The current world is full of curiosities. For the passed millennia humans have developed in ways science never could have predicted. These mutations caused vast variances in appearance. One might get something as simple as a previously unnatural shade of hair, but there were times when the alteration was something much more extreme. It was rare at first, but with time it became more extraordinary to appear unaltered.
Then five hundred years ago it came to be that the mutations affected more than physical form. People were being born with abilities. A cult, The Sect, began to arise claiming these individuals to be more than human, to be gods, and they were deemed celestials. The Sect fostered many young celestials abilities until their egos grew out of control. Believing they were meant to inherit the Earth the celestials created factions that gained power until they were truly a threat. War broke out. The battling lasted nearly fifteen years before it was quelled. Humanity had won, and all the members of the opposing side were put to death.
Now in the present day, the celestials are beginning to appear again. With the cultist ideas now outlawed they live their lives out in peace like everyone else. However the ideals held by the factions still survive, hiding in small clusters across the globe. A specialized task force is dedicated to finding the remnants of these groups and snuffing them out.
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At hearing her name, Epiphany perked up. It had been particularly boring this morning so she was glad for a distraction. The tone of Kira’s voice however was less appealing. It was the hesitant apprehension of someone who had made a mistake. Perhaps she was finally ready to admit that they had messed up and that the blonde could return home. As much as she hoped this to be true, even the goddess knew it was a long shot.
[b “Yes, what is it?”] Clinging to the small chance at a miracle, her words were moderately jovial. She listened, losing that light of happiness as Kira explained what they would be doing with the day. Narrowing her eyes at the woman, the red-eyed gal was not pleased. Not one bit.
Epiphany had known she was supposed to take some sort of classes, but she had half thought they had forgotten about it. There wasn’t anything useful she felt that these people could teach her. She continued on, remaining vocal to that fact. [b “I have already been schooled, and quite well. I don’t see the need for all this… Not to mention I am tired today. I don’t feel like going out.”] That last bit was a blatant lie. She ever so desperately wanted to be out of this house, but leaving to be brain washed by heathens was not high on her list of priorities.
Her guard relayed everything she said over the phone and not long after the device was passed along to her. On the other side was the detestable one. The woman threatened her with being locked back up if she didn’t comply. Losing what little freedom she had left was also not to be taken lightly. Epiphany fought back for a short while, but Rochester didn’t budge. Eventually the conversation ended. It did not go the goddess’ way and her mood reflected that. She pouted the entire way to the car and most of the drive to wherever they were going. It was back in the city, but that didn’t tell her much.
When they made it to their destination, the thin woman took in its cold appearance. Nothing about the exterior was welcoming. However upon entering the décor was bright and inviting. For this she was glad. The tiny bit of hope it afforded her did not last long, as Rochester was their waiting for them. Flanking her was a woman. Her outfit was pristine; she looked as though she might be important. It caused Epiphany to walk a little taller.
When the four women came together the chief officer was the one to speak first. [b “This is Mrs. Sofia Jackson, she is a top notch psychiatrist and she is going to be observing you as you go about your day today.”]
Epiphany wrinkled her nose. A shrink, really? It was useless, but she kept the notion to herself for the time being.
Sandy continued to talk. [b “After that you two will come together tomorrow for your first official session to try and get things sorted out.”] The woman didn’t have too much confidence that this would work, but they would try. They owed Epiphany at least that much. It wasn’t her fault that she had been raised the way she was.
With rather brisk introductions out of the way, Rochester primed Kira for the task at hand. They were basic instruction to keep an eye out like she had been, and to participate alongside Epiphany even if the tasks seemed menial or stupid. The first thing would be an accurate history course. God knew that those people had told her had happened in the world. After that they would move on to things like cooking, cleaning, and etiquette for public spaces. There was a lot she needed to know before she could assimilate back into society. The hope was that she would one day be able to live on her own, even if it would likely be under some sort of surveillance… just in case.
With that Rochester excused herself and they were left to move on with their day. Sofia stayed silent after her introduction, an attempt to interfere as little as possible while watching Epiphany.
Louis didn't directly respond to her question, but as long as he was answering her question in some way she did not mind. It did sound confusing for Kira, why take up a job which was boring? If there was a choice of what job someone wanted, wouldn't they pick a job in which they'd not describe as boring? Or maybe the "excitement" that had happened in where Kira was currently working make all other jobs seem boring?
