845/A Gala for the Gods

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A Gala for the Gods
Date of Scene: 08 June 2017
Location: Unknown
Synopsis: Summary needed
Cast of Characters: Lucifer, Ares, Athenaeum, Athena

Lucifer has posed:
The most discerning of art gallerias don't advertise.

There are the places where art is 'shown'. It's where art critics and the fashionistas and social butterflies go more to be seen admiring 'art' than to actually purchase or even really appreciate it. A social scene, for the wealthy elite of the cultural upper class.

No, the best galleries aren't even called as such. 'Sanford's' is such a place, barely indicated except by a single nameplate among a dozen others on a brass call placard. The doorman is meticulously groomed, wearing a top hat, tails, and gloves-- and is bracketed inside by two armed security guards who look as if they were brought over from some military outfit as private contractors. All polite nods, no smiles.

On the tenth floor, the galleria is a decadent waste of floor space in a big city-- high ceilings, lazily whirring fans, hardwood floors where centuries of shoe marks are covered by a thick layer of hand-applied wax. Even the tall windows are deliberately opaqued to keep the ravages of ultraviolet light from even touching the paintings.

"Now-- this one, I think, you will particularly like," remarks the galleria manager. Wearing an impeccable suit all in white, with a matching red tie, pocket square, and red socks, he's on the short and swarthy side, and holds himself with an utter disdain for the world around him save for the clientele. He pauses in front of a tremendous painting, easily eight feet long and four feet tall, and gestures at it with a languid, rolling wrist. "The subject matter speaks so eloquently as to the dichotomy of man and beast," he remarks-- the subject matter a pack of hungry lions, chasing down villagers who alternately retreat towards a well-lit mountaintop and fight back with sticks and spears. "The advantage of technology, the desire to hide in high places... such base instincts. Even, I might suggest, the appeal to a 'higher power' to protect them. Hmmmm?" he inquires, looking to the trio browsing his wares. The tour is the sort of thing that is so expensive that it is priceless; it's doubtful more than a few people in the city below could have afforded a 'guided' tour of the galleria, which of course, the fellow is performing for free.

Edgar Solas smiles at his guests. "Is this piquing anyone's fancy?" he inquires, as sweetly as possible.

Ares has posed:
    The man known as John Aaron does not fit the mold one has when they conjure forth the image of an antiquarian or a collector. For one he is not wizened, nor is he wearing some glasses with thick lenses. He does not put on airs of quality nor haughty grandeur. Instead he is a rather tall middle-aged man with haggard features that seem so terribly on edge. Did he get cleaned up for this particular soiree, yes... to a degree. His beard is at least trimmed and his clothes are rather fine if not the height of fashion. And while he wanders the gallery, he seems to create this subtle aura that dissuades conversation or even the approach of other gallery-goers.
    For a time he hovers around one particular painting, tilting his head to the side curiously as if trying to get another angle on it. Then he turns his head the other way and peruses it anew. His features give no hint as to what verdict passes, so he turns away and begins to move across the room

Athenaeum has posed:
Another invitation, this one unmarked as to whom had sent it. Thick vellum with honest to goodness calligraphy had piqued the magician's interest, the subject matter had held it. Unseen paintings, all knowledge after all, is worth having.

And so, Ysabelle finds herself having a guided tour of a place that looks to be straight out of a modern action movie, just waiting for the thieves to burst in and start demanding jewels. A ghost of a smile plays over the woman's lips at this thought, even as she adjusts the skirts of her gown as she listens to the well dressed manager.

And what a gown! Pure white satin clings to the woman's shoulders, merging with her snow-white skin. The gown itself has a sweetheart neckline, though a frothing of lace hides clevage, keeping the woman's decorum well intact. Snugging to her form along arms and down her torso, sublte boning in the bustier is unncessary, but there all the same. At the hips, the gown falls in clean lines to fall just shy of the floor, plain white satin slippers have the barest hint of a heel that clicks lightly on the solid wood floors as she walks.

An opal hangs on a fine platinum chain twined into her hair, resting against her forehead. That same dark hair falls down her back, unhidden by hood, it skims along the lady's behind as she turns her head to take in the tableu of death, turquoise eyes glittering in the gallery lights.

