Scion: The Sound of Silence

The Party Never Ends

After a little more eating and drinking Frith and Ty call Hans over to ask him some more questions. Frith, initially rather intolerant of Hans, is convinced by Ty that Hans is simply a man who is doing a job that he’s not qualified to do. Rather than causing her to be further irritated by the man, Frith’s irritation is transferred onto Odin who she feels should never have asked a man with no skills in a thing to do that thing. A poor allocation of assets which is less Hans’ fault and more the fault of his patron.

Before long the two Scions decide to head back to Las Vegas as soon as possible. When Hans advises that he is at their disposal, to take them to Las Vegas and beyond if need be, they advise that all they need is a ride back to Vegas. Hans is happy to comply and he drives them back to where the plane has been left, just beyond the German/Swiss border. On the trip Hans and Ty talk and Hans is obviously much more comfortable around Ty’s easygoing charisma than Frith’s staring and opens up while they drive. Frith, on the other hand, has time to read a number of books Hans has given her and manages to polish off the Prose Edda, the Poetic Edda and Havamal. The benefits of Epic Intelligence are immediately useful to Frith.

Hans wishes the cousins well and they part on good terms and the plane flies the Scions back to Las Vegas where Ty fails to get far into trying to read the Havamal. Comfortable in the knowledge that Frith will probably know the answers to any of his questions, Ty doesn’t lose any sleep over not getting through the book. In fact neither of them have felt any particular need to sleep since meeting their parents.

Returning to Las Vegas, the pair are immediately aware of greater security in the airport and on the street. A nervous taxi driver advises that, since the Viking ship crash, taxi fares to the Vegas strip will have a $10 surcharge. He’s nervous about going. Everyone’s nervous about being on the strip. Frith and Ty, ever frugal, are outraged by this and simply ask to be driven to near the strip where they can walk the rest of the way. On the way they notice a greater police presence, and a number of helicopters flying over the city. The mortals may not know what is going in but they’re certainly afraid about a flying ship, undead Vikings and the people who got killed during the bizarre battle a few nights ago. On walking onto the strip, Frith and Ty note that even tourists aren’t keen on being on the strip, much less the natives. Even during the day. In fact the usually sunny city is overcast, with dark, sinister clouds in the sky adding an oppressive pall over the city. The city that never sleeps, where the party never ends, has been brought to a still. People walking from one hotel to another, even in daylight, do so in groups and quickly. Locals don’t dawdle as the more reckless tourists do. They walk with a purpose. Las Vegas, it seems, isn’t as much fun as it was.

Returning to the Luxor, the Scions realise that, while it’s unsettling outside, inside it’s business as usual. The hotels are in full swing, perhaps partying extra hard in an attempt to make people forget what’s happened outside and the lost lives and the huge hole in the street outside where the Viking ship landed and tore up the area. It’s a bit surreal, but Ty is not to be thwarted. He wants to go find a fight and try out his new weapon. The two have dinner at the hotel (their ban only ran for 24 hours so they’re allowed back) and decide to go shopping first to buy some clothing. After their physical frames have grown, thanks to their Jotunblut purview, the two Scions need new threads. Ty vaguely hopes that, between hotels, there will be something for him to fight but it doesn’t turn out to be the case. The cousins shop and are just returning to their hotel, on their way to the elevators, when their attentions are drawn to one of the rooms off the foyer. Usually a stage for acts to play, it’s not in use as such right now and so a huge-screen-TV is installed for people to watch while they drink and relax. The Scions feel a cold sensation run up their spines and into their shoulders and hackles. Something Is Going To Happen<tm>. A monumental moment is on them and the duo recognise Fate’s pull towards it, even if they don’t understand it.

On the television is the visage of Donnie Rhodes, Jr and the other five members of his band (but mostly Donnie). Ty moves closer, to hear what Donnie has to say. Frith remains back, not interested in Donnie’s words nearly as much as she is in his body language and how he holds himself. She knows that Ty will tell her what Donnie says anyway, and she feels that his body language will tell a better story of his motives than his words.

