Hello ladies and gentlemen, my name is MetalGearMantis, but for those of you who read 'The Last Spartan", you will know that once operated under a different pen-name, and that thanks to several ignorant people, I decided to abandon that account and start again.

And so here we are.

Now that I am officially finished with my exams, I have now got a tone of free time which I plan to use in order to re-post and re-work this story alongside my other works (which, if you like this, you will more than likely also enjoy).

So sit back and read…

And let the journey start again.

(Unknown Forest, Near Sparta, 1100 BC)

The air was still and cold that night, a rare occurrence given the fact that the sea resided a little over a mile away and was as restless as a town on the eve of war. The waves lapped against the shore and lingered as long as they possibly could, almost like a young child clinging to their mother for dear life, slowly changing the plethora of golden colours that created such a wondrous part of nature a sickly golden brown that even the most unobservant of people would be able to see as un-natural...

Several miles away, deep in the heart of the verdant green woods, the peace of the night was disrupted by the angered and indignant shouts of a band of thieves, murders and soldiers as they shattered branches underfoot with a sickening crack and the leaves tore from their resting places on the luscious, chocolate-brown branches like paper. Screams and shouts could be heard as well as the murderous clash of steel upon celestial bronze as a family fought to protect the last hope of maintaining its legacy.

Another blood curdling scream ripped through the silent forest as the creatures of the night fled to their homes as they listened to the voices of dying men and women as the murderous sounds crept through the forest like the voices of ancient ghosts that had been disturbed from their never ending slumber.

Finally, the young woman who had been running none-stop for hours on end finally keeled over in exhaustion as she felt her legs give from underneath her, the acute pain shooting through her legs, making them feel like they were on fire whilst her chest felt ready to burst from the strain she had placed upon her lungs for so long. Her eyes stung as the tears she had let flow unchecked for the past few hours finally made their presence known to the young woman who so desperately needed rest; but knew she would find none where she was, even though it was so beautiful.

The young woman had landed in a small clearing no wider than seven or eight metres and was about as long, with soft, verdant green grass coating the entire area as leaves slowly began to fall like the starting drops of a winter's rainfall, their beautiful golden brown leaves reflecting the small light the stars above the woman cast down upon the earth, as if trying to offer what little support they could to the girl. In the middle of the clear was a small pool filled with crystal clear water, shimmering and shifting in the starlight cast down upon it as almost as if the very water itself was restless at the events transpiring in front of it... so close yet so powerless to stop the inevitable.

The woman finally managed to find an ounce of strength within her body to allow her to slowly began to crawl towards the water's edge, her throat burning from thirst, as if Hephaestus himself has set fire to her mouth as she slowly but painfully used her hands and knees to make it over to the side of the small pool.

For a few seconds the woman considered trying to attract his attention here, but knew all too well that even if she did, there would be little he could do if she did not keep moving until she finally reached the one places that he could protect her from, the one place that she could save her young child from the unholy wrath that had been sent against her and her baby boy. Slowly as she looked over the water, the young woman finally found it within herself to stare into the heart of the water to examine the extent of the damage done to her as she ran from the murderous animal that demanded her sons head on a spike.

Her long and normally silk like chestnut hair that flowed like a river down to the middle of her back was no longer luscious and beautiful but instead matted with blood and stuck together by sweat, whilst several twigs and other pieces of forest rubbish stuck to her hair like leeches. The young woman slowly ran her hands over the opposite arm as she examined the hundreds of scrapes and bruises she had sustained, the bruises blacker than the shadows that threatened to consume her both physically and mentally whilst her crimson red blood flowed like a waterfall from the numerous cuts, turning her arms from their normally gorgeous tanned colour to a horrific mix of blood and darkened flesh. She continued to examine her body as she looked to her dress and the numerous tears and holes that now riddled it like arrow holes whilst blood poured slowly yet steadily from the various cuts and gashes the young woman had sustained on her journey thus far.

Eventually, when she reached her face after a few seconds, the young woman could not help but let forth a fresh batch of tears as she examined her face. Once considered the beauty of the city of Sparta, the young woman could have easily passed for a queen rather than just a low-level noble. Her cheekbones rested high on her face, high enough that they gave her full and smooth cheeks but low enough that they did not stretch the skin beyond what was necessary like a deer's skin on a leather makers rack. Her chin was defined and came to ever such a slight point, the skin again naturally stretched perfectly over the features of her lower face. Her nose was perfect in every single way, not a single nook hindered the perfection of the straight line that was her noses bridge, whilst the actual nose itself curled up ever so slightly towards the end, giving her another feature that screamed nobility when one glanced in her direction. Her forehead was perfectly proportional to the rest of her body, just like everything else. Her lips were a luscious deep red that so many women yearned for but no matter how many times they applied their make-up, they could never come close to matching the natural beauty of the woman many men in the city would have fought to the death over or abandoned their wives and children so that they might marry her. But despite all of this, there was one part of her body that stood head and shoulders above the rest whilst leading people to believe that she was a goddess and not a mere mortal woman...

That part was her eyes.

