Dreams were a curious thing, time was meaningless within them. This meant that while mere minutes could pass by in the living world, in a dream that could seem like either days or hours instead. This time, the dreamscape coalesced in a large lake and a bass boat, with Peyton Foley at the helm as he gingerly guided the boat across the water towards his favorite fishing hole.
Usually this dreamscape brought a smile that could light up a room. Not this time. The source of that was a young girl, no older than sixteen, if he was to guess maybe as young as eleven or twelve, with striking auburn hair and silvery yellow eyes. Diana.
There was a goddess in his dream, oh joy.
"What do you want, Lady Diana?" he asked as he fiddled with the throttle, carefully maneuvering the boat.
Diana leaped up from the seat she was resting in and looked around. "Artemis, young Peyton." she corrected.
He had to admit, Diana, no Artemis, was a rather unexpected surprise. "Ma'am, why are you here if you don't mind me asking?" he asked.
Artemis to his surprise fidgeted. "I am worried about the safety of my hunters. The ones you found."
He nodded in understanding, he had only met Artemis once and that had been when he was recovering after Basara. He had accidentally helped the Hunters corner the Teumessian Fox, which had led to the thing being slain. "You want me to try and get them through this war." he said, being blunt and to the point.
Artemis nodded. "I do, but at the same time." the Goddess paused.
"You know that it's a promise that I can't fulfil, the disaster at Basara proved that luck in war is a rather fickle female." Peyton said as he carefully guided the boat up to his fishing hole, bringing the throttle of the engine back as he did so.
Artemis looked downcast. "Can you please try?"
Peyton shook his head. "Lady Artemis, even that request will be difficult, I can't dictate every engagement and we'll be fighting in urban terrain, that sort of terrain favors the defenders greatly. You'll have dozens of things out of my control, for all I know we could end up becoming the plaything of a bloody sniper and that could very well see all of us dead. But if any do die in battle, I'll make sure that they're given the respect they deserve."
The goddess stayed quiet at that and Peyton figured that she was contemplating that. "Where would they be laid to rest?" she asked after a long while.
"If I had my say, Arlington National Cemetery. But it's even more likely they'll be laid to rest in new cemeteries that will have to be created in the aftermath of this war." He admitted, it was a sad bitter truth all things considered.
Artemis paused and Foley took this as his opportunity to drop anchor and grab his fishing rod. He looked the goddess in the eyes and could see torment inside them.
"What if they're too badly mangled to be identified?" She asked.
"Then we'll use DNA samples or Dog Tags to identify them. If those come up negative, then they'll still be laid to rest. The Tomb Stone will have an inscription that says 'Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God', so even if we don't know who they are, they're still honored." Peyton explained slowly.
Hearing that, the Goddess of the Hunt seemed to relax greatly, her posture had the tension that was so prevalent in it seemingly rushed out of it and she slumped. "T-that's good to hear, I guess. But, it's just," she stopped, unable to continue.
"You had no idea that mortal war was so violent and that you can't stomach the idea of seeing some of your hunters die in ways that are shitty and sudden?" Peyton asked and just judging by the way Artemis reacted, he knew he had hit the bullseye. In wolf body language, Artemis was practically shrieking.
"How did you know?" she asked in a whisper.
Peyton cast his line out. "Just a guess, I've seen some pretty fucked up things during my time in the military. If anything, fighting monsters, compared to mortal war, is ironically the one thing I would consider to be paradise, mostly because monsters rarely leave a body behind that's contorted into a horrific shape by rigor mortis." he said as he settled onto the chair.
Artemis looked at him shocked. "Do you ever get used to seeing stuff like that?"
"Eventually in a roundabout way." Peyton replied and the goddess looked at him oddly.
"Whenever you think you've seen the most horrific way a person can die in war. There's always some new horror that makes your stomach churn. But for the more mundane stuff, you just get desensitized to it and after seeing people die from Acute Radiation Syndrome, not much can top that in truly horrible ways to die," Peyton said as a fish hit his lure, "but I can guess that you also want to know more about my men."
Artemis started, but she nodded. "I do."
"Well, I can tell you right now that I am a fourth generation legacy of Bellona, and I am reasonably sure that Jack Dunn and Ian Noel, both riflemen are mortals, ditto with Jamie Sutton our medic. James Ramirez is a demigod, son of Ares though with how cool headed he is, I wouldn't be surprised if he's a legacy of Athena, hardcore bastard too. I am honestly not sure what Corey Adams and Axton Sosa are, but they aren't demigods and they're also part of the weapons squad. They're all good people, got good heads on their shoulders and they'll look death square in the eyes and make him flinch. I know Dunn has survived a mild case of ARS after Basara." Peyton explained as a fish took his lure and he began reeling it in.