Athena has posed:
Sophia, on the other hand, chooses to wear blue. Chiffon wreathes her form in an evening gown that manages to leave oe shoulder exposed and the dress itself seeming to hang from a clasp over her right shoulder that shows off the spanse of her neck and shoulders while leaving her modest. It's a flowing affair that is held in neatly at the waist by being belted in a subdued goald trim that almost acts like an accent. It fits perfectly, just the match for her wreath of vibrantly red hair. A bun, almost like a flower, and then two feet of long, wavy red between her shoulder blades and down her back.

The woman is already in the galleria, though just when she arrived is not something any of the ordinary people working here could say- nor do they even care to think of it. That is for greater minds. She simply is, and it is evident with each step in her carefully worn two inch ivory heels that she belongs. Right now she is working her way acros the hard wood floors with a careful gait, settling that piercing icy gaze on to each person who passes.

Ares is almost stoically ignored for now. Instead this woman is making her way toward Ysabelle, tilting her head as she does. A slow breath is drawn as she comes close. Then Athena turns to study her surroundings carefully as she is shifting her weight to consider the art surrounding them. "Have you found a favourite here?" Sophia asks quietly, her voice a rich, resonant mezzo-soprano. "There's nto too much time left until the majority of these will be gone. It seems to help people- appreciate them all the more. Hm."

Lucifer has posed:
"It can be so difficult to choose," Edgar tells Athena sympathetically, making no nevermind that the woman hadn't been there when the tour started. And the galleria is /not/ open to walk-ins. Perish the thought!

"It is the exquisite beauty and curse of art, to be everything we want and nothing we desire, all at once," he says, moving in a half-circle around the woman. His obsequiousness would be positively oily were it not for that note of brassy confidence in his slender framed chest, fearless of the hush that normally falls in the presence of great works of art.

"The purpose of art, is of course, to provoke. Perhaps, instead of art you find pleasing, consider art that titillates or arouses- or disgusts?" he inquires.

He leads around a corner to a pair of paintings not far from Ares' position, facing each other. One rendered in light and primary colors, the other dark, muted secondary tones, all dull greys and rusty reds.

"These two, I enjoy placing just /so/, to bracket a person," Edgar remarks, framing the world with his hands. "On the left, we have an eloquent nod to the dark and the grim," he explains, the painting of ancient wood naval battleships rendered exquisitely against thunderclouds and tossing seas. "And on the right, an idyllic garden setting from France, circa 1897. And yet," he remarks, gesturing from one to the other, subtly fingers plucking at the air, "we have rigidity. A moment frozen in time, women and men in their finery not moving or making or doing anything but standing peacock for one another. And here, in the midst of battle," he says, turning quickly, "we have-- decision. Bold action, courage under fire. Valiance. It is the juxtaposition of such things, I find, that informs our desires more articulately than sometimes we can," he tells the women, smiling at them as if apologizing for his presumption in suggesting such a thing.

Ares has posed:
    The tall man's features twist into something that offers hints towards annoyance as he pauses in his stroll, drawing to a halt near the two paintings the Edgar points out. He shifts his weight to the other foot, hands in the pockets of his black dress pants, the jacket a bit crooked with the way the tailoring doesn't seem entirely up to the job of providing him a finely cut suit.
    For a moment he glances to the side, as if plotting his evacuation route, but then he looks back and his attention falls heavily upon the group of people past the gallery owner. His eyes find at first that slim woman who at times seems such an exercise in the monochromatic. For a moment his brow knits. But then his eyes slip past her and find...
    That mild look of annoyance grows a touch more severe as he shifts back to the other foot, scowl flirting with the corner of his mouth as he meets her gaze from afar. Eyebrows lift and does he say hello? Does he offer kind words and greeting? No. All that comes from him is an exhaled breath that carries something akin to world weariness upon it.

