- December 14, 2015
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Why do people keep trying to touch my wife? (Session 32)
Prometheus goes looking through the files at I.S. for something about the rumored “rogue agent” in I.S. that set up Hecate. He finds that Atalanta Vargas, an I.S. contractor and formerly one of Nestor’s Argonauts, found the evidence and is being commended for her work. However, the evidence is logically flawed. Prometheus is on his way out when Jason traps him in a dark room. Jason explains that he is the true hero of the story about the Argonauts. His ex-wife, Medea, erased all knowledge of him from existence a long time ago and he is trapped in I.S. The story that everyone knows about “Nestor and the Argonauts” actually was “Jason and the Argonauts.” Prometheus convinces Jason that he is on his side and the two become fast friends. Jason is the “rogue agent.” He explains how he fabricated the evidence using the same equipment that I.S. uses to detect forgeries. Then he lured Atalanta into I.S. and gave her the evidence. She trusted him (since she knew him in a former life) but forgot about him like all the others. Jason would not have been able to do even that, but Clio’s growing influence in London has weakened his curse slightly. Jason agrees to create more evidence to neutralize his earlier evidence, trusting his new ally Prometheus will free him from Medea’s curse.
As far as Prometheus knows, Medea was hunted down and destroyed over 20 years ago. Removing her curse might not be easy. Also, he eventually learns that Hecate has used magic to divert ill fortune from Medea to herself. Why has Hecate done this?
At one point, Sullivan tells Prometheus that she’s fighting Arthur in the tournament. Since she had Arthur arrested, the Pillars will need to replace him with someone else. She mentions that Prometheus could help her in the tournament if he somehow arranges for the Pillars to choose someone with poor fighting skills, like Kalissa or Persephone. If I.S. does well in the tournament, Prometheus will benefit since he is associated with I.S.
The pre-tournament banquet is that night. Prometheus hurries to make radiant garments from special (and possibly dangerous) golden fabric stashed away in his workshop. He is concerned that Venus told Kalissa that he was impotent and that Kalissa believed her so readily. According to Venus, many people in London think that he married Aphrodite for the status and power, and that he is not much of a lover. Prometheus creates superbly radiant garments (that will turn to burlap at the stroke of midnight). Venus is thrilled. When they arrive at the banquet, everyone is impressed (although Rose remarks at one point that she’s sure Venus made the garments). Again, nobody else seems to be aware that Venus is a construct—she seems to be masquerading as Aphrodite very well for now.
Earlier, at Hampstead Manor, the nine Muses show up and turn the place into a spontaneous scene of musical pandemonium. Calliope, the eldest, speaks to Monica about obtaining grants. When Monica explains that the Muses might not get grants, the Muses encircle her and prepare to inspire her. As Calliope reaches out to touch Monica, Monica ducks under Terpsichore’s twirling arms, dashes outside the study and locks the door. They have bought themselves some time to figure out what to do about the Muses. (see the Pre-Game notes for more background information). Monica and Kora get a text from Sally, who is about to investigate something dangerous in Special Collections. They hurry to the British Museum. They leave the key to the study with Matthews and tell him to call if there’s any problems. The servants are still making a musical number out of their chores.
At the Museum, Kora and Monica run into Atalanta Vargas, who is a security guard contracted to I.S. There have been so many incidents at the museum that I.S. has hired private contractors like her just to maintain an adequate presence there. Atalanta mentions that she’s slated to fight Hades in the tournament in three days. Even though her association with I.S. will neutralize Hades’ major power, she thinks he will still have the edge on her in hand-to-hand combat. Kora tells Atalanta to look her up if she needs help. When Atalanta hears they are looking for Sally, she directs them to Special Collections.
In Special Collections, Kora and Monica find Sally entranced, walking towards Rho (actually Hyperion, possessing Rho’s body) to receive “infinite wisdom and enlightenment.” Kora tackles Sally, who comes to her senses. Rho tells Monica that he invited her to receive his gift and rambles on about how Dipak (Dionysus) came in her place and corrupted his gift. Rho then proceeds to try to touch Monica and give her the gift for real this time. This is the second time in one day that someone has tried to touch Kora’s wife without a proper invitation. Monica evades Rho and snatches up the book he is reading. It is an ancient Demotic Egyptian tome that Monica doesn’t recognize. It must have been hidden away somewhere in the museum until now. For a moment, Monica and Rho touch the book at the same time. The book dampens the flow of power from Rho to Monica. She safely senses what is going on without feeling the full brunt of his power. Rho is possessed by Hyperion, who is giving away knowledge of the greatest secrets of the Universe. Naturally, no creature on earth can withstand such knowledge. When Peter received this knowledge, he transformed into energy and transcended space and time. That explains how he momentarily appeared in Kora and Monica’s extradimensional honeymoon on his way to a higher form of existence. Determined to stop this madness, Monica invokes Clio’s power to extract Rho’s supreme knowledge and trap it in her own psyche for a short time. She succeeds, but her psyche can only contain such knowledge for a short time before it explodes.