Kira laughed with him as Louis suggested opening up her own tea house. It wouldn't exactly be a tea house though, tea houses were more like those tea shops one found in the Chinatown areas. That would mean storing a bunch of imported tea leaves in big glass containers, and also have an area where one could taste the tea before actually buying. It was possible to do it, just seemed like a complete whirl.
After the movie that Epiphany had been watching ended, Louis left.
And the week passed by, as if it were some sort of dream. Walking the dog, buying groceries, washing the clothes, typing up documents on the computer....
The morning of a week since Epiphany had arrived. Kira, as per usual, was getting breakfast made while Epiphany did whatever she was doing. But the unusual part of the morning happened when her cellphone began to vibrate in her pocket. Her hands were free and clean, so Kira picked up the phone and brought it to her ear.
It was Rochester, not even a good morning from her. Instead, a direct question. Kira paused, she had forgot to tell Epiphany hadn't she? [+purple "Let me get back to you on that."] Kira hastily shoved the phone back into her pocket. She had screwed up again, forgot to tell Epiphany about when the classes would be starting. And Kira knew how Epiphany would think about those classes, and maybe the tentative relationship she did have with Epiphany would go back down all the way to zero.
[+purple "Epiphany..?? I forgot to tell you something."]
Louis shrugged. [b “That’s the hard part. It really depends on your interests.”] He looked over toward the TV that was playing some sort of action flick. The man didn’t care for those sorts of films. Probably because of how unrealistic they were. He’d lived that life; there weren’t so many happy endings in real life. [b “I took up a desk job. It’s a bore, but the people are nice.”] Louis was the type to be able to endure that sort of thing though. [b “Maybe you could get a job at a tea house. Or hell, start up your own.”] He laughed at the suggesting, as it was mainly a joke.
Epiphany looked back glaring. His laugh was loud, loud enough to drown out the whispered words coming from the television. It was short lived enough that she didn’t say anything. Eventually her show came to its close. It was as action packed, as one would expect. It was satisfying even though she didn’t really understand or relate to the protagonist. In all honesty she didn’t need to enjoy the flick.
Shortly after that, Louis took his leave. Epiphany was glad to see him go. He had been nothing more than a nuisance to her. The blonde just hoped that he didn’t come to visit often. She much preferred the boring quiet to his poor behavior.
The day came slowly to its close. There wasn’t much to fill up the time. The next day was the same, and the one that followed that. Before Epiphany knew it the entire week passed in this manner. Still, she couldn’t complain. It was better by far than the time she spent in that terrible room. And with practice she even managed to figure out the shower. A feat she was rather proud of.
How long had she done this job?? Monger than she had served in the armed forces for sure; she also had seen a lot more weird shit happening in the first few months of working with this organization than she had seen in the years of her military experience, for sure.
Kira found herself agreeing with Louis as he sat down next to her, all these crazy hours did end up getting on someone's nerves. Although Kira slightly disagreed about the whole "doing impossible" business, there had been many things that she had gone through while serving the armed forces that had seemed impossible until they turned out to be possible. In a way, serving in the armed forces was more dangerous because of the ever looming threat of incoming fire from any direction at any time of day. But at the same time, working where she worked right now did seem somewhat dangerous as the foe that had to be dealt with was much more sneaky.
Epiphany had turned the movie back on and had turned down the volume, a gesture which Kira appreciated as listening to blaring sound to something she wasn't even watching did get on the nerves. Sliding closer over to Louis, [+purple "Would't happen to have any suggestions about other work perchance?"]
Epiphany was irritated that her question was never answered, but judging by how Kira left the room to take up the entirety of the couch it must have been nothing. She was slightly disappointed. Louis was on her list again now for having the nerve to glare at her. There was only one person who had done that to her face before, and that was Rodriguez and we all know how much the goddess [I loved] her.
Marching out to the living area, she was done socializing. However, there were people crowding the area. All she wanted to do was watch her movie. Sighing, this was the pits. It felt like she wasn’t getting anything she wanted.
Louis looked at Kira, who was looking rather defeated at the moment. He decided not to press for more details for the time being. [b “Yeah, I would really recommend it.] Pushing lightly at the woman’s legs he took a seat. [b “You won’t have to worry about ridiculous hours, or being ask to do the impossible.”] Sure it didn’t always seem impossible, but when you were in a force like that for long enough you started wanting to save everyone, and that wasn’t going to happen. A person could only manage what’s directly in front of them, no matter who they are.
Not wanting to sit on the couch with the others, Epiphany sat on her legs on the ground. Taking up the remote, she restarted her movie. The blonde even went as far to turn it down. This was both out of her grace and the fact that she kinda wanted to hear what they were talking about.
