2007 Winter Solstice – Throne Room
Twelve Olympians sat on their thrones, which were located around the hearth of Hestia. The 14-year-old daughter of Zeus watched gods with fear. How can one not be; when 15 feet tall all-powerful beings watching them?
Her father; Zeus in his dark pin-striped suit, his black beard neatly trimmed, and his eyes sparkling with energy. He watched Thalia with a hidden smile on his face. Next to him sat a beautiful woman with silver hair braided over one shoulder and a dress that shimmered colors like peacock feathers. With a close look, it could be easily said that the woman is pretending her a pleasant mood. It wouldn't be a surprise, because this was Zeus' divine consort, Hera.
Poseidon, the god of Sea was in the right to Zeus. His face was empty as the first time when Thalia visited the throne room to bring him his stolen trident. Ever since Thalia was in Poseidon's good books. Next to him, a huge lump of a man with a leg in a steel brace, a misshapen head, and a wild brown beard, fire flickering through his whiskers. That was her stepbrother and the blacksmith god, Hephaestus.
Hermes winked at her. He was wearing a business suit, checking messages on his caduceus mobile phone. Thalia's heart slumped, remembering how similar Luke and him. Apollo leaned back in his golden throne with his shades on. He had iPod headphones on, but he gave her a flirty smile. Dionysus looked bored, twirling a grapevine between his fingers. And Ares, well, he sat on his chrome-and-leather throne, while he sharpened a knife. He didn't bother to look at Thalia.
On the ladies' side of the throne room, a golden-haired goddess in green robes sat next to Hera on a throne woven of apple-tree branches. Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest. Next to her sat a beautiful gray-eyed woman in an elegant white dress; Athena, goddess of wisdom and battle strategy. Thalia gave a slight nod at her, for her help at Hoover Dam. Next to her, Aphrodite looked at Thalia with sadness, still looking stunning in that satin red dress he wore, when Thalia encountered her first. Then, of course, Artemis, who watched Thalia with Silver eyes.
True, Artemis offered her a position in the hunt, but accepting it would mean that the son of Hades, Nico would be the child of prophecy. In her eyes, he would be unpredictable. Who knows that he will join Luke because of his sister's death and decide that Olympus should be razed? Who knows how strong Kronos be when he grows up if he stays at the camp?
"What would be your choice, daughter?" Zeus questioned.
Thalia gulped before she answers. "I- I accept the burden of the prophecy."
The goddess of hunt frowned. She could tell Artemis was looking forward to seeing her in the hunt. Aphrodite, on the other hand, flashed a bright smile before going back to the pitiful look she was giving at her. Athena looked like she wanted to say something, but Zeus' glare shut her up. Other gods had their looks, but Thalia didn't care. All she wanted to get out of all these things in one piece.
"Now, on to the Ophitaurus;" Zeus said, "Since it is the bane of Olympus-"
Poseidon interrupted. "Let's not brother; you and I know its history. How it came to be. It's the only thing-"
Zeus glared at him. Electricity crackled around his body, His eyes were full of energy. The throne room smelled like Ozone.
"We will no longer speak about that, Poseidon," Zeus said monotonously. "The beast is far too powerful to keep alive. The girl was tempted once to use it."
"I too, agree with my father;" Athena said, "It would be a bad strategy to keep it alive."
"Or kill it;" `Apollo interrupted. "You know where it would go if we kill it." Apollo's shining eyes darted towards Athena, then his father. "It would start reforming in Tartarus, and Kronos can accelerate time; so…"
"I agree with Apollo on this;" Hera said as if she sucked a lemon. Other gods except for Ares and Dionysus nodded and agreed with Apollo.
"Hephaestus can help me build a tank for the Ophitaurus in Olympus," Poseidon said, looking somewhat smug. "Hestia can have someone to cuddle, right?"
The girl who was over the hearth smiled. Thalia then remembered she was an Olympian god too; more precisely, the last Olympian who held no throne. She was the tie-breaker of the council, goddess of the hearth.