They were unlike anything the world had ever seen, a deep, luscious, sea-blue that seemed to be almost as deep and powerful as the oceans around Greece themselves. And unlike most sets of eyes of the time which burned with a fierce hatred and malice towards others, inspiring fear into all they glanced upon. But instead, these eyes showed a woman full of compassion and love towards her friends and family whilst also displaying a kind nature towards others as well. But also, these eyes showed a fierceness that even Ares himself would struggle to match if one of her loved ones came under threat from anyone, be they a man or a god, immortal or invincible, those eyes showed that no matter who hurt her loved ones, they would all meet the same sticky end as any mere mortal man would.

But today, all her eyes burned with was a fierce hatred for her attackers and fear for her son's future.

The day had started out as it normally would, the young woman's husband would kiss her goodbye before he set off to lead a patrol around the city for the best part of the day until evening came and dinner would be ready. She had stayed at home that day as she continued to cuddle her son and spend as much time with her son as possible before he was finally taken away and subjected to the same torturous treatment as any other young male Spartan child as the city prepared him to become the ultimate warrior.

A soldier without equal.

Even now, plans had been drawn up by the family as the prepared to name the child, but the young woman was hardly going to let a bunch of old fools decide upon the name of the child she had bought into this world almost at the cost of her own life. No, she would be damned before such a thing could happen. The rest of the day had been spent arguing with Gerdus's father, Risusus as they debated on what the child should be called. They argued for hours until her husbands hurried return with blood covering his body...

That was when all Hades broke loose.

The assassins attacked the family house without warning as they broke into the house and began butchering the family...one member at a time. Each blood stained sword earning its colour after it cut a defenceless member of the family down...the rich blood flowing onto the floor as if it were the blood of any other family in Sparta.

"RUN!" Was all Adriana heard her young husband scream as he threw himself at the assassins to buy her the time needed to get to the sea where her child's real farther could protect her...but that was only if she could reach the sea before the murderers reached her first.

Adriana slowly looked down to her chest where the only thing that mattered to her in the world rested peacefully after his grandfather had put him to sleep. The child was as bald as the old man and was only four months old...but even so, for a mortal who could see through the mist, Adriana could feel the raw and untamed power of the boy's farther slowly roll off of him in waves that every beast in Greece seemed capable of sensing. Even though the power the boy wielded would be but a shadow of what he would command if he got to grow older than a few months, it was still terrifying to think such a small baby would be so damned powerful.

"My precious little darling, even if Zeus comes after you himself, I will protect you and get you to your fathers safety..." She whispered into the child's ear...even though she knew that her love was prohibited from interfering with his son's life, Adriana hoped she would be able to convince him that the boy had done no wrong and deserved the protection of his father until he knew how to survive properly in the outside world. After all, no laws stated he could not at least offer indirect protection to his own son, regardless of how he viewed the laws of Olympus.

Suddenly, Adriana was bought out of her tender moment with her son when she finally realised that the shouts and screams of her pursuers were no longer being carried on the winds like the whispers of the ghosts of the forest. No, she had realised that these taunts and shouts were full-bodied and loud, each and every last letter as clear as the next one, their venom filled words and gold driven swords slowly growing louder and louder with each and every passing second, meaning the worst possible thing for Adriana and her baby son...

They were getting closer.

"BRING THEM TO ME ALIVE! I WILL CUT THIS LITTLE BRATS' HEAD OFF BEFORE THAT DAMNED WHORE AND TEACH HER A LESSON FOR DARING TO CROSS ME!" Screamed the voice of the one man...the one thing she hated more than the animals that had murdered her brothers, sisters and husband. Slowly, hatred began to well up inside of Adriana as she considered throwing herself into the small lake in front of her and depriving the animal chasing her of his retribution for refusing the "honour" of sleeping with the God of war and patron of Sparta...and even if she did condemn herself to the fields of punishment, it at least meant that Ares did not get the satisfaction himself.

"No...remember what the Oracle at Delphi stated...he must survive and meet his farther or all hope for Olympus will be lost and the Gods will fall. And I will NOT be responsible for ending the world just because I want to spite a thuggish God of war." Adriana growled to herself as she slowly managed to pick herself up with the little energy she had left along with the adrenaline coursing through her veins. Eventually, Adriana managed to gather enough energy and focus to break back into a slight run/jog as she left the clearing and resumed her journey to the edge of the ocean.

Slowly, darkness fell around the young mother as she continued to pick her way through the thick foliage with a slightly surprising amount of ease as she clambered through bushes using her already ruined arms to shield her family's only hope of continuing on into the annuals of history...the one chance they would have at attaining revenge. Adriana's will-power finally outweighed the sea of utter agony she was in as she forced her muscles to keep on working despite their screaming protests and the constant flood of pain that they subjected her too.

But she kept running.

