1964-02-28 - Two Gods (ish) In A Bar
Summary: Two beings possessed wholly or in part by greater beings meet in a bar…
Related: None
Theme Song: None
eshu zed 


Night has come to Harlem- and The Duck is where some people come to drink once the sun has set. Heavy smoke hangs in the air and the place is decayed and barely held together. Most people here are of African descent.

Zed is no different. Dark skinned, dark eyed. He wears clothing typical of someone who's spent a long time in the military. "I'm telling you, Tea." he says, speaking to himself. "We're going to be well fed here. Nothing to worry about- no need to take the whole pie. A slice will be enough. Trust me."

*

Stepping into the Duck, Eshu pauses to look around, his expression curious and with a bit of an easy grin. He carries with him a rather elaborate staff carved like an intricate and unusual snake, and he leans upon it easily. But soon enough he wanders towards the bar. His own clothing is straight out of Nigeria: loose fitting, long shirt, bright patterned colors. Once he reaches the bar he asks the bartender with a clear british accent, "Friend. Rum! I need rum… and…." he reaches into the pack he carries with him and pulls out a cigar, plopping himself into a seat and only then his eyes settle upon Zed. There's some recognition and surprise on his features. Chaos? He hasn't diced with chaos in a thousand years. There's a curious nod offered over to the… man.

*

Zed is drinking. Beer, by the looks of it. A cigarette burns in the ashtray near to him. He seems a strong type, not particular interested in being noticed. But, noticed he is. He looks over to Eshu- and smiles. Like knows like. "You heard the man." Zed says to the bartender. "Rum. Give him the chili pepper infused rum." he says over to the man behind the bar. "You know the stuff. Real firewater. Spicy. Trust me- he'll like it."

Zed lifts his cigarette, turning to look at Eshu. "So, what brings you to this neck of the woods. Sort of outside your regular stomping grounds, isn't it?" He pauses, head cocked to the side. "Oh, and Tea says hello."

*

"Is it?" wonders Eshu casually, tapping his finger along along his staff, his brow arching at the suggestion of the rum, but the grin and nod he gives the bartender signals his approval. "It's true my people didn't come here willingly, but came here they did. But that's not why I'm here. I'm… curious. I'm annoyed. I've decided that being reactive is less interesting then being proactive and that there is far too much ignorance in the world." At the mention of 'Tea', he has to laugh, an easy sound even as he pulls out his cigar clipper and cuts trims the cigar before lifting it in offering to Zed. "She and Oya have all the best parties, I expect. You never know what will happen." He gestures with the offered cigar to a stool beside him, "Who are you, stranger with a passenger for a soul?" Weird talk and likely to draw a stare or two, but Eshu cares not at all.

*

"Call me Zed." Zed replies with a smile. A quiet thing. A wicked thing. "Yeah. Tea says Oya's rather close to her. Of course, Tea believes herself the mother of the salty waters." Zed pauses again, "Fine. Tea *is* the mother of salty waters." he chuckles, taking a sip of his beer. "For whatever reason, Tea's rather fond of me. Decided she'd take up residence. Now, we're connected forever- really, can't live without her." A bit of dark humor.

*

"Normally I'd give my horses name, Abeo here…" Eshu pats his chest lightly with the tip of his staff, "…but we're rather past pretending, aren't we? So you may call me Eshu. Eshu Laroye presently, but you don't really need to get that specific." He seems fascinated by this talk of chaos having her own horse— one she lets talk even!— but he becomes a bit distracted when the rum comes over. He lifts it testingly, tastes, and looks delighted, "I'll have the bottle, fine man, and you have my blessing." Turning back to Zed then he tilts his head, "Yet, you can talk. When a horse is offered to me and I ride, the horse's mind is suppressed utterly. Then again she hasn't poured all of herself into you has she? She's still up there. Me, no. I have decided to come teach the world a lesson. The others are probably starting to get worried of where I am."

*

"Mm." Zed begins, nodding slowly. "Oh. I'm still in control of my mind. Of my body." he admits, "At least, as long as I keep us well fed." he explains. "You're going to need to give him money, more than a blessing, friend. He's got to feed his family, after all." Zed continues.

"Tea and I have an agreement. Really, we need each other. No other body can handle her, and she rather enjoys the mind attached to this body. I've caused a lot of trouble for some very bad people- and seeing as Tea is the Mother of Monsters- and Monsters of legend are to teach lessons- she saw me as something of a kindred soul. So, she ate my soul." The bartender looks at Zed as if he's crazy. "Somewhere in Vietnam." The bartender seems to lose interest there- a crazy vet.