There was a short moment of silence before Louis replied, Kira wasn't completely satisfied with his answer. What if someone had followed him without notice? Yes Louis used to be ex-military, but even military people could be trailed without them ever knowing that they were being trailed.
Louis suspiciously looked at Epiphany, while Epiphany looked around confusedly. Louis was probably suspicious of Kira not telling him the truth, which to be fair he had a good reason to think so,and Epiphany probably had never experienced these types of situations before; Epiphany had only experienced one such situation, and that had been, at least in Epiphany's eyes, a massive betrayal by someone whom she had trusted.
After Epiphany, there was another period of high-strung silence. Epiphany asked about what was going on, which Louis followed up by glaring at Epiphany. Kira sighed, swung her head downwards, and put her right hand palm up on her forehead. In this pose, she walked over to the couch before sitting down on it. Sprawling on the couch, [+purple "Hey Louis, maybe after I finish with this. Maybe, I'll do what you did. Quit this job and find myself a more regular job."] Epiphany gave a short laugh at the end.
Louis looked at Kira, who was clearly on edge. He hadn’t expected her to jump up like that. It put him on high alert as well. The man stayed seated at the table, listening intently in the quiet as though he was trying to pick up anything that might be happening around them. The quiet was cut when Kira asked him if he was followed.
[b “Not as far as I know, but I wasn’t exactly looking out for it.”] He worked a desk job for fucks sake. There wasn’t a reason for him to be followed anymore. Glancing over to Epiphany he wondered just who in the hell she actually was. Something about the woman seemed more than just a cultist. He had the sinking suspicion that once again Kira hadn’t been exactly straight with him.
The blonde sat straight in her seat. What in the world was going on now? Everyone here was so strange. All this bouncing around over what she was pretty sure was nothing. That being said the woman didn’t have any sense for when she was being watched. As a goddess she had been under constant surveillance, a lifestyle that lead her being insensitive to such situations. [b “What is going on now?”] It was a vague question, even though it was clear that Kira thought there was someone there. Epiphany couldn’t help but wonder if her followers had finally come to collect her. Wouldn’t that be grand?
Louis shot her a glare as if he was telling her to be quiet, and Epiphany didn’t appreciate it. She sighed rather loudly, but didn’t speak again so that they could focus on whatever game it was they were playing here.
It was quiet, really quiet. The sounds outside weren't heard through the shut glass windows, nor were they loud enough to be heard from inside the house. There was some sort of tension floating in the midst of the three of them, as if the silence was an unnatural thing when there were people drinking tea. This didn't cause Kira any concern, as she was thinking about how the future would play out.
This silence, even though it didn't cause her any concern, it did cause Epiphany some concern. Epiphany, it sounded as if she hadn't wanted to ask that question, asked about human habits concerning what happened during tea time. More silence followed, before Louis replied; that was true it depended on the people.
Kira decided that she should say something, but as she began to say something, she stopped. She had this weird and unusual feeling that someone was watching her. With military precision, she put down the cup and walked over to the window, where she began looking out the window while hiding herself behind the corner of the window. Kira reached down to her hips to unholster her pistol, but she had left the pistol in its holster in her bedroom. Turning around to Louis, [+purple "Did anyone follow you to my house??"]
Epiphany was surprised at the quiet that fell over the room. Where these people not friends? Didn’t friends talk incessantly? She was beginning to think they didn’t like each other either. If that was the case why did Kira allow Louis in her house? If she were in charge he wouldn’t have gained entrance. All that she was able to pull from the situation was that mortals were confusing. She did not care for not understanding the situation so she stuck around even after she had finished her cup of tea.
Kira was acting differently now. Now Epiphany didn’t know the woman well, not by any means, but she found her fluctuation of demeanor odd. For the longest time Louis didn’t say anything either. The whole situation was awkward for her, but she was determined to stay fast. Eventually she was the one to speak.
Her golden eyes flickered between the others at the table. [b “Is it common to drink tea in silence like this here?”] Sure she could have kept quiet and tried to find out that way, but she thought this might be faster. And seeing as she was growing bored of the scene playing out in front of her, faster was better.
Although she was looking for an answer form Kira, the man was the first one to reply. [b “Depends on the people I guess.”] He shrugged after making the comment. Apparently he remained unfazed by what she found to be an uncomfortable atmosphere. She found that vexing.
Kira heard a loud and emphatic [b "yes"] from Epiphany; since the tone sounded more positive than negative, Kira assumed that maybe Epiphany liked drinking tea. Of course the question, out of curiosity only, would Epiphany enjoy the way she made tea. Kira knew that not everybody who had drank her homemade tea had liked it.