On television Donnie ‘outs’ himself and his band, explaining that they’re the children of gods and about the coming war. He states that they’re here to save the people but Ty quickly notes that Donnie states his intentions in a way that minimises the mortal populace, making it clear that Donnie considers he and his companions (but mostly himself) better than the mortals who are more or less helpless cattle. Donnie introduces his companions and gives a small spiel about the various gods that Visited them. Yukiko first (Frith notes this as both a means of showing off how gentlemanly he is with a ‘ladies first’ mentality, and also a means of displaying a sexual claim on Susano-o’s daughter), then Brigitte (who Donnie has no sexual interest in, likely because she’s too strong for him). Then Eric who just seems happy and proud to be there, and Aaron which is punctuated by a brief pause as Donnie slightly balks in describing Tezcatlipoca. Then Horace who both Ty and Frith realise was introduced last (and his father described simply as ‘Horus, of the Egyptian gods’) in a means to distance Horace from attention. Both Frith and Ty realise that Horace is the probable leader of the group and that Donnie doesn’t like not being the whole show on his own.

The people watching the television begin to react. Most of them believe, even if they don’t know it. They’re starting to get twitchy, to worry, to instinctively stand closer together in a huddle for mutual protection from what they’re hearing. Ty is furious at Donnie’s perceived treatment of the people as helpless and useless and leaps up onto a fountain and gives the people a speech, speaking as a military man, a leader and a hero. He tells them that they’re going to pull together, that they’re not helpless and are going to make their own mark on the world, that they won’t stand helpless before all of these events but will stand strong and take on their future with honour, integrity and strength. Impassioned, Ty channels his Legend for the first time (gaining 7 successes in all) and becomes a leader to the people, an embodiment of his father as Tyr the leader. The people stop to listen to him talk. So do the gamblers. Everyone who can hear him stops to listen, even in the never-quiet-casino floor. And then, one by one, they begun to understand. Ty is right. They’re not helpless. They can work together and they can be a part of the world to come. Ty has led and they follow, picking him up and bearing him through the hotel like a king. He is taken to the bar and for the next few hours is surrounded by people who want to talk to him and hear him lead them. No lewd propositions. No sleazy promises of representation and riches. He is their leader and they his people.

When the gathering comes to an end Ty finds Frith and they compare notes. Both are angry that the other band of Scions have made a mess and then left town, leaving the people afraid. Both are angry that Donnie has minimised the role of mortals in things to come. They both decide that if the previous Scions have left Las Vegas afraid, broken and unsafe that they are going to make it safe and unafraid again.

It begins with more patrolling. Frith and Ty shower, change and head out onto the street to patrol for anything or anyone who might endanger the people of Las Vegas. It’s in the small hours when they encounter something. A fire giant, axe on shoulder and sack in one hand is busy heading for a bank ATM. Ty looks eagerly to Frith who nods and Ty, wasting no time talking or posturing, takes out his weapon J├Âtunnbita and transforms it into a sword. Then he’s on the attack and battle is joined. Frith, not so eager to get into battle, follows after with Peace Bringer in hand. Ty wins (Frith only hits the giant once, for no significant damage) and kills the giant, which leaves nothing but scorched concrete and a blackened heart which Ty destroys and dumps in a nearby dumpster. On discovering that the sack is full of money (from previous ATM attacks) Frith and Ty decide to turn the sack in to the local police. The local police are confused but take the money, unused to such honest and public mindedness in their city. The rest of the night passes without Titanspawn but the Scions note that people out at night are nervous, skittish and not prone to straying. A few hoods are out in the night, taking advantage of the confusion and the fear. They don’t challenge Frith and Ty. Like an oasis of protection, law and order in the city the two Scions send lesser criminals slinking away into the night, leaving the streets all the safer for others to pass.

On returning to the Luxor Frith decides that what the people need is to reclaim their streets, for the party to start back up and for Las Vegas to be free of fear. She decides to convince the hoteliers in the city to stage a huge street party, a festival that will bring people out and partying in the streets once again. A means to revel in the frightening night and to end the fear that keeps them inside. Deciding that the first step must be the mayor, Frith calls some of her connections in Washington to grease the wheels and make a meeting with Las Vegas’ mayor more likely. She and Ty attend city hall to find the place a mess of chaos, with far too many people doing far too many things. It’s harried and disorderly, all in response to what the Viking ship and the fight in the street had meant.

