Author: aquaXtreme PM
An age old myth about despair and hope, defeat and triumph and an eternal bond between a brother and a sister.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Artemis & Apollo - Words: 3,671 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 6 - Published: 06-27-11 - id: 7123403
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hey there guys! Me here!
Anyway, I've had this huge fascination with Greek Mythology for as long as I can remember and I've finally gotten round to writing something about it. Just so you know, Artemis and Apollo(!) are my favourite Olympians so, yes, I will be using them quite a lot. But I'll try and be fair with everyone else too...*grumbles*
This is about the myth about the Aloadae. I don't want to give too much away but the basic thing is that the Aloadae were twin giants who wanted Hera and Artemis as wives or whatever. And I simply had to write something about that.
So enjoy :)
Silence fell on Mount Olympus.
This new piece of information had startled them. They would've thought it to be impossible; for him of all people to be held hostage by their enemy.
But it was true.
Ares, the God of War, had been captured by the Aloadae.
The rest of the Gods and Goddesses sat on their respective thrones, each lost within their own thoughts. Hermes stood in the middle of the semi-circle, having just delivered the news, barely having registered this latest surprise himself. No noise could be heard except for the faint crackle from the ever lasting hearth.
It was unbelievable. Preposterous. Not only had one of them been captured, it had been no other than the God of War himself, the very person who others would've thought to be the last on a list of hostages. Yet, it had happened.
"So," Hermes began, unsure what he should say at a time like this. "What's our next move?"
Almost unconsciously, everyone immediately faced Athena hoping that she had somehow managed to come up with an ingenious plan to overcome this new revelation. The look that she flashed them quickly punctured those hopes.
"Nothing? Come on, you're the Goddess of Wisdom! Think!" Aphrodite stated in an exasperated manner as she stared at the grey eyed goddess who, in turn, gave her a cold glare.
"It would help if some people also chose to use their brains, however small, to come up with a solution as well," Athena snapped. The stress was getting to her, everyone was starting to see that. In fact, the situation was starting to affect all of them in one way or other.
"You see what happens when you sleep around, Brother," Zeus exclaimed in a mocking tone, his voice shaking like thunder around the silent throne room. "Look what your lover Iphimedia's twins have caused! They are threatening our very existence. And they demand Hera and Artemis as wives!"
"Which will not happen," Apollo snapped, an unusual look of pure anger on his face. Poseidon whipped around to face his elder brother, provoked by the sudden accusation that had been launched against him.
"They are not my responsibility!" He yelled, rage coming off him in heavy waves. "And sleeping around? You can talk! How many times has an unfortunate nymph, mortal or goddess herself fallen into your dangerous grasp? How many times has your dear wife had to go through turmoil, heartbreak and anger because of your choices?"
Thunder echoed around the room as Zeus began to slowly lose his temper, his eyes flashing dangerously.
"And what of your own wife, Amphitrite?"
"How dare you-!"
"That is enough!" Hades snapped, his patience down to it's last tethers. He glared at each of his brothers in turn from his guest stool, a grim expression marked on his face. "Do you really believe that fighting will cease this problem? No. So I suggest you help everyone else by shutting those mouths of yours and let us think of a solution to help our fellow goddesses."
The Gods of the Sea and Sky quickly fell quiet though they refused to even look at one another for the time being.
"Why do they request Hera and Artemis in the first place?" Aphrodite scorned, half out of jealousy for not having been singled out because of her beauty and half out of spite. "Our Queen is the Goddess of Marriage and Artemis is a virgin goddess. Do they really believe they can get them to-"
"I believe it's called rape," Hephaestus growled. Artemis took a sharp breath in, her hands clutched furiously onto her arm rests.
"If those buffoons believe that they can rape me, I shall person-"
"But that's just it!" Apollo sighed, the fury dissipating from his body to be replaced with defeat. "They do believe they can rape you. In fact, they must believe they can do anything after having captured a god! The God of War, no less!"
"So," Dionysus commented dryly. "I see hope has not left us yet."
"This is not the time for your sarcasm," Demeter stated, a frown etched into her face though she couldn't deny the relief in her heart that her daughter, Persephone, had not been chosen.
"We cannot lose hope," Hera announced, desperation laced in her voice. "We must think of something if Artemis and I are to be safe!"
"A plan cannot come together in an instant," Athena bit her bottom lip. "It has to be thought through thoroughly and carefully to insure there are no foolish mistakes."
"But we have next to no time," Hermes replied, voicing the thought that no one else dared to speak out loud.
"Then we shall have to come up with it," Poseidon concluded.
