A/N: My first attempt at Clash of the Titans fan-fic. Seen the movie dozens of times, the more I see it, the more I love it. I've had this idea playing around in my head for a while and thought that I had nothing to lose by putting it to paper. I use a lot of dialogue from the movie in this chapter, and if I've got some of the Gods wrong, I apologize, I'm taking educated guesses. Please, read and enjoy!
She decided it was worth taking the risk of being locked up again to hear what was being said in the council. She hid in a little alcove behind the door into the Gods' council chamber and throne room, keeping her breathing shallow lest she be detected, and listening intently. So far she hadn't heard much that interested her, but the actual council would not begin until Hermes returned from monitoring the situation in Argos, so she wasn't surprised by the lack of interesting information. Of course, the council chamber was not the only place where one would hear information of interest on Olympus, but with the unfolding situation in Argos and the behaviour of the people there, she wanted to hear what the Gods had to say.
She heard the sound of someone approaching and automatically shrank back, despite the fact that she was well hidden, as Hermes strode down the corridor. He looked troubled, the messenger, and the girl's ears pricked up, now the information would come. Hermes stopped at the entrance to the throne room and addressed the assembled Gods.
"Our temples are burning," he said gravely. "The colossus has fallen."
"I can feel it," the girl heard her father speak up now. "We grow weaker by the minute."
"Speak for yourself," a rough voice said. Ares?
"Apollo's right," Artemis spoke up in defence of her twin. "We all feel it, this weight, the weight of time."
If the Gods knew anything of time, the listening girl thought, they would have expected something of this nature to happen. They treated the humans who worshipped them like slaves and still expected their love. The rebellion in Argos was not the first of its kind, nor would it be the last if they continued with their ways unchanged.
"We've brought this on ourselves," said Hera.
"We provide for them," Poseidon said. "Sustain them."
The girl didn't think that the humans toiling away in the fields would agree with that statement.
"And enjoy their wives," Hera said in a sly, condescending voice.
The listening girl stuffed her fist in her mouth to stop herself laughing. Hera made a good point, the Gods always did seem to be chasing after some married woman or other.
"How is it that we've become so vulnerable to these nothings?" Poseidon demanded. Even if the girl hadn't recognised his voice, she would have recognised his manner of speech. Poseidon was dismissive of the humans, but he was also wrathful and petty. He remembered every slight against his name and woe betide the human who went to sea without sacrificing to him.
"They've learned how to hurt us," Aphrodite said, as if it should be obvious.
"We should descend on Argos tonight, take our vengeance now!" Poseidon's voice rose as he suggested a plan of action that appealed to his violent nature.
"Sate the wolves with their blood!" someone cried out in support of the sea God, the listening girl at the door could not catch who it was that said it.
"You'll just drive them further away," her father spoke again, a voice of reason. "You'll chase any love they have from their hearts."
"Their love feeds us," said the quiet voice of Athena.
"They're tearing down our deities, would you wait until we have been reduced to dust? Apollo," the tone of Poseidon's voice changed and the girl knew that he was about to do with Poseidon did best: insult another God. "Is that sword of yours just a toy?"
She heard movement from inside the council chamber and wondered if her father had responded physically to Poseidon's insult.
"Even you are too weak to do as you suggest, Poseidon," Aphrodite said, putting an abrupt end to Poseidon's violent imaginings by pointing out this inconvenient fact. The girl at the door was interested in that, it would appear that the rebellion in Argos was having an effect on the Olympians that previous wars against them hadn't. She wondered why that was.
Two goddesses, she wasn't sure which two, spoke then in quick succession.
"The old ways aren't working," one pointed out.
"We could reach out to them," suggested another.
The girl didn't have to have experienced the wrath of Zeus herself, because it would be Zeus who made the final decision, to know that he would never agree to reaching out to the humans after they had rebelled against him.
"An accommodation could be made," her father said, appearing to like the idea of a peaceful resolution. "A truce."
"No!" Zeus, her grandfather, spoke out now for the first time, and the girl heard the sound of his fist crashing down on his throne. There was silence in the council chamber as the Gods and Goddesses waited for their king to speak. "I created them," the girl heard her grandfather say. "And they reward my love with defiance! There will be no truce!"
She was unsurprised to hear this response from Zeus, he could be just as ruthless of Poseidon when it came to any slight against him. But, the girl supposed, this wasn't really surprising, considering that Zeus and Poseidon were brothers. As she thought this, she noticed a sudden drop in temperature, this caught her off guard because Olympus never got cold. Not that things such as hot and cold bothered the Gods, but their mountain was always in eternal spring, so cold was a rarity. She shivered and then heard an unfamiliar voice that made her skin crawl say, "Finally, some rage from you."