Epiphany had decided to walk herself to the kitchen, but Kira could see the slight displeasure on her face at seeing Louis. Probably still somewhat angry at him for calling her name strange and therefore insulting her. But, to his credit, Louis did attempt to try and make amends by apologizing; Kira hoped that it wasn't too late to apologize.
Kira relaxed when Epiphany decided to let the whole thing go. Although the word choice made it sound aggressive. The word transgression, it sounded as if Louis had broken some law. Or maybe, or maybe Epiphany had grown up with her own code of conduct which Louis had accidentally violated.
Anyways, tea time came, even though it wasn't 5pm, and the room became more quiet. Even though Louis and Epiphany sat at the table, Kira drank her tea leaning against one of the kitchen walls. Kira stared vacantly off into the distance while drinking her tea, not really paying attention if anything was happening behind the table. Kira missed Epiphany's comment about her tea, and did not attempt to figure out what Epiphany had said.
Kira then suddenly shook her head, walked to the table without spilling any tea. Drawing out a seat, Kira sat down somewhat dejectedly.
If tea hadn’t sounded so good, Epiphany would have quickly declined. However she found herself pausing the film once again to go to the kitchen. [b “Yes!”] Standing from her seat once again she found her way to the kitchen. The linoleum was cold on the bottoms of her feet and unfortunately, Louis was still there. Had he not come up to her, she would have ignored him.
[b “Hey, sorry about earlier. I didn’t mean anything by it.”] His smile was sickly sweet, but she was glad he seemed to notice his mistake. [b “Hopefully we can be friends. Why don’t you sit down at the table with us.”] He motioned to the dinning table behind him.
Lifting a brow at the man, she wasn’t so sure about that friends bit. But she would be cordial enough to accept the apology. [b “I will forgive your transgression this time.”] Her tone was a little less forgiving than her words. It was clear Louis had a hard time keeping his smile up, but he managed.
Walking up to Kira, Epiphany took her designated cup and carried it to the table. The ceramic mug was warm in her hands, but she didn’t mind it. The blonde couldn’t be burned, a perk that came with the being a sun goddess. Taking a seat she waited for the others to do the same. Bringing the cup to her mouth she sipped lightly at the drink, letting the hot liquid coat her tongue. It was good, and she was picky about her tea.
[b “I like it.”] The comment was made in an appreciative pitch. Nodding lightly she continued to drink slowly, savoring it. It would give her something to do while the other talked. She was sure there wouldn’t be much need for her to participate. It was more a show of solidarity.
It felt extremely good that Louis understood the situation that fast, it meant that despite his years off the force he was still quick on his feet. Even though it felt as if Louis was yelling at her, Kira knew he wasn’t yelling at her. He was only concerned for her personal safety, that was one sign of friendship. Kira appreciated the kind gestures, but she thought that if this “crazy cultist” had wanted her dead, Epiphany could have killed her already with those celestial powers. But Epiphany had not attempted to kill her, but whether that meant that Epiphany would actually try to kill her was debatable. But when that time came, then that’s when Kira would solve that problem.
Kira took a deep breath and sighed heavily, letting out the spike of adrenaline she had received when she had dragged Louis up the stairs. She let go of him and took a few deep breaths with closed eyes. Kira looked back up at Louis, he was smiling that apologetic smile of his. Kira rubbed her eyes with her left hand before looking back up. [+purple “Just don’t forget to go down and apologize. I’d worry less about my life, and more about yours. You’re the one who made her angry, even though it was ok accident.”]
Kira walked down the stairs, and reboiled the water. She took out three cups, and put a dash of black tea leaves in each. Taking out half a lemon from the refrigerator, Kira cut out three thin slices and deposited the slices in each cup. After putting the lemon back into the fridge, Kira poured the hot water from the kettle into each of the cups, steam wafted upwards as the hot air came into contact with the colder air. [+purple “Tea’s ready. Epiphany, would you like some?”]
Before Epiphany had time to really mull over her choices, Kira jumped in. She dragged the man off. The blonde couldn’t help but smirk. He had gotten in trouble. Somewhat satisfied with that outcome, she meandered back to the TV room. This little outburst had officially put Kira on the list of people that the goddess appreciated. It was not a long list and was of course an honor. She would tell her later when the unwanted guest left. Perhaps after the movie as well, she didn’t want her to think she was that important.
