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Dance Party
Tag Jaya | August 4th
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#1
The moment he’d entered this place, Hannibal had been… Amused. The minds of men and women of all sorts of different races and sexualities, some woefully repressed, others delightfully open, were laid bare to him, and this… He sipped at whatever the green liquid they had decided to call Ambrosia was; it was tasty, sweet but not overly cloying, and sat back, watching the people, his awareness in that enjoyable haze of the minds that surrounded him.

The music here wasn’t all so bad, and as a song with a particularly good beat began to play, something… Strange… Happened at the Green Goddess.

Everyone began to dance.

Everyone.

Not just the dancing girls, though of course they were dancing, if not quite in their usual way, but the patrons, the bouncers, the bartenders, everyone present at the Green Goddess danced to the song that had gotten Hannibal’s attention. As customers entered the establishment, they too fell in with those already dancing.

It appeared to be choreographed, though if asked later, not a single one of the dancers would remember it being so. They just… Moved, as if instinctually.

Only one patron wasn’t affected, and that was Hannibal, who watched with delight lighting his eyes as the people in the Green Goddess danced for him. He wasn't entirely motionless, however, he moved to the music from his seat, because it really did have a lovely beat.
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#2
Jaya participated in the dance, along with everyone else. The movements were not ones she ordinarily used, but the steps didn't feel forced. Instead they felt instinctual, natural. As she danced, Jaya looked around the room, trying to determine who or what it was that was causing this. Who had taken over the bodies of everyone here. Here at HER place. It wasn't hard to spot him.

Leaning against the bar, a look of cool amusement on his face as he surveyed the scene. The only one who wasn't dancing. It had to be him. The song ended, and Jaya found herself free from its grasp. Around her, people were looking around, smiling sheepishly, but amused rather than angry or embarrassed, which was a good thing.

Jaya was angry, furious at the violation, but she wasn't about to make a scene. Wasn't going to do anything, until she found out who and possibly WHAT the man leaning against the bar, who had every appearance of being Terran, had done.

Eyes flashing, Jaya crossed over and stood in front of him "Who are you, and what in the name of the Nine Mothers did you do to my club?" she demanded, fighting to keep her tone even.
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#3
Really, this particular quirk, one that Hannibal was, frankly, quite fond of, was far less invasive than most of his other abilities. Far less of a violation.

It wasn’t even entirely on purpose; the song had begun, and it had caught his attention, and he had found himself amused and desiring a dance. And thus it had begun, the establishment had suddenly and unexpectedly broken into a rather lovely dance, and Hannibal was very, very amused by it all. In fact he clapped for the performers once the song was over and the ‘spell’ that had come over the building ended. It was, amazingly enough, a fairly gentle process, to break into dance for the song and it faded harmlessly enough.

And who didn’t love to dance?

The lovely woman with a unique shade of beryl colored skin approached him, Hannibal gave her a smile, greeting her with an amount of cheer that was so uncommon for him; “Brava, my good lady, brava. That was absolutely charming. You certainly do know how to make a soul feel welcome in this fine place of yours.”

Of course Hannibal knew she was irate, and of course he knew she felt violated. He wouldn’t be much of a telepath if he didn’t, and yet, he wanted to give her a chance, because honestly, he hadn’t enjoyed a dance like that one in some time, and she and her business had provided it. And Hannibal was feeling a bit generous after such an enjoyable performance. So he took her wrath in stride, his smile not diminishing. “You may call me Hannibal, though I’ve gone by many names. Nine mothers? That’s a whole lot of nurturing. I wonder if young Oedipus would have been nearly as tragic as he was if he’d had a whole slew of mothers…” Hannibal chuckled as though at a joke (it was, and it was funny, if you knew the boy king!) “What makes you think I did anything to the club? More fair of you to blame the music, wouldn’t it be? It wasn’t I who chose the music to be played.”
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#4
"I'm glad that you enjoyed yourself." Jaya replied, struggling to keep her tone even. As she confronted him, it didn't even occur to her to question why it was that she was the one doing it, and why she hadn't sent one of the men to talk to him. Nor did she ask why it was that she was using her training to keep herself calm, as opposed to trying to seem like a brainless little sexpot. In the Hub, she'd learned that she didn't have to hide, and she'd let slip the lies and the masks that had been second nature for so long. Instead, there was no pretense, she was what she appeared to be, a woman defending what was hers. "You've told me your name, but not who you are." Jaya replied, ignoring the reference to Oedipus. It wasn't one she recognized, and his private amusement only served to confirm her suspicion that he was responsible "You were the only one not dancing, and you don't seem confused. Patrons don't usually dance here. Therefore, it was you. I want to know why."
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#5
Of course he had enjoyed himself. He liked dances. “Thank you. I did.” It was amusing, seeing this woman struggle to maintain the appearance of calm.

