Relics of the Gods
Sitting at their camp Sirosa and Atheas discuss everything that has led them back to Argos, everything from her father’s disappearance to the killing of Medusa. Atheas still cannot get her head around why her father would just leave so suddenly and to steal a drachma from medusa. "What was the purpose of my father wanting to travel to the underworld?" She asks. For hours she sat contemplating his actions. "Why was he involved with Cyrus the Younger, what was that silver coin he held in his hand the night before he disappeared". All questions that needed to be answered. "Look at this" said Sirosa, he was holding a very old and frail book, the paper looked so old it looked like the pages would snap if you held them too roughly. "Where did you get that?" Asked Atheas. "I borrowed it from the library", he replied. "You mean you stole it", Atheas said with a worried sound in her voice, "I will bring it back I promise", Sirosa said. "Anyway, come look at this", Atheas slides over to sit beside Sirosa to look at what he was showing her. he opens the page, and it is a picture of four men and two women, he asks Atheas, "is that the coin your father was holding Atheas?" she looks at one of the men who seems to be holding the exact coin her father was holding only this coin was not in halves, it was complete. "Yes, that is exactly the coin, but who is that holding it?" She asks.
Sirosa closes the book to show her its title and it reads “The Gods of Olympus”. "That is a god? Which god is it?" She asks. "Look closer and tell me who they are" said Sirosa. She takes the book from him and names the Gods in the picture. In the centre was obviously Zeus, tall and strong with his long white hair and his fully white eyes to reflect the skies and clouds, wearing his white tunic and over his left arm, his pendant of a lightning bolt to signify that he is the King of the Gods, to his left she could see Poseidon, God of the seas and brother to Zeus, standing with his trident made of solid gold, dressed in his blue tunic to signify the seas, beside Poseidon, stood Aphrodite, the Goddess of love, the most beautiful of all the Gods and mortals to ever live, she stood with her purple tunic and a beautiful sapphire tiara placed on her head, to the other side of Zeus stood Hades, his brother and god of the underworld, standing with his skin as black as coal from the depts of Tartarus with his helm of darkness covering his face, to the right of hades stood Athena, tall and beautiful with her golden Armor shining in the sun and her shield and spear in hand, her spear was as tall as her and her shield made of bronze and gold, then finally to the left of Athena, the man holding the coin.
she takes a closer look to make sure she knows who he is, she gasps when she realises who it is. "That is the fallen God, Hermes", she said, once known as the messenger of the Gods, standing with his white tunic and golden shoes with his silver coin in hand, she could not believe she was looking at the sight of Hermes with her father’s coin. "If that is the same coin my father had the night before he disappeared, that would mean it belonged to Hermes before him, but I do not understand how my father came to have that coin in his possession and where is the other half of the coin now? Maybe that is why my father is gone to the underworld to find Hermes and the other half of the coin, but why? what is so special about this coin?" she asks.
Sirosa turns to Atheas with a sad look on his face. Atheas he says, "did you spot the object in the background behind Zeus" he asks. She takes one more look at the picture and again gasps at what she sees, "is that what I think it is" she says, behind the Gods, is the throne of Olympus, otherwise known as the Kings seat, and resting in the seat is a shield with silver trimming of Zeus throwing a lightning bolt. "That is your shield Sirosa". "Yes, it is", he replies. "so that would mean your father... is umm Zeus", she asks, "no this is not true", she says with a nervous smile on her face. "is it true Sirosa?" she asks. "I do not know Atheas, but I need to find out the truth". "If Zeus is your father that would make you a demigod", said Atheas. "Let us not talk about it now Atheas, we need to get some rest", said Sirosa. As they both turn over to get some sleep, they both know they will not get much rest after their discoveries today.
