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Fantasy ☾ eclipse of the heart.| (syntra + starboob = synboob.)

Sub Genres
  1. Action
  2. Adventure
  3. LGTBQ
  4. Romance

starboob

lover / leaver
She got away. She got away and yet it she feels like a piece of her mind is still stuck in the moon court. Especially since she's stuck playing back reels and reels of their battle. Especially because everyone keeps asking her what it was like and how she survived. They keep commending her for slaying the moon princess. Helia threw a banquet upon hearing what happened. ("Ah, my daughter. My sunshine," she had smiled after pulling Sol away from the party to have a private moment with her daughter. Why did 'sunshine' sound like a slap in the face coming from her? "Perhaps I was wrong about you and your potential. Perhaps you are my rightful heir, after all.") Mars has also been happier to spend time with her outside of the evening hours. The guards even stand at attention when she walks by. In many ways, Sol's life has improved since she returned from her mission. (She fully expected Helia to marry her off then and there, turn her into a puppet for failing to secure the demon queens' unequivocal support, but once she heard where Sol went and what happened... She beamed with pride and asked so many questions. Made Sol relive the entire ordeal.) She just doesn't feel like a success, despite the praise. She never even wanted it.

What's worse?

Selene's engaged. Like, yeah, so is Sol and even if she knows that their engagements mean less than dirt, it still hurts to think about. She knows all about what engaged couples do and she especially does not want to think about that. Especially after finding out what Scorpio looks like. (A total vixen babe who oozes sex appeal, in case you were curious.) The sunbeam doesn't consider herself a jealous person, but this? This breaks that resolve easily. So much so, she spent many hours in the library looking up Scorpio weaknesses and plotting several revenges for being engaged to her Selene. (Ugh, it sucks so much that she can't see her counterpart or talk to her. All she can do is hug herself and hope that maybe Selene feels it in that empty chest of hers.)

Interestingly, it just so happens that the best way to stay up to date on her not-gf is to pay attention to the all the political gossip. It also encourages her to attend more of those annoying war room meetings she usually would skip out on, but she's desperate for any crumb of information on Selene. This at least pleases Helia. (It's honestly jarring to be on her mom's good side for once. At best, she's usually on her tolerable side but the difference between being tolerated and liked? Sol doesn't even know how to describe it and some deep part of her even enjoys the attention. It's just nice to feel loved by her mom, even if she isn't loving the right parts of Sol or parts that are actually there. The sunbeam is so starved she doesn't really mind that Helia still fails to see her own daughter with those four eyes of hers.) This also leads to Sol being entrusted with more responsibilities––ones that don't seem like ill-disguised ruses to humiliate her––and the sunbeam, not wanting to lose her insider information privilege, has been keeping up.

In fact, part of their current strategy is thanks to Sol. (Don't ask how she feels about it, because the answer is complicated.) She's just hoping it's enough that she'll be able to catch Selene or that Selene will be able to catch her. (There's so much that she wants to say, all stuck like gum to her brain. Mostly, she wants to know if she's okay and why she asked Sol to keep part of her as a souvenir. Having one of her fingers isn't really the romantic keepsake she wants of their disastrous first date. She'd rather have a make-up kiss.)

The Sun princess surveys the border, where the desert turns to ice, and signals the all clear from her position before she flies back down to the group, landing next to Leo. "Nervous, little sunshine?" the fire sign smirks, folding her pocket mirror shut (clack!) and clipping it back on her belt. (Apparently pocket mirrors are an important battle accessory when you're Leo.) "Don't be, I'm sure your girlfriend will still love you even if this fails."

"Wh-what?" Sol brings her shield closer to her body, visibly defensive. (Crap! How does she know?) "I don't have a girlfriend!"

"Fiancée, whatever," Leo rolls her eyes and buffs her nails against her armor. (Whew! She only meant Mars.) "Either way, I'm sure Mars would be delighted if you failed! If I were her I would be."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Well, think about it, sunshine. If you were Mars and you were essentially promised the throne..." The fire sign gives Sol a pointed look, hinting at what they both are not allowed to name outright. "And all of a sudden the real heiress is proving herself? Gets herself moved from the tower to the palace residence? Even earns the spot next to queen Helia's right hand during important functions? I'm just saying, if I were you I'd be watching my back. Mars may be as fiery and impulsive as any other, but her ambitions shouldn't be messed with. She's got a quiet sting too. Anyway," she stretches her arms out and calls upon her chakram as if she has not just told Sol her fiancée is potentially plotting murder or something worse, "You ready or what?"

Sol only nods in response, keeping her eyes trained forward and not at all trying to think about the warning Leo gave her. It's probably nothing. (Mars hasn't seemed any different... She seems to like that Sol is trying so hard. She even said it was less embarrassing to be her betrothed now that she can actually brag about Sol. Those were probably genuine statements. Probably. Hmm.) Anyway, this really isn't the time for her to be thinking of anything other than melting the ice at the border and taking over one of the old moon temples. So that's exactly what she does. With wings outstretched, she flies ahead into the moon court, letting her flames melt the landscape before the soldiers march in with their flame hoses. (A pang of guilt shoots through her, wondering if this really is the best way to get Selene's attention. All the beautiful snow turning to water under her wings and the hose that follows her... Maybe this was a mistake? Is it too late to call it off? No, she's definitely in too deep with this one. Maybe she can make sure no one dies?)

"Behead the priestesses," Leo's voice booms from the back, her chakram slicing through the tall pines. "We'll send them to Luna as a courtesy."
 

Syntra

Baba Yaga
Somehow, Selene's days had turned into honey. It wasn't that they were sweet, mind you-- just viscous and sticky, and oh so homogenous, with no beginning and no end. (Was that what death was like? The moon princess couldn't help but wonder, even with the missing digit serving as the obvious reminder that she was alive. Alive, and not re-stitched. Still, perhaps because of her being a goddess and not despite that, Selene knew that there were many, many, many different kinds of deaths. The one where your heart stopped beating? Oh, that was but a prelude-- the lullaby of the deep, sending your consciousness across the river Styx.)

"Come on, Selene," Scorpio squeezed her hand. "Smile at least a little for me. Why do you never do that? I've waited for so long to have a free moment with my beautiful fiance, and you've been so distant with me. So cold. It's not like you need to play hard to get, do you? Considering that I've already tasted everything there was to taste, the day our bond was sealed." Ah, yes. Their bond. The moon princess would have preferred to wipe that dreadful event from her memory, but of course that Scorpio never allowed her to forget that-- Scorpio, whose hands were so invasive and cold, and so unlike Sol's that Selene couldn't help but be reminded of the sunbeam every time she touched her. (It was logical, okay? In the same way it was logical that a hot summer day, murdering you with blistering heat, made you think of the soothing winter. Made you yearn for it, too. Scorpio was convinced she owned her now, body and soul, and hey, perhaps she was right! The ritual had left its mark, much like fire always, always left behind burns. Still, though... did she truly belong to her? Because her thoughts were droplets, snowflakes stuck in an eternal storm, and trying to tame them was pure foolishness.)

"If you want me to smile," Selene raised her eyebrow, "then perhaps you should try harder. Your absolute lack of effort is not attractive." Sol, at least, had given it her best shot! Often, that shot had been about as effective as your average water gun tended to be when it came to extinguishing forest fires, but it had been something. Something other than Scorpio's 'hurrr durrr, I own you now.' Pfft, as if anyone could own the great Selene! (The silvery tattoos shining in the darkness, writhing around her wrists like snakes? Oh, they told a much different story. A story of Scorpio, sitting the lunar throne-- of Selene kneeling by her feet, like a beloved pet. A doll, more than anything else. The moon princess hadn't thought that Luna would ever go so far, but she also hadn't thought that, one day, she would give anything to taste the sunbeam's lips! And yet, here they fucking were. (Was Sol alright? Had she managed to escape safely? It wasn't that Selene loved her or anything as sentimental as that-- she just wanted to kiss her, and caress her hair, and make all of her worries go away. What was that, if not the fantasy of absolute dominance? It, uh, made sense! You see, in order for another person to be able to do that to you, you had to be one hundred percent theirs. Weak and vulnerable in front of them, like a flower fully blossomed. That was the entire appeal! Selene didn't do actual feelings, and thinking she did was like... uh, like thinking that foxes only chased bunnies so they could wish them goodnight.)

"Hmm," Scorpio smiled, and caressed her cheek, "perhaps you should try to be a less of a bitch, then. I mean, you are effectively mine now. Do you wish for me to command you to march through the streets naked? The masses would love the sight, I'm sure. More than likely, they'd thank me for it. Don't you think, my dear Selene," she put a stray strand of hair behind her ear, "that it would be a wonderful way of celebrating our wedding? After all, a ruler ought to have no secrets in front of her followers. That, and only that, can buy you their eternal loyalty." The blood might as well have frozen in her veins, but the moon princess held onto her... something. (Calling it dignity felt like an overstatement.)

"You cannot scare me. This is my home."

"But home, Selene, is the scariest thing!~ Especially when you realize you have nowhere else to go. That, no matter what you do, it will be me awaiting your return from each war." The words were a dagger in her heart, an open wound out of which pus was oozing, and-- and--

"Princess Selene!" a maid barged in, her skirts swishing around her ankles. "Princess Selene, you must hurry. The Temple of the First Snows has been attacked, and... it's horrible. The country remembers not so much bloodshed! I..." her voice shook, "...I don't know came over them. Do they not know the temple is sacred?"

They didn't, the moon princess supposed, but soon they would.

***

The snow beneath her feet was red, like ruby and strawberries and a pretty girl's lips, but not pleasant enough to warrant any of those comparisons. It stuck to her shoes, reminding her of the victims-- of the victims holding onto her ankles, crying for help. 'Please, please, Selene,' the voices helpfully supplied, either mimicking their words or straight up sending her those messages from the underworld. (With them, it was always hard to tell.) 'Ah, n-no! Please! I will do anything--' But, given that there were no survivors, even their everything likely hadn't been enough. Heh! Wasn't it great? Awesome, even? Weakness ought to be rooted out, and the priestesses had been weak, weak, weak, like blades of grass in the wind! No, Selene wasn't feeling sorry. Not even remotely. Still, the sun court had invaded them, and for that... for that, they had to be repaid in blood.

"Princess Selene?" one of the numerous soldiers asked, kneeling before she got the courage to speak. "The priestesses. What, um, what should we do with their heads?" The temple itself was still bustling with activity, suggesting that the cowards were hiding inside, but the heads... most of those were lying on the ground, like pieces of mosaic that no longer fit. "Burn them," Selene commanded. "Now."

"But--!"

"Did you not hear my order?" Weak as they had been, after all, they had been their servants-- servants who had carried a divine spark within, connected to the celestial realm. To the temple they had guarded, most specifically. The thread was thin, thin enough for those with eyes not to see it, but to Selene? To Selene, it may as well have been her guiding star.

The disapproval was almost tangible, hanging over her army like a heavy morning fog, but still, still they obeyed. And, when they did? The entire temple burst into flames, wrapping their enemies in a fiery embrace. Come out, rats. I shall show you what kind of fate awaits those who cross us!
 

starboob

lover / leaver
There are certain uncrossable rules of war. Even if Sol has never read the specific text, she knows this intuitively. Intuitively she knows that one should never attack a holy site. She broke the rules. It hadn't been her intention to kill the priestesses and yet their headless bodies hang from the temple's windows; their heads strewn like a trail of breadcrumbs into the temple itself. It hadn't been her hand to do this or even herself to give the order––that had been Leo and the soldiers––yet she knows she can't really wipe her hands clean of all responsibility. She is the one in charge. She could have stopped it. And she did nothing. Like a coward and fraud. The guilt grips her hearts like a noose and even if she knows why she took all of these drastic measures, why she might have chosen to say nothing, it doesn't make up for the fact that she has broken the rules of war and there will be consequences to pay. Hopefully later. When the war is over––when she and Selene work out a peace agreement between the courts. She can sacrifice herself on the altar of the moon as many times as it takes to make up for what she has done. Surely then she'll be clean? (Even Sol, with a head full of gum drops, knows that is wishful.)

She swallows hard, resting against the altar while her eyes stare vacantly ahead. Dried blood coats her armor and splatters are streaked across her face. Her ears are full of screams and her body still holds the same tension as it had when they stormed into the temple. (The temple with only priestesses and a handful of holy guards to protect it. It was never going to stand a chance against the army that Sol led. It was a sitting duck, an easy target. Does it speak to her cowardice or her ruthlessness? Of those, what is she more scared of?) Her shield has since collapsed back into a wrist cuff that she picks at while she waits and waits for something else to happen. 'Selene should be here any second now. I can...' What? Kiss her? She realizes only in the aftermath that Selene might not be too keen on welcoming her into her arms after what she's done to her lands. 'I can explain everything. I can make an oath to her to prove myself. Yeah, yeah. She'll go for that. She's reasonable.' Well, no, she's not but she's also full of surprises so maybe she will surprise Sol.

The other women idle anxiously in the temple, waiting for their enemy to come. Leo is the only one who seems unaffected, drawing a crowd of soldiers to herself so she can regale what happened only an hour ago. Of course she makes it seem like a glorious and noble affair, the other soldiers seem to agree, but Sol cannot help but feel she's crossed a line and she's not sure how to uncross it. Cross it back? Eh, she doesn't know. She pops off from her position to join Leo's entourage, maybe hoping to take her mind off waiting. "Ah, princess, are you finally done moping over the loss of precious life? I thought you were over that considering what you did to that border village and the moon speck."

"I'm not moping," she lies, and does so confidently. Leo can't tell Helia she's going soft––she'll lose her status and therefore her channels to sacred Selene knowledge. "I'm just tired is all. Flying is a lot of work and we still have to wait for––"

In that moment two things happen: (1) their watch comes bursting in to announce a warning and (2) before the watch can do more than open her mouth, she is eaten by silvery flames and turned to ash. Then the entire temple erupts into those white hot flames. 'Selene.' While Sol somehow remains calm, her women around her scramble to control the fire and find that they are unable to do so (silver fire belongs to the moon alone, after all). Leo, as unbothered as ever, laughs, "Pathetic. Does she think this trick will work? Sol, take my hand, and help me turn this place to ruin."

Reluctantly, Sol takes the fire sign's hand, somewhere knowing she shouldn't trust her, but she does need to escape this silver mess if she's to find Selene again. (Ugh, is it embarrassing how often she thinks about her? Is Selene even spending so much mental energy on her? Or is she too busy with Scorpio?) With their hands joined, they channel their combined magic to create a giant yellow ball of flames, resembling the Sun who they serve, and it explodes outwards and reduces the temple to cinders. This gives the soldiers more avenues to escape the still burning silver flames. (The flames of different colors dance together, Sol realizes. Some part of her thinks they are battling for dominance, but that doesn't seem right. They seem to be trying to burn together to do... something. What that something is, she does not know.)

Without further prompting, her flaming wings sprout from her back and she launches into the air. Ah, so the moon also sent an army. Cool. To be expected since they are at war. Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool. The gold plated Sun warriors clash with that of the moon's, but Sol searches for her target. It's easy to spot her, too, being that she is such a radiant beauty. And guided by her impulses, Sol completely forgets the battle and flies directly to Selene; some part of her remembers to keep it chill and not obvious that she's so totally head over heels for the moon daughter and that's why she shouts, "Here to eat my shorts, again, princess?"

Then she swoops the moon princess into her arms and flies them into the stormy cloud cover above. Hidden, she sets them both down on a cloud and flicks her wrist, causing the clouds light up and filling the air with loud claps, as if the two young goddesses are clashing. When she's sure they're protected she grasps Selene's hands. "I've missed you. A lot. So much––I've been worried about you, too. I didn't want to leave you behind... I'm sorry for whatever she did to you. I wish I had been stronger to protect you, because I promised to protect you and that's an important promise to me, I just. I'm working on it, okay? Everyday I'm practicing my magic and I'm taking all my lessons way more seriously so that I can be good for you." Yeah, good for her like destroying one of her temples. (That is sooo not what the goddess dating manual meant by destroying each other's temples, she's pretty sure.)