The gods fell silent at that simple question. No one knew how.
"How are we doing, Brother?" Otus bellowed, a huge malevolent grin on his face. Ephialtes responded with a laugh that shook his entire body.
"We have those pathetic gods right where we want them. Especially that Ares," He grinned, pointing a bone at a small pithos that lay next to them. The giant leant forward and, as a triumphant expression appeared on his face, he knocked gently on the side of the jar. In the quiet air, a few muffled explosions of verbal abuse and rage echoed throughout the cave followed by bursts of guffaws. "This is what happens to those who are foolish enough to attack us!"
"So," Otus began when he calmed down, wiping a small tear of laughter from his eye. "How long until the maiden Artemis be mine?" He asked, licking his lips in an almost hungry manner.
"Not long, Brother. Not long at all," Ephialtes responded, thinking of the prize he would receive for destroying Mount Olympus. The beautiful Hera, Queen of the Heavens. Oh, how much pleasure he would get from seeing Zeus' expression at having taken his treasured wife from him! The glory of it all!
"I cannot wait! To be the first one that the Goddess of the Hunt would have to accept. It's too good to be true!"
"We must wait," Ephialtes suddenly snapped, a sober expression replacing the previously gleeful one. "Foolish mistakes arise from thinking that we have already won the war when it is not even over yet."
"But...we're so close."
"Yes, my Brother. Yes we are."
Artemis cursed as she missed her target for the third or so time in a row. This was definitely unusual. She lowered her bow in anger before picking up a small pebble and throwing it into the open forested area. It disappeared out of view quickly along with the majority of the fury that had been tangled up inside the goddess.
She turned around, swiftly nocking her bow in case it was an intruder, even when she fully recognised that voice.
The god in question glared at his sister, shaking his head at the withering stare she was trying to give him but was failing. He could sense the fear within her. After all, they were twins.
"I thought Zeus made it very clear that you are not to go outside when Otus and Ephialtes could strike at any minute!" He scolded but he trailed off when Artemis suddenly blazed up.
"And since when have you of all people lived in fear?" She shouted, rage blinding her senses. Apollo took a small step back before hesitantly approaching her once again, unsure of how to react. The moonlight shone brightly behind her as if it shared her agony and her thick hair seemed to have turned from a deep chocolate brown to a fine silver.
"Artemis, are you alright?"
The look that she threw him broke his heart.
"Am I? You tell me, dear Brother. Are you being hunted down to be used as nothing more than a source of pleasure? Are you in constant fear of being trapped and taken like Ares? Are you?"
Apollo let out a sigh, his hatred for the Aloadae, especially Otus, quickly firing up again.
Before he knew what was happening, Artemis had sunk to the grassy floor as tears of desperation and sorrow flooded out of her. He immediately took her into his strong arms out of pure instinct, rubbing his hands against her arms comfortingly in an effort to soothe her. She was his baby sister, after all.
Apollo could feel his shirt slowly getting damp but he ignored that fact when his sister, his one true family, was breaking down in front of him. The person he saw daily as strong, tough, witty and, occasionally, nerve wrecking had transformed into a small girl being affected by the chaos that surrounded her. He held her tightly, whispering words of solace into her cold ear.
"I'm scared," She mumbled softly, tears coursing down her cheeks as she leaned further into her brother's body, feeling safe for the first time in what felt like forever.
"It'll be alright," He muttered back, determination flashing in his sky blue eyes. "They'll have to go though me to get to you. Which will be impossible because no one is going to hurt my baby sister."
"I'm not your baby sister."
A faint smile flickered onto Apollo's face as he saw hints of the Artemis he knew and loved.
"Well, I am older than you."
Artemis couldn't help but let out a soft laugh as her tears stopped flowing freely. When he made to move, she held on tighter and he willingly obliged.
Apollo sighed tiredly as he watched Artemis sleep peacefully in her bed. It was comforting to know that his baby sister was safe-for now. A ghost of a smile appeared on his face as small snores escaped her parted lips and, it was in that moment, that he swore he would do anything to protect and defend her honour. If anyone tried to hurt her, they'd have to face his wrath first.
The God of Light jumped, slightly startled by the knock, before wearily opening the door that lead into his sister's bedroom. He blinked twice, adjusting his eyes to the dim light in the hallway, before nodding curtly at the Queen of Gods. Hera raised her eyebrow at seeing him instead of Artemis but surprise didn't seem to stay for long. In fact, she would've been more surprised had she not found him there.
"She's sleeping right now," Apollo explained, rubbing the back of his neck tiredly. "For the first time in...well..."
