Richard skirted the edges of the crowd, checking and rechecking each of the elements. The bas thump tried to exorcise all thought from his mind, but he managed to cling to the task at hand. Everything had to be perfect. If he did this wrong, she might not come back. Worse still, she might come back wrong. No time to think of that now, he had work to do. Finally satisfied that the seven periphery focuses were ready, he filled his lungs with humid air and moved towards the center.
He pushed through the sweating, grinding, dancing people. Every set of eyes seemed altered: but whether through pills, or drink of dance he couldn't tell. That's what the media never understand: you didn't have to drop e for your consciousness to change. The rhythm, the press of humanity or the beat could alter your sense of reality as readily as any drug. But he couldn't give in to that tonight, couldn't whip off his shirt and start leaping with the young bodies. For now, he had to appear to be what he had always detested; one of those lean up against the wall and try and look cool types, angling his shoulders to get through the unrestrained joy of the mass because he had somewhere better to be. Unfortunate that the necessities of this undertaking made him a worrying spectator. Still, he had to be sure. You didn't try to resurrect a Goddess without being quadrupedaly sure.
The promoter reached the last gogo dancer. She moved on her pedestal, seemingly unfatigued by the hours and hours of performing. Shirt abandoned hours ago, sweat flowed around the angles of her bra. But the markings were all there, nothing had been washed away or obscured. Richard looked at his watch: 5 minutes. He could already sense the DJ building, building the frenzy to crescendo.
All he had to do now was hit the switch.
A vibration made him pick up his phone. 'Gira's found out about. Half a dozen SWAT vans are already on the way. They'll be there any minute.'
Shit. Shit. Shit shit. He wasn't ready, he didn't have enough time. But he couldn't allow the magics he'd crafted, the magics powered by the thousands of ravers in various stages of indoctrination, fail. He ran his finger along his back, feeling the words of power that Gregor had been branded there when he'd told the old man of this insane plan. If Gwewen manifested stillborn or if she came back... wrong; he'd put her out of her misery while she was vulnerable. Then maybe some promoter mage would get it right ten years from now. He clicked out a quick text to the DJ.
'Finish this now!'
The music shifted seamlessly as the tempo increased and Richard thanked the gods that the spinner new his craft. The mood of the crowd shifted. the promoter felt lighter, began to dance against his will. Nothing to do now but give himself over. He ceased to be an architect, a crafting and proofing intelligence; now he was just one more little spark adding his heat to the torrent all around him. Will beyond the protests of mind condensed and flowed all around him, the breath of life he had carefully harnessed to try and reignite the ashen body of centuries dead goddess.
He hit the switch just as the cops battered in the door. The music cut out to a single note. All night, the tremendous screen behind DJ had swirled with confused clustered imagery. Now, with all eyes focused, the projection showed just one thing: her symbol. With every spirit fixed on the curling arrows of Gwewen's name, every mortal unbound by the release of dance and debauch... something shimmered and materialized on the main stage.
Then everyone--even the cops behind their face shields emblazoned with the sigils of their gods of order--lifted their hands and worshipped. Gwewen had returned, her eyes glittering like a galaxy of LEDs.