"Fine," Zeus sighed. "We have a majority," Zeus decreed. "I imagine we should honor my daughter and other heroes. Let the triumph celebration begin!"
Thalia smiled as Zeus beamed at her proudly.
An Unknown, Concealed Cave of Alaska Ridge
There was darkness. One could think this place never saw the sunlight; but once, this place was visited by many kings and demigods. As this place was once the throne room of the first goddess.
And no, you're not thinking about Aphrodite.
Long ago, the universe was nothing but chaos. Then the personification got bored and spawned Gaea, their first child; then Ouranos, Pontus, Tartarus, Nyx, Erebus, Thalassa, Ananke, and some other primeval that I forgot to mention.
Then we get to know the sons and daughters of Sky and Earth. They were the twelve titans, who became the rulers of cosmos after the coup against their father, Ouranos.
Kronos, the king of titan celebrated that night real good. Parts of Ouranos were wrapped in his loincloth and hung from Kronos' waist. With Scythe over his back, he was a sight to watch. He had goblets of nectar over, over and over; which dulled his senses and then he caught up with the nymph of Cocytus. Regardless of his father's prophecy, Kronos had what he wanted. Afterward, he fell to sleep.
What Kronos didn't notice that his sperm had fallen on earth, mixed with the ichor of Ouranos. At the time, the mother earth was awake, so the earth was pretty much active. As a result, mother earth got pregnant and within a night, there was a baby girl who had raven locks and a pair of green eyes.
When Kronos woke up to see her, he gasped loudly. Then he got up to his feet immediately. This girl warmed up her heart, he knew his blood runs in her veins, but he didn't know why. He smiled at the little girl, which made him less impressive.
"Are you my father?" The girl asked innocently.
Kronos, the titan of time shuddered. Then the realization dawned on his face.
"You shall be slain at the hands of your own children, as you have slain me."
His kind smile slowly disappeared. His aura flared in rage, making the girl stumble few steps. Then he raised his Scythe, only to lower it.
He didn't have it to kill his own child. But he couldn't allow her to grow up and kill him either. Then he got this brilliant idea.
But before he went with it, the child sank in the bare earth, like it was an ocean. Kronos stabbed the earth with his Scythe in frustration and anger. He was mad at himself. He vowed himself that someday, he would find this child, and finish the idea he came up with.
And rightfully so; the child he let escape eventually overthrew him, with help of her siblings. She never joined her siblings in the Olympian council but ruled her domains in harmony with Olympus for a time. Then, to get casted into the depths of Tartarus after an ambush and epic battle between all gods of Olympus (including Hestia and Hades) due to a prophecy of Apollo; that an immortal born to three deities would overthrow Olympians.
Now, this should be explained. Olympus, as a council of gods, was bound to act on a motion that passed in the council. There will be consequences if a god went against a motion passed on the council. Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Athena, Demeter, Hera, Hermes voted to banish her. Poseidon, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Hades, and Hestia voted against the idea. Zeus abstained from voting.
For Athena, she simply agreed on 'what would be safe'. Surprisingly, Hermes went along with Athena. Hera and Demeter envied their sister for the power she wielded. The others, however, had their feuds and grudges with the goddess.
And so, events happened as they were supposed to be. Apollo and Athena took care to remove all historic evidence that such a goddess existed. Her temples were cremated, her priests hid when the news arrived or forced her to resent her.
And yet, she was back. In her own castle moved to the United States, as the flame of the western civilization moved. Maybe in a weakened form of a hag, but she knew what will make her strong as she was.
Her Scepter; the symbol of her power and it was glowing in the middle of the cave.
Like the Scythe of Kronos, the Scepter was created by her mother, Gaea. It was tipped with an emerald color diamond, with the rest made of an entwinement of the wood of immortality, ivory, and imperial gold. As time passed, she added some modifications with the help of her generals, the Heckatonkheires. It could turn into any weapon she wanted, transform it into an object she desires and it couldn't be wielded by anyone other than her. She was glad her priests found it after the battle of Olympus and brought it back here.
