Redemption of the exiled one"Herc, I want you to sit in on the interview with this man," Hebe asked of her beloved who looked up from the wall he was bricking. She smiled, Herakles sure loved to work with his hands, and no matter that the man was a god, an Olympian god, no task seemed too menial to him. In that sense he reminded her of her beloved brother Hephaestos.Redemption of the exiled one in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Okay," Herakles dried off his hands on a rag, not that it helped much, it was as grimy as everything else around. Another Hephaestos deja-vu. "Tell me about him!"
"Ehrm…" Hebe began, a bit distracted. "He's… I've seen him once and I asked him to come back today. He's… peculiar in a way that I find… I don't know how to describe it, but the man is intelligent and he carries wisdom of the ancient kind. He seems… old."
"He's a god?"
"Yeah – well – he's immortal, if that's what you mean. He's…"
"I have a feeling there's something familiar with him. As if I ought to know him for some reason. Or at least recognize him. Perhaps he has been a
Through the grapevineA/N Priapos was a garden god and mostly known for his large private parts. He was the son of Dionysos and Aphrodite.Through the grapevine in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
No secret can remain forever. Sometimes the cover unfolds, often by mistake and a tiny bit of the secret slips out in the open. Slips out and awakens curiosity and thus entices people to pull at that piece, trying to uncover more of what's been hidden. Herakles got drunk one night at a party over at Dionysos' and when most people had left Dion and Herc started to talk about something more or less insignificant. Then, somehow, the drunk god told his half-brother about his devotion for Hebe. And Dionysos may be good at a lot of things, but keeping secrets was never really one of them. Soon he has told his young wife Ariadne. And not long after that he let the secret slip to both Athena and Hephaestos. Not out of malice but carelessness, as well as not really understanding that Herakles' confession was supposed to remain a secret. Or rather - Dionysos seldom t
Xena's decision15. Xena's decisionXena's decision in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Ares" Saion called out. He was standing there with little Kalian in a steady grip, a knife against our son's exposed troth. And not just any knife, but a knife of Adamantine. The god-killing material. "Ares, watch this, and then you'll know just how it feels to lose a kin."
But Ares was faster than the light. The next moment Saion traded his bragging speech for a horrendous yell as he clasped his left eye, from where another knife was protruding, another Adamantine knife. And the chocked Anatolian let go of Kalian who came running up to me with a whimper.
"Mommie, mommie," he was crying and I knelt to take him in his arms, caressing him hard, burying my face in his dark whirls of hair, to not show my state of chock. Behind me Xena was almost wailing out Zeus' name. But Ares went over to Saion and grabbed him by the arms with fists of steel, forcing the intruder to drop his knife and then to fall down on his knees in Ares' unrelenting grip. The God of War pla
Fruit of love3. Fruit of loveFruit of love in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Then he was gone. And fall came early that year. It was hardly September when the mornings were starting to get chilly and in the end of the month the leaves turned yellow and were falling and the ocean got too cold for baths. And persistent news of the war was reaching us.
All the time I kept repeating Arians last words to myself over and over again.
"I will return, Didi, I promise."
I will return, I will return, I will return, I will return, I will return, Iwillreturn, I will I will I will. Didi I promise .
But when would that happen? I forced those speculations to the back of my mind, since they were doing no good and dug into reality again. I returned to work and to life and my friends and the thatching that needed to be fixed on my house and all the other things that were calling for my attention. I also realized that the war was on everybody's lips these days. Some of the youths from the village ran away from home and joined one or the other side of t
Warrior's pledgeIt was way after midnight on a dark and moonless night, where the dank humidity smelled foul and felt suffocating, like a thin, sticky coating against her skin and the mosquitos were active, buzzing around her ears like relentless daemons. They were out for her blood, they like so many others, still to Penthesileia, they were among the more harmless ones. Harmless but ever so annoying, she thought as she slapped her chin, where one of the little bastards had sat down to feed. No, that talkative Euphyrion's salve didn't help as he had promised they would. If she ever saw the little fraud again, she would cut off his ears. Or perhaps something else.Warrior's pledge in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The Amazon Penthesileia felt her clothes clamming to her body as she shifted on the log where she was sitting and staring into the slowly dying camp fire. Those watches were boring, it never happened anything save for the mosquitoes, still they had to keep it up, or else they could all bet their asses upon something really attacking them in t
On the funny side of the street"So how did you get up Cerberos from the underworld, if you didn't even know how to get down there yourself?" Hebe asked.On the funny side of the street in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Easy enough, I never brought him up," Herakles replied and leaned back in the large sofa while looking at the little gathering in the living room. In the sofa opposite of him and his Hebe sat the goddesses Palaistra and Dicaeosyne. Palaistra had originally come over to hear about the result of the meeting with Hera. When Hebe had told what transpired down in Argos, Palaistra too wanted to know the secret behind the 'Cerbereus Labour'. And Dicaeosyne had just tagged along in lack of anything else to do on a day like this when the rain even mingled with snow.
"But... I thought..." Hebe began. "And so did that king Eurystheus, and all those other people who claim to have seen the hellhound with their own eyes. They say they saw you enter the Royal Castle of Mycenae with Cerberos in a leach, and that the beast was terrible to behold with its three heads with glowing ey
Kindred Spirits21. Kindred spiritsKindred Spirits in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The rest of what Artemis said was lost to my ears when I saw Aphrodite lay her arms around Ares' neck and kiss him right on the lips.
