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Aberrant: Dead Rising - Chapter 13: All Soul's Night - Olympus

Dawn OOC

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October 31


James smiled at the excitement that permeated the entire complex. It was hard not to smile at the bands of roving kids that we running around in homemade costumes demanding treats so they didn’t trick you. It was almost like being back before Z-day and he was sure some of the girls were thinking the same.

“Hard to believe it’s almost been a year,” Jo said, leaning against James. He had his arm around the woman who was still his first girl, and had been ever since that hospital. “This time last year I was wondering which SCA garb to use for my costume, and this year I’m just happy to see that anyone’s feeling safe enough to trick or treat.”

James nodded as Nashwa and Pat approached; behind them hovered Ayanna, an inner-city girl that Han had found on a raid to Denver. She’d been assigned to tend to Nash throughout her pregnancy, but it was clear she had designs on joining James’s harem. To date, she hadn’t managed to score an invite, but the dark-skinned teen was pretty enough to make James wonder whether he should ask the others about including her. She was a nice girl, and already friends with Nash, Pat and Jo. And of course, if he really wanted to expand, it wasn’t like Ayanna was his only choice, either.

Nashwa was showing and glowed with peace and contentment. “Venus may join us later,” Nash told James with a smile, “but I believe she and some of the others had an adult’s only party planned.”

“Fun, fun,” Jo laughed, shaking her head.

“I know, right?” Nash giggled. “I’m barely able to get through the day without two naps and constant help. She’s managing orgies.”

“She does have six helpers,” Pat pointed out, smoothing some of Nash’s hair back and fussing it back into her braid. “You have one.”

“And she fucks every one of those six,” Jan said, her tone disapproving. “Daily, to hear them talk.”

“Is that true, Anna?” Nash asked.

The girl shrugged. “They say it is, but they might be lying. Getting chosen by one of the gods reborn is an honor, even if you’re just a sex-toy.” Her dark eyes caught James’s. “To get chosen for more is the greatest honor.”

“We have a party to get to, right?” Helen asked, cutting into the moment with forced cheer. There was a general party, where food, drinks and games for all would be served; the family had agreed to go when it was first announced. “We should go.”

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James stayed quiet and hoped the subject would change when V's sex life came up. If he were going to be honest, from some view points his own lifestyle looked pretty similar; The difference was his women were family but he didn't think V's men were.

He'd love to speculate... yeah, V probably was screwing ALL of them EVERY day... and this line of thought would have invited trouble even before he and V had... No. Don't think it..

James caught Anna's gaze and he struggled to not engage there either. He wasn't looking for a new wife, really he wasn't. Not even one as pretty as Anna. And not in front of his other women. Although if she did become friends with Helen and Jan.... Nashwa was far enough along that sex was less of an option. His other women had picked up the slack, but Helen and Jan might welcome spreading the burden around.

James agreed, "Yes, we should."

But first things first. Putting his hand over Nashwa's stomach James told her reassuringly, "You're doing great." She was too. Olympus had been paradise these last few months. The sun wasn't around but neither were the zombies, none of his women had even seen one.

James took off his shirt, put on his mask, and presto, he was in "costume".


Jo asked, "Jason?"

James replied, "Close. Lord Humungus, from Mad Max 2."

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  • 3 weeks later...

The party in the main room was probably not as interesting as Violet’s, but James was sure he was enjoying it more. An orgy with V at the center was not his idea of a good time, until he was the only guy there. And he was sure that he wouldn’t be the only cock there.

So he made himself enjoy this party more, focusing on his family and watching them interact with the children there. Nashwa in particular was radiant, her expression blissful as she played with the few children and helped make their Halloween fun. Even Helen and Jan relaxed more, their expressions becoming more Zen as the children played.

The only downside was Anna. She hovered near James, and he caught several heated looks from her. It made him uncomfortable. At one moment, as she was standing near him and helping Nash with something, he felt her hand brush over his thigh. When he looked up, Pat was smiling and shaking her head in quiet bemusement. She didn’t seem mad – nor was she one of the women he was bedding – or upset, just quietly amused.

“Are you having fun?” Nashwa asked him at a quiet moment.

“Hmm?” James asked, pulling his eyes away from Anna’s dark cleavage.

“You seem distracted. Are you alright?” She smiled at him, her expression happy and content.

There was a sudden change in the mood. The transformation rippled through the room, subtly turning the atmosphere of the room sour. Children’s smiles faded; an uneasy ripple passed through the people.

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  • 1 month later...

Dressing up as ‘Lord Humungus’ had been a mistake. After a few looks of fear from children James pushed up his hockey mask. They weren’t old enough to get the reference and he was too good at being a big scary guy.

