Author: greedmammon PM
The gods have descended to fight for supremacy. We are the Avatars, fated to fight each other for rule of the skies. Greek, Hindu, Egyptian, and Norse. Please review, feedback is wanted!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Chapters: 13 - Words: 68,762 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 10-01-12 - Published: 11-06-11 - id: 2967971
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"YOU DID WHAT NOW?" Amy yells into the phone. She pauses for a few seconds, then says," I don't care about the 'information' she might give you, she's a bad guy! As in, wants to eat you and kill everyone in the world! That's not someone we want on our side!" The walls of our hotel room seem to buckle under the force of her voice. I'm lying down on my bed and she's standing over me, yelling into the phone.
Another pause. Then," I don't care if she can hear me! She would have killed people and you're just allowing her to stay with you! What if she kills you? What would we do then? You're probably blinded by how pretty she is!" Pause. "Of course she's pretty! Otherwise, why would you have bothered to bring her with you!"
I reach over and grab the phone out of Amy's hands, ignoring her glare of outrage. "Anyways," I say," concentrate on finding the other two stones. We'll find Daniel and take the diamond back and then make our way back to you. Remember we only have two weeks. So be careful, okay?"
"Gotcha. You stay safe," Marc replies. "Try to keep Amy from having an aneurysm, okay?"
I laugh as I hang up. Amy glares at me," What?"
"Oh, nothing," I say with a wave of my hand. "Why'd you go off on them like that?"
"Because they're being morons!" Amy yells. "That Frost Giant hussy is just trying to get them to let down their guard before she strikes and kills them! Then where will we be?"
"So you're saying that they should force her to go back to the Frost Giant world and let her be killed?" I ask her, expecting her to become sheepish.
Instead, she nods," That's exactly what I expected them to do. Can't they see how much of a risk taking her on is?"
I sigh," Whatever. They've made their decision and there's nothing we can do it about now."
Amy shrugs," I can still teach them a lesson though." I look at her and she smiles," Just joking. Maybe."
"You're insane," I say. "So, let's get down to business. Where should we go to find Daniel and that diamond?"
"I haven't the faintest clue," Amy says. "He could still be here, he could have left Athens, he could have teleported far, far away from here!" She looks at me quizzicaly," Can Loki teleport?"
"And I would know how?" I reply. "It doesn't matter. If he's left, he's left and there's nothing we can do about it. But if he hasn't left, we need to find him. No matter what. Now that we have a deadline, we have to hurry."
"This is all just so much work!" Amy says with an exaggerated sigh as she jumps onto her bed.
"Don't be so lazy," I say as I toss a pillow at her. She bats it away with her hand as I continue," We've been given a duty and we have to uphold it."
"I know that. I just wish it wasn't so much work!" Amy replies. Suddenly, there's a knock at the door. I jump off the bed and walk over to the door, taking care to peer through the peephole before opening the door. Through the small glass circle, I can see one of the bellboys, tapping his foot impatiently.
I pull open the door and the bellboy's foot-tapping stops. "I have a message for you from a Daniel Trickster," he says in fragmented English that unfortunately doesn't get magically get translated.
I look back at Amy, who's stood up off the bed. She motions me forward urgently with her hand. I turn back to the bellboy. "Um, thank you," I say as I take the paper the bellboy is holding out in his hand.
"My pleasure," he replies before he turns away and walks down the hallway.
I close the door and turn around with the paper tightly in my hand. "What does it say?" Amy asks excitedly. "Maybe it tells us where he is or something!"
"He can't be that much of an idiot," I reply. "He knows that we're probably looking for him, so why in the world would he send us a message with his location? Even that lunatic can't be so stupid."
"I don't know," Amy says. "He did use that fake name 'Trickster'. That's not exactly Mensa material. Just read the message!"