I froze, became like one of the statues in the garden.
How could I possibly compete with her, the very essence of beauty and sensuality?
But the next second Ares pushed Aphrodite away, snarling something at her I didn't hear. Then he came striding in my direction. And Aphrodite was running after.
"Forget it! I'm sick of being your plaything!"
"You're not "
Ares turned slightly:
"I'm not a dog who comes running when you call. You ended it ten years ago, remember. I was tiring you, remember saying that? Now go back to the hubby of yours, I'm sure he can make you some blingbling to hang around your neck as a consolidation price."
"Ares!" Aphrodite persisted.
"You heard him, you slut!" Artemis interrupted.
"Just WHAT did you say, you frigid bitch," Aphrodite returned.
"I guess I'm out of here"
Little HebeThe little girl was standing on top of the stairs, holding on to the ornate wooden banister while listening to her mother and her Stepfather down there in their private living room. The Stepfather scared her, he was always so large and majestic, with a rumbling, thundering voice giving orders everybody was running their feet off to obey. The Stepfather ruled the world with a strong, firm hand and he let no one cross his plans. Those who did were in for some nasty surprises, so much the girl knew.Little Hebe in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Now her mother and the Stepfather was arguing about some king named Dakrian in some faraway land, talking about soldiers, scary tools of war and about big brother Ares doing something stupid.
"You will have to rein him in, Hera," the Stepfather was saying. "Either that or I'll have to go get him myself. Or even send Athena, and she won't play nice with him this time. She's still furious for what he did in Rhodos. And she wouldn't spare a single arrow against his forces."
"Ares knows what he's
KidnappersLess than two weeks later Hebe woke up in a haste from a nightmare. Sweat was chilling her back and wetting the roots of the hair at the back of her head and she had a nagging, foreboding feel inside of her as she felt her heart rush in anxiety. The moon was almost full and since Hebe never used blinds, it shone into her room trough drifting ragged clouds and the whole air primed of approaching bad weather. And not only that. There was something else in the aether. Something strange and outlandish that her divine senses picked up and which made her get out of bed and put on her sandals and a thick woolen tunic over her night gown.Kidnappers in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Parts of her dream were reappearing: Ares swinging a heavy axe, its large blade shining with a lethal, blue glow.
"It's Adamantine" the god of war said. "It can kill a god."
"It doesn't really kill" Athena replied. "But it severs the soul from the divine body and sends it down under in a way very similar to killing. And the effect might very well be the sa
Herakles and the unexpectedHe couldn't help wondering what would have happened if it all had turned out different that day so long ago. If he hadn't agreed upon letting that idiot centaur Nessos give his beloved Deianeira a ride on his back over the perilous whitewaters of the river Euenos and if the centaur hadn't been both stupid and horny enough to try to rape his beloved. Nessos had barely reached the shore when he flung Deianeira down on the sandy shore and begin tearing at her peplos with his eager hands, not bothering with her cries of protest or the fact that Herakles was standing on the opposite shore. Herakles had killed the satyr of course. Shot him with a well-aimed arrow which hit right in the troth of the bastard, severing the main artery to the brain. The moron had been dead even before the terrified and enraged Deianeira had pushed his dirty hands off her voluptuous body - end of story. Or at least that was what Herakles had thought.Herakles and the unexpected in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
What he didn't know was that the centaur had lived long
Marital Arts Part 14 - The Point Of No ReturnThe pale silver rays of moonlight crept into the shadows as night descended upon the Palace whilst the moon ascended in the starry night sky. With the moonlight the water sprites came from under the sea and their melodious song now echoed through the forests, the mountains and the villages of Cloud Island, creating happiness in the midst of the people dwelling there. And in the Palace the merriment went on, allowing most participants to forget about their weekday worries and loads of demands.Marital Arts Part 14 - The Point Of No Return in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Not all. Carrying a night lantern, Titania was ascending the large palace stairs in solitude, leaving the festive buzz of the celebration behind and entering the calm and quiet upper floors, where only the only things heard beside the distant party noise was the crackling of flames in fireplaces, lit to chase away the darkness and the increasing chill of the late summer night.
When she reached Oberon's suite, she wavered for a few moments, motionless and hesitant, trying to rationalize what she wa
Marital Arts Part 13 - The signs a woman can tellThe evening sun sank beneath the edge of the boundless ocean, tinging the waters with rose-gold and outlining the glass covered dome of the Assembly Hall in a burst of brilliant golden-red fire. It shone off from the beak, where the large, marble white building was situated, across the bay and almost blinding Oberon when he looked straight at it. So he shifted his eyes away, gazing down in the waters instead, looking at the frothy turmoil where the waves crashed against the dark, seaweed-covered rocks, listening to the powerful whooshing noise as if it was speaking to him, got things to say. It was a sound he had heard since he was a baby, rocking gently in his carved cradle of rowan wood, a sound he had heard even in his deepest dreams and it never failed to soothe and comfort.Marital Arts Part 13 - The signs a woman can tell in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
As a child, when he had been angry or upset, Oberon used to run down to the shore, where the hissing song of the waves soon appeased whatever troubled him. It had become his refuge. His soul asylum. Even now, w
Marital Arts Part 10 -The Wreckage caused in Anger"Titania, a moment?"Marital Arts Part 10 -The Wreckage caused in Anger in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Yes, Oberon?" Putting aside the box of jewelry she was still holding, Titania stood up from her settee and walked over to her husband, who was waiting out in the hallway just outside the door opening, his bright orange tunic straining over his powerful chest the way fashion edicted these days. He appeared rested; still there was a concerned look in his blue eyes as he regarded his Queen. Remaining seated, a troubled Uriel watched them go. How much had his father overheard?
