4840/Welcome to Ancient Modernity

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Welcome to Ancient Modernity
Date of Scene: 23 January 2021
Location: Themysciran Arts Center
Synopsis: Statue vs Mexican Coca Cola. FATALITY! Cola wins!
Cast of Characters: Donna Troy, Iason

Donna Troy has posed:
    "He's... what?" Maria asks suspiciously, her eyes firmly fixed on Iason.

    "A statue, Maria." Donna smiles sympathetically at the smartly-dressed woman who seems to be in charge of things. "Approximately sixteen hundred years old. Carved by Aristokrates of Alexandria. He came to life recently for reasons that are not entirely clear."

    Maria has worked with Diana for some time now, but she can't quite get over the general sense of awe that surrounds her job on most days. She has become accustomed to the fact that most things are weird, quite a few things are magical, and this is an administrative position like no other. She has not yet become accustomed to the fact that she has become accustomed to it. She also worries a lot. "It'll... it'll be okay?" She asks a little nervously. "Troia, we're almost ready to open to the public, this isn't going to... you know?"

    "He's fine Maria, relax. He's curious about things, that's all. He'd heard of Themyscira back in his era, but obviously hadn't ever had the chance to visit. I'll be with him at all times to make sure he doesn't get into trouble, don't worry."

    "If you're sure..." Maria says dubiously, but Donna has already given her shoulder a reassuring squeeze and lead Iason beyond the antechamber at the entrance and into the main foyer, lined with Themysciran statues. Maria chases the pair in, heels clicking loudly on the marble floor, the sound echoing in the empty expanse. "Would you like a tour?" she asks.

    Donna looks questioningly at Iason. "What do you think? Formal tour, or would you just like to wander through casually?" she asks the former statue.

Iason has posed:
The modern world is still, largely, an enigma to Iason. His introduction to the world wasn't quite as thorough or as slow as he needed it to be, when you consider the fact that it had been done by a speedster. So, when the option to get a /supervised/ outing into the world, Iason eagerly took the opportunity.

He is looking decidedly less Ancient Greek, sporting the modern clothing that Bart had bought for him, the "Zeus Started It" t-shirt proudly displayed as a gift from a friend.

No. He hasn't asked what the symbols mean, yet.

"I would very much like a tour," Iason says in his somewhat halting, somewhat stilted English. "I was part of a 'tour'. Several times," he says helpfully, with a sincere smile. He glances at Donna for reassurance, in case he said something he shouldn't have.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "Oh," Maria starts. "Well welcome to the Themysciran arts center then!" she says, growing a professional smile. "The center exists to provide the people of 'patriarch's world' - that's how the Themyscirans refer to the world outside of their island - an insight into the ancient and rich culture of the Amazon people. The statues and artworks you see here are a representative sample of..."

    Donna holds up a hand, grinning slightly. "Actually Maria, perhaps it's best if I take it from here? Iason has a few specific questions about Themyscira, but mostly I wanted to take here somewhere he would find not too unfamiliar. He needs an introduction to America more than Themyscira to be honest."

    Maria reassesses the situation for a moment, then nods her head. "Sure," she says. "In that case, can I get you a drink? We've got more Mexican Coke if you want, Troia. "

    Donna gives her a big grin and nods her head. "Maria, you're an angel. Yes please, bring us two of those. No time like the present to introduce Iason to the drinks of the modern world."

    Maria smiles and walks off again to fetch the drinks, while Donna turns back to Iason, gesturing at the statuary. "Well, there you go. This is what statues look like in Themyscira," she says with a slight laugh. "This building is dedicated to showing our arts to the world. We have a library which I'm sure will be of interest to you, space for temporary exhibitions, a library, and facilities for our more physical and martially-oriented arts, too. We haven't opened to the public yet, this is all rather new, but it will be opening shortly. It occurs to me that you'll need to find some place in our world, and perhaps employment here would be something you would enjoy. It should feel more familiar to you than the rest of America, and will give you a comfortable environment for learning about this new world you find yourself in."

Iason has posed:
"A library? That would be very helpful if-" his brow crinkles for a moment, "If I knew how to read. I know many of the tongues of the world... or at least, I did," realizing that most of them may not be spoken anymore, "But I never saw writing."