The next morning after a restless sleep, Atheas and Sirosa gather their supplies and make their way back to Argos. While walking they discuss the possibility of Zeus being Sirosa’s father, he turns to Atheas and says, "it all fits, it all makes sense now why my mother never told me who he was, why she would be so terrified if I found out and left, Zeus is my father, but I don’t understand if I am half god why do I not have powers like the other gods", "maybe you do", replied Atheas, "maybe you just don’t know it yet, I’m sure if you are the son of Zeus we will find out what power you really have soon enough". As they continue to get closer towards Argos, Sirosa quietly says to Atheas, "I think we are being followed Atheas", she turns and looks all around with a worried look on her face to find no one there, "let us move a bit faster" she says to Sirosa. As their pace quickens, they hear a ruffle behind them in the bushes, "who is that?" Shouted Atheas, "show yourself now". Both Atheas and Sirosa standing with their blades in hand ready for a fight, then suddenly Odysseus, Atheas elder brother merges from the bush behind them bruised and bloodied he looks weak and broken. "Odysseus!" Shouts Atheas with a smile on her face, "brother it is so good to see you", she leaps into his arms and hugs him. "Sister!" he replies, "I have been tracking you for weeks why have you returned to Argos, you were to journey to Mount Olympus, why have you returned here", he asked with a stern sound in his voice, "you were to find father, explain to me why you are no closer to finding him".
Atheas and Sirosa sit Odysseus down and explain everything they have discovered and their reasons for not traveling to Mount Olympus, everything from Medusa’s drachma to Sirosa’s shield and his potential lineage, after hours of talking and explaining, Odysseus is shocked at what he has heard and shakes his head in disbelief, "this can’t be", he says, "you’re the son of Zeus and Ehh in that bag is Medusa’s head", he has to hold himself back from gagging at the thought of a head made of snakes for hair, "and you are now going to the Bottomless Alcyonian lake to find a way to the underworld because you believe that is where father has gone to find the fallen God Hermes, over a silver coin?" Odysseus puts his hands to his face and takes a deep breath, while Atheas and Sirosa wait for his reply they decide to have some lunch.
Soon after lunch Odysseus finally begins to talk to Atheas and Sirosa about their discoveries, "so you wish to go to the underworld" he asks. "Yes", replied Atheas, "will you come with us Odysseus, we could use your help getting to the underworld". "If it will help bring father home, yes, I will help you get to the underworld". So, Odysseus joins Atheas and Sirosa on their journey to the underworld. As they continue their journey to the bottomless Alcyonian lake, Atheas asks Odysseus, "why were you tracking us brother". "I have been tracking you ever since you came to Argos the first time, I was gathering information for the battle of Notium, when I overheard you shouting at a local merchant and he confessed to seeing father outside the walls of Argos, with that I began to follow you, but I lost you when you entered the black trail when I was captured leaving Argos, which is why I am so bloodied and bruised, I finally escaped seven days later and began tracking you again, as I reached the end of the black trail I found your trail again heading towards Athens. I have been watching ever since, when you returned to Argos, I had to find out why you returned, but I am starting to regret my decision now".
They finally reach the city of Argos after days of walking, they decide to rest for a few hours before continuing to the bottomless lake. Odysseus turns to Atheas and Sirosa and explains that when fighting the hydra, they must go for the middle head as the others will just grow two back should they be cut off, "it is the middle head which is immortal, but should we cut it off the others will die also". "Have you ever fought a hydra before" asked Sirosa? With a confused look on his face Odysseus turns to Sirosa and says, "of course not most men who encounter a hydra die almost instantly, which is why we need a perfect attack plan if we are to even get close to this monster. We need to distract all its heads if we are to get a clean shot at the middle head", said Odysseus. "But what if we miss and cut off one of other heads, how are we to deal with that" asked Atheas. "here" said Odysseus, "take this and rub it on your shield and your blade but be very careful make sure it does not touch your skin". "What is it" asked Atheas? "its acid rock" replied Odysseus, "with this we can seal the wounds of the hydra before two more heads grow back but the timing must be perfect if it is not applied as soon as the head is cut off two more will grow back". "Oh... ok" replied Atheas, with the acid rock on the ground Atheas and Sirosa rub their shields and swords back and forth over the rock. "If it is acid rock how come our weapons are not being affected by it" asked Sirosa. Odysseus replies, "the fusion of steal and the rock will enhance the weapons strength, but when it meets a wet surface then it activates and melts anything it touches, hence when we cut off the heads of the hydra, we must stab the centre of the wound as it will burn the wounds and seal them shut so more heads cannot grow back". "That is a great idea" said Sirosa, "but how did you come into possession of the acid rock?" "The black trail", replied Odysseus, "the black trail is home to more than just Medusa". "Wow I wonder what else is hidden in the black trail" said Atheas. "Ok I think we are ready to go" said Odysseus, "let us get going and remember as soon as the head is cut off scar it with your weapons".