Titania accompanied Oberon down the hallway which ran through the castle wing, worried that her husband might have caught something of her conversation with Uriel. It almost felt like the people on the oil paintings lining the wall were regarding her with apprehension, their eyes scrutinizing the royal couple as they walked. Titania's furry, gray and black cat followed them a few steps, but then she seemed to consider her mistress being able to take care of herself, so sat down on her hind legs,
Marital Arts Part 21 - The Honesty that HurtsTitania glanced over at Oberon as he entered the office longue, before continuing her talk with Cloë, desperately trying once again to get her daughter to see reason. Unfortunately, the usually rational and level headed Princess was having none of it.Marital Arts Part 21 - The Honesty that Hurts in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Mother, would you let it go if you were me?" Cloë asked, knowing that Titania would do no such thing. Of all the things she was known for, pride was one of the Elven Queen's most distinguishing features. Even though her time among Humans had changed her, had softened her harsh angles, she was still an extremely proud woman. That pride may have diminished over time but it was still evident.
"It's just politics," Titania tried. "Nothing personal. Elves playing for power, either for themselves or for their Houses. And they are often using Royalties as leverages for such games."
"But I'm not in this for helping some stuck up Duke getting another benefit he has not made himself worthy of. He wants to have a ship, he goes the long way, he stan
Marital arts part 3 - The Reluctant Returnee"TITANIA!" Oberon's apprehensive voice echoed down the empty hallway. The door he had flung open hung on one hinge, swinging crookedly as he stormed into the small house in his restless pursuit for her.Marital arts part 3 - The Reluctant Returnee in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
This house resembled the one he'd found her in years ago, quiet and cozy. Small but well planned, utilitarian more than lavish. White painted, unadorned walls, simple and colourful rugs upon polished wooden floors. Not a speck or a dust worm anywhere! Her mellow presence breathed in all the corners - as it once had on Cloud Island. It gave Oberon the impression of home and the knot in his chest tightened almost painfully. Was Titania insane enough to think that he was just going to let her disappear out of his life without so much as a struggle? Had she forgotten how long he had loved her, courted her?
No, he thought, as he halted his rush, resting his hand on the smooth back of a high chair made out of intricately carved, dark wood and with a soft, orange pillow in the seat. He was goi
For Old Time's Sake - 3. Comes MorningStruggling through a maelstrom of dreams, one more peculiar than the other, Hera was making her way towards awareness again, as if swimming towards the surface of a deep sea, fighting the kaleidoscopic currents with forceful strokes. With a jolt her eyes fluttered up – to a startling view. She was definitely not in her own bedroom in La Casa Dolorada in Venice, Italy. Daylight radiated from the wrong direction and the texture of the bedding felt different, the duvet too thin. Not to mention that the mixture of smells were dissimilar – yet oddly familiar in their lush muskiness, triggering a torrent of remembrances one more bittersweet than the next. Most of all, she was not alone in the bed, there was someone asleep next to her, someone who's warm chest her head was resting next to, the rhythm of his heartbeat in her ear, a strong arm encircled with such an astonishing ease around her waist.For Old Time's Sake - 3. Comes Morning in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The next millisecond it all came back to her. Zeus. Tokyo. Zeus. Leaving Venice. Ze
The Broken Barriers of PretentionEven as Titania's hand closed over the door handle and she could feel the cold and smooth brass against her palm, she never managed to get the door open to reach out into the antechamber. The hall that promised an escape from this predicament. Oberon's arms trapped her against the door, firmly securing it before dropping down to pull her into his arms. Jerking her closer to his form and thoroughly ravishing her lips as she did a futile attempt to push him away from her, a meek complaint evaporating from her troath. However it wasn't so much his strength as her own lack of restraint that turned the game into a losing one for the Elven Queen. She was terrified that he might realize that she was still in love with him. At this point in her life there was no greater love she felt for anyone. If she had hoped to dissuade him by feigning disinterest, she had failed dismally. And he he was evidently still attracted to her, even if he didn't love her.The Broken Barriers of Pretention in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Hesitantly, Titania's tongue entere
Marital Arts Part 6 - The Entreat for JusticeIt felt like it was one of the hardest things she had ever done. Taking a deep breath, Titania moved purposefully up the broad marble staircase, across the antechamber and towards the large double doors to the Royal Throne Room, where the King was receiving his supplicants. Huge beautifully ornamented pillars of white and pink marble flanked the edges of the entrance and on each side stood a full-uniformed guard of honour carrying a hillebard with tip in bronze, polished brass buttons gleaning in the sun falling on from the high windows. However, these days the guards were mostly there for show. No assassin would get this far, the last one who had tried had ended her life on the pebbled ground of the outer courtyard, her blood discoluring the stones. That was more than sixty years ago, when Titania and Oberon's marriage was still a real one.Marital Arts Part 6 - The Entreat for Justice in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Straightening her shoulders, she nodded curtly to the livery clad page who opened the doors and with a bow admitted her into the sumptuous hall sh
