*Alone upon a dark and stormy night with hollering winds and cold pouring rain, a lone figure struggled to scale along the side of a jagged mountain - their body battered, sore and their breathing heavy. Reluctantly they extended forth a shaking hand upon sharp stone, wincing from the pain before pulling themselves upward and repeating this over and over again. Soon enough, the figure reached the top of the mountain, just before collapsing onto their back and breathing sighs of relief*
???: *panting heavily as they gaze up to the stormy skies above* Grrr…
*A bolt of lightning flashed across the sky, followed by a rolling crash of thunder. Seeing this, the figure became angrier, knowing only deep hatred as the sound echoed across the mountaintop. Their hands soon clench into trembling fists before rising up to their knees and giving out a loud yell, right on cue with another flash of lightning and boom of thunder*
???: RAAAAHHHH!!!! WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!?!?
*Their answer only seemed to be the storm above, the flare of the lightning soon revealing the figure's face to be an injured young man whose breathing flared from his nostrils, drips of blood running over one of his eyes as he bore a fresh cut over the spot*
???: I HAVE NOTHING LEFT!!! YOU'VE TAKEN EVERYTHING FROM ME!!!!
*Suddenly a sharp hiss rang behind the youth, alerting him to the presence of something else. He looked all around to see who or what had made the hissing sound, finding himself face-to-face with a large black serpent that flickered its tongue forth, looking poised to strike*
???: Now you want my life… *drops to his knees* Go on then… Take it!
Serpent: *chuckles* How adorable… Forgive me, but you must be mistaken, my boy… I have no affiliation with Zeus…
Boy: Well then…who do you work for? Hera? Ares? Hades?
Serpent: None of them, I‘m afraid. My allegiance is to a far older race of gods… Ones who ruled the earth long before the Olympians even existed…
Boy: Who are you?
Serpent: I am Typhon, son of Gaia, last of the Titans…and potential…ally.
Boy: What do you want with me?
Typhon: *slowly smiles, an unnatural sight to the boy* I seek…to make a proposition with you. One of mutual benefit to both of us…
Boy: What kind of proposition?
???: Damon… Damon… Hey… You alright?
*Damon's eyes slowly opened as he heard the sound of his name being called out, the man awakening from a dream...no, a memory. He became fully awake as he gazed up to the one who awoke him - Antaeus, whose large hand was shaking him lightly on the shoulder*
Damon: Huh? Y-Yes, I'm fine, I'm fine! What?
Antaeus: Just making sure that you were okay, you seemed all…sweaty.
Damon: It was nothing… Just…remembering something.
Antaeus: If you say so… *soon lowers a hand to the soil* Hmm… Not too far this time, though the gap is widening again.
Damon: Good. The sooner they're out of the way, the easier it will be to find those key fragments.
Antaeus: *nods, cracking his knuckles* Maybe they'll be a bit more fun than Ares.
Damon: Of course… Now let's move. We have delayed long enough.
*Damon rose to his feet and brushed himself off as he lead the way with Antaeus following behind*
Antaeus: After we’ve killed them, would it be alright if I used their skulls to help complete my temple?
Damon: Their skulls? Why not their whole skeletons?
Antaeus: No, just the skulls. It's a…little hobby of mine.
Damon: I see… The rest should be put to good use somehow.
Antaeus: Like how…?
Damon: An altar… Maybe a chair…or simply toothpicks…
Antaeus: *smiles, chuckles* I like the way you think.
Damon: *uninterested* Thank you, I suppose…
*Meanwhile, in another part of the forest. Andrea was standing still as stone among the brush, carefully bringing up her bow as a large stag browsed on the leaves of a nearby tree. Silent as the grave, Andrea drew her arrow and pulled her bowstring taut*
Andrea: That's it…just stand right there…
*Just then, the sound of a cracking branch was heard. The stag looked at the direction of the sound and bolted away in the opposite direction*
Andrea: GAH!!! *exclaims in Achean and throws her bow down* Not again!!
Leon: *emerges from the brush* What happened? We did everything you said!
Andrea: Except watching where you were putting your fat human FEET! Deer are skittish! The slightest sound will send them running!
Blue: *emerges from the brush* At least it wasn't a boar this time.
Rage: *licks his jaws* Woof!
Andrea: Well, that will be the last meal he'll have unless we can find some more game around these parts without you two screwing things up!
Leon: Hey, don't blame us! We've told you, we're NOT hunters!
Andrea: Believe me, I've SEEN!
Blue: Hey, we were able to catch a whole flock of harpies, weren't we?
Leon: Yeah, but I don't have a catapult and a net this time.
Blue: Well, Rage is a hunting dog, so why don't we use him? I mean, if it weren't for him, we'd never have found Hecate's frog.