Athenaeum has posed:
For her part, Ysabelle accepts the newcomer to the group with ease, shifting to allow Athena into the exclusive list of people following the oily broker of art. Something about him just seems to make her skin crawl, like an old tavern keeper that would sell you a room, and then try and gut you in your sleep for the sake of the pearls around your neck. None of this shows on her face of course, serene smiles and little nods of encouragement allow him to keep talking about the art work rather than trying to broach small talk.

Of course, then Athena's asking her question, and the owner's trying to answer it himself with these two rather standard scenes. People do like to paint people, and war. Niether of which really seem to catch the magician's eye.

Turning her shining gaze onto the auburn haired woman, Ysabelle offers calmly; "I was rather taken with the abstract over there." She gestures to a painting that's been put in a corner, a single lamp alighting reflecting colours of angular shapes, each one painted over the other until it becomes difficult to work out where one starts and the other ends. "Unless I miss my guess, the artist has used actual stones in his pigment, I'm /sure/ you can't get that shade of blue without using actual Lapis Lazuli..."

Not to be without manners, and whilst their chaperone is taking a breath, she offers Athena her hand. "Ysabelle Orion, pleasure to make your aquaintence Miss...?"

Athena has posed:
"Orion? Now that's an intriguing name. The mighty hunter, slain by the bow of Artemis..." Athena clicks her tongue briefly against the roof of her mouth before flashing the woman across from her a nearly incandescent smile. "Sophia Mills. Not nearly so greand a name, I'm afraid. In th 1500s I presumably had an ancestor who made flour." The smile remains, lighting up an unblemished face and adding to it the glitter of perfect teeth without so much as an overbite to mar her. "I think you're right, of course. Lapis lazuli... Not too hard to find but still an incredible amoutn of detail paid to their craft..." Athena's gaze focuses intently on the far painting for a moment and then she takes a deep breath.

Athena then turns toward Edgar. "I do like those battleships. I remember seeing a great many of them when I was traveling. One of my companions was quite fond of ships. Paintings that disgust or arouse rather than pleases, hmm?" She tilts her head at that before giving a slow nod. "Though it seems grim I find the ships please me a great deal, in fact. The garden scene quite reminds me of the Sainte-Adresse, as painted y Claude Monet." SHe inhales deeply through her nose and then gives a slow nod.

Ares is flashed a beatific, utterly beneficient smile. One woudl think that Sophia Mills is quite fond of John Aaron to see them, even if they do not so much as speak to one another. "I have a fondness for darker colours. Perhaps something with less defined shapes...?" She inclines her head toward Ysabelle.

Lucifer has posed:
"An excellent eye, miss-- this is a Sisley, a contemporary of Monsieur Monet," the curator beams, clearly pleased by Athena's excellent eye for detail. "The impressionists were fond of painting the world as they see it-- but I belive it is the lines that Sisley did not paint, that perhaps are troubling as the ones he did," Edgar suggests.

"Now, this -is- a terribly interesting piece," Edgar says, half leading, half following Ysabelle and Sophia as part of a binary orbit. "You're quite right, lapis lazuli was used. If you look closely, however, you'll see that the painting is principally precious gemstones painted with pigments crushed from other gems, and then the entire canvas was faced perfectly smooth with delicate lapping techniques. It is perhaps more accurately a sculpture than a painting-- but I shan't insist on that distinction, as pedantry makes fools of the best of us," Edgar says, with a knowing smile.

He turns inquiring eyes towards Ares, the hulking fellow lurking near a statue of a pair of vaguely humanoid shapes on a pedastal-- locked in dance, or combat, or both. "And of yourself, good sir? Is there anything in this gallery you find... provocative?"

Ares has posed:
    "I at times find many things provocative but it is at times due to my shift in mood." The tall man answers Edgar's words with that calm level aplomb as he looks towards the man first, then towards Izzy... and finally to his ever-loving sister. He cants his head to the side as he steps forwards, offering a few more words for the man as he moves towards the tail of followers he's trailing. "I shall instead trust to your expertise and attempt to assay your presentation with an open heart and a shrewd mind."
    Yet as he's speaking he's looking mostly towards Athena, even as he falls into step alongside the group of people who are following along with this presentation. "Ms. Mills," He takes up a place beside them, though doesn't look at them. "Ms. Orion. I find myself blessed with such fortune, it is difficult to gauge from where it springs."
    His voice lowers, so as to perhaps not interrupt the coming words from their guide. He does, however, dart a glance aside towards the two women. "Fate used to often laugh at our kind, Ms. Mills. I am curious if now is such an occasion or if something else has been put into play."

