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Sulking in her world of despair and shadows, Medusa had a lot of time on her hands. It was actually quite rare that Hades needed her for anything and she had surprisingly few duties as goddess of darkness, leaving the cursed woman with hours upon hours of free time. She was, technically, allowed to leave Hades' castle, but it had been built on a craggy, towering mountaintop, which made getting down a hassle. So, almost all of her time was spent wandering the practically desolate castle halls, haunting them like a ghost.
And after Twinbellows' recent failure, Medusa used all of this spare time to conjure up a plan, with the goal of convincing Palutena of her flaws, or just kidnapping Pit. Either, she supposed, would do, but she'd quite like to have Pit as her son. He was such a sweet boy, with a heart of pure gold.
Hatching up a plan wasn't hard for Medusa- she'd grown up with the wise(and wise-cracking) Palutena as a sister. What would be hard, she knew, was working up the nerve to actually pull it off. She had always been a rather weak deity and when she'd been banished, her power decreased drastically, and Hades, the lying rat he was, did nothing to fix that.
For that reason, her plan entailed very little fighting, opting instead for disguise and espionage, which she was actually quite experienced in.
In her Victorian-esque room, Medusa sat in front of her dark wooden vanity, an assortment of beauty products spread out on it. The grey-skinned woman had enchanted all of them long ago, and they now helped channel her ever-weakening magic as she worked to make herself look somewhat human.
"Hey, Apophis, work with me," She exhorted to the gold snake on her head. Unlike the other ones, Apophis did more than reflect her emotions and intimidate people. He had his own spunky little spirit and was rather defiant, although the reason was lost of Medusa. Finally, though, she managed to mask the unruly serpent as a lock of gold hair, with the help of her magic ebony comb. The lock stood out distinctly from the rest of her hair, which was disguised as a dark, dark green, so dark it was nearly impossible to tell it wasn't black.
Her eyes were trickier, but after concentrating hard enough, they too became a deep emerald shade, although she couldn't change her vertical, oblong pupils. She couldn't alter the ashy color of her cured skin, either, but when she looked in her mirror, Medusa though she almost looked...normal. Like she hadn't been cursed for leveling a city. Like she might still have a sister, somewhere, who loved and accepted her.
But looks were deceiving and her magic wouldn't last forever. Medusa quickly changed into a loose blouse and a long skirt, hoping they would pass as human clothes. Then, straining to use even more magic, Medusa teleported herself to the Overworld, something she never thought she'd be able to do. It normally wouldn't be possible for her, with her dwindling powers, but Pit had unknowingly weakened the barrier when he'd used the Pearl of Wisdom to send Twinbellows back.
There was so much about the worlds that boy didn't know. One day, Medusa vowed, she'd teach him.
Once she'd gotten to the Overworld, it took Medusa a good 10 minutes to collect herself and stop looking at the sun, the sky, the ocean, plants, and animals. They were just so beautiful and the goddess had thought she'd never get to see them again. However, she had a job to do, and she was on a time crunch.
Quickly setting off, Medusa navigated the busy streets of the human town, the same one both Pit and Palutena spent the day in. Well, Palutena only spent some of the day there because she had other duties. But since she wasn't sure where her sister was, Medusa had put up a magic shield around herself to keep Palutena from detecting her, although it wouldn't last long.
Eventually, she reached her destination: Seaside Heights, the town's high school. Secondary school? Medusa wasn't entirely sure what the humans called it, but it really didn't matter, either. Holding her head up, the goddess stepped into the school's office.
"She wouldn't dare..." A green-haired young woman muttered behind the counter of a dimly-lit library, her blue eyes fixed on a smartphone in her hands. A moment later, her face turned turbulent. "That sly little snake, she did!"
To an onlooker, she probably looked a little strange, but to herself, Palutena's reaction was actually quite mild. She wanted to be screaming in rage, flipping tables and maybe burning a few things, but for the sake of keeping this petty human job, she clenched her jaw until it hurt.
Her sister...well, she used to be her sister, but she really wasn't anymore...Medusa had left the Underworld, somehow, and had the audacity to not only waltz into a human town, disguised, but she sauntered on into this human town, right to Pit's school. Palutena supposed this had to do with the 'warning' Medusa had given her a few days ago, and the goddess of light took this to mean she was correct about Medusa's words being a threat.
Palutena knew Medusa blamed her for the latter's banishment. Logical, seeing as how it was the goddess of light who'd done it, but she had a good reason to. One morning, Medusa just snapped entirely and completely leveled a massive human city. Palutena felt it. She felt each and every one of the human's deaths. She felt the overwhelming fear in their last moments, their agony, their confusion. It torn at the goddess's heart and instantly flooded her eyes with tears, and even to that day, the sounds of the people's screams haunted the goddess. Medusa should have been grateful that she'd only been banished. Palutena had wanted to kill her.
And now, ages later, Palutena knew she'd have to actually kill the goddess of darkness. Not personally- she'd send Pit to do it. Pit. That little angel was the only relic of the Angel War and the last living member of his species. After the horrible carnage that the war had caused, all the gods agreed to stop creating angels, as it seemed that their very existence led to wars being fought, because they acted as armies. Of course, the gods still warred, but Palutena was the only one with an angel. But she resented him. Not for anything that was remotely his fault, even Palutena knew, but because he served as a living reminder of the goddess's biggest failure. She never should have joined the Angel War...Medusa had even warned her against it.
But all of that was in the past. Medusa's current threat was not, and Palutena had humanity to protect.
