Chapter 4: Sea Leviathan
The night journey raged The waters of the Aegean Sea tossing the Argo as if it were a child’s toy. Jason fought hard at the helm to keep the ship on track.
Hercules, Iolaus, and the rest of the Argonauts bailed the water from the deck the best they could.
The sounds from a horn being blown at a distance afar, now drew on the son of Zeus’ attentions.
Iolaus looked the direction of the horn. he too hearing the noise.
“That horn? Could Poseidon be raging the storms against us?”
“..... I don’t think that horn noise is the sound from the conch of Poseidon.... It is something else....”
Dark of wings and large of size, a black gull now flew above the ship in peril. The eyes of Hera now glared upon them.
One single feather fell into Hercules’ hands.
“Hercules? The bough.....”
The son of Zeus looked immediately to the rear of the Argo. The humping form of a length of monstrous scales and natural carapace armor bowed upward and rear ended the tossing ship from behind.
“..... Sea creature! Argonauts? Secure the deck! Iolaus? Go get Salmoneus....."
Atalanta hard looked to the stern.
The son of Zeus charged to the aft of the Argo and leaped as the head of the serpent quickly rose from the deep.
Atalanta drew fast her blade and charged on the creature.
Hercules gripped hold of the serpent’s gills and wrapped his left arm around the serpent’s neck. The sea serpent reared, jarring the son of Zeus temporarily loose.
Hercules grabbed fast hold of the lengthened carapace shell that served as the creature’s natural armor.
The serpent moved fast for the strong woman warrior.
“..... Atalanta? Know! Stay back! The fangs of the creature are venomous!”
Atalanta’s eyes widened on sight of the creature’s monstrous fangs dripping with a corrosive acid that is now eating slowly through a section of the aft guardrail.
The woman rolled hard left as the serpent lunged, its molar teeth gnashing in an attempt at biting. Atalanta slashed at the right side of the creature’s neck with the blade of her sword.
The creature’s venom sack secured beneath its throat had shifted as it slinked its serpentine neck slowly to the left; in an attempt at attacking the son of Zeus from behind.
Venom from the creature’s sack splattered upon Atalanta’s right arm. The strong woman groaned from the burning pain and dropped her sword.
Hercules felt a surge of adrenaline rise up within on sight of Atalanta’s injury. The son of Zeus climbed fast upward upon the serpent’s spine studded armored back.
Salmoneus grabbed up Atalanta’s sword as Iolaus aided the strong woman back and away from the creature.
Atalanta was fast feeling the effects from the creature’s venom as it began to eat into her flesh and work its way into her bold stream.
Hercules drew himself up to the right side of the serpent’s head. The creatures tail rose and whipped outward upon the tiny vessel. Jason turned the helm hard to port in an attempt in evasion of the creatures’ attack.
The serpent’s tail smashed hard to the Argo’s unprotected hull. The hull cracked.
Grabbing hold of the serpent’s upper and lower jaws, Hercules pried against the creature’s strength.
For the serpent, the battle is short lived. The muscles of the serpent’s jaws stretches and sprained.
Hercules groaned aloud as his own muscles tear apart the creatures’ two jaws. Saliva and blood splattering the son of Zeus’s tunic.
The serpent wobbled backwards. as the son of Zeus dove and arced himself in a forward roll to land down upon the deck.
Hercules moved fast to Atalanta’s side.
The son of Zeus quickly removing his tunic and rolling it to prevent loss of the creature’s fluids.
“Iolaus? The creature’s blood, it can stem the venom. Hercules tossed Iolaus his rolled tunic and turned back to the beast.
The Argonauts were now fast at work bleeding the creature from multiple weapon wounds in its unprotected underbelly. The sea serpent sunk slowly to return to the depths.
Hercules bent low to check on the strong woman.
Salmoneus looked deathly concerned by the strong woman’s unconscious state.
Iolaus shook his head.
"..... I don't know Hercules..... The venom got into her blood stream..... We need to get her to a healer and fast....."
Hercules' face contorted with raising rage the son to the king of the gods rose back up onto his feet.
"Zeus? You owe me!"
Time slowed to a halt. One bolt of lightning announced his arrival. Zeus now bathed the tree in a brilliant light of his divine graces.
"Skip the floorshow father..... Atalanta is dying..... Save her, as I am on my way to save you....."
Zeus was silent. the king of the gods weighed the possibilities heavily.
"..... Very well Hercules..... But you of all mortals know the consequences of may interfering in the workings of the other gods..... I will yet again need to call on you; for now what I must do....."
Zeus held aloft his right hand, his minded thoughts calling forth unto him a single apple from the tree of life.
"..... The ambrosia seeded within this apple will sustain her..... Give not to her more than she needs less of an eternal enemy of a goddess by her you will make....."
Zeus tossed the ambrosia apple to his son, and immediately returned to his domain.
A second bolt of lightning recalling the king of the gods to Olympus.
The deck of the Argo now permanently marked by a scorching from his wake.