It seemed like an age, the voices slowly growing quieter and quieter before turning back into the whispers she had heard when she first broke into the clearing where she had rested, their ice-cold undertones slowly fading from Adriana's ears as she continued to run through the slowly thickening forest, desperate to find a way out...but she was tiring. He legs were now screaming in protest and the muscles felt ready to tear themselves from her body. Her entire figure screamed in agony and protest and the prospect of having to keep on going, and whilst this would normally not be an issue for the resilient Spartan woman... the trouble for Adriana was that her mind was listening, and slowly but surely her body was beginning to win the battle.

'I can't keep going...we're not going to make it.' She thought to herself as she burst through yet another treeline to a wondrous and somewhat curious sight.

Adriana had stumbled into another clearing, this time the entire area was drowning in a sea of golden and brown leaves as they slowly fell from their host trees as they shed their load for the coming winter like a gentle winters snowfall. But unlike the first clearing...this one was already occupied by others.

A small fire burnt in the middle of the clearing, a soft crackling sound like leaves underfoot now audible to Adriana over her beating heart, the soft golden and orange glow of the fire a comforting and inviting sight as the flames pranced and flowed like the most elegant of dancers, the movements fluid yet also raw and beautiful on a level that was beyond intellectual scrutiny, as it was simply impossible to argue otherwise.

Around the dancing flames were three hooded people who had yet to notice her presence within the small clearing.

The first was clearly a man. He seemed to be somewhat slightly built but the confidence in the way the man held himself spoke of great power and ability from his position underneath his worn, black and tatty cloak. The second was shorter than the first and also very slight of frame, indicating that it was a woman who resided underneath the tatty green looking cloak. The final person looked like a child sat at the campfire with its parents, but the power she radiated and the way she held herself like the other two indicated one thing and one thing only to Adriana.

'They're Olympians.'

Slowly the three figures noticed a fourth person was now in their clearing, their aura slowly growing more and more powerful as the young Spartan woman made her way over to the three gods, her tired legs almost giving out with every last gods damned step that she took. It was painful...but not as painful as the guarded looks she was gaining from the three Gods as they stared at the mortal from underneath their hoods.

Finally, one of the deities' spoke.

"Who are you?" The man snarled in a voice that almost made Adriana drop dead from fright. It was cold and dead, almost as if it were the very wings of death fluttering against her ears, the words of the immortal being echoing in Adriana's ears for what felt like an eternity, but in actuality had only been several moments.

Just before Adriana could reply, a second voice spoke up, in an attempt to stop the male god from doing something foolish.

"Peace brother, the child that woman carriers is born to be either our saviour or our downfall, so treat the boy's mother with respect in these final moments!" Snarled a second voice that seemed calm and in control, but also filled with a stiff and very clear warning to the first character. Surprisingly the voice had emitted from the child like figure still sat hunched on the ground.

Finally the third person scoffed before speaking, "You truly believe that this is the child of the prophecy? He is millennia early...unless..." The third figure slowly raised a cloaked hand to her hidden face as she slowly lost herself in thought.

"I am Adriana, wife of Gerdus, captain of the Spartan militia. Please help me! My child is all I have left and all I wish is for him to accomplish whatever it was that the oracle of Delphi seems to believe he must do." Adriana croaked as she slowly fell to one knee a few metres from the three Olympians after slowly wandering closer whilst they conversed. The first figure turned his gaze from the other two cloaked God's before speaking.

"Who is the boy's farther?" He asked in a somewhat more less threatening tone...but it was still non-the-less terrifying. Adriana froze for a second, knowing that her next words could either lead to her child's death or his salvation. Olympians' were notorious for their rivalry, and as such she just had to pray and hope that the god's in question were friendly to her son's father.

"He is the son of Poseidon. His mortal step-father was the Spartan warrior Gerdus. He has received the blessing of Sparta and...and..." Adriana was close to finishing before slowly fell backwards, the stress and pain slowly catching up to her. She expected to hit the floor with a heavy thud but was surprised as she fell onto a soft and deep pile of golden and brown leaves.

"Rest, daughter of Sparta whilst we discuss the issue." The elder woman stated as she and the other two Gods quickly began whispering to one another, the words unclear but their meaning obvious...

Eventually after what seemed like an eternity, the man spoke.

"I cannot save you as none of our powers work on Mortals, and our laws would disallow any action anyways." This caused Adriana's resolve to falter slightly; had she really run all this way and lost everything to that bastard, only to be denied at the last minute? The way the god spoke suggested that even her precious son would be beyond his aid. She was ready to scream to the heavens in frustration, and finally give up; but she was stopped by the very same voice that had seemingly denied her final hope.

"But I can save the child."

Those words caused Adriana's heart to soar with joy, but before she could voice her thanks, the man's deathly voice interrupted her.

"However, there are two things you must do for the boy," the God paused briefly, giving the young woman to nod her head in understanding, "...The first is to give him your blessing..." He told Adriana in a voice holding neither love or compassion...or any emotions for that matter. But Adriana knew better than to deny the order of an Olympian. The young mother looked down at her young child and felt a stinging pain creep into her heart. She knew what the man's next words would be and she knew who he was...but in all honesty she could not think of a better man to look after her young son. But that was when an obstacle arose.