"Okay, okay, I'm doing it!" I say. I unfold the piece of paper and take a look at the words scribbled in neat handwriting on it. "It says 'Temple of Zeus. Three o'clock.' After that, there's only a drawing of a diamond."
"Okay, now that's just cheap," Amy says. "Does he really think that we'll be stupid enough to actually meet him after what he did to me!"
"You do realize that we'll have to go meet him, right?" I ask her.
She nods," But I don't like it. It's obviously a trap. But we need the diamond."
I nod as I look at the cheap alarm clock on the bedside table," Well, it's 2:30. It's always good to get there early."
Amy nods," We're so going to regret this."
Twenty minutes later, we're standing in the center of the ruins that were once the Temple of Zeus. The sun is high in the sky, but the heat isn't too terrible. A few other tourists are scattered around, taking pictures of their friends leaning against one of the standing pillars.
"Well, where is he?" Amy asks, still trying to rub in the last fragment of sunscreen. She was not very happy when I made her put some on.
"I don't know, my magical tracking device stopped working," I quip back. Amy sticks out her tongue at me and walks away, humming to herself. "We should stay close together!" I call out after her.
"I'm not going far!" she replies over her shoulder. "And besides, it's not like he's going to kidnap me or anything. It wouldn't make sense."
"This guy isn't the sanest person in the world," I reply, but she ignores me and starts to walk around.
I stand there, in the sun, watching Amy make her way around the Temple. Soon, she starts to make her way back to me. But before she can, a figure appears in front of me.
"Hiya! Are you ready to go?" Daniel says with an excited smile. He's dressed like he was last night. Quinn and Nikolas's arrows didn't leave a mark on his outfit. Without waiting for my response, he grabs my wrist.
Suddenly, I feel like I'm being squeezed by a vice. One second, I'm incredibly small; the next, I was larger than a mountain. The feeling only lasts for a heartbeat, but it feels like longer. When it stops, I'm standing in front of an entrance to a massive maze. I can feel Daniel let go of me, but when I turn around, he's gone.
I look behind me. I'm standing on a cliff, a large drop leading into a beautiful blue sea. The sky's still pure blue and the sun beats down on my head. I look back at the maze, trying to figure out if I should go inside. The walls are pure white and look like they are marble. The only flaw in the building I can see is the series of cracks that extend over the walls like a spider web. Would it mean escape, or is that exactly what Daniel wants? My question is answered in a second when Daniel reappears, this time holding Amy's arm. When she sees me, she lurches out of his grasp and moves to my side.
"What the heck did you just do?" I ask him angrily.
"I teleported. Or maybe it was super-speed." Daniel shrugs," Or both. But whatever the action, I did it and brought you here."
"Where exactly is here?" Amy asks.
"The island of Crete," Daniel says proudly. "Home of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur. "
"I thought they weren't able to find the Labyrinth," Amy asks him.
Daniel nods," That's true, but I was able to make a replica because we needed one for our game. We get to play another game together, isn't that awesome!"
"I won't play another one of your games," Amy says quickly, barely failing to hide the fear in her voice. She doesn't want to be trapped again. I have the sudden urge to step in front of her, to protect her, but I know that if I do, she'll kill me.
"But you have to play," Daniel says, his cheerful smile twisting into a more insane leer. "If you don't play, you don't get the diamond. And if you don't get the diamond, then that means that I'll have to give it to them."
I don't need to ask who 'they' are. Of course he would involve the Titans. For a few seconds, I consider asking the boy what exactly is wrong with him. But then the thought is pushed away by a sense of urgency. What if Daniel gave the Titans a head start? "What's the game?" I ask him.
"It's like hide and seek, but more fun!" Daniel says, returning to his happier smile. "I've hidden the diamond somewhere in the maze. You two have to find it before the other team does. Whoever gets the diamond and defeats the enemy, wins!"
"Who's the 'enemy'?" I ask him.
Daniel shakes his finger at me," I can't tell you who he is! That'd be cheating. But since there's only one of him, I had to give him a partner. So make sure you watch out!"
