Ch. 1 | Betrayed
Lady Metis was giving birth to twins. She was on Olympus, surrounded by her friends and family, and she couldn't have been happier. After many hours, two beautiful children-a boy and a girl-were born. Everyone was ecstatic-their family was growing! Little did they know that one of these children would have a terrible fate.
Lord Zeus, king of the gods and father of the two small infants, flashed into the small room. The crowd immediately bowed to him, but he ignored them, rushing to his lover's side instead. Zeus beamed when he saw the two tiny godlings, tears of joy shining in his eyes.
Metis smiled at Zeus. "Aren't they beautiful, my King?" Zeus quickly nodded and gently lifted the young baby boy up, rocking him back and forth. "What shall we name them, dear?"
Metis looked thoughtful for a moment. "The boy shall be named Perseus, and the girl, Athena." Zeus nodded his approval as Metis continued. "They will have key roles on the Olympian council-the oracle has already foreseen this."
A grinning Perseus leisurely strolled down the streets of Olympus humming a tune, not in a particular hurry. Residents who were milling around smiled and waved at the Olympian god, and Perseus gave a polite nod in return. He made his way over to his sister's palace and walked in, glad to be away from the crowds. After spotting her brother, Athena, goddess of wisdom and battle strategy, immediately rushed over to him and gave him a hug, smiling. Perseus happily returned her affection and took his sister's arm as they made their way to the throne room. A meeting was starting shortly to discuss the impending war with the Persians.
As the twins entered they were given enthusiastic greetings from their family that they returned in kind. After settling down, the tone shifted dramatically as they waited for someone to speak about the biggest mortal conflict in history.
Finally, Apollo being Apollo decided to speak. "Well this is awkward." A few of the gods and goddesses chuckled at his naiveness. "So, what must be done about this war?"
Zeus glared at Apollo. "This is no time for your sarcasm." Apollo pouted. "Athena, please tell us of the plan that the Greek city-states are attempting to put into action." Athena stood.
"Father, at this moment three hundred Spartans and an alliance of Greek city-states are making their way to Thermopylae in an attempt to stop the war before it reaches the heart of Greece."
Ares starred at her incredulously. "Sister, you truly believe that a mere three hundred men from my patron state, no matter how skilled, can hold off the thousands that the Persians will throw at them?"
Athena paused for a moment. "I do not know," she eventually admitted, "but I have shown them their best chance to defeat the Persians. There is a small opening that the Persians must get through in order to reach the Greek mainland and that is where they will make there stand. Athens most brilliant Strategos is commanding a Greek fleet in Artimesium."
Perseus, being the god of heroes, courage, hope, and family, decided that now was his time to speak up. "Do not fret-although we are not allowed to directly interfere, I will make sure that the Greek soldiers never lose courage or hope in the midst of their uphill battle."
Hestia smiled fondly at her favorite nephew from her spot in the Hearth.
Zeus looked on proudly at his dearest son and daughter. "This is the most aid we can currently offer. Does anyone else have any matters that need to be discussed while we are all here?"
No one spoke, so, with a wave of his arm, Zeus ended the meeting. The gods began to flash out one by one until only Zeus, Hera, Artemis, Apollo, Perseus, and Athena remained.
Artemis ambled over to Perseus and gave him a hard punch to the gut, insisting that he had to come visit her and her hunters, and after saying that he definitely would, she left. Next, Apollo joked about going to pick us some girls with Perseus and in turn received a knee to the groin from Athena. Zeus quickly flashed him out before any permanent damage could be done.
Lastly, Zeus and Hera approached Perseus and Athena, both with worried expressions on their faces. "Do you believe Greece will survive this?" Hera asked. Perseus smiled at one of the important motherly figures in his life. "Of course Lady Hera-the courage of Greece cannot be rivaled by any other empire in the world, especially Persia, with their so-called God king being in power."
Hera smiled feeling a lot more comfortable, before quickly given both twins a hug and flashing out with her husband.
After everyone had left, Perseus visibly deflated, having the feeling that something was going to go terribly wrong. Athena looked at him, concern etched into her features. "What troubles you, brother?" Perseus just gave her a sad smile, thinking about how much he loved his sister. "Nothing Athena, nothing at all."
A colossal bolt of lightning lashed across the sky, radiantly illuminating the earth for mere seconds, before plunging the land back into total darkness. The mortals were frightened and could only imagine what was upsetting the king of the gods. However, the Olympians established the sign to be that of an emergency council meeting and immediately flashed into the throne room, clearly understanding how furious Zeus truly was.
