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PMOCT Round 3- PrologueArtemis didn't know what to call it. It felt similar to what she experienced right before a conflict, with the tense muscles and over-alert senses. But there was another element to the way her blood rushed beneath her skin, some aspect she couldn't quite pin down.
"This isn't going to end well," Beta, Artemis's lieutenant muttered beside her. Artemis cocked her head ever so slightly towards Beta.
"You will remain silent," she said, "and I will talk. Don't worry about how it ends." Beta nodded silently.
Artemis fingered the cool surface of one of her silver pistols irritably, for she suddenly recognized what she felt. Nervousness.
She did not like feeling nervous.
The door swung open and Artemis dropped her thoughts to lead the way into the cool, dark interior of Minos's office.
"You've heard?" Minos's voice sounded thin as the G.O.D. and nymph paused several paces from his desk. "Yes sir." Silence, as Minos shifted in his seat.
"I expect p
PMOCT- Round 2, Epilogue
Hestia looked up from the pipes she was working in as a familiar golden-haired figure appeared near her. She straightened herself with a light grunt, and pushed a strand of hair from her flushed face.
"How're you, Apollo?" she greeted.
"Very well," Apollo glanced to the pipes. "I won't keep you from your work. I just came to thank you."
"Allowing me to speak to Sorrel. If recent news from Athene are true, then I have reason to hope that my talk with her has produced the results I desired."
Hestia blinked. She had no idea what he was talking about, but she said he was welcome nonetheless.
The Dryaid lay motionless on the table. He was still alive, technically. The system monitoring his vitals still beeped in time with the Dryaid's heartbeat, the screen still flashed with every rise or drop in blood pressure. Sap pressure, Tadd corrected himself. But as Tadd rechecked the tubes that slipped into the Dryaid's main artery, and as his eyes drifted reluctantly across the still,
PMOCT- Round 2, Part 3
Labrys wore a thick suit and Sorrel couldn't make out a single feature of his face through that helmet he wore as she shut the door and locked it. He didn't speak, but rather pulled a small metal rod from a pocket and clicked on end of it. A little light flashed, and everyone heard a thin whine echo in the large room. But it didn't come from the rod, rather from a multitude of the spider-cams that had been lurking in the corners of the room, hidden in darkness. All at once there was a clamor of scuttling, and a solid swathe of mechanical spiders swept into view and made for the door. Labrys swiftly opened the door to allow the carpet of spider-cams to exit, then closed it and turned around to face Sorrel and Osteo.
"At least they can't see us," he said in his odd, mechanical voice. Sorrel felt that if he could have placed some expression in them, his words would have sounded casual and friendly. "I'd disable your bracelet too," Labrys continued. "But I don't have the right tools on me
PMOCT- Round 2, Part 2
When she lifted her head to find the blue-eyed young man, her first reaction was to try and find a good excuse for her lurking in an alley. Then she realized that the young man didn't look in the least surprised to see her there. He looked Sorrel couldn't decide what he looked.
And then he half raised the book, the bull-head creature partially covered by his fingers, and Sorrel realized it was the boy from the restaurant. The next second, and she realized something else.
"I should have guessed why that cashier suggested I get this one," the young man said meanwhile, almost grinning.
Sorrel blinked. His face didn't look right, now that she saw it close up. It shifted and blurred ever so slightly, especially when she looked at it out of the corner of her eyes. It was like it couldn't figure out how to be a face.
"It's the kind of thing an Author would do," he continued, "they think they're being subtle. Yours, I assume?" His eyes were still blue.
Sorrel recalled her voice and s
PMOCT- Round 2, Part 1
When the nymph had left Sorrel, she'd still been gingerly touching the area where a white-coat had slipped a tiny metal rod just under the soft skin on the top of her hand. Sorrel couldn't help but feel disturbed at the unnatural lump that sat there whenever she glanced down to her right hand. On her opposite wrist, a surprisingly light metal bracelet hung, a single black panel upon its surface.
"We will be able to track you at all times with both of these," the nymph had told her in the prison halls. "So don't try anything funny." Sorrel had only nodded.
Now she sat at a small table in the major causeway of the Phro-Domes, flicking at the bracelet and gazing at the throngs of people that spilled past her. She decided she understood why Minos had been having trouble finding his escaped prisoners. This building alone was overwhelming in its sheer size. She couldn't even tell what half the destinations within its walls were for, though she could make an educated guess b
PMOCT- Round 2, Prologue
The night hung low, the only lights coming from the streetlights, the shop windows, and the tiny red dots that scuttled anywhere one cared to glance. The figure approaching the little shop didn't bother glancing though. Athene did. Several times. The screen on which he appeared seemed to be magnetic, drawing her to see what the figure was up to.