Amy shakes her head," I'm sorry, but there's just no way that I can do this." She looks at me with pleading eyes. Well, they aren't exactly pleading, but they're pretty close.
I put my hand on her shoulder," It's okay. I'll just go in by myself."
She lets out a massive sigh of relief. "Thanks," she says softly. I know how this must be killing her, having me go in there while she stays outside. I reach out to touch her shoulder, to let her know that I'll kick the Titan's but and then kick Daniel's.
Suddenly, Daniel's standing beside us," Sorry, but you both have to play. Good luck!" He shoves Amy towards the entrance to the maze. She lands on the ground just inside of the maze's walls. Her face turns panicked as she tries to stand up and get out. But Daniel snaps his fingers and the wall slides over, sealing Amy in the maze.
I run over to the wall. "Are you okay?" I yell over the wall.
"I'm fine," Amy says, her voice surprisingly strong. I know that if it were me, I'd probably be freaking out.
"Listen, I'll find you, okay? If you see anyone who isn't me, run. I don't care who it is, just run!"
"Okay," she says, her voice growing stronger with each word. "I guess I'll see you in a little while."
I nod," See you soon." I move away from the wall and walk back to Daniel. "How do I get in?" I ask brusquely.
"Right here," he says with a sweep of his arm. The part of the wall next to where Amy entered slides back, revealing a passage that seems to delve deep into the heart of the maze. "Have a good time and good luck!"
I brush past him and take my first few steps into the maze. As soon as I'm far enough into the maze, the wall slams shut behind me, effectively cutting off any chance I have of getting out of here. Looks like Daniel doesn't think I can do this. Now I have another reason to win this perversion of a game: to save the world, to save Amy, and to shove the diamond in Daniel's face with a triumphant grin. That might just make it all worth it. But first, I have to get through the maze and deal with the traps I know that Daniel's probably planted throughout it. He wouldn't want this to be too easy.
I walk down the hallway, looking carefully into the walls for a carefully hidden side passage that might lead me in Amy's direction. Unfortunately, in the first 100 yards, there's no such path. On the other hand, my carefulness does let me see the circular notches in the wall just ahead of me. They're lined up at about chest level and the interior is pitch black. Obviously, they're nothing good. But I don't see a good way to get around them. I certainly can't go back.
A crazy idea hits me. I take a few steps back, get a running start, and dive under the holes. The second I pass under the first one, I hear a twanging noise, followed by a loud 'thunk' as a projectile hits the wall. I ignore them and keep going, hearing more and more of the twangs. An arrow trap. It's a classic and an easily avoidable one.
But then, the twangs stop while I'm still sliding. They're replaced by a squishy noise, like something's flowing out of a pipe. And then I stop sliding. My momentum wasn't enough to get me all the way across. I'm left about five yards from the end of the holes.
Instinct tells me to move and I lurch to the side, just in time to avoid the black goop that falls out of one of the pipes and lands on the marble floor. It sizzles as it touches the cool marble, jiggling slightly. I stare at the blob before I realize what's happening. The traps switched midway. And I've stopped moving.
I start speed-crawling towards the end of the corridor. The flowing noise starts increasing and I narrowly avoid getting hit by the goop. Soon, almost all of the holes behind me are spewing out the black gunk. The ones ahead of me are slower to begin, but the gunk still starts covering the floor at an alarming pace.
Now I stand up and sprint towards the end of the trap. The gunk has started to fill the tunnel and my shoes splash as I dive out of the trap's radius. I stop and catch my breath. But then, my feet start burning. I look down and see that the black goop is eating into my flesh where the two have come into contact. I hurriedly kick my shoes off and daintily use them to wipe the goop off. It doesn't have any effect on my clothes, but the goop leaves an angry red stripe on my skin.
