Emerald Stone: Pandora's Box

Prologue

Dressed in dark robes and cloak a lone woman walked the beach as the waves crashed to the shore. She raised her head in a swift notion and took in the sight as the night gazed down upon her. Quietly and quickly she spread apart her arms to their full width. Soon one by one figures began to shimmer into view, sometimes in clouds of thick coloured smoke, sometimes out of thin air. Soon the beach filled with robed people. They all looked at her attentively, cold and unsmiling.

"Welcome my friends!" she called, her voice leaving a chill in the night air, "Gather round, gather round. Tonight's world is far from perfect is it not?"

She waved her hand across the sea as it parted. She grinned as several people looked as though they were stepping out of it. They stepped awkwardly as if not used to moving their feet across the ground. Some stumbled while other more coordinated people held them steady as they headed towards the meeting. The woman's face, what little you could see of it, glowed with pride. She waited and listened as applause, angry shouts of disgust erupted from her attentive audience.

"Yes we deserve so much more," she said as though agreeing with them, "They have tried to prevent us from showing up, mingling amongst society. They have tried to prevent this for such a long time. Now is finally the time to rebel. Now," she said almost dreamily as the sky clouded over, "Now we will be remembered rather than forgotten. It is time."

From the skies several chariots appeared. Pulling them was a range of winged creatures out of mythology. Some the familiar white Pegasus, others the skeletal horses of fear. Down from the chariots came their cloaked drivers. Some carried staffs while others the symbolic trident. Her ever growing audience let out a single gasp of both amazement and horror as a blue glow appeared in the circle. From it the form of a man stood before them, and they all knelt before him.

"You will cause a disruption in time," the man breathed as the trees rippled, the birds almost slowed as they flapped, "A disruption that could signify the ending of time."

"You said yourself: time cannot end," the woman snarled as she dropped her cloak to reveal two blackened wings.

"But it can be destroyed if there is no one there to enjoy it," he said in a reasonable voice, "Do what you choose. Be warned, what you do here could cause the end of time. Influence your daughters how you will in the coming war but do not underestimate their sense of time."

With that the robed man was gone in the same gust of wind that he had arrived in. The black winged woman blinked twice as though startled. She looked down at her cloak as if confused and then at the audience gathered around her. Quickly she recovered and turned to face them, a smirk spreading across her lips.

"Time is at our mercy," she called gleefully to her audience, "And now we can choose to end it as we please! The End of days is coming and with the lifting of a simple lid justice can be done and we can take our place in the immortal world once again. Undefeated we shall rise and they shall never lay a hand on us out of fear."

Once again the audience started hissing and shouting comments. Some looked pleased, others didn't. Some had puzzled and polite looks on their faces. But everyone was waiting in anticipation for the coming event. The woman raised a gold plaited jar in her hands engraved with the image of the twelve Olympians. The shouts of pleasure from the audience grew louder as the winged woman's hands closed over the lid. She let out a shriek of laughter as she removed the lid from the jar.

"Our time has come!" She announced as a black mist came flying from the box.

Everything went a shade darker than it already was. The bright colours of the trees began to turn brown and discoloured. Animals began to fall from their homes and crumble onto the grass, which already looked like it was beginning to become sick. The sanded beach turned from a bright yellow to a crusty, mouldy brown colour. The ocean turned a shocking green-brown as if it too were dying. The winged woman let out a derisive cackle as her audience began to vanish from their meeting place as if nothing terribly exciting had taken place.

She closed the jar's lid almost half-heartedly. The smile vanished from her face as her audience slowly trickled away. She smirked and looked up at the skies her eyes seemingly burning with anger.

"How are you strong when night rules over the day?" She called out as if to no one, "You once took a mighty punishment to my son and I dissuaded you, but I have not forgotten. Your time, like the Age of the Gods, has come to a screeching end. I shall drive you out of your heaven and you shall see the carnage you have wrecked on your people. Do not think you could get away that easily. My Lord of Thunder you are doomed."

She cackled all the louder and spread her sparkling black wings. She flapped them twice then rose gracefully into the sky just as the daylight began to make its appearance across the sky. She grinned as she vanished into the light.

"And I won't have to put up with this annoying day," she whispered as she shimmered completely from view.

Author's Notes: Now I know many of you are wondrous readers of the ancient Greek mythologies. You'll all be familiar with your Olympians, but these two are neither Olympians nor Titans. Unfortunately telling would be against my natural code of conduct with these things, but there you go.

Yours Sincerely

Gryffindorsqueen