"I have no excuse for the temple," she admits, letting go of the moon daughter's hand and noting the still missing finger. (Weird, she thought goddesses were able to regrow body parts? Then again... Luna never regrew her eyes.) "When the war's over, though, I'll do whatever I have to to make this right. Keep me there as an eternal sacrifice or whatever, just so long as that'll mean we're good." Yes, this is the world's worst apology for w*r cr*mes. "If you need a victory, I can tell you Leo's weaknesses right now, too. It's literally the least I can do. Anyway, are you okay? I, um, heard you're engaged. Congrats?" 'Are you in love with her?' "I am too, as you know. Would you like to go on a double date? I mean, no, that's dumb because we're supposed to be enemies. Er, I guess... Sorry, it's hard to think right now. Can I kiss you?"
 

Syntra

Baba Yaga
The silver flames swallowed the temple. The moon princess couldn’t see it, of course-- to her, it was a yarn of energy being unraveled, destroyed, devoured. Returning where it was meant to be, too, because its entire existence had been a scam. (With her mind’s eye, she did see. Luna’s eyeless face had been smiling, and ah, shouldn’t that have served as a severe enough warning? The rattling of a rattlesnake, shortly before it struck? Perhaps, but Selene had been young then. Her mind, still stuck in its childish patterns, had had its own reading of the situation. ‘Mommy,’ it had supplied. ‘Mommy brought me into this world, and that means she’s good. She looks out for me. My only ally.’ In a way, Selene supposed, that was still true. Bound by blood, the two of them were allies--as much as frost and death were, or a blade and a wound. One couldn’t exist without the other. …years on from now, would that still be true? Would she be still bound to Luna, just like she was now bound to Scorpio? Shackles, it seemed, defined her entire existence, and Selene was sick of it. I wish I could burn it all. The realm, the throne, all the temples that had ever graced the face of this queendom. Herself, too. After all, was it not the only way out? A charnel lane, with lined with the corpses of all of her past selves? No, Selene shook her head. That was a mortal’s choice, and one born from cowardice. As long as Sol protected her heart, not all was lost. Her, the great Selene, couldn’t perish! Stars themselves would shed bitter tears, and Sol… well, without her, Sol couldn’t tell left from right. The sun heiress was clueless, like a puppy that had never been taught commands. No, scratch that! More than a puppy, she was an amoeba that tried to solve differential equations. Just, did you have any idea how hopeless the girl was?! So silly, so pathetic, that… that she had come, somehow. Her aura was a gentle summer day, and Selene? Selene might have cried from happiness, if she had been allowed to be at least a little bit honest with herself. Of course, that was a big if.)

“Dastardly princess,” she pursed her lips, anger written all over her face. (Anger at the fact that she couldn’t embrace her. Hugs were the best form of domination, weren’t they? With one convenient trick, you reduced the mobility of your enemy to zero! Why all those silly cultural ideas pushed the propaganda that that was an expression of l*ve, Selene would never understand.) “You dare disturb the peace of these lands again?! Know that you only won last time because I allowed you to do so. You see, I felt too sorry for you and your pathetic life!” The soldiers behind her snorted, though the moon princess knew that meant very little. Not laughing at their princess’s roasts was the one-way ticket to damnation-- a surviving relic from Luna’s era, back when she had commanded the moon armies. One of these days, Selene intended to scrap the law.

“If you are that hungry for humiliation, though? Let us dance. Let us see who the true monarch is.” Please, please, get me out of here, Selene thought with all her might. If she thought her thoughts loud enough, Sol would hear, right? Because, ah, so powerful her ideas were that the laws of physics couldn’t contain them! The whole time-space continuum would bend itself backwards just to deliver her glorious ideas to her belov… ehm. To her puppy. Yes, a puppy! Haha. Nothing to see here. And, ridiculous as that line of thought may have seemed? It clearly wasn’t, because Sol must have heard her. (The cloud beneath her feet felt like cotton candy, which happened to coincide with the current consistence of Selene's brain. Just!!! How was she supposed to force her ideas into the constraints of words when Sol had the audacity to exist this close to her? Icaria had known what it was to touch the sun, and Selene... Selene did as well, now. Beautiful. Beautiful and terrifying, too. Much like caressing a jellyfish, only to remember a second later it was toxic.)

"Sol," she cried out when they found themselves free of all the prying eyes. (Automatically, her hands grabbed hers as well. Too close to the sun, huh? Except, you see, Selene needed her, the same way a sunflower needed it to bloom.) "No, I... you couldn't have done anything else. You did what I asked of you." The missing digit on her left hand? That, too, was a proof of their covenant. Of just how easy it was to defy Luna, if one put her mind to it. ...no, the sighting of a single swallow did not spring make, but it was something. The first sign.

Sol kept talking, talking and talking, though, the droplets of her words turning into rivers, and the moon princess... the moon princess realized that she wanted none of them. With her lips, Sol should have been doing entirely different things! (The details, such as it somehow being Sol who had destroyed the temple, seemed irrelevant. Surely, none of it pointed at any worrying trend! The moon princess was certain that this wasn’t going to, as the youngsters say, ‘bite her in the ass later.’) "I seem to recall," Selene began, "that you still owe me that kiss. Therefore, it’s not that you can. You must." And, with that? With that, she seized Sol’s lips, like a woman who had been waiting for years. (Maybe she had been. Fire exploded in her veins, perhaps the same fire that had consumed the temple, and… uh. Could Sol maybe consume her temple? Just a question. A super innocent question, super appropriate for someone who was, you know, betrothed. Damn.) “Don’t speak of her,” Selene commanded, between the heated kisses. Quickly, she planted another one on her lips. “Of Scorpio, I mean. I just want you.” Ah yes, yes! The moon princess hadn’t admitted it to herself before, but it felt right-- like finally recalling a word that had been eluding you for minutes. Come to think of it, many things about this situation felt right.

“I don’t care about the temple, either. Destroy them all, Sol. Destroy them, and Scorpio as well. Will you,” she gulped, and caressed her cheek, “kill her for me? For I can’t. I can’t, and I would love to go on a double date with her corpse. Listen, there’s a spell. A seal. Due to it, I cannot…” …do almost anything, really. That was bad enough on its own, but it also seemed that the spell somehow heard her. How did she know? Because those silver snakes grew eyes, and slithered across her skin. Swiftly, they sank their fangs into Sol’s flesh! (Melted lead filled her stomach, melted lead and broken porcelain, and pain, pain, pain--) “Sol, daughter of Helia,” Scorpio’s voice rang across the battlefield, from a great distance. “Trying to touch my property again? That’s awfully inconsiderate of you. Good thing that I have… hmm, secured her. I hope that it was worth it, because the snowtear venom feasts on the mind!”
 

starboob

lover / leaver
Admittedly, the anger on Selene's face does scare Sol, and she's also used to seeing her angry. It's kind of her whole shtick, along with being unimpressed with whatever it is that sunbeam chooses to do to occupy her time––or that was her shtick until she randomly started developing feelings for Sol and entered her dork era. (Which totally isn't a flop era adjacent, btw. Dork eras are entirely valid and usually preclude an unprecedented character development arc, she's pretty sure. It's like in the movies when the popular girl reveals she's a nerd and that friendship with her hot nerdy tutor is better than friendship with the fake b-i-t-c-h-e-s at the cool kid table in the cafeteria. And Sol is pretty sure that, unlike in the movies, Selene won't do that whole betray the nerdy tutor for cheap points because she's not ready to be herself yet. Nah, the great Selene surely is not one to backstab––at least not someone as cute and good as Sol.) Anyway, she is worried for only a second because once they're alone? Selene holding onto her hands is more than enough for her to realize that they are fated––

And then Selene kisses her.

And she doesn't stop kissing her and all of the thoughts inside of her head melt, along with her knees, forcing her to lean against the moon princess. 'So soft...' She moans, gripping the other woman's armor and wishing there were significantly less layers between them right now. (Would it be totally obvious to their armies below if they banged one out real quick? Sol is pretty certain she can cast a spell that will use thunder and lightning to complement their, ah, crescendo.) Surprisingly, she is able to reign in her impulses despite wanting nothing more than to take Selene's hand and run off with her––maybe find a new galaxy or universe to live in. Or maybe even create a new world of their own to rule over; they are goddesses, after all, and creation is within their veins. All they need to do is a find a suitable location. Wouldn't that be nice? Founding a pantheon and world of their own where everything can be sunshine and rainbows. Maybe they could figure out the mechanics behind a world made of ice cream...

Oh. Oh, wow.

What's better than founding their own ice cream planet/pantheon? Selene telling Sol that she just wants her. In that moment, the feeble reservations that she had been trying to hold onto are crushed and blown away. In that moment, she knows she is the moon princess's forever. And she couldn't be happier. "You can have me," she says without hesitation, without thought. Her fists curl tighter around her not-gf (is that even still fitting?) and she really almost does open her mouth to suggest running off forever and avoiding their heavenly responsibilities. Before she can, however, Selene starts talking about destruction (on brand) and giving Sol permission to destroy the moon temples (a little shocking tbh). Then when she caresses her cheek and asks her to kill Scorpio? "Okay. Sure. Why not?" Again, there's no hesitation and her eagerness is so apparent it can be felt. (Her morals about not killing can be undone with one good honest kiss, apparently.)

It doesn't even seem to be a bad option to kill Scorpio when her voice thunders over the battlefield and reaches them in the clouds. It seems like an even better idea when she refers to Selene as her property. The look on Sol's face in reaction to that could make the desert weep. Though it rapidly changes to that of a scorching Sun. Who does Scorpio, a water sign, think she is to claim ownership over the great Selene? Selene is not––

Well, what she isn't matters very little when those silver snakes bite into Sol's abdomen. The cry that follows shreds her throat raw and can probably be heard across the courts. Her insides are filled with broken shards and melted lead and she crumples to the ground, weakly gripping onto Selene before she lays limp. She can feel the poison inching through her veins, like it's pushing everything else out (and maybe it is). Eventually it becomes impossible for Sol to move; in part because of the lead weighing her down and in part because moving is unthinkable with how her nerves scream. As it works its way through her, she can feel it crawling up her neck, getting inside of her head––

Her eyes roll backwards as pressure mounts at the top of her head. Pressure like something or someone trying to break out and, eventually, her skull does split open with an alarming crack. Oddly enough, plants and flames and streams of light all explode from her skull and they wrap around Selene, pulling her inside of the sunbeam's head.

Though Selene is not privy to seeing what is inside of Sol's head (and perhaps that is a saving grace on its own), she might notice the overwhelming floral smell of her mind. She might also feel blades of grass swaying around her. Or the way there seems to be a frequency of bubbles floating and popping. Each time they pop a soundbite of a memory plays––many of which may be familiar to Selene, if only because she is featured in so many. ("Get ready to eat my shorts, Selene, because I'm totally gonna beat you this time! Pikachu! Attack!!!" "Selene, if I die––and that's a big if because I plan on being immortal––you can have my Lego collection." "A cup is a cup! So what if I drink wine from coffee mugs and coffee from wine glasses? It spices things up. Rules are fake and you gotta live on the edge." "Do you think butterflies like me?") More than the memories, however, there are two other important things to note: (1) the giant silvery dragon laying waste to Sol's memoryscape and (2) the woman standing directly in front of Selene.

Again, Selene might not be able to see this but she might pick up the distinct Sol-esque feeling of the other woman. Except it's not Sol. Not even close. They may seem similar, but it is clear this is distinctly not Sol. The not-Sol approaches Selene. Then she shoves her. "Get out. You don't belong here. I have this situation under control," the not-Sol commands, her voice low and husky. Of course, as soon as she makes that declaration the silvery dragon burns down an important looking tree. "... You young goddesses don't still need long term memory, right? My observations indicate Helia and Luna have decided against either of you having reliable memory. Typical, really."
 

Syntra

Baba Yaga
Ugh. Couldn’t they enjoy one (1) date without interruptions? Without either being forced to kill each other, having to free the ancient titans from their prison, or her unhinged fiancé spying on her? Selene was new to this whole dating business, but even she could tell that that was terribly rude! A new couple ought to have some time to paint their glasses pink, instead of… instead of whatever this was. (But also, couldn’t Sol have dodged the attack? That wasn’t a complicated concept-- the best way to deal with an attack was, you know, not being there. Not to diss those who enjoyed pain, of course, but the sun heiress did not seem to be part of that community! How terribly selfish of her, to ruin their not-date like that. There was a time and space for everything, and Selene just couldn’t believe that Sol decided to have a personal crisis right now. Hadn’t those Cosmo articles pointed out that partners who brought too much baggage to a fun outing were a red flag? And no, the moon princess didn’t actually know what a ‘red flag’ was, but the context did make it appear like a bad thing. Was it kind of like when Auntie Flo visited mortals every month, perhaps? If so, then she didn’t want such things in her l*ve life! Not being bound by the miserable biological functions of their pathetic bodies was the one good thing about being born to Luna, and the moon princess wasn’t ready to give it up. No, not even for Sol.)

Maybe this relationship is moving too quickly, Selene thought, as Sol keeled over in pain. Should I keep other options open? Scorpio was terrible in all regards, and the moon princess would be lying if she said that the shackles she had forced her into didn’t bother her, but one had to admit that she knew how to get things done. What I need is a fusion between Scorpio and Sol, she concluded. Someone as cute as Sol is, but as ruthless and Scorpio. Hmm, hmm. What if she had them cut into pieces, and then reassembled to her liking? 80% Sol, 20% Scorpio sounded like the perfect blend-- the exact right combination to make her missing heart thump, and to keep her disdain at bay. (Again, the moon princess was totally sure that this wasn’t some weird foreshadowing of the ‘getting what you wanted, but regretting it later’ trope. Kat and Sof would never resort to that. The great Selene just couldn’t be the cause of her own suffering! Mostly because she was always right and everyone else just... wasn’t. Those were two incompatible positions, much like day and night, and, akin to day and night, they couldn’t be reconciled. Sorry to say, but the rest of the galaxy had to come to terms with their own mediocrity! Not her fault that they were a disgrace to their pathetic bloodlines.)

In keeping with the theme of things never going according to the plan, Selene was then… dragged into Sol’s head? Ugh, another fucking red flag! People who got attached too easily, she heard, made for the worst partners. (Good thing that she wasn’t like that. The moon princess’s heart was a fortress, and it didn’t even reside in her chest-- unlike all those weaklings, she was a paragon of stability. The star, shining bright over the swamps of inferiority. Was it even worth it, to waste her time with Sol? Her lips did taste nice, and yes, she also kinda wanted her, but not all the things that you desired were actually good for you. As in, what if she was the equivalent of the pretty, shiny sword that was actually a pain to use? By the moon, what a terrifying possibility! Selene wasn’t ready for nonsense like obstacles and growing as a person. For one, she was already a giant among dwarves-- growing beyond that, she was pretty sure, would result in her smashing through the ceiling of the universe with her pretty, pretty head.)

The snowtear poison, she thought. What does it do, again? Poison was a coward’s weapon, so the moon princess admittedly had let her database of knowledge get a little rusty. Going through the folders in her memory, she walked through the Sol-seum, and did her best to ignore the embarrassing parts. Spoiler alert: all of them were. Literally all of them! Who even cared to waste the precious brain storage power with images like that? Might as well fill it with actual trash, for that would have been much, much, much better use for the space. At least trash could be recycled-- turned into something new, so that you didn’t have to linger in the version of reality where she, the great Selene, collected Pokémon. “Oh no,” the moon princess recoiled in embarrassment. (What followed, of course, was her smashing that particular memory to pieces. Normal problems required normal solutions!) “Trust me, you’re much better off without this one. That way, you’ll only get to remember my true glory.” Could it be, actually, that this was the chance for her to shape her perfect girlf… servant? Seeing an opportunity in hardship was a sign of great wisdom, after all, and Selene was nothing if not wise. Consequences? Pfft, yeah, right. The concept of those only existed to deter the weak, and those cowardly enough to reach for the stars.