"What do you mean regarding Corey and Axton?" Artemis asked, suddenly on edge.
Peyton shrugged. "They aren't demigods but they aren't mortals either. I've seen Axton actually carrying around this weird crooked thing made of ivory with these weird engravings on it, I am not sure what the hell it is. But when I saw it, it gave me the feeling that they were un-Roman or un-Greek if that's even a thing."
Artemis frowned. "That's not ringing any bells either."
Alright, that concerned him more than actually having a goddess in his dream. The fact that he had two men in his squad that even a goddess didn't know what they were was disconcerting. "That's somehow not very reassuring."
Artemis let out a strained giggle that brought a smile to Peyton's face as he hauled his fish in. It was a decent sized bass. Working quickly, he got his lure out and then very gingerly put it back in the water. "You're letting it go?" Artemis asked, surprised.
Peyton nodded. "A lot of states require permits for fishing believe it or not, with heavy fines and even jail time if you're caught fishing without a license. Even for catch and release fishing. But such is life and to be frank, I do prefer catch and release fishing, it's good for the environment and it's nice stress relief."
"Huh, I didn't actually know that." Artemis said.
"Yeah, us mortals are trying to get better at preserving the environment and that will become easier after this war is over, simply because there is going to be a lot less people around. Gotta admit though, the dryads for a lot of the sequoias are utter assholes. Don't get me started on the dryad that inhabits the Grizzly Giant." Peyton growled angrily, remembering his not too pleasant encounter with the old and tough dryad, an expression of vicious anger appeared on Artemis' face.
"My hunters back in the mid 1800s angered that particular Dryad over something on the Winter Solstice. I don't really want to discuss the particulars, but it took the dryads of four other trees to calm that ancient Dryad down. It's nearly as old as I am, it's only younger than me by about a millennium. She's short tempered, quick to anger, and may Tartarus have mercy on your soul if she hears you insult one of the fallen Sequoias." Artemis admitted with a shake of her head.
Then the Goddess said something that shocked Peyton. "I would prefer if they're laid to rest at Arlington, a Genius Loci inhabits the cemetery and she's quite protective over her charges. The thought of her watching over the bodies of any hunters would be nice, she's quite pleasant actually and she finds the whole idea of how Arlington National Cemetery came to be, a little amusing in a rather morbid way."
Peyton shook his head, clearly amused. "Just when I thought I had seen everything, there's always something new in the world that manages to up the weirdness factor somehow."
Artemis laughed out loud at that statement, amusement dancing in her eyes. "Yeah, I have to agree, there are times when even myself and my hunters stumble across something that I can categorize as weird."
Now it was Peyton's turn to laugh, the thought of a goddess with literal eons of experience finding something that could be qualified as weird was something that he found to be utterly hilarious.
Artemis was worried about coming into the dreams of mortals. She did it occasionally while helping her hunters confront their torments and get them on the road to recovery. But she had never done so in the dreams of a man, let alone a soldier.
The dreamscape began to swirl into existence, but then it sparked and flared. Then without warning the floor dropped out from under had she tumbled into a familiar backwater, the Hypnos Cabin. The goddess sighed, just about everyone passed through the Hypnos Cabin at some point, even mortals and immortals, not just demigods.
She heard a low groan. "Why am I here again?"
The man known as Jack Dunn stood up, Artemis had to admit that he cut an imposing figure. He had white skin, was a hair over six feet in height, with cold brown eyes and black hair. He was dressed casually wearing simple khaki shorts and a tee shirt.
"Eh, this place is sort of like Grand Central Station for dreaming. If dreams are the five boroughs then you can't get from place to place without passing through here occasionally." Artemis admitted, causing the man to whirl and he blinked, scratching his head.
"Okay, I know that dreams can be weird at times. But I think this takes the fucking cake, I am in a cabin that I don't recognize, with a couple of snoring kids in it, a branch with strange water dripping from it into a bowl, and a rather young woman that I don't know or even recognize talking to me, can someone please explain to me what the actual fuck is going on?" he asked, sounding hopelessly confused.
Well he was blunt and crass, but also sounded legitimately confused. Time to clear things up, but not reveal too much information, not to mention address his confusion in the order that he asked. "This is the hypnos cabin, it's sort of like Grand Central as I said earlier, as for the water, that's water from the Lethe, don't touch. As for who I am, I am Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt and the Wilderness."
