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Sacred Places
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#1
"I think," He spoke aloud, where anyone could hear him in the tavern, “That I would like to see that temple." It wasn't the first time Seth had come to this place - they had the best selection of wine - and he expected that the invitation would be taken for what it was, though he continued, "Anyone else have the same thought?”

The god took his tune to finish his dyink before he stood up, brushed off his jacket and put it back on, and gave the serving woman a generous tip. Then he headed to the door and out into the cooler city air. Seth glanced up toward the sky and smiled just a little; no rain tonight, not while he was out exploring this new place.

He didn't turn to see if anyone had decided to join him until he was nearly to the temple.
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Marvel-MCU-3

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#2
Natasha had been out, exploring the Hub, which naturally meant spending a fair amount of time in some of the bars, both seedy and otherwise. They tended to be good places to get information, and it was comforting, in a way, to discover that this was a universal constant.

At this place, she'd made inquiries about the darkly handsome man drinking in the corner, apparently he was some sort of deity on his version of Earth, or at least that was the story he'd chosen to promote. Which was interesting. Interesting and worth checking out, so when this "Seth" announced that he was going to 'the temple', wherever that was, she decided to follow along behind him.

As she walked along, out of habit she moved quietly, but she was doing noting to really hide her presence either, so when he turned around he'd see her quite easily.
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#3
He didn’t actually have to physically turn around to see who was following him, but he had learned over the centuries that mortals preferred to be able to pretend that he was similar to them, and so he turned, as though he didn’t know the assassin woman had been following him even as he left the bar.

Hub had certainly proven entertaining at least. This wasn’t his first time in this place, but it was far more active now than it had been before. And so many more dimensions and universes were connecting to it, it was in constant flux, and Seth found the resultant chaos revitalizing. He was a god of chaos, after all.

Truthfully, he had yet to actually publically proclaim himself a god. Oh, he had his followers, his temple was full of ghosts who would happily speak of the Sha and teach his dogma, but he didn’t go out and boast of his godhood, at least not yet. First things first, get the lay of the land. Look into the minds and hearts of these people, and find what made them happy. Adhira had taught him that lesson, and he had learned it well and taken it to heart. Following her suggestion had, thus far, served him quite well.

So when the temple had appeared in Hub with a slice of a new universe surrounding it, Seth had watched. He’d seen others approach, and subsequently leave. He had set for hours to see the ghosts from that world move about. Now, bored with waiting and watching and keen to do something adventurous, he had announced his plan to visit the temple in the bar, to see if there were any others whose curiosity matched his own.

Only one thus far. How disappointing. But she was an interesting creature as well, and so when he let his eyes fall on her, he smiled, “Ah, it is always nice to see a kindred spirit, is it not?” He motioned toward the temple, “Let us go in together. This place belongs to neither of us, but we share an interest in it.” He neither tried to lead nor follow as he turned back, walking sedately into the temple to have a good look around.

This place was interesting. He could see the simply beauty in the architecture, but it was foreign still. Peaceful and calm, at odds with the violence, the death that he could sense that had happened here. He didn’t reach out to any souls that might linger here; they had their own gods to care for them, though if they didn’t… Well, he could look into that after they’d explored a bit more.
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#4
The man turned and greeted her, and Natasha's impression, as he spoke was that this guy was weird. Weird in what way she wasn't sure of yet, but certainly weird, and certainly creepy. She wasn't sure why he called her a 'kindred spirit', but supposed that this went along with the weird and creepy thing he had going.

"Lead on." she said, falling into place a pace behind him and to his left, looking around at the strange architecture, and wondering at the odd emptiness of the building. Wondering for a little while, until they came upon the first of the bodies "That explains why its so quiet." she said, looking around to see if there was any sign of whoever it was that had done it.
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#5
Of course he was ‘weird’. He preferred the word ‘strange’ to ‘weird’, but he supposed that they were both accurate enough. No matter how he appeared at the moment, he was not human, not mortal, and thus of course mortals would find him strange, different from them. Creepy was a new one for Seth, but he supposed a god of the dead would be creepy enough to a mortal woman.

