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The Ascension Series: Book One: Rising Dawn

By Joshua Smithley

Adventure / Humor

Prologue


Nothing but silence pierced the air. The very molecules of the air itself were seemingly holding themselves in with bated breath, fearing what would happen next inside the shelter of the hall they resided in.

Said hall gleamed in the darkness it was wrapped around within, resembling that of a chrysalis. The soft twilight glow of the hall was succeeding in warding away Nyx's messengers of Night with fiery determination. But no, the hall was nothing more than a simple stone structure- how it could ward away the vast expanse of Night itself was a mystery.

A muffled groan broke the silence, shaking the very entirety of the cosmos into one of discontent.

"How they run rampant... Rude, even!" grumbled a voice from a marbled throne, gazing at multiple images flurrying through a golden sphere, illuminating the hall with its unyielding brightness.

Various VHS-style videos flashed across the sphere, pulling up the lives of Greek and Roman heroes everywhere, subject to the personal viewing of the voice.

"Stupid heroes. Stupid gods. Stupid everything!" the voice growled, slamming a physical fist onto the throne. "I might as well retire to a nursing home for immortals... Even putting up with Ananke would be better than this. Heck, even Oceanus' satire would be worth more than this."

The voice merely rolled the eyes of its physical body, realizing that its words were for naught. Sure, recent events may have offset the original plan, but it was still there... Or, to be more accurate, it was merely a plan that guided recent events like the strings of a puppet, aiming to achieve a higher goal.

The voice, belonging to a being, merely waved a hand towards the golden sphere, prying and scrolling for a very certain group of individuals...

"Aha!" the being exclaimed, finally finding the correct scene. "Let's see what they're up to..."

Two people formed in the glow of the sphere, looking as if they were deep in an argument. Jet-black and golden-blonde hair popped up, accentuating the figures of two newly-discovered demigods. Sea-green and electric-blue eyes shone like orbs in the simple hall, only serving to increase the being's confidence of finding the correct people... Or, rather, the miserable puppets who ruined it all.

Percy Jackson, twenty-year old son of Poseidon, and Jason Grace, nineteen-year old son of Jupiter, were among the images formed- their scrunched faces mirrored a conversation of deep intrigue and thoughtfulness.

"This should be good," groaned the being, leaning in to listen. "Maybe there'll be something decent this time around, anyway."

The image of Percy opened his mouth and shrugged. "No idea. Sharks, maybe?"

"Sharks on land?" Jason retorted, his sarcasm ringing across the feed as sharp as a knife forged from the depths of Olympus. "How would that even work?"

"That, my friend..." Percy whispered, "is the magic! It's... special!"

The being gagged. "How insipid. Perhaps he is even stupider than I originally thought..."

Jason's voice interrupted the being's moment of self-pity. "That's impossible, dude! Perce, sharks can't swim on land. Maybe you've been watching too many reruns of Jaws lately... C'mon, I'm sure Annabeth can-"

"No!" Percy exclaimed, interrupting the son of Jupiter. "I BELIEVE! IT'S LIKE RAINBOWS AND UNICORNS! YOU JUST NEED TO BELIEVE!"

"I've had enough," the being grumbled, waving its hand once more and cutting off the feed. "Demigods are like insects. Annoying pests. Useful, when necessary... And they will make beautiful sacrifices when the time comes."

The simple stone hall fell silent in the wake of the being's whispers, bowing to the will of its power. It was the sort of power that would rival even the greatest primordials in the cosmos.

"How safe they think they are..." hissed the being- its dialect thrumming through the air as soft as powdered snow. "Enough teasing. Too much has been lost."

Cr-unch. Cra-ka-krunch.

The unmistakable pitter-pattering of feet rang across the hall, indicating the arrival of a new presence. It did not serve to alleviate the distant gaze of the being, who was still focused on the golden sphere, sitting a fair distance away from the presence.

The being sighed, blinking its golden eyes in boredom, recognizing the arrival by the mere sound of his feet alone.

As the new arrival ventured closer and closer to the throne, the being spoke. "It has been a while, old friend..."

"Indeed it has, o mighty one," crooned the approaching figure, showing no indication of fear. "Too long, even."

"Perhaps," sighed the being, tapping the gilded curves of its throne in exasperation. "I fear that the moment is nearly wasted. For too long, I have idled by and allowed wanton destruction to run rampant... No more, I say. Kronos and Gaea alike have failed me, and they will pay."

As the being finished its murmurs, it shifted its previously distant gaze to the figure approaching the throne.

At first glance, the figure appeared to be a giant- a child of Gaea. The giant had multiple scars etched across his skin, and his teeth gritted in agitation. Skin color the tone of roughly-hewn oak adorned the giant, indirectly serving to make him stand out in any corner of the earth he would go.

No matter how tall or intimidating the giant appeared to be, the being had no qualms nor fear of him.

"Mother Gaea was rather... disappointing in her efforts," the giant muttered, swinging out a small hunting knife and inspecting it. "I blindly followed her as I deemed fit. It was inexcusable, trying to get my revenge... It was not yet the time. I should have waited..."

The being cocked its head. "All in due time, youngling. Those little heroes as you see them will perish soon enough. There is no need in the chaos of creation for those... insects."

"As that may be," began the giant, "you promised me my revenge."

The being growled. "You forget, mewling quim... I raised you from the depths of Tartarus. When all hope was lost, I gave you a chance at redemption. You would do well to hold your tongue!"

"Please," the giant snorted. "You didn't raise me from Tartarus for nothing. What you require... is only obtainable by my very... specific skillset."

"If it weren't for those stupid ancient laws and their clauses, I would do it myself..." the being mumbled. "You would do well to watch yourself, however, giant. One platter of revenge for what I require. That was the deal."

The giant nodded. "What of the heroes of Olympus?"

The being shifted, stirring the entirety of the cosmos into one of distressed turmoil.

"I'll deal with them."


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