His Beloved would have unleashed a tongue lashing like no one had ever seen before if she were so irate with him, and yet, this one did not. Interesting. Then again, Adhira had never been one to grow so angry over something so… Trivial. He had wished for a dance, and thus, a dance. What harm had he done?

With a sigh and a wave of his hand, “I am he who watches over the souls that have passed. I am the Unseen and the master of storms, the son of the Earth and Sky. I have had many, many names, my dear. But that, that is who I am.” If she looked into his eyes, they told more than his youthful appearance, than the unsettling amusement he wore like a cloak. Those eyes were old. “What I told you, was that you may call me Hannibal.” He leaned forward, not touching her, “There was nothing to be confused about. A song came on, and it was lovely. I desired someone would dance for me, and then they did. The dance was charming, and I was quite taken by it.”

He looked around, “No one seems to mind the break in routine other than yourself. What troubles you so much about this?” He arched a brow, “And what, pray tell, should I call you? If you plan on questioning me, I should have at least that, don’t you think?”
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#6
Jaya saw the age in his eyes, and the male in front of her clearly had power, a great deal of power, but he was still a Terran. If he was a god he was none of her's, the Merciful Father was no trickster, she knew that for certain. "A god on Earth, then." she said, making it into a statement "What are you when you are here, and calling yourself Hannibal? What are you doing here, in the Hub? If you asked for a dance, you could have had one, no need to compel anyone."

"My name is Jaya, and this is my family's club. This is my place, and I don't like it when someone comes in and violates the free will of my people, and of the people who patronize the Green Goddess."
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#7
Hannibal was whatever he wished himself to be. He had crafted an animal for his personal use, after all. And he wasn't much of a trickster, either. He left that for others, though he could, when he wished, be playful.

The song had inspired him, it had amused him, and he had wanted a dance. But he hadn't just gone and forced those here to do so; it had been…. passive. He snorted, “I am what I am no matter where I go.” He hadn't claimed godhood, she had bestowed that upon him herself, though it pleased him to be recognized for what he was. Arching a brow, he shrugged, “I had thought myself a patron.”

He sighed. Did she not realize that…. of course she hadn't. Mortals, with their short sight. “I am enjoying myself. I like this city. I did not compel anyone. If I do,” his eyes narrowed, and Jaya would feel a weight in her mind, heavy, old, powerful, and cold, “They would know.” The presence left abruptly, leaving a sense of alone-ness, “But I have no wish to do so. This place is rather pleasant. I desired a dance for the song, and it happened. This is not so uncommon.” It had t been a decision he had made, not a violation as he was capable of. It had just been.

Hannibal reached for her hand, bringing it to his lips to tease the skin there briefly, “I have no interest in commandeering the minds of your staff or clientele, Jaya. Only to enjoy the dancing and drinking, and perhaps the company.”
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#8
"That may be, but that doesn't make you one of the gods of my world." Jaya replied, unwilling to concede more than she had to about who he was, or his power or status "A client, yes." Jaya replied "A patron? That requires more than showing up and ordering a drink, even if you can bend everyone here to your will."

"Perhaps you and I have different understandings of what it means to compel." Jaya said, although, as she felt his touch on her mind, she realized that yes, what he meant by compulsion, and yes, what he had done was relatively mild. Which didn't make it not a violation.