Louis’ eyes widened at this new information, but only for a moment before he narrowed them at his former coworker. [b “You let one of those crazy cultists in your house?!”] The tone was hushed, but urgent. [b “You know she is probably just after some revenge or something, right?”] There was concern in his voice. [b “And why did you lie to me about it? Jesus, I wouldn’t have said all that if I knew she was psycho.”] Years on that force had taught the man one thing, the Sect was bad news. They were conniving and straight up nuts. They kidnapped and brainwashed children for fuck’s sake. The dark haired man pinched the bridge of his nose attempting to process all the information. [b “What do want me to do, apologize to her so she doesn’t sacrifice you to her weird celestial gods in your sleep?”] It might have sounded like more joking, and it was, but only to a certain extent.
Taking in a deep breath, he had pretty much vented all his frustration with the situation. [b “Sorry… I just can’t believe the ops has gotten you wrapped up in something like this. I didn’t mean to be a dick.”] This shady stuff was exactly why he left the force when he did. [b “If I promise to behave can I still get some of that amazing tea of yours?”] Louis put on an apologetic smile, it was sincere. Although it was pretty clear he was trying to dig himself out of the dog house.
Kira went straight to busy herself with the electric kettle, hoping that Epiphany and Louis could come to some sort of agreement. As she was pouring the water into the electric kettle, she heard Louis introducing himself first, Epiphany was probably still not comfortable with the idea of introducing oneself to a stranger; this was one good experience to make that uncomfortable feeling into a comfortable one.
But as Kira put down the electric kettle back onto its base, she could hear Epiphany's voice, and it did not sound either friendly or cordial; it sounded very angry. Kira felt as if her heart had dropped all the way down to her stomach, and then rebounded with a mighty thump back upwards, she had not expected such an outburst from Epiphany. But what if Epiphany was not pulling a joke, but just saying the words she would've said if it hadn't been for these unusual circumstances?
Louis evidently thought this whole thing was a joke. Kira could hear his loud, booming laughter echo across the kitchen; Kira started to get ticked off by Louis. As Louis proceeded to express his opinions that this whole thing was a joke, Kira felt more and more ticked off. Seeing him air quotes, simply raised her "ticked-off" meter another notch.
Epiphany's crossed arms were the final straw.
As the electrical kettle started to boil, Kira strode off towards Louis and grabbed him tightly by the wrist. She dragged him towards the stairs, and then up the stairs. Pulling him aside, Kira pinned him to the wall and in a deadly whipser, [+purple "Ok, you got me. The truth is... My previous ops was supposed to be a textbook building infiltration op. Somehow something went wrong, and then this girl, Epiphany shows out of nowhere. The thing is, she wanted to come with us, and we were supposed to say no? We pulled her out with us, and I got stuck with helping her adapt to this world. Herrstein??"]
Things were just getting good when she heard Kira’s voice call out to her. A pouting expression on her face, she used the remote to pause the show so that she wouldn’t miss anything. She had no particular interest in meeting who she assumed was the man that had been outside, but in order to keep good faith she stood and entered the kitchen with the others.
Just as she thought it was the one from the other side of the door. The dog was also there, taking a wide path around the beagle she stood in front of the stranger and waited for him to speak. After all there was no way she was going to let him get away without introducing himself first. It should have been Kira’s job to do so, but she was busing herself with the kettle.
The dark haired man took the hint and smiled. [b “Hey there, my names Louis, nice to meet you Epiphany, was it? That’s a strange name.”] He extended his hand for her to shake.
Lifting a brow, the blonde stared down at his hand. [b “My name is a description of myself, thank you very much. Insulting it is like insulting me.”] Her gaze snapped up so that their eyes met. She decided she did not like this man and with that being the case she would not be civil. [b “Also, take your hand back, I will not accept it. You may bow or grovel if you wish.”] She was one hundred percent serious.
This reaction being one of the over the top things he had ever seen, Louis began to laugh. It was a loud bellowing sound, Epiphany found it jarring. Her distaste for him only grew. Through his laughing he spoke. [b “Oh man, this chick’s a riot. I bet you’d be a hit back at the office.”] Turning to Kira he directed the rest of the conversation towards her. [b “Holy hell, you finally got me with one of you terrible pranks. I was totally excepting an actual kid. This must be the best ‘babysitting’ gig ever.”] He used his hands to add quotation-al emphasis on the word babysitting.
Epiphany crossed her arms, she was not happy. There was no way be was being babysat. She was a grown woman for goodness sake, not to mention a god! Knowing full well she could end him in a heartbeat, the woman debated whether or not she actually would.
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