Selene had a dream-chat with her dead grandma and then the witches gathered to help her get rid of a few extra passengers; Balsam thought it was beautiful, but everyone else was pretty freaked out by the whole event (bc puppy, but not in a good way), and jury is still out on whether or not Oly successfully escaped.
Artemis finally made it down those basement stairs to have a weird surprise moment with her brother and his vampire daddy, but it was interrupted by Oberon and his garlic bomb and he was all “rawr, gonna cut a bitch” but then something must’ve happened because Persephone and Khafre got magic tickles and ran over and the basement was totes empty…so they boned (bc that’s what you do ok).
Oh, but first Persephone took her power back so that no one could have time travel adventures anymore (dawww!).
Also, Oberon might have somehow ended up hanging with Nerissa…
(dis is maximum kitteh sadness rating)
“Here we go, upsie daisy!”
“Unhand me at once!”
The great oaf only patted her bottom fondly.
“We will arrive in no time! Never to worry cutie pie!”
“I am a future Queen!” Did he not understand that she was Athena’s chosen? Their accents marked them as foreigners, heathens; perhaps they did not understand the power of the Goddess…
“Once this was so, yes,” the woman chuckled, “but ah, now you are a future something else! How exciting, you are thinking, I am sure.”
“Do not fret sweetie! Such a pretty girl like you? They will treat you so nice and gentle in The Basin.” This was, apparently supposed to be a comfort.
The Basin. Kebechet began to feel her panic rising.
“Please release me! I don’t want to go! Please!“
“So many things the lovely girl may or may not want,” agreed the woman, “perhaps our kind employer will have a look at her and decide there is a much better use for that noisy little tongue?”
“Ahh, yes cutie pie!” The lumbering hulk agreed, “you will stay with us maybe instead of going to the slavers, eh? Tadla will like your pretty face and pouty mouth I think!” Another gentle pat on the bottom.
Kebechet did not like either of those options; why would they think that she would? This Tadla did not sound like someone she wanted to meet, nor did she wish to be given to the slavers–regardless of how gently the pale troll thought she would be treated.
Kebechet was not a slave, she was a Queen.
‘Perhaps Athena is testing me?’ Yes, was that not how so many of the stories went? Bastet, alone worthy amid an entire nation of Amazon women, serving years at the feet of the Goddess. Raet, enduring much hardship and loss, made to carve out a home for her people from a wild and treacherous jungle.
This was a test, and Queen Kebechet would pass it!
“Where is the lovely girl going with such haste?” The woman’s voice followed her into the trees, disconcertingly nonchalant.
“She bit me.”
“Yes, it is so.”
“Do you think it will be infected?”
“The silly giant is especially silly today, I am thinking.”
Ulfr eyes brimmed with unshed tears, “it is so owie, I must sit down.”
“The silly giant will wait here, and the lovely girl will be fetched by me, yes?”
“She’s gone, grandmother, I’m going to go look for her–“
“Whatever for, my dear? Let her go, she’s of no use to us any longer.”
“I love her–“
“You do not love her, silly boy,” Sabit tried very hard not to roll her eyes, “she ensorcelled you; not intentionally, I’ll grant you that, but rest assured the feeling will pass in short order.”
“The girl has given us a great tresure, Tola, in return, we will allow her the choice of her freedom.”
“The jungle is a dangerous place!” He protested.
“So it is, and yet she chose to brave its dangers as opposed to staying here under your protection; I say leave her to it.”
“She took the sorcerer with her, you know,” he snapped, “snatched my key for the lower gate, and the cell key was on that ring too; I found it on the ground outside the tunnel exit.”
“So she has betrayed us,” Sabit felt a frisson of irritation, “fine. Go. Track them down, fetch him back here if you can, kill him if you cannot.”
Raga cooed in her arms, “do what you wish with the girl.”
Kebechet had barely made it a hundred paces into the treeline before the grinning woman popped out in front of her, spear in hand.