Rage: Rowf! *wags his tail*
Andrea: I don’t know, Blue. I mean, you said it yourself, his tracking skills still do need some work.
Rage: *tilts his head to the side*
Blue: Yeah, and what better way to improve them than by having him learn from the best? *points to Andrea* You.
Andrea: Well… I guess I could try.
Rage: Rowf! Rowf!
Leon: Well, you better get started. Because we either find something to eat now or wait till we reach Mycenae.
Blue: That’s still days from here.
Andrea: Okay, Rage… *pulls a dried strip of animal hide from her bag* This is deer hide. The animal we are hunting smells like THIS. Understand?
Rage: *looks at the deer hide, sniffs it*
Andrea: Smell that? Got the scent?
Rage: *sniffs around the area and finally focuses on one area before tilting back his head and howling*
Andrea: Good dog! Now, FETCH!
Rage: *bounds into the brush, barking and snarling*
Blue: Ha! Told ya!
Andrea: C'mon! We have to keep up! *rears up on her hind legs, wheeling around and galloping after Rage*
Blue: *runs after Andrea, annoyed* Hey!
Leon: *follows Blue after Andrea* NO FAIR! You've got twice as many legs as us!
Andrea: Excuses, excuses! *leaps over a log as she keeps in pace behind Rage*
Bel: RAWK!!! Follow pretty horsy!! Follow pretty horsy!!
*As the group continued to pursue Rage through the forest, with Blue and Leon panting heavily as they tried to catch up with their four-legged companions. Blue was the first to pause as he hunched down slightly to catch his breath until something caught his attention*
Leon: *catches up with Blue* Blue, come on! We're going to lose them!
Blue: Hang on, gotta check something real quick.
Leon: Check what?
Blue: *heads over to some brush and soon peeks through it, blinking a bit in surprise at what he finds* Leon, get over here!
Leon: *walks over* What? What is it?
*Blue kept his eyes on what he found before Leon soon approached to investigate, their eyes soon gazing upon what appeared to be a simple small bush with needle-like leaves and blue and white flowers blooming from it. To Blue, this bush and its flowers looked all too familiar to him*
Leon: Anthos herbs.
Blue: What are the odds we'd just find them...out here in the wild?
Leon: Not sure, probably 80 to 1. *looks to Blue* Blue, you okay?
Blue: Uh...uh, yeah. I'm fine. Anthos… Apothecaries will pay for that.
Leon: I'll go get Andrea. We could also use some of this stuff.
Blue: Right. Just behind you.
Leon: *raises an eyebrow* Are you sure you're okay?
Blue: I'm FINE, Leon. It's just a weed.
Leon: Okay… I'll be back with Andrea. *runs off to find Andrea and Rage*
*Blue simply looked back to the bush, let out a sigh as he silently dropped to his knees, a slight tear starting to form from the corner of his eye as his mind soon thought back to a different time… A more…happier time*
*Meanwhile, far off from where our heroes were hunting, Damon remained silent as he followed in the shadow of his larger companion, the immortal's head hung slightly low as his mind seemed to be elsewhere than the present*
Antaeus: You've been awfully quiet recently…
Damon: Why are you concerned?
Antaeus: I don't know, just used to you muttering curses to Zeus or just hold some scowl on your face.
Damon: I've just been thinking is all, okay?
Antaeus: Whatever you say… I guess.
Damon: Are we close to them?
Antaeus: Hmm… *kneels down slightly to touch a hand on the earth* Getting close, though still ahead…
Damon: How far?
Antaeus: A few more miles…though it is getting late. *looking to the sky*
Damon: We'll keep walking till it gets dark. *walks past Antaeus*
Antaeus: *sighs, under his breath* Still stubborn even when acting odd…
Damon: You know, Antaeus…I’m curious about something.
Antaeus: Oh yeah? What?
Damon: That little hobby of yours… You know…the skull collecting? Just why do you do it anyway, if you don't mind me asking?
Antaeus: If you MUST know…I'm using them to build a temple for my father.
Damon: Your father? And just who might that be? Cronus, maybe?
Antaeus: Ha! I wish… No, my father is the mighty god of the sea, Poseidon.
Damon: *pause, stops in his tracks* Poseidon? *looks to Antaeus* Poseidon is your father?
Antaeus: That's right. MANY of we giants can trace our lineage to him.
Damon: *pause* If your father is Poseidon…one of the three most powerful gods in the entire Greek pantheon…then why are you helping me overthrow him?
Antaeus: Well, let me see… Could it be that my father is a BASTARD who never had any time for me and only bothered to contact me when he NEEDED something? You know, I THOUGHT if I built a temple to him, he'd at LEAST acknowledge me as his son, but what do I get for my troubles? Abused, humiliated, and hung in a tree!