She reached out a shaking hand to touch it. She felt immense, but familiar power running through her body. Old battle scars all over her face and body began to vanish, as her fingers wrapped around the weapon more and more strongly. She let out a yell, as her body glowed brighter and brighter. Then, the glowing suddenly stopped and the darkness took over the cave again.
Her faith in herself has been fully restored.
She snapped her fingers, causing the cave to momentarily shudder. Then, the atmosphere in the cave Flowers began to grow from the ceiling and bloom like in an animation movie. The walls of the cave smoothened up and turned into emerald. Lava streams sprung from granite animal heads embedded into the walls, which were pouring to the ground and vanishing as they fell. The blocked entrance of the cave morphed into a carved door made of wood and ivory. There were trees instead of pillars; they bore fruits that increased the fragrance of the room.
At the far end of the hall, a throne sprung from the floor. Made of every kind of gems, the throne glowed in various colors. This was a gift from Hephaestus, as a sign of showing respect for pointing his adopted mother Thetis towards baby Hephaestus, who was thrown off Olympus.
The eldest goddess slowly stepped towards her throne with a smirk on her face. She was now in her early thirties, wore a white toga with a green cape. Her skin was flawless without any battle scars. Her hair regained its raven color instead of old grayish white.
Persephone, daughter of Gaea, Kronos, and Ouranos; the goddess of life, land, and destruction sat on her throne, for the first time in three millenniums.
The Day before Christmas – Dining Pavilion
Nico Di Angelo
"Where is my sister?" Nico desperately asked Thalia again.
Nico frowned at Thalia as she fell into a brief silence. Why she's taking so long? He dreamt of a large robot, Thalia yelling at Bianca, Bianca running towards it.
"Something bad happened, isn't it?" Nico asked.
Thalia nodded guiltily. "Listen, I didn't mean it to happen." Nico saw her eyes getting wet. "When I said Talos should be shut down from inside of it, "she paused, "Bianca volunteered and entered inside of it. She sacrificed her life for us."
The sky darkened a bit. Nico took a step back from her. "No," he whispered.
Thalia then handed him a mythomagic figurine. "This," her voice wavered, "She wanted you to have this."
The silence was thickening bitterly. The cold wind hit his face. He felt like Thalia is stabbing him with her spear.
"You-"Nico felt anger coming from the bottom of his heart. "You sent her to her death!"
"Nico-I-"Thalia stammered. "She might be alive." She said desperately.
"She's dead." Nico closed his eyes. His whole body trembled with rage. "I should've known it earlier. She's in the Fields of Asphodel, standing before the judges right now, being evaluated. I can feel it."
"What do you mean, you can feel it?" Thalia asked.
"Go away!" Nico yelled. "I hate you! I wish you were dead!"
He ran towards the woods, as Thalia stood there with a shocked look on her face.
Nico ran until he was at Zeus' fist. He wasn't aware that a band of hunters lurking through the exact woods he was dwelling in. He was taken by surprise when the first arrow hit his leg. Nico stumbled and fell, letting out a painful groan.
The hunters jumped out from trees, circling the fallen son of Hades. All but one had a bow in each of their hands. They wore silvery ski parkas and jeans. All of them were smirking in satisfaction as Nico grabbed his wounded leg.
The girl who didn't have a bow kicked Nico's belly, causing him to roll in pain.
"Filthy male," The redhead beefy girl spat on his face. "You caused our sister's death!" She accused. "Bianca is dead because of your stupid game and stupid dolls."
"Figurines; and you let her die. No, you killed her." Nico moaned. "You and your goddess took her away from me, and look where it got her. Are you happy now?"
"No," One of the girls icily said. "You softened our sister's heart and it caused her death. You and you alone are responsible for this."
