Stop runningStop Running!
Four days later Sakura was born and Amaterasu went up to the Olympos to let the father behold his child. I had already seen the little girl, she had been so cute. Ami had been radiantly happy when he set off for the mountain top. But when I should have been happy for my friend, I was raging with jealousy instead. Raging because Amaterasu had something together with Zeus that I didn't, and was probably not ever going to get, because I had no intention to 'egg' him as Europa had.
I was sitting in the Chair Lady's office trying to work, but I could not get the visions out of my head. The visions of Zeus and Amaterasu together with their young girl. Zeus holding Sakura. Maybe the 'third's a charm'"thing Neyta had been talking about would work this time. I felt tears burning beneath my lids, and I had hard to understand these feelings. Half a year ago I had told Amaterasu that I'd be more than happy if she patched it up with Zeus. But that was 'pre-Harvest Holiday'.
A night at OlymposA night at Olympos
The part of the Nexus session following the Harvest Holiday is dedicated to the budget and finances of the Union. It's generally considered the most tedious part of the political year. Not surpricingly I felt every minute of it here in the Chair Lady's office.
First there is this limited amount of money. Money never seems to be enough, whatever you do. Then there are all these "I want"-ers. They pop up like autumn flowers every year around this season. Organisations and lobbyists as well as the sole god or mortal who keeps claiming that just their case is so important and that they require this and that amount of money to make it tick. After a while I learned to hand over these delegations to my new assistant Tiaros. He was a bit harder to convince, and he usually came in to me with a smug look on his face and let me know that he had turned them down.
Another great helper I couldn't have done without was Olympic Iris. She scared off most of the lobbyists by ke
The Harvest Holiday banquetThe Harvest Holiday banquet
Settling down in the office as Nexus Chair Lord took a while. The first thing to do was finding a new Argosite immortal delegate. The chose fell not unexpectedly upon Argus. He was here and he was beginning to know the workings of the Nexus. Selene needed her pantheon to run the region and Cheiron wanted to stay home in Argos with his family.
I remained formal head over the New Dawn, but Freya and Ra ended up doing all the practical work. I also felt that we needed a better connection to the mortal branch, so Xurasa became appointed to that task, and with a recommendation to get to know the mortal head Auirey Leyorda well. Neyta remained assigned to the information gathering part as did 'always-having-a-good-answer'-Apeliotes when it came to press contacts.
Then I lost Kandrios. It was his jealousy that finally killed our relation. This time he had got the impression that it was Ra I was having on my mind.
"We were working, for Chaos' sake."
Electing a Chair LordElecting a Chair Lord
"Hera, wait!" Amaterasu came hasting through the air after me, diving like a falcon.
"'Bout Zeus-san. I don't want him. You can have him. "
I started to laugh.
"Who said I'd want him? For the millionth of times, Ami, we're just friends. But your baby?" I indicated her little bulge, "I thought it was Zeus's."
"That's true I admit. We tried to patch it up after the last session was over. He took me among all those blooming cherry trees at the Olympic slopes. That's why my daughter will be named Sakura. Cherry Blossom."
"Romantic! Too bad you two couldn't make it work. You'd have my blessing if it had. Two of my best friends together as a happy couple. "
"I want a man who's wholly mine. I don't want to share him," the Nipponese said. "What is it really with Zeus and all women? "
"Let's land!" I sat down on the top of a skyscraper and Amaterasu sat down next to me. She had taken Freya's advice and was wearing less colours and patterns and she looke
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