Rho is upset with Monica and tries to "take back" the knowledge from her rather messily with an Egyptian khopesh. Kora and Monica take him down. Monica ends up with a sword wound. Kora empties her handgun into Rho, who is destroyed. Atalanta and Sally clean up the mess.
Monica and Kora discover a secret nook in Special Collections that contains dozens of ancient, dangerous tomes. Rho had been studying them. Monica is drawn to the tomes like a scion of the Muse of History to a trove of forgotten lore. Kora distracts Monica with a romantic embrace, but Monica still manages to take a mysterious papyrus scroll without Kora noticing. She hides it away for later.
The Guidhall banquet is full of intrigue. Thanos is there. Apparently, he's fighting the wizard Erasmus on the first night of the tournament. It seems like an odd choice of combatants for both the Underground and the Pillars. Erasmus is sulking (probably about that very thing) at the Pillars table. Abraham’s wolves and Kinnaras’ centaurs are posturing by the buffet table. Hecate is sapping away Persephone’s popularity. Prometheus dances with Persephone. Hades watches sullenly, his glass of punch transforming into an ebony goblet of death as he wonders why people keep trying to touch his wife. He persuades her to arrange a meeting later that night between him and Hecate at the amphitheater. Hades cuts in. Hecate clearly has a hold on Persephone and is now the de facto leader of The Pillars.
Monica and Kora show up at the banquet, as well. They run into Rose at the punch bowl. Monica is ready to kill Rose and bathe in her blood. Rose admits her role in Kora’s brush with death, and also admits that the idea of someone bathing in her blood actually appeals to her these days. Atalanta passes by and tells the girls to play nice. She gives Kora an extra drink. Kora uses her liquid courage to order Monica to go dance with someone (Prometheus). Kora then chats with Rose and cheers her up. Rose says “you’re so popular and I’m nobody.” She was clearly planning to do something awful later in the evening. Kora convinces Rose to believe in herself and dance.
Monica walks up to Prometheus, chugs a glass of punch, and commands him to dance with her. Prometheus goes along with it, thinking that his golden garments must be working better than he thought. Monica tries to tell Prometheus that she needs his help to handle Hyperion’s wisdom, which is temporarily locked away in her psyche. Prometheus does not quite understand. He is interested to hear that Rho has been destroyed. Before the conversation can reach a conclusion, Monica realizes she’s been poisoned by the shades. Maybe it was the punch. The source of the poison is not apparent for now. Monica feels faint, turns pale and starts to see double. Prometheus hurries her over to Kora.
Thanos thinks the punch tastes fine.
Prometheus concocts a cure for the poison on the spot, but needs to grind up Rose’s “vermillion hibiscus brooch” to make it work. Kora gets Rose to give it up, but Rose is clearly saddened. The brooch must have been precious to her. At one point, Kora notices Kalissa sneaking off somewhere private to touch Prometheus' wife. Kora decides it’s best not to mention this to Prometheus.
Prometheus runs off soon after administering the cure to Monica. While Kora and Monica renew their vows and decide to call it a night, Prometheus barely makes his appointment with Hecate and Persephone in the amphitheater. The amphitheater is hidden beneath Guildhall Art Gallery. The ceiling magically shows the sky, as it would have appeared in Roman times. Prometheus offers to make Hecate a wedding dress (a difficult task, since Hecate is actually three women, stuck together) as a gesture of goodwill. He explains that he can make her problems with I.S. go away. Hecate is skeptical, but has been looking for a wedding dress. She says she will delay her efforts to expose Hephaestos’ whereabouts if Prometheus makes her a dress. Persephone is told to bring the measurements to Hephaestos’ workshop the next day. Who is Hecate going to marry? She says it’s going to be a surprise. Hecate makes it clear that the wedding dress gambit will only delay her. She will need to be convinced that I.S. has dropped the case against her before she stops trying to expose what really happened to Hephaestos.
On his way out, Prometheus considers what he would need to do to help Atalanta defeat Hades. Prometheus will benefit if she wins because she is fighting for his Circle. Prometheus is certain that Atalanta will defeat Hades if she drinks the same elixir that Sullivan drank—the one that turned her into a superhuman killing machine. What could go wrong, nothing can stop me now, etc.
Matthews texts Kora and Monica—Apollo and Poseidon have shown up to collect the Muses. Kora and Monica tell Matthews to let the Muses go. Matthews thinks that is best. Apollo has been known to act as a sort of shepherd for the Muses. Still, one wonders what they plan to do. Poseidon and Apollo were absent at the banquet, and are not slated to fight in the tournament. It seems strange, since they are the best fighters in the Pillars. You think Hecate and Persephone would have picked them to fight instead of Erasmus and Arthur.
Poor Arthur has gone missing. It seems that Sullivan has arranged for him to be detained by I.S. Arthur is unable to call upon Hecate’s power in lockup. Also, it seems Hecate and Persephone will need to find someone to take his place in the tournament.