The riddle of the Labyrinth 12 - The FacelessWhile listening to the undistinguished noise of shower water in the bathroom, Antolas turned toward the window and looked out into the lush beauty of the Whitehall Park, really seeing nothing except the image of Cynthia, his beautiful, bright, energetic wife. The one Regular who had perceived him – and loved him in spite of his ephemeral nature. In his powerful position, Antolas had his choice of women, but in spite of her race, Cynthia had seen the way to capture his heart fully and completely. He missed her – the loss of her still didn't seem real. Fuliginous sorrow soon grew to overwhelming feelings of guilt. She had been a Regular and he had known it all the time that she would wither away from him and die within 18 Lealian years. Regulars seldom lived past 25 of them. Still he had a hard time bearing the loss, especially as Cleanthia had grown up to resemble Cynthia to such a painful extent.The riddle of the Labyrinth 12 - The Faceless in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Baby Cleanthia had been a beauty. Her eyes were blue, almost like a Thu
The riddle of the Labyrinth 6. Alien matterLord Orinian of Alozzia made his passage down the long gallery, not bothering with either the elaborated elegance of the interior decorations or the people who stopped what they were doing to stare at his unusual appearance. He didn't look twice at the high, thin pillars of synthetic diamond and gold, lit from inside by warm full-spectral light. Nor was he impressed by the high, pointy and gold-mullioned windows, partly in stained glass, from where the sun streamed in and bounced off the polished floor of elaborated mosaics depicting fractals and meandering abstract patterns. He had seen it all before, plenty of times. His junior colleague, High King Angarian was a man who loved opulence, almost in absurdum, he was an ardent collector who filled his palace with furniture, rugs, chandeliers and the finest of arts and sculptures and every time Orinian visited Whitehall did Angarian have something new to present. The overall affect was an abode of power and privilege, just what one wouldThe riddle of the Labyrinth 6. Alien matter in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
ZeusZeusZeus in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Finding Zeus was not hard. For once he was using his Nexus office. I didn't bother with announcing my appearance, I just rushed by his assistants and through the great double doors without knocking. Zeus was meeting with the divine hyperpantheon delegates Xenon and Dione when I entered the spacious corner office, and the two of them looked up with a mix of surprise and irritation. Zeus's expression was harder to read though.
"Zeus, can I talk to you alone?" I asked, tried to sound demanding. This is an emergency. Zeus rose, looking at the two Liberals and hesitated a second before saying:
"If you'll excuse us. This will only take a minute I guess." Then the king nodded to me: "Come, Hera, we'll use the small conference room. Hope this really is as urgent as you say. I don't want to be rude to the delegates."
We entered the not-so-small room to the side of Zeus's office and I skipped the preludes:
"Zeus, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry about everything. Can you forgive me?" I wanted
HerculesUpon the first look Dionysos and Hercules seemed very much like the total opposites. But they had one thing in common (beside their dad, I mean) - and that was a mortal mother. Alkmene Akrisian was also a mortal who passed on an immortal gene to Hercules.Hercules in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
First time I met Hercules I had no idea that he was another brother. At that time he seemed just a rowdy and happy-go-lucky immortal, content with partying all night long and working for others and for an income that provided him with his worry-less life. He lived in Doria, employed by the goddess Oshera, a granddaughter to the Hyperpantheon politician Kandrios of Elesios.
Doria was not the safest place back then. Located next to the wastelands of Merioly, where the Titans had lived (and some still dwelled, according to certain sources) it was haunted by outlaws raiding the south-east plains and there were rumours of man-eating mutant monsters who had lone wanderers for supper. The radiation inside of Merioly, caused by Chronos' nucle
DionysosIt was just pure luck that I was in Thebe that evening when Semele went up on the roof of her house, poured a can of petrol over her body and set herself on fire. The distress call that went out from her tormented soul must have woken all immortals in the area, but I was the first one on location. Yet too late. The girl died in my arms. I've never been good at healing other people and there was nothing I could do other than trying to dull her pain and listen to her last words:Dionysos in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"I loved him. But he was... Zeus. The baby... was his." Then her eyes went empty.
"What baby? Oh, dad, what have you done?" I stared into the setting sun trying to understand the girls last words. Then I felt something. Life emerging from the dead womans body. A helpless little one trying to stay alive. She had been... pregnant... Or, rather, still was pregnant. I realised that it was I who had to save this child. Teary-eyed I remembered Demeter's lesson about caesarean and how to reach the womb. I had nothing to
Goddess of war¤ The Vandrisvian pantheon is my own inventionGoddess of war in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The jungle was hot, wet and filled with all kinds of beasts from roaring feline carnivores to itty-bitty biting insects. The screaming monkeys were stealing our food if we didn't look out and the colourful birds were using our tents and vehicles as toilets.
"The enemy is located south-west of us," the mortal scout reported, wiping sweat off his cocoa-brown forehead. "There is a shallow valley-like pit where the river Gaodanza meets the river Livontos. That's where the main troops are."
"How are they equipped?"
"More guns than us, three Falcon class helicopters. No chariots."
"Those hardly works in the jungle anyhow, I commented, go on!"
"They're about 500 mortals, and I believe two or three immortals."