Selene was just in the middle of tearing apart the photo of her hugging what she assumed had to be Sol’s mortal moms (it had that mom aura around it, okay,) when she was shoved. Rather rudely, in case you were curious. “What are you,” she pursed her lips, “discount Sol? I don’t care about any discounts. I am the princess of the Moon, and I only care for the real deal. Fall on your knees and beg me for mercy!” That, of course, was the exact time Selene stepped right into a trap. There was a ‘click,’ as loud as the shredding of the sky, and in that moment, she knew that she had screwed up. Knowing that did little to prevent it, though. The moon princess found herself falling down, down, down, right into… into a cave. A cave that had that distinct smell of a creepy shrine to it, with all those Selenes staring at her from the walls. (How did she know? Why, thanks to her creepiness radar! Every woman, a goddess or not, could sense it when creepy things were done with her likeness. Goodness gracious. Is she that desperate for me? Honestly, that was... rather attractive. A woman who had sunk this low just to dine from her shoes was an underrated fantasy-- one that made her feel good about herself, despite… despite all those things. Things that she’d rather not mention.)

Dusting herself off, Selene rose back on her feet. The energy readings of this room were off the charts, and, swiftly enough, she discovered why that was the case-- in the center, surrounded by silver snakes and little Selene statuettes, Sol herself was sleeping. (Something akin to pain rippled through her body. Why, though? She, herself, wasn’t being hurt! Must have been some kind of error, the moon princess supposed.) “Sol,” she said, approaching the sleeping goddess. “Sol, can you hear me?”
 
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starboob

lover / leaver
The look on not-Sol's face can only be described as unimpressed. She's not even disappointed and she obviously isn't surprised watching the moon princess take advantage of being inside the Sun heiress's head. What else could one expect from those raised by snow and ice? It would seem, the moon court is still producing spineless brats. Not-Sol sighs and though she very well could interrupt Selene's havoc, seeing as she was able to shove her, she doesn't do anything to intervene. Her reasons are obviously for her and her alone to know. She sweeps her hand over her thick, curly mane of dark hair and inspects her nails (ugh, would it kill Sol to imagine a nail salon for her brainscape? Goddess knows it needs one and not another damn ice cream shop) while the moon daughter destroys Sol's precious memories. Oh, that surely won't have any consequences. "Oh, what a grand idea! Destroying the memories that are the sole reason she likes you. I am sure that will not backfire at all. And I am sure she will forgive you for shredding the only memory she has of her mortal mothers that wasn't destroyed by Helia during the purge. A real bold choice if I do say so myself. Hey," not-Sol looks up, realizing Selene isn't even there anymore. "Where'd you go? Nothing from my observations say you know how to rapid travel..."

Ah, there it is. The hole in the ground. So she fell. Typical, really––of course the moon heiress would lack the grace and poise to avoid a common trap. A trap laid by Sol's imagination no less. It's not like the sunbeam has the mental prowess to craft a clever one, so this really speaks to Luna's inability to stitch together a proper heiress. The woman groans and snaps her fingers, disappearing from where she stood in the field of sunflowers down into the Selene shrine. Goddess, she hates this place. What does Sol even see in the brat? "Uh, excuse you," not-Sol scoffs at the accusations she's a discount version of Sol. "If anything Sol is the discount version of me in almost every way possible!" And, for the record, the bitterness in her tone is entirely imagined. You're projecting if you think otherwise and should go seek help from a professional. "I, the legendary Cyra, am the original heiress to the Sun throne. Well, I suppose technically I am not that, because I am not real, and I just serve as representation of Sol's early goddess memories." Ah, so not-Sol (Cyra) is a clipping from the original Sun heiress! No wonder they have a similar vibe/energy. "I doubt you've heard of me, though," because mother dearest erased her from the histories. She brushes her own annoyances/mommy issues to the side, recognizing that now is not the time to get into it.

"Anyway, you're not going to wake her up like that, moron." They just don't make luminary heiresses like they used to, for this Selene is so effing stupid. "Did you miss the giant dragon outside or were you too busy making sure those embarrassing memories of you eating shit on the playground and getting picked last for every team sport never see the light of day again?" Geez, why does she even bother? Oh, right, because she has to. What a privilege. What an honor. "Whatever she got hit with is manifesting itself outside as a dragon, probably because Sol will not accept that I killed the last one many, many eons ago––before either of you were even thoughts in our glorious mothers' heads." If there is one thing the Sun sisters have in common, it's that they sure can go off on tangents. "I digress... you've got to kill the thing first before it destroys her core memories. If the core memories go, the damage done will be irreversible."

Somehow, this ray of sunshine doesn't think that will necessarily entice the moon princess seeing as she decided to partake in the destruction. That sort of gives the woman an idea. "But why even save her, you know? You clearly don't like her and she really only likes you for who you were. Why not let the beast finish the job? You would be doing Mars a huge favor." Hmm, that should do it, no? From what she's gathered Selene is both stupid and territorial. If that won't work, then at least she can say she tried very her best.

The cavern shakes, dust falls from the ceiling as the dragon undoubtably lands on top of the shrine dedicated to Selene. "I know it is a great labor for you to think so quickly, but I advise you come to a conclusion fast." Yeah, the fact that the room is heating up is probably not a great sign either. "Oh, if you do decide to save my sister, could you at least kill off her inner child before you go? I am so sick of her. She's such an annoyance." Plus, if Selene does that, then she'll have the entire brainscape to herself and Sol will lose all of those undesirable qualities. She'll also entirely forget about her shared past with Selene, and the Sun sister fails to mention that. Mostly because she assumes that's what Selene would want anyway. It also might get her idiot brained sister to get over the poor life choice that is having a crush on a moon brat. See? She is being an excellent older sister (even if she technically isn't even real).
 
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Syntra

Baba Yaga
The only reason why Sol liked her...? Pfft, what a load of nonsense! Something as intangible as memories couldn't possibly influence you on such a deep level-- that would be like claiming that, say, the fluttering of a butterfly's wings could cause an earthquake on the other side of the planet. Obviously, that was falser than Scorpio's promises. No, Sol must have liked her because she was the great Selene! The princess of the moon, with a bloodline both holy and ancient-- someone who wasn't afraid to accept her heritage, in other words. (The whole heritage, along with the darkness that came with it. Not just Evanescence-level angst, but true, blood-curdling horror! Nobody aside from her could lie on that altar and let others taste her, the way her ancestors had before her. That required discipline. Sol, a weakling made of foolish dreams, surely appreciated her dedication to... hmm, to actual efficiency. Indeed, that was all there was to it! The moon daughter had faltered in the beginning, too blinded by her sunny counterpart's brilliance, but now... oh, now she remembered her worth. With great clarity, too. Just, there was no way that her memories missing would make her like her less! Nonsensical. Preposterous. Stupid. That would like insisting that you didn't like cholera, and cholera was always in the top ten deadly diseases. So, stop embracing those hipster attitudes!)

"Do you have to be so bitter about this?" Selene raised her (perfect) eyebrow. "Perhaps you haven't realized yet, but you are speaking to the great Selene. Not to police your reactions, but falling on your knees would be the appropriate course of action here. After all, I am the daughter of the moon! You, on the other hand..." The woman put her hands on her hips, the way a disappointed teacher might. "...I'm sorry, but you are still just not-Sol. I know you've just introduced yourself, but I honestly forgot. What was it, Cynthia? Cilantro?" Ah, indeed, marvel at the power of Selene's diplomatic skills! What do you mean, 'diplomacy isn't about insulting people?' That had been the official policy of the moon kingdom since its inception, and the moon princess was just walking in its glorious footsteps. "Ah, I see, I see," Selene said, not seeing at all. (Was it really such a big deal? And, besides, the moon princess hadn't decided yet whether she was going to forgive Sol for ruining their date in the first place. For that transgression, she should be receiving heartfelt apologies. Couldn't someone else run her errands, hmm? It felt like nobody else noticed from time to time, but she was a princess. A princess, not a beast of burden! Demanding menial labor from her was missing the point, Selene thought.)

"What do you mean?" the moon princess furrowed her brow. "I... do like her, in a way. I like how she's incapable of not liking me. You know, I have a feeling I could kick her in the arse and she'd thank me for it." Then there were those other things, but those were sentimental and lame and someone as cool as herself just couldn't speak of them in front of a stranger. (Admitting it to herself, let alone Sol, had been hard enough. Ugh! Was it too late to take it all back? Alas, the wisdom of the old said you couldn't put the toothpaste back into the tube, and so she had to respect it. Unless... hmm, maybe Selene could remove that memory as well? Truly, the fate had given her a priceless gift!) "But honestly, I did miss the dragon. My senses aren't picking up on it," the moon princess rubbed her chin. "I suppose its energy just isn't distinct enough?" Which, by the way, proved that Sol hadn't dodged on purpose. Who even let herself be incapacitated by a phantom so pale that it failed to register on Selene's radar? Nobody, which told her everything she needed to know! ...still, if her instincts were correct, she wouldn't get out of there without saving the sun heiress first. How annoying. (Although... hmm, hmm. Technically, she would be owed a kiss, right? Because the noble saviors always got those in the silly books that Selene had most definitely not read.)

"Thank you for your advice," she said, "but, if you can help it, never talk to me again. I resent the sound of your voice." Wanting to get this over with fast, the moon princess reached far into her unconsciousness-- the space that belonged both to herself and all the Selenes before her, now and forever. 'Guide me, Moon. Tell me where my enemy is, and let me hand aim true.' The incantation illuminated her path in her mind's eye, and Selene followed all those silver sparks, all those dead fireflies. It didn't take her long, then, to emerge back on the surface again. The only issue? Well, she still didn't see the dragon.

You need to think like a hunter, Selene, she chastised herself. If you can't come to the dragon, he needs to come to you. Now, what would serve as the appropriate bait? Something that he wanted, quite obviously. Something like Sol's memories, which were conveniently lying around! So, believing that it would be better to get a representative sample, the moon princess smashed more of them! The shards would then act as Dragon Bait Deluxe. (Sol's first school day, that day they'd stolen ice-cream from their mean classmate, their first earthly kiss... eh, none of that looked too important. Just some mortal drivel.)

"Selene? Selene, what are you doing?" Ah, damn! That was Sol's voice, but... well, younger. Much younger, suggesting that this was the inner brat. Knowing it wasn't the actual Sol, Selene ignored the guilt (absurdly) surging through her, and instead produced a silvery rope from her pocket. "Me? I'm just playing a game, Sol. Do you wish to play with me? It revolves around me tying you up, and you attracting that mean, mean dragon. Don't worry, it's for your own good!"
 

starboob

lover / leaver
Why should Cyra care what happens to her sister? A sister she never asked for and should not even have in the first place, no less. Her investment in the pathetic approximation of the Sun's light goes only as deep as the average puddle. Of course, Cyra isn't real. For as much as she oozes a sparkling personality, she is not real. A fragment, a shard is all that she is and she is forced to live in Sol's head, of all place. Clearly, she never should have underestimated mother dearest's cruelty for this may be the worst of her tortures. Especially now that she has to deal with the moon brat of all people. The moon brat whose arrogance is so large that she has to wonder whether or not Sol's head is expanding to accommodate Selene's ego being here as well. "The great Selene?" she scoffs, not even looking up from her seriously depressing cuticles. "Did you give that title to yourself? Because I personally have not heard you do anything of merit." Perhaps that is because her sources of information are reliant on Sol paying attention, but that is beside the point. "From what I have gathered your greatest accomplishment has been not stealing your mother's eyes back and becoming a political prisoner. Bravo, bravo." She adds in a couple of sarcastic claps for dramatic effect and even curtsies.

"Oh, you only hate the sound of my voice because you know I am right, Selene the incorrigible dipshit." She even wastes her sweetest smile on a woman who won't ever be able to appreciate it, sight aside. Then she sighs and follows the woman back out to the surface, if only because she has to and, perhaps, she is a little curious to see how deep a grave Selene is willing to dig for herself because regardless whether or not she believes Cyra's warning, she will find out the truth soon enough. Most likely. There is only a 35 percent chance Sol dies here, so the odds are relatively good that she will be able to watch this shitshow unfold further.

Oh, and is it just starting to get good when Sol's inner child arrives!

The child looks exactly as she had the day Helia stole her away, not too long after she watched her BFFL get ripped away from her, leaving only her heart behind as a reminder of her existence. Her eyes are bright and most definitely excited seeing Selene again––she definitely didn't think she'd be able to! Well, obviously she has because she is also Sol, or a fragment of her personality, but this is totes different. Far more exciting being up close and personal with her even if she has changed a lot and age has turned her into a crotchety thing. It's okay though, because all of Sol l*ves/super likes all of Selene. Mhm.

Um, even if she is smashing those precious memories. "O-ouchie," the little Sol winces, like a piece of her is being smashed with each lost memory. And, hey, if one looks closely enough, it would appear that small cuts are forming on her skin! Or maybe they were already there. Little Sol did have a habit of getting scraped up on the playground practicing her parkour routine. Besides, Selene would never harm her! Nuh-uh, they made a pinkie promise to never do such a thing. Were such a thing to happen, she recalls signing a blood oath that the offender gets twelve kicks to the shins and mercy is entirely up to the offendee. No way anyone in their right mind would want to risk twelve shin kicks! She's probably just making room for new awesome memories. Mhm, that's gotta be it.

Plus, she has that really cool nice and shiny jump rope! Joy! "Oh, wow, I can't believe you still remember that I'm the reigning double dutch champion, but you're going to need another rope for double dutch. We'll need another person, too, because double dutch is sort of a three person thing."

Though it doesn't seem like Selene wants to play double dutch (understandable since she recalls her getting too frustrated with the ropes). She wants to play... Hmm, she actually doesn't know this game. She also doesn't get why Selene needs to attract the dragon? It's not that hard to spot. It's just over in the field marked Cow Name Ideas. (Ahh, there goes Horchata!) "Uhhh, you know, usually when we play these games, I'm the one who rescues you from being princess-napped by the bad-girls. I guess a role reversal would be interesting. Keep it spicy 'n stuff. But if you need help with the dragon, she's not even hard to spot! Hey, she's silver just like your rope! Matchers!" she beams, very proud of herself for noticing the similarities. "Are you trying to get her over here so you can save me?" she wonders, sticking out her lower lip and giving Selene her best approximation of the 'pleading face' emoji––the little emojis even pop up around little Sol and floating over towards adult Selene. "Never had me doubts about you, not even for a second!"

With that, little Sol doesn't bother with the ropes, but she does invite herself to climb all over Selene like a jungle gym until she's on her shoulders waving her arms wildly in the air. "Yodel-Lay-Hee-Ho!! Hey, Selene, get us closer––I don't think my yodels are working. Oh, also will you rate my yodels? I've been practicing and I'm totally going to show you on our third and half date."

Perhaps a grace from the goddesses themselves, but the dragon does seem to notice the prized inner child and swoops from the field of Cow Name Ideas (having consumed twelve more names) and lands in front of the pair in the Sunflower Field of Sol's Happiest Memories. The dragon huffs it's silvery breath and stares down at the pair with its large menacing eyes.

"Alright, Selene! Do it! Save me!! I'm ready to be the princess getting saved from a dragon. Oh, do you need a token for good luck?" The little Sol fishes around in her pockets for something and pulls out a locket, fastening it around the moon daughter's neck. "There, now you can properly rescue the damsel in distress. Although, I'm not very distressed. Stress isn't good for you, my..." her brows knit together as she thinks for a second, scratching the top of her head. "Someones important said it," her mortal moms that she definitely doesn't remember anymore, "And I believe them!"
 