Damon: And yet, you're STILL building a temple to him?
Anteus: A man can hope, can't he? I'll build a temple so grand, Poseidon will HAVE to say I am his son! Greater than Orion, Polyphemus or ANY of the rest of them!
Damon: I see… *eyes widen in realization* Wait a minute! If your father is Poseidon…and your mother is Gaia... Wouldn‘t that make your father…your mother‘s grandson? *pause, sighs* Gods… I'll never understand them.
Antaeus: How do you think I feel? And what about you? Why do YOU wish to overthrow the gods?
Damon: *stops, pauses* It's a…very personal matter.
Antaeus: Hey, we're partners, aren't we? You shouldn't keep secrets. Cronus kept secrets, look what happened to him.
Damon: *becoming aggravated* I don't want to talk about it!
Antaeus: Oh, what? How bad could it have been? It's not like your whole family got turned into frogs or something, is it?
Damon: *grits his teeth* Shut up!
Antaeus: What? Did Zeus rape your sister or something? I mean, there's a line about ten miles long ahead of you if that's the case.
Damon: *growls, smoke slowly emits from his nostrils* Enough…!
Antaeus: Oh, so it IS something to do with Mr. High-and-Mighty god of the heavens. Now we're gettin' somewhere.
Damon: *eyes glow yellow* Stop…!
Antaeus: Perhaps he did his whole "I'm gonna strike down the person who annoyed me slightly" bit on your father. Or maybe he turned your brother into a tree or something. Your sister into water? OH! Or maybe your wife got--
Damon: *ROARS, turns around, grabs Antaeus by the throat, and pins him to the side of a tree* If you ever mention my family again…I will not hesitate to KILL YOU!
Antaeus: *choking* Good luck with that, pal.
Damon: *tightens his grip as sharp black claws protrude from his finger tips and his hand is covered in dark gray scales* I have lost more than you can possibly imagine, you lumbering boob! I'm putting up with you because it is in my own best interest! The MOMENT you become a hindrance to me, I will put you somewhere where even your precious MOTHER won't be able to bring you back!
Antaeus: *choking* Alright, Alright! I'm sorry… I'm sorry!
Damon: See that you REMEMBER, you glorified STATUE! *drops Antaeus, his hand returns to normal*
Antaeus: *coughs as he massages his throat* That… That was… *slowly tries to stand up* Incredible!
Damon: THAT was but a fraction of my powers… Next time you anger me…and you will see the FULL extent of what I can do…!
Antaeus: What ARE you?
Damon: You'll find out…once we've caught up with those little twerps.
Antaeus: Alright! Alright! I get it. You've got issues. I'll just see if they've changed course, shall I?
Damon: Whatever… *continues walking*
*Back with out heroes, Blue was gathering the herbs into his satchel as Leo lead Andrea, Rage and Bel back*
Leon: We're back.
Andrea: This had better be important, Blue. I had that buck in my sights!
Blue: It is. *presents the herbs* Look here.
Andrea: *tags the sprig and holds it to her nose* It smells so…flowery. What is it?
Blue: It's Anthos, a special kind of herb used for healing. I'd have thought you'd already know about it.
Andrea: Is THIS what the whole plant looks like? I've only ever seen it dried.
Leon: Blue figures we could sell some of it to apothecaries for some extra money. It could also come in handy for us.
Andrea: That's a good idea.
Blue: Look around. Anthos grows like a weed. Where there's one plant, there must be more.
Rage: *barks, pointing his snout at a large patch of the herbs growing near a rotting log*
Blue: What did I tell ya?
Bel: *squeals* It's in there! It's in there! It's in there! RAWERK!!! *circles over a group of bushes*
Leon: It's all over the place!
Andrea: Well, why are we just standing around? Let's get to harvesting. *yanks a plant up*
Blue: I've already picked a bunch myself, you guys can pick more if you want.
Leo: Sounds fine to me. The more we have, the more they'll pay us in the next village.
Andrea: And plenty for ourselves.
Blue: Yeah… Just what I was thinking. *looks down at the plants*
*A much younger Blue sat on the side of the road, crying. His knees were skinned and bleeding and it was clear the boy fell while running. A taller figure stood over the boy and gently ruffled his hair*
Figure: Hey, it's okay, Blue. I'm right here and I'll fix ya up.
*The figure sat next to Blue. The little boy watched, fascinated, as the older boy took some ground Anthos and mixed it into a paste he applied to some cloth bandages he tied around Blue's knees*
Figure: There ya go, little buddy. All better. C'mon, let's get home. Mom'll have dinner waiting for us. *holds out his hand*
???: Blue…? Blue? Hey, Blue!
*Blue snapped out of his trance as he noticed Leon and Andrea staring awkwardly at him*
Blue: Huh?! What? What happened? What?