She didn't pull her hand away as he kissed it, but it was clear that she took no pleasure from the contact "You are welcome to come here, and drink, and enjoy the performers. In private, as well as public, if you wish. But if you desire more than that, please have the courtesy to ask for permission first-from the management, if not from all the beings here. And we expect to be compensated, regardless.
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#9
Hannibal sighed at Jaya’s insistence that her knowledge of him, or lack thereof, made him somehow less. Tedious mortals, why were they always so tedious? “I really don’t care if you know of me or not. If I minded, I would have made sure you gained the knowledge.” He had already been in her mind once, and he had refrained then from...amusing himself. But now… Now he was regretting that restraint, because frankly, he was growing bored. “You require more than purchases to call someone here a patron?” He had, after all, paid the bartender for his drink when he’d received it… What more did she desire from those here? Some sort of oath? She certainly wasn’t getting his word from him, not with her impertinence.

Ah, and here was her problem. She felt violated and wronged.

That was her problem, though. He hadn’t done anything. “Perhaps you misunderstand what I am telling you. These things just happen. It doesn’t require my direct intervention. I didn’t invade any minds here, I didn’t coerce anyone. They just simply,” he waved a hand in the air, “Danced. And quite well.”

She dared to demand he ask permission?! The laughter that rang from his throat was not human, and much darker than the pleasant amusement that had graced his face and voice before, shadow and darkness gathering around him as his mood shifted.

He had always been one of the more mercurial mannered gods, in any pantheon.

“Let me explain to you this thing that you are attempting. It is not done. You may request I do not crush or play within the minds of those here. And being the understanding sort that I am, I will agree not to do this. You may request that I attempt to keep quiet my divinity and affect those within your establishment as little as possible. And I will agree to do so as pleases me.” He flourished, the darkness not leaving him, but his mood almost seeming to lighten a touch, “As for payment, I had no thought that I would not be charged for my entertainment and drink.” He motioned, and a young, well built man who had been standing in a corner, out of the way, stepped forward, “I’ll be sure all here are compensated for their service.” He smiled to Jaya, “In return for the services you and yours render in this place, you will have my protection while I am present. As well as fair payment. But you do not make demands of me. You do not threaten."” The priest was already handing out money, gold and platinum, to...well...everyone, as everyone had danced. The service providers, who worked for Jaya, received slightly more, as this was their profession and it had been interrupted.

Hannibal himself offered Jaya a soft silken pouch filled with the coins, “And as the interruption was more costly for you, as the owner of this place, you of course receive extra compensation.”

Greed was nothing new to Hannibal. He wasn’t free of it, though things were not what he craved… He left that for the mortals, though he required enough treasures to live his lives happily and in comfort, for his high priests to do the same, and to be respected amongst others, but no, what Hannibal was greedy for was belief. Worship.
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#10
"A patron is someone who comes here regularly, and has a steady favorite or two among the females who are employed here." Jaya explained "You don't have that status, as yet." she knew that she was dancing on the knife edge of gaining an enemy, but she could not let someone just walk in and take over what she had built "If you wish that status, that is something I will be pleased to discuss with you."

"I don't make demands." Jaya replied "Just very firm requests. But yes, I think that we can do business. The terms you offer are quite acceptable, especially with the payment you are willing to throw in to sweeten the pot. Now" she said, looking much more relaxed, and even relieved, that she was going to get an ally and protector out of this encounter, and not an enemy. "What else do you require to make your time here more pleasant."
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#11
Semantics. The woman was arguing semantics. With a god. Specifically, with the god of the Underworld. Well, didn't she have nerves made of brass. Or steel; it was nerves of steel. Either way, a heavy metallic material.

Color Hannibal impressed.

His smile became one of amusement, and the gathered dark eased away some. “Well, you cannot have a favorite without trying each one first, now can you?"

This woman was amusing, which was saying something, because Hannibal had been on the edge of boredom when he’d come in to see what the fuss about this place was. Entertainment was highly valuable, after all. She was right to be relieved that Hannibal was as willing to go along with her firm requests as he was. But he was a benevolent sort, no matter what some might say, willing to be...forgiving. “Companionship is always pleasant.” He was quiet a moment, then asked, “Do your people here,” he gestured to show he meant more than her species, “Pray? Do they worship, I mean?” He hadn’t felt the presence of any unknown divine presence here in Hub, but he was rather curious if he (and his Beloved) were actually alone.
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#12
The fact that Hannibal claimed to be a god was one of the main reasons why Jaya wasn't backing down. Her universe had all sorts of powerful beings in it, and the Orion Syndicate's protocol for First Contact was to not show weakness, or to cringe in the face of power. Offer pleasure, yes, convince them that Orions were friendly, welcoming and willing to accommodate, but not to allow them to think that Orions as a species could be turned into their minions.

