Maelstrom, part 2: The Abyss

The trench’s pull was strong, not that the currents were trying to pull me. The weight of my memory, the cold I felt, everything wanted me down there. I didn’t, yet. I wasn’t mentally prepared for the journey. I pulled my way up the wall and laid flat on the shelf, looking down into the blackness. I swore that I could see eyes staring at me, but most of the Trenchers wouldn’t come up this far. It was too bright.

“Amphitrite…” 

“Trix…” 

“Amph…” 

Random voices, all sounding different and yet familiar at the same time, assaulted my ears. I had no idea where they were coming from, but they surrounded me. Looking down into the darkness, I saw faces, familiar and devastating. 

“Father!” I shouted and tried to push myself away from the edge, to leave this place. If Nereus was here, we were all in trouble, and I needed to warn Poseidon. A hand shot out and grabbed my arm, holding me fast. I had just enough time to catch the charm that Hekate had given me and shout out, “schizo!” My soul was ripped from my body, and the hand that had been holding my arm was suddenly grasping water. I looked back and saw my limp body floating at the edge, looking down. I was worried about it; predators would take pleasure in ripping me to shreds. I hadn’t had a chance to speak with Poseidon about guarding me while I did this, and suddenly I was worried. Hekate had warned me not to do this alone, and here I was, alone. Like I always had been.

A figure appeared in the shadows as my soul moved towards the beings, entrancing me with their voices. I had enough time to recognize Rommel. He must have followed me. “Rommel! Protect my body until I return! Protect it!” I screamed at him. Rommel’s eyes widened in fear, but I saw his mouth move, and he nodded, before taking a defensive position over my body.

I followed the being that had grabbed me into the darkness, and I lost sight of Rommel. I knew he was capable, and this being that had my attention wasn’t letting me go. “You’re not my father. Nereus was cruel, but he never dragged me into the trench.” 

“Oh dear, I am your father, the worst aspects of the sea that you don’t want to admit live within.” We stopped and floated. I tried to see what was in front of me, but couldn’t. The black surrounded me. I was held fast by my fear, and I knew I couldn’t stay here. If my soul didn’t return to my body, I would die. The sea glass inside the pendant that Hekate had given me was glowing softly, and I remembered that I had until the light disappeared to return to my body. 

“What is it you want with me?” I demanded of the creature before me. The glow of the pendant illuminated three faces, almost ethereal in nature. One resembled and sounded like my father, the middle one was Poseidon, and the third was…Dionysos. But why him? I almost reached out, my soul responding to each of their presences. “Why you?”

“We are what you fear the most,” Poseidon’s voice resounded. It mimicked his strength, the sea at his command, the great and terrible Lord of the Sea, but I knew it wasn’t him. My love, my husband, my consort…he wasn’t here, he didn’t care. 

“You left me! To fend for myself in your kingdom!” I lashed out, my power over the water failing me. I didn’t have that with me…was it attached to my body? I craned my neck and tried to see my body, but outside of the pendant’s soft glow, it was just black. “I…you gave up on me, on us. Did you care? Did you know I was missing? Did you look for me? I gave you my everything, Poseidon. And you abandoned me.” 

Dionysos’ voice spoke softly, and as he did, I shuddered. “This is why you’ll never be worthy of love again, Amphy. Because you were never worthy to begin with. Poseidon only chose you because you weren’t fawning over him like your sisters were.” My heart stopped, and I looked at the ghost-like face of Dionysos. His words rang true and cut me deeper than any fishing knife ever could. I sank, my heart, my soul. I could feel it sinking deeper into the Mariana Trench, and I didn’t care. 

They were right. Of course, they were. I was worthless. My father knew it, that’s why he tried getting rid of me in the trench when I was young. That’s why Poseidon left, to escape me and the responsibilities he had in Atlantis. And Dion…how could he ever care for a wreck like me? These three faces showed my true fears. It wasn’t the deep, crushing black of the Mariana Trench like I thought. It wasn’t even my father’s beasts that lived down here. Maybe if I were lucky, one of the leviathans of the deep would snatch me, drag my soul down to the depths and leave me there for my father to collect.

Nereus’ voice spoke again, harsh and cold, “You ran from your responsibilities, from the family and me when you married Poseidon.”

