A/N: I know, it's been ETERNITY since I posted, but, I saw Wrath of the Titans yesterday and (truth be told) I didn't enjoy it so much. But it gave my creative juices a kick, so I'm going back to working on this story, and, when it's done, will probably write my own sequel to it. For now, enjoy.
It was early in the afternoon that Euthalia had her vision. She'd had visions such as these since she was a little girl, but none of her attendants had realized that she had a limited version of second sight until she had been about three. Her nurse, a nymph called Aikaterine, had worked it out after thinking back over all the things Euthalia had said that had come true and the dreams that she described. The demi-goddess's second sight was limited, however, as she only saw what was certain, but this meant that her prophecies were always treated with the utmost seriousness, even by the gods. The futures Euthalia saw were set in stone and could not be avoided or changed. She was at her loom, weaving a simple pattern with red and gold wool, when her eyes went dark and she saw a picture unfold in her mind.
The woman was beautiful enough, with dark brown hair, a small nose and wide eyes and lips. Her eyes were blue, a rare colour in this part of the world, and she was dressed in a splendid silver gown with a gold diadem tied around her head. She was seated on a large, golden throne, with two smaller thrones sitting beside and behind it, but they were empty. She was young for a Queen, and to have no King at her side was rare and unusual. There was some sort of festival going on, the sounds of merry reveling carried through the hall, but they were silenced when the Queen stood up and raised a hand.
"People of Argos -" she began.
The picture faded and Euthalia shook her head as her sight returned. What had that been about? Usually, what she saw in her futures was related to the people, or, more correctly, the gods she knew. But she had never seen the woman from her vision before, and she had certainly been a mortal woman rather than an immortal goddess. All the vision had told her was that the woman was from Argos, and she knew that Argos was currently at war with the gods, so perhaps this Queen was the instigator? But that couldn't be right, Euthalia thought, as she only saw the future, not the past. She let it go, when it happened she would understand its significance. She returned to her weaving.
It was not an hour later that she had a second vision, an image flashed in front of her eyes and was gone before she really had a chance to see it. She shut her eyes hard, trying to bring the image back to her and it floated on the edges of her mind. It was a man, tall and muscular wearing a green tunic and armour.
The name appeared in her mind as she let the picture of the man go and Euthalia wondered who he was, and if he had anything to do with the Queen from her first vision. His name wasn't familiar to her, so she doubted he had anything to do with Olympus. She continued to weave, but the name played on her mind until, finally, she decided to ask someone if they knew anything about this 'Perseus.' Euthalia turned away from her loom to face Chrysanthe, who was leaning against a wall facing the door, her sharp eyes taking in everything. As Euthalia's protector, Chrysanthe was always close to her lady, it had been so since the demi-goddess had been a baby.
"Chrysanthe," Euthalia said. "Have you ever heard of a man called Perseus?"
Chrysanthe thought for a moment before shaking her head. "No, my lady. May I ask where you have heard the name?"
"It appeared in my mind," Euthalia told her friend, "and I think he did too, but I can't be certain."
"You had a vision of this man?" Chrysanthe asked and Euthalia nodded. "But you have never seen him before?" the warrior-nymph went on.
"That's right," Euthalia said. "I just wondered if he was important, if he was a god or..." her voice trailed away as this new thought occurred to her. She recalled the image of the man from her vision, he didn't look like a God, but he didn't look much like a man either. So perhaps he was...
"My lady?" Chrysanthe prompted and Euthalia looked back at her friend.
"I think Perseus is a demi-god," she said.
Chrysanthe shrugged. "There are plenty of demi-gods in Greece, my lady, you, of all people, should know that."
"Yes," Euthalia said slowly. "But, if he is just another demi-god, why did he appear in my vision?"
Chrysanthe shrugged again. "As frustrating as it must be to you, my lady, I have no answers, particularly not about your second-sight. You would be better to ask your father, he is the God of Prophecy, after all."
Euthalia made a face. "If I tell him what I have seen, he will tell Grandfather, and then the questions will start and, some way or another, they will know that I was eavesdropping on the council."
"Then, if you do not wish to speak of it with someone who might be able to help you, I suggest you let it go," Chrysanthe said reasonably. "The future is a mischievous thing, my lady, changing its mind at the worst of times."
"No," Euthalia said with certainty. "No, what I see always comes to pass."
"Then, sooner or later, you will find out who Perseus is," Chrysanthe said.