That fixed that problem, but he wasn't sure what to do about Anna. She'd drop to her knees and start undoing his pants if he gave the word. That was... disturbing? Interesting? Exciting? He wasn't used to being chased, guys were supposed to chase, girls were supposed to be chased. That was how it was supposed to work.

That was such macho crap. Remember JoAnna? V? That group of women back at Fox’s? Who was chasing whom was a half assed effort to dodge the issue. He’d booted the other women because it wasn’t workable. Ayanna on the other hand… was pretty enough, and certainly willing enough, to join the family. A dark part of his psyche suggested she could 'audition' for a place. That was against the rules. No sex without commitment.

A small voice inside him whispered 'Violet' and he hushed it like usual. Any day now he would forgive himself over Venus. Shockingly the goddess of love, lust, and beauty was able to roll him, perhaps even accidently. ‘Consent’ was a problem where she was concerned. Not a good thing, but V was an exception to the rules, and Anna was not.

She wanted him on the usual terms. Marriage or whatever you’d call his family situation. She was willing to tolerate the other women and him warning away other men. He wasn’t willing to share women, but luckily most women didn’t want to be shared.

It was easy to picture Anna under him, but he needed to think with his other head. What was possible here? Was Anna ‘wife’ material? Maybe. She hit the radar as old enough… please god let her be old enough… although if she were jailbait then that’d take the choice out of his hands. She certainly looked ‘adult’, especially naked. He’d ‘accidently’ walked into her showering a few days ago.

He wanted her. Not enough to lose control, not enough throw out his family, but she’d be a fine addition. If she’d been on the radar earlier, back when it was just him and Jo, they would have extended her an offer.

Would the community raise a fuss about him picking up another women? No. No, they wouldn’t. Rumor already had him in bed with Anna. The mortals would congratulate Anna, the other gods wouldn’t care. He was liked, valuable, and the god of battle. No one would pick a fight over a mortal.

Would Anna want him if he weren’t a god? Probably not, that was a big deal for her. So… what happens if that question is asked with regards to Nashwa? JoAnna? All the others? If the situation were different, then things wouldn’t be the same. The whole ‘if… no powers’ question was up there with ‘if… no z-day’. Not useful.

Children. Now there was a problem. Presumably Anna was sterile. Right. Just like all of his other women, maybe including Nashwa. The whole ‘children’ issue threatened to drag in both V and JoAnna. V because he needed her help to have kids and JoAnna because she didn’t want them.

Assume V would help and JoAnna would eventually change her mind. Or maybe he could assume he’d eventually figure out however V did her thing. Now there was a thought… he had a tattoo for armor, maybe there was one for…

Off topic.

So... what should he do? His choices came down to...

Replace her. Get Nashwa a different helper. Because them being friends wouldn't matter, and telling his family he couldn't keep it in his pants wouldn't cause problems. Family came first. Nashwa was seriously pregnant, and making her feel comfortable outweighed him being uncomfortable.

Sleep with her. Let her find out the reality of what he was like and maybe she’d drop the matter. Right, because this would be ethical, no one would find out, and it wouldn’t cause other problems. You make a cat go away by giving it bowls of milk. She was living with the family, she had a good idea of what his sex life was like.

Marry her. Because if he could juggle four women then he could do five. Or six. Or a thousand. Try to spin too many plates and sooner or later everything comes down.

Ignore the situation. Pretend he wasn’t attracted to her. Pretend she wasn’t after him.

At one moment, as she was standing near him and helping Nash with something, he felt her hand brush over his thigh. When he looked up, Pat was smiling and shaking her head in quiet bemusement. She didn’t seem mad – nor was she one of the women he was bedding – or upset, just quietly amused.
Right, Pat knew. And if she knew… probably everyone else did, and probably this wasn't news for anyone. Pretending he was subtle and good at hiding things wasn’t a plan destined for success. Little Red Riding Hood’s cleavage is an eye magnet.

Oh yes, it’s a hard life being a super. Trying to figure out which women will be under him tonight. How about he stop thinking quite so hard? He wasn't especially good at it… when you don’t know what you’re doing, what is it you should do?

“Are you having fun?” Nashwa asked him at a quiet moment. “Hmm?” James asked, pulling his eyes away from Anna’s dark cleavage. “You seem distracted. Are you alright?” She smiled at him, her expression happy and content. There was a sudden change in the mood. The transformation rippled through the room, subtly turning the atmosphere of the room sour. Children’s smiles faded; an uneasy ripple passed through the people.
Right. Don't pretend you have all the answers.

James said, “I was thinking I need to talk with you about… eh?”

James looked around, trying to see whatever was spoiling the party.

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Screams erupted suddenly from all corners of the room. James barely had time to even start to focus on what was wrong when something appeared in front of him. It was a pudgy man, but he was pale white and mostly transparent. He was also vaguely familiar. "Hello... lover," he said to James with a smirk. After a second, James recognized him - it had been the shapeshifter he'd fought on the first aborted attempt to raid the armory.