"We will be happy with your death." Another hunter sneered. "Your sister said you're worthless anyway."
Words sunk into his heart like knives. Nico's glare at hunters deepened.
"Aww, ickle Nico is twying to scawe us with his gwares." Three deep cuts carved Nico's face as the huntress slashed her knife swiftly. Then she slapped his face real hard.
"You know how Lady Artemis killed Actaeon the hunter? This is going to be more painful than that." The beefy girl smirked cruelly. "Bind the male, sisters!" She commanded.
Suddenly, Nico heard a voice in his head. "Son of Hades; heed my words." A huntress punched his face as she rolled the boy and tied his hands to the back.
"You know who is responsible for your sister's death." The voice inside his head muttered in his head. "When Artemis manipulated your sister to become a huntress, the fate had rewritten. Her destiny was to die younger than you when she joined the hunt. It wasn't the fault of the daughter of Zeus. It's all hunters and Artemis. You know what to do, Nico. Avenge your sister and escape."
Nico's struggled as hunters bound his legs. He had to endure several mean punches. He was hearing voices in his head. He might be going crazy, but he thought back.
"How? I'm so weak to escape let alone to avenge my sister"
He heard the voice snickering. "You're the child of Hades; one of my most powerful siblings. You're a child of the underworld. Darkness and death are inside of you. The underworld is within you. Summon it with all of your wills. Let it out with a yell. I shall aid you and lend you strength." The voice assured.
As he was completely bound, the hunters were all over him, punching and stabbing all over his body. He was hurting; his pain was increasing at each punch or each stab.
Nico felt a tug in his gut. He needed the darkness. He felt the underworld. He needed them, the powers of shadows, death, darkness, fear.
The grass and plants underneath his body began to wither at the aura of death. The air turned dark and cold. The hunters took a step back from the demigod who was radiating power. They looked extremely fearful.
Then with a scream, he unleashed the underworld upon them.
The ground cracked open, the hunters struggled to escape. The next moment, their bodies were turning dark. Nico didn't see their horrified faces. He didn't hear their pleadings. He wanted justice, revenge, and escape.
"You wanted death so bad?" The hunters heard Nico's thoughts in their heads. They were sinking in the earth up to their chests. "Here, you have it."
The next moment, there was a pile of bones. The ghosts of former hunters loomed over it.
"Leave me be!"
The cracks of the ground closed, leaving no signs of the bones. The ghosts of the hunters fled into the underworld.
"You're exhausted," The voice whispered. "I shall not reveal my existence to the gods yet. There is an entrance to the labyrinth concealed within boulders. Find it and enter the labyrinth. Remain there; I'll take you to my palace."
Nico slowly crawled towards the boulders with all his might. There was a large gap between them. He slid his body between the boulders uneasily.
That was a soft fall, but Nico's already injured leg was hurt. The place was dark already, but it didn't matter to him. His body was exhausted; he couldn't go on an adventure. He lied on the floor, helping his back onto a wall. Then, he passed out.
In few minutes, there was a blinding light in that exact chamber. Persephone kneeled at Nico's body. There were cuts and frozen blood on his face. His eyes were swollen. Lips were cracked and Nose was broken. There were purple spots on the boy's body, yet the deep cuts in his face and his right leg looked nasty. The arrow stuck in his leg seemed to be poisoned, so Persephone bent over to take off the arrow.
"Leave him in the labyrinth!" A voice commanded, sending the goddess into a fighting stance. "He is a powerful half-blood. The labyrinth needs to be sustained!"
Hey again. In the first story of this, I mentioned that I'm rewriting the fic cause my Co-Author is in semi-active status. Well, here you go.
Also, Persephone here is not the Wife of Hades and the goddess of Spring. Kore Persephone was named after her aunt, you'll see why.
Give me your thoughts about the story. No flames or fireworks, but you can give constructive criticism. I value your reviews and ideas.