Log:Patrol Stories - Starry Night
It's late, just past the end of the last shows of the night. Prime sky-watching time, and it's not uncommon to find Urania straying away from the lights of camp to stargaze, hoping for some kind of insight from the heavens.
They've been painfully opaque, of late. It might explain why the muse is perched on a driftwood tree, long since washed up on the shore of the small lake where the majority of her cult has dragged her in hopes of improving her mood. Theirs seem well enough; the liquor has been going around, and the balmy weather and far more beautiful surroundings have the majority of the dancers, and the two men working security, splashing around in the small lake in various states of dress from 'none' to chopped up long johns.
Urania? Perched. On the tree. No impossible calico in a bow tie to foster more trouble, at least for the moment.
Leona has taken to patrolling the Carnival at night after her own big top shows since they teleported. Tonight she is patrollling, but with her is Diamanto. Sekhmet is in her lioness form, huge in size tonight. The size of a liger. A shriek had caught her attention. So she had started padding that way. Only to find it to be a shriek of excitement, or was it pleasure, from the lake. The lioness slows to a stop as she surveyed the scene. "Well, someone is having a party without us," She comments to the maenad as she begins to slowly approach Urania on her perch.
Diamanto can usually finish off her john quickly enough. Her exotic appeal is often more than the poor souls can take, and after she has sent them off with a smile on their faces, she patrols with Leona. She is in a white shift and has a towel draped around her neck, since they'll be coming down by the lake.
She rides on the back of the massive cat, sidesaddle because she's a lady. Only without the saddle. She nods to Urania as they approach. "I wouldn't be surprised if my girls weren't down there making trouble." She says the words with pride.
Oh, the cult is certainly having a blast. It's not like they haven't earned it by now, having had to contend with a neurotic muse who has left the actual performing to the lot of them since the message from Management came to her, and she's struggled to both deliver the news and suss out its potential and finer points. She could never begrudge them, even if she remains apart, knees pulled up to her chest, chin resting atop them. Every so often, she takes a pull from the canteen at her side -- and there are plenty more just like it waiting in a cluster by her feet, presumably for anyone who wants to partake of them, filled with a variety of wine, mead, and bathtub gin.
The sound of approaching footsteps might be hard to catch over the racket from the water, but motion catches her eye, and she turns her head, offering a smile and a crook of her hand in greeting. "Welcome, sisters." They're all family now, in her head, chaotic jumble that it is. "Have a drink, if you like. Yelling at the sky is doing... less good than I had hoped." There's a soft laugh, and her smile is an honest one, even if she looks tired. "It felt like the right night for it. For something less... tense?" Her brows loft in unison. "And it's so beautiful here. I-" Her expression falls by a fraction. "-sometimes think I don't pay enough attention to what's on the ground, right under foot."
Leona chuckles at Diamanto's comment, "Neither would I. They're my kind of girls," She rumbles with amusement. Slowly she comes to a stop and crouches down to allow Diamanto to slide from her back. Giving her a nuzzle, if she allows, before her golden fur becomes golden sunlight. Warm and refreshing as the lioness turns into the woman dressed in her crimson robe. Then she approaches Urania, lips in a gentle smile. "Ahhh...the weight of the stars can be heavy sometimes," She says, reaching out to snatch up a canteen before hopping up to settle by the Muse. "We all forget to sometimes stop and -look- around...it isn't bad to be reminded."
Diamanto lights daintily to the ground and pads over to where the booze is. Why, yes, she will help herself. "Hello, sister," she says. "Never fail to look around you where you are. That's where you'll find us." She smiles softly, then drinks. Heavily. She's a maenad. It's to be expected.
She looks around, frowning faintly. "Where's the cat?" Yes, her hated enemy, and she sounds almost disappointed that he's not right here, with his little bowtie and impossible coat.
"It's been so... loud?" Is it the word she wants, really? Perhaps. She'll settle for it. "Just a little time away from the light and the-" Urania pauses; there's no not laughing a bit. Loud followed her, in the form of the splashing cultists daring each other to dive off of each other's shoulders in the dark. "Well, not everything is escapable, I suppose."
The chuckle at the mention of her usual feline companion can't be avoided, either. "I have no idea what he's managed to get into this time. He may be along eventually, but I haven't seen hide nor hair-" Literally. "-of him this evening." Notice the complete lack of any suggestion that he might be off doing his job somewhere. Some things are just too implausible.
