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Another year begins"Elli claims that the child she's expecting is Zeus's. And so does Amaterasu, who obviously has tired of Androdorus. She's trying to win Zeus back! Neyta said. So what I think we're going to see here over the nearest weeks is catfight supreme! Beside the political battle of course."
I laughed at my friend. We were back in Ekarantanni after the vacations, and it was like nothing had happened while we had been away. Like Ekarantanni had been frozen while I spent time with Cheiron and Khariklo and Maionia, their firstborn, in Argos. The law firm moving in on top of the New Dawn HQ was still performing noisy renovations of their offices and Zeus was still chasing girls. And there were still girls chasing Zeus too. And most of all: Neyta was still the Queen of Gossip.
But there were a few changes anyhow. A new province in, and that was neither Avalon (Zeus had been right about them voting 'no') nor Lukandia (some delays in their negotiations prevented them from joining this year), it was th
The campaign"Are you out of your... Hera!" Freya was almost laughing. "The Chair Lordship of the Hyp is usually assigned to someone who has been around for years and years and is..."
"Usually?" returned Ra. "There's no such thing as 'usually' here, sweetheart. Iapetus might have been in from the start when he was elected six years ago, but his precursor, Chrysaor "he certainly had no experience when he got the sceptre. In that sense Hera's better fit than he. "
"You can't compare Hera's candidacy to the Chair Lord who was the first one out," Freya insisted. "There was no 'before' when Chrysaor was elected. And he was more or less put there by the Olympos anyway. And - when Iapetus decided to run against him he lost. Big time. "
"I believe Hera should run anyway," said Ra.
"I don't," said Freya. "It's too early in her career. She'd better wait and try to consolidate her status in the Hyp. In another 20 "30 years the position might be open again, and then she'll be better prepared to take over. Toda
Downtown with ZeusDowntown with Zeus
"Look at these people!" Hestia was saying. "Give me the creeps!" Hestia had suggested a little restaurant in the part of Ekarantanni known as Andomigor, and since it was a nice afternoon we had flown to the outskirts of Andomigor and then turned incognito and walked a bit. Now we were at a square a few blocks from our destination, and in the middle of the square a manifestation was starting to take place. People with boards and banners, speech-enhancers, firebrands and whistles were congregating, chanting slogans aimed at everyone and no-one in the surroundings.
"The Centralists, yeah, they're spooky, I answered. Such fundamentalists, such hatred-filled people! What is their problem really? Northerners taking their jobs? Nomadic people carrying deceases? Southerners sacrificing children for faiths sake! If these people weren't so incredible serious one would think this a whole big sick joke."
"It isn't any joke," Hestia shook her head, orange and yellow braids flying
A goddess and her followersA goddess and her followers
I was looking at myself in the reflection of the mirror in front of the make-up table, trying to think of what to do. Ever since that night and day at Olympos when I had regained Zeus as a friend, the relation with Kandrios had been strained.
"But we pretend it isn't. Isn't that weird, Hera?" I asked the woman in the mirror. She looked back at me with questioning dark-brown eyes beneath purple, indigo and turquoise ringlets of hair, endings dipped in shiny silver.
"Of course you can't answer! Just look at you, Hera of Argos! All expensive dresses and latest fashion hairdo, member of the Hyperpantheon and head of the New Dawn party, and you can't pull your love life together. Are you going to do this the whole life? Pretend you are content with some shallow sex and holding-hands?"
"You know what you have," the woman in the mirror said dryly, while putting on dangling earrings of electrum and gold, with droplets of lapis-lazuli. "But not wha
Spring in the airSpring in the air
Up at Olympos I realised I was hungry. I hadn't eaten anything more than a banana since breakfast. There had been so much going on that food had not had a chance to be on my mind. So Zeus took the host's responsibility and had the nymphs conjure up an instant meal of soup, sandwiches and fruit, all washed down with white wine. And in the end some ice-cream. Not a visit to the Olympos without ice-cream! Then he and I sat down in a neat little living room with an outlook over the sea and the Ekarantannian skyline with its glittering neon and a fireworks display which might have something to do with the upcoming holiday. The others went to bed.
"Hera, he said, I'm glad you seem to have dropped some of that - in lack of a better word - soul shielding you've been displaying around me since your return to 'Tanni. "
"It was "unintentional. I guess. I didn't want to... I didn't really know how to treat you. You used to be one of my best friends. You and Hestia. The peo
Open ForumOpen forum
This telephone thing. It was a bit like mindcall, you could get hold on somebody who wasn't around, given that he or she was near a telephone and you knew the number to that one. Today it's no marvel, I know! It's perfectly normal that everybody run around with at least one phone in their pockets. But it was not until Hermes started to take interest in the things they got mobile to start with. And in that year 16 after Union Foundation (UF:16) the telephone was an amazing thing. Especially for mortals, who lacked abilities for telepathy and mindspeech. And everybody was talking about it.
I tried my first 'phone in the last month of that year, calling up Kandrios from the New Dawn Office. The Liberal Party had their HQ just a block away and we could as well have mindcalled but I wanted to try this new invention. And it was almost spooky hearing his voice in that funnel, like my beloved was locked inside there somewhere. I almost expected to hear him going "let me out,
The OlymposThe Olympos
It was bound to happen sooner or later. My first visit to the Olympos took place in Snow Month. It was Hestia who managed to lure me up to the mountain top.
"It's my 50:th birthday, and I want my most special friends around me. Hera, if you're not there I'll be really sad. So please swallow your pride and come along. If just for one day and just for me. "
"All right. I will do that. But just because it's you. "
Hestia laughed and took me in her arms. I saw real happiness in her eyes. She must have invested a lot of feelings in this thing. And I really wanted to be there for her. She had been there for me so many times through the years. It was a birthday for Faith's sake. And it was only for a day. Then I would be back down where I belonged again. With Kandrios and my usual bunch of friends. On top of that I had to admit that I was curious about the Olympos and its new members. Apollon and Artemis were 14 and little Athena had just turned eight. I wanted to see if th
Politics and magicPolitics and magic
The coming months saw Hera of Argos throwing herself heartily into the snake-pit that was the Ekarantanni political arena. I had been right the first night. It was all about the money and who was expected or not expected to pay for this and for that. And who was to be the one on the receiving end. Very little ideology, even lesser big dreams and intelligent solutions. I learned the importance of alliances and knowing the right people. Of gathering mortals and making friends with the press. And most of all - to bee seen.
In Argos it had been oh so different. There I had been The Goddess. Here I was just Hera, one of plenty. Each and every god and goddess had his or her temple on some street of minor significance. And the mortals of the Nexus were not that impressed with immortals, because they saw us each and every day, and they also saw that we were bickering and plotting and playing the very same power games as they were. The only ones who received real respe
The assembly of godsThe assembly of gods
The Opening Ceremony was one of the few times when both assemblys were gathered together, mortals mixed with immortals in a blend that would have been impossible anywhere or anytime else. The 34 immortal delegates were sitting off to the right in two rows, and then there were 257 mortal delegates, proportional representation of every province in the union, from the two delegates from Freya's Vanahem islands to the 23 people representing the large and densely populated Thessalia-Ekarantanni.
The Ceremony took place in the Great Hall, which during regular sessions was used as the mortals assembley-hall. The immortals used Golden Hall, a smaller hall on the other side of the Grand Entrance. The Great Hall was a big almost circular room decorated in marble with purple and golden details. Pillars carried spectators balconies and opposite of the entrance was a podium with seats for the presidium and a platform for those addressing the forum. Behind the podium hung
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