"Don't think so."
"We could be able to take them. In a surprise attack, preferably at noon, since these people would expect us to come at night or early in the morning." Alxolita, I turned to the mortal commander, "pr
Saving Ares"The enemy lair!" My voice sounded almost celebratory while I pointed out the big structure lying ahead of us. Just like Olympos the home of Oxaroros and his pantheon was located on a mountain-summit, with a big city by its foot. But unlike Olympos this was a highly defended fortress, with high walls and almost no windows facing the outside. Seemed like these gods feared something. Perhaps stray Titans, rumours has it that there were still a lot of them dwelling in Vandrisvia. And the capital, Azelin, was also walled and with a burned perimeter guarded by heavy-armed towers.Saving Ares in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Now it was us who were kept outside. Four Olympian deities on a mission to liberate a fifth. Helios, Irdonan and Astraea were waiting behind, in Tarasinallia, the capital of Gatellaria, less than five minutes flight from Azelin if they should be needed.
"And where is Ares?" Hermes pondered, scanning the large structure with the high granite walls.
"You don't sense him?" Arcas asked.
"I sense immortals in there, but
The HurricaneThe HurricaneThe Hurricane in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Oh, come on, Hera," said Neyta. "That look on your face, I mean, you are radiant! You look even happier than when the final vote was done on Opening Ceremony day. So who is he?"
"There's no 'he'," I lied, blushing. I had no idea that I was so transparent. What to say now?? But I got saved - not by the proverbial bell but by Scadé who entered the New Dawn office with her red curls ruffled from flying, Maia coming in after her with new pens and notebooks.
"It's really windy out there," Scadé said. "And I mean windy. Not like just another winter storm, but almost like the storms back home in Valhallah when we have to get everything inside and bolt the doors. And trees get uprooted and even stuff like cars and smaller structures get taken by the wind."
"Really," I said. Scadé was not the weather-chit-chat person. And as a confirmation the large glass window suddenly creaked beneath the force of a strengthening in the wind. I looked outside. S
Downtown with ZeusDowntown with ZeusDowntown with Zeus in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Look at these people!" Hestia was saying. "Give me the creeps!" Hestia had suggested a little restaurant in the part of Ekarantanni known as Andomigor, and since it was a nice afternoon we had flown to the outskirts of Andomigor and then turned incognito and walked a bit. Now we were at a square a few blocks from our destination, and in the middle of the square a manifestation was starting to take place. People with boards and banners, speech-enhancers, firebrands and whistles were congregating, chanting slogans aimed at everyone and no-one in the surroundings.
"The Centralists, yeah, they're spooky, I answered. Such fundamentalists, such hatred-filled people! What is their problem really? Northerners taking their jobs? Nomadic people carrying deceases? Southerners sacrificing children for faiths sake! If these people weren't so incredible serious one would think this a whole big sick joke."
"It isn't any joke," Hestia shook her head, orange and yellow braids flying
Another Heart Breaks"Okay, class is over, Athena. You're doing fine, your progress is excellent. That mortal woman really did get a new life." Anaktoron closed his note book and rose. "Let's go for a walk, it's a wonderful evening." I nodded slightly and let him take my arm, as we walked out through the open terrace doors and took a jumping shortcut the five floors down to the wet grass.Another Heart Breaks in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
It had stopped raining about an hour ago and now the full moon was shining trough rags of clouds.
"Something you want to talk about?" I guessed as Anaktoron and I started to walk down the pebbled path through the Cretan Garden. Crickets and frogs were calling out their mating songs and somewhere more human music was heard. Apollon was playing that lyre again.
"There's some homework I want you to do, Anaktoron said. I'll point you to some books I know are in the Olympic library. But first I want to talk about other things. I want to leave the business part of our life behind a bit."
"What do you mean?" We had stopped benea
The OlymposThe OlymposThe Olympos in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
It was bound to happen sooner or later. My first visit to the Olympos took place in Snow Month. It was Hestia who managed to lure me up to the mountain top.
"It's my 50:th birthday, and I want my most special friends around me. Hera, if you're not there I'll be really sad. So please swallow your pride and come along. If just for one day and just for me. "
"All right. I will do that. But just because it's you. "
Hestia laughed and took me in her arms. I saw real happiness in her eyes. She must have invested a lot of feelings in this thing. And I really wanted to be there for her. She had been there for me so many times through the years. It was a birthday for Faith's sake. And it was only for a day. Then I would be back down where I belonged again. With Kandrios and my usual bunch of friends. On top of that I had to admit that I was curious about the Olympos and its new members. Apollon and Artemis were 14 and little Athena had just turned eight. I wanted to see if th
A goddess and her followersA goddess and her followersA goddess and her followers in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I was looking at myself in the reflection of the mirror in front of the make-up table, trying to think of what to do. Ever since that night and day at Olympos when I had regained Zeus as a friend, the relation with Kandrios had been strained.
"But we pretend it isn't. Isn't that weird, Hera?" I asked the woman in the mirror. She looked back at me with questioning dark-brown eyes beneath purple, indigo and turquoise ringlets of hair, endings dipped in shiny silver.
"Of course you can't answer! Just look at you, Hera of Argos! All expensive dresses and latest fashion hairdo, member of the Hyperpantheon and head of the New Dawn party, and you can't pull your love life together. Are you going to do this the whole life? Pretend you are content with some shallow sex and holding-hands?"
