Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Brothers Tuerl & The Staffs of Zeus - 9

Chapter 9-Ares Unveiled
Jennifer took a short break at this point looking at the two sons with a slight twinkle in her eye.  “Well I guess we’ll stop Alecto’s tale right there and continue with another…”
“You can’t just do that.”  Came Irgen’s angry voice.
“Yeah you started a story you had better finish it.”  Both of the brothers looked rather riled up.  Their mother stared at them with an impassive face, until finally she couldn’t resist any longer and broke out into her beautiful white smile and her rich sing-song laugh echoed around the tower.
“Alright, alright…  You two drive a hard bargain, but I guess I may oblige you.”  She flashed them one more big grin, which this time they half-heartedly returned, and she continued Alecto’s tale with a flourish.
“As Alecto and Poseidon flew through the air in the massive chariot, Poseidon gave Alecto his last few pieces of advice.  However, more importantly he placed his heavy hands on Alecto’s head and the power of the sea passed into Alecto’s very being.  It seemed to flow unchecked through his body.  He lifted his hands to see if he looked different, maybe to see if he had webbed fingers, but he was disappointed to see only his own powerful fingers, the same as they had always been.
“Now remember my young friend, I give you this as a help-meet, I am afraid that even as a godly power it cannot save you.  For that, you will have to rely on your own wit and cunning. 
Surely you cannot foretell the dangers ahead of you, but be reassured I have faith in your strength and will.  Just remember to trust your instincts.  They know more than either of us can ever pretend to know.”
And with that the chariot landed next to a large jagged outcropping of rocks next to the unyielding rock face of a cliff towering high above them.  In front of them Alecto could make out a large cave-like entrance leading into the cliff and down out of sight.
“Now go my friend, and may the fates have mercy on you.  You know what to do, now go.”  Alecto started forward toward the cavern before he heard Poseidon whisper one last piece of advice.
“Oh and help yourself to whatever else you feel prudence will allow you to take in the Temple.  Be wary of the brothers, but feel free to harm them as much as possible.”  He laughed heartily, just as he flicked the reins on his chariot, and once again the great chariot rumbled forward, climbing high into the air surrounding the cliff face. 
Alecto watched with heart racing as he disappeared from sight.  Then he looked at his hands and knew it was up to him and him alone now.  He scurried forward to get behind a small grouping of rocks.  Once he was sure he was well hidden, he waited looking towards the entrance to the tunnel.  As he waited he grew restless, and he decided it was time he test his new power.  He lifted up his hand, and before he knew what was happening a steady fountain of water was issuing forth from it.  Tenderly he touched the soft outburst and grinned with satisfaction from the feeling of the cool water on his hand.  Suddenly he pointed his finger at a large rock in front of him, and he was amazed to see a torrent of water burst forth upon the rock face.  He smile contentedly, he could control water!  He continued to play with it until finally he decided he needed to take a moment and go over the instructions Poseidon had given him.
The plan Poseidon had given him was a simple one.  He had told him to wait until Ares came roaring out of the tunnel with his chariot of fire.  Once he was out of the tunnel.  Alecto was to sprint inside in the hope that Ares had been so overconfident in his demeanor towards his sons.  That they would not even bother to wake up and see him off.  Poseidon was very confident in this fact and had told Alecto he must then begin the search for the staff.  If all went well and as planned, Alecto would have a short time to search for the staff before the brothers awoke.  After this point in the plan; however, Poseidon had stopped being specific.  He merely mentioned the fact that Ares would be home as the sun set, and he must be out of the temple before that time.
He sat lost in thought for a time looking at the different aspects of his mission when all of a sudden he heard a faint urging of horses forward.  He perked up and listened as the trampling of hooves against the hard ground grew louder and more pronounced, and then suddenly four beautiful, fiery steeds burst into the sunlight carrying an enormous bronze war chariot behind them.  As they reached the outside they halted.  Each horse stood stamping and snorting in the blazing light of the sun.  Alecto surveyed the scene before him and finally caught a glimpse of the great god of war-Ares.
He was dressed in full war armor.  In his right hand he carried a large ornate oak spear, and he was decked out in fiery red armor up to his neck, but his mighty helm instead of being held proudly on those haughty shoulders, was tucked away under his left arm at his side,.  But because the helm was absent Alecto could get a glimpse of the dominating face.  He looked incredulously at the unkempt brown beard which covered Ares’ face like an octopus’ tentacles.  The only other striking feature of the face was the fiery eyes which seemed to burn into whatever they looked.  Behind his back he wore a flowing blood red cape, which rippled dangerously in the breeze.  This was Ares the god of war, and it was clear to Alecto that such a formidable personage would truly strike fear into enemies on the field of battle. 
Alecto watched in awe as the god slowly lifted up his helm before placing it gently on his head, giving him an even more fearsome appearance.  The helm truly completed the dreadful Spartan garb which covered Ares.  It had a square crimson plume which ran vertically from the bottom of the helm upwards, until it finally squared off at the top of the helm standing parallel to the ground.
Alecto watched silently as the figure before him spurred his horses forward.  The horses’ mouths foamed and the earth and air shook as they took off just as Poseidon’s chariot had done.  He gazed after them for a moment before remembering that this was no vacation he was on, and so as they shrank into the distance, Alecto sprinted into the tunnel and onward.

But as he slipped into the opening, he could not help thinking to himself that if he found a spare chariot of Ares in the temple he would not pass up the opportunity to take it.  Surely out of all the gifts and the toys of the gods, a chariot with fire breathing horses was without any doubt, the most impressive and…However ironically, the coolest of them all.

Chapter 8             Chapter 10

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