AxA, JxT. Fair is foul and foul is fair. Throw in a handful of Greek Gods and the unsurity of whether Hera is dead or just insane, whether or not Cronus was actually defeated, and what's become of ...
Author's Note: So there I was, minding my own business, just playing Age of Mythology to pass the time, right? When all of a sudden, as I'm fighting my way through the underworld with Arkantos, Ajax, and Chiron, I'm like, "Oh my goodness, I'm a genius!" Er, in other words... I had a sudden stroke of inspiration. With no further ado...
"I am Erebus, God of Primordial Darkness and son of Chaos, Goddess of Emptiness and Confusion. How long will foolish Aether and spiteful Hemera chase away my influence? Darkness is lord over light and yet the light is vain. Faithful consort, my dearest Nyx, tell me what should be done..."
"Do not trouble yourself, my love. Consult the Moirae and seek a prophecy if that is what will ease your mind. I will await your return in the chambers of the night, for that is what I am, and there we will lie together upon the midnight hour, before the dawn."
"The Moirae are my only true pride as offspring-lively Clotho, precise Lachesis, and condescending Atropos. Yes, I will go to them. Upon the midnight hour then shall I return. Deity of the unholy night, I beg you not leave me to lie alone should I be delayed... already do my feet rest at unease, longing for your silhouette.
"I will be yours as I have spoken. So is the word of the goddess Nyx. I am bound to thee alone, Erebus, upon the midnight hour."
"Haste then, my chariots! To the residence of my children, the Fates."
And so, Erebus went. His arrival was of no surprise to the three, who knew the very layout of time and all who played out their lives as marionettes on their strings-yes, even the Gods. Who, but them, knew the fate of Troy and the unfortunate outcome that befell Narcissus' on account of his passion for himself before such things had even unravelled? They, only they.
"Make haste with your questions should time be against you. Quicken your tongue with the fear that the fate of Persephone should befall your consort, Nyx. The deity Hades lingers with one foot on your doorstep in lust."
"The God of the Dead would sooner join his own shades before I would allow his hands to lay upon the silhouette of the night. My children, please, do not allow my breath to be wasted. You who know of all that I will say, I ask you to grant me the knowledge I desire. Deliver unto my ears a prophecy."
The Moirae were not beautiful to the eyes but their knowledge was not something to be underestimated. This, if nothing else, their father Erebus knew well. Aside from their hideous haggard appearances, feminine faces sprouting distasteful wizard's beards, their inner knowing was to be admired by all. Destiny was spun in their hands.
"The Castrator, Cronus, seeks to assert his iron fist through his self-proclaimed might. His mind, though refined by age and modernism, is twisted and foul concerning his intentions. He seeks with great perseverance to end the lives of seven mighty heroes," so spoke Clotho.
"An Oracle has predicted to the God of Time this very prophecy, just the same as the Queen of the Gods herself spoke it to seven pure-blooded descendants. Their ancestors are well known in the Elysian Fields-Jason, Theseus, Achilles, Odysseus, Heracles, Atalanta, and Narcissus," so were the words of Lachesis.
"We have seen in the threads an entwining of your path with these seven. Your happenings upon each other will be arranged not by your doing but by the doing of Hera and Zeus. Beware, Erebus, for your fate will be decided by mere mortals and darkness may fail to reign as you would have it," concluded Atropos.
"The Fates have spoken. I can say nothing to contradict you, my daughters. Yet, your words have stirred up trouble in my thoughts and I fear for my immortality. Is there nothing your tongues will permit be said to ease my disturbed mind?"
"Nothing, father. The prophecy has been spoken and we would encourage you to be on your way, for the midnight hour approaches and the night awaits you in her chambers. Go then and speak not of this to your consort, for her involvement will be played out in time."
"I, the darkness, will depart from you with a soul as burdened as a shade of Tartarus."
"Call upon us once more when the stars are in alignment and the blood of the innocent has fallen to the earth at the hands of Father Time. We then will speak of greater things to come."
"I fear that the future holds events darker than the water of the River Styx itself."
"Your fears will find no assurance in the truth."
Erebus departed then upon that night, leaving the Moirae with thoughts as thick as the blood of the Gods. Upon the midnight hour, he lay with Nyx, while Hades lurked mournfully in the shadows outside their chambers, crying out for the silhouette of the night. The future had been stirred up, though its fulfillment remained unknown.
Hera's eyes shot open, pupils dilated. Could such a dream have any legitimate meaning? Cronus had been defeated, had he not? The team had disbanded and long years had passed since. Tartarus once again held the God of Time, last she had been informed. Was it possible that he had escaped? Why, the very thought... the Queen of the Gods rubbed her right temple worriedly.
"I summon the Gods to council!" she cried out suddenly, sitting up in her bed and listening as her voice echoed loudly through her chambers, though the morning hour was dim.
It occurred to her then-no, Cronus had never been defeated. The descendants were peacefully asleep in their dorm, right where they belonged. Perhaps she would go check on them, motherly as she was. Though, deep down, the reason was more for her personal reassurance rather than for concern of their well-being.
Either way, satisfied that she would be able to return to her slumber upon sight of the young heroes, she snatched up her cloak and drew the hood. Quietly and gracefully she made her way to the double doors some few feet away and placed her hand on one of the golden handles.
Tugging, she was surprised to find that the door would not budge. No matter, she would simply have Hephaestus look after it at a later time. Shaking her head, she tried the other handle only to find the same result as with the first. What was going on? Her brow creased into a frown as she took a step back from the doorway.
Very well, she was a deity, she would simply perform a "teleportation" of sorts. Bowing her head in concentration, she willed herself to appear outside the doors of the room. Quickly she was overcome by a warm tingling sensation, assuring her that at the very least her magic still worked. A feeling as though she were fading, which she was, rushed through her veins and then as suddenly as it had come, it was gone.
"By the Gods... it's Hera," a somehow familiar voice murmured in awe.
She looked up.
The vast expanse of the Elysian fields lay before her in all its shining underworld glory. Yes, it was beautiful but it caused fear to grip the heart of the Queen of the Gods. Standing before her was mighty Achilles and wise Odysseus-friendly faces, of course, but with one major flaw... they were dead. And Hera, Hera... was dead as well?
"This cannot be."
Author's Note: Wow. Cliffhanger, huh? Ahaha. Well, um, this chapter is really short 'cause of the fact that it's merely a prologue. You know, an introduction to the story, sort of... I swear to you that the chapters to follow will be of considerable length in comparison to this one in particular. And now I leave you to ask the questions I already know the answer to. Is Hera dead or just insane? Did they or did they not defeat Cronus? Ah, or how about the age old question: What the hell is going on? Hehe. I can tell you this much... nothing is as it seems. Review, please.