“The lovely girl is not going the correct way to her wonderful new home, it is fortunate I have found her, yes?”
“Please! I am with child, let me go home!”
“But of course, lovely girl! Come this way, it is not far.”
“I will not go with you, you cannot make me!” Her voice sounded pitiful even in her own ears; the woman chuckled.
“The lovely girl could always try to find it on her own, of course, but I am thinking something terrible might befall her in such a place, yes? And then perhaps she would not be quite so lovely anymore.” The tip of the woman’s spear glinted, and Kebechet felt her last vestiges of hope slip away.
A sudden rustle in the foliage, and a figure rushed out from behind the mercenary.
Pili grabbed the woman, and tried to wrestle the weapon from her grasp.
“Run Kebechet!” He yelled.
The woman laughed, as though the whole affair were a great jest.
The princess turned and ran.
“You need to hustle, Komasi; 10/10 these fuckers are going to come after us.”
“I am trying to make haste, but they took my footwear and the ground is–“
“Omigoddess, you fancy people and your delicate parts; here, take mine.”
“I thank you, my apologies for being a burden.”
“Yeah, whatever, don’t mention it, look, you don’t even have to follow me okay? You can like, go off in your own direction.”
“I–agree that it would be wise to part ways, however, ah–“
“The witch fitted me with an item that suppresses my abilities to defend myself, and I–“
“You mean that collar thing squeezes or neck and makes you woozy or something?”
“Is it like, a magic thing?” “Don’t looked so shocked, I know all about that shit, you see my hair? Yeah, all magicked to heck, freaked me the fak out when she did it too!”
“So she is truly gifted then,” he gasped, peering closely at the girl’s fiery mane.
“Woa buddy, respect the bubble.”
“My apologies, I am not normally so…” he sighed, “everything has gone completely wrong and I am not handling it well.”
“Yeah no worries, I feel you man, you been through some shit, I been through some…
“It’s fine, fuck, come on, let’s go–you can follow me for a bit more, okay? Just don’t drag your ass or I’ll leave you behind.”
As quick as a snake, the huntress released the spear to him, and he felt pressure against his belly.
“What manner of creature jumps so swiftly from out of bushes,” she twisted the blade buried in his flesh, “is it a rabbit do you think?”
Pili’s arms and legs seemed to give way of their own volition, and he dropped both the weapon and the woman as a nearly paralyzing shock took over.
“Ah yes, a bald rabbit! Perhaps he should not have grabbed this woman without her permission, you are thinking, I am sure.”
“Leave my daughter alone,” he gasped, feeling a sticky warmth seep through his fingers, “take me instead, if it’s a slave you’re after.”
“The bald rabbit wishes to be a slave, but I am seeing that he is damaged beyond repair, and would not fetch very many coins with such a terrible leak.”
“I just need some stitches, I’ll be fine.”
“No, bald rabbit, you will not be fine.”
“Artemis, are you alright?” Two faces swam into view, blocking the lush canopy of green that swayed overhead.
“No, I think I’m dead.”
“Er, no, Artemis, you are quite alive, I assure you; I can hear your heart functioning.”
The young woman turned her head slightly toward her brother, taking in the vast field of stars twinkling in the dying light.
“Just help me up numbskull, and then you can tell me where the shit we are,” everything ached all to hell, “I feel like I just went through a spin cycle in the dryer.”
“Where we are, I’m afraid, will trouble you less than when we are.”
The young woman felt a prickle of irritation at the vampire’s words. Beside her, Mosi made a strangled noise.
“You’d better not be suggesting what the crap I think you’re suggesting–“
“But–how can this be? I remember only a terrible smell, and then I felt as though I were choking! Surely this is not how temporal–“
“I am not entirely certain on the details of how all of this came about, but, there was an item in our vault that has been used for such purposes before,” he spread his hands in a gesture of surrender, “though I have been most diligent in keeping it wrapped and hidden away so that such a thing as this could not occur.”