A few minutes later, she saw exactly what he was up to. And who he was. Rather, what he was.
In a large room lined with old-fashioned books, a man sat typing at a laptop. He glanced up when a woman in a blue jumpsuit appeared out of the dusty air.
Hestia shifted the straps of her vacumn, then turned to face Apollo. "Hey," she said. "Athene said you needed me. Is the bathroom still alright?"
"The bathroom is working wonderfully, thank you," Apollo closed his laptop and gestured to an old armchair before his desk. "Sit," he invited, and Hestia obliged, her face subtly curious.
"Alright then," she crossed her arms. "Let's hear it."
PMOCT- Round One EpilogueArtemis waited, leaning against the wall. A spider-cam approached her, and Artemis glanced down sharply to it. "Well?"
The spider-cam blossomed into a figure. A woman, her brown hair loose around her shoulders and wearing old-fashioned clothing, floated beside Artemis.
"She'll be ready for you in a moment. They're still checking for shock," Athene said.
Artemis nodded. "And the other one?"
"He's still out cold." Athene rose an eyebrow towards her fellow G.O.D. "The scientists aren't happy."
"Really now? I expect they're running about like frightened pigeons trying to wake him up?"
"Well " Athene considered this. "Yes." Artemis exhaled sharply.
"I used what the lab-heads gave me, and it got the job done. I'm not about to apologize."
"No one's asking you to," Athene replied, rolling her eyes imperceptibly.
"And I suppose I should thank you," Artemis added stiffly, "for alerting us to the prisoners' location. Even if you did decide it would be a good idea to just watch them fo
PMOCT- Round One, Part ThreeSorrel stumbled. She didn't like that. She decided to tell whoever was pulling her along that she didn't appreciate this ridiculous little half-tripping. Either she was running or she was walking, and that was the end of that.
"Hgzm," she said angrily. The only answer she got was a loud huffing sound.
Her ribs hurt, she realized. They really hurt. Oh lord, they were killing her.
She became slowly aware that her legs were trying to run, hence the stumbling, and that she remained pressed against a body that smelled like sweat and leaves. That dang huffing in her ear was driving her crazy.
She was going to try to tell the sweaty, leaf-smelling huffer to stop the stumbling thing again, when they stopped suddenly and Sorrel felt herself being lowered to a cool, hard ground.
She peeled her eyes open and caught sight of the tree-man with his hands on his knees, his narrow chest heaving. She tried to sit up, then hurked when something shot through her ribs. She fell back to the ground with a p
PMOCT- Round One, Part TwoWhen Sorrel stepped onto the floor of the stadium, she realized there was no sun. Sorrel had been hoping for sun. She blinked blearily up at the ellipse of space above her, above the churning crowds, and felt her eyes ache from the sudden flood of unnatural light.
She lowered her face and looked at the walls of humans before her. They sounded distant, and blurred, and their individual faces had run together into a pattern of fabric that draped and wrinkled itself across the stadium. Sorrel turned away. No need to get nervous before a rustling bit of fabric.
And then she saw him, across the stadium.
He was a man, she supposed, thin and sparsely clothed. There were sticks in his hair. Sorrel realized that her feet had been carrying her forward, without her permission, and so she stopped herself a few long paces from him.
A voice pooled across the stadium air, and the fabric shushed and rippled as if agitated by a sudden, strong gust of wind. The two opponents studied one anothe
A Bloody, Stupid Miracle The day we’d cured the human condition was the day I put a bullet through my head and didn’t die. It was also the day I realized how scared I actually was of death, and after hours of muscle ache from holding that gauze against my open skull, after the wound closed and everything went back to normal, I had myself a good old-fashioned brainstorm. How ironic.
But when summer came, everything had fallen to shit. The air scorched my skin and parched my tongue every time I took a breath. The sun glared down on a rapidly-collapsing world, full of the undying bastard children of cruelty and misfortune. What was one to do when their cells regenerated faster than they decomposed?
My feet hit the pavement, now littered with jagged bits of glass to snap at my toes, thoroughly baked by the blazing ball of bitter disdain high overhead. Today was worse than yesterday. Though I’d often wondered the purpose of it anymore, I
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