like a fist and follow the line of the middle finger."
You jog in the direction that she indicated until you see boulder that clearly does look like a fist. The ground nearby is burned in patches and scattered with little glassy stones that glitter in the light. The large stone itself also shows blackened streaks. The "middle finger" is curled into the "fist" with the rest, but the line is clear enough for you to follow. It extends directly to a tree-topped hill in the middle distance.
As you take your sightline and note your target, a bolt of lightning streaks down from the sky, hitting near you.
You dodge lightning, which certainly seems directed, but make your way through it to a point where you can creep up to the tree-crowned hill you're sighting on. What you see is this.
Yeah, there's a big tortoise and a cow. There's also a fellow about twice your height, dressed in a loincloth with an equally oversized club sitting to his side. In a circle all around him are hand-fashioned wooden stands containing books and scrolls at varying heights. This makes more sense when you see that he is indeed covered with eyes. His back is to you, dozens of eyes blinking and peering and (apparently) perusing literature, including a lovingly-rendered copy of the TPB of the DC/Marvel crossover event from two years ago. Eyes peek out through the unruly thatch of the hair on the back of his head (how would he even comb that?), his shoulders, arms, elbows... you get the picture.
So, his back's to you, but what good does that do? The tortoise is past him, of course.
Well, that's a pretty vanilla plan, for the boss-fight of a quest granted to you by a god. You can do that, if you want, but Argus is going to roll a lot of dice to catch the attempt at deception, and you might wind up saddled with a pretty decent-sized tortoise (like fifty pounds worth) when an angry giant discovers the ruse.
Something like a half-hundred eyes blink in sequence. Argus doesn't turn around, but speaks in a booming voice facing away from you. "Argus, human. Argos was the ship that twerp Jason sailed on. And since we got started on such a good footing, tell me why I shouldn't just clobber you right now for interrupting my reading."
He does turn toward you, then. In a pitch-perfect imitation of a moment from that ancient geek favorite (see below), he says, "I got better!"
The club is in his hand, threatening. "So, why should I be curious, little human?"
Argus chuckles. "So, your plan to make me curious is to keep from telling me why I should be curious? Clever, but not clever enough. I guard the heifer and tortoise because I was set the task. At least the gods didn't make me hold up the sky."
Eyes wink and blink all over the giant's torso. "Which one?"
"Well, Hera set me to watch over Io. Khelone is all Hermes, though. Even though he killed me that time, he's just so hard to hate, you know?"
"I have been wanting to start the Wheel of Time series. How do I know Hermes sent you?"
Argus nods slowly. "Well... you're right. Hermes wouldn't take it kindly if someone was just pretending that they were his messenger. Besides, what are they gonna do, make me sit still and watch harder? You can take the tortoise."
As you turn to leave, Argus speaks again, his voice different. "Hey, dude? That was really good. Hit just inside the parameters. I would have kicked your ass in a fight, I think. Good luck."
It's a slow trek back out of the hills, but like they say, slow and steady wins the race, right? After twenty minutes of progress, you round the curve of a hill and come on Hermes, still in his Western gear. "Reckon you done me a favor, pardner. Ol' Argus may say he's not still mad, but he gets right tetchy when he sees me in person." He waves at the tortoise, which transforms instantly into a beautiful young woman. She opens her mouth, quite clearly angry. "You lousy, no-good..." Hermes waves his hand again, and she is once more a tortoise. The god shrugs.
"Oh." He reaches into his pocket and brings out a silvery sheriff's badge inscribed with a caduceus. "Reckon ya should wear this. Might come in handy, more ways than one."
OOC: Badge of Cunning
When worn, this badge grants the wearer the trait Metis [Cunning] (3). This trait can be applied to rolls when a situation requires cunning, guile, or wit.
It also has a one-time special use. When triggered, it will grant the trait Outis [Nobody] (5). This trait can be used in a situation where Abaddon is being tracked, trailed, sought out, or targeted specifically as Abaddon, and he needs to escape or avoid notice.
And yes, it will also have meaning in the end-game of the quest.
As you start to thank Hermes, he and the tortoise fade out, and you're left alone in the hills of Eve's Ancient Greece. You log out and find another message from Jessi. This one's a video, I don't think I need to describe it, do I? It's been a long day already, we'll just assume you do whatever you need to and get some sleep.