Three Strikes and you're out, Cleo would soon find out just how literal that phrase can become....
Cleo and Eddie had finally taken the next step and moved in together. Over the last few months it had been pure bliss, Cleo was at the top of the Hidden City military and she had made great strides in cleaning up the corruption of her officers and higher level officers below her. She managed to somehow straighten out the mess Dalen made with them, however for all her accomplishments there were set backs. She had neglected her duty to find Dion and kill him and Talia made sure to remind her of that...
"Cleo, Cleo, Cleo where have you been? I am sensing that you've become lax in your duty that my brother has charged you with...Dion is still alive and STILL BREEDING!!!!"
Cleo: Goddess....I'm sorry...I got so wrapped up in work that I--
"SILENCE MORTAL!!! I've been far too patient with you and your failures, this is the last strike. And you know what they say..three strikes and you're out!!!"
She barely had time to object before she felt the familiar pull of a summoning tear at her mid section....
Batalia: How many chances must you ruin before you actually do what you were sent for??!!
Cleo: Goddess, I have been looking for Dion, I only recently found out where he was. Eddie's nephew's birthday is coming up and he will most certainly invite him over.
Dalen: Ah, so that's what you've been up to. See sister? You don't have to kill her just yet...however my sister is not a patient woman mortal you're lucky I saved your ass this time. Screw up again and next time I will personally toss you into Tartarus with my own two hands.
Batalia: She still hasn't completed the mission brother, Dion still lives.
Batalia: Why shouldn't I just smite her right here and now? I so want to....
Dalen: Talia, she still has value to me. If she's telling the truth and she does know where Dion is then you have to let her go.
Dalen: Because I said so.
Cleo: Please Goddess, let me finish my mission. I swear I won't fail again.
Batalia: This is your last chance mortal, you fail us again and it will be the end of you.
She teleported off in a storm of electrically charged smoke.
Dalen: I do hope you're telling the truth, I can't hold Talia back again.
Cleo: I am oh merciful God of War, I am. I know where Dion is.
Dalen: So you mentioned something about Eddie's other nephew, tell me about him. Is he as promising as young Liam?
Cleo: Promising as young Liam? What do you mean?
Dalen: Now why would I tell you something like that? You don't need to know anything other than what we decide to tell you got it?
Cleo: I understand great War God, I just thought that if there was something about Liam that you wanted me to check on....
Dalen: You don't think, that's why you're here. You failed twice, this is your last chance.
Cleo: Yes, great God of War. Eddie's other nephew he's only a baby right now but he grows so fast, faster than normal. I know it's because his father is a god.
Dalen: I see, and this god would be Reias right?
Cleo: Yes, he is.
Dalen: Good girl, now get lost and finish what we sent you to do.
He waved his hand and sent her off.
Dalen stood beside his throne after he sent her back. Young Liam had a lot of pent up anger and frustration inside him, it radiated off his soul like a foul stench. He knew at whom that anger was directed and it pleased him greatly, anything he could do to make Reias's life harder he would do it because it would serve his purposes. If the damned hero was distracted by familial obligations, rather than focused on him and Talia all the more better for them. Since the Furies had failed him before in trying to drive Adonis and Daphne insane he went to someone he knew could get the job done, Morpheus had more power over the mortals' dreams than the Furies do and all it took was a small threat on Dalen's part to convince Morpheus to do what he asked. Morpheus sent Liam visions of his past life in order to push him farther into his grasp. Liam would come to him willingly if he promised him a way to get rid of Reias and reunite Liam with his dead father again, unlike Reias who was unwilling to use his godly powers to invade the mortals' privacy, Dalen was not above it. He knew for a long time that it was Eddie who killed Liam's father and hid his urn in his inventory out of guilt, all it was going to take was a little hint sent to Liam from Morpheus to get him to figure that out...and when he did, it would be a show to see.
