Title : Olympian Council (Chapter three)
Summary : Artemis broke her oath. She has to explain her acting in front of the Gods Council.
Thanks to Mr. Riordan for creating these freaking universe and characters; I only own Selene. And to all those who reviewed my previous stuff. Go on guys, I need you!
SLAM!! The massive oak doors opening echoed through the entire room.
Tap. Tap. Tap. The little auburn-haired girl advanced. She was completely unaware of the beauty of the room she was passing. Nor she seemed to mind the twelve enormous thrones making a big U around a big hearth. Nor the eleven sixteen feet sized people sitting in them, gazing at her.
The atmosphere was heavy. Nobody spoke. Only one sound: footsteps.
A feeling of power was running in the air. Despite their height, each man or woman radiated something strong, huge, aged.
The girl knelt in front of the noblest looking man, at the end of the U. His beard was black and white. He was holding a five feet lightning bolt. His throne, all marble and gold, smelled like ozone.
"Good morning, Artemis. I see you came quickly."
"I understood you all had something to discuss with me." She looked in ease, alone between the giant Olympians.
"Don't be silly! You perfectly know what you did! You – "
"Peace, Son." Zeus had raised his hand, the one carrying his symbol of power. "Wait for her to explain why she did what she did. Then you shall accuse her."
Apollo sat again on his glowing gold throne. He looked furious, but did not argue.
"As my brother kindly said, I know what I did. But as my Father and Lord said, I shall explain why I did it."
Nobody broke the silence fallen after she stopped talking.
"First, you all know I once swore an oath, millenniums ago, to stay virgin forever."
A beautiful woman, with long blonde hair, a perfect makeup and shining manicured nails, muttered something in silence. Aphrodite, Goddess of love, still couldn't understand how she ever could have sworn anything like this.
The young girl turned her head to her. "I know, Sister. I had reasons for that. I had reasons for refusing those intercourses you all have with mortals." She looked in the eyes of the woman sat close to Zeus. "Except for you." Her throne was decorated with pomegranates, peacock sculptures, her look sharp like steal, her face rigid and sever looking.
"As Goddess of marriage, I shall never betray my union, nor my husband." Hera looked at Zeus, who staid adamant.
"I had no husband. I will never have any. I only ever loved one man." She turned to her brother. "It is after his death that I swore my oath."
"You killed him." Three words. They made the general atmosphere heavier. Heavier and tensed.
"He was assassinated. I only killed him."
"Didn't we discuss all that point when it happened?" The muscular man who had seemed to be bored since the beginning had just spoken. A brutal voice, like a shout, a bark. "We decided that your brother had just wanted to protect you against that hunter."
"I am not arguing about my brother's responsibility. I am not talking about Orion's death just for a little chat. I am trying to explain what I did. I am defending myself against your accusations." The girl looked offended. Everybody had noticed the first name she had pronounced was the Giant's. Everybody had noticed the way she had pronounced "your".
"We are listening. All of us." This grumpy voice belonged to Hephaestus. The deformed blacksmith was trying to have the argument back on its former topic.
Artemis went on. "Our Lord Zeus witnessed me swearing. It was just after you decided that nobody had really killed my beloved loss. My first point is that I swore after he died. He may not be concerned. I had him immortalized in the firmament."
"This means he was still present. I am not saying I understand everything about stars. Star are somehow impenetrable. Another world different from ours. A world in which we have no place. But a star exists. A star is not dead. You cannot believe you will convince us with that."
"My brother's words are not wrong. I managed to keep him close to me in spite of the Destiny having decided to cut his life." She was still looking right into Apollo's eyes. Tension was fluttering between their looks. "A star has a soul. Part of a soul. We all know the other part of the dead's soul goes to the Underworld in order to be judged. He was partly concerned with my swearing."
"I do not say that any of you is right or wrong. I will just tell you, Artemis, that your argument is clearly not strong enough. You accept the fact that he heard the Oath. That he was aware you would not have any child."
"I do, my Lord. But I would like to ask a question. Has any of you ever thought about the fact that my oath could have been aimed at Orion, for Orion? I am not meaning I swore in order to break my oath. I am just reminding you of the words of this oath. I swore I would never know any man. I swore I would respect my love's death. I swore I would preserve his memory from any man's touching me. Have I broken any of these?"
"This depends on the fact that you count Orion as any man or not. If so, you have broken. If not, you have not broken. I believe Orion was important enough to you for you did not include him in your oath. What we need to know now is what you swore. Exactly." Demeter. Always calm, steady, sober. She represented here the Nature. Peaceful Nature.
"I swear upon the River Styx that I will preserve my body from any touching, in memory to my deepest and only love Orion, giant hunter. I swear upon the River Styx that I will stay virgin forever in memory to the child we could have had. I swear upon the River Styx that I will stay loyal to a fallen's memory."
Thunder broke outside. A deep, strong, thunder. Particles seemed to fill in the atmosphere, already charged with tension.
"We have to agree on the meaning of the word 'virgin'. Apart from this word, I think we can agree with the fact Artemis has not broken her oath. She has stayed loyal to Orion's memory, has not even touched a mortal man."
"Very good point, indeed. For the virgin thing, just ask to all those nymphs. They all say they want to stay virgin when I'm trying to –"
"We already know your habits, Dionysus. We also know that whenever you are there, no nymph can stay virgin, whichever meaning you give to the word." Zeus raised his hand, looking angrily at the middle-aged man, in running clothes. "Besides, the meaning I myself give to the word 'virgin' is – "
"You are not a virgin any more as long as you have children, or a child! This means you are not, sis. You betrayed the giant's – "
"For the last time, Apollo, I ask you to respect everybody's speaking. Do not cut anybody, or I would be obliged to intervene. I am sure you do not want that to happen. Hermes, what were you saying?"
Hermes stood up. He was the first Olympian to do that, except from Artemis, still a young girl by the hearth. He walked to her. Changed into a mortal-sized man. By this, he clearly showed his sympathy to the goddess. The silence was deeper than ever.
"The meaning I would give to the word 'virgin'," He was speaking loudly. Loudly and clearly. "is a woman who has never had sexual intercourse. A woman who has never known any man can be called pure, virgin. A woman who is as pure as she was when born."
Almost everybody nodded. They were agreeing on the meaning. Hermes went back to his throne.
"Yeah, this is. We have a definition. And what have we got more? A child… I can't see many reasons a child could be born."
"I am glad we agree on the major points, brother. I swore I would stay virgin forever, this meaning I would not ever know any man. A child is born last night. But this child is born from light. Born from Orion's soul. Born from Orion's feelings he had for me when he died. Born from love. Love, and emotion. Is this an intercourse? Can stars have intercourses? They belong to another world, we do not. I respected Orion's memory by uniting his memories. My oath has not been broken; I dealt with something older than it. Something created before I swore. Something you have not managed to destroy. Something more important than everything you will try." The girl had kept her eyes closed when she had spoken. When she opened them, they were shining. Not only with tears. There were two tiny points, sparkling like stars in an autumnal windy night. One star. Orion; the giant hunter.
This is it. Artemis has convinced everybody. Even Apollo has nothing to answer to her last sentence. Selene is allowed to live!! More than ever I need your reviews and constructive criticism. Please.