Chewing her lip to hold back a scowl, the goddess-in-training clutches her knapsack while browsing the shelves, pausing to push up her glasses that had slipped down from the sweat coating her nose while looking for that stupid spell scroll. The air in the library is hot and stuffy, and she decides to take a break to straighten her back. She draws in a deep breath to clear her mind, then finally realises that in reality, she had stopped reading the intricate labels a few shelves back and instead had been entertaining the idea of kicking down an entire shelf, stomping it to bits, then lighting it all on fire. Madness! she exclaims mentally, shaking her head in disbelief. All that hard work and dedication-- gone, just like that! What's wrong with me today?
The young deity looks around from her position by the spell scrolls shelf, wondering if anyone else was affected by the increasing tension in the air. From here, she can see the tall, large windows of the library thrown wide open, trying to coax in even the smallest of breezes from the thick, unmoving air as a respite against the heat. Around her, deities were hunching over their books and papers like a coiled spring, their jaws and fists tight with irritation and concentration.
Suddenly, a mature voice behind her asks, "What are you looking for, Somn?"
Somn whirls around. "Do you mind?!" she snaps, her tone harsher than intended. "I'm-- oh Random!"
Standing in front of her is what the mortals would describe as a middle-aged man with graying hair, wearing an odd combination of a leather cop jacket thrown over a Hawaiian shirt. Recognizing the speaker, Somn's expression pales in horror. Her words come out in a rush. "Professor, I am so sorry, I swear I'm not myself today, I didn't mean--"
The professor simply brushes it all off with a kindly smile. "Don't worry, I know it's not you. It's the energy building up; it's disturbing you unconsciously and tends to create tension and friction up till the moment of birth. Not many people are immune to it, like Fred and your friend... Neko, I believe it was?"
"It is," says Somn. She takes a moment to process this new piece of information. "Is that why Fred's allowed to continuously volunteer?" she asks. "To collect the newborns?"
"Yes, but he does need a break. I assume you're his replacement?" he asks, eyeing the girl's knapsack.
"Yessir," says Somn. "I just... I need to get out of here. Even if it's only for a little while."
"You're only a week old, and you're already complaining?" asks the god good-naturedly. "Wait till you're my age!"
Somn finds herself relaxing and smiles along. "Thank you, professor."
The god in the Hawaiian shirt looks at her with a mildly curious expression. "What for?" he asks.
"For making me feel better."
"Ah, you're welcome, but I think the 'thank you' was a little too early," he says, smiling.
At Somn's quizzical look, the professor plucks a spell scroll off the shelf and hands it to her. "This was what you were looking for, I believe?"
Somn gasps in delight. "Finally! Thank you, sir!" she says, stuffing it into her knapsack.
"No problem. Now, off you go. Don't forget to grab your goggles and scrying mirror.”
“I’ll grab’em on the way out,” promises Somn. “See you later, sir!”
The professor watches Somn with an amused smile as she somehow manages to trip over two people, knock over a table, send papers flying and collide painfully with the doorframe on her dash to the exit. After Somn exits the library with another crash, yelp and apologies, the senior god chuckles, then goes back to preparing for an orientation later tonight.
Fred wasn’t kidding when he said waiting for the birth of a deity is draggy job, Somn sighs. The trainee deity shifts her weight to her other foot before refolding her arms and resuming the impatient tapping of her fingers. She stares at the vast, grassy field in front of her with an expectant look, frequently flicking her head to look up at the sky and wondering when a god will fall out of it. Or two, she reminds herself, recalling how she came into existence along with her friend.
It has been almost a month since the start of the birthing. While she was only birthed during last week, she can feel -and dislike- how the environment itself seems to be tensing up, as if Mother Nature is about to erupt into a blazing fury. She wants it to end-- everyone seems to be much more irritable and high-strung during the wait. In fact, that is the very reason why she was standing here; she just had to get away from the others for a while until the whole thing literally blows over.
She throws one last glance at the sky, searching the darkening heavens desperately for some sign of life. Nothing. Not even a twinkle. Probably not today then, she thinks. With another sigh, she turns around, fully prepared to leave when a shock-wave rips through her being, stunning her. She is left no time to recover as another shockwave follows seconds later, and then another, until it feels as if the air has became a giant, beating heart.
The young deity whips her head back up to see the sky lighting up with brilliant flashes of gold and silver, the colours rippling across in time to the beat of the shock-waves, emanating from a single point above the grassy meadow. “Yes!” she shouts, pumping her fists. Grabbing her spell scroll, she runs full-tilt towards the field, the vegetation now completely and utterly flattened, if not decimated, by the howling winds.
The air itself, she quickly discovers, seems determined to hold her back, to keep her away from the eye of the storm, but she is stubborn and fights back. She raises her arms to protect her face as she plows determinedly through what quickly becomes a raging, pulsing tornado. Buffeted by the wind, her hair and clothes whip about her face with alarming strength, stinging her skin and eyes. Curses slip through her lips as she berates herself for forgetting her goggles; now she can’t even open her eyes to see clearly. An almost visible wall of wind slams right into her, knocking the breath out of her body and nearly throwing her off her feet despite the spell. Almost there, she tells herself, taking another step. Just a bit more…
Her next step finds no resistance, and she nearly falls over as her compensation for the gale’s strength becomes an overcompensation. The goddess-in-training stumbles and steadies her footing. She then blinks and rubs her eyes before looking around, trying to adjust to the blinding gold and silver flashes above her.
Here, in the eye of the storm, it is almost eerily silent, a stark contrast to the roaring wind only a step behind her. She takes in a deep breath to compose herself, but realises she doesn't have the time for that-- she can feel the hair on the nape of her neck standing on end, the air now humming with powerful magic. Despite the mana not meant for her, she still feels rejuvenated just from standing here. She looks up at the sky, where she can see that the gold and silver flashes are now happening so fast, they intertwine and seem to blend into each other, raw power focused onto an almost impossibly small point.
That's going to be violent, begins her thought, but it goes unfinished as the sky explodes, gold and silver lightning somehow pouring down from the heavens in a race to reach the ground first. She throws her hands in front of her face to protect her eyes from the glare, but even through her fingers she can see the two lightning bolts somehow turning into a liquid of sorts, suspended in the air while it sloshes about and fills up a vaguely human-like shape. The light then begins to dim as the gold and silver morph into different colours-- the gold becoming emerald green; the silver, blue and white. Soon, there is no trace of the original gold and silver. The colours then begin to settle, defining the shapes' finer features in a slow, deliberate process until it finally becomes a gentle aura wrapped around two gods standing in front of the trainee goddess, the first one a tall young man with a mop of black curls wearing a white jacket and blue decals, the other an elvish-looking youth with dark, purplish skin and icy-white hair.
"'Bout time!" she laughs. She tackles them both at once and pulls them into a warm, loving embrace for a few moments before putting them back at arm's length. "You two have a wonderful sense of timing," she says with a wide grin. "Any later, and orientation would've started without you!"
She then snaps to attention. "Right, let’s see, umm... Well, call me Somn, but if you ever need my full name, it's Somnias Vagus. And in case you're wondering, I'm your senior by about... a week, I think? So I'll be in the same batch as you two! What are your names? Do you guys remember anything from before you came here? No, wait a minute," She picks herself off the ground, turns around and starts heading back in the direction from which she came. "You two can introduce yourselves on the way back," she calls cheerfully. "But for now, we gotta get moving!"