Like Dalen, Talia had her own schemes to plan, one of which wasn't in her original design. The Guardian of Dalen's Adriel, Drinn had a thing for her ever since he laid his crystalline eyes on her and she had a thing for him too. Drinn represented power and control, two things of which Talia found irresistible and it didn't hurt that he was hot either.
Drinn: Well, I must say this is a surprise.
Batalia: Mhmm, why is that?
Drinn: I thought you and Master had something going on.
Batalia: Oh we do, we definately do but with his wandering eyes that seem to gravitate towards his halfling crush, I say what the hell?
Drinn: Master is right over there fishing, won't he be angry?
Batalia: Probably, but he started it with the damn halfling first.
Drinn: Ah so this is a revenge fling. I can live with that.
Batalia: I knew I liked you baby.
The birthday Cleo was talking about was the one that saw Solan entering the toddler years. It was in this stage where the powers of half god children first emerge it would be now when Roxie and Eddie would find out what Solan had inherited from Reias. However, an emergency at Dion's house, in the form of the birth of his third son, kept him from attending this birthday so it would just be the family this time. Liam had the honour of bringing his little brother into the next phase of life, so far he had done well at making his mom and uncle think he was getting along with Solan they had no idea about the deep inner turmoil he was hiding just below the surface. His dreams were coming more and more now sometimes when he was awake at school.
Liam glanced over at his uncle, his face bearing the expression of happiness and joy, while hiding a dark secret inside. He had his father's urn stashed away, preventing his soul from crossing over. While it pissed Liam off that he would hide such a thing from him and his mother, it also worked to his advantage. If his father's soul was trapped in limbo then it could be resurrected, he had been doing some research at school on Academie Le Tour, and all the big colleges were said to have Secret Societies somewhere hidden on campus with amazing treasures inside. There was only one that he was most interested in, the fabled Bone Phone which is said to be able to resurrect the dead. Once he got enrolled in college the first thing he would do was make sure he got into the Secret Society to gain possession of those treasures for his own and he would be getting his father back.
Liam plastered on a faked smile and began to rock Solan back and forth.
Liam: Here goes nothing...
First things first, toss the rug rat then get back to figuring out how to get his father's urn out of his uncle's inventory.
In a flurry of confetti, the newly todderized Solan appeared. He looked like a mini Reias with the same hair, eyes, and skin. Liam passed him to his father and went back to figuring things out.
Roxie: Liam, don't you want any cake?
Liam: No, I umm..have a lot of homework I'd better get started on mom, sorry. Save me a piece for later okay?
Roxie: Oh alright. I will.
Reias: So my son, we can finally talk to one another.
Solan giggled and smiled.
Reias: I won't miss a minute of your precious toddler years, I swear.
Reias couldn't help but hold his precious little boy close, for the first time he could be here for his child's first birthday and that thought brought out something he had thought he was incapable of doing, he cried. He never cried, not even when he lost Daphne and Callie it was strange to him. After he lost them all he could think about was killing Dalen for taking them away from him, he filled his heart with revenge and hatred for his former best friend and it got him through the hardest times. Only he didn't get a chance to exact his revenge on Dalen, he had to protect Dion and preserve Oliver's mission it gave him a new focus. Perhaps it was a little bit of Diamos's influence still working through Dion, but as much as he still hated Dalen he knew that he couldn't kill him. It would leave a bigger imbalance in power without a God of War than it did without a God of Peace.
Dion: Oh honey...this is the last time I swear.
Maddie: IT HAD BETTER BE!!!
Dion: Demetrius, boil some water or something!!
Demetrius: I would sir, but I find I am unable to move. I am mesmerized....ooh, that looks painful...
Maddie: USELESS MEN!!!
Dion: Oh dear. Who left this unmade?
Maddie: YOU USELESS SON OF A BITCH!!