"Indeed you cannot." Jaya agreed "Would you like me to introduce them to you, or would you prefer to observe and make your selection in that way?" as she spoke, she discreetly signaled for Hannibal to be brought a new drink, the weight of the purse told her he'd paid enough to drink as much as he desired this evening, and for several evenings to come.

"I don't know about all of the people who come in here." Jaya replied "I assume that some do and some do not, like most beings. As for the staff, it isn't really something we discuss very much, although the Orions" including the copies, which raised questions that Jaya didn't have any notion of how to answer "all follow our own gods."
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#13
Hannibal… Hadn't actually claimed his godhood here today. Oh, he was a god, and he absolutely knew it, but it had been Jaya who had actually verbalized it, who had bestowed the title of ‘god’ upon him, not Hannibal himself. It was, truth be told, quite refreshing to have his divinity recognized without having to state it outright, without having to crush a mind or craft a miracle. (Unless a spontaneous synchronized dance party in the middle of a brothel counted as a miracle.) What he had claimed were his other titles; the Unseen, the son of Earth and Sky. They were not his names, they were his birthrights, and he would not dismiss them. Whether or not she liked the fact that he was a god, that she acknowledged it was enough. Belief, mortal belief, was a potently powerful thing for a god. A mortal didn’t have to bow or scrape, they didn’t have to raise prayers and stand in awe of a god; they only needed to believe.

She was offering to… Hannibal smiled to the rather impertinent mortal woman. He liked her, she had spirit and heart, and reminded him just a touch of the willful goddess he loved dearly. “I prefer to make my own acquaintances with those whom I may or may not share a bed with, but thank you, Jaya.” he had a type, he knew, and while ‘strong’ and ‘competent’ (and of course ‘beautiful’) were certainly things he looked for, he wasn’t truly interested in seeking such information from the matriarchal madame. The drink, however, was met with a smile. Service was good. Good service… Was better.

It would be expecting too much of any mortal to know the religious beliefs of all of her clients and neighbors. But she would know of her staff’s beliefs. Orions, she said, followed their own gods. Was it, Hannibal wondered, simply a quality of mortals that made them so adamant that every pantheon of gods were actually separate, unique beings? The Egyptians had called him Setesh or Seth, the Sumerians and Assyrians had called call him Nergal, the Greeks had Hades and the Romans Pluto. All the same god, the same entity, though. “I see. Jaya, do Orions have a god of death, or of the Underworld?” He cocked his head to the side, the question laced with curiosity and without any true demand or threat within it. Hannibal was curious, if not quite as innocently so as he implied with the tone.

It was a rare culture who didn’t have a protector or watcher of the souls of the dead, after all.
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#14
"As you wish." Jaya replied with a gracious nod. She was confident that she had females her to appeal to every taste, or at least those tastes that included females, and she had no doubt that he'd find someone that appealed. Possibly even herself, although she wasn't sure about how she felt about the prospect of coupling with someone who professed to be a god, and the god of Death at that. "We do." Jaya replied "But you aren't the Gentle Father, who is the one who watches the souls of Orions." Like most Orions, she was firmly of the opinion that their gods were only concerned with Orions.
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#15
Nodding back to Jaya, he gave her a small smile. Oh, he was confident that he would find someone here he would find quite attractive, and not just physically… But there were few who could truly capture his attention.

They had a death god. He smiled and shook his head at her profession, “No, Jaya, I am not him. There are many of us out there.” His gaze grew warmer and less distant, “We all care about our own people, yes, but we also all recognize all people.” Once, there had been many more that were like him, watching over their kingdoms of souls that had passed from their worlds. Now, there were fewer, but there were still many. More like him than of other domains, but they still existed, if in different universes.
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