Leon: You okay, pal?
Andrea: You sorta spaced out on us.
Blue: I-I-I-I'm fine… Really.
Leon: Blue… There's more to these herbs than you're letting on about…isn't there?
Andrea: We're your friends. You can trust us.
Blue: *sighs* Alright, alright… My brother used to use these herbs on me whenever I got hurt as a kid.
Leon: *eyes widen* Oh…
Andrea: Leon told me you had a brother, and how you used to look up to him when you were little…
Blue: It was hard NOT to. Everything he did, he was so great at. *looks to the anthos bush* Seeing those herbs again after all many years…brings back so many fond memories I had of him.
Andrea: It must be nice to have memories like that. I don't have any elder siblings, but my mother IS expecting a new foal.
Blue: Heh… Congratulations.
Andrea: What… What happened to him?
Blue: *pause* King Minos of Crete.
Leon: You probably don't know the history. You see, many years ago, King Minos' son, Prince Androgeos, came to Athens to compete in the games. There was an accident and he was killed. Minos went mad with rage and threatened to wipe Athens off the map with his army if fourteen Athenian virgins weren't brought to Crete every seven years.
Andrea: What happens to the virgins?
Blue: No one knows… But…I remember on the day Tyron was taken, I thought I overheard one of the soldiers mention something about…the “Labyrinth”.
Andrea: Labyrinth? What is a…Labyrinth?
Blue: I don't know…
Leon: I’ve heard of it… It’s supposedly some sort of giant torture chamber or maze… Either King Minos had a mad man or a genius construct it from him. Once you go in…you never come back out.
Andrea: So…you think THAT'S what Minos does with his prisoners?
Leon: It's only a rumor, but knowing the Cretans… I wouldn't doubt it.
*Both Leon and Blue fell silent to this, an air of discomfort manifesting apparently to the idea*
Andrea: *sensing the discomfort* Hmm…
Leon: Leave it alone, Andrea. He's said more on the subject than he ever has.
Rage: *whimpers a bit as he nudges his snout into Blue's hand*
Blue: *sighs, pets Rage* It's okay, buddy.
Leon: Well, it's gonna be dark soon… Let's keep going.
Blue: But what about food?
Leon: Oh… That.
Andrea: I'm sure we can hunt some rabbits for dinner tonight. We'll try for big game again tomorrow.
Blue: *sighs, stands up* Okay, let's get going.
Andrea: Better yet, we could camp here for the night. You know… The brush could give us at least some cover if trouble comes along.
Blue: Whatever… *sighs softly before he closes his satchel*
Leon: I…think I’ll go set up the fire. *goes to gather some wood*
Andrea: *sighs, soon setting down their sleeping mats upon the ground close to where the campfire was to be made, his eyes looking back to Blue with a bit of sadness.* Hmm…
*Meanwhile, Antaeus rested his hand to check the distance, Damon gazing around while his hands slowly began to produce claws as he was getting impatient*
Antaeus: Hmm… They've stopped.
Damon: *raises an eyebrow* Truly? How far?
Antaeus: Still a few miles from here. We'll be able to catch them if we continue through the night.
Damon: *eyes glow fiery red, roars* I'm not waiting one second LONGER!!!
Anteus: *looks to Damon, raises an eyebrow* What in the world?!
*Damon’s eyes soon shifted into reptilian slits as his body trembled and slightly hunched over. He always hated the pain that came with this but now seemed like the moment to show his prey true fear as his skin slowly changed into scales, his fingers becoming pointed claws. A long tail soon snaked forth from his cloak, thrashing about on the ground as his face seemed to stretch and narrow out with a pair of ebony horns sprouting from his head*
Anteus: *actually takes a step back* By Mother Gaia… It can't be…
*Damon, in his youth, sat upon his hands and knees as he looked to the serpent that claimed to be the Father of Monsters, but his mind was focused on other things at the time… Such as the offer for revenge*
Typhon: In my current…condition...I cannot do anything against my treasonous relations. I require…assistance…
Damon: How do I know you speak the truth and that this isn't some sort of trick?
Typhon: Simple, Damon, you hate the gods almost as much as I do! Like you, I will never see my family again…at least… not if SOMEONE doesn't get me out of this situation.
Damon: Even if that IS true…why should I help YOU?
Typhon: Well, simply put, my mortal friend… You help me, and I will GIVE you the one thing you crave most in the entire COSMOS! *slithers forward and whispers in Damon's ear*
Damon: *eyes widen, then close as he is silent for a few seconds* Do you swear?
Typhon: I give you my word…as a deity.
Damon: *cocks his eyebrow to the mention of that word but soon he nods* Very well… I swear my allegiance to you… O Typhon.
