Request Monday

I'm unsure, still, how long this will continued. Since this is very much a short story let's call what has gone on before now Part 1. We have a general situation setup and a first challenge met and overcome while hints at some deeper troubles were dropped.

Believe what you will but American Gods and Dreasden Files only marginally influinced this setting.Sure it's not wholly unique, but there's an idea that goes something along the lines of 'everyone borrows from everyone else since everything has already been written about at least once.' There's been ghost and supernatural stories passing around for the past few thousand years. Think of this as following in that tradition rather than me attempting to rip off from the Big Names these days.

By the by I realize I'd missed last Monday's posting in the last batch update. I can only offer forgetfulness there since I'd forgotten to synch this story's file so when I was at the library doing housekeeping on ye olde blog I didn't have the newest revisions. Oops.



[6]

Days passed for Ricky with little out of the ordinary, and that little being the mundane aftermath from Sekmet's rampage through his job. Word pas passed along here and there through people he and Alice knew to get a better idea what the files that, apparently, somebody thought was important enough to kill for . In fact the whole point of this little narritive skip was to fast forward through the boring parts and straight to where things start picking up again.

We rejoin the Anubis pulling Ricky's bedroom blinds open and the covers off his bed. Might be good, for the sake of clarity, to mention here and now that Ricky was still in bed. Actually he'd only gotten to sleep an hour before, but Gods, plural, are rarely all-knowing.

"We need to have words." Calm voice but even in the haze of tired and not quite awake Ricky new his visitor wasn't going to take no for an answer. He mumbled something before crawling out of bed.

"Not in ten minutes boy. Now." Anubis started tossing clothes at Ricky. "Clothes. We'll eat on the way."

Ricky dressed and was half led, half drug by his visitor out his front door. The whole time he wondered what happened to the whole 'must be invited into one's home' bit all the old (and new) stories of supernatural doings seemed to hold as something not-humans had to do before breaking in.

As if he heard the thought, or maybe it was because Ricky was muttering the whole time, the corners of Anubis's mouth twitched into a faint grin. "I am permitted to go where my followers are. Our Shrines are Invitation enough."

Outside a black sedan waited for them. Ricky looked it over and shook his head. Sure the car looked nice, but though he wasn't terribly interested in cars he saw dozens of little oddities that let him know this was no assembly line creation. He glanced, questioningly, at his companion as he got in.

Anubis patted the car's roof before sliding in. "Built for my needs by a few out of town friends of mine."

While he talked the car started on it's way, a thing Ricky wouldn't notice for a few more moments, "More from your pantheon Sir?" He tried puzzling out who out of Anubis's extended friends and family list would be the most likely suspects and faled utterly. The source material was so old and so much time had passed that any of them would have been as good, or bad, a candidate as any other.

"Haphistus actually," Ricky was somewhat surprised by this. Inter-Pantheon trafficing? First he finds out /his/ God exists and, if sparringly, interacts with the world. Now he finds out multipul pantheons exist. Food for thought there, not ot mention more than a little worry. "It's somewhat hard to explain," Anubis saw the expression across his follower's face. "You would know him as that anyway."

"And this has to do with those drives you lost... how?" Before his host could respond he pulled out a thumb-drive of his own and handed it over. "Everything from what was there plus notes Alice and I made while trying to figure out what the translation file actually says." He snorted, "Hard to get a written language that's been dead to wrap itself around modern concepts."

Anubis looked out the window on his side, tinted blacker than was probably legal. "I have faith you'll manage."





Their car, for the record I'm envisioning it to look like one of those london cabs except that it's solid black (but you may picture it as whatever you like), seemed to ignore traffic by Ricky's estimation. Though to be fair where it had gone there wasn't traffic in the traditional sense. He could barely see anything from his window and found that rolling it down to get a better look wasn't goingto happen since there was no mechanism or button for this to happen. So he looked out and made guesses at what was on the other side based off of the darker outlines inside the darkened landscape he was seeing.

Traffic moved like one would expect. Stop, go, intersections, and that sort of thing. However there were more than cars out there, and even if he could only guess at the details it was clear to ricky that he wasn't in Kansas anymore. No, really. He had lived, worked, and grew up, in Kansas and he wasn't there anymore. So the expression, tired as it may be, fits.