*

"Right. I forget that sometimes." Eshu snaps, digging into his pocket and pulling out some money indifferently. More then enough but he doesn't really pay attention to it. Money matters to him insofar as if it is a sacrifice, *commerce* is not his forte. "Ah, yes, the Mesopotamians were never as good at riding as we were, so I can understand her having trouble slipping in. Then again… Abeo asked, pled for my favor." Without any apology at all he adds, "I'm simply taking advantage and not leaving as soon as he expected me to." He nods his head about the topic of monsters, "I've made a monster or two in my time: its not my usual style but sometimes that's the best way to get through to the especially stubborn." He puffs the cigar for a moment, taking obvious pleasure in both the smoking and the drinking. "I will tell you a secret. Nothing is as good in the heavens, in any of the heavens, as it is here, no matter what propaganda the Greeks put out about their ambrosia or the Norse their golden apples. Still." He gestures to Zed, "It sounds like an equitable arrangement. Far be it for me to object to business of another pantheon entirely, so I shall not! Especially as, quite frankly, I've rather gone rogue. My mission is, I'm afraid, not sanctioned. I trust you won't tell anyone." His grin becomes wicked, "The lesson, 'do not cross a trickster' is one very few people enjoy learning." Yes, they're both crazy.

*

"Tea's older than that. Or, at least, that's what she puts forward." Zed says with a little smile. He smokes. He drinks. "I enjoy the same, myself." he says- "But, food, drink.. sleep- all that's behind me." he says. "Now I eat souls." he looks over to Eshu. "Since we're sharing secrets. Its only fair. Equity has to be maintained. At least, between those of us who are basically the same. But yeah, that's not my place to make a fuss over- you're fine with me."

*

"I will *not* get into the 'which god is older' debate." says Eshu sternly, "It creates an entirely existensial debate that will inevitably lead to arguments over who exactly created the cosmos and if the gods are made by men or men are made by gods, and there is simply no way this discussion ends up *fun*. We have different perspectives and perhaps one is more right then the other but its impossible to tell. I don't even think the High Gods know for certain, or maybe they just all agreed to keep it a secret." But he relaxes into a grin, "All that matters is I was old when my people came to their name, and that's that. But no matter." He wrinkles his nose, "Behind you, son? Ah, a good glass of rum…" He lifts his and chugs down a swallow, and it burns and hurts and he loves it, "… who cares if you don't get drunk, but can't you at least enjoy it? But… Now this soul business, just be sure you don't go eating any of mine. I'd take that a little personal. We have a claim to those souls, and Tiamat might not have much of a people anymore, but if she wants to eat she can eat some white men's souls and there's no trouble between us. In fact I'd cheer you and her on. I'm a bit put off with how my people are treated hereabouts, as it happens. I think someone needs to learn better."

*

"You'll notice the color of my skin." Zed offers simply, as he pays for his drinks and snuffs out his cigarette. "And understand that I control who and when we feed. Bad men, my friend. Justice- those who need to learn they're not allowed to step on anyone they want. There's always a bigger fish in the ocean." he offers with a wicked grin. "One that'll eat a piece of you. Take something you'll struggled to get back- can't ever really get back. Don't get it twisted, my friend, I'm equal opportunity. Every man, every woman- they can deserve punishment." The dark-skinned former army man looks over to Eshu again. "I get a feeling we'll be seeing you around. For what its worth, Tea likes your style- but from me, know that I need to eat. I'm not ready to die- and I'll feed on whomever needs the lesson. You get that, don't you? I suspect you do. The lesson must be taught, friend. Enjoy your rum." Zed, then, begins towards the door.

*

"Oh, I speak not for all of African descent." Eshu shakes his head, "My people are the Yorubans and their descendants: but particularly those that follow the old ways and didn't get corrupted by that idiot god that got himself nailed to a cross as if that somehow was supposed to be impressive." He grunts, shaking his head: disdaindful. "Still. I know some follow the old ways while pretending to be proper Catholics, so take care. I don't begrudge your eating, I'm a fan of eating, but sometimes the teacher needs teaching: and I'm here to set about giving lessons to those who abuse my people. Still." He shakes his head and grins, "I mean it not as a threat. Just a suggestion for care. You can punish who you like, you can *take the souls* that belong to the orisha at a risk. But, good on you for your mission, and well met and may we meet again." He lifts his staff up in what is a sort of sign of respect.

*

Zed pauses a moment, tips his head up quietly, and then continues on his way out the door- saluting in his own way as he heads out onto the streets.

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