Pegasus and the Origins of Olympus: Book 4

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Pegasus and the Origins of Olympus: Book 4 Page 8

by Kate O'Hearn

  A rope barrier encircled the temple to keep tourists from climbing up into the ancient monument. Stella lifted the rope and passed under it. Her parents were top archaeologists so that gave her the right to go where most other people couldn’t. But when she stopped before the first tall step into the temple, she heard a whoosh and felt a powerful wind. A blinding light flashed right in the centre of the temple.

  Stella raised her hands to shield her eyes against the bright light. Two dark figures were moving within it. With a scream locked deep in her throat, she realized they were heading right for her.


  Emily and Joel emerged into complete darkness. It always took a few moments to adjust from the brilliance of the Solar Stream.

  When Emily could see again, she was stunned to find a girl in a wheelchair at the base of the steps no more than a couple of metres from her. She was holding a flashlight and her mouth was hanging open in shock.

  ‘I think we’ve got trouble,’ Joel muttered.

  The sound of Joel’s voice seemed to startle the girl. She dropped the flashlight and turned the wheelchair to roll away. But the wheelchair caught on some larger rocks and tipped to the side. The girl fell and cried out as she hit the rocky surface.

  ‘C’mon,’ Joel cried. ‘We can’t let her tell anyone we’re here.’

  They caught up with the girl in moments. Her eyes were filled with terror. She was speaking quickly, but not in a language they could understand.

  ‘It’s all right,’ Emily said. ‘Don’t be afraid. We’re not going to hurt you.’

  ‘Can you understand us? Do you speak English?’ Joel asked.

  The girl looked from Emily to Joel and landed on his silver arm. ‘Are you … gods?’ she stammered.

  ‘You do speak English!’ Emily said.

  ‘I learn it at school,’ she said with a thick Greek accent.

  ‘Are you hurt?’ Joel asked. He squinted and tried to see the girl’s cut knee. ‘Em, we could use some light here.’

  Emily held up her hand and summoned the Flame. It burst from her palm and caused the girl to gasp and try to drag herself away.

  ‘I promise we’re not going to hurt you,’ Emily said. ‘I’m Emily and this is Joel. Who are you?’

  ‘St … Stella.’

  Holding up her hand, Emily could see the girl wasn’t much older than her. She had cropped dark hair and eyes as black as night. She was able to move her upper body, but her legs remained still. Emily saw that the girl’s knee was bleeding, but she didn’t show signs of feeling it.

  Stella’s eyes were locked on Emily’s flaming hand. ‘You are gods!’

  ‘No, we’re not,’ Joel said. ‘It’s a long story, but we don’t have time to explain. Are you hurt?’

  Stella shook her head. ‘I am paralyzed from the waist down. I don’t feel anything.’

  Emily righted Stella’s wheelchair while Joel lifted her up and placed her gently on the seat. ‘Can you tell us if this is the Temple of Poseidon?’ he asked.

  ‘That is the temple.’ Stella raised a shaking finger at the ancient monument behind them. ‘You just came from it.’

  Joel turned back and looked up at the columns of the temple. ‘Good. It’s got to be somewhere around here.’

  Emily raised her hand higher and increased the flame. ‘Jupiter didn’t tell us where to look. It could be anywhere.’

  ‘Jupiter?’ Stella repeated softly. ‘Do … do you mean … ?’ she stuttered, and paused. ‘Are you saying, Zeus – he is the one who sent you here?’

  Emily nodded.

  ‘He is real?’ Stella asked, her voice barely audible. ‘Does he truly live on Mount Olympus with all the other gods?’

  ‘No, not Mount Olympus, but another world called Olympus,’ Emily explained. ‘When the Olympians first visited Earth long ago, they came to Greece. They told the ancient people of their world and, because of that, the Greek people named their tallest mountain after them, but it’s not the same place.’

  Emily paused. ‘I know this may be impossible to believe, but I promise you, they are very real. Only they’re in trouble. We’ve come here to find something that is hurting them.’

  Stella’s eyes kept passing from Emily’s burning hand to Joel’s arm. ‘They are real,’ she kept repeating. ‘They are real …’

  ‘Yes, and they’re dying,’ Joel said.

  Emily gazed around and saw the glow of the tents further down the hill. ‘Joel, look, people are camping here.’

  ‘Nuts!’ Joel cursed. He focused on Stella. ‘What are you doing here? Are you really camping at a temple?’

  Stella shook her head. ‘No, my parents are archaeologists. Part of the cliff broke away over there and an artifact was discovered embedded in the rock.’

  ‘A golden box?’ Emily asked.

  Stella’s eyes grew big. ‘Yes, you know of Zeus’s Treasure Chest?’

  ‘Are you the one who opened it?’

  ‘Me? No. It was heavy and it fell. The box opened by itself and there was a flash of light. Then there was nothing inside but a big rock.’

  ‘You saw the rock?’ Emily cried. ‘Where is it?’


  ‘What do you mean, gone? Gone where?’

  ‘The others took it and the box to the Acropolis Museum in Athens.’