Kindred spirits because they had both been curious, and forward enough to act on it. He had heard the thoughts of others in the establishment, wondering about the temple, but thus far, only the red haired woman had opted to come with him and see what the temple was with her own eyes. He pitied the others. Such sheep. Cattle. He had offered to walk together, for neither of them to lead, but the woman seemed interested in following, and Seth was not one to deny a lady her preference, so he led, quietly, as they moved deeper into the temple.

Children. Oh, he had sensed the death, the violence of those deaths, but he hadn’t looked so closely at the souls that waited to be taken to their final rest. They were children, just young things, innocent and sweet. Who would have, could have, murdered children this way?

A god might have, since they were all human children, but for what purpose? Unlike what so many of the primitive human cultures believed, very few gods required blood sacrifice. He certainly didn’t; he saw enough of death, he didn’t need it brought to his doorstep. “Death moves on silent footfalls. There are few things in omniverse that can be quite as stealthy as Death when it wants to surprise you.” How frowned at the bodies, shaking his head, “This is a sad thing. So little meaning, so much waste. Who thought that this was an answer to any problem?” Death was inevitable, inexorable. Why bring it needlessly upon such innocence? Once, Seth might not have cared, once he would have looked at the mortal bodies with cold indifference, the way a farmer might look upon a herd of cattle dead from sickness, but he had spent centuries, even millennia, adapting to humanity as being more than mindless, and tonight it did affect him.

“The question we must ask ourselves is whether the perpetrator of this violence is still within the temple, or if they are now wandering our fair city. Neither are particularly pleasant ideas, frankly.”
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#6
Black Widow was not, as a rule, sentimental when it came to children. She'd been a child herself when she'd started going on missions for the Red Room, and she knew that children were not always innocent, or trustworthy, or helpless. Killing them, though-killing them was a waste. A waste of resources, of potential, of a future. Killing children, that angered her. Natasha was horrified, and saddened as well as feeling angry, and so was Natalia, but they were a little softer, a little more sentimental when it came to children, at least when it came to little ones who were petted and cossetted and allowed to be children.

And then the man started spouting what sounded like poetry, or some kind of half-baked philosophy "This wasn't silent." she replied, examining the wounds "I'm not sure what did this, either. Take a look-its not a gun, or any kind of blade I've seen. The wounds were cauterized as they were being made, but the angle of impact looks like a blade of some kind."

Black Widow nodded as he spoke "That is an issue. We should see if we can find someone alive in here. Or something that tells us who or what did this."
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#7
One might think that, as a god of death, Seth would be accustomed the sight of the dead. Of dead children, more specifically. And he was, he was. That didn’t mean he enjoyed it and it didn’t mean it wasn’t a sad thing to see, no matter how many times he had laid eyes upon the too-small corpses.

There were so many. A part of him reached out toward the children, not a frightening presence for those departed souls, but a comforting one. Dark and quiet, but gentle and kind at the same time. These souls might not be fully innocent, but they were young and confused and scared, and Seth was not an unkind god, not to those who didn’t deserve unkindness. Even as the comforted the dead children, his physical avatar snarled, eyes narrowing as he sought the doer of these terrible deeds.

“The murderer was not silent. The murdered not silent, no.” He glared back at the woman who had unwittingly accompanied a death god into the scene of a massacre, “But Death, they who did not perpetrate these actions but was instead forced to release the souls of those who fell here, is a silent entity.” He frowned, “A mortal did this. Always so eager to blame Death for the violence of man, aren’t you? Has it occurred just how exhausting and depressing it is to clean up after this?” he motioned to the bodies, all but spinning in place before his hands clenched. No other gods were present, there was no one here to guide those poor too-young souls to rest. Heaving a heavy sigh, he grimaced, “A moment, my good lady. There is work for me to do here.”

He didn’t seem to move, he closed his eyes and lifted his chin a moment. Just a moment, and then his head lowered once more, his eyes opening slowly, black from pupil to sclera. Seth saw, he always saw, but as he worked now, his presence filled the chamber and beyond, finding the souls here and guiding them to the Underworld, where they could rest. He claimed them, all of those who were thus far unclaimed, he took as his own, protecting them, caring for them, comforting them.