"Uh, no," James said, simply because that seemed the wisest thing to say to that kind of statement.

"Oh, god," Nashwa whispered as she drew closer to James. He looked to see an older man, ghostly like the shapeshifter, glaring at her. Nash looked frightened, but she was also angry.

"Who is that?" Jo whispered.

"My father," Nash hissed, her fingers gripping James's arm tightly.

Behind him, he heard Jan and Helen scream; he looked over his shoulder to see men surrounding them. One of them he knew was Jan's husband; the others were men he remembered from the prison. Pat was huddled between Jan and Helen, her body shaking. An older woman was holding a baby, and they were staring at her with venom - even the child, who was too young for that kind of vehemence. Even Anna was affected; the young woman was frozen as a legless ghost dragged itself over the floor toward her.

The gates of Hell had opened into the heart of Olympus.

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  • 4 months later...

The last months had been amazing. With each passing day Venus grew more and more in power and confidence as she accepted her destiny as Goddess and her place amongst her fellow exalted. Han was a wonderful lover and companion and he never seemed to be upset if she went on her increasingly growing orgies.

This is how things should’ve been from the start and she was happy that Ares had decided to come with her instead of staying at Fox’s Refuge. She still had fond memories of Fox and his refuge but she also knew that if she had stayed she would’ve never experience this freedom she now felt.

When everyone was recovering from exhaustion after one of her extensive orgies Venus daydreamed about the Refuge imagining how live would’ve been if she had stayed. She’d be working at the hospital she imagined and trying to assist Myf but she also remembered no matter how hard she tried to “fit in” people always saw the “whore” in her. The one who screwed with your mind.

There was a time these thoughts would’ve made her angry or sad but now she barely felt any connection to it. She was only concerned about those she still had feelings for, like Jill, Julia and even Myfwanny.

Or Dan.

Venus hoped that she would’ve the chance to meet him again and show him that she was doing fine and his children would be growing up in a protected and caring community. No matter how wrong her breakup with him was, raising her children at Fox’s would’ve been impossible. Deep inside she knew it would’ve caused an even greater drama than her presence alone. In retrospect she did them a favor and her powers ironically had become elemental for the survival of all humanity.

The inhumanly beautiful Goddess of Love and Desire shook her head as she finished the line of thought smiling silently. No one could’ve guaranteed her safety there. People would’ve gone nuts – The Refuge would’ve imploded. Sometimes two wrongs can make one right.

Venus wasn’t sure what Destiny held in store for her but she was confident that the future looked bright – given the circumstances. Olympus wasn’t perfect, even here people needed to be punished and held in check but as long as Han’s rules were followed no one had to worry. They had plenty of resources and even children. There were actually children running around.

As Halloween came closer people started preparing for the festivities. People came up with all kinds of customes and Venus found herself happier than ever. Of course her needs grew as much as her belly did and her entourage of followers and worshippers made sure they wouldn’t “disturb” the festivities with their own party. There were too little kids around who shouldn’t witness anything of what was transpiring behind the doors to Venus’ lair.

Unfortunately peace was interrupted by unexpected screams. At first Venus thought that someone had come up with a very impressive costume and probably scared the shit out of the younger kids but the screams didn’t stop. Actually they got worse and when she was about to ask what was going on one of her followers had already approached looking as if he had seen the living dead... but that was impossible.

“Ghosts! Everywhere...!”, he managed to say before breaking down in tears. “They come to haunt us for our sins!”

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  • 2 weeks later...

Seconds after he spoke, there were ghosts among them. There was utter chaos as everyone in the former orgy panicked. Some people were running and screaming apologies; others were trying to fight. Venus turned, uncertain of what she should do – what she could do against these things. And then Venus recognized the ghosts materializing near here. She’d killed them, so many years ago when they’d raped her and infected her.

“Jennifer.” The hiss of the first ghost was repeated by the other ghosts, until her old name was being hurled at her like a weapon as they advanced.

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Venus stepped back instinctively and the name confused her at first but then something in the back of her mind made her hesitate. Tidbits of memories flashed in her minds eye making her even more confused than she was. The tall and prominently pregnant Goddess shyed back hoping to avoid any contact with the Ghosts while she tried to shake off the images of a past she forgot and didn't want to remember.

"Han!?...", she hesitantly called out. "Han!!! Ares!... Anyone, please?", she screamed with increasing fear. The fear of her followers filled the room and her senses and she struggled to keep her composure. What was going on? Why was this happening. Jennifer?... Jennifer... Venus searched for somewhere to retreat or some way to find a way out. "Everyone gather around me... we... we ward them off together.", she called out to her followers. "Someone get help, fast - find Ares or Han - fast!"