As they finally reach the bottomless Alcyonian lake the waters are so blue and calm it looks like a piece of paradise, surrounded by high cliffs and beautiful white sand beaches they all cannot imagine such a monster living under these waters let alone it being the entrance to the underworld. "Have we made a mistake" asked Sirosa, "this does not look like the home of a monster", "do not let its beauty fool you, the lake itself is a monster on its own, watch", Odysseus picks up an olive branch and tosses it into the lake, for a moment the olive branch is resting on top of the water peacefully, but all of a sudden the water begins to move and under the branch they see a small whirlpool as soon as it begins swirling the branch is sucked under the water and shattered to pieces and disappears. "Wow... how are we to get into the underworld if that is what we must pass through" asks Atheas. "we do not" replied Odysseus; "we must kill the hydra first".
As they all stand their ready and waiting for the hydra to emerge, they start to lose patience, "what is taking so long surely the hydra knows we are here", said Sirosa. "Maybe there is no hydra" said Atheas. "do not worry sister the hydra is there trust me, we need to get its attention somehow", said Odysseus. "Well, we cannot go into the water or we die", replied Atheas. "Maybe we could call the ferryman", said Atheas. "and how do you propose we do that" said Sirosa. "With the drachma" said Atheas. she reaches into her pocket and takes out one gold drachma and tosses it into the lake, after a couple of seconds the water begins to move. "Not another Whirlpool", said Sirosa, "that was a waste of a drachma" he says. But suddenly the water begins to move a bit more and with no warning a huge creature emerges from the water, scales as big as Sirosa’s shield, the head of the beast rises from the water, teeth as big as a child and as sharp as Sirosa’s blades, they all stand with an amazed look on their face in disbelief that such a creature could exist, as the head rose from the water four more heads emerged behind it, smaller than the middle head but just as frightening, standing at fifty feet tall, they were face to face with the hydra.
"READY!!" Shouted Odysseus, the three took their stances and prepared for battle against the monster. One by one they take shots at the middle head but are unsuccessful as the smaller heads keep protecting it from attacks. After countless attempts to kill the beast, they mistakenly cut off two of the smaller heads and are not fast enough to stab the wounds with the acid from their swords to stop them from growing back, as a result there are now seven hydra heads they must defeat.
Battered and bruised, Atheas builds the courage to walk directly up to the hydra, she stares the hydra in the eyes and takes a deep breath, she readies her swords for a final blow to cut the middle head, but then notices Sirosa’s satchel laying on the ground beside her and poking out of it she can see the head of a snake, she makes a dash for the satchel and just as the hydra lunges at Atheas she pulls out the head of Medusa, points it directly at the hydra and all the snakes of the head of Medusa come to life and Medusa’s eyes glow white, suddenly the hydra stops in its tracks and starts to twitch, its scales start to turn grey and hard, medusa’s head has petrified the hydra, with its body standing tall and hard as stone, Atheas, Sirosa and Odysseus take a sigh of relief that the hydra is defeated. "Well done sister", said Odysseus, "that was great thinking to use the head of Medusa to freeze the hydra", "why did not we think of that before". "Yes, well done Atheas" said Sirosa, "that was brilliant". All three of them are exhausted and weak, needing rest they all settle down to rest but before they can, the water of the lake starts to move again. "What now", said Sirosa. Emerging from the water it looks to be a boat and standing at the back of it looks to be a man dressed in a black cloak.