Life needed to slow down.
Every time she thought she finally had a handle on life, the rug was pulled out from under her. Oh sure there were a lot of other emotions filling Robynne right now, anger, confusion, fear, and oddly hunger; but this divinity claiming to be her mother and seemingly ready to unleash her wraith on an event that she’s long past come to peace with; was overwhelming to say the least.
“Um. Fate I think?” was all she could muster to answer who had done this to her.
The Goddess look upon her, piercing blue eyes looking right into her soul. “That’s usually not the way it works dearest. Fate doesn’t interfere this blatantly in anything.”
Robynne didn’t know what to say or even how to respond to that. The large man walks forward and place a hand on the women’s shoulder, “Sif. I think we should attend to Robert first. There will be plenty of time to find out who was behind all of this.”
Her face softened and the aura around her faded, as well as the scenery back to the living room, “Of course. He must have so many questions of us, of this,” She turns to face Robynne, “I’m sorry, dearest, you needed me and I was not here to protect you.”
The Man nodded and turned his attention to Robynne, “We are both sorry. However we are here now, and you must have a lot to ask.”
Robynne’s head was spinning. She actually felt dizzy from the sheer volume of that was happening. She felt like she was going to lose her footing before there was a snap and a chair was under her. The Large man was next to her with what looked like a water skin. “Here, drink. I know this is a lot especially given the circumstance but it’ll make you feel better.”
“Sure.” she said taking it and drinking a bit of it. She had expected water but this was sweeter it felt nice hitting her stomach and giving her a warm sensation thru her body. She handed the skin back and offered a weak, “Thanks.”
It took a couple of breaths to gather herself but after that she looked at the two of them again.
“Before we do anything, I need you to undo whatever it was you did to Noriko.”
Sif eyes darted angrily towards the door, and looked for a moment like she might protest but then once looking at her daughter softened and snapped her fingers, “Fine, however if she attacks me again the speech will accompanied with a short skirt and pigtail curse.”
“I… don’t even know why that is a thing.” Robynne said rubbing her temples.
“Girls, if you wouldn’t mind my wife and I would like to speak with our daughter in private.” The man said gently.
Kara took the door handle, “We will be right out here if you need us Robynne.” She closed the door.
“Why do you have curses that make people more cheerleader-like?” She said turning her attention to Sif.
“I picked up the cheerleading domain in the 50’s.” Sif said with a pretty smile.
“That doesn’t really answer my question.”
Sif sighed and motion to the shield and sword on the ground, “It’s a non-lethal way of dealing with problems and the alternative was your friend meeting the war goddess.”
Robynne was already getting irritated with this line of questioning and pushed back onto topic, “So, you want me to believe that you are my parents? I’ve seen pictures of my mom and dad and you look nothing like them. Plus, they’ve been gone since I was 3.”
Sif scoffed, “I told you we should have stayed Thor. I know the Frost giants needed to be taken care of but we could have spared another year.”
Thor shook his head, “Odin had ordered us to join the fight you know better than to second guess Dad.”
Robynne felt that storm in her stomach again, she took a couple of deep breaths, “That’s not an answer. Why on earth, would you make me believe you were dead when you weren’t.” she wasn’t expecting to feel this emotional. “If I’m really your kid why did you leave me?” Her voice was a little louder and it surprised her the anger that showed thru in it.
The seemed to catch the attention of both the gods before her. They didn’t seem nearly as frightening before. Thor spoke quietly, “That is the way of things when you are divine. The tradition with us and with, everyone is to give our offspring as normal a life as we can when they are born on earth. That way when they come of age they can appreciate humanity more.”
She could feel tears welling up behind her eyes, this didn’t feel right. Something had felt off since she approached the door, “You did something to me. That drink you gave me…”
Sif cut her off, “We did nothing of the sort. You’re our child, we would never intentionally hurt you. You are experiencing your divinity starting to manifest.”
Robynne was trying desperately to hold it together, the gathering storm inside of her felt like it was going to pop her body. Her voice started to echo and she gripped the arms of the chair, “This is a trick, this is Platicore trying to pull something on us.” She tried to reach out with her senses to see them for what she hoped they were, monsters. But they didn’t register. She reached out again to try and summon her pen and to her surprise it didn’t come.
