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Apr 16, 2021 6:38 AM
The son of Hades attracts the attention of many beings from all paths of life and beyond
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“Considering how it oozes green, a melted face might have been a kinder end. Alternatively, the green ooze might make it not care about death and just care about biting people. A zombie rat.”

Any other rats to blast? She will blast them.

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None visible.

"I don't think I know that word."

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“It’s a thing from a, uh, set of stories. In my world. Corpses of the dead rise back up and start shambling around, hungering for human flesh. Running around biting things, maybe saying, ’braaaaaaaiiiinsss’ if the story is particularly shallow. Don’t worry about it.”

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"...I think Father would be really mad if that happened."

Onwards!

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Onwards!

"Annoying your father is not a sufficient reason to start a zombie apocalypse, Zagreus."

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"Apocalypse?"

Yvette's light up ahead illuminates a curve of the tunnel to the left, and a set of metal grates farther on and above. Soft squeals can be heard from that direction.

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"Traditionally zombies are presented in a zombie apocalypse story, where most of the world has become zombies, except for a rag tag group of survivors that have to get over their differences and try to survive against overwhelming numbers. So. Zombie apocalypse."

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"...what a curious kind of story."

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"Yep. I don't really see the appeal, personally, but I will nonetheless make references to it."

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Zagreus notices the potential entrance into another chamber, and quickly slices the metal bars and jumps up into the room.

"Now this is more like it," he says of the substantially better-illuminated room with many rats visible.

......including one rat that is approximately the size of a horse.

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"Try not to get horribly poisoned," says his shoulder buddy, who then proceeds to start sniping the tiny rats with sunblasts. The big rat seems like it's Zagreus's problem more than hers, and that she should focus on making sure the little ones don't nibble on his toes again.

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He tries!

But his definition of "tries" does not take into account the possibility that the poison (venom?) can affect him just by touch. Which it can.

"Aarrgghhhhh that feels awfuuuuul," he yelps, immediately dashing for the conveniently-located stone fountain with the antidote.

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Okay, while he’s retreating she can buy him some space to get his poison cured, any nearby rats can be flung away from him with bursts of starscape flavored kinetic force. This is less effective at killing them than just blasting them, but she can hit more than one at once and buy him time when they’re all rushing him. Which they probably are, because he’s dashing for the fountain.

“What did I just say?” she teases in a singsong, clearing the way and covering for him as best as she can.

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"How was I meant to know it goes through skin!" he calls before dunking his head into the glowing liquid for half a second. "Aaand back in action," he says afterwards, dashing straight towards and through the horse-rat.

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And back to playing firing support! Pew pew.

"It's bright green, it absolutely looks like toxic sludge that shouldn't be touched!"

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The small rats are easy pickings and by the time Zagreus has sliced the big one enough times to get it to stop moving there are no more of them either.

"Well maybe bright green sludge is more common where you're from." He pokes some rat corpses with his sword and - "Aha! Told you there'd be money here. These rats will eat anything." He destroys rat corpses a bit further and dunks the found gold obols into the antidote fountain before pocketing them.

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"I'll be sure to let you know if I see anything else obviously hazardous that you might think is okay to step in."

She peers at the money that came out of the rats. "That.... doesn't make any sense, but. Okay. Sure. Rats that eat gold coins. That has to be terrible for their digestive systems, but it's not like they're the healthiest creatures anyway, so I guess I won't grouse too much about it."

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"That one ate a rock," he says, pointing at a corpse. "That one had pieces of pottery sticking through its stomach even before you killed it," he says, pointing at another one.

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"Terrible. How can such incredibly stupid creatures successfully survive, much less breed."

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"They're probably only half alive. Being here, they are just between life and death, aren't they?"

This chamber has an actual door so he starts making for it.

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"That just brings up the question of how they reproduce even more, don't they need properly functioning circulation systems in order to, er. Get busy with each other. This makes no sense."

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To that he can only offer an eloquent shrug.

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Well, onwards, to kill more of the nonsensical toxic rats. Yvette will continue being two portable light sources, just for Zagreus.

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And they can go through chambers that are at least loosely inspired by what the original mortal-built Temple of Styx once contained, before it was swallowed up by the Underworld and made approximately just as infinite.

Zag... is not so great at not getting poisoned.

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It's very frustrating. There are lots of ways she tries to help, and none of them work. She tries grabbing a bottle of the poison cure liquid, stored in her eldritch pocket dimension bullshit space, specifically to feed to him through a straw, but it turns out to become inert when away from the fountain for too long. Unfortunately, application of a drink holder sports cap does not help. She tries shoving the poison out of the way with a kinetic blast. It's not very stuck to itself and so, while it moves, it tends to move in a 'everywhere' and 'unpredictable' sort of way, which is distinctly unhelpful. Annoyed, she eventually tries eating it and shoving it into an eldritch containment space, but this predictably gets her poisoned, too, which is so not fair because how does it even make sense for her to be something that can be poisoned. (She drinks the fountain water, grumbling.)

"Zag, can you please try to be more careful?" she pleads, after one of the many times he's been poisoned. "I don't know how to heal you, and the fountain doesn't at all!!"

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