Athenaeum has posed:
"I'll take it." Ysabelle comments gently, her eyes never having looked at the tiny price tag set into the small blurb about the painting beneath it, but far enough away so as not to interfere with the negative space around the piece. "I've been looking for something to brighten my study somewhat, and I think this will do perfectly." After all, why come to a gallery showing if you have no intention on buying anything?

With the immediate work out of the way, she turns side on to their host, not enough to be rude, but enough that a well trained manager might read as dismissal. Either is fine with the lady in white at this point. Especially with the new information given.

"You know each other Mister Aaron?" Her warm smile is genuine and deep, spread between the two. An unasked question flicks across those turquoise eyes, politeness however, keeps it as such.

"I'm sorry to hear the Fate's have been unkind in the past, though this seems a rather fortuitous meeting does it not?" She pauses, her smile quirking into a grin. "Unless you're following me of course, in which case I would imagine it was planned all along." A soft laugh shows that she doesn't believe it.

Athena has posed:
"Well, hmm." There's a moment while Athena appears to be considering what Edgar has to say with a carefully thoughtful expression on her features. She takes a deep breath again and nods politely as the explanations continue along. Eventually this leads blue eyes to come to rest on Ares himself. When the man calls out to her Athena simply smiles.

"I realized you were here, Mr. Aaron, while deciding if I wished to make an appearance." This statement is made rather gently, Athena studying the other God's countenance for a moment as he does so. "Fate is not so much laughing at us, perhaps, as teasing quietly." With this she nods once, firmly. "The fact you know one another is quite the other matter, however. That's a lovely bit of circumstance, isn't it?"

The woman turns then to Edgar and bowsh er head very slightly. "Thank you so much. If I wish to ask after another of these works I will be sure to come to you soon. I suppose that it is time to socialize." And with that she returns to the people in front of her. "May I inquire as to how you know one another?"

Lucifer has posed:
Edgar inclines his head and shoulders towards Ysabelle at her order. "Of course, madam. An excellent choice, and you have my admiration for such a decisive selection! I'll have it boxed and sent to wherever you wish, in our finest of discreet armored vehicles." He steps away a few paces where he can see one of the silent, still employees manning the desk-- a subtle gesture brings four quiet and subservient men and women over. With white gloves and immaculate black suits untouched by dust or lint, they take down the heavy painting and carefully wheel it off on a cart, the wheel bearings roling without so much as a clatter.

Sensing that he has been dismissed, Edgar finds a spot a discreet distance away to stand and busy himself with something official looking-- just out of polite earshot, but close enough to be retrieved quickly should one of them call.

Ares has posed:
    A smile is given across the way to Edgar and a nod of thanks, but then the large man turns back to face the two women he had addressed moments ago. John looks between them and at first gives a few words to her, "Indeed, my dear. Ms. Mills and I are well-acquainted. Our paths have crossed a number of times and usually one or the other of us comes off the worse for it. But still, it is always an interesting time."
    But then he turns back to Athena and offers her a thin smile in that calm way of his that would give the most serious straight man's delivery in comedy a run for their money. "Ah, Ms. Mills. I have had chance to meet Ms. Orion only a few days ago. There was a small incident, and she approached me afterwards. Something out of the ordinary, you see. A mystery, if you will."
    He looks back towards Izzy and then confides, "But it seems that I am smitten with her, my heart was taken with her entirely and I had thought to pursue her, following her hither and yon. I considered taking a moment to proclaim my love, but found myself distracted by your appearance."
    He looks back to Athena and shakes his head slightly, offering the faintest of sighs. "And now we have raised her suspicion. Alas."

Athenaeum has posed:
Ysabelle's cheeks flush a soft pink at the torrent of effective love poetry that's being spoken about her. Those eyes flick from one to the other, her warm smile turning somewhat bashful under the pair's scrutiny.