The mayor’s frantic receptionist, frazzled and overworked already, advises Frith that the mayor will see her at 10:30, Frith’s connections certainly having greased the wheels for her. In the large crowd of people waiting to see the mayor a furious local businessman demands to know why Frith, who has just shown up, can see the mayor when he’s been waiting for hours. Ty tries to talk him down and is immediately the target of the man’s anger and yelling. Ty loses his temper but fights his instincts, deciding that instead of hitting the man (which will serve no real purpose aside from short term gratification) to speak up. Using Inspirational Figure, he gives another speech similar to his one in the Luxor, taking charge once more and advising that what needs to happen is that everyone has to do their part, and that everyone can help each other and succeed together. After the speech, and buoyed by the Willpower point Ty’s powers have given, the mayoral office’s workers work more fluidly together and the frustrated people who are still waiting at least wait more patiently.

Frith sees the mayor, meeting his aide Tobey Jenkins first before meeting the man himself. The mayor has had calls from a number of high level Washington politicos and is happy to see Frith, who he considers to be here to help. Frith advises that she’s here to help and outlines her plans for a festival in the street, noting that shutting down the strip’s street and allowing a party in the streets will require local government’s permission. The mayor is only too happy to sign off on the rights for a street party but notes that getting the hoteliers to come together and agree to work together is not going to be likely. He becomes pensive and thoughtful and weighs something in his mind. Then explains that there’s one man who could help, and that nothing in Las Vegas really happened without his OK. He promises to make an appointment with this man for Frith, advising her to go to the Flamingo Hotel and ask to be shown to the penthouse where the man will be. Frith agrees to go and asks the mayor if she can be of any help to him. The mayor advises that he’s had various agencies on the phone, wanting to ferry in military personnel to lock down Las Vegas after what may have been a terrorist attack (which is how the Viking boat debacle is obviously being seen from outside) and asks Frith to pull what strings she can to avoid Las Vegas becoming a military zone. Frith promises to make some calls and then leaves, collecting Ty and leaving the now much more calm and organised city hall with her cousin in tow.

The two Scions go to the Flamingo Hotel and ask the receptionist to conduct them to the penthouse. The receptionist becomes vague and confused for a moment, as if not certain what she’s hearing. As if on auto-pilot she shows them through to the elevator which conducts them through to the penthouse. They knock, are invited to enter by a male voice and enter to end up in a penthouse that probably hasn’t been upgraded since it was first built. It’s like stepping back in time, seeing the Flamingo as it must have been back at the start. Photographs on the wall are in black and white and there are various antique items in here. The man in the room is dressed like a 1940s gangster, which is exactly what he is. He introduces himself as Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel and is the man who founded the Flamingo and Las Vegas.

Siegel explains that he was not killed by mob enforcers, but was instead sacrificed by his friend and partner Meyer Lansky, who was a son of Hermes. Lansky bound Siegel to Las Vegas in a role similar to the Fisher King of Arthurian legend. While Siegel is bound to Las Vegas and his room in the Flamingo, which he can’t leave, Las Vegas can never be destroyed or ended. Thus Lansky had created a permanent mecca to gambling (a favourite of his father) at Siegel’s expense. The rather resigned Siegel explains that, now and again, Hermes shows up and offers to set him free if he can beat him in a card game. As Siegel has no real chance to beat a god in a card game he’s stuck where he is. Hermes’ son’s sacrificing of a friend, and Hermes’ taunting of the captive Siegel, does nothing to make the Greek pantheon seem any better in the eyes of the two Aesir Scions.

Frith outlines her plan to Siegel who agrees that it’s a good one, and is struck at how honest and willing to help the people (rather than glory grab) the two Aesir are and asks for the name of their parents, which they give. Siegel’s opinion of Scions is somewhat softened by the pair of Aesir, who seem only to want to help the people, and so he promises to help. While he’s the guarantee of Las Vegas’ immortality Siegel also has some influence over it. He’s a part of it and it is a part of him. He advises that the hoteliers will arrive at the conference room in the Flamingo the following night. They won’t know why, but each will have their own ideas as to why they’re going. Such is Siegel’s slower, more subtle control over things. Frith will then be able to speak to them and try to convince them to help with her festival idea, which she has decided to call the Festival of Lights (as in ‘lighting the darkness’). The Scions learn that Siegel is wounded, and that the great gash in the street left by the Viking ship has wounded the city. As the city is wounded, so is Siegel. Siegel then wishes the pair well and they leave.

