By Word of Mouth

Artemis was apprehensive when Zeus summoned the High Council.  Matters of the High Council were of the gravest importance, and usually reserved for dangers too great to handle alone.  She hesitated to even enter the Courtroom when she saw Zeus and Hera conferring with looks of concern.  

Zeus observed the flow of immortals into the room with impatience.  He sat at the head of the table, as always, with Hera beside him.  Poseidon sat gracefully near the head of the table, but chose to remain silent.  Athena and Artemis sat next to Hestia, and Aphrodite, Apollo, and Ares were positioned across from them.  Hades remained aloof, obviously displaying his discomfort at being outside his domain.  Hephaestus, unusually, slid into the open seat nearest to Artemis.  They exchanged a furtive glance, and she could tell he desired a private word with her, but it was too late.  Soon, all of the Council had filtered in and found their seats, and the Council was in session.

Zeus's voice boomed, "Some of you must have heard the rumors that have been surfacing, regarding the fate of Otos and Ephialtes."  The mere mention of their names brought chills to the gods.  Zeus knew he had captured their attention in a mere sentence.  "I have received word that the twin giants have been discovered ALIVE."

One word was all it took to install fear into the heart of every resident of Mount Olympus.  Instantly, the whole Courtroom was in pandemonium, searching the eyes of every presence for the answers to their new-found problems.   Artemis remained deathly silent, hands in her lap.  Her gaze was unbreakably focused on the small area of table in front of her.

Zeus sensed a loss of control and commanded attention once more.  "I am certain we all remember what a threat these giants pose to our home, here on Mount Olympus.  Nobody shall ever forget.  However, there is one soul that can lay to rest all of our uncertainties and worries."  Artemis felt her father's eyes fixed on her, and reluctantly lifted her head to match it.  "Artemis, my dear daughter, tell us this can't be true.  When you transformed yourself into that deer, you saw both arrows pierce their hearts."

The poor goddess trembled as the memories of the fateful day returned.  Did she truly see the twin giants lose their lives?  Suddenly she wasn't so sure.

The End

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