My Polytheistic Dating Experience: That Time The Gods Hijacked My Love Life
High above the clouds in a realm unknown to humanity, the vault of heaven is home to only the most righteous, pure-hearted, magnanimous-
"Hey, voice in the sky, can you keep it down a sec? I'm trying to watch Historical Human Fails compilation here. Geez. Oh, here comes the bit where William Wallace is hung, drawn and quartered! I wonder if they'll show his head on the pike again."
Bastet lies back on her chaise lounge, chugging a beer, watching videos on the winged television screen. Her deep black hair is tossed untidily down her back, her white and purple gown adorned with gold and jewels, some of which have gone 'missing' (have been sold to other gods for money).
Yeah, who am I kidding.
A much more prim and proper deity enters the room. His blonde hair glistens in the eternal sun of the celestial plane, and his heavenly feathered appendages sprout from his shoulders triumphantly. Well, maybe not triumphantly. Ordinarily is probably a better way of describing it.
Seating himself on the chaise lounge, his body tight and scrunched and he struggled for space with Bastet's legs stretched out almost to the end. There might have been no space at all, if not for the fact that Bastet was on the shorter side.
"So, what sort of schemes have you cooked up on how to find this Satoshi boy a partner?", he asked her.
"Brilliant question, my white-winged friend. Take a look at... this!"
Bastet holds out glass panel that resembles an ancient drawing tablet, but with glowing text and a movable interface. The top half of the screen had a poorly-designed logo with a 'cute' cat's face, a black design with gold whiskers, in front of a heart. Below was a keyboard pop-up covered in Demotic Egyptian script.
"Um, what is it?"
"It's an app, dummy. If there's any way to convince kids into doing anything nowadays, it's with an app."
"Right... So you spent the whole time since we agreed to do this working on it?"
"Yeah, I mean, I kinda have some knowledge of how coding works. My people built pyramids so this should be a piece of cake by comparison. We did this kind of thing way before it was cool."
"So, how much of the app have you completed?"
"Huh?" Bastet's eyes darted to the side.
"I said, how much of it is ready?"
Eros leaned in closer.
"That's all you've done, isn't it. The logo."
Bastet's cat-like smile shrunk into a pout.
"Look, I know about art, and coding sure as Duat isn't an art."
"If you want help, I can ask Hephaestus."
He went to stand and motioned toward the door, but Bastet pounced up from her lounged position, splayed over the edge in an attempt to catch him.
"Hey, you can't let other people know!"
Lifting Bastet's fingers from his gown, he turned back to face her.
"As long as he doesn't know what we're using it for, it'll be fine."
She cradled the tablet in her arms.
"Bastet, I lose nothing if you refuse. If you really want this little game you have with this human to work you're going to have to hand over the tablet."
She scowls at him, before releasing her grip from it, finger by finger. Eros pries it from her like taking a toy from a cat. Except in this case, literally.
"He'll have it finished in a matter of moments, no doubt. I just need to know what functionality you're aiming for with this."
"Well, you see, the plan is simple. We install the app on the kid's phone, he opens it, and then we get a direct line where we can send him mysterious hints about what to do next. It'll be like one of those interactive messenger app games."
"Don't tell me you actually played Mischievous Messenger."
"...No!" she exclaimed, rotating her head away from him rapidly. Eros fires her a knowing leer.
"Okay, Maybe! Those stupid humans made that rich Humin Jan guy too cute, okay! Get off my back. Go and take the app to Heph, then."
Exiting the lounge, Eros disappears through one of the wispy cloud gates into another part of the heavens. Bastet slumps her head on the arm of the chair, resting it on her forearms.
"I thought the logo was fine..."
In a matter of minutes, Eros returns. Bastet is laying on her back, and snaps her head around to meet him.
"Whoa, that really was quick."
"Being the God of craftsmanship translated pretty well over to app development, apparently. Given that there's no God of App Development."
"Well, there will be when we're done with it."
"Yeah, and it'll be Hephaestus. Not you."
"Whatever. Come on, let's give the app a try."
She presses her finger onto the square symbol. An error message appears, written in Demotic Egyptian.
*System Update Required*
"Hephaestus must have developed this for a newer OS", mentioned Eros, who was floating just above Bastet, stood beside the chaise lounge.
"Ugh. Hold on, let me delete one of my other apps to make space."
Bastet scrolls to the other page of apps. Leaning into the screen to confirm his suspicions, Eros spots something.
"Fade - Great Order? Seriously?"
"What? It's fun."
"I hope you haven't spent any actual money on it. Half of the characters in the game are just human interpretations of us. We could literally go into the hall if we wanted to see each other."
She glances down at her chest, where one of her gems used to be.
"Uh, heh, yeah of course not, I'm free-to-play. Besides, you'll change your mind when you see how the humans drew what they think Ishtar looks like."
"Oh really? Let me have a look, then."
She opens up the game. As the menu appears and the music plays, Eros gives her a sceptical look.
A pop-up appears.
*Thank you for purchasing 500 credits*
Bastet mashes her finger on the screen in a vain attempt to close the window before Eros can see it, but his scepticism only grows, his gaze narrowing. When she finally closes the window, she glances at the ground.
"Okay, maybe I did it just once. But it's not an addiction. I promise."
She selects the character list and scrolls through to find Ishtar.
"Wait, hold on a second. Was that me?"
Eros places his finger on the tablet and scrolls back up. On the list of characters appears 'Eros' with an image above it.
Pressing on the icon opens the character's menu, and reveals Eros' character image in full.
"Am I a child in this game? And why am I blindfolded?" Eros sputtered.
"Well, you know humans, they like to take some... artistic liberties..." Bastet commented, stifling a chuckle.
"And I'm only ranked 1 star!? I can't believe this..."
"It's not that big of a deal, man. It's just a... game... pff... haHAHA"
"Right, we're definitely deleting this app."
"Aww, come on, do you know how long it took me to get some of these characters? The rates are stupid low, and in-game currency is harder to get than rain in the dry season. Here, I'll show you Ishtar now."
Bastet exits from Eros' menu, scrolls down and selects Ishtar. Her image appears on the screen. Eros' face purses into mild amusement and his cheeks paint with a light blush.
"Of all the things I was expecting, the vessel of a half-naked Japanese woman was not one of them."
"You should see the genderswapped ones."
"Wait, really? Which ones?"
Another hour, if you can call it that, passed before Hephaestus entered the room.
"Hey, did you guys get a chance to test my app yet? I was wondering if you'd find any bugs you might want me to iron out."
Peeking over at the two, Hephaestus saw his name on the screen. His head between two guilty faces, he saw his name appear above the long, slender yet muscular body of a female blacksmith.
Eros croaked out a reply.
Eros and Bastet eventually decided to delete the Notes app to make space for the System Update.