She had yet to name the boy as per her husband's family traditions. She knew that the family normally picked a name after five months with a small ceremony at the main family home, with the name being agreed upon by everyone. That responsibility had finally fallen all onto Adriana's shoulders...it was both worrying and comforting at the same time. Comforting because Adriana knew that she could finally name the child what she and her husband were pleading with her husband's father to name him for almost four and a half months...and finally, now he was gone, she could name the boy that. But then there was also the fear that the wrong name could make the child look foolish as he fought the enemy and earned eternal glory for the sake of the Gods... and Kleos was worth nothing if one did not have a name worth remembering.

But then again, the name of arguably one of Greece's most powerful and famed Demigod's would be more than great name to name her own child. After several tense seconds, Adriana decided upon the name of her child that would lead Olympus to glory...or die trying.

"I give you my blessing...Perseus." The young mother whispered as she managed to crane her head to kiss her son. The man sighed slightly, almost as if he was relieved over the fact she had finally reached her decision before speaking again.

"Secondly, I need you to agree to allow me to adopt the boy and turn him into my own son. He will receive all of the powers and privileges of a true son of my realm. He will lead its forces when the time is right as he avenges the sins of those who wrong others over the course the time of his reign. He will become the one thing the God's fear..." The man paused for a second as if to allow himself a chance to build up some sort of dramatic tension, "...he will become powerful. More powerful than every Demigod who has ever lived! He will become my crown prince. My heir and son."

Adriana felt her entire mind freeze at the god's words.

'I have to give up my baby boy?'

Adriana had expected those words from the god, but even as she tried to rationalize the situation, the more passionate part of her mind fought back.

She couldn't do that, she would rather drown herself and the boy than let anyone take him from her. She had been the one to carry him and nurture him as he grew within her womb; she had been the one to give birth to him and bring him into this world. He was as much a part of her own soul as her mind was: the bond that they shared was completely inseparable and unbreakable. Call it motherly instinct or just plain mortal stubbornness but she was not willing to just surrender her son to a god, no matter the situation. It hurt her to even be apart from him at night when he slept, so to live for an eternity without seeing her son, despite knowing how close he would be….. it would be like ripping her own heart out.

'I can't do it. I promised Gerdus that I wouldn't let anyone take him away from me… and I don't want to leave my precious baby boy with someone who may abuse him because of his powers and potential… but….'

But she knew it was for the best.

No matter how much she wanted to scream about it, to curse to the heavens themselves with words as powerful and damaging as the thunderbolts of Zeus, she knew deep down in her heart that she had no choice. Her son was destined to do great things for the world, and no matter how much she wished it was not true, nobody but the god in-front of her would be able to ensure that her precious baby boy was able to turn his flame of potential into a roaring inferno of power and skill that would see him safely through his battles.

'In the end, the needs of the many must outweigh the needs of the few. I will be endangering the entire world if I don't send him away; and as much as it pains me to admit it, it's the right thing to do regardless. To harm my baby boy just because I am too selfish and spiteful…I can't do it. I just hope that this is the right decision to make.'

Raising the still sleeping bundle to her lips, Adriana gently pressed her lips against the baby's forehead, gently kissing him so that she did not disturb his dreamless slumber. And as she did so, she attempted to convey every last feeling that she could to her precious child.

The joy of him simply being a part of her life, if only for a while.

The excitement of seeing his first few birthdays passing.

The pride she felt due to her knowledge of the great man he would eventually become.

She attempted to convey this alongside so many other emotions and thoughts; each one more important than the last. But above them all stood one, clearing the torrent of thoughts by miles.

And that was love.

The love that only a mother could give her son; even if it was only for a fleeting few seconds.

'At least I'm able to say goodbye, I suppose. Most women in Sparta don't get this kind of luxury; I should be thankful for getting this chance.'

Adriana had a rough idea of what sort of journey her boy was about to embark upon...and she couldn't help but feel the pride well up in her slowly dying body as she uttered her final words.

"I allow you to adopt my only son, my lord...turn him into the hero I and even the great city-state of Sparta could never hope to..." The woman whispered as she slowly felt the last of her life-force drift from her body.

"Lord Hades"

1187 - Modern day Israel, Outside the city walls of Jerusalem, Sultan Saladin's tent.

The young man in the room looked at his face in the small mirror he had bought with him from the palace in the holy city of Acre almost a year ago. It seemed like an eternity since he had begun his rise to power amongst the Sultans and warlords who ruled the middle eastern area he had been forced into...and in all honest truth it had been an eternity. The young man could not help but chuckle quietly to himself as he finally bought his dead gaze to look into the mirror, expecting to find something different about his face, but he knew the price he had payed to become the one who would eventually save the world prevented him from changing naturally unless it was a glorious war wound.

Even though he looked thirteen, he stood at an imposing 5'10 – 5'11 tall. His body was built like the strongest of men on the planet, lean yet incredibly powerful and completely muscular, not an ounce of fat could be seen on his well-toned if somewhat horrifically scared body...each one a painful reminded of being careless in the face of the enemy.