Jack's posture changed from confused to alarmed. "Uh...I hunt deer in Georgia...please don't do something like turn me into jackrabbit or something."
Artemis had to admit, she had to hold down a laugh. "Mr. Dunn, I wouldn't do that. You follow mortal laws and regulations perfectly when it comes to hunting, I know them like the back of my hand since I helped write most of them. If anything, that's not worth turning you into a jackrabbit. Knock up one of my hunters, now that is worth doing that."
Jack snorted. "I wouldn't have sex with your hunters, Foley would give me the worst ass chewing of my life and then Thalia would probably zap me into next week," she gave him a funny look, "I know a fair bit about mythology, I joined the Army to help pay for college and I was actually hoping to get a degree in mythology. But after Basara, I decided to stay in the Army after graduating. I mean, what sort of monster would detonate a nuke that they got from somewhere despite what casualties to their own forces and civilians would be?"
Artemis resisted the urge to frown. But she remembered something that Thalia had told her after learning about it from her son, how Sally Jackson had become distraught after being visited by a man wearing a rather ornate uniform. Which meant that the Jackson family had lost someone at Basara, she made a note to ask Persus about it later. Still, she had to admit that Jack had a sharp mind. But then again, she supposed that in order to be a soldier that you needed to be quick thinking otherwise you would wind up dead. But once again, she had to admit that Basara had been mentioned, it seemed to be truly traumatizing for the American military.
Regardless, she didn't know that the US Army had programs like that. Guess she would have to inquire more about that. She would have to ask Athena about that later. "So, I take it you're worried about your hunters?" Jack asked and she started in surprise. Smooth Artemis, real smooth, startled by a mortal if Apollo finds out, I'll never hear the end of it.
"Yeah, I am. They fought in various conflicts before, but mortal warfare if anything is far more destructive than the sort of combat that can occur when it's waged between demigods and monsters. It's horrifying to see the effects that it has on both the environment and people." She admitted, not knowing what to expect.
To her surprise, Jack nodded. "I know what you mean, it's one thing having seen footage of what Hiroshima and Nagasaki looked like after they were nuked. It's another to actually go through a city in full radiation gear looking for survivors after a 30-kiloton nuclear bomb was detonated, it looked like something straight out of Fallout." he admitted, she could tell just by his tone of voice that it haunted him.
Artemis had to admit that the topic had gotten rather heavy, so she decided to shift it to something more light hearted. "I have to admit, you're taking this rather well."
Jack snorted and he said quietly. "After the shock of seeing a nuclear bomb detonated and going into the fallout zone in order to look for survivors and seeing all sorts of fucked up shit. Nothing really surprises you anymore."
Artemis decided that she really didn't want to know what sort of shit that Dunn had seen in Basara. However, the man was quick and sharp witted. She had to admit that a few Olympians would like him and possibly want to have a kid with him. But there was something about him that-
He spoke up again. "If you're worried about your Hunters, don't worry. Barring shit we can't prevent, we'll do everything we can to help them get through this conflict. To be frank, Mars didn't even need to do that aging trick. We could just claim that they were civilians who wanted to protect their home, given how us Americans are when it comes to defending our homes. Though I would argue that they need the armor and helmet."
"Yeah and while I can't change it, I can take my anger out on Mars." Artemis said, shaking her head and clenching her fists.
Jack smirked. "Bit of a suggestion ma'am, aim between the legs if you kick that bastard. A kick to the groin is always extremely painful with guys." he said in a sly tone.
She cocked her head. "Really?"
Jack nodded. "Yep, it's really painful. Will probably knock him flat on his back or well more likely make him hobble around awkwardly."
She filed that information away, she could work with that. Still there was something about Jack that made Artemis feel like she could trust him. It was probably the fact that he had willingly gone into an environment that was practically an anathema to what she represented just to look for survivors in the fallout zone of a nuclear weapon and that he had even gotten sick doing so. It never ceased to amaze her how some mortals could be the most selfish beings imaginable and yet others could be so selfless and caring of others. Maybe that's why he seemed so honest, because he was incredibly selfless. Regardless, the idea of making Mars hobble about awkwardly was an enticing one.
The man spoke up again as he looked around. "I must admit, this was a weird place to find myself dreaming about. It's a decent change of pace from Basara or hunting a ten point buck that I bagged two years ago or hiking the Appalachian Trail."