"You know what you have," the woman in the mirror said dryly, while putting on dangling earrings of electrum and gold, with droplets of lapis-lazuli. "But not wha
Lourdes of Loki part 24 - Let's EatLourdes of Loki part 24 - Let's Eat in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Dad didn't take us to any of those fancy, expensive restaurants that night. As a matter of fact, he told Gaetania and me he was so over the snobbish cuisine, and that he wanted something more down to earth, as in real dishes and not 'two crossed carrots over one third a steak'. Nothing for real men, he called it. Or real women, he added as an afterthought when I rolled my eyes at him.
Instead we ended up at a crossover place which used to be trendy, and now, when the celebs had moved on, it had become quite a bit more bohemian, jolly and home-like. The muzak had been traded in for classic pop from the 00ies, the personnel were less stuck-up and the chairs more comfy. And most of all the servings were more generous, and since we could sit down in peace and quiet at a corner table for quite some time, we sure ate a lot. All three of us. Dad has always been of the hungry kind, and both Gaetania and I were both starving, since we had had very little appetite the hours before the trial.
Lourdes, of Loki - part 4 - Look, it's a celebLourdes, of Loki - part 4 - Look, it's a celeb in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
As he stepped through the door to the clinic, I could tell that he was still gorgeous. He might be almost 40, but oh dear, oh dear, those swaying hips, those broad shoulders and unruly, chestnut brown hair, fringe hanging somewhat down in his face and emerald eyes glistening like gems in the sun. Those eyes, they were like kryptonite for every girl who thought they had sworn off ogling. Yes, Simon Miner was still a man to look at, that was true. So what he was doing in our clinic had me at loss- first. As in the three or four first milliseconds. Before I remembered where we actually were. In Hollywood. Where vain is definitely the most common vice among the inhibitors.
And no matter that both Christa Carleb and I were ready to fall of our chairs, as Simon Miner strode through our reception hall; he was probably seeing an aging old fart when looking in the mirror in the mornings. (Then again, mirrors and mornings are never a nice combination. I believe even Aphrodite herself shun mirror
Lourdes of Loki - part 1Lourdes of Loki - part 1 in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Okay - My name is Lourdes, daughter of Loki. And this is my story.
First of all, people do mistake me for Paris Hilton. That's all just a genetic accident, I promise. As far as I know, she's not related to any of my odd family members. Should be on the mothers side in such case, I assume, however since I never knew my mother, I cannot answer for that. Apparently she was my father's private secretary for a brief time back in the early nineties. And a bit more than 'secretary' as you probably can figure out. Then, when she got pregnant, she left that baby me, with father and ran away, never to be heard of again. And only thing I have left from her is a blurry photo where she poses together with Thor's wife Sif, before the sex change, drinking pinacoladas on some beach in Saint Tropez.
Yeah, Sif used to be a bloke once. Josif Abdul Amar. Kinda good looking dude, of Moroccan origin, don't know why he decided to become a woman, but I guess that's something she's going to keep
Lourdes of Loki part 21 - Attention SeekerLourdes of Loki part 21 - Attention Seeker in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Gaetania was sitting curled up in front of the TV set, eating strawberry yoghurt and watching Urban Angels when I returned from New York. That's the soap where about half of the cast has been injected with my ambrosia, so it's sort of funny to watch them. Almost makes us proud.
"So how was it?" she shifted her attention from the set and faced me. "You found your mother?"
"I did," I said solemnly as I dumped my backpack on the floor, kicked off the shoes and joined my friend in the sofa.
"Tell!" she urged. So I did, it's after all not really that interesting to see if Ethan and Cheryl would get together yet another time or not.
"When we had learned about those creepy Vodou demons, mother and I both felt that we needed to bound. And Poseidon understood that as well, so he excused himself and went to visit some friends he has at Manhattan. So mum and I..."
"Wait, Lou! Did you just say Voodoo?"
"Well, Poseidon uses the old name, Vodou. But that's what they are. Vodou demons. Not rea
Lourdes of Loki part 19 - New York New YorkLourdes of Loki part 19 - New York New York in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"What do you mean, alive?" I asked Poseidon. "You saw the death certificate."
"Yes, I saw it. It was a presumption, since there was no body."
"But she was inside the World Trade Center. When those fuckers drove the planes in there! How could she've survived?"
"How do we know she was there, Lourdes?" the God of the Sea prompted me.
"But... the coroner said..." I hesitated.
"They assumed she had died, because she went missing at the same time as the Twin Towers fell. And because her workplace was located within one of the towers. But what if she wasn't there at all?"
"Poseidon, do you think she was somewhere else?"
"We'll have to find out. Are you working this weekend?"
"Then you and I are going to New York!"
"Poseidon, you don't have to."
"But I want to. There are three things in life I cannot resist. And that's the waves, a beautiful woman and a good mystery. Besides, I think there is more to your mother's disappearance from Maison Laufeyson than some disagreement with Lok
Lourdes of Loki - part 3 - Hollywood NoveletteLourdes of Loki - part 3 - Hollywood Novelette in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Yes, Steva was the first one, but she sure was not the last one. It started off with a trickle, there was the TV host with puffy eyes, and then there was this fifty something diva who had been in that 80ies soap opera. An old metal guitarist and an odd number with dated actors and actresses who had had their greatest successes during the previous century. And then all those 'normal' Janes and Joes who also wanted to look a bit more like they imagined they deserved to look.