"Mister Aaron, surely you jest? We've barely had one conversation..." The magician's implacable calm is somewhat ruffled by the events, though a slow indrawn breath through her nose brings her countenance back under control.

"Miss Mills, he's really making much more of it than there was. Some men took offence with him in the park, and I helped a little before inviting him for a brief discussion back at my home." A pause, a moment to needlessly smoothe the front of her dress as her mind falls back into order. "Though I must admit, curiousity is getting the better of me, rather than suspicion at this point."

Athena has posed:
Athena reaches out to place a gentle hand on Ysabelle's shoulder. It's really just a touch, though the keenest surrounding her might sense the flicker of deific beneficence which accompanies that touch.. It's not much, a glimmer shared between two souls that would likely be nothing to most observers.

Athena studies John Aaron for a few long moments, her head tilted very slightly to the left as she considers him carefully from head to toe. She purses her lips lightly and then gently taps her toe against the floor before nodding. "Ms. Orion is truly beautiful," she agrees with a nod, her expression quite severe as as she does. " I can understand why you would be so enamoured of her.

"Truly, I wish you well in your venture. ALthough... I think this might be a lot to process. I do applaud the curiosity, Ms. Orion and I absolutely wish you the best." With that the redhead gives a faint nod. She tilts her head then, looking between them. "Ah! Sir. Yes, I wanted to see this gallery of paintings that appear to be set in Ancient Greece. Tell me... Is this hill supposed to be Mount Olympus." Mount Olympus is a real place. It's not the most impressive mountain in the world. Surely the educated would know? Athena stalks off nevertheless.

Ares has posed:
    As for John he lightly touches a hand to his chest, as if clasping the last vestiges of humanity even as they slip from his grip. He shifts his eyes to Izzy's and meets her gaze with what would almost look like a swimming watery-eyed gaze, "Making more of it than it was?" His eyes widen slightly, his breath catching as he then murmurs, "Wounded. I'm wounded." Yet his smile is given to her openly, even as he shoots a glance in Athena's direction. It's likely that his sister has never seen him affect such a manner, let alone proclaim such affection.
    Yet he steps back towards Izzy and gently takes one of her hands in his, giving it a faint squeeze. "Forgive me, Ms. Orion. I am taking such liberty." He steps back and away, turning to face both of them equally, his hands upon his hips as he considers them.
    "In truth, Ms. Mills. She and I had a lovely discussion, she sought to discover what she could of my background and I was terribly mysterious." He steps towards her, perhaps to return her to the conversation if she would allow it. "Naught untoward occurred." He looks back towards Ysabelle as if for her support in insuring Athena that she is not being so ill used. He looks back towards Athena and then adds, "Sister, there are times you make me confuse you with the other."

Lucifer has posed:
"If I might offer a suggestion," Edgar says remarks, from somewhere behind Ares' right shoulder. It's an interjection that would be extraordinarily rude if it were not a public space. As it is, he absolutely manages to step on the tail end of Ares' moment, right before it lands.

Edgar smiles at the trio as eyes turn towards him, as pleasantly diffident as possible.

"There is a custom-- long since passed into disuse, of course-- of a gift of artwork. Not just among paramours, of course," he says, ducking his head at Ysabelle meekly-- "but among friends. Even rivals," he says. "A rose, gilded with jewels and precious metal-- what a statement that would have made next to one of Van Gogh's crudest efforts, a century ago. What is a ruby, to a starving farmer? Or gold, in the hands of the wealthiest of men? What statement can such a gift make?"

His eyes flicker meaningfully around the gallery, giving no hint or suggestion as to the pieces on display, leaving the three patrons to decide for themselves what message they might send.