I almost sit down before continuing, but then I realize that the black substance is still flowing out of the pipes. The ooze is only a few inches behind me when I take off running, the marble floor cool against my bare feet. I let my shoes fall and become consumed by the ooze. The corridor takes a sudden curve and then quickly branches off into a crossroads. I look behind me and see that the ooze has yet to make the turn. I consider my options. Right goes towards where I lost Amy, so I start walking that way. I slow down, because now the ooze has four corridors to fill instead of just the one. It'll take time for it to get to me.
For a long time, the maze is empty except for me. I'm extremely bored, but also on edge, knowing that at least two enemies are waiting out there for me. My mind wanders to Amy. Is she okay? So far, there have been no challenges that required godly abilities, so she's probably safe. I hope this way takes me to her.
Just as I'm starting to consider singing showtunes to pass the time, I come to another crossroads. However, this one isn't as empty as the last one. Just as it comes into sight, a hulking figure disappears down the right road. I flinch as it disappears, and then start walking backwards slowly. After a minute or so, I feel safer. I might have just run into one of my opponents. I didn't get a good look at it, but the thing is huge. Nothing in the world could persuade me to go down that road.
I walk into the crossroads and turn towards the right corridor. The whole area smells like a cow field. I half expect to hear one snort angrily as it swats at a fly with its tail. Then I hear a heavy panting, exactly like that of a cow's breathing. I hurl myself to the side, down the corridor ahead of where I entered from. A massive fist smashes into the space where I was a second before. I only catch a glimpse of brown fur and a pair of scarlet eyes before I start sprinting down the hallway, followed by the sound of lumbering footsteps.
I race around a bend and then the path branches into two. I tear around the corner and almost die. The path suddenly ends and in its place is a pit filled to the brim with spikes. The only way across is a thin ledge that seems to sway in the non-existent breeze. For a second, I hesitate. But then, the thing roars from behind me. I'm galvanized into action and I sprint across the path. I almost slip on the smooth marble, but I keep going, not stopping until I'm on the other side.
I turn back and look at my foe, who is stuck on the far side of the gap. It's the Minotaur, which is very suitable, considering the situation. It has dark brown fur on its head and chest, where it's a bull. Its legs, which must be very strong to hold it all up, are human and tanned, with scars crisscrossing the skin. Two horns jut from its head and its eyes are scarlet and filled with hate. In its hand, it holds a blood-stained battle-axe.
The Minotaur roars at me as it paces back and forth on the other side of the gap. I hold out my hand and send a ray of dark light to destroy the bridge linking us. The Minotaur roars again as it sees its only way of getting to me destroyed. When the bridge is reduced to dust, I hold out my hand and the light flies at the Minotaur's head. It ducks, but the light still cuts through one of its horns, leaving a fragment still on its head. The Minotaur roars again, but turns and runs back into the maze. I can't follow it now, so I turn and continue in the way I was going.
I've been in here for about twenty minutes and I've come close to dying way too many times. My eyes are in overdrive mode, constantly searching the walls and floor for any hint of a trap. The last thing I need is to be forced further away from Amy. However, my walk is uneventful for a while. I keep turning in the way that I remember Amy being trapped in. That's the way the Minotaur went, so I'm walking with my hand out, ready to blast away. I also have to worry about the enemy that I haven't found yet.
"Why did you not destroy the enemy?" Apophis's voice rings throughout my head.
"Oh, it's you again," I say wearily. The god hasn't spoken to me since I fought Sobek. I haven't missed his hissing voice that much. I don't like the feeling of anger that accompanied our previous conversation. "I didn't kill the Minotaur because I didn't need to."
Apophis makes a sound like he's laughing," You mortals are so foolish. Conflict with that one cannot be avoided. You should have finished the swine when you had the chance."
I shake my head," Finding Amy is the priority here. I'll worry about the Titans and the Minotaur after that."
Apophis laughs again," Ah, that girl is a tricky one. I wonder if she'll… No, she wouldn't. It's probably far too soon. Watch out for that one. She's on the other side, always remember that."