Sif said softly, “My Dearest.. You are so beyond this game someone has been playing with you. You are divine, you will one day be a goddess.” she stood up and walked forward bending down calmly to look into Robynne’s panicking and scared eyes. “Let go, you’re safe now.” Sif places her hands gently over Robynne’s hands and there was a surge.
It was sudden, like a computer turning on and jumping immediately to life. For one brief second Robynne could feel all the power flowing thru her body, she went to say something and there was the sound of a thunder clap followed by the walls getting hit with such force.
Then there was calmness, Robynne looked and there was her mother, as she saw in the pictures Taylor showed her. Like she would remember deep in her dreams. Long red hair, impeccable style and the warmest more loving smile. The flood gates opened as she pushed herself off the chair and threw her arms about the red head she looks so much like, “How could you have left me like this? “ she sobbed, “How could you make me think all this time you were both gone? I needed you!” She buried her face into the shoulder of Sif’s mortal guise and cried as her mother held her.
“I hope one day you will forgive us. Robert.” she said softly.
“Robynne,” she said softly, “Or… Maybe something else entirely.” she had never felt so emotionally drained in all her life. That was saying something considering the day this happened to her. She paused and looked around, the sheet rock in the walls were broken around her. The entertainment center and the TV were in two. The table, the kitchen completely trashed. “Oh hell, what did I…”
Thor grinned, “Oh this, don’t worry a thing about it. I’ll get this shaped in in a jiffy. It happens when you ascend.” He waved his hand and the damage undid itself, like in a video in reverse.
“This isn’t a dream?” She said looking back to her mom. “I still don’t understand any of this.”
Sif pushed some hair away from Robynne’s face, “There is so much to tell you. But let’s go somewhere else. Let your friend have their apartment back. Would that be okay?”
Robynne just nodded. Sif smiled and looked over to Thor. “Well let’s be on our way then.” He snapped and they were all gone. The apartment was back to normal save a letter on the table addressed to Vivian, Kara, and Noriko.
It was a nice afternoon. Clear sky. Nice breeze. They were moving. Robynne looked up and she was in the backseat of a Impala convertible. The body was jet black but that’s not what caught her attention, no it was her mom and dad, as she had seen from photos in the front seat. This was really happening. Thor didn’t look so scary and red headed anymore. He looked like Dad. Brown hair in a polo shirt, his football physique still there, but just a bit older; his arm resting on the bench seat behind Mom. Her red hair was perfect and seemingly untouched by the wind, in a pretty, casual blue dress.
Instinctively she looked down. She had been in her work out clothes from cheer practice but she found that had been replaced with a pair of jeans and a baseball tee with the Deep Water Raccoons on it. Not what you would call baggy but it also wasn’t showy either. Classic rock played as they drove down the street. “Where are we going?”
Mom turned around and she felt, she might cry again. Robynne had never been so prone to mood swings all her life. “Just the drive in on the edge of town. It’s been forever since we’ve been there and we figured it’d be a nice place to explain everything. Plus they have Cherry Pep MD in the glass bottles there.” She said excitedly.
Robynne wanted to say that it usually wasn’t open during the day, or that she wasn’t sure it was still opened period but at they pulled in there was someone in the booth. A bright looking young woman who smiled and opened her window, “Great to see you all again.”
Dad nodded and handed her three tickets, “It’s been a while, but we’re looking forward to a show.”
The woman took the tickets and torn them handing the stubs back, “Well it’s just you today. Take your pick of the lot. I’ll be around if you need anything.” She winked and dad drove thru. Moving to the center of the lot and parking.
Robynne spoke up, “Isn’t it too bright for a movie?”
Dad chuckle, “Oh watch this.” He eagerly clapped his hands together and with a roar of thunder dark clouds quickly rolled in darkening the sky so they could get a good clear view of the screen.
She didn’t know why, but rather than stare with mouth agape in awe or cringe in fear from the obvious power he was showing she just smirked at him, “Show off.”
He chuckled again and nodded, “Maybe a little. A father can try to impress his little girl.”
“Yeah about that…. Are you two okay with that?” She said cautiously motioning to her obviously female body.