Euthalia let the argument go. Chrysanthe was right, she thought, there was no point worrying about it until it came to pass.
Late that night, as she slept, Euthalia dreamed. In her dream she watched as a huge, grey something unfolded itself from the water below her. It was huge, bigger than anything she had ever seen before, and its tentacles were waving about in the air and smashing into the structures that made up a city built beside the sea. Water cascaded from its armoured body as it rose from the depths, supporting its enormous bulk on large, crab-like legs. Its huge arms ended in massive, deadly claws and, finally, it stood upright, the armour on the top of its head unfolding like a cowl being pushed back. It had a huge mouth, bristling with dagger like teeth, and two small, beady eyes. It opened its mouth wide and gave an ear-shattering roar.
Euthalia woke up from her nightmare with a scream.
"Chrysanthe!" she shouted in her panic, fumbling in the dark. "Chrysanthe!"
She heard hurried footsteps and then someone sat down on her sleeping couch the enfolded her in their embrace.
"Shh," Chrysanthe hushed her, stroking her hair as Euthalia buried her head in the nymph's shoulder. "Shh, you just had a nightmare."
The nymph held her mistress for a few moments longer before releasing her and lighting a candle so that they could see better. In the warm glow of the candle light, the monster from her nightmare seemed silly and Euthalia's breathing slowed.
"There now," Chrysanthe said gently, taking Euthalia's hand. "That is better."
"I am sorry if I, if I disturbed you," Euthalia said, her voice a little unsteady. "It was just, so horrible."
"It was just a dream," Chrysanthe reassured her. "Nothing more. It cannot hurt you."
Euthalia smiled weakly. "You are so good to me, Chrysanthe," she said.
Chrysanthe squeezed Euthalia's hand. "I am here to serve and protect you, my lady. I may not be able to prevent night terrors from getting to you, but I can take care of you when you awake."
Euthalia took a breath before releasing Chrysanthe's hand and lying back down on the sleeping couch. Chrysanthe got up with a smile. "I will be right outside if you need me," she said, before leaving the room. As she left, she blew out the candle, darkening the room once more.
The next morning, Chrysanthe shook her mistress awake, her face grim.
"What is it?" Euthalia asked sleepily.
"You said that the name 'Perseus' appeared to you yesterday," the nymph said.
Euthalia nodded. "Yes."
"I found out who Perseus is," Chrysanthe told her, and Euthalia was suddenly wide awake.
"Go on," she said.
"Yesterday evening, Hades went to Argos, just as you said he would," Chrysanthe explained in a low voice. "He said he would..." the nymph swallowed before lowering her voice even further and whispering "...he said he would unleash the Kraken."
A shiver went down Euthalia's back. The Kraken, the monster born from Hades flesh, the creature that had defeated the Titans.
"When?" she asked Chrysanthe.
"In ten days," Chrysanthe said. "He said that, if they sacrificed their princess, they would be saved."
"A human sacrifice!" Euthalia gasped. "But, but that is forbidden! My grandfather had forbidden it. He hates human sacrifice!"
"But, clearly, Hades does not," Chrysanthe said. "But, here is the part you will be most interested in, my lady, Perseus was there. In Argos. He tried to strike Hades, but a woman stopped him, and then Hades called Perseus the son of Zeus."
"Do you know anymore?" Euthalia asked. "Or do we just have Hades's declaration to go by?"
"Hermes confirmed it this morning," Chrysanthe said. "I heard him telling Zeus that there was a demi-god in Argos, and he named Perseus. Hermes suggested that Zeus offer his son sanctuary, but Zeus refused."
Euthalia got up from her sleeping couch and threw a robe around her shoulders. She thought hard. Yesterday, the name of a demi-god she had never met before appeared in her head, and, today, Chrysanthe told her that this demi-god was in Argos. What did it mean? What was she supposed to do? She turned to Chrysanthe.
"I need to speak to Perseus," she said, deciding. "I must find out who he is."
Chrysanthe's eyes widened. "But, how? You cannot bring him here!"
Euthalia smiled, rebellion glinting in her eyes. "I was not planning on bring him here, my friend."
Chrysanthe looked at her mistress, and an equally rebellious smile spread across her face as she realised what Euthalia was thinking. "I take it we are going to Argos," she said.
Euthalia nodded. "We are going to Argos."
A/N: I hope you enjoyed.