  ‘Dammit!’ Emily’s fury rose. She ran to the cliff edge, raised her hands in the air and released two powerful blasts of Flame at the sea far below. ‘Why?’ she howled to the dark sky. ‘Why couldn’t it be here?’

  ‘Em, calm down!’ Joel cried. ‘Don’t lose control, you know what can happen if you do! We’ll just go to Athens and destroy it there. This is only a small delay.’

  Emily turned on Joel. ‘But we’re losing precious time. You saw how bad Paelen was. And Pegs. As long as that box is open it’s killing them.’

  Stella rolled up to Emily and bowed her head reverently. ‘You are a god!’

  ‘No, I’m not,’ Emily said angrily. ‘I’m just upset! And stop that, I don’t want you or anyone ever bowing to me.’

  ‘But you must be gods. I have seen your pictures.’

  ‘Pictures? Where? Who are you?’ Joel caught hold of Stella’s arm with a silver hand.

  ‘You’re hurting me,’ Stella cried. ‘Please, let me go.’

  ‘Joel, let her go,’ Emily said. She turned to Stella. ‘How do you know us?’

  ‘From the pottery in the Acropolis Museum,’ Stella explained. ‘There is an amphora with paintings of you with Zeus and the other gods.’

  ‘What’s an amphora?’ Emily asked.

  ‘It is a two-handled pot,’ Stella explained. ‘There are many at the museum. I know of at least two from more than 500 BC with pictures of a girl who shoots fire from her hands. The colour is faded, but there were traces of blue in her eyes.’ She peered closer at Emily. ‘Your eyes are blue.’ She gestured to Joel. ‘There is a boy with her. He has a strong arm made of metal, just like yours.’

  ‘If it’s on ancient pots, it can’t be us,’ Emily said. ‘We were never here in the past.’

  ‘But it is,’ Stella insisted. ‘The girl looks just like you and is dressed the same.’

  Emily looked down at her Olympian tunic. ‘No, Stella, it wasn’t us.’ She gazed around. ‘Tell me, how far is it to Athens? We must go there to destroy that rock.’

  ‘You cannot,’ Stella said. ‘It is in the museum. There is too much security. You will not get in.’

  ‘Oh yes we will,’ Emily said. ‘Trust me, nothing can stop us.’

  ‘Except maybe transport,’ Joel added. ‘I’ve never been to Greece before. I have no idea where Athens is from here.’

  ‘Athens is easy,’ Stella said, pointing down the hill. ‘You just follow that road.’

  ‘You know how to get to Athens?’ When Stella nodded, Emily continued, ‘Good. You are going to take us there.’

  ‘What? But my parents are here. I will get into trouble. And I have to be back at school on Mond

  ‘I’m sorry, but this is too important. The lives of the Olympians are at stake. You are going to take us to the Acropolis Museum and show us that rock.’

  ‘But I can’t.’

  ‘Oh, yes you can,’ Emily said firmly. ‘You can and you will. You don’t have a choice.’

  ‘Em,’ Joel said softly, crooking a finger at her, ‘can I speak with you for a moment please?’

  ‘Stella, stay here,’ Emily ordered as she walked away with Joel.

  After a few paces, Joel stopped. ‘Emily Jacobs, have you lost your mind? You’re talking about kidnapping that girl!’

  ‘Not kidnapping, just borrowing,’ Emily said.

  ‘But she’s in a wheelchair,’ Joel argued.

  ‘So?’ Emily said. ‘Just because she’s in a wheelchair doesn’t mean she can’t help. We’ll just take it with us.’


  ‘Joel, listen to me,’ Emily said. ‘Pegasus is dying. So are Paelen, Diana and all the others. They are dying because of that rock. We don’t have time to waste getting lost in Greece. Stella knows the way to Athens. We need to get there. She knows the museum. That is where the rock is. We don’t have any choice.’

  As Emily and Joel argued, Stella started to wheel away.

  Emily saw her out of the corner of her eye and raised her hand in Stella’s direction. Stella squealed as her wheelchair was lifted off the ground and delivered back at Emily’s side.

  ‘I’m really sorry, Stella,’ Emily said, turning to the girl. ‘But people I love are dying because of that rock at the museum. All we’re asking is that you help us get there so we can destroy it. I promise we’ll let you go afterwards and you’ll never see us again.’

  ‘And if I refuse?’ Stella said fearfully.

  Emily leaned closer. ‘You’ve seen my powers; you can’t refuse. Nothing, not even you, is going to stop me from saving Pegasus!’


  ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ Joel whispered as he walked behind Stella, pushing her wheelchair down the hill.

  Emily nodded. ‘We don’t have a choice. Even if we used the Solar Stream to get to the museum, we still don’t know the way in, or what the rock actually looks like. Stella has seen it. We’ve got to take her with us.’

  She was walking beside Stella and could see her trembling and knew she was the cause of it. She just wished she could make her understand what was at stake.

  As they drew nearer to the campsite, Emily leaned in closer to Stella. ‘For everyone’s protection, you will not say one word when we go past the tents. In just a few hours we’ll make sure you are safely back here without anyone ever knowing what happened. Do you understand?’

  Fear remained on Stella’s face as she nodded. ‘I understand.’