Typhon: Good… *hisses and rears back before STRIKING and sinking his fangs into Damon's neck*
Damon: *screams and writhes in pain* What did you do to me?!
Typhon: I have put part of my own blood into you, mortal. With this, I grant you the power of MY bloodline. Serve me well, and further power will come. THINK of betraying me, and it will destroy you!
Damon: *grasping over where he was bit, cringing from the pain* I-It…It burns!
Typhon: Merely a bit of essence from my father… *chuckles*
*Damon cried out more and more, shaking all over before he soon looked upon his hand which was slowly transforming into a scaly talon*
Typhon: Well, I think you'll do quite nicely… My new servant.
*When the transformation was complete, in Damon’s place was no longer a man but a colossal dragon that seemed to tower over even Antaeus who slightly stumbled back in fear. The spiny tail flickering across the earth before a low rumble escaped from his muzzle, his eyes and scar now glowing like devilish fire while his claws dug and tore into the soil. The drake soon bared his fangs, his massive wings soon unfolding from his spine, a cowl of darkness which matched his primal rage*
Antaeus: So… THIS is the power Typhon gave you… I must say, I am rather impressed.
Damon: *growls, his voice now guttural and sharp* Quit talking and GET ON! I prefer to end this now before instinct truly kicks in!
Antaeus: *smiles* Now you're speaking my language! *laughs*
*Back at their camp, Blue was gazing up to the sky though it was blocked by the branches of the trees growing around them with Rage curled up next to him and Bel resting upon the War Hound's back. Leon was poking a bit at the fire to keep it burning for a bit longer though Andrea had her eyes on her more quiet comrade*
Leon: Blue, you okay? You seem distracted.
Blue: Hmm? *looks to Leon* Oh, just thinking… Got a lot on my mind.
Leon: Still thinking about Tyron, huh?
Blue: *sighs* Could always read me like a book.
Leon: That's what best friends are for.
Blue: I want to think he's still alive out there somewhere, but after all these years...I'm really starting to doubt it.
Leon: Hey, we'll find out together, just like we always swore.
Blue: I remember, but the thought still lingers…
Andrea: *snorts and draws her dagger* Get up! Get up now!
Rage: *gets up, looks out into the forest, growls and bares his teeth*
Blue: Huh? W-W-What is it, what's wrong?
Bel: RAWK!!! ABANDON SHIP!!! *flies off into the darkness**
Blue: Bel, wait! Come back!!
Andrea: There's something coming this way. Something HUGE!
*Rage snarled, swelling in size until he was the height and girth of a large rhino*
Leon: Jeez, it's gotta be if Rage grew THAT big!
*Just then, a loud, echoing roar rumbled through the trees, sending birds that was resting into a panic as they flew away in fear while the branches and leaves rattled madly*
Blue: *eyes widen* What was that…?
Andrea: *eyebrows narrow* Dragon…
*The trees shattered, allowing a huge black and gray dragon with burning red eyes to lunge into the clearing, black-tipped claws extended forth to rend and tear apart whatever it could grasp*
Andrea: Yep… Dragon.
Leon: *eyes widen in fear* Don't be so cool about it, RUN!!!
*Rage snarled and moved in-between his friends and the huge reptile, hatred and vengeance in his eyes*
Damon: You… I remember you…
Blue: Wait, did that dragon…
Leon: Just SPEAK?
*The dragon roared as it lunged forth, swiping a claw towards the enlarged canine who managed to dodge and lunge forth for a bit though the reptilian was quicker to dodge*
*Just then, Antaeus leapt off from the dragon’s back as his body soon shifted into his Giant form, gazing hard upon the heroes before slamming a fist into an open palm*
Antaeus: Running will only make it worse…
Andrea: A GIANT?!?!
Antaeus: The name is Antaeus, and we’ve come to give you a gift… The gift of a quick DEATH!
Leon: Antaeus…? No… No way, it-it can't be! You're supposed to be dead!
Anteus: I AM NOT DEAD!!!
Blue: Wait, you know this guy?!
Leon: I'll tell ya later!!
Antaeus: *soon digs his hands into the ground before pulling out a chunk of solid earth and soon hurls it at the trio* RAAAWWWRRR!!!!
*Blue shoved Leon aside while Andrea leapt to the other as the chunk crashed hard at where they once were, showering the grove with dirt, rock and more*
Antaeus: Missed! But they were just lucky… *stomps over to check where they were hiding*
Blue: Seriously Leo, who IS this guy?!
Leon: Antaeus, a giant sired by Poseidon. As long as he touches the ground, he's indestructible. He was beaten and killed by Hercules about 30 years ago!
Blue: Then what's he doing here NOW, and WHERE did he find a friggin' DRAGON?!!