The fact that some of the 'cars' on the road they were traveling had legs and moved like giant beatles scurrying along probably didn't help with Ricky's sense of normalcy either.

When both the driver and his... Companion? God? Ricky wasn't entirely sure how to think of Anubis in this guise. Neither were telling him where they were headed or why. /God's will be done. Yea sure, works fine until you can stare 'em in the face and they still give the tight lipped 'we know better than you' look./ Ricky kept his complaints subvocal. For all he knew both 'persons' with him were mind readers, or at least could sense mood if not the actual content.

To sleep or not to sleep? Sleep won out over curiosity and then there was blessed Nothingness until he felt himself being shaken awake.

Where they were is hard to describe. Purely from a physical standpoint it looked like someone had taken them to Anywhere U.S.A. Then there was the stillness to everything. Other than a few other groups there was no traffic either on foot or car. Too few people in a place that was too clean. Ricky couldn't help but chuckle at the thought. /Instant city. Some People Required./

Anubis walked slightly ahead, leading him to a building very much like the one he worked in. Inside it was a near duplicate, which seemed strange yet for some reason it wasn't nearly as disturbing as he thought it would be. While he was being led he was trying to figure out if this was a construct for his benefit, if they'd actually built this place, if they were even on Earth or-

Two bodies. One male, the other female. Both had clearly, to Ricky at least, been dead several days. Normal autopsy room. Tools lain out and it wasn't until Ricky had put his scrubs on and washed that he hadn't been directly asked to and that there was an audiance.

A handful of people, each of different ethnicity, watched. Closest to the bodies was a woman, whom Ricky judged to be their mother. He bowed slightly to them and, with Anubis acting as his assistaint, he started the examination.

Shouldn't you be leading? Ricky's hands were steady and when he spoke his voice calm and professional. Just a job, no matter how strange the venue or abnormal it was to let probable family members observe. At the very least shouldn't Imhotep be here?

Anubis shook his head as if he heard the thoughts. If he had there was no other sign while they worked. The bodies were washed. The organs removed and wieghed before being washed. Only later did Ricky wonder when the proceedure moved from autopsy to modern-day-mummification ritual.

Again he wanted to question, to demand to know why he was there, but he found that the proceedure was completed and orderlies were wrapping the bodies while the woman who he thought was their mother spoke blessings over charms that were placed on the body to be held there as more layers of linnen were added. Anubis said nothing and when he spoke it was only to add his blessings on both bodies once they were prepared and ready to be taken away.

Ricky watched as the mother bowed to them before leaving. Only when he was sure they were alone did he speak. "Perhaps I'm pushing my limits, but what was that? Why didn't you lead... this isyour line of work. Why bring me along at all?" He was careful to keep his tone questioning rather than upset as he spoke, not sure if he was getting too familiar sounding with his patron.

"Fair questions Richard." Anubis led them into the street but not to their car. The sun was down by this time and Ricky followed, since he saw no other reasonable option. "I brought you here partially to show you that hathor is herself again and so that she could see that not everyone who she was around while enraged had perished. You also need to know more of what is going on and I can only come to you for short periods."

"Where are we?" If this were the deadlands or spirit world then the Gods had modernized a great deal.

Anubis wiggled his left hand in a noncommital gesture. "Let's just say you're where we go when not making uncommon requests of our followers and leave it at that." Ricky nodded and they walked in silence until they'd come on a hotdog cart. Strange, but if things were taken at the god's word then the rules here were bound to be different.

Once they were seated at a nearby bench Anubis pulled out a thick spiral notebook. "A transcript of the debate Athena, Marduk, Odin, Osirus, and several others have had on attempting to reassert ourselves in mortal affairs." Ricky gave him a questioning look before he added, "Don't worry, Thoth assured me it's a perfictly understandable translation." When Ricky went to open the book he was stopped wit ha warning glance. "Not yet. I gave that to you since our time isn't best used here for story telling."

"Why are we here then Sir?"

"Zeus, Spider-Woman, and Set all wish to have words with me. We are each bringing a mortal witness."

"Which is where I come in yes?"

"Bingo."
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