Watching from her hiding place, she looked at the hunched figure moving towards the council chamber. It was a man, or, more correctly, a God, but it was no God she had seen before. He wore armour like the Olympians, but his was rusting and badly cared for, it did not gleam like the armour of the other Gods. His hair was long, grey and mattered and his voice was weak, as if he had not used it for some time. Who was he? She knew he was not from Olympus, she had seen all the Gods who lived on Olympus.
"How long has it been?" the strange God asked Zeus in his skin-crawling voice. "How long, brother, since you've seen my face?"
Brother? But if he was the brother of Zeus then he could only be...
"Hades," Zeus said in a quiet voice.
Hades! What was Hades doing here? The girl shuddered and pressed herself further into her hiding place. The Lord of the Underworld was in Olympus, but why? What purpose would it serve? He knew he was unwelcome.
"Endless years, I've watched from the Underworld," Hades wheezed, "and saw your wrath tempered with love, your glory dimmed by their pride. You created them for one reason, so their prayers would fuel our immortality, but... you love them too well. You coddle them. While you've begged for their love, they've grown strong, and now, I am forced to rise, because we are all threatened."
His voice might make her skin crawl, but the girl had to admit that Hades was brave speaking to Zeus like that. But, perhaps he only spoke that way because he was the brother of the King of the Gods. The only other person she'd ever heard speak to Zeus like that was Hera, and she was both sister and wife to Zeus, so she could speak as she pleased.
"Brother, I took revenge for you and I saw terror in the mortals, and in it I saw the answer," Hades went on. What was he doing? Why was he here and both boldly speaking out against Zeus and pandering his ego? It made no sense.
"What do you want, brother?" Zeus asked Hades, still in that same quiet voice. The girl was surprised that her grandfather didn't reprimand his brother for speaking to him the way he had, he always gave Hera a very public telling off when she spoke out against him.
"Let me loose upon them," Hades said and the girl shivered again. Indeed, he must be the brother of Zeus, he seemed just as prone to violent revenge as the King and his other brother were. "They will pray again, and you will bathe and their awe and fear."
The girl thought back over what she knew about Hades, wondering how he would propose to inspire 'awe and fear' in the humans. He would certainly have no trouble inspiring fear, all he would need to do was speak to the men of Argos and they would tremble. She knew he was the brother of Zeus and Poseidon, and that he had played some role in defeating Atlas and the Titans during the war that had brought about the reign of the Gods. She didn't know what role he had played, her tutor had always skimmed over Hades when he told of the war between Gods and Titans, instead telling her of the glorious deeds of Zeus and Poseidon during that battle. Hades didn't seem particularly powerful either, if his wheezing voice and stooped posture were any indicators. So how did he propose to accomplish this feat?
"He belongs in the Underworld, not here," she heard Apollo speak out, the disgust in his voice evident.
"You do not tell me where I belong," Hades told him, appearing to dislike Apollo as much as Apollo disliked him. He then continued to address Zeus, "You say it is love that feeds us, but you depend on their love. I've only learned to live on their fear, their pain."
The listening girl shivered again. Surely, she thought, her grandfather would order Hades from the council chamber, as angry as Zeus was, he could not be listening to this!
"Zeus," the voice of the God was quiet and it took a moment for the girl to recognise it as Poseidon's. "Our brother speaks the truth," the sea God went on, "hear him."
There was silence for a moment before Zeus said, obviously taking to Hades, said, "Go, do what you will."
"Father, we need the mortals," Apollo addressed Zeus, his tone warning.
"No, Apollo," Zeus silenced him. "Hades is right, their insolence has a price. My children," he addressed the majority of the council now, "they need to be reminded of the order of things. Set an example, brother," he was now speaking only to Hades, "turn them on each other and back into our arms."
"They will pray again," Hades said in his skin-crawling voice. "Their prayers will come."
The hidden girl watched as Hades came back into view again, leaving the council chamber. For one, heart-stopping moment, she could have sworn his dark, pitiless eyes gazed at her in her hiding place, but if he saw her he made no acknowledgement. After he left, nothing of further interest was said in the council and Zeus dismissed the other Gods. The girl watched as they all walked by her hiding place, holding her breath and hoping that she wouldn't be noticed. If any of them caught her here she would be punished, probably locked up, and she would have to find a new hiding place if she wanted to eavesdrop on the council again. She waited until the last of the Gods had walked unknowingly past her hiding place and, when the corridor was silent, she slipped out from behind the door and breathed a small sigh of relief. She hadn't been spotted.
