Witches at Odds (Episode 51)

In the Round Hall at Temple Church, Vijay, Monica and Kora catch up while Kalissa, in shadow form, works on opening the door to the inner sanctum. Inside the inner sanctum, Prometheus invokes Hecate to summon the shade of Circe into Kalissa’s body. Through a carefully negotiated agreement, Kalissa’s body will be controlled by Circe’s spirit during the day and by Hecate’s maiden spirit at night. If either Circe or Hecate do not get upgraded to a full body in a few days, they will claim Prometheus’ body. Kalissa opens the door just as Circe possesses her body and drops to her knees in despair.

Prometheus uses a spell to flee the scene under a veil of invisibility. He is forced to hide in Persephone’s closet. He gets out of there by donning Persephone’s skin-tight bodysuit and simply walking out, making it appear as if the suit were walking on its own accord. Persephone mistakenly assumes she must have animated the bodysuit herself (for some reason) and tells her friends to let it go.

Maiden-Hecate picks up Circe’s enchanted staff and opens a yawning pit to Tartarus beneath Vijay and Kora. Monika manages to step away in time. Kora and Vijay find ways to arrest their fall, but just barely. Harsh words are exchanged, for Hecate, Kora and Monica did not depart on the best of terms the last time they met. Maiden-Hecate starts to flee, but Monica invokes the power of the muses to ward the Round Hall against all entry or exit. Maiden-Hecate conjures a torrent of blood and wine. Monica is doused. Vijay and Kora barely evade it by leaping across the pit to Tartarus, back into the inner sanctum. The foul liquor begins to transform Monica into a pig. Monica resists the transformation, at the cost of corrupting her divine essence (her wings turn black, her connection to the divine is permanently corrupted and she is now the muse of dark erotic poetry). Outside the musical ward, half the Pillars is trying to get in.

Kalissa and Vijay slip through the shadows to escape the situation. Vijay’s mantle of obscurity protects him from the harsh environment of the shadows. They end up in Kalissa’s flat and take a moment to have a cup of tea. Kalissa is dismayed but tries to stay hopeful. She asks how Vijay and his boyfriend are getting along.

From across the pit, Kora opens fire on Maiden-Hecate. Although Maiden-Hecate simply snatches the bullets out of the air, she sees they were forged in Hades and realizes she risks offending Hades if she harms Kora. Eventually, a truce is worked out and Monica, Kora and Maiden-Hecate flee through Persephone’s spirit mirror. Just after they leave, the musical ward drops. Demeter, Hermes and a number of others from the Pillars rush in and vow to find whoever was responsible for the intrusion.

Prometheus meets Abraham and negotiates a new lease. All Prometheus has to do is evict the former tenant at The Forge – Hephaestos (Episode 26 - see below). Perhaps Abraham knows that Prometheus entombed Hephaestos there long ago, perhaps not. Prometheus moves in with help from his crew and his trusted ally, Crawford the wolf. He also arranges for Hermes to pick up a vial of water from the river Lethe in the Underworld with a “don’t ask, don’t tell” understanding between them. Hermes mentions that there’s been a break-in at Temple Church. With godlike chutzpah, Prometheus says a breach of security of such magnitude makes the location totally unacceptable for his new workshop. Hermes understands and mentions that it will only be a matter of time before the Pillars identify the perpetrators.

Monica, Kora and Vijay meet up. At some point, they begin comparing their recent ordeals to the Wizard of Oz and debate which of them should be attributed to the various characters. To find Prometheus, Monica suppresses her soul and allows the spirit of matron-Hecate within her to gain more power. Together, Monica and Maiden-Hecate slip through the Underworld to The Forge. They leave the others behind, perhaps inadvertently. Monica is nearly attacked by Crawford before she contacts Prometheus and works out a deal to get a new body for Kalissa. The new body is a one-armed nymph statue. It will have to do. Prometheus needs some time to free Hephaestos from imprisonment (and all of his memories) and get him out of the way before he can welcome Kalissa into his workshop. Maiden-Hecate, Monica and Kalissa decide to pass the time by grabbing a drink. Incidentally, Kora determined at one point that if Maiden-Hecate were to double-cross them at some point, it would involve some sort of beverage that they imbibed in her presence. Fortunately, Monica is summoned to some far away place by Nemesis before she can take that drink. Nemesis has called in a favor with Apollo to invoke the muse of erotic poetry (i.e., Monica) for advice on whether to go for it with Prometheus, despite all the red flags.

Kalissa slips through the shadows to follow maiden-Hecate to The Forge, then tells Kora and Vijay where they are. At various times, Kalissa mentions how tired she is, how worried she is, how much pain she is likely to cause others until she gets her body back, etc… Kora turns to Vijay and says, “so, Kalissa… cowardly lion?” Vijay was apparently betting on someone else and pays Kora 10 quid. Kora has Matthews bring the car around.

During these events, the Veil of Night still clings to London, spurring Vijay, Monica, Kora and Prometheus to hasty, forceful, emotional action. Incidentally, crime and vice have surged in London over the past few days. I.S. and Vijay’s crew have had their hands full responding to various incidents throughout the city.

Kora has determined that one way to overpower maiden-Hecate would be by getting her other two aspects to team up against her. Matron-Hecate is currently manifesting through Monica. Crone-Hecate is currently in Tartarus without any means of manifesting on earth - although Medea in Elysium might still have a connection and a robe that might help.

Hephaestos and Prometheus have been rivals for some time. In Episode 26, Hephaestos imprisoned Prometheus in his workshop and planned to send him back to Tartarus. Prometheus cunningly escaped and turned Hephaestos' own 3D printing device against him, entombing Hephaestos in a stony resin. Prometheus also arranged for a powerful ward to be maintained around the workshop so nobody would ever find Hephaestos.