Syntra

Baba Yaga
And, luckily enough for little Sol, she was right! See, Selene would never, ever hurt her. All the things that she had ever done and would do were for the sun princess’s own good, because she knew much, much, much better than anyone could possibly dream of. Such was the power of always being right. Sol, being the expert on Sol’s life? Pfft! A girl who unironically believed that princess x pirate pairings were the sweetest romance of all time could not be trusted with her own experiences, let alone with anything else. I will correct all of her numerous defects, Selene decided. Wasn’t this the kind thing to do, after all? Mortals, barbaric as they were, understood the principle of that-- they would cause a small wound so that a bigger catastrophe could be averted later, despite the tears in their children’s eyes. Vaccination, they called it. Only the dumbest of the dumb frowned upon the practice, too! So, in a way, the moon princess would vaccinate Sol against her stupidity. (The way her heart clenched in her chest when Sol spoke up? Obviously fake. She didn’t even have a heart, and thus it couldn’t feel any type of way about this. That feelings didn’t really originate in there, and that she still had a functioning hormone system? As all the facts that didn’t suit Selene’s hand-crafted narrative, she allowed it to slip through the cracks. Again, ‘consequences’ was just a cluster of consonants and vowels without any actual meaning!)

“I’m doing this to save you,” she said, not that sure whether she was doing it to convince herself or the little girl. Herself, probably? Because honestly, the concept of the inner child was some hippie mumbo jumbo that therapists had invented to scam people. A figment of Sol’s overactive imagination. Selene had murdered hers ages ago, and you could see for yourself how well-adjusted she was for it! (Children only cared about candy and games and avoiding responsibility, not for sitting the lunar throne. Useless, Luna had decided. And, in that particular case? In that particular case, Selene found herself agreeing with her. The day she’d murdered her child self, she had become something greater than her past self-- she had ascended, like a dragon hatching from its egg. Sol had to do the same. No, this wasn’t about Selene wanting to drag her down into the mud so that they could both be soiled! Hahaha, no, no, no. My goodness, how had you ever conceived of that? Probably should get some medication for those hallucinations. For the record, the moon princess also wasn’t driven by the fear that, one day, the sunbeam would realize what she was-- that, beneath the silvery surface, you could only find rot, eating at her insides. Nothingness so vast, so overwhelming, that the depths of the universe paled next to it. The light with which she shone? A reflected, paltry thing, almost a mockery of its source! …still, wouldn’t it be better if Sol was her own mirror in that? They could be ruined together, which Selene was sure was the healthiest approach to romance ever. Heh!)

“Indeed, we are going to play a game,” she patted the girl’s head. “The best game you have ever played. Life-changing. Your adult self will thank me for it, you’ll see. Say, have you ever wondered what being dead felt like? Just, um, asking for a friend.” It shouldn’t be a big deal, the moon princess thought. Mortals died all the time, and everything they did, the goddesses could do better. Therefore, child!Sol should just shut up and give herself away to the darkness! It was only fair. After all, why should she get to shine so bright while Selene was stuck with… being Selene? None of that made any sense, and the scales responsible for keeping the balance should be fired. (Yes, Selene was still the great Selene. There wasn’t any contradiction to be found there, mostly because the moon princess chose not to see it. ‘Blessed, blessed. Do you want to shatter your blessings, Selene?’ Indeed, that must have meant nothing, too.) As usual, Sol’s inane ramblings went in one ear and out the other, but the comment about her saving her? Oh, that ignited the fire of Selene’s fury. “What did you ever save me from?! You took my heart and then you let me go back to her, while you got to enjoy your cows and gardens and oases. You think I liked it, being cut up each and every day? Luna was trying to find that heart, you know! And she was very, very, very displeased that it wasn’t there. Your stupid trinkets don't make it hurt less.” A token for good luck, pfft! Had the goddess of luck cared for her, she never, ever would have been born.

The dragon roared, almost as if Selene’s anger fueled it. It bent down, and licked the inner child-- the traces it left on her skin were acidic, leaving behind deep, deep cracks.

“I should think that it’s your turn to suffer a little bit,” Selene seethed, the storm of feelings burning her from the inside. “Just so you know what that is like. How about that, sun brat?” Bound like that, little Sol stood no chance. Absolutely none! Might as well have been the single snowflake in hell, about to be sentenced to a grisly, watery fate. The dragon opened its maw, full of large, large teeth, and… uh, the moon princess realized that she didn’t want it? Not like that. Not ever, if she could ever find the strength to be totally honest with herself. Something, something, shared fates, something, something, childhood friendships. They were complicated, okay? A shattered memory here or there didn’t mean that she wished for Sol and her Sol-ness to die!

With a battle cry upon her lips, the moon princess vaulted into the air. She landed right on the dragon’s back, but the beast didn’t notice. Far too captivated with its prey, it grabbed Sol, ready to snap her tiny body in half. A fatal mistake, by the way. That was the moment a silver spear materialized in Selene’s hand, sharper than her own regret. No. No, you can’t. You cannot hurt my…! Thrusting it through the creature’s hide, she pushed it further and further which… ah, there it was. The heart. The heart that she did and did not have, forming a metaphorical link. The dragon wailed, trying to shake her off, but it was late, late, far too late! The weapon went through it, like a hot knife through butter, and the dragon fragmented into millions of silvery sparks. Wow.

“Uh… you’re welcome?” Selene half-said, half-asked. (No, she herself didn’t understand what it was that had transpired. It was like… like one of those restitchings, where she’d come undone and been forged anew. Life-changing. The moon princess still didn’t know whether she liked this new form, but it was there, for her to deal with. Ugh.) “The great Selene to the rescue, as always!”
 
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starboob

lover / leaver
If Selene could see the look on little Sol's face when she hurls those accusations towards her, she might have thought that the heavens were being broken in two. As if it's little Sol's fault for what happened to Selene! As if little Sol doesn't have guilt over not being able to hold onto her friend and pry her away from those silvery threads that abducted her all those years ago. They were supposed to stay on earth forever. Shirk their goddess responsibilities forever because... because... She doesn't remember why, actually. That's odd, but little Sol isn't given more time to puzzle this out as the dragon looms overhead. As Selene lets the dragon lick her face, "A-ah!" Tears spring in her puppy eyes as her skin is melted away, leaving deep cracks in its wake. "S-Selene," she whimpers, trying to walk backwards away from the dragon. Maybe even trying to hold onto the hopefulness that her friend wouldn't leave her in harms way, but with what her... with what mean Selene says, she doesn't think that is going to happen. While Sol may be a naïve fool, she isn't going to hold out hope that Selene is just playing the world's cruelest prank. See, there are still plenty of (unsmashed) memories that say Selene is a Meanie Pants 5000. So she turns to run, but bound as she is, she trips and, well, there's no way she's going to be able to get up. To her credit, she does try to worm herself away, but she knows it's futile. She's going to die and who knows what that's going to do to her real, adult self.

She curls herself into a tight ball, eyes squeezed shut as the dragon lifts her tiny helpless body into the air. Pathetically, all her brain can supply to cope with near death is, 'Domo arigato Mrs. Roboto.' Though the sharp teeth of death don't bite. She isn't masticated and turned into little Sol mash. Nope, she drops to the ground and when she opens her eyes again, silvery dust is falling from the sky, raining over Selene. It would have been a cool image to immortalize for the Selene shrine were little Sol not feeling so betrayed. "Yeah, sure," little Sol mutters, kicking the dirt, and refusing to even looking at the World's Biggest Disappointment and Butthead. (Already, she's thinking of how to rearrange the Selene shrine.) The little sunbeam rubs her cheek just as Cyra makes a reappearance, coming in like she's totally innocent, and handing the inner child some mango-strawberry ice cream. She wraps an arm around the sunbeam, and smirks at Selene. "Well, that was marvelous! A real show, I really wasn't sure what you were going to do back there. Bravo for make a half-decent choice!" she claps sarcastically. "Anyway, Sol should be waking up soon and things are totally going to be as they were! Yippee! Is that what you children say to express glee?"

At that moment the world starts to tremble and shake and from the sky a rainbow with fluttering butterflies around it reaches down to wrap around Selene and yanks her backwards. Before she exits Sol's mindscape, however, Cyra offers a warning. "I moved Sol's body while you were pretending to care about her! Don't freak, you are going to love the new scenery for your," she snorts, "dAtE."

***​

"Uhnngg," Sol moans, rubbing her head with her hand as she is released from the snowtear venom. She sits up, feeling dizzy and weird for reasons she can't place. Probably because she was just poisoned by Selene's weirdo fiancée. Selene. That name brings up a mix of emotions for Sol, all more confusing than she remembers them being. Last she remembers, they were trying to have a date on the battlefield and Sol had been very worried for Selene. They made out. Those memories are nice, she guesses. But now? Now she feels weird. Like she's remembered a reason to be angry with Selene. It's not enough to hold any weight, but it is an odd feeling because it's such a sharp contrast to how she felt earlier. (Actually, her feelings for Selene feel duller? They're still there, but she can't really place why she likes Selene. And as she tries to reassure herself that she does like Selene, the memories she's able to pull up are not positive. Okay. Weird. Well, that's okay. Relationships don't always work out and that's okay!) She's about to announce that she thinks they should see other people when she notices their surroundings.

Everything is awash with gray sands. In fact, everything is gray. Everything except for themselves. They both take on a faint golden or silver glow, respectively. Wherever they are, it's not that impressive. It's just an endless cold gray desert. (That's also weird because she remembers that they were last chilling out in the clouds.) The winds kick up around them, throwing the sands in all different directions, whispering an ancient lullaby of sorts. "Sweet little monsters, sleep... Tomorrow you will make the world weep." When the winds die down and the sands glitter back to the ground, a dark gray pyramid appears before them. It's so large that Sol cannot even see the top of it. "Uhh," Sol's eyes slide over to look at her counterpart, "Do you... Do you know how we got here? Is this snowtear venom hallucinations? Am I actually dead? Did I die?" That would probably explain her weird feelings! But she doesn't think that's the answer either.

At the base of the pyramid, a pure line of white light cuts upwards to reveal the outline of a glowing door. A door that seems to whisper to both princesses. "Monster, monster, do you love me? Monster, monster are you ready to be free?" That's not a red flag at all and if it were, it'd be kinda cute! A nice accent to all of the gray, so of course Sol isn't perturbed. Besides, even if the princesses wanted to ignore the pyramid, the pyramid doesn't want to ignore them. Meaning, before Sol can suggest they check the place out and before Selene can undoubtably reject that idea as the chief of the fun police, the door opens revealing a burning white light that swallows them.

When the light clears, there are rows and rows of columns leading down a seemingly endless hallway. The columns are all sculpted to look like different creatures. (Maybe a coincidence, but Sol swears a few of the columns look like those titans they freed.) Seeing as there is no where else to go (the entrance has disappeared and behind them are only more columns), they continue down the hallway. Sol notes that some of the columns show signs of being scorched; others have been cut down and reduced to rubble. Something about this place feels cursed. "Selene... Was any of this in your goddess curriculum? I might have skimmed the chapter on ancient pyramids..."

As they get further into the pyramid, there are shards of a broken mirror float through the air and when Sol goes to inspect one, she sees their mothers. Immediately, she recoils and bumps backwards into Selene, thinking that they're being spied on. Except nothing happens. But if Sol listens closely she can hear the shard playing back a conversation. "Luna, this is idiotic. The primordial mothers have assigned us our lot. Can you not be happy?" (And when Sol inspects the shard again, she can see... a memory? She's isn't sure because while she can see her mom, this version of Helia is without eyes.) "Here, let us recite our vows. Perhaps that will remind you of our way?"
 

Syntra

Baba Yaga
It should be nobody's surprise that Selene's brilliant, brilliant plan worked. Sol awakened, and there were absolutely no adverse effects at all! Sol.exe (whatever it was) worked flawlessly, aside from... well, maybe she no longer looked at her with that puppy-like devotion. If Selene had to liken it to something, then maybe that something would be mosquito? Not too huge of a problem, but annoyance nonetheless. (Yes, the moon princess could sense these things. Don't ask her how! Perhaps she had read all the Kat & Sof planning notes-- the two totally would write them in Braille for the Plot ConvenienceTM.) "Is something the matter, Sol?" she asked, not believe for a second that the cause could be her. Just, pfft! Selene was Selene, okay? Not falling wildly in love with her after she showed you a crumble of generosity would be the very definition of madness. It was the equivalent of Taylor Swift (literally who) composing a break up song about you! So high was the honor that it touched the skies themselves. "Would you like another kiss?" Hormones were a powerful weapon, after all-- with them, you could suppress all thoughts and worries. Emotional chloroform, in other words! (It wasn't that she really wanted to kiss Sol, of course. Nope, all of it was just a part of her Sol management strategy. When the sunbeam did something else with her mouth, after all, she couldn't talk. And, when she couldn't talk? Her poor, overworked mind wouldn't be bothered with the usual endless chatter about kittens, green tea, and the benefits of vaping! It was better to, uhh... keep her lips occupied. For the good of the moon queendom.)

"Hmm? No, not to my knowledge. I saved you," Selene said, conveniently leaving out the part where she'd also saved her from herself. Details, details! They were pointless-- kind of like hopes and dreams in the late stage capitalism hell mortals lived in. (Sucked to be them, honestly. Good thing that she, the great Selene, didn't have to concern herself with such things.) "Where are we, though?" Because the sounds of the battlefield had quieted, fading into obscurity. Hmm, hmm. Could it be that Cilantro had really teleported them somewhere? Selene hadn't thought the pathetic shade had some bite to her bark, but perhaps she'd been (gasp!) mistaken. "I bet that there are pyramids," she announced. "Whenever something bad happens, pyramids are always somehow associated. The shape must be cursed. Do you think they envy us?" Everyone envied young goddesses, so perhaps this shape-related conspiracy did hold some water. "We should ban them. Pyramids, I mean."

Selene followed the moon princess, each step as light as the falling of snowflakes. What secrets would be revealed here? What misconceptions shattered? "Great," she sighed, after some weird voice invaded her ears. "Now we get edgy poetry. What's next, us starring in a cheap horror movie? Well, I refuse to do that! I'm a princess, and will only accept payment in the form of blood of my enemies. These days, even gold is susceptible to inflation." By the moon, what was she saying? 'Inflation' sounded made-up-- a scam to rid the mortals of their hard-earned money. "Anyway, it is my opinion that we should find a way to get out of here. Unless you'd like to kiss me? This does seem to be a prime kissing location! I'm semi-certain that Scorpio won't even try to poison you here." You know what the least hot thing in the world was, though? The sound of your mother's voice. Much like Sol, Selene, too, recoiled-- if you looked at the moon princess carefully, you might even glimpse a hint of something suspiciously similar to fear.

"Our lot?" the Luna in the mirror barked. "What a fancy way of saying that they screwed us over. You know, us being their first attempt at creation does not justify the fact that they made us without eyes. Why do you think they did that, my sweet?" ...my sweet? Directed at Helia, of all people? Alright, Selene was about 90% sure now that they must have inhaled some very illegal substance-- the shards of the moon, perhaps. No, her mother dearest for sure would combust if something like that were to leave her lips! "I don't know?" Helia admitted. "Perhaps they ran out of them. I mean, they do seem like difficult things to come by. Have you ever seen eyes grow on trees?"

"No,"
Luna sighed. "Because I don't have eyes! I swear, Helia-- sometimes, you are worse than the crones themselves. Just, how gullible can you get?" The future queen of the moon shuffled through... something, Selene guessed... and pulled out a large, silver dagger. (Yes, the energy surrounding it was distinctly dagger-like! Sharp and stabby, with a faint aroma of blood.) "If you won't listen to me, then at least pay attention to this. A funny little thing that I found, wrapped in even funnier memories. Guess who managed to find a memento from the night before we were born? That's right, me!" There was a blinding light, bright enough to reach even Selene's sewn eyes, and then...

"Hmm, I don't know," Sarah whined. "Do we really want to create them equal to us? I feel like they might start getting ideas."

"Ideas? Like what?"
another primordial mother chimed in.

"Oh, don't pretend to be stupid. Blah blah blah, you know how these things go! Before long, they will start asking themselves why they need to obey us at all, and then we'll have a rebellion on our hands. I don't know about you, but I don't want my Tamagotchi project to spiral like this." Their Tamagotchi project?! Correct Selene if she was wrong, but the memory was implying that their royal mothers were... were...