Dion held his third son as he did the other two boys, finally his family felt complete. Little Octavius had the same red hair as his brother and the same green eyes as his. He felt the mission was secured now that he had three sons capable of carrying on after him, though the question of who would do it was still on his mind.
Dion: Like I told your brothers, Octavius my son you have a great destiny laid out before you and I hope that whichever one of you I choose to continue on, that the other two will be there to support my heir.
Octavius burbled and yawned, it wouldn't be long before Julius joined Marc Antony at school and then on to high school and college after that. Marc Antony was going to be a teenager soon and he would be choosing his life path he and Liam would be at the same private school too.
Their birthdays were close, so after Dion had called the Headmaster for Julius he watched as his middle son grew into a child in his nursery. Dion would have liked to give him a cake but like his older brother, Julius was anxious to grow up.
Julius: Hey daddy, are you watching me?
Dion: Yes son, I saw.
Headmaster: Well that worked out nicely, you can join your brother at my school on Monday young man. You made it.
Maddie: You planned this pretty well didn't you honey?
Dion: I try.
Julius: I'm going to change my clothes and hair okay?
As a present for the boys, Dion called the Adoption Agency and got them a new puppy. He had noticed that Marc Antony was a little down in the greens for a while now and he figured this would perk him right up again for his birthday in three days.
Marc Antony: Wow, a puppy!! I get to train you to do all sorts of things Scout, like roll over, play dead, shake and speak it'll be great!!
Getting Scout did work to perk Marc Antony up, he was smiling and laughing more and he had taken to spending too much time on the computer as well. Though Dion could tell he did miss being in the same classes as Liam, the two of them were as close as brothers slightly more than he was close to his own brothers at home.
While not to far away, another pair of brothers were doing some bonding of their own.
Liam: Once more, Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb. Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow. It's not a hard thing.
Liam: No, lamb...why did I agree to do this again?
Solan cocked his head to one side, he could sense something wrong with his big brother but he couldn't figure out exactly what it was.
Liam: Try it again. Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb. Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow.
Solan: Bruther sad?
Liam: Just sing the rhyme kid, I got work to do.
Solan felt that and it made him want to cry, what was wrong with his brother?
Liam: Great, now he's gonna cry. Mom should be doing this not me.
Solan sniffled, he didn't know what was wrong with his brother and he couldn't concentrate on the rhyme he was trying to teach him. Solan didn't know the name of the feeling but it appeared he had shown the first powers he had as as half god, he was empathic. Sensing other's feelings was going to be hard while he was young, he was still immature and not ready to handle the burden of his power. Most half god children didn't have the control over their powers until they reached teenhood so living with them while still a child and toddler would be a constant uphill battle for them.
Marc Antony stood in front of his cake, the yellow buttercream icing looked delicious. He looked up at the thirteen candles on top glowing brightly. Tonight he could get to go out and stay up later, he could play big kid games with Liam at school. He knew his brother wasn't going to be in his classes anymore for a while while it made him a little sad to be away from him, it also made him happy too. He could hang out with Liam again.
Marc Antony: Here we go, good bye childhood and hello teenage freedom...
He looked down at the sparklies that were crawling up his legs, this was going to be fun!!
Marc Antony: Sweet!! Let's see Liam try to take me on with these guns.
He decided that a life path of Fortune with the goal of being the Head of the SCIA after his mom retired, was the right way for him to go. But first he had to get some money for some clothes, these wouldn't do.
Liam: So you finally grew up huh? Took you long enough.
Marc Antony: Can I help it if you were born first? Come gimme your best shot.
Liam: Still not enough to buy new clothes? That is so not you.
Marc Antony: Dude, shut up. I'm getting there.
Liam: So you know who's gonna be your dad's heir yet?
Marc Antony: Huh? Oh I dunno. Julius is just a kid and Octavius is gonna be a toddler soon so I suppose dad hasn't picked yet.
Liam: They usually go with the first born, which is you. I'd say you've got it made.