And so the conversations went, Artemis had to admit that Jack Dunn was such a selfless individual that it surprised even her. She had thought that young Persus had been a selfless man, but even he wasn't quite as selfless as Jack although the two were similar. More than that, he was actually taking this information surprisingly well, probably because he was with a legacy, a demigod, and two un-Greek/un-Roman/un-mortal people which meant he had probably seen some fairly weird shit.
As many filaments of her divine being were visiting the various Rangers of the unit that her Hunters were within their dreams. A substantially larger portion of Artemis' divine being materialized upon Michipicoten Island. The Goddess of the Hunt shuddered, she hated coming here and it wasn't because Queen Gichi-Gami, the leader of all Naiad tribes in this region of Canada and the United States had requested her presence.
Without fanfare, she emerged. Queen Gichi-Gami, she was tall for a Naiad, standing at eight feet in height. She was arguably one of the most powerful of all Naiads in existence due to the sheer size of her lake. It was so massive that the mortals sailed immense vessels approaching a thousand feet in length upon her waters. Artemis had helped stop Zebra Mussels before they had become a problem in her lake, but she had always disliked Gichi-Gami for it was here, on these waters in 1885 when they were taking a ship from Owen Sound to Thunder Bay that the vessel had sank after getting blown off course by a snowstorm.
Two of her hunters, Regana and Faith, had sacrificed their lives trying to save mortals, willingly going after those swept away off the rocks after Algoma cracked in half. They had been unsuccessful in their efforts and she would never forget the grief she felt after finding Faith's body smashed to pieces upon the rocks a couple of days after the sinking and they never found Regana's. The lake never did give up her dead due to how cold her waters were which retarded bacterial growth, she wouldn't be surprised if Regana's body was mostly intact and somewhat recognizeable as it lay in the silt somewhere on the bottom of the lake.
She had told her hunters that it had been her own damn fault, simply because she hadn't wanted to take the train and go through various cities. She had wanted to avoid that by taking Algoma, instead she had traumatized her hunters and had two die in a 'Blow' as it was called. Ironically enough it had also started her relationship with Gichi-Gami, even though she never forgave her nor the Isle Royale naiad tribe for not showing up to try and save the maidens onboard Algoma when she broke apart.
"Lady Artemis," Gichi-Gami greeted, her dark brown hair contrasting with her lake blue eyes while going nicely with the dress that she wore, "a pleasure to see you again."
Yeah, what do you want to talk about? Artemis thought bitterly as she replied. "You too Queen Gami." the part of the question that she wanted to say was left unsaid.
Engines howled nearby, she wasn't sure what they were or whose side they belonged to.
"I know you never forgave me for what happened on S.S Algoma. But I want to try and make amends starting right now." Gichi-Gami replied and she found herself being immediately skeptical.
"What do you mean?" Artemis asked of the Naiad sharply.
"I can offer your hunters in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan sanctuary on one of the islands in my domain. It wouldn't be the most comfortable lifestyle, but they'll be safe from the predations of both monsters and the Russians alike. War always stirs up the former and if what I am hearing from Erie and Ontarí'io is accurate, they'll need that protection." Gichi-Gami said and Artemis felt her heart leap into her throat in shock.
Gichi-Gami was truly offering her hunters sanctuary? She could allow that, it would take a weight off her back with the knowledge that they would be safe. Mostly because she knew how monsters could get during war, they tended to throw caution to the wind and would get extremely aggressive. World War II had almost completely wiped out the various Hunter Chapters in Europe due to how badly it had stirred up the monsters, granted the Nazis hadn't helped but the point still stood.
"Swear it on the River Styx that you'll do everything in your power to protect the hunters that come to one of your islands." Artemis said forcefully, anything to help protect her hunters even if it was just a small fraction of them, but she also knew that she couldn't protect all of them and that at most a dozen would take Gichi-Gami's offer.
"I swear." Gichi-Gami said and thunder boomed overhead, lightning rippling across the sky despite there not being a cloud in the evening sky.
"Thank you." Artemis replied firmly, she was about to say something else when there was a chiming sound and a rainbow shimmered into existence. In the center of that rainbow, Iris appeared.
"I have a message from one of your hunters, Artemis, do you wish to accept it?" the rainbow goddess asked.
"Yes." Artemis asked without thinking and Iris nodded.