"Hey, kid," A gruff voice from behind Pit made him turn around. A tall, extremely muscular man with very tanned skin and quite a few tattoos, dressed in exercise clothes, stood a few feet behind him, an unreadable expression on his face. "What're you doing here so late?"
Truthfully, the angel was looking for Medusa, who'd apparently gotten a job at his school as a night janitor, although Pit thought that seemed unlikely. Obviously, he couldn't say that, so he made up a quick and cruddy lie: "I'm waiting for a ride home."
"Why not just walk?"
"We're, uh, going out of town tonight," Pit said, internally cringing with every word of the lie. "Who're you?"
"Name's Magnus," The man told him. "The wrestling coach."
"Nice to meet you. I'm Pit," The angel smiled a bit, although this Magnus fellow didn't return the expression. In fact, he seemed to simply ignore Pit for a while, just leaning against the wall and staring at the floor. Awkwardly, Pit made a move to leave after a few minutes.
"Y'know," Magnus said suddenly, stopping the boy. "Life's funny. One day you can feel like the king of the world and the very next you're struggling just to survive."
"Oh, I know," Pit replied without thinking. He winced, wondering how the heck he'd explain that, but Magnus didn't seem fazed at all.
"I'm not sure why I'm telling you this," The man continued. "I guess it's just 'cause I wish somebody had told me that when I was your age."
That was something Pit wasn't used to yet. Everyone referred to him as if he was just 14, not 264, centuries older than even Mrs. MacLeer, the oldest human Pit had ever seen.
"I...thank you," Pit said. "I know how unpredictable life can be."
Magnus gazed at his wearily. "I'm not talkin' about pop quizzes, kid."
Pit could see the pain behind Magnus's eyes. He wanted to know the man's story but he was wiser than to ask, so he instead just turned at walked down the hallway like he'd intended to. Just as he reached the stairs to the school's second story, a shout caught his attention. Pivoting around as the shouts continued, the angel dashed down the hallway and skidded around the corner to where Magnus was. The burly man was still there, but so was someone else, who he was fighting: a young woman, taller than Pit but shorter than Magnus, a metal breastplate and armored skirt sitting over her long-sleeve white shirt and black leggings. Her dirty-blonde hair was cut short, choppily, and she held a long spear in her hands that glowed in an ominous reddish light.
"Lady Palutena," Pit cried. "I think I found her!"
"That's not Medusa," The goddess said. "It must be one of her henchmen- er, henchwomen- it doesn't matter! Just subdue her before she hurts the human."
Pit flashed back into an angel and quickly nocked an arrow, ready to fire.
"No!" Magnus yelled, having seen the boy. "Don't kill her!"
But while he was distracted, the woman punched Magnus in the gut before kicking him down and raising her spear for the kill. A jolt of fear ran through Pit as he made the split-second decision to fire and save the man's life.
The arrow, being made of light and magic, pierced straight through the woman's armor, burying itself in her back. But she didn't even cry out. The warrior just turned around and stared at Pit with pure-black, soulless eyes that gave the boy shivers.
"Who are you?" He asked, hoping his voice didn't betray his fear. "Do you work for Medusa?"
"I am Gaol," She said, raising her spear. Pit stepped back.
"She's been corrupted by Medusa's magic," Palutena told him.
"How do I undo that?" The angel asked, dodging as Gaol hurled the spear at him.
"I don't know!" The goddess sounded exasperated.
Ducking and weaving between a flurry of lightning-fast attacks, Pit barely heard the answer, not that it helped him. He took an opening and hit the woman with an uppercut to the chin, apologizing as he did so.
Gaol staggered backwards, but Magnus grabbed her from behind and put her in an armbar, the woman's head cracking against the linoleum floor as they fell. Pit leaped backwards to avoid them, flapping his useless wings in an unconscious attempt to gain altitude.
"What happened to you?!" Magnus demanded. "Where have you been, Gaol?!"
"What's it to you?!" The young woman snarled, her voice demonic and far too deep for any human, let alone a girl.
"You're my best friend!" The man shouted. "You're my only friend!"
It was a little strange to see a man in his mid-thirties yelling that at a girl who couldn't have been older than 22, but Pit realized that the man was lonely. He could hear it in Magnus's voice.
Gaol's struggles weakened for a moment. "You...really?"
"Yes," Magnus said. "And I want to know what's happened to you."
"I found out how to cleanse her," Palutena said, grabbing Pit's attention. "I need to shower her in holy light. The magic Medusa used was weak, so that should break it."
A blast of radiant light suddenly shone down on the woman, who froze instantly. The black covering her eyes crumbled away, revealing their true color, green. Gaol went limp and Magnus released her, then knelt beside her head.
"Gaol…?" He whispered. Pit flinched at how tentative and afraid he sounded; he hadn't ever heard a man sound so fearful before.
The young lady blinked a few times, then sat up, holding her head. "Where...am I?"
Pit smiled as they embraced, at the look of relief and joy on Magnus's face. He must have been scared of losing her, Pit thought. Maybe he'd lost someone else, before.
As the boy turned to walk up to the roof, where it would be easiest for Lady Palutena to bring him back to Angelland, Magnus's voice stopped him once more.
"Hey, Angelface," He called. Pit turned around. "Thanks. You're name's Pit, isn't it? You weren't really waiting for a ride home, huh? You were waiting for Gaol to come, so you could help her."
That wasn't true, really, but Pit saw no reason to deny it. He'd likely never see Magnus again, so the angel just smiled, before whirling around and dashing towards the stairs.
Bad writing, but slightly better, I think. Anyway, please vote in that poll on me profile.
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