"I understand," Hera nodded quickly. "I just wanted to check up on her."
The blond snorted before he could stop himself, quickly averting his eyes as her cold ones narrowed.
"What is so funny, Apollo?"
"I just always thought...that...well..you didn't-"
"That I didn't like her?" Hera smirked. "True. There is no love lost between us. However, she is still my fellow victim in this situation. In times like this, you have to hold your head high and ignore your dignity and pride in an effort to restore everything back to normal."
"Yes. The Trojan War was evident of that, wasn't it?" Apollo drawled sarcastically. The chaos and sleep was starting to get to him and he wondered how long it had been since he had had a proper night in bed.
The Goddess of Marriage stared at him, hatred in eyes, as she tried to compose herself once again.
"Yes, well that was a most unfortunate...incident. But we are not talking about that. We are discussing the Aloadae. Remember, the twin giants who hope to gain your sister as a prize to keep locked away for their own use?" She said sharply, her tone laced with venom and hidden loathing.
Apollo stared at the goddess, his playful manner immediately having disappeared. He leaned in close to the Queen, making sure that his words would not be missed. Hera didn't flinch.
"If the rest of the gods would allow it, I would personally send you off to the Aloadae, gift wrapped and all, for the torment you have caused my dear sister. And if you dare threa-"
The two Olympians turned around at the sound of the female voice before sighing at Aphrodite's entrance.
"And Hera, it would seem," The Goddess of Love finished, a slight frown on her face. "Sorry, but I simply must drag dear Apollo away from you."
"No matter," Hera smiled although it did not quite seem to reach her eyes for they still glinted with malice. "I was just about to leave anyway."
"Well then," Aphrodite chirped gleefully. "I came at the right time."
Hera gave Apollo one last warning look before storming away, her movement still managing to contain gracefulness and authority. The Sun God rolled his eyes before facing his other visitor.
"What is it?"
"Oh Apollo, why so serious?"
"Maybe because my sister is being demanded for as a trophy?"
Aphrodite shook her head.
"She's not being demanded for as a trophy so don't exaggerate," She snapped, cheerfulness gone. "And Hera is in the same boat but you don't see her moaning about it."
"What do you want?"
"You think I'm pretty, don't you?" The Goddess asked, a full pout adorning her lips. Apollo gulped as his eyes involuntarily trailed her curvaceous body, hidden beneath tightly wrapped robes that flaunted every aspect of her body. Her long blonde hair seemed to waver just above the floor, strands curling alluringly around her shoulders and framing her already beautiful face. The Goddess noticed his gaze, allowing a small smile grace her mouth.
He nodded mutely.
"Then how come the Aloadae didn't pick me?"
The God of Light raised an eyebrow at her insistence to have been one of the goddesses selected and demanded to be handed over as a wife (which wouldn't happen, of course).
"Why do you want to be one?"
Aphrodite sighed with exasperation, twirling strands of her luscious hair around her finger.
"It shows that I am desired by even the ugliest of animals!" She moaned, all hints of previous joyfulness definitely gone.
"Well, maybe they wanted goddesses that actually had something for them besides beauty," Apollo muttered beneath his breath and, when she looked imploringly up at him, he smiled brightly.
"Just be happy you're not in danger."
Aphrodite shrugged in compliance before a small smile lit her features. She stepped closer towards him causing him to raise his eyebrows and attempt to step back before she wrapped her arms around him.
"You're right," She giggled. "As always."
"What are yo-?"
"You know, I've always regarded you as special," She whispered slowly.
"Well, I have been known for that," He grinned, appreciating the flattery that he seemed to so rarely get nowadays.
"And you're wonderful too, you know? Brave. Strong. Heroic."
"Not to mention much loved."
"And humble. Don't forget humble."
Aphrodite frowned as she glared at the bleary eyed Artemis while Apollo hastily removed himself from the pouting goddess.
"You should be sleeping," The Sun God sighed, running a hand through his already tousled blond hair. He looked pointedly at his sister who was glaring daggers at the other goddess.
"Yes. You must be tired," The Goddess of Love growled, frustrated at being interrupted.
"With the amount of giggling that was coming from here, I couldn't," Artemis stated simply with annoyance, her arms crossed across her chest. She smiled internally as Apollo's face shifted to a light red.
"No, it's quite alright," She retorted, her words coming out short and sharp. "After all, a brother always fools around when his sister is in danger, right?"
"Listen Kid-" Aphrodite began, her face turning red too but not from embarrassment.
"Don't call me kid!"