"I can trust Amy," I say angrily. But I can already feel Apophis's presence fading. I don't like the god inside me. He feels dark to me. Which he probably is, being the god/demon of chaos. I make a mental note to ask Tanner and Marc about their gods. Am I the only one who can hear my god's voice? Does that mean we're more in tune than the others? A chilling thought occurs to me. Or is he just closer to consuming me than theirs' are?
Suddenly, I realize that there's a strange noise echoing throughout the labyrinth. It sounds like a group of people whispering in harmony. They all sound sad. I put my back against one of the walls and point a hand in each direction, ready for whatever comes at me.
Nothing happens for a few seconds. Then, a swirl of dust begins to rise out of the floor in front of me. As it grows, I hold my hand out towards it, ready in case of an attack. The dust continues to thicken, until I can no longer see through it to the other wall. When it stops, I prepare for the attack. But just as quickly as it appeared, the dust devil dies away, leaving a human figure in its wake.
"Greetings," the man says. He's dressed like a warrior, bare chested except for a strap of leather crossing his chest. He wears a leather skirt and holds no weapons. The man's chest is scarred and his face has two scars on his cheeks.
"Who are you?" I demand of him.
He holds up his hands, as though in surrender," Do not fear me. I am but one of the many spirits trapped in the labyrinth, here to guide you to your prize."
"Why would you help me?" I ask him.
He smiles sorrowfully," I am trapped here, as are many others that were killed in this barbaric maze. I only wish for you to allow me to accompany you out. I wish to go to Hades and be judged after all these years."
I drop my hand warily. "How can you guide me if you do not know the way out yourself?"
The spirit chuckles grimly," Our souls have been trapped here and have been absorbed into the walls of the labyrinth. I do know the way out, but we cannot leave unless aided by a mortal."
"I thought this was just a replica of the labyrinth," I ask the spirit, still unsure of his truthfulness. "How are you trapped here if this isn't real?"
"This model of the maze takes after the original," the spirit replies. "While I could not find my way out the first time, I have been able to find the exit many times. I know this maze well. I know the way to your friend and I know the way to your enemies."
I turn away from the ghost," Thanks for the offer, but no thanks." While I'm not one to turn down a shortcut, I don't think I can trust this ghost. Who knows what he really wants from me? I could be possessed by him the second I agree to help. Or he could be a spy for the mysterious Titan who also stalks the maze.
The spirit suddenly forms out of the wall in front of me. "You shall regret this," he says calmly. "I can offer my assistance to your enemies, who would surely enjoy a chance to encounter you."
"Believe me, Casper," I say, smiling coldly," I would enjoy that just as much as they would." I can feel Apophis's essence inside of me swelling.
The ghost looks startled for a second, but quickly regains his composure. "So you are one of the destroyers…" he says musingly. "Forgive me if I have offended," he says as he bows mockingly. "Hopefully, we shall meet again, dark one." At that, the spirit fades back into the walls.
A chill runs down my spine. That spirit definitely wasn't friendly. I know I made the right choice in refusing his help. With a shake of my head, I continue down the endless white tunnels. After a few more intersections and turns, I come across a strange room. In the center of the widening of the tunnel is a small raised section, on top of which is a pedestal that is shaped like a clawed hand reaching out of the ground. In the palm of the hand is a small, white diamond.
I smile triumphantly as I walk into the room. But then, I freeze and look around the room. There's no way this room doesn't have a booby trap. Daniel doesn't want this to be easy; he wants this to be a game. If I'm not careful, I'll end up like that spirit.
I scan the floor: no upraised sections that'll react to my weight and no wires that'll slice my foot off with the slightest touch. My heart pounds, but my brain is busy comparing myself to Indiana Jones. Unlike the adventurer, I doubt I can outrun a massive ball rolling at me. I look up at the pedestal. Could it be a similar trap?