With nothing to do for he rest of the day, nor the early evening of the following night, the two Scions do what they can. Frith busies herself in researching the hoteliers, the better to make her pitch, and Ty walks the streets helping anyone who needs it. Ty is again amazed at the difference he makes in the lives of others, as just for a short while he makes people feel safe again on an individual, one-for-one basis. Frith works out how she’s going to convince the hoteliers of her plans and also invites Tobey Jenkins along from the mayor’s office, the better to keep the mayor in the loop.

Frith and Ty are at the meeting room just after Jenkins arrives and they have a brief moment to speak with him before the hoteliers arrive. Rich, powerful and in many cases bitter rivals, they are here (thanks to Siegel’s influence over all things in Las Vegas) but not certain they want to stay long. Frith greets them and then invokes Peace Bringer. She holds the ‘peace’ side up and taps the staff on the floor, invoking its Peaceful Meeting spell. The effect is obvious to her, and to Ty. While nobody necessarily feels any kinder towards their rivals, everyone sits and keeps peace while Frith speaks. She outlines what she wants to do and, more importantly to her and to them, how it impacts on them and their bottom lines. Fear in the streets is not a good way to do business, nor to encourage tourism. Between her Epic Manipulation (not to mention her planning, and her ability to judge the Nature of each hotelier so she could alter her sales pitch to each one) and the spell the hoteliers cooperate. They may not like each other but this is a common problem that affects them all. They work out how best to make this festival happen, including how to best advertise it, build hype and get people there. They decide to spend money in order to make money and after a mere hour of talking peacefully they have decided how to make Frith’s idea a reality. Then Frith invites her cousin to talk again.

Ty is, once more, awesome as he takes hold of the hearts of the people in the room. Frith’s logic is unassailable and her plan is the way forward. That’s fact. Ty leads the people in the room to want to follow it, and earns their loyalty (for now) instead of just their begrudging help. The hoteliers leave, keen and eager to see this thing done and to take their city back from the grip of fear. Frith and Ty are both beginning to understand the kind of power that they can wield; Frith’s logic and ability to cause people to see that her way is their only way ahead and Ty in earning their loyalty and deference.

Ty and Frith patrol. Hard. This party is not going to work if anyone, anyone at all, attacks or tries to ruin it. Over the next 24 hours they again become beacons of law, protection and lights in the gloom of Las Vegas. Petty criminals withdraw, unwilling to challenge. The city builds a stage over the great hole in the street, both to hide it and to encourage people to dance, and the hotels start setting up in the streets. Everyone is hyped. Drinks are half price. So is the food. Trinkets are given out for free by the hotels. The festival has a feeling like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, with bright colours, festive outfits and drinking. It’s a success. People are out on the street. Even once it gets dark. And then Ty mounts the stage, high up where he can be seen, and he makes another speech. Again he channels his Legend. Again he becomes more than just a man. He becomes a concept, an embodiment (he also scores 10 successes). His speech stops the party. The revellers crowd around to hear what he has to say. He speaks his message of hope and strength and unity and they listen, spellbound. When Ty stops listening they cheer. And cheer. A roar erupts, as hundreds of voices take up the chant. And from above, the clouds are pushed away and the sky is seen. The darkness, the oppression and the fear, are banished as Las Vegas is brought to one place as Frith convinces the hoteliers to do the impossible and cooperate. They are then won by the words of Ty, who convinces them to do the unthinkable and to not fear the unknown. By their actions Las Vegas is saved. Frith has shown the way, Ty has shown the people and the people save themselves.

While Ty is kept on stage by the revellers until the end of the 24 hour street party, Frith is researching and checking the media. It’s all good. Ty’s speech has gone viral already. The media are in a frenzy. Unlike the prior band, Frith and Ty have not announced their divinity on the public stage. To do so would detract from the festival and what they want to accomplish. They’re happy enough with what they’ve done, that right has been re-established and that fear has been cast away. On her researching Frith finds a short video interview with Horace Farrow, wherein the cowboy, when asked about the festival, tips his hat and offers sincere kudos to two people who have shown a city how to save itself. Frith recognises, from his body language, Horace’s regret and guilt that it wasn’t his band doing it. Donnie Rhodes, Jr could not be reached for comment.

Deciding to offer him some trust, Frith calls Hans Gruber and asks the expediter to deliver a message to the cowboy; her and Ty’s names, their contact details and the names of their parents.

Then she settles in to watch a city free of fear. It all ends with Frith and Ty walking off saying “Our work here is done. It’s time to leave.” “There’s another city somewhere that needs us.”

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MisterBlaze

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