The Godling Chronicles: Hades Rising

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Chapter 17

Moonlight, courtesy of James’ moonstone, filled the corridor that he and Aislinn stood in, casting white light and shadows over their faces and on the walls around them. Aislinn pressed her back against the large metal security door that led to the roof of the Museum of Natural History’s roof, and slowly eased it open, praying to any god that was listening that it wouldn’t squeal and give away their presence. She looked around the edge of the door, making sure that only enough of her body was out from behind the door so that she could see beyond and find the locations of their targets.

She pulled back hastily when she saw Hypnos starting to look over his shoulder. "This is a stupid idea. It's not going to work."

"Do you have any better ideas? Because I didn't hear you and Drake coming up with anything earlier."

"No."

“Then stop complaining. Now turn around and keep an eye out for Drake’s signal. I want to get this over with, go home, and drown my self in alcohol. This day has sucked more than any other day in my admittedly short life.”

She just rolled her eyes and went back to watching the goings on beyond the door, “Drama queen.”

She could see the three gods that were their targets. Thanatos looked down over the edge of the Museums roof, down to the street below, laughing at the chaos he and his brothers were causing; he relished in the screams of mortals as they fled from his sisters in terror. Moros stood next to him, a smile on his usually dour face, he too was enjoying the fear of the mortals, their own sense of doom and damnation hung in the air, filling the grim god with power and strength. Hypnos was the only one who looked uninterested in the whole affair, most likely because he wasn’t reaping any benefits of the human’s terror and fear, or the spreading of the Underworld.

Just as she was about to start cursing Drake and how long the god was taking to get ready, she saw the signal; three rapid bursts of blue fire, that came from the direction of the trees across the street from the Museum. If she squinted she could barely make out the blur that was Drake, crouched in the boughs of the skeletal, leaf bare trees. “Show time, you ready?”

She took a moment to glance over her shoulder. James had already put his bow back together and was just finishing stringing it when Aislinn turned around. He reached back into the soft leather quiver that hung from his shoulder and pulled out two bronze tipped arrows, nocking them both.

“Good. I’ll lead with two bolts, shoot your arrows into the flash so they won’t see them coming,”

James brought his bow up, drawing all the way back to his ear, his arm steady despite the pressure, nodding to show that he was ready. Lightning crackled to life around Aislinn’s arm, throwing sharp light across her face, making the smile she wore look demonic. Once she had the strength to where she wanted she kicked the door open, leaving her foot against the bottom edge so it wouldn’t swing back into their faces, and let the bolts fly.

James shot his arrows a bare second after she had let loose, he missed Moros, who had thrown himself to the ground, but managed to catch Thanatos in the shoulder. The arrow ripped through the flesh of his shoulder and continued on until halted by the fletching. Silver blood dripped from the wound starting to travel down his arm.

Thanatos turned to glare at the Godlings who stood framed in the doorway. Aislinn had drawn her swords, lightning dancing up and down the blades, James had already nocked another arrow to his bow and had it pointed at Hypnos, who was only now rising from the prone position he had been in.

“You dare -”

“We do. Thanatos, Moros, and Hypnos, either surrender now or be forced to. Maybe if you come quietly, Father will be merciful?”

“Who’s going to force us? You? Don’t make me laugh. You may be able to wield lightning like your divine father, but you are still mortal. Now leave, I grow weary of you and your continued interference.”

“The Boundary between the Realms has been fixed and Uncle Hades is already pulling back the Styx’s poison. Soon the world will be right again. You just don’t want to admit that you’ve lost.”

The three brothers turned surprised looks at one another, then towards the two Godlings. “You lie,”

“You only wish. Now give up and turn yourselves in.”

Because of the darkness that surrounded them Aislinn and James didn’t see the Door that was forming beneath Thanatos feet until it was almost too late, they watched as he suddenly dropped and vanished through the Door. Survival instincts that James hadn’t even realised he possessed had him diving to the left, just as Aislinn dove to the right, avoiding the downward slash of Thanatos’ scythe. James moved again, farther to the left this time narrowly avoiding Moros’ sword. He rotated his body until he was on one knee the arrow he had been grasping in the same hand that held the bow, now nocked and aimed at a charging Moros’ chest.