Leon: How should I know?!
Andrea: Wait… As long as he touches the ground?!
Leon: His mother is Gaia, goddess of the Earth, and she protects him! His every wound will heal as fast as we can inflict them!
Blue: And how did Hercules manage to beat him with that in mind?!
Leon: He lifted him over his head until he lost all his power, then broke his neck and hung his body in a tree!
Andrea: *sarcastically* Oh sure, like it'll be THAT easy for US!
Leon: I wasn't suggesting we’d TRY!
Antaeus: Where are you brats?!
Leon: What I don't understand is what they want with us in the first place!
Andrea: What excuse do monsters need to KILL people? It's what they do!
Blue: No, Leon's right. Something's not right about all this…
Damon: FIND THEM, YOU WALKING LANDSLIDE!!!
Antaeus: FOCUS ON THE DOG RIGHT NOW!!!
Damon: *pins Rage under his claws* I don't know how you survived our last encounter, you miserable MUTT, but this time, I'm finishing it! *opens his jaws wide*
Rage: *barks defiantly, biting Damon's wrist*
Rage: *growls, sinking his fangs a bit into the scales*
Damon: AAAAHHH!!! Let GO of me, you disgusting animal!!
AntAeus: COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREEVER YOU ARE, MY LITTLE MORSALS!!!
Andrea: We need a plan…
Blue: *notices the scar on the dragon's eye* Wait…
*The dragon struggled with Rage, who was continuing to grow larger, and now snapping at his neck, attempting to tear out his throat*
Blue: That scar… It can't be…
Leon: What is it, Blue?
*Without saying a word, and with a look of determination on his face, Blue ran out from the hiding spot and out into the open, towards the dragon*
Leon: *eyes widen* Wait Blue, STOP! What are you doing?!
Andrea: Going nuts.
Blue: *stops in front of Rage and the dragon* DAMON!!!!
Damon: *looks to see Blue, throws Rage aside* So…you figured it out, eh?
Rage: *shrinks down to his average size as he darts to Blue's side to snarl at Damon*
Leon: Wait a minute! That dragon…is DAMON?
Andrea: So that's the curse Typhon put on him…
Damon: What gave me away? It was the scar, wasn't it?
Blue: Partly, yes.
Damon: Heh, not easy to cover the remainder of what I have lost…
Blue: *annoyed* What YOU lost? You don't think I know that feeling?
Damon: *snorts* I'm not interested in sharing back stories with the likes of you, boy… So… *soon takes a deep breath before opening his maw and blasting forth a large of ruby fire towards the youth*
Leon: *eyes widen* Blue!!
Andrea: *eyes widen* NO!!!
*Blue raised his arms as he braced himself for the attack. Suddenly, a golden light emitted from his pocket, growing in mass before it became a large sphere around him, the flames rolling off it like it was nothing*
Damon: *startled* WHAT?!?!
Antaeus: *eyes widen* WHAT?!?
Blue: *opens his eyes, sees the sphere he's in* Huh?
Athena's Voice: Hi, Blue. Thought you could use a little divine intervention.
Blue: *eyes widen* A-Athena?
Athena’s Voice: The one and only. That's right, Blue. The medallion I gave you is magical. It will protect you from the forces of evil. Now, give that oversized gecko a taste of his own medicine for me.
Blue: *eyebrows narrow* My pleasure…!
Athena’s Voice: I think you'll really like this next part, a little add-on from my brother, Hephaestus.
*Damon ceased spewing flame to catch his breath. As the flames die down, a figure strides out of the fire, dressed in shining bronze armor consisting of a chest plate, shoulder guards, gauntlets, an armored skirt, and a helmet that concealed his face with a long, flowing blue mane that hung down from the top. A bit of long blonde hair hung from the side of the helmet as the new figure soon aimed his sword towards the dragon*
Leon: *in awe* Whoa!
Andrea: *in awe* Blue…?
Damon: Since when can you do THIS?!
Blue: Since now… *smirks* Courtesy of Athena!
Damon: *roars in fury* MEDDLESOME, INTERFERINGS GODS!!! I'm going to finish you off…the best way I know how!! *lunges toward Blue, snapping his enormous fangs*
Blue: *leaps aside, avoiding the huge teeth and cleaving his sword down the scales on Damon's neck and shoulder* HYAH!!!!
Damon: RAAAAWWWRRR!!! *clasps a clawed forepaw to his wound, even as boiling-hot blood spurts from the wound, actually catching some of the surrounding leaf litter on fire* PAIN!!! I FEEL PAIN!!!
Antaeus: I'll get him!! *stomps toward Blue*
Leon: *narrows his eyebrows* Oh no, you DON'T!