Leona grunts at the mention of Loki as she drinks from the canteen. Seems the queen of cats got mead and she makes a happy sound quickly after. "Mmm...well, that is true. Though this spot is nice. And sometimes it is nice to just be. And do it away from what is normal." She pauses and takes another drink, leaning back so she can look up at the stars.
"Is your mind too scattered tonight for it to be picked at? Since you're here and there is libation, seems as good a time as any...It's about this concept of changing..." Leona almost seems reluctant to bring it up. But she does anyway.
"Ah, well. It's just as well I'm not carrying any tuna tonight, then," Diamanto says. "I wouldn't want to have done so for nothing." She sits on the ground beside the fallen tree and takes a drink. Then she gazes up at the stars. "Maybe I'll become roadside murder," she murmurs. "Or when a woman loses her mind and stabs her husband to death. What's that called? That needs a name."
"There's never any harm in the asking," the muse replies with an easy roll of her shoulders. Someone's been imbibing heavily, though the slur in her voice is only a hair more acute than her usual dreamy, distracted vocal tone. "At least, so long as you know there's not always an answer. There are possibilities, probabilities, but ultimately they aren't going to reveal what we ultimately want to know, much of the time." Her expression eases, and she stretches out, letting her bare toes twist in the rocky sand, leaning back on her hands on the old tree trunk. "For people, it's typically enough. Our problems, if only they were ever so simple," she laments, but there's no gnashing of teeth behind it, just a long-held acceptance.
"I've given the notion of 'evolution' some thought, over time. Often enough it's them that drives it -- man, I mean. Not men, specially, but... them." Urania swallows a breath, and shakes her head. "We need them in a different way, now, than we had. At least for a short while. If only to find the holes, the spaces, the places they concentrate their interests now. It all welled up around us so slowly that-" The same problem: not looking at what is on the ground. The things too simple, too basic, for us to usually consider them worthy of notice."
For a moment, she is silent, considering Dia's suggestions with a cant of her head. "You know, I had a thought in passing about something else, and you're going to laugh at me, I know you are, but-" Twisting up to sit, she asks, "Have you seen that group from the local college? There are boys, and there are girls. Each has matching jackets and they keep calling themselves 'Greek', for mercy's sakes. But." And here's what caught her interest. "The girls called themselves a sisterhood. A sorority, I think they said?"
Leona drinks heavily. Likely as heavily as Diamanto. "Mmmm...there is a name for it. I think?" The woman purses her lips as her eyes fall to the laughing and splashing. "Hysteria is what -men- are calling it," She wrinkles her nose and sighs. "Hmmm...Sisterhood. I like that." Another long pull and that canteen is likely to be empty with the next drink. "Had you any insight into ideas for myself? I have my own, but your insight is, well, useful." Who wouldn't listen to a muse's suggestion?
"They call themselves Greek?" Diamanto says, and she looks distinctly suspicious. "I guess a sisterhood in a place of higher learning would be right up your alley, Urania. Maybe it would be good for them to have your influence, and while I'm not much for education, even I can see how an educated woman has a better chance than one who's tied to a stove, barefoot and pregnant."
Urania groans quietly at the mention of hysteria, though the look on her face is sympathetic. "I remember when the Victorians said that the cure for it was to have a buzzing device strapped to a lady's groin until she had a 'hysterical paroxysm'." Her lips twist distastefully. "Only a group of men in boring white coats would decide amongst themselves that a woman's pleasure was a problem to diagnose and take notes on in a ledger."
"Though I suppose when left up to the likes of them, it's rare enough to be considered an aberration," she snorts before taking another swig from her canteen. She must have the gin, because there's a quiet little cough and a bloom of red in her cheeks as she swallows.
"Oh, I... not me. Not for the sisters. They need a strong sister as their guide to teach them to never put themselves second to any man, is what they need." Pause. "And probably a drink. Or twelve."
"There are enough people looking to horoscopes every day, looking to launch themselves bodily into the sky, with or without a rocket strapped to their backs." Her shoulders rise and fall, and she takes another swig from the canteen. "Between seeking revelations from the stars and exploring them directly, it's... " A somewhat guilty expression marks her features briefly, and her chin sinks. "It may be easier for me than for some."
Leona plays with the strap of the canteen and looks thoughtful. "Indeed. I feel the same way. Clearly there are obvious options. Felinity has always been worshipped and revered in some form or another. War has many facets as well, of which I am also strongly tied. Then there are the other parts of me. The blended bits that are Hathor and Bast..." She finishes off the canteen and moves to pass the canteen to Diamanto with a hopeful smile, batting her pretty, gold, feline eyes. "They are tied to fertility and feminity. And I mentioned to Kemen that he represent masculine and fertility. That perhaps we could become something together. Balance the other as we did Ma'at." She glances at Urania. "Do you think that is possible?"