An instant later the image swirled into existence, the hunter was one who had been on the hunt for over seventy years and was the leader of the Northwestern Oregon Chapter of the hunters. She had dark brown hair, brown eyes, with Japanese facial features, she was wearing a silver parka with a navy blue blouse, her arrow fletching stuck out over her shoulder from the arrows in her quiver, and resting on her shoulder was her trusty squirrel familiar. "Lady Artemis, myself and my hunters have been talking it over and we've decided to split up into three groups so that way we can at least partially protect the mortals in Portland, Salem, and Astoria. Although, I must admit, some of us want to head south to southern California to help defend the country, I am having a hell of time keeping them in check."
Artemis nodded in understanding. "I understand young Hikari, you and I both know how Americans can get if their homeland is attacked, Pearl Harbor and 9/11 proved that." she immediately regretted saying that, as Hikari nodded but she had paled. Hikari had lived in Japan during the war years and had learned her brother, an ace in the IJNAF had been expended in a Kamikaze and that didn't even go into what had happened to her in the post war years.
She pushed that aside as Hikari answered. "Yes, it's the same thing all over again. But I am just wondering if we should combine with the Southwest Oregon Hunter Chapter, just get a unified structure going since hunts out here rarely require both chapters. Since for all I know we could have some Russian monsters or demons tag along with the invaders and they could move north. Last we heard, there was one hell of a battle going on in San Diego and Los Angeles and that we got no idea what the Legion is going to be doing, but all of the California Chapters, barring the SoCal one, are going to head to Camp Jupiter to augment the Legion. But the SoCal Chapter, last we heard, were heading into the LA area to fight."
Artemis nodded at the japanese maiden in understanding as fear welled up in her breast for the dozen or so hunters that were in Southern California. The only good consolation prize was that they might have help from Hades if DOA Studios, one of the entrances to the Underworld, was destroyed. Still, it wasn't something that sat well with her. But she also knew that Hikari had a good head on her shoulders and would make informed decisions prior to acting; she had about fourteen hunters under her (it wasn't the largest of the Chapters by a longshot, that would have been either the California or Texas Hunter Chapters) but it was still fairly sizeable.
"Try getting back into contact with them, I want them to head north to support the Legion as well," she paused and then added, "if at all possible."
Hikari nodded in understanding. "And if we can't or if they're too busy to disentangle themselves?"
Artemis honestly didn't know how to answer that. She really didn't, at least not until the solution came to her. "If they can't disentangle themselves, I'll flash myself over there and help them."
Hikari nodded in understanding. "Right, I'll start trying but I am not sure if we'll succeed. Iris Messages are becoming a bit finicky right now, it's likely that so many are being sent that Iris just can't keep up and if that isn't it, I shudder at the thought of the alternatives."
That was something that Artemis had to admit, upon hearing that, scared her. It scared her a lot, more than she was willing to admit. But if anything she had led her hunters through worse situations before and she could do it again. Which meant that before long she would have to go through the hell that was urban combat. She had a basic understanding of how violent that could be when mortal vehicles and weaponry wasn't involved and here, they would be involved. Like it or not, most of them were powerful enough that they could effortlessly demolish just about anything, even Celestial Bronze constructs.
"For what it's worth Hikari, I don't like that line of thinking either; it's a rather terrifying thought." Artemis admitted it was something that tugged at her for she hated to consider the consequences of what that could mean and pushed them out of her mind.
Hikari nodded and then looked off screen as someone said something. A frown graced her features. "I have to go milady, Grace just got a text, we have what's believed to be Chorts up here. Got to go deal with them." she said as she tightened the strap for her quiver.
Artemis nodded in response. "I understand, be careful out there. You have never faced Chorts before, they're extremely dangerous and lightning fast."
"Thanks for the information, I'll tell the girls about it. Be careful milady." Hikari replied as a way of goodbye and then the image faded out of existence.
That had been rather unexpected, but all things considered it also wasn't surprising. It was a sign of just how rapidly things were starting to go to hell across the country. Even areas where the invading Russians hadn't hit yet were already being affected in other ways. The only way that this could get worse was if the various governments formed around the followers of Hecate got into this. Which given the massive scale that this war was occurring, it would probably happen. To be honest, that was the last thing that was needed at the moment.
She pushed that line of thinking out of her mind. "Sorry about that interruption Queen Gichi-Gami," she apologized to the Naiad.
Gichi-Gami snorted and smirked. "I've heard worse from the sailors who ply my waters in terms of interruptions, no need to apologize."