His eyes glance over the statues, "They are beautiful. There is something familiar to them, but also much that isn't. My sister mentioned that your island was lost to the world..." he glances to the dark-haired woman, "But now you walk and fight among men. Why are you no longer in hiding, even opening a museion? Hypatia said that you were hidden by the decrees of Athena..."

"And... what is a Mexikankouke?"

Donna Troy has posed:
    "You lived in a mouseion and didn't learn to read?" Donna asks, rather surprised. "Well... I guess we'll have to figure out a way to fix that. Not my area of expertise, but we can hire someone."

    "Themyscira has been hidden for over three thousand years," she explains. "When your sister visited, it was hidden but known about, among scholars. She was able to look for it, and she found one of our agents who lived in Partriarch's World, who was able to bring her there. In the time since it had become forgotten, until my sister and I left the island to come to Patriarch's World. There are those amongst the Amazons who feel that we have been too good at remaining hidden. It has preserved our culture, but it has also meant we have not been able to be the positive influence on the rest of the world. That, more than anything, was the decree of the goddesses."

    "The world has changed a great deal since you were last awake. Rome fell and was replaced by a myraid of smaller successors. Those successors have warred, grown, vanished, and transformed over the centuries. They have crossed greak Okeanos, and conquered empires that dwarfed Rome at its greatest extent. They have fought wars with weapons that could have destroyed Alexander's army in a moment. They have also taken the learning of Euclid and Aristotle to heights they could not have dreamed of. They have created automata that manufacture the needs of the world so that none need to hunger any more, though there is still hunger in the world. They have built ships that can fly to the moon and planets, yet there are millions who have no roof to shelter them. It is a complicated world you have awoken in, Iason. One that needs the Amazons perhaps more than ever we were needed in the Days of the Palaces, when Ares' influence seemed to grow without respite, when my people were first created."

    Maria returns during Donna's speech, stopping to listen at the door. Though she has become something of an expert on Themyscira what with the development of this arts center, she doesn't get many opportunities to hear an Amazon's view of her own world. When Donna is finished, she adds an explanation of her own. "Coca Cola. From Mexico." She holds out a bottle to Donna, and another to Iason.

    Donna takes hers with a nod of thanks, and pulls the lid off. "It's a sweet drink that is very popular here," she explains further. "This particular variety comes from a country south of here, called Mexico."

Iason has posed:
Iason accepts the bottle, thanking Maria for it, and watches Donna pulling the lid off. He does the same. "It does sound... " and he seems to stumble for a second, and then says "<Overwhelming>. The chariots you have. How tall those buildings are. Everything seems so much grander." He swishes the beverage absent-mindedly, "I was told there is a great library in this city..." Iason had, of course, been talking to people at the Embassy, when they were free, "and they told me that it had millions of scrolls. Millions!" he shakes his head in disbelief, "my sister once mentioned that The Library once held close to seven hundred thousand at its height." Of course, by the time Hypatia came around, the great library had not existed in any form for centuries, but was a shadow of a glorious past unseen, spoken of by Hypatia with a trace of deep sadness.

"You are right... I need sustenance and a place to live. I do not know what work I can do here. I know so very little..." he takes the bottle up to his lips and tilts it up with the careless, hasty movement of someone who has never encountered carbonation before and gulps quickly.

The next step in the vignette, of course, is Iason doubling over and coughing, after an embarrassing amount of the carbonated drink propelled itself out of his nostrils. "It burned!" he says, astonished as he quickly wipes his face with the sleeve of his shirt.

Donna Troy has posed:
Donna has to stifle a laugh at Iason's reaction. "Sorry Iason, I should have warned you. It has bubbles. Have you never drunk something fermented enough that it fizzes? It's like that, just... more. It doesn't really burn, it just feels for a moment as if it's hurting you until you realize it is not. When I first came to America and tried it, I couldn't stop laughing. I thought it was the funniest thing ever. Try again, but sip it rather than gulping."

    She gives Maria an apologetic look over the spilled Cola on the floor, and stops the woman with "Please... Don't worry, I'll clean it up for you later, don't trouble yourself."

    "Scrolls have passed out of fashion," Donna continues. "These days it's /tome/, cut scrolls. Each of those millions of books may have as many cut pages as would take a scroll a hundred cubits long or more. There are machines that can copy a book over and over, thousands of copies made in a day. Even that though has been exceeded by the arts of Patriarch's world."