"Ah yes, this is a collection of some more modern art," Edgar tells Athena, guiding her without ever quite entering her personal bubble. "I think you'll find many of these fascinating. A painter by the name of Paule du Masquerade envisioned these. A curious composition, and it's been said that one sees in them what one -chooses- to see," he explains. On closer inspection, the paintings-- each masterfully composed with a Realists' perspective-- conceal both a beauty of the classic Greek mythos, and something... dark, hidden within them, but only a discerning eye would be able to pick out the subtext. Apollo, hiding the sun at night. Zeus, reclining atop a cloud with thousands of abandoned women and children hidden in the stormy depths. Athena pitting scholars against one another in bloody combat to fight for her knowledge. Prometheus being tortured by a gleeful pantheon for liberating fire and delivering it to mankind. Ares cowering from a battlefield while exhorting men to take the field in his name.

The collection would almost be less offensive as caricatures, but the paintings are rendered with a breathtaking accuracy, which makes it even more of a stinging insult. Edgar's face is a professional, bland smile, completely unaware of his clientele, it seems.

Athenaeum has posed:
There's that touch from Athena, the only outward reaction of which is the magus stiffening like a rod, every muscle tensing as her pupils dilate, adding a dark stain to the middle of those gemlike eyes. A few seconds pass, no more, before her body relaxes again, though for a moment all the conversation seems to pass over her, unheard, unheeded. Until the word 'sister' shatters her reverie like so much stained glass.

"Sister?" She swallows, the word uttered as a barest whisper. Ysabelle looks visibly shaken, the calm pool of her serenity whisked into a maelstrom of questions, feelings and yes, awe. It takes her a moment just to stop looking wide eyed between Miss Mills and Mister Aaron. A few moments in fact. Long enough for Mister Smooth to start to draw Athena off to the new lines of pictures, and for Ares to follow along, causing Ysabelle to scurry to keep up.

For all the world, the magician is looking at the paintings, but in actuality, her eyes see without /seeing/. Her mind flicking through this new information, her hands are clung tightly enough in front of her lower abdomen, that had her skin not already been whiter than cream, her knuckles certainly would be.

Athena has posed:
"Dear brother, there ae re times when I wish I could confuse you for one of the others," Athena responds sweetly as she does so. She takes her deep breath after that, shaking herh ead once to dispel any notion of Ares's ribbing getting to her. Sure, she reacted. But itsi the longsuffering expression of a sister who can, at least, tolerate her brother's presence.

The paintings, however, draw a somewhat graver picture onto the woman's eatures. There's a faint line that forms around the edges of Athena's lips, tracing her serious, tight-faced expression that does not quite manage to be a frown. Each painting darkens it ever so slightly. Her brow gently furrows... And then the woman's gaze casts past the painting of Ares to that of Athena. She pauses for a long moment, and then takes a deep breath.

"That painting is delightfully avante garde. Even in premise. It's an interesting notion, certainly." This is enunciated clearly, shared as delicately as the woman can manage. She is tilting her head slightly, reaching up to drag her fingers delicately through her hair. "I would like to purchase it," Athena then decides in a crisp tone. Too matter-of-fact, perhaps. "Please have it packaged for me and placed with Ms. Orion's things."

Athena turns on her heel just in time to see Ares and Ysabelle approaching her. She takes a deep breath and then holds it for a second, studying both. "Ms. Orion. I think I just placed you. We met once, near the ruins of Cadmea? In Thebes. I could have sworn? You might remember if my hair were hanging all over my back and I was dressed in flanel." Blue eyes glint as they study the woman now.

"We should talk, perhaps over coffee. I can't imagine how much has changes since then."

Ares has posed:
    Something akin to a wink is spared for Izzy in passing, though it could just as easily be a momentary facial twitch, but then he's following along at Athena's side. Ares links his hands behind his back as he strolls along, keeping his attention on the paintings that she and Edgar point out. He spares each his regard in turn, eyebrows inclining a touch as she makes to purchase one particular depiction of the Greek Goddess.
    The tall man's expression becomes one of mild displeasure as he shakes his head. "Do you not feel that premise is played out at this point, Ms. Mills?" He rocks back onto his heels for a moment, looking from one to another to another of each painting. A small shake of his head is given, "Don't you imagine that the world is tired of seeing these weary old depictions of the human experience given form in these poor stories repeated so long from one teller to another?"
    There's a turn as he shifts his attention more towards her, offering his argument and framing it precisely as if readying it to be assailed by an assaulting army. "Would you not argue that mankind has grown beyond this..." He motions towards the imagery, "Romantic imagining, putting something so beautiful upon something that ultimately is crass, base... crude."
    Shaking his head, Ares looks back towards the features of Zeus, the great bearded father of the gods seeming so regal in this presentation. He makes a low sound like a 'harumph', "Though I'd be curious to see how Warhol would depict them."