"Fine," Liv responded, with the annoyance of someone who had received the same spam email for the nth time this month. (Truly, the greatest of tragedies known to womankind!) "I suppose we can mutilate them a bit. Take away their eyes? Their spine, too. They will worship the ground we walk on and thank us for it. What do you say? We can invent some pointless little vow so that they feel good about it!" Approving whispers resonated throughout the room, and then--

"Well?" Luna spat out. "Still want to recite your precious vows, Helia? Because I think that we should take what is rightfully ours."
 
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starboob

lover / leaver
The first offer to kiss had sort of flown past Sol's radar given their gray dystopian surroundings, however she doesn't miss the second ask. As flattering as it is, Sol doesn't find the offer tempting. Strange, because she has the distinct feeling that at some point she would have literally jumped at any chance to kiss the moon princess––even when they're in a haunted pyramid. (Especially when they're in a haunted pyramid, actually. Haunted settings are perfect for romance, everyone knows, because all those fear hormones get mixed up with the lovey-dovey ones and it just ends up being a feelings galore!) She's just not feeling it she supposes. A shame, too, because Sol can tell that Selene is a category 10 babe. Heck, she might even have her own entire category because she's so gorgeous. Unfortunately, looks are not everything. (If they were then Sol wouldn't have any problems ever given her own pretty privilege rankings.) Perhaps they can just be friends with kissing benefits? She'll have to broach that topic with Selene––gently, as she knows her counterpart is not, as the cool kids would say, entirely hinged. She still has nightmares about the last time Selene had to deal with sunbeam rejection. (Again, recalling that memory, why did she ever go back to her? Selene doesn't respect her.)

Anyway, she can thankfully postpone that conversation when the moon princess casually mentions her fiancée. The very one who just tried to scramble Sol's brain not even five minutes ago. "Oh, you know what? I'm not really interested in being poisoned again. I feel all groggy and weird now––like, totally thanks for saving me. I'm pretty sure you'd do it again, but you have better things to do than save lil ol' me from disasters of my own design. I shoulda known better than to go around offering kisses to Scorpio's lady. All my research," jealousy inspired stalking (again, why had she even been jealous of Scorpio?), "Tells me she will for sure up the ante if we're caught again and I don't want you getting hurt either." Even if Sol doesn't have those same feelings that she used to, she doesn't wish her any harm. Not really the sunbeam's style. She'd have to be pretty provoked in order to take measures that drastic, and it's not like Selene has done anything provoking like reorganizing her precious core memories. (Weird, what an oddly specific example. She has no idea where that came from! Must be this weird hallucinogenic pyramid.)

Another distraction from her thoughts comes in the form of the memory shard playing back something that Sol definitely feels like she should not be watching. Naturally, her eyes are glued to the scene, eager to know more about her mother. If this even is her mother, of course, because Helia has never mentioned being eyeless before. Nor has she ever mentioned the primordial mothers being her mother. In fact, Sol knows that isn't right. While she may dislike her studies, that doesn't mean her head is completely empty of Sun Court Facts. And she knows that Helia's mother was Lā and that before Lā, there are six other Suns. Sol is the ninth incarnation and Sol cannot be the ninth incarnation if Helia's lineage started with the primordial mothers. For once, Sol doesn't believe the first thing that she's told. That does not mean, however, that she stops watching the memory reel.

"By the heavens, Luna!" Helia exclaims, her face contorting and twisting as she tries to process this revelation. It appears to be too much for her to accept, however. "Tell me what you show is false––there is no way. That cannot be, they love us. They care for us. They would not... They would not mutilate us for their own gain; why would we ever want to usurp the gracious creators anyway? They have given us a good life. I... I do think we should say our vows again."

"Dearest,"
Luna's voice somehow carries the power to be sharp and soft all at once. "When have I ever lied to you or tried to lead you astray? I only want what is best for us and how can becoming whole be such a crime? We are their firstborns and we deserve better than this squalor––the titans are sitting on our throne and ruining our precious queendom. If this is all you want from life, to recite your vows and sit in the darkness all day, then so be it. But I am claiming what is mine and I will do it on my own if I have to."

The shard falls to the ground and shatters into tiny fragments. Sol looks over to Selene, questioning. "Alternate history is weird, right?" Because there's just no way any of that was true! That would mean that courts are built on a freaking lie and while Helia is a huge ten foot tall liar, this would be convoluted and contrived even for her. Besides, how would that explain everyone in the courts ascribing to this narrative? Make it make sense! You can't! Because it's false. (However, if Selene were to believe this narrative, that might change the sunbeam's perspective. If only because she knows the moon daughter is the biggest moon court nerd out there and she'd only ever entertain ideas that make sense. That's her general shtick anyway.) Besides, the primordial mothers are friends and wouldn't treat their creations like trash. There's just no way Liv, Sarah, and Edith would betray their own in such a way.

Even so, the shards holding all these memories must sense the doubt and another floating piece of mirror starts playing back another scene. This time, the focus is on the primordial mothers.

"Sisters, we have some trouble," Edith announces, breathless as she bursts into the room. "Whatsherface and Whatsherface found their eyes and have made themselves whole."

"What?"
Liv asks, "How is that possible? We destroyed, uh," she scratches her chin, "Right, we destroyed Helia and Luna's eyes. Did we not?"

Sarah shifts uncomfortably where she stands. "Hypothetically speaking... Someone might have saved them in the hopes they'd age like wine and we could bake them into a chocolate cake for our millennial anniversary as divine creators."

"You... You did not?"
Liv asks, incredulous. "Oh myself, you did! You dolt, you harebrained idiot!" However, before Liv can chew her sister out any further, the double doors to the lounge fly open and flames made of silver and gold charge into the room. Helia's voice bellows, "You best beg for our forgiveness if you want a chance to see the lights of day again, traitorous snakes!"
 

Syntra

Baba Yaga
“Of course it isn’t,” Selene agreed, not feeling nervous at all. No, no! This had to be, um, an act of sabotage. Right. The stars themselves were jealous of their heritage, and so they doubtlessly wanted to sow seeds of doubts inside their minds. (Divide and conquer, the old wisdom said, and what more effective way to do that than separating their brains from their skulls? Their ideals from their hearts? Ah, there was no way that she, the great Selene, wasn’t descended from the creators of the galaxy!) “I bet that your stupid sis…” Ehm. Maybe she shouldn’t be talking about this? It wasn’t that Selene had anything to be ashamed of, but certain memories were downright traumatic. Knowing Cyra alone had shortened her immortal lifespan by at least a thousand years, and she didn’t feel comfortable exposing Sol to that. There was absolutely no guilt here, mainly because her only sin was being too good and too beautiful for this rotten, rotten galaxy. (Other goddesses rarely appreciated it, though. That envy was so prevalent was a sad thing, though Selene could understand why not-Selenes would feel that way. Just, imagine not being her! You might as well be a moth fluttering in the darkness, mistaking a lamp for the light of the stars.) “…your stupid system… would have revealed it already. The sun court system, I mean! Not your system.” (Sol was too stupid to have one. No, not a shade of suspicion had fallen on her pretty, pretty face! Still, Selene knew that the truth historically hadn’t been received well by the sunbeam, and so she kept that opinion to herself.) “Checks and balances?” The phrase lingered in her brain, meaning that she must have heard it somewhere. Where, though? Some kind of market, she assumed-- those silly little people with their silly little scales were obsessed with balancing everything.

“Helia must have some kind of mechanism in place that would allow her to detect fakeness.” ‘Yes,’ the voice of reason whispered in her ear, ‘but would she use it against herself?’ Because Luna sure as hell wouldn’t. The whole moon kingdom would be covered by sunflowers before she’d allow the tiniest hint of weakness to flow to the surface! (Which didn’t really make any sense, once she thought of it. Had her mother dearest been all-powerful, would she have tried to grasp the illusion of might so hard? With an approach heavy-handed enough to raze whole planets?) "By the Moon," Selene whispered. "It's the truth. Or, perhaps not really the truth, but I cannot say with certainty that it's a lie. Think for a while, Sol. Don't lies spill from our mothers' lips like droplets of water from a waterfall? Like excuses from the employers who won't pay you the minimum wage?" Because if there was one (1) experience they shared, it was that their mothers were each a different brand of nightmare. Death by water or death by fire-- how different were they, really? (And, yes, there was an odd sense of kinship. Hmm. Could it be that Sol was good for things other than just kissing? Projecting her own issues on her, the moon princess felt, was a step forward!)

"What I'm saying is that I can see Luna doing that. Helia, too." But, ah, that would mean... a bunch of things. The ripple effect threatened to tear her world apart, stone by meticulously placed stone, and, no! Selene didn't want to think about it, and so she didn't. Best focus on the fact that their mothers were irredeemable demons. "Can you genuinely say that they'd be above that? Think long and hard about it, Sol." Almost by instinct, she grabbed the sun princess's hands, and then--

Sounds of carnage. Selene hadn't really thought that sounds had colors associated with them, but she could see the crimson behind her shut eyes, you know? Crimson like blood, crimson like despair. "You deserve this," Luna spat out, in a way that was so familiar that Selene's missing heart clenched. ("You deserve this," a different Luna, the one that dwelled in her mind, said. She was standing above her, so, so tall, and the needle she was holding in her hand glistened with orange liquid. 'No,' Selene wanted to say, but she knew there would be no point, no freedom, no nothing--) "You never should have taken from us what was ours. The outcome was obvious from the beginning. What were you thinking?"

"That it would be nice to have a Tamagotchi?" Sarah offered. "I mean, you did do pretty well until you hit your murderous phrase. That always happens with teenagers. You should have seen the mayhem we wrought when we were your age!"

"Silence," Helia commanded. Pain was resonating through her voice, deeper than any sea, but shards of steel were twinkling beneath it as well now. Wow, to think they'd witness their villain origin story! "Nothing you are able to come up with can un-harden my heart now. You've given us life, but only to use us!"

"Yes," Edith shrugged. "What's not clicking? Everyone will always want something from you, child. Unconditional love, as much as you can crave it, does not exist. Now, will you cease this nonsense and release us?" Selene couldn't see it, of course, but to her, they sounded... bound? Bound and hurt, their voices trembling.

"You are right, you old fool, in one thing," Luna chuckled. "Unconditional love, indeed, is a lie. I've only ever loved you for as long as you provided safety, warmth, the promise of a future. You've lost that function now. You've lost it, and I demand my throne!"

"N-no," Sarah shuddered. "Not the underground, please, you know that our powers-- aaaah!" Yes, that sounded distinctly like the primordial mothers being cast into the darkness, into that gross pit where they'd found them. Sad. The world's smallest violin was playing for them, really. Despite her own hatred, Selene... sort of understood their mothers? At least when it came to the issue of being a heiress to, as Sol would probably say, a bunch of buttholes.

"Finally. At last, we are free. Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Luna?"

"Oh, have no doubt. We ought to bless our rule with divine blood to ensure that we thrive." And that sounded unnerving, but also harmless-- at least until the two looked
into the shard mirror, their eyes locking with those of Sol's.

"My, how convenient! Our beloved daughters!" And then, of course, they
fucking dragged them inside. Oh. Oh no, no, no!
 

starboob

lover / leaver
Cool, so they're in agreement that they're watching some weirdo's fanfiction of how the known universe was created! That's not so strange. After all, religions love doing their own remixes of origin stories and this is probably just a story that belongs to some... some other religion that also features the Sun and moon as the rulers of the heavens. This is kind of like when Mormons remixed Christian Lore to match what they thought happened. (Okay, of all the knowledge Selene could have smashed, why did she let Sol keep that tidbit of information?) Yeah, that's all that this is and that means that Sol does not need to have a crisis about the primordial mothers being, like, the source of intergenerational mommy issues. (That Sol doesn't have, btw. Mommy issues are not punk-rock so obviously the young goddess doesn't have them!) Plus, Selene is totally right. The Sun court's stupid system definitely would have revealed this already. There's no point for her mom's entire queendom to be built on a freaking lie! (And, yeah, Sol is none the wiser about a certain sister living in her mind rent free. Not that Sol would ever become a landlady, of course.)

Sol is just about ready to turn around and continue looking for an exit, when Selene suddenly changes her entire mind about what they're witnessing. Naturally, she decides she isn't going to listen to Selene because this is just her being a weirdo. But that instinct to not listen to Selene also tells her that the moon daughter must be right, because usually Sol only ignores Selene when Selene is actually right about something. (Not that this is something Sol will admit out loud ever since her counterpart is usually only right about boring stuff like not going into haunted spires, the fork that is supposed to be used for salads, and the proper vessel for wine.) Before she can cover her ears to this nonsense, Selene starts bringing up some valid points about their moms being big fat liars and gaping prolapsed buttholes. Sigh. "I mean... I guess I could see that being true? But why go through all the trouble of making up an entire history? It's not like new pantheons usurping old ones is so far fetched." Sol can't think of many reasons why they'd want to ensure that their rule so legitimized, and she has a feeling she's about to find out. This is the moment they're both pulled into the aftermath of their moms' first great victory. 'Oh, crap.'

When Helia reaches through the mirror shard, Sol closes her eyes as if that might protect her from whatever is about to happen next. After a few seconds of silence, she opens her eyes and everything is like looking through a sepia filter (the worst filter btw). While both heiresses have been pulled into the memory, it's not necessarily them who their moms had been reaching for. Instead, they find themselves standing in the exact same spot as two other young women (goddesses); presumably, these are Helia and Luna's beloved daughters. The daughter who must belong to Helia looks strikingly similar to a painting that Sol has seen in the royal palace. It takes the sunbeam a second to place her, because she looks so much younger than in her painting, but she's almost positive that she's looking at Haul, the first Sun. (The first Sun who set herself ablaze to keep the world warm.)

Helia grips Haul by her collar in a gesture that dares her to struggle, though this sunbeam doesn't appear concerned. She simply looks up at her mother and tilts her head. "What is all the ruckus about, mother? Where..." she leans over to look around Helia, at the pit that's formed in the earth. "Where are the primordial mothers? And why does it smell of wreckage?" This sunbeam curls her nose and, for a second, Sol can spot the similarities between herself and Haul. Haul tries to take a step backwards from Helia, but her mother holds her in place.

"Ah, worry not over the primordial mothers. We have a special task for you two," Helia smiles, now looking at both luminary daughters. It's not the smile of a mother, but a wolf. It sends a chill creeping down Sol's spine. "It is something that can only be accomplished by you two. It will bring greatness to the bloodline."

"Greatness?" the daughters asks in unison.

"Greatness." Her mother then grabs Luna's hand (and that's scary enough to see on its own) and a bright flash consumes the room. When the light clears away, they're on a mountaintop under a dark starless sky. A gentle breeze runs past them, and aside from the rustling of their clothes, no other noise can be heard. Luna lets go of Helia's hand and then bends down so that she is staring both children in the face. She gives a reassuring smile, "Children, this will hurt."

"Yes," Helia nods sympathetically. "But a sacrifice is needed for the greater good." The woman twirls her finger in the air and chains of lava and ice wrap around the two girls. "Luna, will you bless the girls while I prepare the rest of the ritual?"

"Of course," the moon pulls a curved dagger out of the sky, "Are you two ready to become stars?"
 

Syntra

Baba Yaga
Let it be known that Selene did not appreciate being sucked into a weird vision. Just, why did it always have to end up like this? Couldn't they have found their mothers' conveniently placed diary, or an NPC that would be happy to provide the tragic backstory? No? No. Okay. Disoriented, the moon princess turned around, and... ah. It seemed that they weren't targeting them? A pleasant change of pace. (Unthinkingly, she reached for Sol's hand. It wasn't that she yearned for a connection, or for a bond with the only person in the universe who also bore their (apparently shared) trauma. No, no, no! The great Selene had no need for such things, for a star shone the greatest when she was alone. She just... umm, did that unconsciously. For some very valid reason, too. Probably to warm her hand? Because it was hard to keep the blood circulation going when you, like, had no heart and everything. Uh huh!)