His arms seemed to be made of rock as well as his nerves...but it was the face that drew the attention of all those who had seen the young man without his helmet or mask.

His face almost screamed royalty to all who had seen it. A mop of jet black hair that naturally spiked backwards occupied his head. His cheekbones were high enough that they stretched the skin upon his face so that they appeared full but not too full or too ghastly and thin. His chin was slightly square but also extremely well-defined, much like his jaw line, again not so much that he looked as if the skin was pulled too tight and his chin looking like the subject of magic or other such means of changing a person's looks, it looked all natural and perfect. His nose flowed down without any form of break or physical distortion which surprised even the warrior as he had been in many titanic battles over the years, and of every bone in his body apart from his back, his nose appeared to be the one thing nobody could ever break.

He smiled inwardly at the small, if somewhat childish achievement as he continued to look at his face. His lips were just like his mother's according to his farther. Perfect in tone and colour in every way: they were small but filled out whilst always tapering into something reminiscent of a sad smile...a look of longing that the warrior knew that even after all of this time...he would never be able to lose. Shaking his head, he continued to examine his facial features as he finally drew his attention to the one thing that even his own farther was terrified of.

And no matter how hard anyone tried to deny it, this part of his face was both beautiful and terrifying at the same time.

It was his eyes.

His irises were a deep, verdant and luscious sea-green most of the time when he was not in his father's realm. They seemed almost as powerful as the oceans themselves, holding untold beauty and horror like the oceans in their depths, the colour a reminder of both his farther and his grandmother. But when looking into his eyes when he was at peace, a deep chestnut brown could be seen, holding a certain level of compassion and love for those the warrior truly cared about, as well as a fierce protectiveness over that which he cared for, which was a select few things.

Other times, or more specifically when in his father's realm or when a great rage burnt within the stoic warrior, his irises would turn as black as the shadows and nights that the warrior called both friend and tool, ally and servant. They displayed his heritage and his position within the city of his farther, and to those who called him both monster and prince, Lord and demon. The colour only beaten in intimidation by the eyes of his own farther. But despite all of this...there was only one more colour that his eyes turned...a colour so terrifying not even his own farther would look at him.

That final colour was the colour of his home city...the city of the perfect warriors.

The blood-red of Sparta.

There had only been three times that his eyes had glowed such a fearsome colour. The first was in his battle with one of his old teachers as his frustration grew simply too great at his inability to beat his mentor. The second was during his first quest issued by his farther following his ascension to partial immortality. The final time was when he was betrayed by her ...

And each and every time, those who had been watching could only stand back and watch in horror as both the gift and the curse of his people finally released itself to his service.

'Stop it Perseus. There's no point in living in the past. Remember it but never dwell in it!'

The young man viciously shook his head as he fought off the horrific memories that the colour of his home brought with it. It had been something his father and mother had helped him control before it could become a major issue and he could descend into the state of madness that even the god of war would find terrifying.

He smiled slightly as he looked at the last few features adorning his face. His skin was as pale as fallen snow and almost as see-through as spring water in the summer time. The only real trouble behind the almost ethereal beauty of his skin was the horrific scars that adorned the young man's face. The first one was a long and vicious scar that ran from the top of his forehead over his right eye before proceeding downwards, barely missing his eye before etching itself painfully into his right cheek. This was then combined with the poorly done and somewhat horrific stitching scars from where an old friend had done the best they could to repair the damage.

The next set of scars though, made the first one look like a small playground graze.

Three horrifically long scars ran down the side of his left cheek, each one still slightly deep and inflamed after the infernal Ladon's interference. They ran perfectly spaced apart whilst etching into his face deeper and deeper before finally cutting so deep that the skin had been forced to reform around the bone until it could slowly fix itself over the years...and even in 1187 the warrior was still waiting for his body to heal.

He smiled before muttering to himself.

"I find it unlikely that lady Aphrodite has been smiling down on me of late." The young warrior finally broke his gaze away from the mirror and to his surrounding tent. The area itself was rather large considering the size of the tents most of the warriors soldiers slept in. Golden lace was woven into the soft silk fabric depicting glorious battles and heroic deeds of both the Sultan and the many heroes before him.

"Each one more deserving of a spot on my tent than a murderer and a fool like myself." The warrior muttered in a voice as hollow and ice-cold as his fathers.

The floor was adorned with a small rug that was a deep, crimson red that the warrior had seen all too often over his long and bloody life, whilst the deep chocolate like brown of the wooden frame of the bed and other assorted bits and pieces reminded him all too much of the verdant green and brown woods around his mortal world home...a reminder of the beauty of his birthplace that he fought for as well as the place his farther had made him his own...

"Pondering the past, Prince Perseus?" A hollow and somewhat nasally sounding voice asked curiously as it rang out from behind Perseus. Unlike many of the voices Perseus had to deal with on a day-to-day basis, this one spoke flawless ancient Greek that Perseus had waited tens of years to hear, especially when it was from such a close friend. "Alecto, you know you can just call me Perseus." There was silence for a few seconds before a light snickering caused the warrior to spin on his heels to grab his first glance of his friend in decades.