As the thirteen immortal beings took their seats, carefully avoiding their enraged king's eyes, Zeus snapped his fingers and a woman in celestial bronze chains appeared in the center of the room. Perseus and Athena immediately rushed to their battered mother's side in shock.
"What have you done, Father?" Perseus shouted, gently cradling his mother's limp form. Zeus' gaze landed on his son, barely controlled rage blazing behind his eyes. "You have betrayed Olympus, Perseus-be grateful that you are not in chains as well."
The rest of the Olympians starred in shock at Zeus until a teary Athena spoke. "Father, what do you speak of? Perseus would never betray us-we are his family!"
"Silence, Athena!" Zeus bellowed. "Your traitorous mother deceived me. She did not tell me the truth about the oracle's prophecy, and did not care to mention how Perseus was destined to overthrow me!"
Perseus looked up, tears shining in his eyes seeing his dear mother in chains and his father showing his true colors right in front of the council's eyes. "What have I done to deserve this treatment, Father? My interests have never wavered from that of Olympus and my loyalty has never faltered. Punish me if you must, but not my mother." Silence rang throughout the room.
Finally, Hera spoke and asked the question on everyone's mind. "My King, what has Perseus done to question your loyalties so much that you were forced to take such extreme measures and chain a peaceful goddess like Metis?"
"Remember when your beloved Perseus said that he would give courage and hope to the Greek forces?" Zeus growled. The Olympians nodded, recalling the moment. Zeus turned towards his son. "Instead he has been aiding the Persians! The battle of Thermopylae has been lost, the fleet forced to retreat, because of his assistance!"
Many of the Olympians turned to Perseus in a rage, but his true family immediately came to his defense. Artemis and Apollo stood up and both sided with Perseus, insisting that they could never believe he would do such a thing. However, some of the other, more jealous gods began to glare at Perseus, believing Zeus in his paranoia-induced state.
Athena stared on in disbelief, unsure of what to believe. Her dearest brother, the one closest to her heart, was kneeling with their injured mother, tears dripping down his face as he starred at their father. She made her decision and defiantly stayed by her brother.
Zeus muttered to himself about making an example as he stood up from his throne. With a wave of his hand he used the winds to force Athena and Perseus away from Metis and hurled his master bolt at her with all of his might. The resulting explosion shook the Earth. Perseus and Athena both dropped to their knees and stared at the spot where their mother was mere seconds ago, now just a blackened streak on the pale throne room floor. Both twins beyond heartbroken clutched each other like the world depended on it, and at that moment it truly did.
The council looked on in disbelief as two of the most powerful entities in the universe grieved.
Zeus spoke, his voice deadly serious. "Perseus, for your betrayal I banish you from Olympus and revoke your title as an Olympian. Should you ever set foot in Greece again I will smite you into oblivion." Thunder rumbled ominously in the sky.
"Wait!" Artemis shouted. "No matter what you may believe, Father…," her voice was laced with disgust, "this council is a democracy and we must vote."
"Very well," Zeus ground out. "Who here votes that we should banish Perseus?"
Zeus, Hera, Demeter, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, and Dionysius all raised a hand. Perseus looked at each of them with utter betrayal in his eyes, eventually focusing on Hera. "I thought our peace was made, what the mortals believe is true you are indeed a spiteful goddess." Hera kept her gaze to the ground, refusing to look at him. A sudden choked sob rang out, and the Olympians turned to witness Hestia, tears streaming down her face as stared hatefully at Dionysius, regretting giving him her throne with every bone in her body.
The other five immortals looked on in shock and dismay as they witnessed one of the most honest members of the council be banished, but none more so than Athena. She refused to let go of her brother. Perseus gave his sister a soft kiss on the forehead as they both grieved the loss of their mother. With the eyes of a man with no courage or hope left, Perseus straightened and looked at the Olympians.
"Today I have witnessed the real feelings of my father, Zeus, and other family members. I hereby relinquish any familial ties other than the ones who have stayed by my side. You shall never see me again." The sight of Perseus in this state broke the hearts of many of his half brothers and sisters as he and Athena vanished in a gloom instead of his usual bright flash.
Silenced filled the expanse, until glares from the six Olympians who abstained from voting were thrown at Zeus as they began to flash out of the now lifeless throne room.
In the shadows one primordial goddess of the sea could be glimpsed crying for one the greatest souls to ever live, wondering if he could ever become a figment of who he once was.
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