We could soon afford to put in ads in regular magazines and hire a receptionist, Christa Carleb, who could pick up all the phone calls and make reservations, freeing up Gaetania for the finances and the advertising work and allowing me to work full time on the patients.
We still slept on mattresses in the clinic though, apartments were so EXPENSIVE in this part of town, and we didn't want to live too far away from the clinic, one reason being the room with ambrosia. I was still a bit preoccupied with that one, didn't
Lourdes of Loki part 20 - Desdemona LaMaisonLourdes of Loki part 20 - Desdemona LaMaison in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
About twenty minutes later we were standing in the reception area of a fancy law firm, oddly enough in a business complex not far away from where Poseidon lived.
"Do you have an appointment," the state of the art arrogant receptionist asked while I was regarding her cheap Botox injections making her face stiff and Barbie doll like.
"Yes we do," Poseidon replied. "Twelve 'o clock sharp. Mr. Said Waters and Miss Lola French. To see Mrs. Desdemona LaMaison. " As he spoke, I was feeling that well known vibration across my neck when someone was performing fine-tuned electro-magic manipulations nearby. Poseidon fixing with the booking schedule in the computer in front of Miss Arrogant.
"With Mrs. LaMaison, I don't seem to... hmmm... yes, sorry, Sir, here it is. Twelve o clock. Waters. And French. I'll buzz Mrs. LaMaison; let her know that you're here." After that she picked up an internal communication unit and talked into it for a few seconds, Then she paled a bit before saying:
Lourdes of Loki - part 2 - The ClinicLourdes of Loki - part 2 - The Clinic in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
My best friend Gaetania Sendari has a way with numbers. Especially those numbers which are related to sweet money. So I was soon hauling this smart, Italian lady on board, offering her partnership in my little business (which she of course gladly accepted) letting her to be the accountant and to make all the wheeling's and dealings when it came to starting up the clinic. Gaetania's connections with the mob (Her father Enrico is one of the most internationally powerful Don's) helped me to acquire a few other things I was needing as well, like a fake ID, making me 38 instead of 18 and forged diplomas from various medical universities in Italia, France and the States. Thus I became not Lourdes LeGrand, school dropout and spoilt heiress to some rich badass but DR Lourdes Thiery, expert and researcher of cosmetic surgery.
There was also this Italian doc who used to do nose jobs for Silvio Berlusconi's mistresses. He had gotten in trouble with the mafia earlier and then Gaetania h
Lourdes of Loki part 18 - Destiny LaufeysonLourdes of Loki part 18 - Destiny Laufeyson in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Gaetania had an unlucky encounter with some nasty virus and ended up in bed. Or mostly, in the sofa, in which she sat winded up in a blanket, wearing her favourite PJ and watching soap operas on TV, playing with her tablet, texting me a hundred times a day and feeling generally sorry for herself. And I brought her fruit and sweet food and magazines and DVD's and gossip. The poor thing! My half-blood status protected me from these maladies, so I didn't know what it really was like, being down with a cold, but Gaetania described it as a hangover + a bad case of allergy. A hangover lasting for days, couldn't think of anything worse. (Oh yeah, I could but 'having a cold' was still regarded as generally inside of the regular Joe and Jane's comfort zones, which to me felt odd.)
Nevertheless, I hoped my friend would be better in time for Ezra birthday party at La Belladonna, which was due the weekend after the upcoming one. That sure was something neither of us wanted to miss, after all Ezra
The Lost Twins 10. Recollections part 1The Lost Twins 10. Recollections part 1 in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The distressed crowd burst through the emergency exits, reaching the open and its promise of safety. Pouring out into the cold night, frightened and blinded by smoke, they fanned across the snow-covered courtyard, scrambled against high walls, desperately searching for a safe way out. Finally, a rusted side gate buckled beneath their combined weight clattering down upon the concrete below. Picking their way over the elegant terraces the fleeing people reached a conifer bordered side street, while the tremendous heat from the firebombs above caused the acidic pines to explode.
Flames leapt from the trees and white-hot boughs cascaded into the casino grounds. Piercing screams met the darkness and soon the night sky was lit orange with fire. The inferno that followed barred the emergency services from entering the complex until near midnight. An hour later, soot stained bodies were being laid with scant respect along the wet curbstones. Shocked paramedics could do little but beholding the
The King of Thieves 9 - One step aheadThe King of Thieves 9 - One step ahead in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
When Athena stepped out of the air conditioned taxi the heat of the city slammed against her face and she had a hard time believing it was still February as she took her first breath of the suffocating air, imbued with pollution and too many strange smells, the mix of them hardly pleasant. Cairo - nicknamed the Mother of Cities - was busy and bustling in an unruly and stressful way, with an undercurrent of anxiety no doubts triggered by the years of protests and grotesque violence over at the these days world famous Tahir Square. But there was more to Egypt than just these last year's insurgents and infighting, this old nation had seen a long history of plays for power, of tries at reaching the mighty earth lines running beneath the land here, to tap them for force, so much rawer than the oil they were obsessed with just on the other side of the gulf.
