I looked at the wire frame model, rotting in place. I fiddled with a bar or two and managed to decrease the Schwarzenegger muscles down to reasonable size, but the thought of tinkering to get it perfect was way too much to handle. I sighed in frustration.
"Arrgh! If only there was an easier way!" My words echoed into the sky. With out warning (or even a cloud in sight) a bolt of lightning flashed down. When my eyes recovered from the intense light, a nice touch, there was a woman there. She semed a bit... different. I wasn't sure if it was an aspect of the FOG, or of herself. She seemed to be a bit more... there. More solid. And her hair and clothes drifted in a breeze only she could feel. She was beautiful, no denying it. Lustrous raven black hair, perfect skin that her Greek toga-ish dress barely concealed, eyes so blue you lost your train of...
"Hello, Mortal. My name is Lexiura, goddess of beauty." I closed my mouth and swallowed. It seemed harder then it should. A deep corner of my mind wished, fervently, that Suzie wouldn't ever, ever, EVER learn of this. "I can assist you, if you wish, but after wards, I have a task you must perform. Have we a deal?"
She stared at me intently with those deep, blue eyes and I could feel my thoughts... I shook my head, trying to clear away the cobwebs.
"You're not a goddess. You are a programmer, or an avatar of one!"
She laughed. I could make out at least seven distinct silver bells in that laugh. "Yes, I am an Avatar, but I still have power. The task, I believe isn't beyond your capabilities. Think of it more like incentive to press on. So many mortals get caught up in the thrill of a new city, they fail to realize there's a whole world out there. Now, are we agreed?"
"Can I learn what the task is, before accepting?" I asked. I had studied my mythology. Powerful creatures always make incredibly one-sided deals.
"Of course you can. You can either Kill the Dragon of Five Nations, bring the Box of Legends to my temple on Bellian, Bring me a Golden Apple, or Halt the Awakening of the World Serpent." She gave me a wink "Of course, I don't expect you to get anywhere along on it today, just remember that I'll be looking for you."
I mulled over the choices. None of them sounded easy. Stealing Apples with Suzie might be fun but...
"Can you tell me what my friend Suzie picked?"
The goddess frowned, cupped a hand to one ear and listened intently. "She joined Ether before we started this," said Lexiura. "But she's heard a few rumors about the Apples. Such a good little thief, her ears prick up at the word gold!"
"It's how she was raised. I'll fetch you a Golden Apple, Lady, provided I can have assistance, and it won't start a war."
She laughed and snaped her fingers. A vellum scroll appeared. She unrolled it and showed me. Effectivy, it was a stereotypical quest box, with the details we discussed written upon it. I glanced it over and brushed where it said 'accept' with my hand.
Instead of just vanishing, it coiled around my arm and slid inword. I sawthe flash of a wirefram below my skin and a shiver ran down my spine. I raised an
eyebrow at the goddess. She smiled.
"It will all make sense later, I presume. Now, you require aid with sculpting yourself? Most people cannot get enough of it!" Her smile was radiant. I sighed.
"This will be the closest thing my girlfriend and I have had to a real meeting. I don't want to spend the time tweaking, I want to be out there with her."
Lexiura nodded. "Yes, a bit of love falls under my domain. I can see you truly care. Now, you wish to start with yourself? She gestured and the wired frame rippled.
Now it looked like me.