He had just enough time to see Aislinn struggling to keep both Hypnos and Thanatos at a safe distance, utilizing both blade and lightning, before he let his arrow fly at Moros’ unprotected chest. Moros deflected the arrow with the flat of his sword, James hadn’t actually expected his arrow to land, and slashed at the kneeling blonde. He ducked and rolled clumsily between the gods’ legs, his left foot catching on Moros’ ankle, tripping him. Moros was too close for James to shoot another arrow at him, not that he had the time to nock and fire one anyway, so he drew the dagger that Hephaestus had given him and prepared for the worst.

It never came. Just as Moros would have closed to striking distance he was knocked off his feet by Thanatos, who had been sent flying thanks to one of Aislinn’s bolts. James turned to thank his friend, only to find her pinned to the ground by Hypnos. He had one foot on her chest and the other on her right arm, trapping it and the sword it held; her other sword was a few feet away, useless. Thunder crashed in the distance.

He turned back, remembering that he now had two gods to deal with instead of one, but saw that he had nothing to worry about. Drake had finally shown up.

Drake had used his power over plants to force one of the trees to uproot its self and move towards the Museum. Once it had gotten close enough, he only had to wait until the three gods strayed to close to the edge of the roof and trap them. Dark vines, similar to the ones that had trapped Brontes wound down the branches to wrap around the two gods, holding them in place. Moros was wrapped up like a mummy, and one of Thanatos’ arms, was completely encased from wrist to shoulder.

Assured that he was no longer in any danger, at least for the time being, James turned his attention back to the still struggling Aislinn. He quickly put an arrow to his bow and aimed. “Hey Hypnos,” the pyjama wearing god looked over questioningly. “Think fast.” Instead of leaning backwards to avoid the arrow like he had expected, Hypnos leaned forward, putting all of his weight on Aislinn’s chest and trapped arm, forcing a scream, along with the air from her lungs.

“Shit!”

As James pulled an arrow from the quiver at his back he was knocked to the ground by Drake, who had been kicked by Thanatos. The god having finally managed to free himself from the vines, now turned his attentions to the one who had trapped him. Thunder again sounded in the distance, though this time it was accompanied by rain. It started off as a light drizzle, but it soon turned into a torrential downpour.

“Time to scream, little Prince.” Thanatos gave Drake no time to react, and barely enough time to defend. The young god only narrowly managed to dodge around and duck under slices from Thanatos’ whirling scythe, moving away from where Moros was trapped, encased from head to toe in vines, the bottom of his boots resting in a puddle that covered most of the rooftop.

James pushed himself to his knees, shaking his head to get his waterlogged hair out of his eyes. He looked from where Drake was fighting, wincing as the gods side was cut open, blood spilling out and staining the water around his feet silver, over to where Aislinn and Hypnos where. The pyjama wearing immortal had the young girl in a head lock, one arm wrapped around her neck, the other putting pressure on his elbow. Aislinn’s lips were already starting to turn blue, and her skin was paling rapidly, but instead of trying to free herself, she had laid her hands in the puddle beneath her, hands as flat as she could get them.

James scrambled to his feet and ran straight towards were Drake and Thanatos were and grabbed Drake’s arm as he ran passed, nearly pulling him off his feet. Drake realizing what James was doing recovered and they both managed to leap from the roof to the tree, just as blue lightning danced across the rain soaked rooftop, electrocuting everyone who stood on it, including the one responsible for the sudden surge.

Drake and James climbed back onto the roof and hurried over to the slumped over form of Aislinn. Her clothes were still smoking, and her hands were a little crispy, but she was breathing and that was all that mattered. Drake rolled the unconscious girl over, before carefully picking her up bridal style, “I’m surprised that the plan actually worked as well as it did, no offense or anything James, but “let’s just have Aislinn electrocute the bastards” really didn’t sound all that great.”

“That is not the way I explained it and you know it. That’s just all you took in after I told you your part.”

“Whatever let’s just get these guys to Olympus. I want to get Nike to Apollo ASAP, and these guys handed over to Zeus before something goes wrong and we loose them.”

One Week Later:

Bright September sunlight filtered down through the leafy boughs of the trees that made up Drake’s backyard. Birds sang in the boughs of the trees, bees buzzed through the flower gardens trying to get that last bit of nectar gathering in before the bitter chill of Fall started to set in. Laughter mingled with the sounds of nature as the “We Just Saved the World and Are Still Alive to Talk About It” celebration got into full swing.

