Artemis slipped through the trees and bushes, her footfall silent as she watched the back of Ayistis as she sat quietly at the riverside. Adjusting her hands on her smooth bow, she stepped out, waiting for the nymphwoman to realize her presence. It was not long before she turned, coming to her feet and meeting her own eyes.

“Artemis,” Ayistis curtsied.

“Stand, girl.” said the Goddess, beckoning her to rise. Birds flutter about them, dancing on the wind as they sang. Two landed on Artemis’ shoulder, their dark, beady eyes glancing about. She smiles slightly, running her finger along it’s smooth feathers, before she returns her gaze to Ayistis, continuing with a sense of urgency. “I must tell you something, I must speak to you before Ath-,”

“Before what, Sister?” came a strong, fierce voice. From the shadows, the tall, grey form of Athena steps into the sunlight, the golden rays catching in her silver hair.

The other Goddess grimaces but says nothing, turning her eyes away from the Goddess of Wisdom. “Athena,” the nymphwoman bows once more.

“There is no need for that at this time,” Athena waves her hand impatiently, stepping closer to Ayistis. “Lysander has caused great trouble, the worst. War is on the horizon, as he has committed the most terrible of crimes. Unrighteous murder.”

Ayistis swallowed, her face contorting in worry. Before she could reply, Athena continued, locking her hard eyes on the nymph’s with a stern gaze. “He is working to right his wrongs. Yet he cannot complete it himself.”

“What do you wish for me to do, Athena?” she murmured.

“Not you,” Athena shook her head. “You carry his two children.”

Ayistis gasped, grasping her chest and glancing at Artemis. The Goddess of Nature and Childbirth nodded solemnly, “It is true. Destiny has turned her eye upon you.”

“None of this was a mistake,” Athena continued grimly. “At the birth of your children, I will take them into my own custody. I will train them in many things, but when they are ready they will go and assist in the cleaning up of their father’s mess. They shall be rewarded with Immortality. Their names will be Zacchaeus and Eleftheria, Purity and Liberty.”

The End

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