• (read chapter one first biggrin )
    Chapter two: Scathach

    So I fly over the Midwest US, going towards the East Coast. Someone had posed as me, stormed into Hephaestus' forge, stolen Ares shield, and sent the raging idiot after me. There are only a few beings I know capable of taking on the identity of a Guardian Angel, even briefly. Scathach (the Shadow), Nyx (goddess of night) and Tsukoyomi, god of the moon. I only know where one of them is, and that's Scathach, and she's in Boston. Good God, help me.

    I fly into Boston, making record time as usual, and since i don't know my way around, just start looking for the brightest aura. Bingo, a birght purple aura lights up the skyline. Its on the coast of the Charles River, emanating from a small building, almost a hole in the wall. I land in a back alley a few blocks away, in case I'm being watched, and un-Cloak. I cast a Glamour over my wings and stalk quietly through the noisy city streets. Car horns blare, people shout, the air smells like pollution, and all that jazz. Of course I hate it, and I question myself. Is hunting down an imposter for Ares worth it? What's the worst he could do?

    And then I remember his father. Zues. I hop to it, walking even more quickly through the Boston night. I realize suddenly that I'll be getting some mild jet lag later, from flying from Kansas to Massachusettes so quickly. It's late fall on the East Coast, and damn, its cold. There's a rain coming down, cobweb rain, making it hazy. In my long gray coat, with my rain-proof fedora and pale skin, I look like a film noir cop. I at long last come to the residence of the dear Shadow, and walk inside. I take off my coat and hat, revealing my loose-fitting shirt with cut-off sleeves, and light blue, slightly ripped jeans. My shoulder length brown hair tumbles down to touch my shirt, and I shiver slightly. "Cold," I remark to the attractive teenage girl coming out of a backroom.

    I take in my surroundings. Its a karate dojo, or something like that, with mats and mirrors and a hardwood floor. There's two seprate rooms away from the dojo, a bedroom and an office. The girl comes out of the office, looking puzzled. "Marcus," she says like she knows me, "how can i help you?" I look the girl over. My height, about 5' 6", with redish-brown hair, skin a bit tanner than mine, and very muscular. She looks like a gymnast. Times like these, I wish i wasn't such an angel.

    "Scathach? Is that you?"

    "Yeah, it's me," she says laughing, hugging me around the neck. "It's been five-hundred years, Mark! You can't keep running from your true love," she tells me. Yeah, we used to have a bit of a thing, but we both know we're no soul mates.

    "Sorry, crazy stuff's been goin' down, Scatty. Look, though, some fool took my appearance and stole Ares' shield. Now he's after me, threatened to tell his daddy about the whole ordeal. And no one wants that, am i right?"

    "You're absolutely right. You knew I could summon a Shade, so you came to me. Good thinking." I nod in agreement. "It wasn't me, Mark. And Tsukoyomi's a sword right now, so he's in no position to call up a Shade. So it was probably that witch, Nyx. She's probably in Prague."

    "Damnit, it was Nyx after all," I say. I kiss Scatty gently, grab my coat and hat and head for the door. "Thanks, Scatty. If I need any help, I'll give you a call. Hey, tell Cuchulainn I said 'hi'," I call over my shoulder as I Cloak and go outside, totally invisible. I get a running start, jump over several pedestrian's heads, and start flapping. Several people look up to see where the sudden downdraft came from, but see nothing but crystalline raindrops twriling out of the sky. I fly into the clouds to avoid the pummeling raindrops, break the cloud tops, and skim along them. They remind me of home. I decide to make some lightening, so I summon Gea Bulg from wherever it hides when I'm not using it, and send some bolts into he clouds. Lightening and thunder crack and rumble around in the clouds before discharging into the rain-soaked sky below.

    Several hours and two sore wings later, and Hello Prague. Nyx is obvious. She's just this big splotch on the side of St. Vitus Cathedral. She's not concealing herself, not even trying to hide from me. She's just standing there, atop a spire, staring at me. I dive in, and I'm not happy. I land on a spire opposite hers and summon Gea Bulg, but stay Cloaked to human eyes. No need to cause upset in the Czech Rebuplic's capital. "Hey, Shadowy Witch of the Who Gives a Crap! Toss me the shield so I can go home!" I call across the gap between our two spires.

    She's dressed, gasp, in black. A see-through fishnet shirt over a black bikini top, a black and red miniskirt and fishnet stockings, this primordial entity of night looks like a teenage Goth girl. Her voice is high, but soothing. Sounds like wind chimes. I hate those things. "No, no Marcus. We need it. Sorry, sweetheart. And if you could just hand over Gea Bulg, too, that'd be great. In fact, I'd even tell your pal Ares that I really took his shield."

    "Don't think so. I know how you are, Nyxie. I've had friends that you ate after offering them deals. Why, they were even of a sexual nature. So, if I can't trust you in that department, why should I trust you with the only weapon on earth capable of combatting Zues' lightening bolt?" She shifted on her spire.

    "You're going to pay for that one," she says 'ominously' as dark spirals swirl around her scantily-clad frame, a pitch-black longsword forming in her delicate hand. The dark spirals solidify into a cape remniscient of raven wings, and I realize I just picked a fight with the goddess of night, in the dead of night, in the Golden City. Also known as the City of Death, to those who know it well.

    "Finally," I shout, Gea Bulg crackling with joyous anticipation, "a good fight! Let's go!" We both leap at the same time, weapons raised, clashing loudly above the cathedral's clock.