James was talking with Artemis and a woman who had the same colour of hair as he did, silver blonde, she had eyes that were such a light colour of gray that they could be called white, and was dressed in a long, flowing, white Chiton with embroidered moons of silver thread around the hems. Artemis was introducing him to Selene, goddess of the moon, and his mother, needless to say that the meeting was a little awkward, but with Artemis there to act as a buffer, and all three being avid archers it wasn’t going as badly as it could have been.

Aislinn was sitting in between Hermes and Dionysus, all three belting out rowdy and inappropriate drinking songs, as Pan sat below them on a lawn chair, playing the tune on his pipes. The sad thing was not a single one of them was drunk.

Drake flopped down on the grass next to Diana and Apollo who had commandeered the only seat big enough to hold more than one person. He had just left from talking with his Father and Zeus, who had both commended him on the use of his abilities in the battles that he had fought in against Thanatos and his brothers.

He wasn’t surprised to hear the words of praise from Hades, it was Zeus who had surprised him, Zeus, Athena, and even Artemis, who was no slouch in a fight, had all applauded the use of both his un-dead warriors and his power over plants in battle. None of them had thought that the two could be used in harmony like they had been. He decided to worry and wonder about it later and turned his attention to his overwhelmed looking friend.

“So Di, are you enjoying the party so far?”

“Hmm, oh Drake, when did you get here? Yes I am, it’s just is Aislinn always like that?” She waved a hand in the direction of their still singing friend, she really wasn’t very good, but neither were Hermes or Dionysus so it didn’t really matter.

“Yeah, when she gets together with those two she is, as I know you know, Dionysus loves, nah lives to party, and Hermes and Aislinn are always up for a good time.”

Diana could only nod as Apollo chuckled, “Don’t worry she won’t get any worse than this I promise. I made Dion swear not to switch any of Nicol-I mean Aislinn’s drinks with anything alcoholic.”

“Oh, that’s good. I guess,”

“So what were you two talking about before I came over?”

“I’m going to teach Diana here how to control her little prophetic gift. My fault she has it really."

“Oh?”

“Yup, see turns out Diana’s ancestor is Cassandra,”

“That girl from Troy who turned you down right,”

“Yes, thanks for reminding me of that Drake.”

“You’re welcome, ouch!”

Apollo sat back up after leaning over Diana to punch the much younger god in the head. “As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted. The same Cassandra who I gave the gift of foresight to ages ago is Diana’s ancestor, but after she was taken from Troy I didn’t really pay much attention therefore I never noticed that the gift I gave her was passed down through her blood. Your mother’s family is from Greece you said right?”

“Yes, my grandfather moved here when he was a boy, my mother’s maiden name is Khristakos.”

“Huh, it really is a small world.”

“So what are you all planning on doing once the party is over this weekend?”

“School,”

“Same, though I wish I didn’t have too. I still don’t see the reasoning behind my going to school. I knew all of this stuff before going anyway.”

Diana shook her head at her ageless friend a smile on her face, then the rest of Apollo’s sentence caught up with her, “Hey wait, what did you mean? The party is going to last all weekend?”

“That’s right you’ve never partied with the gods before have you?”

Diana could only shake her head in trepidation. Pan suddenly switched tunes going from a raunchy drunken drinking song to a lively dance number. Hermes laughed, recognizing the song his son had started to play, and grabbing Aislinn’s hand he jumped off the railing to the grass below and started to dance. Everyone started clapping along with the song then started laughing when a playful Selene dragged a blushing James down to the grass to join in the festivities.

Apollo had by this time run off and was now pushing a grumbling and reluctant Zeus to the grass, “Come on Dad join in the fun! Quit being such a rain cloud.”

Drake jumped up to his feet and held a hand out to Diana, “You, my friend, have a lot to learn. Care to dance?”

Diana looked at Drake, an eyebrow raised in question, before looking over to where Aislinn and Hermes were waving her over to join them. She looked back at Drake and smiled, grabbing his hand, “Sure, why not.” She got up and danced past him, bumping his hip with hers. “Just try and keep up.”
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