Suddenly, a massive roar echoes out from behind me. I leap to the side just in time to avoid a massive battle-axe embedding in the floor where I stood a few seconds ago. Without hesitating, I charge forwards and yank the pedestal out of the ground, clawed hand and all. With another roar, the Minotaur follows me into the room, just in time for the walls to slide shut, trapping the two of us in the room. The hand of the pedestal snaps shut around the diamond. I curse and toss it to the side. Neither the Minotaur nor I have the time to concentrate on it right now.
The Minotaur looks back at the door for a few seconds, confused by the magic of sliding doors. It quickly recovers from its wonder and charges towards me. I dart to the side and its axe slices through empty air. I fire off a beam of light at the bull-man, but it recognizes the threat and raises its axe up to protect its face. Somehow, the destructive beam of light reflects off the wall and flies into the wall, leaving a gaping hole in the wall.
The Minotaur renews its destructive attack. As before, I dodge to the side and fire off several more blasts of light. However, they are all either thrown off by my harried aim or blocked by the Minotaur's magical axe. I curse under my breath as I dodge under the massive creature's legs. I need a weapon.
After the next swing of the battle-axe, I dash to the discarded pedestal. I grab it and test it with a few swings. As the Minotaur charges, I duck to the side and swings the makeshift weapon. It smashes into the beast's side and it lets out an angry roar. I quickly take advantage of the creature's pain to light the Minotaur's fur on fire.
But this drops my guard long enough for the Minotaur to backhand me. The pain doesn't start until after I crash into the wall. The salty taste of blood fills my mouth as I try to pull myself to my feet. If one hit can do that, I can't afford to let myself get hit again. But that one time was enough. I collapse to the ground. Dimly, I can see the Minotaur's massive feet stomping over to me. I can hear the sound echoing through the ground. One of its monstrous hands grabs me and lifts me into the air. Now, I hear the sound of an axe hurtling towards my neck. I stare into the blank white of the marble and prepare for the end.
I feel the axe connect with my neck. But that's all that I feel. For some reason, it didn't chop into my neck, didn't even leave a cut on my flesh. The Minotaur makes a confused sound and tries again, but the results are the same.
I can feel Apophis's power welling up in me once more. It fills my limbs and makes them move. My arm reaches out and blasts away part of the Minotaur's side. It leaves behind a perfectly cauterized hole. The Minotaur screams in pain and drops me to the ground. My body twists itself and somehow lands on the ground safely. Once more, my arm lifts and swings the pedestal at my foe. It connects with a squishing sound and the Minotaur is thrown to the side.
"Destroy it!" Apophis urges me. "Kill it! Make it suffer as you have suffered!" I can tell that the god is controlling me, trying to take me over. As my body is forced to stand over the minotaur, I start to fight for control of it. "No!" Apophis yells in my head. "Let there be chaos!"
"N-No…" I groan as I stumble away from the Minotaur. "Get out of my head!"
"No!" Apophis wails as I slowly wrench control out of the god's hands. Soon, I control my body. Sweat drips down my face and I have trouble standing. "So be it!" Apophis spits angrily as he tunnels back into the depths of my brain.
I reach into my pocket and wrap my hand around the sapphire. Its warm embrace wraps around me. The Minotaur is still collapsed around the wall. Its chest rises and falls softly. I almost can't believe that it was reduced to this in less than a minute. At least I was able to take back my body. But how long will it be until Apophis tries again.
The Minotaur stirs. I wish there was another way, but I can't leave the Minotaur here alive. With my eyes closed, I blast away the creature's head. Bile rises my throat once I open my eyes, but I force it back down. It was a necessary evil. Now there's a better chance that Amy and I can get out of here.
Suddenly, the room begins to shake. The walls that obscured the passages re-open, revealing the familiar expanse of white. I turn my back on the cadaver of the Minotaur and make my way back into the maze.