*Leon drew his sword as he ran out from his hiding spot, letting out a loud war cry as he swung his sword at the massive rock giant, slicing off his right foot just above the ankle*
Antaeus: *in pain* GAAAAH!!!!
Antaeus: *limps a bit though slowly the soil would rise to where the giant's foot was, slowly taking shape and hardening* Not good enough, HUMAN! Mother Gaia will NEVER let me stay injured! *raises a fist and slams it down towards Leon* RAAAHHH!!!!
Leon: AAAHHH!!! *brings up his silver blade*
*Suddenly, as Anteus' massive fist struck the blade, his stone knuckles and packed-dirt fingers shattered and flew apart*
Antaeus: *eyes widen, dumbstruck* What the?!
Leon: *looks at his sword* Oh… I LIKE. *looks to Antaeus* Okay, you overgrown dirt clod, let's see how fast you can re-grow while I chip you down to size! *charges toward the giant*
Antaeus: *eyes widen in fear Oh no! No, no, no, no, no, no, NO!
Leon: HYAH!!!! *stabs his blade through the giant's kneecap*
*Antaeus roared in pain as his lower leg shattered and the rest of his body fell over, exploding into a shower of dirt, rock and crystals. Leon approached what was left of the giant, only to see that Antaeus had reverted back to his human form, but was now unconscious and lying in a pile of dirt and rocks*
Leon: *in awe* I…I…I did it… *smiles* I beat a GIANT! ME! HA!
*Back with Blue and Damon, the dragon was circling, trying to find a weakness in Blue's defense*
Damon: Your toys can't save you forever! *swings his tail, intending to IMPALE Blue on the sharp spines*
Blue: Whoa! *raises his left arm as a large, circular shield magically appears on it, blocking Damon's spines*
Damon: I will crush you like a BUG! *lunges, rearing up on his hind legs, swinging down his massive clawed hand to swat Blue*
Blue: *rolls out of the way just as Damon's hand came slamming down* Missed me!
Damon: YOU PATHETIC LITTLE INSECT!!! *spews another column of flame at Blue*
Blue: *blocks the flames with his shield* I lost family once before, Damon, I'm NEVER losing anyone ever again!!!
*Damon roared loudly and opened his jaws wide, preparing to strike and swallow Blue whole. Suddenly, an arrow struck into his shoulder, the dragon wincing slightly though it was more of a mere prick to his size*
Damon: Ack!! What the-?!
Andrea: *strides out of the bushes, drawing another arrow into her longbow* Get away from my friend, you scaly freak!
Damon: *snarls* You think you can HURT me with a TWIG?!?!
Andrea: If Hercules was able to take down the Geryon with a single arrow…then I can do the same to you!
Leon: You're all alone in this fight, now, Damon! *twirls his blade* I wonder what this sword will do to YOU?
Rage: *snarls and bares his fangs*
Blue: Face it, Damon… You're outnumbered…and outmatched.
Damon: *looks around, smoke coming from his nostrils* This isn't over… Not by a LONG shot! I'll be BACK! *leaps over their heads, grabbing Antaeus in his talons and taking off, the wind from his flapping wings buffeting the group*
Blue: And we'll be waiting! *his armor glows and disappears, the medallion appearing around his neck*
Leon: Blue… Are you okay?
Blue: Yeah. I'm fine. I think the medallion just needs time to rest.
*Familiar squawking could be heard as Bel flew into the clearing and landed on Blue's shoulder*
Bel: RAWK!!! All's well. All's well.
Andrea: I think we should get going, NOW.
Leon: Yeah, before those two regroup and decide to come back for round two!
Blue: Agreed. Let's go.
*Back at their own camp, Damon had reverted to his human form and was applying a poultice to his wounds. Antaeus was nearby, rubbing dirt on his leg to help speed his own recovery*
Antaeus: *looks to Damon* Don't look at me like that! It is NOT my fault we lost. I couldn't have known the kid would have a magic sword that could disperse my giant form.
Damon: Just like how I was supposed to know that Athena gave them ARMOR as a means to counter my power!
???: Problems, my dear friends?
*Soon the eyes of the bickering duo soon turned to eye an familiar ebony snake slithering out from the bush before raising up to look at the two with a slight smile on its muzzle*
Typhon: Now, now... This was only the first battle of a much greater war. We don't have any reason to worry yet. You've seen their weapons, and next time, you'll be prepared.
Antaeus: *raises an eyebrow* Typhon…? Is that you, brother?
Typhon: *looks to Antaeus* Long time, no see, Antaeus.
Antaeus: No kidding… You've looked better.
Typhon: Well, with MOST of my concentration taken up by keeping a MOUNTAIN from crushing my head, this avatar is the best way I have of contacting you. Tell me…how are my dear Echidna and our little ones doing? Is she as strong as ever?