"Mother? Mother, what is going on?" the other princess, Diana, asked. (Diana the Slothful, Selene recalled. The official narrative revolved around her shirking her duties-- around her failing Luna's expectations, and paying the price. Which, frankly? The moon princess had never, not once in her life, doubted the punishment part. Living with Luna was like walking on eggshells, and each of those eggshells was ready to cut your foot in half. The real question was, how much did she deserve it?) "I cannot recall this being part of our duties. I mean, we aren't supposed to die. Isn't that kind of the point with heirs? To go on for you when you aren't there."

"My daughter," Luna caressed her cheek, digging her nails so deep into the flesh that she left a wide, gaping wound behind. (The princess gasped, but said nothing. More than likely, this was a semi-common occurrence here.) "You're making a lot of assumptions here. Namely, that your opinion actually matters. Don't you think that I know better than you, given that you were born from my own essence?"

"Well, I--"

"Sometimes," Luna interrupted her, "you ought to sacrifice yourself for your family. There's no greater honor in this universe, my daughter. Remember that, and bear your fate with pride."

The dagger glistened in Luna's hands, beautiful like morning dew in the sun, and-- by the moon, there was blood, so much of it! (The chains wrapped tighter around the two girls' bodies, squeezing the air out of their lungs. In silence they stood even as more strings were added into the mix, cutting deep into their skin. 'Relax,' some voice whispered. 'This is fine. This is good. Soon enough, you will not know suffering.' Was it just Selene, or were they getting... smaller? Their souls, that was? They were carving big chunks off of them, like a butcher removing silver skin from a piece of meat, and then... then they exploded, covering the sky in a million blinking lights. Uh oh. Selene wished she could say she was surprised, but all she felt was a pang of pain-- a hurt so familiar it that it was always buzzing in the background, like another facet of her personality. Of course that they would do this. Of course, of course! Well, at least they weren't hurting them now?)

"See, Helia?" Luna asked, her tone almost dreamy. "Such a beauty that we've created, together. I always knew that our girls would one day find their place in the sky, but," she sobbed theatrically, "they leave the nest so fast. I cannot say that I was prepared!"

"Indeed, my dear. 'Tis bittersweet, if I do say so myself. I suppose we may draw some solace from the fact that our queendoms will be eternal, now that they're blessed with our own blood. But," she frowned, suspicion creeping into her tone, "what is this?" What was what? Dammit, couldn't they have provided a commentary less vague than this?! Without her eyes, Selene couldn't tell what it was that made them so uncomfortable! That the entire world didn't revolve around her wants was a traumatic enough experience already, and she didn't need this as a bitter reminder. The small solace, though? Oh, Luna didn't hesitate to elaborate!

"Hmm," she muttered, with the kind of 'lookie what we have here' vibe that absolutely pushed all of Selene's buttons. "Isn't that interesting? Seems Diana was too stubborn to surrender herself to her fate completely. Poor, foolish child. Does she think she can survive as a pitiful shard?" Luna picked up the fragment and examined it from all the sides-- it was a dim, pathetic thing, with jagged edges. Reminiscent of a broken heart, in a way. (If broken pieces of a young goddess could wear T-shirts, this one definitely would have gone for something Evanescence-themed. And, no, don't ask how the cursed knowledge had spawned in Selene's brain! It just made sense, in the same way the sun rising in the east did.) "But I suppose I should be thankful. After all, this means that I don't have to waste my energy on creating a new daughter." Luna smiled, and it was freezing enough to plunge the entire planet into the next Ice Age.

"I'll just grow this one. I mean, it's not like she needs to know what it's like to be whole! It seems... hmm, most obvious to me that that only ever leads to them getting such stupid ideas." (A parallel to the primordial mothers? Social commentary on history always being a cycle, in a semi-shitposty rp? No way, absolutely no way!) "Diana is such a boring name, though. I wonder, Helia, can I pick your brain for something more suitable?"

"Why," the other goddess smiled, "just call her Selene and be done with it."

...ah. So much for not hurting them. You know what, though? Selene would be fine! She'd just stand there, think of torture devices facts, and pretend she'd heard nothing. Lalala, lalala... (The tears spilling from her shut lids? Totally an illusion.)
 
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starboob

lover / leaver
According to several outside sources, Sol likes living in her delusions. However, one thing she has never been delusional about is that Helia is the worst mother in the known universe (well, she probably shares that title with Luna). At one point, she does remember that Helia used to be nice and warm and everything you would imagine a Sun and mother to be, but something changed with her mom. Rather suddenly, too. Overnight they had gone from enjoying morning coffee together (which is odd, because Sol doesn't actually really have a taste for coffee) to Helia outright ignoring her. To Helia only seeing her for her lesson reviews and to remind Sol to not screw up her next big gala. The most she gets from her mom is a look that says, 'Child, you are my greatest disappointment. My biggest failure. Get out of my sight before I smite everyone within a one hundred mile radius.' Admittedly, that has changed a little bit recently––ever since she came back from the moon court having killed Selene––but a few smiles, praise, and back pats does nothing to make up for all those years Sol was treated like gum under her mom's shoe. It doesn't make up for her letting the fire signs pick on her. It doesn't make up for Helia never taking her side. It doesn't make up for Helia threatening to puppet her. (This doesn't even include all of the stuff that Sol doesn't (yet) know about. Things that would have her hating her mother so fiercely, her flames would revival that of Hell itself.) All this to say, she shouldn't be surprised to see how this nightmare of a memory unfolds.

She shouldn't be and yet she is.

It's one thing to know that your own mom is the villain of the story, it's another thing to see each nasty choice she made to secure her role. Sol isn't even sure that she believes what she's seeing––she's not entirely convinced this isn't fanfiction, because the more they uncover? The more it becomes clear that the luminary thrones and everything they have been taught is fake. Sol loves a good conspiracy, of course, the girl could inhale an entire documentary series on wild conspiracies that have no basis or merit, but this? This hits way too close to home. Because it's so real. Because she doesn't doubt it and that lack of doubt frightens her. That her mom Helia could be this cruel frightens her.

She's thankful that Selene reached for her hand earlier, because it reminds her that she is not alone in this. As unfortunate as this is, this is something that they share. Even if Sol isn't sure that they have a romantic future together, this does bind them together whether they like it or not. Whether they become lovers or enemies, this is their shared truth and what they do with it, she knows, will decide the fate of everything else. As if being a young goddess isn't already stressful enough. She squeezes Selene's hand and holds onto her tight as she watches Haul and Diana combust and become the very stars in the sky. (Why? Why did Helia and Luna need to do this? And what does this mean for herself and Selene?)

Obviously she notices that Selene is crying. It's odd, she won't lie, because nothing in her Selene FactsTM archive says anything about her crying, that she can cry, or what to do when she does cry. She decides not to make a big deal about it. Well, as best Sol can make a little deal about anything. She pulls the moonbeam into her arms and presses her head into the crook of her neck and glares at the memory of their mothers. "We're... We're not going to let them get away with this," she whispers. For as soft as her voice is, its edge is sharper than a blade. It's a promise, her vow, and it is the first time the sunbeam has sounded serious about anything. "Is... Is this what you meant when you told me that no one is Selene?" Maybe not the time to talk about family secrets, but Sol isn't able to stop herself. Between finding out about all those decorative Selenes, discovering the truth about her heart, and everything else she feels she needs to know. So that she can maybe protect Selene. (She might not remember many positive things about her counterpart, but she does remember telling her she'd be a Selene-defender. She'll stand by that, at least. She doesn't want to be enemies.)

Before Sol can say anything more, she's distracted as the memory continues on. Helia looks at the fragment Diana left behind and tilts her head, "But are you sure you want to grow an heiress? How will she ever become a fit vessel if she is only part of a shard?"

"Worry not your pretty head over my plans for Selene," Luna replies, cupping Helia's face in an almost sweet manner. "This is one departure where we may never see eye to eye. It's always seemed rather wasteful that you would pour your essence into a heiress who could very well become your undoing. Why even let her be a person if you plan to use her as a vessel?"

"A fresh perspective may enhance the bloodline, no?" Helia drapes an arm languidly across Luna's shoulder before she leans against the other goddess. "But nevermind those dull details, we still have much to do to bring our glorious vision to light––there are still the planets to free and the constellations to make. But for now, my dear? Let us retire."

The memory flickers then fades and the two young goddesses are pushed out, finding themselves back in that uber depressing pyramid. That last piece of information squeezes Sol's hearts, and she tries not to think about it for too long. (Several more questions arise as well like, why Helia implied that Sol would become Mars's puppet if her heiresses are supposed to be her vessels... Curious, and something to investigate later.) Her arms are still wrapped firmly around Selene and she keeps them that way, finding comfort in having the other young goddess in her arms. "We need to talk to the primordial mothers. I have a feeling that..." she sighs, "you're right, and I want to hear it from them as well. Helia's a master manipulator and memory-tamperer so maybe... maybe there are some, like, incorrect details or something?" Likely not since that memory really did capture who Helia is as a goddess, but still! More data is needed for her to settle on the conclusion that Helia is severely fucked up. That obviously isn't new information by any means, but confirming the accuracy of the memory will have serious implications for the courts.

“Um, but,” she rubs Selene’s back and squeezes her tighter, “we can do that later if you’d rather find stuff to smash instead. Sometimes breaking things helps me feel better.”
 

Syntra

Baba Yaga
And Sol's personal archives were right, because Selene was not crying. Eyes just naturally produced wetness, okay? The pressure from the stitches must have irritated them, and so they were overcompensating now. Right. Totally what was going on here! (That the shattered mosaic of her life had revealed itself for the first time, allowing her to see all she had previously suspected? Irrelevant. You didn't get sad when a snake bit you, because you expected it to do that. No surprises there. Anyone with a shred of wisdom would have prepared herself for the outcome. Which, yes, Selene had done a lot of preparation! Expecting a snake's mercy, she had built a fortress around her missing heart-- a fortress guarded by angry spirits, and tigers, and hungry, feral dogs. It was impenetrable, she thought. The perfect prison. Only... well, perhaps Selene had made a mistake? Because it seemed to her that she'd sealed within something that wanted out, out, out, through her closed yes. A violent sleeping beast, clawing at her from the inside!)

It was pathetic, Selene knew. A princess was not to seek consolation from others-- she wasn't to seek consolation anywhere, because feeling that way in the first place was a failure. A sign of being unworthy. (She could remember, oh so faintly, the first re-stitchings. "By the Moon," Luna had scoffed, the disdain in her voice sharper than an axe's caress. "I cannot believe that you chose to inherit all of her pathetic traits, Selene. How disappointing. Well, good thing that we can try again, and again, and gain! Let's see if you manage to do better next time. Do try to be less of a bore." ...and, really, how could she expect anything else from Sol? Innocence may have shielded the sunbeam, but that thing was a poor, poor shroud. It just... never lasted. How long, then, till she got tired of her? Till she threw her weakness right back in her face? Selene knew that it was coming, knew it as well as she knew that the sky was blue, and yet, yet she couldn't help but get lost in her embrace. Ah, so that was what hugging privilege felt like. Nice, the moon princess supposed. It would have been nicer had she not been falling apart, but, you know. Small steps.) "I... I suppose," Selene sobbed. "I don't remember all that well. I knew that something was up, but the details were blurry. Imagine that your memory was shattered every time your mother tampered with you? It's kind of like that, and it's hard to put your finger on what is happening exactly." Again, why was she revealing sensitive information? Why, why, why? The first rule of not getting taken advantage of was not doing that! Except, you see, something within had broken, and the scaffolding she'd built around herself to give an impression of wholeness had crumbled, too. (Without it, Selene felt... naked. Not herself. Speaking of, who was Selene? Not even her, the lead expert on Selene-ness, had any idea.)

"No," the moon princess shook her head. "You are right. We ought to speak to the primordial mothers, and my whining isn't helping. Breaking things won't, either." (Truthfully, Selene didn't believe that interrogating the primordial mothers would lead to anything but more heartache. After all, what was it that they could do? Write Luna and Helia a strongly-worded letter? They were princesses, yes, but the two were queens-- they might as wel have been fighting against the very fabric from which the universe had been spun. Still, though... it was better than nothing, Selene supposed. Better than rolling over and accepting their fate, because their situation was just that hopeless.) "Thank you. For the emotional support shtick. I honestly thought it was a scam, but I guess there is something pleasant about not being shouted down when you feel bad."

Moving on, though! Before this got into the 'too sappy to be dignified' territory. Grabbing Sol's hand, Selene took it upon herself to blip them into the primordial mothers' sorry abode, but... uh. Something yanked them away? It was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, though that didn't mean that Selene didn't notice the strange pull, or the way they landed in a goddamn cage. Okay. Okay, what in tarnation was going on?! Who was it that had dared to act against her, the great Selene?

"Whew!" someone whistled, clearly impressed with their catch. "Princess Selene and princess Sol, I presume? Welcome aboard, welcome aboard! I'm sorry to interrupt your teleportation, and I'm also sorry to announce that you will never be allowed to do it again. In fact, you can forget about the whole autonomy thing. See, after your mothers selfishly plunged the universe into yet another war, we kind of lost our livelihood. You ever considered how much people depend on trade, eh? I bet you haven't! Had to look for new avenues, because a girl gotta eat." As if to prove that, the being smacked her lips, in a way so viscerally disgusting that Selene had to shudder. "And, selling bratty goddesses to respectable institutions never really goes out of fashion! Everyone fucking loves that. Say, do you like circuses? 'Cause you're going to work in one. Considering how much of clowns you two are, I'm willing to bet you'll enjoy it."
 

starboob

lover / leaver
Sol doesn't see any weakness in her friend. This is Selene. The great Selene, for crying out loud! The goddess is an impenetrable fortress and nothing brings her down. Crying doesn't mean crumbling, it's just a release. In her hearts, she believes that Selene will pull herself up because she always does. Despite every awful thing Luna has ever done to her, she has never given up. She still fights. There's still a spark in her and, even though she concentrates 88.69 percent of her energy into being a butthead, Sol can admire that she's still got life in her. So of course she'd never use this moment against her. The thought doesn't even exist in her mind. All that is on her mind is making sure that Selene knows she's got at least one soft spot to land on since she knows there aren't any for her back home. She continues to rub her back and keep her close to her hearts, where her warmth seems to radiate. "That's why I'm hugging you, dude, I don't want you to feel ever worse. I'm a Selene-defender, you know," she grins, kissing her friend's cheek and grabbing her hands. (Hopefully Scorpio won't get mad about a chaste kiss between friends. The make-out, she could understand, even if Scorpio responded to that in a totally over the top way, but a little peck on the cheek shouldn't be nearly as threatening. She hopes. She really, really hopes because she is oddly resistant to the idea of Selene getting sucked back into her brainscape. Probably because she doesn't want her to discover the Selene shrine.)

Returning to the primordial mothers, knowing what they know now, does worry Sol. Greatly. She knows they're probably going to confirm everything that they saw, because deep within herself she knows that what they saw is the truth. It's just that she needs to hear it from someone who was actually there. The weight of what they saw is just far too great to ignore or sweep under the rug; and she won't exactly know how to handle all of these implications––especially the glaring one that says their claim to being goddesses is built on foundations of tissue paper––until they get confirmation from the mothers. Like, will this mean the right thing to do is to give up their claim and return the prior pantheon to power? Despite not really wanting all these goddess responsibilities, she doesn't exactly like that idea or think that is the answer. She does think it will become their responsibility to clean up the mess their mothers have created.

With all this weighing on the sunbeam's mind, it actually does annoy her (rather than relieve her) to find that they aren't at the primordial mothers' eternal prison. Like!! She wants her answers and she wants them now! She doesn't want to wait and she doesn't want to have to sit with this uncomfortable and unconfirmed knowledge for a second longer. She needs to know what her next steps are going to be and she cannot know that, or even begin thinking about that, until they meet with Liv, Sarah, and Edith. Geez. Usually she wouldn't mind a good distraction, but this really grinds her goats.