“From Atlantis and me, when you went to Rome,” Poseidon chimed in.

Dionysos finished the chant, “From me, when you kept me back and wouldn’t allow me to come with you.”

Something hit me though, a memory, the one that had been pushing through when I first ran into Rommel. Why Rome? Why did I head to Rome, and why didn’t I return? The question was vexing me, and I turned from the figures haunting me as I tried to suss it out. I don’t think they liked it too much that I wasn’t paying attention to them, and the figures started to circle me, chanting that I wasn’t worthy, I wasn’t good enough. I was barely a goddess. 

I could have sided with my father in his personal grudge against Poseidon, but like my sisters, I was entranced by him. I just didn’t admit it to myself, and I kept myself aloof when he came to Naxos that day. I pretended like I didn’t want him, and maybe that’s what drew him to me, I didn’t know. I didn’t know anything anymore. I didn’t know my own heart, or where it lay. Part of me wanted to give Poseidon another try. I loved him. I did. Another part of me wanted to let him go and see where the currents brought me, and this attraction I had to Dionysos…well, it helped keep to my rudder straight the last few weeks.

Dion… “Nisos!” I shouted, and as my mind began clearing, I remembered the promise that I made him; that I would fight this. I would confront my fears and go home. I started to swim up, the light from the pendant guiding me back to my body, but the figures of the men present in my life surrounded me. They couldn’t touch me, but they could distract me.

“Trix, you’re just a little fish, caught in a much larger net…” the voice of Poseidon teased, and once again, I stopped dead. The light from the sea glass began to flutter, and I knew I didn’t have a lot of time left, but the word net shouted at me, and it ran through my mind, pulling the memory forward.

“Net, net, NET!” I finally pinpointed the memory, and my mind faded to black as I raced back to ancient Rome, before Trinity Inc took over.

https://www.inthepantheon.com/the-abyss/lady-of-the-seas/amphitrite/

The Worst Witch

“Poor little witches, don’t you know it’s not nice to threaten someone’s family?”

I was attacked suddenly. I was surprised it had taken them so long. The crowds were thinner, thanks to the boys’ fights and my initial attacks, but I knew there were still too many to dispose of easily. I had to draw on my power, Helios’ power, to help.

 “Pappoús,” I muttered, as I felt the sun’s rays build within. My wings were still outstretched, slicing through anyone who got too close. I could see the thoughts of my opponents, there would be an opening soon. Once I felt my wing get stuck in a body and not pop back out, the siege followed. I sent the power of the sun down into the blades and began cutting my way through our enemies. 

I folded my wings back and smiled as Night’s children began circling me. I surveyed the area and sighed. “Alright, no more blades.” I returned them to the ether and closed my eyes for a moment. It wasn’t the smartest move to make on the battlefield, but I needed to concentrate. 

I felt the scars on my body begin to glow softly. I reached outward, with my power and felt the vampires, werewolves, and witches stop in place. They were afraid of what I would do next. Good. 

“Come to me.” Two long chains, thick, heavy, and glowing bright as the sun, fell from my hands. 

I heard Lycaon groan behind me. “The Chains of Kratos. How did you get them?”

I turned and winked. These weren’t Kratos’ chains. I’d love to get my hands on those chains. I would bend them to my will in payment of what marked my body. I shook the chains, letting them ripple across the floor, sending sparks in all directions. I watched, enjoying the fear that crossed the vampires’ and werewolves’ faces. 

My arms moved fluidly. The chains moved with me, swinging around like extensions of my body. With the chain in my right hand I caught a vampire around the neck ripping his head clean off his shoulders. The chain in my left hand, clipped a witch around his knees, sending him crashing to the ground. 

I spun, delighting in the barrier I was creating around me. They couldn’t get close, although they tried. Concentrating on the beasts in front of and around me, I completely forgot I was exposed from above. The realization, literally, hit me when I felt a piercing pain in my left shoulder. I dropped the chain, causing it to clatter to the floor. “Ah!” I couldn’t shake the vampire off my shoulder. Her fangs were stuck in good. I had to let out a burst of sunlight from my body to force her off of me. 