“Used for such purposes before?” She demanded, “what, you mean you guys just hop around through time all willy nilly whenever you damn well feel like it?”
“No, it is used but rarely,” sighed Mosi, “what I do not understand is how it was able to become discharged from it’s secured location.”
“There is only one other who knew of the location of the item; the High Priestess of the temple,” his countenance darkened at the implication of his thoughts, “if she had removed the item from it’s resting place while I was away fetching Mosi, and set it into the floor of the crypt…”
“Well why the crap would she do that without telling you? Unless the two of you are enemies or something, but then it seems pretty stupid to be up and leaving something like that unguarded with your enemy living upstairs.”
“To my knowledge we were not enemies, for I had not ever met her, nor any that came before her since my early days at the temple, it…” he paused, considering some stray thought, “it became necessary to put rules in place that separated the Guardians from the Priestesses.”
“Yeah, I don’t blame you; I met one of them, and when I say this woman was weird af, keep in mind I was raised on a magical island with witches, so like, next level weird.”
“I just want to return home,” sighed Mosi, “as the object that causes temporal displacement exists, possibly, in this time as well, can we not simply find the temple and use it to restore ourselves to the correct place in the continuum?”
“It depends on when we are, but possibly, yes,” Mosi’s vampire-daddy scanned their surroundings, “come, we will head north until I get my bearings; that we are in the jungle of Simchu Pichu, there can be no doubt, which will mean many months of travel to reach the temple, should it stand.”
As Artemis and her brother turned to follow their new jungle safari guide, she suddenly remembered the man in the black robe who’d come to kill the vampires. Where did he go? It didn’t look like he’d landed anywhere nearby, still they should probably keep an eye out…
“Hey, Anubis, sooo just a heads up about the smelly convulsions you guys had back at the temple–“
It was taking longer than he’d thought; the air was cooling and the light fading, but maybe it’d only been a few minutes since the woman left, and maybe this was just what happened when you bled out.
It’d never occurred to Pili that he would end up dying alone.
Okay, and now he was hearing things, too…
“Pili!” Anubis? Had the boy followed him back from the temple? Pili tried to muster the strength to move, but…
“Is he dead?!” Artemis asked, her voice catching on the last word.
He had more lines on his face than she remembered, but she’d been a kid last time she’d seen him…would he even recognize her now?
“No, his heart beats faintly still,” the vampire took her father’s hand with great care, “Pili, can you hear me?”
A million questions ran through the young woman’s mind, but her sadness pushed the most desperate one to the foreground.
“You’re vampires though, I mean, can’t you…do something? Something vampirey?”
“No, sister, we cannot,” Mosi’s voice was muffled behind his hands, “once cured, one is forever after immune to the turning.”
“The boy is right, I’m afraid–ah!“
Suddenly Mosi’s muffled snarfling turned into a proper hiccuping sob.
“That is…” Anubis didn’t have to say it, Artemis felt the shift in their energy as the vampires both marked the same moment, “…that is it, I’m afraid; he is gone.”
The young woman found herself dropping to her knees in disbelief.
“That can’t be it…” she refused to believe that they had been brought to this specific time and place only to see her father die. That wasn’t how it was supposed to go! What was the point of that? “That doesn’t make any sense! You’re wrong, we have to save him, there must be a way!”
“Come, we will take him home, it is not terribly far from here,” she heard the older vampire speak over her protests, “step aside, I will carry him…Mosi, help your sister to her feet, we should not tarry here.”
Artemis didn’t want to let go, but she felt her brother pulling her away from their father’s body with a firm but gentle grip.
Aaand, that’s a wrap for Gen 3! I mean, obviously there will still be Gen 3 chars every-damn-where when we pick back up, but next chapter we’ll start hearing from some Gen 4 characters.
Thank you once again to everyone who submitted sims for me to
torture include in this story, and congrats especially to Haflinger whose lovely girl got the honours of poking a hole in LotL’s most infamous abs!