Marc Antony: Yeah, maybe. We'll see.
Marc Antony: Hey, where's dad?
Maddie: He's working this time I get to do it. He's had all the fun before so now it's my turn.
Marc Antony: Do I have to do diapers?
Maddie: No, I won't make you do that. You should be enjoying being a teen baby.
Marc Antony: Good.
Maddie: You seem to like your brother's hair style. I'll have to change that so I don't mix you two up.
Maddie changed his hair and set him down to play. The first thing he did after getting his Smart Milk was strangle poor Scout. It's a good thing that Scout is a patient dog, willing to put up with the little boy's over zealous affections.
Little Octavius or Tavi as Marc Antony had begun calling him, was never missing attention. Marc Antony wanted to teach him to talk first and his parents decided it would be a good bonding experience for the boys.
Marc Antony: Close enough I suppose. My name is too long for you right now.
Julius: Like that, it's easy. Marc Antony taught me and I get to teach you. Nursery rhymes are fun.
Tavi: Other brother!! Heehee!!
Julius: Julius Joo-Lee Us, Julius.
Julius: It'll do.
Although sometimes he would take over Scout's bed, which did not sit well with him but it gave him the chance to sleep on the kids' beds instead, which were far more comfortable than the dog bed.
While little Tavi was getting comfortable in the dog bed, another was getting comfortable elsewhere.....
Dalen: Mmm, Mo baby. How I've missed you...
Mokosh: Dalen, wait...this isn't you.
Dalen: Oh it's me alright Mo baby, I'm the same A-Bomb you met that day, the same one who lights your fire like no other...
Mokosh: Dalen, please...don't do this.
Dalen: You sure make it hard to get laid around here don't you?
Mokosh: You've changed, you're evil now. I don't want Evil Dalen, I want the good, kind, gentle Dalen I fell in love with all those years ago.
Dalen: Mokosh, this is me, all of me. Evil or not I still love you and I still want you...what we had.
Mokosh knew what he meant, he wanted to put things back the way they were before he changed time. Though she knew what he wanted more than anything, he wanted Hope back...
Mokosh: Dalen...I know what you want and I'm not sure I would be comfortable with giving you that. You've already got too much power now with Drinn and Batalia. I don't want you to use our daughter like that again. And I have to go to work soon too.
Dalen knew there was only one way to get her to submit to his will and give him back his daughter, he had to use his powers of persuasion on her, all of it. Hope had a very valuable power, she could steal the godhoods of other gods and make them mortal again. If he happened to fail with Drinn, he wanted a backup plan to take care of Reias once and for all. It worked so well when they overthrew Ares and took over, he wanted it to work again.
When Mo came home, Dalen had called up his power and made it concentrate in his lips, this was the only way to get what he wanted, his daughter back and also his son and younger daughter too. He knew that all three of their children had strong powers due to being born full gods and he wanted to nurture and encourage them. Any help he could get in his campaign would be beneficial, since Mokosh was still only a half god his full power was enough to subdue her long enough to get what he wanted.
Dalen: Now, where were we?
Dalen: Shh, don't talk. Just let me do my thing baby, you'll love it trust me.
As soon as they touched hands, it was all over her eyes glossed over and she stopped resisting him. She was under his spell, completely. Somewhere deep down Dalen's good side hated the fact that he had to resort to dirty tricks to get his daughter back from an unwilling Mokosh, he would never hurt her or take advantage of her like this if he was good...
End of Entry Twelve.
Becca will hate me for doing this to her Mo, I know. But it's part of Dalen's back up plan he likes to make sure he has several layers of planning behind him before he goes into a battle. So this ends the three part Chapter Eight, next time we see Liam heading to college and getting started on his plan to bring back Jonah, also we'll see more of sweet Solan and find out what Cleo will do about the threat Batalia made.
One more thing stats time:
Tavi gets to do the creepy 10 Nice point smile...joy. >.<