Disclaimer – I do not own the characters. They are credited to Rick Riordan and ancient Greeks. This is in response to a challenge in the forum – CAMP JUPITER.
Chapter 1) – Of Impulsiveness and Power (Red)
Chapter 2) – Of Virtue and Life (Green)
Chapter 3) – Of Serenity and Faith (Violet)
Sisters of the Spectrum
Of Impulsiveness and Power
A lone figure stood on the cliff overlooking Mount Ida, the temporary headquarters of the Gods. Her hawk-like gaze was fixed on the three men conversing with each other in the secret cave. She wasn't close enough to hear everything but her supernatural hearing was strong enough to understand parts of their conversation.
"... Sisters are useless in the War. We have to be the ones who defeat father."
"Brother, be rational. Three Gods fighting against an army of titans, how will you accomplish that?"
"Our sisters are Goddesses. They are powerful in their own right. Perhaps, we should let them fight."
"Don't be stupid Hades, those women are weak. They cannot fight an insect, let alone Titans."
Before the woman could listen any more, a sound broke her concentration. It sounded as if the Earth was collapsing into itself. She turned around and saw that her suspicion was right.
A figure was forming out of the Earth and she knew that only one being had the power to manipulate the Earth itself.
"Lady Gaea, to what do I owe this pleasure?"
The primordial of the Earth stood before her, her feet emerging from the Earth itself. She was wearing a moss-green robe and a circlet of flowers adorning her auburn hair. She was beautiful like an unchanging landscape, a timeless beauty with many hidden secrets.
"Hera" Gaea spoke in an earthy voice "Stop hurting yourself this way. Why do you continue to listen to your brothers speak when you know that there is no way Zeus would let you or your sisters fight?"
With a burning rage in her bright brown eyes, the woman, now identified as Hera spoke in an angry tone, "How can I not listen when I know that my brothers not only insult me and my sisters but the whole of our kind? How can I stay quiet when they call us women powerless? How can they be so crude, knowing that the one who bore them and the one who will bear their children are women?"
"Hera, you have a fiery soul but at your core you are nothing but passionate for truth and righteousness. Remember, child, that you must control the virtue dear to your core or one day, it shall drain you of your very essence." With those mysterious but horrifying words, the primordial Goddess melted back into the Earth.
Hera cleared her mind of Gaea's words. She had to focus on the matter at hand. Her spiteful gaze returned to her brothers. She did not think that they were all bad. She was thankful to Zeus for freeing her and her siblings. She admired Poseidon's carefree nature when he, just like the rest of them, had not experienced a single moment of joy. Most of all, she admired Hades for his righteousness which did not discriminate between anyone.
But she resented them just the same. She resented Zeus for thinking that women were powerless. 'I will show him', she thought. 'I will show him how women were not just equals but stronger than men in many aspects.
Restless, she hastily made a plan. Her brothers had said something about not having enough allies, so she would get them those allies. So what if she wasn't trained in warfare? She could definitely convince someone with her words.
Determined, the Goddess stepped out of the cave. She thought for a single moment about her destination before rushing there. She approached the Cyclopes, the Hecatoncheires, and even walked empty handed into enemy camps to convince estranged Titans to join their cause. The path was not easy, they had attacked her, tried to harm her, but a single burst of energy from her hands would turn enemies into dust.
When Hera finally arrived back at Mount Ida with Prometheus, Themis, Briares, Gyges, Kottos and many more formidable allies behind her, she was finally satisfied with the look of awe on her brothers' face.
"H-Hera, how did you do this?" Zeus asked with an awestruck expression on his face.
With a smug smile, Hera responded- "Why brother? Do you still think women are helpless?"
While her act of bravado had not entirely erased the prejudice against women in her brother's mind, it had definitely managed to garner his attention to her. Only the fates could tell if this was fortunate or unfortunate.
Time seemed to flash by. It seemed as if one day, the Gods were standing without allies but now, with the support of so many, they managed to defeat Kronos. The three realms were divided among the brothers and as claimed by Zeus, each got an equal share.
She vividly remembered the day Zeus had proposed to make her his queen. That day, during the coronation, the Fates had given her the domains of marriage, family and motherhood. Olympus rejoiced at the victory of the gods. As she sat in her garden, tending to her lotus pond, Zeus approached her. He told her how he loved her and would like to make her his forever.
To say the least, Hera was shocked. How prideful could this man be, she thought. He had insulted her all his life and now he expected her to 'become his'? She had straight away refused the proposal.
Zeus looked at her with an angry gaze before storming away. The whole day, clouds thundered and lightning flashed. Hera ignored it, thinking of this as the tantrums of a child denied his sweets. She sat by her window, gazing out into the stormy sky when she felt something strike her on the chest.
She looked down to see that it was injured an injured cuckoo. Hera knew that she could not leave it alone to die and with eyes full of pity towards the helpless creature; she nursed it to her chest. Eyes closed, she began chanting a healing prayer when the sudden feeling of something heavy binding her hands broke her concentration.
She looked down and gasped – Celestial Bronze shackles bound her wrists, rendering her powerless. She tried to fight the excruciating pain, but the shackles slowly weakened her. The last thing she could remember before she collapsed out of exhaustion was the cuckoo glowing brightly and then Zeus standing before her, a cruel smirk on his face and eyes full of retribution.
A few centuries later, when the Queen of Olympus sat on her cold, uncomfortable throne with the weight of the bejewelled crown heavy on her head, she remembered Gaea's words to her. Her gaze which could entice even the unfeeling was now cold and life-less, her brown eyes which had always glowed still held their power but had lost all joy. The fire in her soul had been quenched with centuries of tears and the kind core Gaea had claimed she possessed, was now thawed with hurt and betrayal.
Perhaps, thought the Goddess, Gaea was right. Her kindness had sucked her very essence out of her and now, she had no kindness to give. Not to herself or to anyone else.
AN - I've always felt that Hera is always depicted as villain and wanted to give her a story of her own. I am eager to know your opinion. Be sure to read, favourite, follow and review.