Dad laughed, “My brother has been a woman, a child, a horse, a serpent and anything imaginable. You’re form bothers us not in the slightest.”
Mom looked back, “Don’t get me wrong, we are not happy this happened to you, but you sacrificing yourself like you did? We couldn’t be prouder of you.”
For some reason that relieved her. The girl from the booth rolled up on roller skates with a tray and handed them a bottle of soda and a small bag of popcorn and skated off. “So, what are we doing here?”
Mom looked back at the screen, “You asked about why we would leave, and what Ascending means so we thought this was the best way to explain it.”
“You sure you just don’t have a flair for the dramatic?” Robynne said with a wiry smile.
“Well that too obviously. It’s been forever since we’ve been here too. So it’s nice.” She smiles as the screen sprung to life. Robynne looked up and there she was on the screen, with her mom and dad.
“Hey how did you do that?” She said taking a sip of her soda.
Mom laughed, “I’m a goddess simple illusions is pretty standard.” Her tone turned a bit more serious, “So you asked why we left you. Tradition is a part of the answer but also your grandfather needed us to go to the front lines to push back the frost giants.” She watched as her parents on the screen walked to the other side of the screen and became Thor and Sif. The action followed them to a large frozen plane of frost giants, attacking them and them fighting back
Robynne watched eating the popcorn, “But you left when i was 3… were you fighting this whole time?”
Dad spoke up, “Time works differently for us. Not so much in function as much as in perception. We are hundreds of years old so a decade or two is really nothing to us. Plus these are intense battle, in truth it was not quite finished but when we got word what happened we rushed back.” She saw them leave the battle quickly and head off.
Mom continued, “Which brings us to you. You said you felt something.”
Robynne interjected as she saw herself on the screen re-enacting whatever had happened in the apartment, “I still do. I feel… I don’t know weird… Off? I don’t feel bad.”
Mom nodded, “That’s because you have ascended.” she saw Thor and Sif return to the screen and herself start to glow… this was like being in a information dump episode of an anime. “Around adolescence you react to the divinity in your parent or parents in your case. You take on some of our traits and inherit or develop some of power to help you on your path to being a higher divinity.”
“Path?” She watched as her on screen counter Started to walk down the road.
Dad nodded and stole a bit of Robynne’s popcorn, “Yeah all gods even us started at the bottom of the rung. The most common term used is hero. Most commonly you’d think of Beowulf or Hercules. More powerful than mortals and go about doing deeds and labors to grow their divinity.” The on screen Robynne was shown with a hammer beating up a snake and saving a village in the most typical of fashions and the glow getting a little bit brighter.
Robynne lean over the front seat and took some popcorn back from her Dad and made a face at him as she ate it, “so, do good things get more power, become cooler?”
Mom raised her hand, “Almost… It’s more like do extraordinary things, good or bad, and your legend grows based on those deeds. And that is where you need to be careful because those acts can shape and change you more than you know.”
Both on screen and in the car Robynne looked at mom with a bit of concern, “What do you mean?” They said in concert before glaring at one another.
Mom giggled, amused, “the journey is typically in steps and breaks down into three major phases. Hero, Demigod, God. But the acts that you do, and even more importantly the way they are perceived have a direct impact on you. More so than your domain.”
Dad looked over, “I think we skipped over the domain part…”
Mom looked back, “We will return to that after we cover mortal perception.”
Robynne sighed, draped over the seat as her on screen counterpart held her head and groaned, “This is sounding more and more like school work.”
Mom looked back at her, “It is a bit but it’s very important. How the mortals see you… the Divine you shapes who you are especially in these early years. For example. What do you know about Hera?”
Robynne thought for a moment, “I mean she was a total bitch and tormented Hercules and was always trying to kill the children Zeus had out of wedlock. Generally a ranting killjoy and a jilted wife with god powers.”
Mom nodded, “Yeah she wasn’t always like that. See she’s the goddess of fidelity, so having a philandering husband didn’t really jive well. Especially considering we are expected to, at time have half mortal off springs. Some of those stories, more was going on than the stories let on but since people got the impression that she was a cruel, unreasonable spinster… so she became one. It’s like Aphrodite too. She is full of magic and really smart but nope. Goddess of beauty is really a vapid bimbo so… She started to act like one…”
“Wait, so the way people see me is going to affect me!?!” now Robynne was panicked.