Lucifer has posed:
"Of course, madame, I'll have it tended to immediately," Edgar says, bowing slightly again-- all humble obsequiousness and clearly pleased to be of service to Athena. Fingers snap twice and again, those immaculately-clad servants/employees hustle on silent feet, take down the painting, and scurry off with all the silent non-presence of master stagehands at the theater.

"If it pleases you, madame, I might offer the entirety of the collection," Edgar tells Athena, following in her wake politely. "If you were to purchase the set, I could offer a significant discount. As an art critic, I find myself in the regrettable position of having to impose upon you not to break up the set," he tells Athena, with the most winningly diplomatic smile possible. "I know, it's dreadfully gauche, but a part of me -hates- to see these paintings divided. Who knows how many years it'll be before they hang in a gallery all together again?"

"Ah, a fan of the modernists!" Edgar tells Ares, beaming. "I can happily direct you towards an exhibit on the second floor you might find interesting. 'The Downfall of Christ', it's called. Terribly edgy, the Vatican protested, but-- well, freedom of speech," he tells Ares with an urbane smile.

Edgar lands at the trailing edge of the little circle, a stray, strange little planetoid wandering in erratic orbit. He never actually looks anyone in the face, because-- how rude would that be? A mere galleria curator, examining one of his clients?

And yet, somehow, after Ares makes his pronouncement about humanity, he weaves through the little trio and almost touches Ysabelle's elbow, deftly intercepting her as smoothly as a dancer plucking his next partner from the arms of her companion mid-waltz.

"Now, Miss Orion, I -think- I've found one that might be a /perfect/ subject for you," he tells her, somehow not-quite-ever touching Ysabelle, but deftly escorting her to a statue in the middle of the room.

It's worked in bronze, and like everything else, is done with a deft and expert hand. At first glance, it's merely a shepherd girl, seated on rocks and playing a lyre. A few books are scattered near her feet.

But as one examines the statue, there's an unmistakeable sense of liberated joy on the girl's face. A student, perhaps? Setting aside her studies to enjoy the art of music for its own sake? Or a student of music momentarily mastering a professor's lesson? Perhaps a woman savouring a moment of quiet self introspection in a sea of demands, or a musician who is playing her heart out simply for the joy of hearing her own song.

Much like the Mona Lisa, the statue evokes something deep and uncertain in the soul-- tugging heartstrings as if the little shepherd girl was playing her music for the viewer's ears alone. Almost alive, at the corner of the eye.

"A lovely piece, I think you'll agree," Edgar remarks, hovering not far from her. He appeals to Athena and Ares, gesturing for them to step closer to Ysabella.

"You can see, I think, the appeal of this piece," he remarks. And blandly polite as his tone remains, something low and almost hypnotic lurks at the edges of his voice. Subtle enough to be easily missed, even to deific ears. "How it evokes... loneliness. Joy. So many feelings at once," he murmurs. "Independence. Growth," he remarks-- and though he continues to lurk at the edge of the trio, there is something about him that's more pacing off a circle to close the three in together than to merely lurk at their periphery.

"A wonderful piece for a budding artist of any stripe, no?" he says, encouragingly. "Wouldn't it be a fine gift for a friend? Alas... there's only the one," he says, sighing longingly.

Because, of course, only the wisest of friends-- or bravest of paramours-- could offer such a unique gift. Right?

Athenaeum has posed:
There's one thing every Grecian learns in the cradle. The games of the Gods grind the meat of mortals in their machinations. Or in less wordy prose, don't get in between two deities' plans. With their moon of a guide switching his celestial pattern to pull the young looking woman away, Ysabelle is only too happy to allow him to move her away from the two beings that seem to have her stuck nicely in their web.