The "leader" of the three fury's stood there with her wings gigantic, raven black, bat like wings folded casually behind her back. She stood at about 5'10 but still managed to maintain an intimidating presence despite her lack of height. She had a somewhat slender figure that Perseus knew was incredibly deceptive, as she was incredibly strong for a creature of her size and build as Perseus had found out the hard way after several "incidents" when he was younger, but now the Fury knew her place after many long years. Her hair was pulled back into a somewhat pony-tail that was allowed to slowly flow down to her shoulders.

Her face was very much the same, defined and somewhat reptilian looking almost, her skin a pale white like his own, a bye-product of spending so much time in his father's realm. Her eyes were a crimson red that made her look even more intimidating and terrifying than many of his father's servants. Her ears tapered to a point and seemed almost elf like. Then there were the fangs. They protruded from out of her mouth and rested casually on her lips, almost like a retarded dog that has forgotten to hold its own tongue in its mouth, making her look like a cross between said dog and a very, very, very unlucky vampire.

"Sorry, Perseus, old habits die-hard. Especially when you haven't seen your friend in well over several decades." The Fury retorted with a small, fanged smile as she looked on at the powerful warrior.

"Well you can blame my farther for that. He claims that we must ensure that the Gods do not simply let their children run rampant and destroy a culture that is older than the ones they now back." Perseus replied as he slowly stretched out his upper body by raising his arms so they almost touched the soft silk fabric of his tent.

"Well you cannot blame him. Those fools on Olympus have grown childish and stupid without an Empire or country to truly guide. Athena guides the English and the Holy Roman 'Empire'. Apollo and Artemis remain uninvolved, with the former simply steering his chariot every day and his sister prancing about Europe in search of monsters and demons with her silly man-hating troupe. Zeus resides over the Italian city states as they try to tear one another to pieces whilst his wife mediates over the crumbling Byzantine Empire. Dionysus helps France from time to time whilst Ares simply stirs up pointless wars for the other Gods to have to try to sort out and Poseidon simply sulks in his palace, destroying fleets to pass the time. Only your father has the foresight along with his sister and mother-in-law to do what must be done!" Alecto argued with her friend. And even though she knew she was really preaching to choir, the Fury could see the boy needed some faith restored in his cause. He had been fighting by himself for hundreds of years, so

"Still, it does not mean I have to enjoy putting cities to the sword and digging through the blood soaked past of the evil little bastards the gods spawn every so often," Perseus paused as he placed his head in his hands before sighing and speaking again, "...but enough reminiscing. I take it my father sent you here to help take Jerusalem from that arrogant little son of Zeus?" Perseus asked in a deathly cold voice as he finally bought his head out of his hands and locked gazes with the Fury stood opposite him.

"Of course Perseus. Do you really think your father would let you have all of the fun? He said he would love to join you but he simply cannot given the fact that he is forbidden from interfering. " Alecto replied with a sly smile slowly creeping across her face. Perseus returned the smile and made for the door but was stopped by the Fury. He looked at her with a mixture of confusion and anger until she spoke.

"I think it would be best if you put more clothes on than your loin cloth Perseus."

Said prince of the Underworld stopped and face-palmed as he remembered he was yet to step into his armour. The young prince smiled as he clicked his fingers whilst the Fury snickered at his lack of attentiveness.

Slowly the shadows in the room bent towards the young prince of death and the king of ghosts. The hot, dry, arid air slowly seemed to cool and slowly gain moisture as the shadows were torn from their places as they slowly began creeping across Perseus's body, forming a layer of shadow blacker than the most horrific nightmare. The shadows spread like when the sun's rays finally left the Earth, encapsulating the ghostly white skin until only his eyes remained visible. After several seconds, the shadows quickly began to take shape and form the legendary armour of the faceless Sultan.

The first part to form were his boots. Made of a light-weight Stygian iron alloy, the boots were as black as night and tapered to a slight point in keeping with the areas tradition. Slowly, the leg guards began to form, adorned with golden and silver patterns, the armour itself was arguably becoming a single work of perfect art, as each twirling leaf and each pattern that added itself to the armour slowly added to the almost ethereal beauty of the armour. Finally, the chest piece took shape, a Stygian iron alloy plate-mail solid piece that followed the same ethereal beauty as the rest of the armour, whilst adding a slight silver trim to each edge of the armoured plating. The shoulder pieces were incredibly thin and hardly adorned but still emitted an almost godly feeling.

Then came the helmet.

The first part to appear was the main body of the helmet, the shadows gripping to Perseus's head until they formed the perfect fitting base-helm that would protect him in battle. Next came the golden and silver adorations, each one flowing with a certain amount of ease, the sheer beauty and quality of the armour outclassing any artisan that had ever lived. Finally, once that was completed, the face plate soon formed. Again adorned with silver and gold, the face-plate covered the entirety of Perseus's face, leaving only two narrow slits that emptied into almost perpetual darkness, hiding the face of the Bain of the Crusaders...