Antaeus: How should I know? I've been regenerating in mother's old temple for the past 25 years!
Damon: *aggravated, interrupts* What do you want, Typhon?!
Typhon: *looks to Damon* Why must I want something from you? I just thought you'd like some information on my part. I've discovered where Athena's little puppets are going.
Damon: We know, they're headed for the sea.
Typhon: Oh, beyond that. *looks back to Antaeus* Tell me, Antaeus, do you remember our dear brother, Atlas?
Antaeus: Atlas? He's trapped holding up the sky for all eternity. What about him?
Typhon: Oh, nothing, except…he KNOWS where the first fragment of the Key to Tartarus are!
Damon & Antaeus: WHAT?!?!
Typhon: If YOU were to get to Atlas first…you might be able to get ahead of those little pests and free our brothers.
Damon: That'll be a bit of a problem, now that Athena's chosen ones have magic swords and armor on their side.
Antaeus: You could always just FLY us over to Atlas. Ever thought of that?
Damon: Fool, if I flew during the day, I'd be an easy target and shot down out of the sky. I do all my flying at night, as so not to be seen. The only reason I haven't done so recently is because of a little encounter I had with a griffin.
Antaeus: Well, I'm not going alone while YOU seek out your vendetta. Atlas' prison is near the territory of another pantheon, NONE of whom I want to get riled at me.
Typhon: Might I make a suggestion?
Antaeus: If you must, brother.
Typhon: Stay close to Athena's champions, but don't draw attention to yourselves. Once they've gotten that chatterbox, Atlas, to reveal where the fragment was sent, get there ahead of them and take the fragments FIRST.
Damon: But what of the other fragments? Does he know where they were sent?
Typhon: I honestly do not know. He might, then again, he might not. What I know for certain is that he saw where Zeus hid HIS fragment of the Key after he and his allies divided it.
Anteus: And if we knew that…we could get there first.
Damon: And be one step closer to freeing the Titans…and gaining our revenge!
Typhon: *smirks* Exactly…
*Meanwhile, Blue and his friends had gathered up their supplies again and were well on their way to Mycenae*
Leon: I can't believe I reduced Antaeus, THE Antaeus, to a pile of dirt and rocks like that! It makes you wonder what else these swords can do.
Andrea: And that armor Blue was wearing!
Leon: Yeah. What WAS that, anyway?
Blue: It was from the medallion. The one Athena gave us. She said that it was something Hephaestus added to it.
Leon: Wow… Kinda wish I had armor like that.
Blue: Who knows? Maybe you will one of these days.
Andrea: Blue, you were wonderful back there. I'm sure Tyron would be very proud of you.
Blue: *stops dead in his tracks, is silent*
Leon: *whispers to himself* Oh boy…
Blue: *swallows and looks at his feet*
Andrea: What? What did I say?
Leon: Uh… Well… You see…
Blue: This was supposed to be Tyron's quest. HIS destiny…not mine.
Andrea: *falls silent, a bit shocked to hear this* I…I didn't think things like that could HAPPEN.
Leon: Apparently, they can.
Blue: *sighs a bit, gazing down to his feet* Yeah… Guess I'm just…filling the sandals…
Andrea: *raises her voice* Blue, it wasn't your brother who just drove that dragon off! It was YOU!
Leon: And you were the one who helped Andrea, and Rage.
Bel: *coos and rubs against Blue's cheek*
Blue: *startled by the raising of her voice but soon thinks it over* Yeah… It was me, all that was me…
Andrea: *snorts and draws her dagger, making a quick slice across her palm, squeezing her fist so drops of blood fall to the ground* Blue, I make you this blood oath. We WILL find out what happened to Tyron, and we'll do it together, even if I have to DRAG King Minos to your feet myself!
Blue: You'd do that…for me?
Andrea: You are my friend, Blue. You've helped me when most others would've turned me in for the reward on my head. This is the least I can do.
Leon: Yeah. What're friends for?
Blue: *eyes slightly wide in surprise before smiling a bit* Thank you… Thank you all…so much.
Leon: Well, what're we waiting for? We've got a world to save and adventures to have!
Blue: Right! But first… *grabs Andrea's bloody hand* To seal the deal. *lightly shudders to the feel of the blood still present before chuckling*
Andrea: *knickers softly and smiles*
Leo: C'mon, we've got a ways to go if we want to reach Atlas before we're all old and gray!
Bel: RAWK! Move it, slowpokes! *takes off*
Rage: *barks as he runs after Bel*
Andrea: Shall we?
Blue: *smiles and nods* Yeah! Hang on, you two! And who are you calling slowpokes? *runs after Bel and Rage*
Andrea: Wait for me! *gallops after them*
Leon: Hey, don't leave me hanging! *runs after them*