Diamanto groans and lays back on the ground. "We're talking about our natures again," she says. "Does anything new happen to us anymore? Or do we gaze at our navels and wonder with no answers coming forth?" She gazes up at the stars, imploring them for their wisdom. She sighs. "Sorry. I know this stuff is important, but it's all we ever talk about anymore. It's all we ever do.
Leona looks at Diamanto with sympathy and a smirk. "Awww, yes it is. But sometime you have to think things through before you act on them. Otherwise there is nothing to act -on-," But she too sighs and then moves to grab up a fresh canteen. "I myself want to settle on something soon so I can start whatever process is involved. If I go first, then we can make sure it is okay for others. And we can learn to hone it."
The muse's head cants as she considers Leona's words, her lips pursing over what seems to be a growing smile. "I can see any number of roads from there, and there are assuredly possibilities. Your subjects, assuredly, are one option, but I admit, the idea of balance between the two of you, a partnership-" There's something to that, and it catches her fancy enough to draw her eyes briefly back to the stars, at which she squints thoughtfully.
"One of the things I have observed over and again in the towns we visit is the idea of natural living, and the wholesomeness of it. The virtue of it. Of working the land, of raising livestock, even when it comes to the bloodier aspects of the process. There's a reverence toward this idea, the notion of 'those with a symbiotic relationship with the land' that is strong in America."
"If your union could represent that to the country?" Her brows loft, and she nods with no small measure of certainty. "I expect you would find fertile ground in more ways than one."
She can't help but nod to Dia, then, sipping again from the flask, and shaking her head slowly. "It's hard not to." Her expression grows extraordinarily peevish for an instant, and she lowers her voice to the level of a conspiratorial whisper. "There is a part of me that wants to engage some of our illusionists and tricksters and stage a... what do they call them? UFA? UTO?" Squint. "UFO. A UFO crash site. Throw some old junk in this field and make it look like it's glowing and all of us spin up a yarn about watching it land and let someone pretend to be from outer space. Charge extra to walk out here and-" Loki is clearly rubbing off on her.
"That would be fun," Diamanto says. "To stage a what-you-call-it and spin a yarn, get the people believing in interesting things again, and maybe being afraid of them. Plus, where's your god if there are beings from beyond the stars? That should shake some Christians' faith."
She sighs quietly and to Leona, she says, "I know it's important, but I don't know what I can be in the new and coming world, and I wonder if it might not just be better to die. If not for Holden, I would just fight them til they killed me. But transforming myself? I like the way I am."
Leona drinks as she listens to the Muses suggestion. Her lips pull into a smile and she says, "I like that. I think Kemen would too, for he...giving up that tie to the plants would be hard for him. Me giving up the tie to the cats would be hard for me..." She trails off and sips her drink, leaning back with the others to stare upwards.
A soft chuckle comes from her. "That sounds absolutely wonderful. Though I am no illusionist I could still help. Let a few people glimpse me in my god form," She grins at the stars and takes another sip.
"Ahhh Diamond darling, I think we would still be us. Just...in a different way?" She turns her head to peer at Urania. As if the Muse might have the answer to that. "Management has a physical self, after all."
"Still ourselves," Urania confirms, though she's quick to add a, "So far as I know. I imagine if there was the sort of... alteration Ishtar sounds to have endured, Management would have spoken of it, and she didn't." A sigh tumbles from her lips, and she slowly shakes her head.
"I have to admit I like the idea of a good show like that, though. A proper humbug. We haven't done one of those in a while, always too busy hiding the real light under a dozen barrels."
Leona taps at her lip with a long finger and nods her head. "Mmmm, indeed. Doing it ourselves lets us choose. Form ourselves. That makes a lot of sense," She takes a long gulp. And as if that is it leans in against Urania. "We should do it. Grab one of the faeries or other illusionists and shifters. Find a field and just...have fun."
"Let's dazzle them," Diamanto says. "Let's give them a show they'll never forget. They'll be talking about it for years to come. They'll never take their eyes off the skies." Hey, at least she's trying to give a damn what mortals want, for once. It's progress, or at least a temporary moment of enlightenment from the normally monstrous nymph. "Maybe I can embody blight. The desolation of their crops and destroyer of their fortune. They'll respond to that. Annnd she's back.