“A firebrand of some sort.” It might be uncomfortable for a mortal to look at his eyes like this for the first time, but Seth could not find it in himself to care overly much just now. “Whoever did this,” his smile was hostile, “I would like to meet them.” There could be no mistaking what he meant - this was no curiosity, it was nothing gentle; it was a promise of pain, of suffering, of punishment.

Fixing the woman with his black gaze, Seth’s voice grew almost sibilant, “One of their own. A man. Someone they trusted.” And that… For that, this young man would find no mercy should Seth ever lay eyes and hands upon him.
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#8
"I assumed it was a metaphor, I apologize." Black Widow said, formally and a little bit stiffly, stepping back while this being did whatever it was he'd needed to do. Not a man, exactly, although she wasn't quite sure what he was. She didn't believe in any gods, and meeting Asgardians had made her even more firm in her lack of belief. But clearly he was doing something, and now wasn't the time to be picking fights with her only ally in this place.


And then his eyes turned black. In her experience, that was a never a good thing, but Black Widow had been taught never to show fear if doing so wouldn't be helpful, and she got the idea that this being would be more dangerous if he thought she was afraid. Besides, it appeared that she and this being were on the same side of things, which meant that she really didn't have anything to be afraid of. The person who'd done this, though? They had quite a lot to fear.

"I'd like to meet them as well." Natasha replied. She didn't ask how he knew those things, it seemed best not to ask at the moment, when it was taking all of her willpower not to break eye contact first. "Can you track him?" she asked instead.
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#9
The change in the atmosphere between them didn’t go unnoticed. In a way, this woman reminded him of an old friend; one of the very few mortals who had truly known him in his very long life. One of the even fewer who had been willing to call him out when he annoyed her. When he grew too centered on himself. Or when he was, as rarely as it happened, wrong. He missed that woman. “I suppose were I human, it might have been a metaphor. But I am not human, which makes matters a sight more complicated.”

In all the eons of his existence, Seth had never approached a human and told them they must believe him a god. In fact, especially in this place, he rarely bothered to tell people that was what he was. Mortals usually required proof, evidence, and Seth preferred to allow them to draw their own conclusions, to make their decisions on their own. He had no pressing need to be recognized for what he was; he had no lack of followers, no lack of power or time. There was no burning need to prove himself.

The darkening of his eyes was an effect of what he was doing; part of him that could not be seen by living mortals who were not gifted, touched by himself (or another god of death), delved beyond the veil and guiding the poor souls of those unfortunate children to their rest. Black was just another color, a dark one, but no more bad or good than any other color. His lips quirked up as she considered and gave thought to her situation, her fear, and ultimately decided it was unnecessary. “No, you don’t. And yes, he really does, doesn’t he?” Because the man who had perpetrated this had the attention of a seemingly dangerous woman and a very annoyed god of death.

Annoyed and often overworked.

It took time to ferry the souls of the deceased to the Underworld, especially seeing how many their were and that they were all so young, so frightened, and Seth had no interest in making their ordeal worse by being less than soothing. “The dead are easier for me to find by far. But if he is still here, in this place, we will find him.” He turned from her then, “I think, when we do meet this person… I might pity them. Perhaps.” He glanced over to the woman, his eyes slowly returning to their previous hazel coloring, “Unless I remember these children. I do have a good memory.”
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#10
"Yes, I did notice that." Natasha said dryly, as she started to try to get her feet back under her. Which, naturally, was when the being decided to make it clear that he could read her thoughts. At least some of the time. Which was disconcerting, to say the least. Natalia had spent years learning to control what went on in her head, and her skill in doing so was the only reason why Natalia Romanova still existed in any meaningful sense of the word. Still, there was no need to call overt attention to her discomfort. Especially not when the being was no doubt aware of it already.

"I think that I'll save my pity for the children." Natasha replied, her tone cold "At the end of the day, everyone makes their choices. Bounded and conditioned, yes, but this person had the choice to make, and chose to become the person who would do this."
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