"You're not a woman!" The Goddess of Love snorted. "You haven't yet lost your-"
"I'm the Protector of Maidens!" Artemis yelled. "I'm not supposed to!"
"Let's just calm-" Apollo quickly interrupted in an effort to stop any blows.
"Stay out of this!"
"Artemis!" He snapped, a dangerous tone in his voice.
"I'm just say-"
"There you are!" Hermes panted as his winged sandals flapped hurriedly. He seemed oblivious to the argument that the three gods had been in the middle of. "Zeus wants you in the throne room. Now."
"Why? What's wrong?" Artemis asked, the previous spat already forgotten in her mind.
Hermes glanced at her in despair and Apollo was taken aback at the almost pitying look he gave her.
"The Aloadae have spoken their demands. And it's big."
"We already know they want they want," Dionysus sighed as he tumbled into his throne, a golden goblet clutched in his hand. "They want Artemis and Hera. So why this meeting?"
Zeus looked gravely at the twelve gods and goddesses that had assembled to hear the newest revelation.
"Are they requesting something else?" Artemis asked. "Please tell me they don't want us anymore!"
"No, Sister," Athena spoke, her voice grim. "They are putting a deadline on your appearance to them."
"What do you mean?" Hera frowned, her face, once flawless, was now etched with thin lines.
The Goddess of Wisdom sighed.
"They want to have you and Artemis by the Summer Solstice."
"Well, that's alright," Poseidon replied. "This year's Summer Solstice has already passed. The next one isn't until next year."
"Which means there's more time to come up with a plan!" Aphrodite announced, a huge grin quickly appearing on her face. "This calls for a celebration!"
"Not so fast, Aphrodite," Athena interrupted. "This may seem good but things may quickly turn over to their advantage."
"Not only that," Zeus said as he leaned back onto this throne. "They are threatening to storm Mount Olympus."
The cause for celebration suddenly diminished as the gods and goddesses quickly fell silent at the newest revelation. It couldn't be...could it?
"Impossible!" Demeter yelled. "They cannot invade Mount Olympus! They do not have enough power!"
"Sister, must I remind you that the Aloadae grow by nine fingers every month?" Hades asked in a strained voice.
"We are Gods!" She declared, purposely ignoring her brother's remark. "We should not fear them! They should cower by the mere mention of our names!"
"Yet they do not," The Lord of the Underworld commented. "What does that tell you?"
"That we are not fighting back hard enough!"
"We can hardly fight back when they are giants that loom over us!" Aphrodite squealed.
"But we should be armed and ready to attack lest they do storm us! Has the loss of Ares weakened your resolve to retaliate?" Demeter cried out in disbelief.
"No but fighting back is not always the best tactic," Athena said as she tried to calm down the Goddess of Harvest. "My dear brother never understood that which may be why he is being held hostage at this precise moment!"
Demeter grumbled reluctantly but nonetheless let the matter go.
"So, what are we going to do?" Hera asked.
"What can we do?" Zeus replied, slight traces of tension laced in his voice. He rubbed his forehead tiredly, aware of the small wrinkles that were slowly appearing on his face.
"I don't know about you," Hephaestus began. "But I say we don't do anything and see how everything goes."
"What?" Both Hera and Artemis snapped in sync. They quickly glared at each other as if it was the other's fault that they had spoken at the same time.
"What do you mean by 'do nothing'?" Hera spat. The silence that followed amplified her sharp tone.
"What I mean," The God of the Forges replied, unfazed by her deadly behaviour. "Is that, what is the use of trying to come up with something if the Aloadae will just strike back with something bigger and better?"
"The use?" The Queen of the Heavens screeched. "The use is that it will protect me!"
"And Artemis," Dionysus piped up.
"Hera, if I may?" Athena spoke, her voice solemn. Hera frowned but no protests came form her mouth. "My Lord Zeus seems to have neglected to mention how the Aloadae are threatening to storm Mount Olympus."
Hermes leaned forward in his throne, his caduceus leaning against it.
"How are they planning to do that?"
The Goddess of Wisdom's mouth set into a grim line, her stormy grey eyes clouded to hide any sort of emotion.
"They plan to set three mountains on top of each other; Ossa, Pelion and...Olympus itself."
Demeter let out a slow groan as she slumped in her throne, an expression of despair on her face.
Well? How was it?
If you think it's finished then you are wrong! Chapter 2 will come out as soon as I finish writing it. And start doing it first...
Anyway, pop a review and I'll see you next time :)
(Listening to Rent's Tango Maureen and Seasons of Love during this thing. In. Love.)
Au revoir :)