“Medea!” One of the men behind me shouted. I didn’t know who. As I felt the nearest vampires erupt into flames, I ran through their burning bodies, picking the chains up, swinging them both forward, and tearing through the next set of vampires like butter. Their numbers dwindled fast, thanks to the sun radiating off me. Once I was confident most of the vampires were dust, I turned my attention to the wolves. In the past, out of respect for Lycaon, I didn’t hunt them. Now, however,  they were fair game. 

“Little pups… You realize if you kill him, all of you die too?” Blank expressions crossed their faces, I didn’t think they cared. I sighed. “Fine. Have it your way.”

I charged the werewolves. This was not one of my smartest moves, especially with the blood pouring out of my left shoulder, but I knew I needed to end it quickly. I spun quickly, knocking out those who got too close. Even then, I was still hesitant to kill so many. A groan from Lycaon fueled my rage and the maiming blows turned into killing strikes. The chains landed on necks and skulls. The wolves shared the strength  of Lycaon. I did my best to take out as many as I could, but my movements were getting slow. I could feel the witches, staying back and out of my way, casting. 

They were starting to get on my nerves. I had been using Helios’ strength mostly, not drawing on my magic too much, except to pull my weapons out of the ether. So, my reserves and strength were still good on that front. As I broke the neck of another werewolf I stumbled, allowing another one to slash across my face.

I screamed out as my blood flowed freely. My vision blurred and I knew I didn’t have long. “Fine. If this is how you want it.” 

The chains disappeared as I forced myself to become still. I could feel the werewolves in front of me and the witches behind them. I growled darkly. I would have given a lot for the drakon to be there just then. But I didn’t need him. I alone would handle it; me, Medea, the Sorceress of Colchis.

I stretched my fingers, my clothing fading away to almost nothing. The magic cost would be high and I didn’t need clothing to channel, not for this. The outfit I had on was the one I’d been wearing when Lycaon and I first met, as Chalkiope and Cerseus. The irony of it didn’t escape me. 

Even with blood dripping down my body, I knew I looked good. To those savages, I assumed I looked 100% edible. I didn’t care. I felt the magic build, felt my scars light up as it did, and I opened my eyes. The witches looked terrified and for good reason. I’d only casted this spell once before in my life, for a particularly crazy Roman emperor.

“Apó stáchtes írthes, se stáchtes epistréfeis. Ósoi me antitíthentai tha niósoun to énkavma.” Slowly moving out in a circle around me, I mixed Helios’ white fire with my own purple. The nearest werewolves were caught in it first. Their howls of pain did nothing to calm me. I kept the fire pushing outwards in a circle. I could feel, if not see, the fire inching toward where they stood behind me. When it reached each one, the line broke, and circled around them. Our attackers were not so fortunate. I felt as each of them tried to escape the fire. They tried to jump over it, run from it, or just held hope I’d make it quick. No one escaped. My spell would’ve taken the building down with me inside it if I hadn’t stopped it in time.

There were screams of pain, cries, and begging. I ignored them all. No one hurt my family and got away with it. The last of the vampires succumbed to my flames. The wolves were tearing at the walls. The witches, well I had increased the heat of the fire angling towards them by a couple hundred degrees. “I’d make peace with your loa if I were you. You’re not getting away just because you’re a witch.”

“But you can’t kill us all, we’re good witches!” Most of them screamed at me.

My voice broke as I ran towards them, fire erupting from all over my bleeding body. “You’re GOOD WITCHES?? I don’t fucking think so! Good witches do not harm anyone. They don’t drag other supernaturals into their battles, or target beings far older and stronger than they are. Good witches maintain peace and bring balance to the world. Don’t lecture me about good witches. I’ve been avoiding their kind for over 3,000 years, you insignificant little beasts!”

“Ah! No, Medea! Aren’t you a good witch?!” They cried out as the flames encircled them.

cackled and stared down at them as they cowered and clutched each other and I felt no remorse. “You forget your stories, children. I am a villain. I am the villain. The woman who rained hellfire down on her own children because her husband scorned her. No, I am not a good witch. I am the worst witch. And you threatened my family. There is no absolution for you. And there will be none for me.”

The fire caught the last group of witches, and I watched them burn with a delight I hadn’t felt in years. This was me. I was the worst of the witches, and the strongest. Once I felt the last of the pitiful children fade to dust, I pulled the flames back and collapsed, darkness taking over me.

https://curseofthefallen.wordpress.com/2020/09/16/the-worst-witch/