Right, the mortals sailed huge vessels upon the waters of the Great Lakes, it would make sense that the naiad had likely heard some pretty foul language over the centuries from sailors upon these waters. "Still, I am going to make coming to an island so that they can accept your protection optional. Just so that way we can help keep the monsters in check."
Gichi-Gami nodded. "Fair call, given the war." the naiad replied.
Artemis nodded and then felt a spike of anger and a longing to know. All naiads, if a person died upon their waters would feel the soul pass on to the afterlife. She needed to know and maybe after all of these years she could finally put her mind at ease. "Did Faith and Regana suffer?" she asked quickly.
Gichi-Gami seemed put off by this question. "Why are you asking me this now? I tried to tell you after the sinking of Algoma to try and put your mind at ease. Instead you threatened to turn me into a Jackalope if I didn't get out of your sight."
The words were hot and sharp, it felt like a harsh smack across the face. She had threatened Gichi-Gami like that, she had regretted it after the fact. But the truth of the matter was that after losing two hunters who had been part of the hunt for centuries. Not to mention seeing so many lives snuffed out by a storm that rivaled even the mightiest blows that Poseidon could cook up in power. She would have to admit that she hadn't been at her best afterwards, due to grief for two of her hunters.
"Yes, I am asking you this now. I don't know why, but I am." Artemis replied, maybe it was the knowledge that her hunters would once again be dying in particularly shitty ways that made her want to know how Faith and Regana died.
Gichi-Gami sighed deeply. "Faith didn't know what hit her, she went after a young child that had been swept away and even managed to get to her and was in the process of dragging her back to shore when a wave scooped them both up. Faith got flung head first into a boulder on the shoreline with such force that it caved in her skull. Something similar happened to the kid she was trying to rescue just minutes later."
Artemis digested that information. That put her at ease, knowing that one of the hunters lost that dreadful day simply hadn't known what had hit her. But she dreaded what was next. "And Regana."
Gichi-Gami shook her head. "She drowned with water in her lungs, it was painful but quick at the very least, her body is in roughly four hundred feet of water and at my pressing, the local naiad tribe built a small tomb for her. It's not much, more like a coffin than anything else."
Artemis nearly sobbed, she had threatened Queen Gichi-Gami and she could have taken it out on her anyway she wanted and yet she hadn't. If anything it showed how truly different she was from other naiads and Gichi-Gami had actually said comforting words to Zoë after the whole affair before trying to talk to her. But then again, Gichi-Gami wasn't your normal naiad, not by a long shot and while she wasn't particularly popular on Mount Olympus, she did care for some of the gods and their followers.
"Thanks Queen Gichi-Gami, that's a lot better than I thought she would get. Over my four thousand odd years, I've seen naiads, dryads, gods, goddesses, etcetera be incredibly petty for just the simplest of things and even for more complex things. I will admit that I had done some of these things before myself." Artemis said she wasn't sure why she had admitted this, maybe because of the fact that she feared how badly damaged the wilderness would be and would it cause her to start fading? That was something she feared, just fading away. After all, one could say that her domain and Pan's were interconnected, with Pan having faded several years ago...who's to say that she wasn't next to fade?
Maybe she just wanted to make up for her past sins because she had a very real fear of fading away, her essence returning to the primordial soup of Chaos, never to materialize again. She wouldn't even have an afterlife like her hunters, she would just float away and go into a realm where there was nothing left for her. It was something that utterly terrified her. Gods and Goddesses didn't have souls, just their essence.
"Fair call, but if anything that doesn't make the gods and goddesses of Olympus immortal, that makes you more human than you think you are. More than a few of your hunters always look up to you as a motherly figure, I saw as much after the sinking of the Algoma with how you were making sure all of the hunters were alright and how you acted in your grief afterwards. You are thus different from all of the other Olympians since you're so in touch with the mortal world." Gichi-Gami stated and Artemis couldn't help but smile just a little, she honestly hadn't thought of it like that and she hadn't really noticed. But thinking of the hunters as a family had occurred to her on more occasions then she could count, yet she had never thought of herself as a doting mother. Great, that was going to be bugging her for at least a decade.
Artemis nodded and began to quickly wrap up the meeting.
AN: This chapter fought me so much that just to avoid writer's block, I decided to cut it short so that way I wouldn't get stuck on the magicians of the merry crew or the other mortals, Ian Noel and Jamie Sutton mostly because I had no idea how to write that out and didn't want to get stuck on it with the dreaded writer's block; I may fully flesh this chapter out down the line, but IDK.
That said...internet cookie for those who know the name of the lake that Queen Gichi-Gami represents.