Egypt was one of the most powerful places on Earth, since it was here the mighty Eurafrican Ley Earthline broke through and reached the
Love Like This, Chap 14The act itself was unremarkable. The fact that it was happening before his eyes was beyond comprehension.Love Like This, Chap 14 in General Fiction More Like This
To cast off ones divinity was the highest crime a God could commit next to the murder of another holy being. To be a God was a blessing, the highest honor given by creation. To willingly degrade oneself by relinquishing the holy gift was utter blasphemy. Those who were caught equaling themselves with mortals were not worthy of immortality and were permanently deprived of their divinity, cast from Olympus and made to live with the filthy creatures they relegated themselves too. There were stipulations of course. To strip a being of his divinity was not something done without serious contemplation. Circumstances must be taken into consideration, but for a thrill? That was beyond excuse.
Ares could not pull his eyes from Hestia as the unearthly glow faded from her supple figure. Her skin looked dull, her glittering aqua eyes paled in comparison to how they shined from befor
Love Like This, Chap 13 Pt.2 There was no doubt in his mind that if situations had been different he would have chosen Hephaestus.Love Like This, Chap 13 Pt.2 in General Fiction More Like This
He loved Hephaestus. There was nothing more to it. She was his best friend, his companion. She was the person he spent the most time with; the one he came to when he needed to escape the absolute hollowness of the world he lived in. She filled an odd shaped hole in his life that he couldn't quite explain and more than his role as a God, her need of him filled him with the most purpose. There was something so earnest and sincere about Hephaestus, so honest, innocent and stubbornly optimistic. No matter what the obstacle or how much it tore her to pieces, she always managed to pick herself up and jump back into the game with her hopes high and her heart on her sleeve.
He adored that about her.
He didn't know anyone with that kind of stoutheartedness, to risk your heart again even if you got your ass kicked in the end. That took real courage.
The Surviving Soul XLI - EpilogueThe baby is staring at the patterns of the ceiling. Cracked, dirt-yellow paint how does she know that? A melee of dream pictures linger in the memory, fires and thundering booms, screams and smoke. And most of all that huge, terrible, lethal being. But still it doesn't feel scary. The baby considers her new body - and remembers. It has worked better this time. The transfer has been relatively easy. After all this had been the third time she 'died' and she has learned how to reincarnate into a new mortal body by now. Still, she really hopes it would be the last time; it's quite tedious and painful to perform the reincarnation transfer.The Surviving Soul XLI - Epilogue in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
So this is her new life, Lanineme, the Surviving Soul, can't wait to begin to live it for real, being an infant is dreary and mind grating. She can't wait to be in such a control over her physical body that she can contact Elion and the rest again, and return home. Lanineme yawns and stretches - it has gone perfect this time. She's in control
Agents of Armageddon II"Akiko! Akiko, wake up! Akiko, I'm sorry, Akiko wake up! Akiko-san wake-up! Wake up please!" She heard someone calling out to her, first in Greek then in Japanese. Her head was spinning and she had hard to focus her eyes and to mentally reach out to the voice that seemed to be calling her from somewhere far far away. Everything was blurry and she felt pain in her chest like she had smashed into something hard. Or as if something hard had smashed into her.Agents of Armageddon II in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Akiko!" She tried to focus, to remember. Her brain refused to function; it felt as if she was embedded in cotton. The voice kept on urging her; it had changed back to Greek.
"Akiko, I'm sorry, I didn't really know how to handle that pen gadget."
She saw the Greek's worried face swimming around in front of her, his long, dark hair falling forward, blue eyes full of concern. Then her memories fell in place. The cryogenic chambers, Parissa.
"Where's... where's the Russian?"
"I got her all right. After accidentally blasting y
The interview with ZeusThe Interview with the king of the godsThe interview with Zeus in Short Stories More Like This
Stella Meets Zeus
I'm meeting the King of Gods at a five-star restaurant in central London. We have decided 6 o clock PM, and Zeus arrives at the strike of 6. And he looks neither rushed nor like he has been sitting out in his car waiting. More like he arrived just on spot. This is the first sign that this is not an ordinary man I'm dealing with, but a god.
I've been doing interviews with all of the top guns there is. Bill Gates, Julian Assange, Barak Obama, Lady Ga Ga, Steven Spielberg, Stephenie Meyers, Donald Trump, Ophra Winfrey, Michael Jackson, Dalai Lama, Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Julia Roberts, Wladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Dan Brown, J. K. Rowling, Pavarotti...
But nothing could have prepared me for this man. Charismatic, witty, intelligent, handsome, self confident these aren't words that feel enough. This man knows that the world revolves around him, and he's so used to it that he consider
Fading Away"Oh my head I knew I shouldn't have had those last two glasses of wine last night." Athena Nikos rubbed her temples as she slowly sat up on the couch. "Ugh I feel horrible; hopefully breakfast will help with that." She was softly thinking out loud as she got up and started making breakfast for herself. Once everything was on the stove and cooking she went to her bedroom and slipped out of the dress she wore last night and into a bathrobe. "That's better."Fading Away in Short Stories More Like This
In a few minutes time, the bacon and eggs were done and Athena was sitting down watching the morning news. It wasn't until she was almost done with breakfast that they switched to a live feed. "I'm here at the Queen City Credit Union with a breaking story about the hostage situation unfolding inside. At this time three masked men are holding about 12 people, both staff and customers, inside the building at this time. All three men a