Dad looked back, “Not exactly like that. But it’s why you want to be careful even at such a low power of how you’re perceived. And you the goddess shouldn’t be the same as you the student of SAU. It still affects you but not as much. In truth, you’ve already been changed just by being around us.”
Robynne took a few calming breaths and finished her soda. “Yeah this storm I feel inside me. I’m also way more emotional than I am usually.”
Dad nodded, “That’s just us. We are, the types that wear our hearts on our sleeves,“ He turned back and on the screen Robynne was standing in between Thor and Sif. Robynne’s form turned dark and it, in true anime fashion showed storm clouds in her and they started to move and rage. “As your divinity solidified, in it you have part of the storm like me, and I expect you an other domains. I trust you inherited one of your mother’s more fun domains.”
“I can feel the spark of Cheer within you.” Pom poms appeared in the storm inside her form on the screen.
“You have GOT to be kidding me! I just can’t get away from cheerleading!” Robynne said a little more angrily then she intended while her on screen counterpart stomped around.
Mom just laughed again, “It’s quite literally in your blood my dear, but you are a hero and you will learn how to manage that and other things.”
She sat back in the seat and crossed her arms, “No offense but I certainly don’t want to turn into someone like Cammy or Tanya.”
Mom turned around to look at Robynne, “and you won’t. Because Robynne is just a mortal and this form is just your mortal form. The things you do in it won’t be affected as greatly as your celestial form and by your true name.”
She watched as the on screen Robynne rose up and became a vibrant light, and then the screen went dark. “Which has changed since what happened to you.”
Robynne shook her head for a second, “I didn’t even think of this but… you’re gods you can change me back, right?”
Mom and Dad shared a glance that told the whole story. Robynne slumped back, “Great so fate screws me again.”
“Not fate,” Mom said, “Someone else who we will deal with. No we can’t change you back the magic used to make you this magic lady thing changed the shape of your soul. I believe it latched on to the part of you that was me, and brought out the aspect of you related to cheerleading. It’s foolish, reckless, and could have hurt you really bad…”
Dad placed a hand on her shoulder, “…and Odin will deal with it. Justice will be had, but we have a daughter to reconnect with, and rename.”
Mom took a few calming breaths, it was actually nice to see someone else upset about what had happened to her. All of this was insane, it was beyond reason, and yet her heart told her it was the truth. She leaned forward again and placed a hand on her mother’s shoulder and said gently, “So… what is my divine name now?”
With another heavy breath she turned and smiled, “Well had you been born a girl we were going to name you Raelynn. That seems as fitting as anything.”
“Raelynn,” Robynne repeated, it felt nice. “And I use that name when I get my god form?”
“You’ll get your true form when we head to the cabin. Raelynn is who you are. Robynne is, a facet of you.” he paused seemingly understanding how insane that all sounded, “You will get used to it, I promise.”
She nodded, “So, where does Taylor fit into all of this?”
Mom looked at her confused and then over to Dad, “Taylor?”
Dad looked over at her, “She means Bjorn. That was the name he took.”
Mom nodded, “Oh!” Her face grew dark, “Yes, We should talk to Bjorn and find out how this happened.”
Robynne looked between the two, “So is he like your brother or something?”
Dad shook his head as he put the car into drive, “No, he’s your brother. One of many older siblings you have.”
Mom pulled out her phone and started to text, “One that was supposed to be keeping an eye on you, and somehow let this happen. I’m telling him to meet us at the cabin.”
Once again Robynne found the dizziness returning, “Taylor is my brother!?! What cabin?”
Dad grinned looking back at her for the mirror, “The one in Iceland. You are going to want to buckle up. The Bifrost can be a bit bumpy.”
Robynne scrambled to get herself fastened in, “The bi-what?”
And with that a large rainbow construct came from the sky as the car started to drive onto it and took off. Robynne couldn’t tell is she was amazed, frightened, or both but something about all this felt like a piece of her that she had never realized was missing, had been filled. A brother… Brothers… this day keeps getting weirder and weirder.