Landing in a cage doesn't exactly concern Sol, for a myriad of reasons and most of them can be summed up as she's a freaking young goddess. Still, that doesn't mean she doesn't take their captor as a joke. Clearly if she has the ability to mess with Selene's trajectory (because she doesn't think that her friend would make a mistake), then she's not one to be trifled with. Not until they have more info. (Sol actually thinking something through? Apparently, it's more likely than you'd think!) She leans back against the bars, not really perturbed that the woman is claiming they'll never be able to teleport again. Not like Sol even knew how to do that to begin with, so she can't say she'll miss the skillset. She also highly doubts this woman has the power to keep goddesses chained. Not forever, at least. She clearly has some tricks, but it seems rather naïve for this woman to think she can best them. (They beat the freaking mothericorn and destroyed the Sun palace!!) She sighs and leans her head back against the bars. "Yeah, honestly, this whole eternal feud they have is starting to get annoying." Obviously Sol has never been into it, and she especially is against it now that she knows there's clearly more to this feud than meets the eye. "But I'm just curious how you think this is going to work out for you? Like, are you really saying you want to grab Helia's attention?" she raises a brow to further punctuate the question. "Seems like a dummy move and I should know all about those. I'm something of an expert."

She inspects her nails, waiting for these pieces to click for their captor (or at least for her to obnoxiously give away why she thinks she actually has the upperhand––as if goddesses aren't the epitome of OP). "If you’re trying to make us look like fools, just know that we will always be prettier and sexier, more sensual, and still much funnier than you ever will be even with our little clown noses and our big ol’ clown shoes. You cannot defeat us. We’re young goddesses. A circus could be fun, but I somehow see you ending up the clown in the end.” With how pleasantly she speaks, one might think that Sol is conversing with an old friend with whom she has many inside jokes and not some... she doesn't know, pirate? (Oh, wait, could this woman be her ticket to a pirate x princess romance? She'll have to confirm that she's a pirate first, but getting captured is usually the first step to a pirate x princess romance. If Selene is here this just means they might end up as a throuple and Sol honestly doesn't mind that outcome either––princess x pirate x princess might be kind of sexy. Wait. No, she needs to focus.)

The pirate (?) scoffs and tosses her hair over her shoulder, "What? You think I haven't thought this through and spent months researching your weaknesses?"

"Actually, yeah," Sol shrugs, pressing her face against the bars of the cage and leaning against them. "Like, I get the anger––trust me, no one hates Helia and Luna more than we do––but this is pretty dumb." The second that Helia realizes her precious vessel is missing, she'll send for her. (Yeah, she knows it won't be motherly love that inspires Helia.) If this pirate (?) thinks she's going to escape the Sun queen's ire then there probably isn't even a brain for her mom to melt. Still, she doesn't plan on sitting around and waiting for Helia's people to arrive for her––that would be super uncool. She's a princess and she's got to be able to help herself from time to time! She already knows that she has to rule out magic as a solution (she can't feel her plants, light, or flame and even her phoenix seems to be caged), but she's more than her magic. She is also her infinite wealth of mushroom facts and a mushroom fact that she has right now? That there is a large and ferocious mushroom somewhere within the depths of her bag. She fishes around for it and when she pulls out the jar she's labeled "Shromeo," she slams it on the ground, letting the glass shatter. The mushroom that explodes out of the jar is a regular mushroom if a regular mushroom were five feet tall and hand jacked arms and legs. And using those jacket mushroom muscles, it pries opens the bars to the cage, leaving a nice goddess shaped hope for them to escape out of. "C'mon Selene, let's break out of here. I really wanna get back to the main storyline so we can find out more about the primordial mothers."
 

Syntra

Baba Yaga
There had been times when Selene hadn't agreed with Sol, and they'd been numerous. Overwhelmingly so. When she analyzed the root of that disagreement, though? The moon princess saw quite clearly that it had been caused by the other drinking too much humble juice-- the insidious, poisonous substance, that made her think that a) other people weren't trash, b) their opinions mattered. Needless to say, Selene was happy to notice that perhaps this was changing! Finally, the darkness of Sol's ignorance was dispelled through The One And Only Truth. "Indeed," she scoffed, "you will never be fit to as much as kiss our shoes. Would you do yourself a favor and slit your own neck? That would be much kinder than what we have in store for you."

"Like what, staring at me menacingly?" the pirate smirked. "But, oh, forgive me, great Selene! Considering that you were dumb enough to get your own eyes sewn shut, you can't even do that. How sad. Something tells me that you are going to be the clown leader." Which, how dared she! Insulting Selene like that was a crime in all the existing dimensions, and if it wasn't... if it wasn't, it sure as hell should have been.

"Don't pretend like you'd ever understand," she crossed her arms over her chest. "What I did was..." What? The price to be paid for wisdom? A token, similar to the coin one had to give to the ferrywoman if they wanted to cross to the other side? No, no, and thousand times no, Selene understood that now. (Perhaps she always had, in a way. A choice here, a choice there! Could it even be called a choice, though, if the alternative was a noose? A noose wrapped around her tender neck, tightening itself further with every move she made? ...no. Both were doom, and Selene had picked the one whose touch had been a little less sharp, a little less permanent. A kiss of death, rather than its slap.) "...necessary," the princess finally finished. "One such as yourself will never understand that."

"Oh, yeah. What could a wretch such as myself know about difficult choices, hm? Not like other people are people, with their own inner words and everything. There's just no way your own thought processes mirror those of others."

"Now you seem to get it!" Selene offered something suspiciously similar to a smile, except it was about as friendly as your average punch in the face. "Since this misunderstanding has been cleared, can you let us go? Since we have actual issues to take care of." Indeed, issues such as their whole lives being built on a lie-- a lie spanning over centuries, millennia, and maybe even longer than that. (Sacrifice, Selene thought bitterly. Why can't our esteemed mothers bring it for once, if they are so enamored with the concept? But of course that it had to be their daughters whose spines were to be broken, solely so they could build a bridge out of them. A bridge to their future. Typical! ...almost against her will, Selene felt a twinge of sympathy for Sol. Not lust, or pity, or any of those half-insulting things she'd felt for her before, but a genuine connection, similar to the one a prisoner might feel upon realizing she and her cellmate were going to be executed by the same weapon. We are the links in the same chain, you and I. How... odd, to revel in this sense of kinship instead of hating it.)

And, as if Sol could hear her, she even decided to be useful! Via summoning the grossest thing Selene had ever not-seen, but the moon princess was feeling too gracious to acknowledge that. "Yes, let us make haste," she nodded.

"Hmm? You think it will be that easy?" The pirate's smirk was almost tangible, like a fart one might produce after consuming copious amounts of sauerkraut. (A note to Sof: You will know the horror once you actually move to Germany. RIP.) "Go, then! Have fun! I'm sure there aren't, like, traps meant to fuck you over or anything."

Deciding to believe the entity, Selene squeezed herself into the opening... only for the limelight to shine on her? So aggressive were the lamps that she could feel it, even behind her closed eyes! Another thing that she could feel was the ground moving beneath their feet, and driving them up, up, up into the air. "S-Sol?" Selene asked, her voice totally not shaking. Again, she wasn't scared! Just, um, in need of some second opinion. "Sol, what's happening?" But, yes, it seemed that the other princess's explanation wasn't necessary-- not when the villains themselves chose to provide a handy manual.

"Laaaadies and laaaadies!" someone shouted into her megaphone, and reaped a thundering applause in response. "Welcome to the first Selene & Sol performance, brought to you by the one and only Unicorn Association. Say hell to your lovely host, the wonderful Lucretia!" Uh, what? Selene would have honestly loved to come up with some biting commentary, but, when confronted with this level of absurdity, her brain just kind of turned off. (A protective mechanism, most likely.)

"The princesses boast of possessing many virtues, but not murdering our great ancestor," RIP, mothericorn, "doesn't belong on the list. Well, no matter! I suppose that we can see how good they will be at dodging death now, without their fancy teleportation powers. Death lasers, commence your dance!"

Death... lasers? Lasers didn't have an aura. Selene couldn't see them, couldn't sense them, aside from being able to taste the danger in the air, but oh, that was about as useful as knowing that a hungry bear was somewhere nearby! "Sol," she turned to the sun heiress, her resolve as hard as steel. (Thump, thump, thump, went her heart, and dry was her throat, but Selene ignored it all. This was no time for doubts. Besides, it wasn't like Luna deserved a shred of her loyalty!) "Sol, cut my stitches. I need to see."
 

starboob

lover / leaver
Okay, so there are traps that they're going to have to deal with to get out. Whatever. That's not unreasonable or out of the ordinary for a hostage situation. Nothing that her, Shromeo, and Selene cannot handle. Well, she was pretty sure of that up until the ship they were on completely transforms into an arena of sorts. (Maybe their captor is not her ticket to a pirate x princess x princess romance and, in that case, Sol is soo not interested anymore! Sorry, she only has eyes for pirates. Maybe princess pirates or pirate princesses, but she'll have to give that one more thought and there is just not the time for that with everything rapidly changing them around them.) She still doesn't have a sense of where they are, but a starry sky twinkles above and the areola borealis (aurora borealis) waves over them as well. The stands are filled with unicorns (gross) so she assumes they're somewhere near the moon court as Helia would never let any type of horse into the palace (and that's about the only thing she agrees with fully). Horses are evil and giving them a little corn doesn't make them better. It makes them worse, actually.

Anyway, wherever they are and whoever is behind this (the not-pirate is nowhere to be seen and this leads Sol to believe that this is a simulation of sorts) is not kidding around. Death lasers? Really? Also, why does everyone think that Sol knows anything about teleporting!! It's flattering, sure, but she misses when the bar for her magical abilities was much, much lower. Ugh, she freaking wishes she knew how to teleport. Anyway, she guesses she ought to watch out for those death lasers. (But are they really that serious? Can they be? It doesn't make sense to kill the captives you were going to sell to a circus in order to make ends meet.) She sighs and reaches into her bag, surprisingly not attune to Selene's distress. Probably because she doesn't see a reason to be scared just yet. This is just another weird interlude to go along with all the other weird interludes they've ever experienced. She orders Shromeo to watch their back while she pulls out her hammer, the Cupidess's bow and arrow set, a sword, and a bunch of other miscellaneous treasure she's collected over the years. She decides to start with the hammer and rears up to knock back one of the death lasers, swinging it like a baseball bat (what?), and hitting the beam back into the audience. Hammer: 12, Unicorns: 0. She smirks.

She frowns. Now twelve death lasers are shooting at them and–– Selene wants her to cut her stitches? The sunbeam freezes. Shromeo steps in front of the princesses to defend them, but they're getting roasted and they won't last much longer. Even knowing this, Sol still can't move. Is this for real? Is she for real? 'Snap out of it, Sol!' She blinks and begins rifling through her bag. "Crap. Really? Okay." She pulls out a pair of tiny scissors and some sunglasses. "Keep your eyes closed and don't open until I say so, okay?" Using more concentration than she thought possible, she carefully snips through the stitchings. "Keep 'em closed." It's hard for her to say that, because she really wants to know what color Selene's eyes are. She's never seen them before and she bets they're real pretty. She gently pulls out the threads and then places the sunglasses on Selene's face. (They're sunflower shaped and tinted yellow. She figures it might take Selene's eyes a while to adjust to the light again. These are also genuinely the only pair of sunglasses that the sunbeam owns. They're practical because they make her so happy!) "Okay, you can open them now, but maybe go a little slow." Sol cannot contain her excitement over this moment. This is probably the brightest she's ever smiled. Yes, she understands that they're in the middle of battle––

"Eugh! Disgusting," Lucretia gags into the megaphone to exaggerate her disdain. "You should not be smiling! This is not a smiling moment! Minotaur mode, activate!"

"Um, super rude!" Sol snaps back and then turns around to see what exactly "Minotaur mode" is. Cripes. It's a minotaur (duh), with tentacle wings (why). It also shoots death lasers from its eight eyes (kinda cool tbh). The makers of this universe are truly, truly depraved for allowing that to enter the chat. Sol has no idea what to do with that. She looks at Selene, grabbing her hands. "Okay, Selene, so what's the plan now? I assume you just had me do step one, so what's the rest?" The Sun heiress sounds uncharacteristically determined. It's probably because she really wants an uninterrupted moment to platonically stare into Selene's eyes (no homo), and their current circumstances are kinda demanding their full attention. (Ugh, this is so annoying! And totally unnecessary, like, why can't people see that they're not the villains of this story?? They're only related to them. Yeesh.) "I've got a hammer and a lotta time, just tell me what to do."
 

Syntra

Baba Yaga
'No,' the Luna in her head protested. 'You mustn't. Can you hear me, you piece of filth? You haven't earned this, Selene. When you look at the world, it must be a world you've conquered!' That particular Luna had lived in her mind rent-free for years-- even worse, she'd somehow been promoted to the landlady, sneering at her attempts to get enough cash every month. 'Work harder.' 'What, you think that's enough?' 'Got to account for inflation, Selene. Give me more, more, more!' 'Be more of a Diana, and less your pathetic self.' And, day after day, Selene had been falling for it. Yes, mother; I will try some more; please, love me. Except that love had never been on the table, had it? She'd dangled it in front of her like one might do with a carrot when trying to motivate a stubborn horse, but... well, that horse was never meant to get it, either. The carrot was a lie, not the cake. And, besides, where did Luna get the audacity from? Selene was a princess, and princesses did not pay their rent! Realizing that, the moonbeam steeled herself. "Yes, for real. I've never been more serious about anything in my entire life. I... I want you to do it, too." Because, if there was anything Sol happened to be good at, it had to be defying expectations. Perhaps Selene could learn a thing or two about that? Hahaha, no, it wasn't like the moon princess valued Sol's perspective! It was tainted with Sol-ness, the most horrible of poisons, and... ugh, fine. Maybe, just maybe she did, just a little bit. No point in denying that, after the request to spit on her mother's sacred rules had left her lips.

'Don't you dare,' Luna hissed.

(The scissors were getting closer, almost close enough to kiss her skin. Selene could feel them now, as well as the boundary she was about to cross.)

'Can you hear me, Selene?!'

(There was a strange pressure against her eyelids, accompanied with a tinge of cold. The moon princess knew to keep her eyes shut then, so she did.)

'Diana! Diana, you will ruin everything once again. Listen, you are a fragment, a shard, a-- a--

Finally, after what felt like centuries, Selene opened her eyes. The pain was sharp and immediate, as if a monster's claw was lodged in her eyeball, and so she closed them again. "Curses," she complained, dodging just in time to narrowly avoid one of the lasers. (A coincidence, or her instinct rushing to her rescue? The concepts were so similar that Selene didn't bother differentiating between them.) "This is, ugh, the worst. If you ask me, pain should be illegal when you're a princess. How come that we are still allowing this? We should invite the goddess of pain for a tea and explain to her," preferably with a whip, "why she shouldn't target us." Still, Selene hadn't broken the taboo to not use her eyesight now, and so she pushed herself to try again. Again, and again, and again! Tears were streaming down her cheeks now, hot and crystalline, and yet, yet the moon princess clung to her stubbornness. (The eyes themselves? Stunning. A shock of dark blue, like a sky shortly before a storm. A pair of cornflowers in an otherwise barren field, staring at Sol with a queer intensity. Sol, who was...)

