Bored Gods

(October 19, 2009; this is the lead-in for a game I've been working on...)
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They sat together in the spaces that exist outside of space, simultaneously and perpetually filling all of the untamed terrain available to their kind. Their forms shifted in a languidly unstructured sort of way, every possible expression constantly and never occupying their quantum faces. They glowed with the molten dreams that power the universe, radiating potentialities as endless and unknowable as their hearts. And they sighed in unison, spreading a light dusting of stars in all directions.

"I'm so fucking bored." Bastet's face split into a massive, planet-swallowing yawn; she looked strikingly like one of her temple cats, ears folding back against her head as her feline canines gleamed. "How long have we been sitting here waiting?"

Anubis may or may not have shrugged. It was hard to tell, since he was curled up like a greyhound in front of a fireplace, idly grooming a few errant souls out of his blood-brindled coat. "Forever and always, maybe. Does it matter? Chronus doesn't like spending his time with and on us, anyway. Says he doesn't have enough of it to spare."

"Mmm. I think that's his idea of a joke, my dear heart-muncher." The cat-goddess's tail lashed, causing several distant planets to collide. "I wish Mr. Fourth Dimension would breathe a bit faster, though. I'm getting so tired of waiting for our little simulation to play itself out." She crooked a claw toward a blue-wrapped ball which hung suspended in the aether near one of the younger stars. "It's been a few billion years, and they're just getting to global communication now; this is going to take ages to finish. And my people aren't doing very well, either. The biggest ones are almost all gone, and the little ones don't get nearly enough tuna. It makes me sick."

As if punctuating this thought, the Fenris Wolf, perched in the nonexistent shadow of Sol, began to sputter; a low rumbling detached itself from the terrible beast's stomach and worked its way upward. He coughed twice, then spat a small sun into the distant darkness. He whimpered with discomfort, but no one reacted. His choice of diet was likely to cause indigestion, after all.

A honey-slick voice rose out of a splash of wine that resolved itself into a man. "Well, let's start a new game, then. We haven't played cards in aeons, and we can ignore this one for a while. It's hardly been paying attention to -us- lately, as if we didn't matter at all. Not that I care, mind you. Those worshipers were never worth the songs I spent on them. And they've all gotten fat, anyway."

Dionysus's eyes shone the bright emerald green of sunlight through oak leaves, even in this not-a-place where wood was purely metaphorical. His hair flowed from his scalp to his broad shoulders like molten gold, shifting in the nonexistent breeze in defiance of the vacuum surrounding him. His lips were as red and lush as ripe cherries, and his skin was as even as that of a newly-forged alabaster statue. If all of these descriptions sound familiar, it is because there was no original way to describe the god; in addition to wine and song, he was very fond of cliches. Every time someone compared him to a summer's day or likened one of his features to a piece of fruit, a maenad got her wings. (Though to be fair, she probably tore them off of an unlucky faerie while seized by a bacchic frenzy. Dionysis really got off on that sort of thing.)

He was usually an irritating sort of winer whose antics were more toxic than intoxicating to his fellow gods, but this suggestion was a welcome one. The other three nodded in agreement, then Anubis emitted a single bark, which rumbled across the universe and into a few of its closest neighbours. As the sound faded, another took its place: the scream of teeth chewing teeth, muscles being turned inside-out, swords sculpting bone into ever-smaller pieces. It filled the sky and their collective lungs forever, until the accompanying sight emerged:

Ares rode in on a giant war-machine, a lumbering metal creature whose limbs were guns, and whose guns were bigger guns of a different type. He waved his hat - a cowboyish affair made of the faces of a long-dead species from a planet near Alpha Centauri – and hooted, causing the battlemech to do a little dance amid the nothingness. "Y'called, jackal-dick?"

"We're thinking of playing cards."

Fenrir bobbed his head in agreement as he lifted one massive, stardust-caked leg against the side of the mech. "Hrrrrrghtssitg khhhhrrrrrek. Whrrrrt hrg?*" (* "I piss on your ride as I once pissed on your mother, and as I will soon piss all over your strategy. Also, do you have any Tums? I think I ate a white dwarf by mistake.")

"Be kind, Fenrir, my son and future Odin-eater. Don't you remember what I taught you? Guile's the style that beats projectiles." Flame-haired Loki unfolded himself from the wolf's shadow, several cards already clutched in his hand. "I've been working on a new deck, and would love to join the game, if there's room." He gestured at the simulation. "Something kind of embarrassing happened to me there, so I'd be glad to hang out here for a while, away from that damned snake that keeps spitting in my eyes..."

Bastet nodded, then drew a few cards from somewhere under her fur. "You do get yourself in trouble, wolf's-father. I have some new cards, as well, and would like to see if you've gotten any cannier over the last few millennia. You're a crafty one, I admit, but no match for a cat."

Loki smirked. "Actually, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by my choices." He flipped one card toward her; the phrase "I can has cheezburger?" flashed across the cosmos and confused a variety of up-and-coming civilizations. "The new age of trickery has brought our interests together."

The cat goddess looked intrigued, horrified, and satisfied simultaneously; the expressions flickered over her face as her ears twitched. "I should have known you were responsible for lolcats. They've brought me some new interest and power, but really, couldn't you have had them use proper grammar?"

A small species of dinosaur went extinct in a bloody and futile war as Ares cleared his throat. "Can we get goin'? I've got ten thousand angry robot cards that are waiting to immolate y'all." He tapped his fingers against the side of his vehicle, which bowed itself flat so that he could sit near the others. Dionysus nodded. "Agreed, although I'll stick to my musician cards. Love always finds a way, and all that..."

The six - creatures so elementary that the elements are made from their secondhand smoke, born of sentient beings' imaginations and given the power to shape those imaginations in turn - sat in a circle around a patch of space, which resolved itself into a game board. As they prepared to play their first cards, Anubis glanced up.

"Oh! We forgot about the new guy. Hey, new guy, would you like to join us? You came out of the Internet Age, right? So maybe you'll know what to do with Loki's moves. We'll front you a few of our cards for now, but once you see how the game works, you'll have to make up your own. And Fenrir plays dirty in a disturbingly literal way, so I wouldn't sit right next to him if I were you."

Six pairs of eyes turn to look your way, as the figures shift around to leave room for you...