    She pulls out her phone, showing it to Iason. "This is a tablet with many functions. One of those functions is that the writing on it can change itself, so that it can display an entire book, one page at a time. And it is linked to the most vast library you can imagine, millions upon millions of books. It can display images, with all the artworks of the world available to view. It can display maps of almost the entire world so detailed you can see each individual building, and it can be used to see thousands upon thousands of plays that have been performed in the past and are recorded with images that move and talk. Also it allows me to contact other people with the same type of tablet and talk to them over vast distances. You have awoken into a world of wonders, Iason."

Iason has posed:
The young man shakes his head, "I had never... not anything like this." He glances apologetically at Maria, with his large, expressive dark eyes, and takes a sip of the drink as advised by Donna. He blinks slowly for a few seconds, and then he begins to smile.

"It is sweet! But also... something like lemon, but not quite... and the bubbles." He glances at the bottle, and then holds it up to eye level with a radiant smile. "This is a wonderful drink. It is worthy of the gods themselves!" With his looks and his delivery, he could have landed a spokesman gig right then and there, had a talent agent wandered into the building.

He takes another sip and lowers the bottle, looking throughtfully at the statuary. "The Ham-burgers that Impulse gave to me were also very good. He was very kind to me."

He glances down at his clothes, and frowns. "I would like to return this kindness, as well as that of your sisters. But to do that, I must have resources. And for that, money." He takes another long sip of the coke, "I must abuse your kindness a little while yet, until I know what it is that I can do to gain employ-"

And Iason's speech is stopped for a second, as a resonant and rather /loud/ burp emerges from him, the effect of this heretofore unknown drink. His eyes go wide and he puts a hand to his mouth. It had been an excellent burp. It echoed. It /resonated/. Some of the statuary might have vibrated, it is hard to tell.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "And /that/ is why we drink Coke slowly, Iason." Donna winks at Maria, who looks only mildly scandalized.

    "Impulse is a nice kid," she says with a fond smile. "But don't worry too much about repaying the kindness. You have no debt to any of us. Looking out for people who need help is what we do - Wally, Impulse, myself and my sister. I feel it is clear that at least until you are more used to this world, being in need of help is a category you are certainly in."

    "When I left Themyscira to come here, I was still very young. Yes, what your sister may have told you about the Amazons is true, we are immortal. Nevertheless there are new Amazons from time to time. Diana is my older sister by almost nine centuries, but even she is younger than you. I was sixteen when I came here, and my knowledge of the world was not all that dissimilar to yours. Certainly Themyscira has developed the knowledge of Greece well beyond the extent it had in your times, but not as dramatically as has the world outside. All these things were new to me too. I was fortunate in that my sister had gone through all of this before and was able to guide me. I hope we can help you equally. Something that did help me a lot in my first few weeks was watching television. It shows you in moving images what is going on in the world. Though it is important to remember that much of what is shown on televisions is fiction. Plays. It's a good way to expose you quickly to the nature of this world, and to give you an idea of what is normal, what is generally understood, in it. You should spend some time at the embassy watching television, and remembering to consider what you see a rought guide to expectations rather than an accurate reflection of reality."

    "As for employment, we will see. As I said, I imagine you have the potential to be a uniquely interesting tour guide for this place. when it opens."

Iason has posed:
"I have seen the window with the moving images. They had some enormous ones by the large buildings. I was looking at them before I got hungry... when you found me."

Right, his shoplifting incident. He is clearly still embarrassed by it. "I may provide some... knowledge. But you must know my experience was very limited. All I ever knew was the museion and what was discussed in there. Then I spent three years wandering the world, hunting the men who had murdered my sister..." he trails off, a distant look coming over him, but he snaps himself out of it. "Then again, who else that is around today could say to have seen even that much of that day and age? Very few. There is wisdom in what you suggest..."

He glances down at the spilled coke and frowns, suddenly kneeling down and removing his shirt, to dry up the offending liquid. It doesn't dawn on him that people simply just don't take their shirts off in museums. "Continue showing me things, Troia- and perhaps we can get more of this Meixcan Couke. It is very refreshing!"