Alecto smiled at the visage of the Muslim's greatest leader. The man who, when leading an army, could never be beaten by anyone.

"We should begin. The Christians will not wait for much longer…


Perseus smiled as he stepped out of his tent...

And into his worst nightmare.

(Hade's Palace, 6 am, December 19th, 2010, Crown Prince Perseus's private quarters)

Perseus sprung bolt upright in his bed, letting out a small yelp as his vision blurred from its sudden exposure to light as he stirred from another night of torturous dreams. At first Percy could hear nothing or seeing anything, nor could he feel. His senses were still waking up and recovering from the shock of such a startling awaking.

His mind was an absolute maelstrom of troubled thoughts...it had been almost three centuries since he last dreamt of her. So why he had begun to again was arguably the most troubling of all his confused and lost thoughts as he raked his memory to recall the faintest detail of the dream...and was shocked to find out the only thing he could remember was that he dreamt of her and nothing more.

And that was what was most troubling.

Normally, he could remember every detail of that vile bitches face. How she snorted with laughter at his 'insolence', how he was 'always just a boy' and that he was 'nothing but thorn in her side'.

But no matter how hard he tried, no matter the amount his face turned red with rage and effort, he could not recall a single thing from last night. He could recall nothing save the look on that vile woman's face as she whispered in his ear as his body was crushed under fallen masonry and corpses.

"You cannot stop us."

Percy's face slowly contorted in rage. That woman was the sum of everything he despised in most of the female gender.

Treacherous, lying, deceitful and untrustworthy, his heart almost exploded under the sheer stress his mind was quickly putting on his body. Instinctively, Percy slammed his right fist downwards, smashing into the obsidian bed-side table that once stood next to his bed in his room. Once he had smashed on of the toughest substance on the planet with nothing more than his fists, rage roaring in his ears as he struggled to fight off the curse of his people, Percy began to quickly try and find a way of calming down his thoughts.

Suddenly, a warm presence made itself know as a small feeling of warmth slowly began to creep through the ice-cold veins in Percy's body. At first the feeling was almost non-existent, the sheer hatred of that woman draining Percy of any warmth trying to worm its way into his veins. However, slowly but surely, the bitter hatred and cold loneliness began to fade as warmth slowly began to sweep back through his body.

Slowly, the warmth began to stir Percy's other senses out of their shocked state.

The first back was feeling. And the first thing he could feel was how wet he was from all of the sweating he had clearly (and still was) doing. It made his skin feel damp and uncomfortable, like he was not in his own skin. He hadn't sweated in his sleep to this extent in many long and torturous nights, making him feel even more uncomfortable and irritable than he actually already was... but even with this back he could not pinpoint the location that all of this warmth within was coming from.

Next back was the sense of sound, and much to the surprise of Percy, he did not hear his mother complaining or his father scolding him for breaking the furniture again. The person who was with him was actually shushing him as Percy felt someone gently but sternly forced him back onto his sweat drenched pillow...all the time simply calming the prince of the underworld down with sweet nothings that served to ease the tension from Percy's battle-ready body.

Percy's mind was absolutely racing with this new bit of information now within his grasp.

'Well this is certainly not Hades, I know he loves me but I highly doubt he'd be this openly affectionate. Persephone would have been a little bit more direct and be saying things rather than simply shushing me. Demeter never spends much time down here so that can only mean that this is….'

Percy held his breath in his lungs as he waited to see who or possibly even what was guiding him back to his peaceful and stoic self...

Finally after several more seconds, Percy's vision returned and he was greeted by a familiar face.

A woman no older than twenty-five sat next to Percy on his bed. She had a slender figure and slightly sun-kissed skin that was slightly hidden under a long, flowing brown cloak. She allowed her long, auburn, luscious hair to cascade down her shoulders unchecked like a waterfall. Her face was young and full of warmth and kindness. Her chin and jaw were perfectly proportional to the rest of her face. Her cheeks were slightly coloured red as if her body had applied a natural blusher to them, adding to a sense of natural beauty that the woman carried. Her lips were small in a rather cute way, pursed up into a constant, warm and loving smile that a mother gave to her sons and daughters.

Then there were her eyes.

Her irises were a deep and luscious brown that emitted a sense of both warmth and love, caring and understanding. They belied the gorgeous young face that they resided upon by also showing a level of wisdom and understanding that can only be achieved through many years of walking the realms that both she and Percy existed in...immortal and mortal. The human world and the world of the God's and monsters. Two realms one could only conquer if they had lived and worked in their confines for a long, long time.

But also, the woman's eyes radiated an undeniable power as well...but not like many other like herself. No, unlike many people's eyes, Percy's included at times, which simply spoke of raw power and the devastation it could bring, this woman's eyes spoke of the fierce protectiveness and love for those she held dear and looked after...and spoke of the terrible and unimaginable fury that one would invoke if they crossed the woman or her loved ones.

Percy took only a second to recognise the woman.

"Hey aunty Hestia. Long-time no see, eh?" Percy whispered as he slowly felt the warm glow inside his body increase at the mention of the Goddesses name.