For long moments she just stares at the bronze female before her. Not really understanding what she's seeing. But then, Ysabelle gives herself a shake, long hair flicking back and forth with the movement of her body. Taking herself firmly in hand, the woman forces herself back to cool serenity. No decision made in haste was ever made well. She takes a few more moments to really /see/ the statue, and others might thing that's all she was doing all along.

"It is rather intricate is it not, I would have loved to have met the model." She intones quietly, that odd Western European accent noticeable in the quiet. "Alas, I don't have a friend to buy it for." There is /something/ about it though, a desire to touch it, even just to be sure that it really is bronze and not painted flesh. She resists the urge however, her hands once again delicately clasped together in front of her lower belly. "It might look nice on the island though Has it been treated for display outside?" She's focusing on the now, the here, and then a flicker of remembrance, Athena had been talking to her, explaining something. A woman, a place, recognition sparks in her mind and she turns her head alone to address the other female present.

"Why yes, I do believe I remember. I do apologise for not recognising you Miss Mills." Whether now, or then, is anyone's guess. "I can certainly have some coffee brought in if that is your wish, mayhaps at the villa?" It's a suggestion, and a tentative one at that.

Athena has posed:
For a long moment Athena finds herself staring at the statue, her blue eyes wide as she considers it for a long moment. She tilts her head slightly as she considers it for a long moment. A deep breath is taken and slowly exhaled. Carefully. "I do not think I shall be needing the rest of the set, sir. I apologize. I would be willing to make adonation to cover the unfortunate loss if you are concerned about the viability of the set."

Athena clicks her tongue against the roof of her mouth and then crosses her arms over her cvhest for a moment, gaze still on the bronze in front of her as she considers it for for a long moment. Finally she tilts her head and- frowns, abruptly. She reaches out toward it like she might first touch it and then extends a finger to point briefly at the statue in question. "But where would I put it?" She asks then before slowly shaking her head.

"The villa sounds delightful, Ms. Orion. Of course. I am sorry torun but I simply must be elsewhere. A book signing, actually. IF you would keep an eye on that painting I had sent for you, please? I would hate to se it harmed. Brother, I hope to run into you again quite soon. Say hello to Alexander for me." Then the Goddess of Wisdom flashes all those present a bright smile and starts to walk toward the exit with crisp steps. Walking perhaps slightly harder than before.

Ares has posed:
    At Edgar's words, John waves his hand to the side with a mild look of annoyance as he says simply, "No, thank you. I find the Christian mythology tedious." Those words are delivered with an almost entirely too casual disregard for such, even in polite company. But then again perhaps it is merely a reflection of his current mood.
    Then he turns to the side and remains at the edge of the gathering, giving Athena one portion of his attention, but sparing another for the attentions paid by the charming Edgar upon the lost at sea magician. He enjoys the interplay, even going so far as to look past Edgar towards Ysabelle. Nothing is said, though he smiles and adjusts his cufflinks one at a time as if this lovely chaos were merely the simple state of the world and enjoying it.
    Then Athena speaks and he gives her a nod of agreement, "Until another time, Ms. Mills. I will tell Alexander you sent him your well wishes." He rests his hands upon his hips, "We shall have to sit down one day soon, the three of us. He has asked of you." At that his smile is a little less vicious, but then he flares his hands. "But fine, off with you."

Lucifer has posed:
"Of course, of course," Edgar soothes-- and he's all business again, as if he let all the air out of the close little circle by scrubbing a foot across the invisible boundary. "I'll have these boxed and shipped before the day is out. Sirrah-- ladies. Thank you so much for your patronage, and we hope to see you here again," he says, again-- all greasy smiles and scraping subservience. He sees all three of them out, the smile not fading even as the elevator bears the last of them down to the city streets.

"There is... a house... in New Orleans..." the man sings softly, moving to a window to look out to the cityscape beyond. "They call... the rising sunnn..."

"And it's been, the ruin, of many a poor boy. And God, I know.... I'm one," he croons, as the Olympians flee the galleria for their own domains.