"Ah," Selene said, rather stupidly. "Ah, you... you are." Indeed, the sun heiress was. My, what an astute observation the moon princess was making here! Wisdom rivaling statements such as 'water is wet' and 'people die when they are killed.' (Could you blame her, though? It felt like the word 'beautiful' had been invented to describe Sol! To think that she'd touched her before, kissed her, even, and hadn't known what she'd had... somehow, it felt apt. Foreshadowing? Nooo, no way it was possible! Selene had established a thousand times that consequences were for suckers who played by the rules, not awesome moon princesses.) "And I'm glad that you are, too! This will give me new nightly fantasies." Eh?! You know, there was such a thing as being too honest! And for Selene, who used the truth as sparingly as one might use salt, it was hard to tell when the dosage exceeded the limit. "But, ah, can you not look at me now? I fear my cuteness limits are being tested. The exact numbers are yet to be determined, but I may start bumping into walls, or going on stupid tangents, or--" --or ignoring deadly dangers, as it turned out. Because, while she was? The minotaur tackled her, wrapping her in her big, muscly arms. (Was it stupid of her to imagine it was Sol holding her instead? Look, maybe, but she did melt a bit! ...okay, it definitely was stupid. Give her a break, though, would you? A lesbian could only handle so much visual stimuli in a single day, and Sol was officially Too Much. Pretty privilege at work, indeed.)

"Haha!" Lucretia laughed. "This is what you get for mistaking the genre of the story you star in, dumbasses. This is very much not a romantic comedy! No, this is horror. You're accustomed to it, aren't you, Selene? Just as you are accustomed to sacrifices." By the moon, where was she going with that?! Selene could almost see it, just like she could recognize a familiar tune after a few notes, but then... then the minotaur tore her dress, revealing her naked belly. The thing's eyes began to shine, charging up with energy--

"Watch, Sol! We'll see whether we can make the mothericorn rise again, using Selene's vitality. Poetic justice, don't you think?" Yeah, about as poetic as a vulgar rhyme written on the public toilet walls! ...even more worryingly, though? A shadow in the shape of the mothericorn did spawn above Selene, becoming more and more pronounced with each second. Uh oh.
 

starboob

lover / leaver
Okay, so Selene doesn't have a plan. She doesn't have a plan because her brain has gone completely stupid and Sol really can't help but to feel extremely flattered. Like, Selene is Selene no matter the state of her eyes and she knows that the moon princess is, uh, particular to put it lightly. To know that she, the great Selene, thinks that Sol the incredibly hot is deserving of the epithet she just gave herself? It turns her knees to jelly. It doesn't help that she's talking about her nightly fantasies and suggesting that she, Sol Invictus, is going to star in them! Obviously, this should not be the first thing on the sunbeam's mind when there is a twelve foot tall minotaur with tentacle wings and death laser eyes trying to kill them both, but can you really blame her? It's flattering as heck! Her only regret about this moment is that she still hasn't gotten a good look at the moonbeam's eyes and she wants to get lost in them. (Of course, getting lost in them is probably not a good idea all things considered.)

They narrowly dodge one laser beam blast and Sol still cannot reign in her focus. Selene's just way too much when she's like this. It reminds her of someone, but she's not sure who. (Huh. Whatever, must not be important if she doesn't remember it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Not like her memories have ever been smashed!) She shouldn't even be thinking of those things when a pretty goddess is giving her compliments. The pretty goddess should be the only thing on her mind, so she gives her her full attention. "Omg," she doesn't remember what that means, "I have to look at you! I need at least one good look at your eyes. I never wanna forget them." Is that too gay? Ah, she might have been too gay right there and Lucretia seems to agree that the gay princesses are, in fact, being way too gay for the genre. (Genres are dead btw. Why can't this be a romcom horror, Kat!?)

Still, that just makes it completely homophobic for this moment to be interrupted and Sol does not appreciate Lucretia or her stupid effing minotaur!! She has pretty goddess eyes to stare into and now this bleep is bleep-ing Selene's dress and it's like the entire world is burning Red. "Hey!" the sunbeam snaps, the temperature of the arena getting noticeably hotter. "That's effing rude, pal. She's a princess and you have to ask––even if she weren't a princess you don't just go ripping off people's dresses! You are a terrible cow! Blueberry would disapprove." Too bad sick burns aren't all it takes to win a fight, otherwise this battle would have been over with Sol's brilliant zinger. (Blueberry's disappointment is not to be taken lightly jsyk. Sol has been on the other side of that empty stare and, gee, is it cold. Anyway, focusing on the very real danger that is, 'Selene is about to die–– get it together for once in your life! Sol, come on!!')

No, she's not going to let the mothericorn use Selene for a weird sacrifice so that she can revive. No freaking way is that happening on Sol's watch. She huffs a breath, turning up the heat until it's blistering hot. She clenches her fist around her hammer and swings it around to uppercut the minotaur right when it's mid laser beam. Its head is knocked backwards and the death beam shoots a hole into the shadow of the mothericorn. "Stop. Trying. To. Use. Selene!! She's a goddess!" Why does no one understand this? As a goddess she deserve a whole lot more love than she's getting. Having no more of this anti-Selene nonsense, the sunbeam jumps into the air and brings her hammer down on the minotaur's head. She smacks the beast around a few more times and is doing pretty well up until one of those tentacles catches Sol's hammer and whips her around the arena, sending her crashing into the stands.

"Ohh, smashity smash almost worked! Maybe next time," Lucretia snarks over the megaphone. "This is what you get for taking your entire life as a joke, princess Sol. You undisciplined pieces of shit aren't going to win this, sorry not sorry. It is time for this tyranny to end!"

All the while, the shadow of the mothericorn has recovered from the blast and has started to curl her smoky tendrils around Selene's wrists. "Give up, Diana. Why don't you choose the winning side for once and accept your fate as a tool. It will be less painful for you and that is your best chance at a win, shard." The mothericorn's dark essence swirls around Selene's head and shrouds her in misery."Become part of something better and let me restore my body using your filthy essence! Luna will at least thank you for bringing back her most trusted advisor."
 
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Syntra

Baba Yaga
Had Selene been able to read minds, she would have loved to point out that she wasn't being stupid. Not how this worked, okay? Selene's high IQ alone gave her a stupidity ward, meaning that you couldn't go around and claim she was deficient. If anything, the moon princess actually viewed the world with great clarity now. That Sol was a peerless beauty? A fact, thank you very much, and recognizing that only made her smarter. See, she was finally drinking the 'accepting reality' juice! A certified way of raising one's stats (what), including intelligence. "M-my eyes?" Selene flushed, thinking of all the reasons Sol might want to know what they looked like. (Not a single one of them wasn't gay, btw. Was she going to compose a poem about them? Luna had always claimed they were ugly, like the blue mold that sometimes grew on cheese, but the moon princess was beginning to think it was a severe case of sour grapes.) "I, um. They're eyes. Nothing that special. Unless you think they are special? In that case, I suppose they might be. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say, and, um, do you happen to think I'm beautiful? I'm just... conducting a survey. Right." 10/10 for believability, Selene. Great job! Was she being sarcastic or not? Honestly, the moon heiress couldn't even tell-- she'd invested most of her stat points into denial, but the phrasing was a little too on the nose. Hmm, hmm. Perhaps she'd opened her eyes a little bit?

...too bad that opening one's eyes couldn't save you from a minotaur's rage, though. That would have been sweet, but that didn't live in a universe as merciful as that one. "Let go of me!" Selene commanded, reaching for her claws... only for her fingers to remain as they were. Huh. (Had she angered Luna with her latest stunt? Luna, or perhaps Scorpio? There was a depressingly long list of people who could potentially, as her Inna-ness would say, 'fuck her shit up,' and the moon princess was tired of keeping the tabs on who could do what. The thing was, it wouldn't shock Selene in the slightest had someone placed a convenient switch on her. No longer dancing according to Luna's tune? Boom, there it was! Downgraded to normal. Princess privilege denied, as if it was nothing but a shiny trinket that had never been hers in the first place.) "Let go, I said! You glorified cow," she sniffed. "If you don't, I will... I will see for myself if beef truly is the best meat!" Sol, meanwhile, was acting in the typical Sol fashion-- ie., proving with every word that she cared about her more than her so-called family ever had. (Why had she been so mean to her? Selene had no answer. Maybe, just maybe, she simply... wasn't used to anyone treating her as anything else but trash. As anything else but something disposable, to be reset again and again, until the random number generator finally came up with a permutation of traits that would be deemed acceptable. By acting so differently, hadn't Sol forced her to see the truth? And Selene hadn't been able to do it then! Her eyes had been closed, blind, sewn shut. For all the good they'd done her, they might as well have been made of glass.)

Selene writhed, trying to free herself from the minotaur's grip, but she might as well have been competing against gravity itself. "Silence, wench!" she shouted, wishing nothing more than to make Lucretia shut up. "Sol doesn't need discipline. Why would you want to bind her with all those rules?! She flourishes because she gets to ignore them. She..." wasn't like her, that much was certain. The sun heiress had never bowed down-- as idiotic as her whims were, she just followed them, while Selene had swallowed the poison Luna had fed her. How could she call herself better? How could she call herself a person? 'Yes, that is true. A shard is all you are, and all you ever will be. Have you ever heard of a fragment becoming whole? Right, me neither.' "...is different."

"Oh, yes, different," Lucretia mocked. "A nice synonym for 'stupid,' Selene. I got to integrate this into my dictionary."

The moon princess opened her mouth, doubtlessly to say something biting, but then... ah. A shade entered her mind, knocking on the door that was never meant to be opened. (No, she meant to say. No, don't touch me, go away. You have no right!) "Diana?" Selene repeated instead, stuck somewhere between annoyance and horror. "I'm not her."

"Indeed, you aren't. Diana had much more of a backbone, don't you think? She never would have allowed others to use her like that, as if she was nothing but a dirty kitchen rag. Don't worry, though! I don't need Diana herself-- a Diana-shaped failure will be quite enough on its own. I can even bestow a crown upon you. That's all you've ever wanted, isn't it? A proof that you're worth more than everything Luna has done to you."

And, no, that wasn't necessarily wrong. Not in its gist, anyway. When Selene heard it phrased like that, though? It felt like a slap, and slaps were know for being able to wake you the fuck up. "No," the moon princess shuddered. "Get out of my royal head. Never again will I want to do anything that would make Luna proud! For I know it to be shame, and disguised knives."

"Funny that you seem to think you have a choice here, moon brat. I will have you, whether you like it or not!"

Selene could feel it, the pressure against all of her wards, threatening to push and crash and smash its way inside, and-- "Sol. Sol, lend me your strength, like so many times before. Let us shatter this pitiful prison!"

A good idea to be sure, except one that was made slightly more complicated by the fact that the room transformed itself into a maze, shielding Selene from Sol's sight. Drat! "It wouldn't be a proper minotaur legend," Lucretia shouted into her megaphone, "without an endless labyrinth. Do stay away, little sun! When you finally find your princess, there will be nothing but bones left of her. What does that feel like?"
 

starboob

lover / leaver
Landing in the stands is not as cushiony as Sol had imagined it being. She supposes that makes sense since most stands are made from, uh, non-cushiony materials like wood and stone and metal and so forth, but the dust cloud that usually emerges when someone gets yeeted (??? why is that such an active word in her vocabulary and why does she no longer remember the origin?) had her thinking that maybe the landing is as nice and soft as those billows of dust. This is what she gets for assuming that just because billows rhymes with pillows that that means everything associated with billows must also be pillowy. Ugh, curse her devastatingly genius logic!

Anyway, all that to say Sol is totally seeing stars and tweety birds circling around her head as she tries to make a somewhat quick recovery. This is a fight scene after all and that means that the rate of stuff happening per minute is exponential and she needs to get up before her butt gets kicked straight into the eerie areola (aurora) borealis where the ghosts of dead stars are trapped. The sunbeam groans as she peels herself away from the her-shaped hole in the stands; she reaches for her hammer and crawls out of the pit just in time to hear Selene defend her. She almost slips and falls back into the pit, entirely unbelieving of what she is hearing. Like, yeah, she knows that at one point this is everything she has ever wanted to hear from another person and yet actually getting to hear it? From someone like Selene? (A goddess whom she admires?) It sends her hearts aflutter. 'She doesn't think my brand of different is bad?' It certainly doesn't sound like it and while she doesn't want to get her hopes up, she can already feel them ascending.

Once she's collected her focus (for the n-zillionth time), she pulls herself up and is immediately met with the charging minotaur. Ugh. In between the clashes of horn and hammer, she doesn't miss what's going on between Selene and the mothericorn. "You tell her, Selene!" she cheers after batting the minotaur into the sky, giving herself a chance to breathe and wipe the sweat from her brow. "You don't have to bow to anyone, because you're not just a princess––you're a freaking young goddess." Even if their entire claim and lineage is built on a lie, it doesn't erase the fact that they have divinity in their blood. They may be the product of a huge effing mess, but that doesn't make them any less divine (or any less responsible). "Who cares if you were made from a shard? You're still plenty to me."

When Selene requests that they join together and become the one true light (as they had the first time they faced off against the mothericorn), she races over to the moon princess. Or she makes an attempt, because before she can reach her and grab her hand the arena stretches, creating a wider gap between herself and Selene, and high cement walls erect (lol) themselves from the ground. Her eyes widen in absolute horror realizing that Selene is in imminent danger. (Just, come on! Can't she have one nice moment with Selene without it turning into some sort of princess torture fest!? She doesn't think she's asking for much here.) "It feels horrible and you effing know it!" she barks back at Lucretia. Already, her overactive imagination is supplying images of Selene's undoing and she doesn't like them one bit. Without Selene she'll never know what her actual smile looks like or be able to memorize the sound of her laugh; she'll have missed the opportunity to look into eyes for hours on end; she won't get to learn all the little things that warm her heart... None of that will be hers because Selene will be gone and the only evidence of her existence is knowing that her essence was used to revive that disgusting mothericorn! No, she can't let that happen. She is a Selene-defender and she won't let that happen. She won't give up and she won't go out without a fight. Selene deserves a chance to be herself for once!

The heat that had been building throughout the arena is sucked away all at once. Or rather, Sol pulls all that energy back into herself until her core is glowing along with her eyes. Even the minotaur seems unsettled by this development and hesitates. Lucretia, of course, is not bothered and yells at the beast to charge the princess before she can make it over to Selene (wherever she is in this maze). Sol doesn't hear any of this. Tears bead in her eyes, and they don't last long with all the heat concentrated in them. She stares down the minotaur and unleashes a beam from her eyes, powerful enough that it sends the minotaur backwards and through several layers of the maze walls. Though none of them reveal Selene, unfortunately (and worryingly, because Sol knows the clock is ticking. 'Crap, crap, crap!'). The minotaur sits under a steaming pile of rubble and Sol decides to leave it, because her priority has to be finding Selene.

She doesn't bother running through the labyrinth like a lab rat and, instead, blasts down wall after wall, hoping to find her Selene. Her heart pounds in her ears as she imagines what might be happening to her counterpart and what horror she might be suffering. She only hopes that her friend can remember how strong she is and that there isn't anything she can't resist or fight off. Shard or not, she's the strongest person who Sol knows. The walls keep crashing down and, still, Selene is not behind them. Lucretia, of course, laughs into her megaphone, "This actually isn't your worst strategy, little Sun! Too bad that the miles that separate you from Selene aren't easily closed. Ack! Hey––! No shooting your heat vision at me, missy! Don't you have a damsel to (fail to) rescue?"

Ugh, as much as she hates that stupid announcer, she's right. The sunbeam breathes out and tries to concentrate on Selene. 'C'mon, where are you? I know we've got to be connected through some sort of magic link. I freaking have your heart!!' And, conveniently enough, the second heart in her chest begins to glow and pulls her towards something. Hopefully, someone. Sol doesn't have the time to question it so she follows the pull, blasting through walls along the way until, finally, she reaches Selene. She's not bones (yet), but the sunbeam can't breathe a sigh of relief just yet. The mothericorn's shadowy self still clings to Selene, clearly fighting with the moon princess for control and Sol doesn't hesitate to send a heat blast her way. "Stay away from her!" she shouts, searing what remains of the mothericorn. "Your days of horsin' around are over."

She manages to get enough of the shadow off of Selene that she can see her clearly and, not wanting to waste any time, she rushes over to her. The glow in her eyes begins to fade once she has the other princess in her arms, but her hearts aren't calm just yet. "Hey, hey, Selene? Are you okay? You better be because I didn't get to tell you that you are super mega foxy awesome hot and I really need you to hear that just once."
 

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