She smiled kindly before speaking in her typical sweet and velvety voice.

"Indeed Percy, a century is a long time not to visit your Aunty now, is it not?" The Goddess joked playful, her smile growing even wider as she finally saw a small smile creep across her nephews face.

"I apologise...but in-case the hearth has forgotten, the last century has been somewhat hectic." He replied as he slowly managed to sit himself up, wincing slightly as he remember the injury he had picked up recently in his ribcage in the form of several broken ribs...the bandages almost invisible against his ghost white skin.

Hestia's eyes slowly began to change from their soft brow to dancing flames, the flicker and movement of each fire as elegant as the most graceful of ballerinas as she realised that Perseus' ribs were bandaged.

"Who did this to you?" she asked in the most level tone she could clearly muster, unsurprisingly agitated by her nephews injuries.

"I got close to a monster trying to drive a car, let's leave it at that, shall we?" He grunted as he slowly managed to force himself upright with a little aid from his aunt.

"Would you like me to..." but before she could ask her question, Hestia and Percy were cut off by the one person Percy could have done without seeing him in this state.

"PERSEUS ODDYSEUS JACKSON, WHERE IN YOUR FARTHER'S REALM HAVE YOU BEEN!" Screeched an all too familiar voice to Percy's left.

"Oh please, God's cut me some fricking slack..." Percy whispered in his mind as he quickly turned to Hestia only to see the auburn haired Goddess shake her head before speaking with a small smile gracing her lips.

"I'm afraid this is one trial you will have to face alone, my champion." She intoned faux-serious tone before disappearing in a glorious eruption of golden and red flames that caused Percy to yelp out in surprise as he literally jumped out of his bed and face first into the floor whilst praying silently that his father's queen had fled.

But to no such avail.

Percy looked up to be met with an all too familiar sight.

The woman looking down upon Percy was truly gorgeous in every sense of the gods damned word. She wore an obsidian black dress that fitted her slender and perfect figure exactly, neither too revealing or too modest. Long raven black hair cascaded down to the woman's perfect waistline, flowing like a river, naturally perfect the entire way down, just like the rest of her.

The woman's lips were a deep, natural red that no lipstick or cosmetic procedure could ever hope to attain. Her cheekbones were situated perfectly on her face, providing both a full look and perfectly smooth and shaped cheeks that were naturally tinted red against the woman's olive coloured skin. Her eyes were a deep brown like Hestia's, but unlike Hestia's, this set of eyes contained nothing but utter rage.

Percy finally managed to snap himself out of his utter shock when the soft tapping of the woman's high-heels finally reached his ears. Percy sighed as he managed to find the courage to let a small sheepish smile cross his lips as he addressed his father's queen, Persephone.

"Oh hey there…. "



That's right ladies and gents.

It's back.

Looking back on this story, there was a lot I was unhappy with as I continued to write it, back under my first pen name; but I never did find the time or energy to do anything about it. The only thing I ever did feel was acceptable in regards to this story was the Prologue; it was short and snappy, but it didn't detract from the gravity of the events playing out (in my personal opinion). However, looking back on it again with much older and wiser eyes, there's a lot that I'm not happy with. I suppose that as a young and inexperienced writer when I was posting the original version, I was so consumed by the problems that I felt plagued the later chapters that I never accepted the problems that were present here.

Re-reading the whole thing, I don't think I ever truly captured the emotional turmoil of Adriana. After all, a schism between a loving mother and first born son is not something I think anyone can ever truly put into words; and I raced through it far too quickly for my liking. But I suppose that is the ignorance of being young when you start in this hobby, I suppose. I was barely fifteen years old when I began writing this story. I was a novice of the art of writing and story-telling, and I think that it showed quite clearly in my work. I wasn't mature enough to truly capture such a complex and emotional scene with my mind, and I feel as if that was perhaps this chapter's greatest failing.

And as such I dedicated several hours to thinking about how to write Adriana's hand-over of Perseus. This scene went through several iterations, and each one felt unsatisfying as I took the path of pure grief or pure anger…. And so I asked my mother what she would feel, if she was in Adriana's shoes.

The response she gave me helped to shape that scene.

I've attempted to capture all of the conflicting emotions of a new mother who is trying to make the best decision for her son: whether I have done so adequately or poorly remains to be seen, but I hope that you guys feel I did a good job with it. F

Following that, I decided that the first chapter and the second chapter actually blended together quite nicely, so I decided to fashion them into one longer chapter (as is typical of my works now).

As you probably noticed, little else has changed with regards to 'The Last Spartan', apart from Spelling and Grammar mostly. I wanted to keep the magic that so many people felt when they PM'd me to talk about the start of this tale; all I did was top it up with a little extra polish where I felt it was needed.

Any ways, that's enough out of me for now. I have other stories to get back to; but I hope that those of you who followed me on my first true foray into this absolutely wonderful community will join me once again as I remould my favourite story into something I can one day be proud of again.

So fave or follow (or maybe even both) so that you can keep up with my re-write, and drop a review by to tell me what you thought about my changes (or just how you feel about the re-boot).