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Her followers formed a circle around her trying to find strength in numbers and defend their misstress from the disturbing apparitions. Venus tried to keep them calm and hide her own fear and confusion. Confusion caused by a name she nearly had forgotten but with it memories resurfaced which she couldn’t make sense of.

Venus staggered backwards gasping desperately. She had no way of warding herself against these... Ghosts. She couldn’t sense them and unlike the Zs, they couldn’t be hurt physically – at least not with her abilities.

The door sprung open and Venus saw the black magical blade Ares was wielding as he cut through a Ghost destroying it with one blow – or so it appeared. She smiled with great relief at her Knight in shining armor, although in his case rather sweating in his nudes. Somehow he managed to lose the only piece of clothing he was wearing... again but Ares didn’t seem to care about that.

“Everyone over to that corner!”, he commanded and cut another Ghost in half. He destroyed the remaining apparitions with relative ease and for a moment there was some silence and peace.

“Are you ok?”, he gave Venus a serious look trying to ascertain if she was fine by his limited abilities.

“Is anyone hurt?”, he quickly added addressing her followers.

“I’m fine...”, Venus answered breathlessly still caught between the shock and confusion but Ares’ presence was making things better quickly... much better.

“What is going on, Ares?”, she asked him finding herself drawn to him. Being close to Ares made her feel safe and protected.

“I’m not sure – looks like the Ghost of past have literally showed up. I hoped you knew more. Anyway – I can kill them with my blade – so what we’ll do is create a safe zone and get everyone there. You stay close while I fight myself through the main hall. I’m sure I’m not the only one who can destroy them.”

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  • 2 weeks later...

"You are not." Han was in the room suddenly, appearing out of nothing and nowhere. "I have been killing them, whatever they are."

"Shades of Tartarus!" The woman who stated this actually screamed it hysterically. "They've come back to punish us!"

"Hush." The word was not delivered with kindness; Han was a terrible god of anger now, and he would not suffer fools. "If they are coming to punish the gods, then they are the dumbest fucking shades ever." He drew himself up and said, "Ares, go secure the hallway, and from there the other rooms. Gather the other warriors and send the others here. I'll guard this room against the dead. The true dead."

When Ares had gone, Han turned to Venus, his voice softening. "Are you all right?"

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Part of her was thrilled seeing Han in his state of anger. He would exact vengeance and revell in his power and after that he would probably take her - she was looking forward to that but right now more pressing matters were urging her to focus.

She nodded briefly but he could tell her response wasn't honest. "I'm not really sure, my love... I'm confused and... scared.", this wasn't the right time or place to share her worries with him especially since she had visions and flickers of memories she didn't quiet understand or felt vaguely connected to - but they felt more like a bad dream to her.

"I think these ghosts are causing more than meets the eye... but I'm powerless against them... maybe I can help if you find the source.", there was a glint of hope in her voice. If this was caused by another exalted then she had a chance. If not... well she didn't want to think about the implications of that line of thoughts.

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  • 1 month later...

“We’re not powerless.” There are many voices that would be matched with those words, but not Nashwa’s. Venus and Han turned to see her leading a group of people – Jo, Jan, and Ares’s family, along with others who weren’t: children and men and woman without powers. Many of them were holding Jack O Lanterns high, the golden candlelight bouncing and dancing around the group. “When you know the lore, you have the power.”

“Lore?” Han asked, his eyes narrowing.

“The veil between the living and the dead are narrowest on Samhien.” Pat spoke, but her voice was filled with fear as she talked.

“And ghosts and evil spirits are held at bay by the Jack O Lantern.” Nash was clearly pleased. This was more validation for her religious beliefs.

“But I like killing them better,” Han said, smirking a little.

“Both ways keep people safe, yes.” Pat didn’t sound like she was arguing, not really.

The warriors moved quickly, gathering up the stray remnants of people around Olympus and bringing them to safety. It had ruined Venus’s orgy, but she found that she didn’t care. Instead all the non-combatants gathered together and told each other stories. Venus’s abilities to alter people’s emotions were now put to the task of improving the mood of the room. The warriors went out and killed ghosts. Venus wasn’t sure they were killing them, but they were sending the dead away – at least for now.

Slowly, morning came. As the danger passed, people began to dare to move around again. People began to cook breakfast and the warriors came back, having cleared out Olympus – and Tartarus, just to be safe. Everyone ate together. Han was silent, eating steadily and stoically. Suddenly, he rose, marched over to Venus and kissed her. “I have to go. I’ll be back later.”

Without a word, he stepped through one of his strange warps and he was gone. After an hour, he returned, silent and brooding. All he would say was that Violet’s friends at the Refuge were all right.

Not long after, Nash drew all the pagans together. “I think that last night showed us, all of us, that the time of magic has come again.” She looked each of them in the eyes and added, “And I want us to harness it. To learn it, use it and make ourselves and our families strong.”

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