"My lady!" someone called and she jumped, startled, but unafraid, she recognised the voice. She turned and saw her attendant and protector, the warrior-nymph Chrysanthe, standing in the corridor. The nymph had clearly come through a side door, and she was staring at Euthalia with a politely exasperated expression on her face.
"Have you been eavesdropping on the council again?" she asked, but her eyes were sparkling with mirth and her smile was broad.
"Who, me?" the girl teased her friend. "Never! How could you accuse me of such a thing, Chrysanthe?"
"What are we going to do with you, my lady?" the nymph asked, then she became serious.
"Come, we should go, if you are caught by Zeus or your father, any of the Olympian twelve, for that matter, you will not escape unpunished."
The girl had no desire to remain any longer in the corridor, and she followed her friend through the side door and into a passage usually only used by the attendants of the Gods. The passageway eventually led outside, into a courtyard in front of the palace of Zeus and Hera. The girl had rooms here, as this was where she lived, and, with Chrysanthe now walking a pace behind her, she went up the front steps and entered the magnificent palace. She didn't linger in the entrance hall, but slipped quickly through a side door and through a maze of passageways to reach her quarters. She and Chrysanthe entered through the door and the nymph closed the door after herself and her mistress. The quarters they had entered were a comfortable size, not too large or too small. Weavings depicting the glorious deeds of the Gods adorned the walls, the floor was an uneven patchwork of dull coloured stones and couches and low stools adorned with bright cushions were dotted around the room. A shelf mounted on the wall was strewn with arrows and a shining silver bow hung from a hook in the wall beside the shelf. Off in an alcove was a bed, a cool blue and green weaving spread across it. A loom stood off to one side, baskets of different coloured wool scattered around it. The girl settled down on one of the couches, draping herself across it, and Chrysanthe perched on one of the stools.
"Did you hear anything of interest?" the nymph asked her mistress.
The girl glanced furtively around, as if worried one of the Gods was going to pop out of unexpected place, before lowering her voice and saying, "Hades appeared."
"The Lord of the Underworld!" Chrysanthe said. "But he is not welcome on Olympus, surely."
"If my father's reaction was anything to go by, then this is true," the girl told her friend and attendant, "but grandfather seemed..." she considered her words before saying, "He was not pleased, but he was not adverse to Hades entrance, either. He was certainly willing to go along with Hades's plan."
"May I ask what that plan is?" Chrysanthe said.
The girl nodded. "Hades is just as unforgiving as his brothers, he asked grandfather for permission to be 'let loose' upon the men and women of Argos. He said that he would make them pray again."
"And how does he propose to do that?" Chrysanthe said, her low voice incredulous. "The mortals hate no God more than they hate Hades, he is the Lord of the Dead and death is what they fear most."
The girl was silent for a moment before she said, "My grandfather is blind, I think, and foolish."
"Do not say that too loudly, my lady," Chrysanthe cautioned. "Zeus will lock you up again."
"But it is true," the girl insisted, but in a voice barely louder than a whisper. "Who has ever made a wise decision in anger?"
"Who has ever spoken a wise word when discussing those they do not like?" Chrysanthe said warningly. "I care deeply for you, my lady, but I will not let you speak insults and treason."
The girl slouched lower on her couch, her face clouded. "Am I a prisoner?" she questioned. "A slave? May I not speak my mind?"
"You are neither a prisoner nor a slave, my lady," Chrysanthe said. "You are Euthalia, daughter of Apollo and granddaughter of Zeus, and you may speak as you wish if you are willing to accept the consequences for doing so, which, I may add, you are not."
"How do you know that?" Euthalia challenged. "Perhaps -"
"Because you never go quietly to your punishments, my lady," Chrysanthe interrupted, a wan smile on her face. "Those who accept the consequences of their actions go quietly when they are caught, you do not."
Euthalia had to admit that her friend was right. She told Chrysanthe so and the nymph gave a rakish smile. The two then fell about talking of other matters, matters that seemed trivial and unimportant given the gravity of their previous discussion.
A/N: I don't know how long this story is going to be, or how regularly I will be posting, but I intend to cover the whole movie. I am open to all feedback, so please review and tell me what you think.