  Emily exchanged a glance with Joel. She could see that he still didn’t agree with the plan, but Emily couldn’t see any other way.

  It was surprisingly easy to get past the tents. But what Emily hadn’t expected was the number of parked cars further down the hill. There was a crowd of men and women standing around, smoking.

  Emily leaned down to Stella. ‘What’s going on here? Who are those people?’

  ‘It’s the media. They heard about the golden treasure chest. They are all waiting here to see what else my parents will discover. During the day, the police are here to keep them back. They should be here at night too, but it looks like they are gone.’

  ‘The media?’ Joel said. ‘You mean, like newspapers and photographers?’

  Stella nodded.

  ‘Em, are you thinking what I’m thinking?’

  ‘I sure hope not,’ Emily said. ‘If the CRU were to find out about this …’

  Further conversation was cut short when they noticed one of the journalists looking in their direction. He stamped out his cigarette and started to walk towards them.

  ‘Em,’ Joel warned.

  Emily looked desperately around. They had already been seen and there was nowhere to go. ‘Nothing is going to stop us, Joel,’ Emily said grimly. ‘Even Dad agreed I should use my powers if I have to.’

  ‘No!’ Stella cried. ‘Please do not hurt them. I swear I will help you. But you must not kill them.’

  Emily had no intention of hurting them and she was about to say so when Joel quickly shook his head. ‘All right then, Stella,’ he said. ‘Help us out of this and they will stay safe.’ He looked at Emily. ‘You push Stella and I’ll stand behind you to hide my arm. We can’t let them see it.’

  Emily took a position behind Stella’s wheelchair while Joel stood further back. They moved forward to meet the man who was walking towards them. Emily could feel her nerves bunching up in her stomach. It made the Flame deep within her rumble.

  The man was of slender build and very tall, dressed in casual dark clothes and an open long black coat. He looked to be in his mid-thirties, with dark curly hair and ice-blue eyes.

  Stella was the first to speak. She addressed the man in Greek, which made Emily all the more nervous. She could be telling him anything and they would never know. While they spoke, the man kept looking at Emily and Joel. There was something in his eyes – something almost predatory. Behind him all the other journalists stopped talking and were looking in their direction.

  Warning bells were going off in Emily’s head. She balled her hands into fists, preparing to summon the Flame. But after a few minutes, the man speaking with Stella smiled and nodded his head.

  Stella looked up at Emily. ‘He’s a reporter. I told him you two are here for publicity. That your costumes are to celebrate the discovery of Zeus’s Treasure Chest and that you are just trying them on in preparation for tomorrow.’

  Emily smiled back and nodded her head. ‘Yes, yes, we are,’ she said.

  ‘You are American?’ the reporter asked in broken English.

  Emily nodded. ‘My father is one of the archaeologists. He thought it would be fun for us to dress up.’

  The reporter nodded. ‘But are you not cold in that light clothing? It is not warm out here.’

  Both Emily and Joel shook their heads. ‘No, we’re fine.’

  Emily’s heart nearly stopped when the reporter reached out to shake her hand. She reluctantly returned the handshake. But when he reached for Joel, Emily shook her head. ‘My friend doesn’t shake hands,’ she quickly said. ‘He’s afraid of germs.’

  ‘Germs?’ the reporter said. ‘I do not understand.’

  Stella quickly translated and the reporter’s eyes lingered on Joel for several heartbeats. Finally he smiled again. ‘OK, OK, see you later.’

  ‘Yes, OK, fine,’ Emily agreed, nodding and still grinning. ‘See you later. Have a good night.’

  They watched the reporter heading back to the group.

  Stella looked back at Emily and Joel’s tunics. ‘If you are going to spend any time in Greece, you must change your clothes. We do not dress like that any more.’

  ‘We’re only going to be here a short time,’ Emily said. ‘As soon as we destroy that rock we’ll go.’

  Stella directed them towards her parents’ car. ‘I do not have the keys and there is no one to drive it.’

  ‘I can drive,’ Joel said.

  ‘And I can open it,’ offered Emily. At the driver’s side, she placed her hand on the lock. She concentrated and thought ‘Open’. Moments later, they heard a click and the door opened.

  ‘That’s a neat trick,’ Joel said as he lifted Stella out of her wheelchair and helped her in to the front passenger seat. ‘I just hope it works to get the engine going.’

  They stored Stella’s wheelchair in the back and Emily used her powers to start the car engine. Joel put the car in gear and drove out of the parking area, past all the reporters’ cars and out on to the main road.

  The journey started in silence, only broken when Stella gave Joel directions. ‘What happened to you?’ Joel finally asked her. ‘Were you always paralyzed?’

  Stella shook her head. ‘No, it was a
n accident when I was eight. I went on a dig with my parents to Delphi. I wandered off and fell down into a pit. I landed on a rock and broke my back. I’ve been paralyzed ever since.’

  ‘I’m sorry,’ Joel said.

  Stella shrugged. ‘I am used to it now. But because of the accident, my parents won’t let me do anything or go anywhere without them. They do not think I can take care of myself. I did not want to come on this dig, but they would not let me stay home alone.’

  ‘At least you’ve got parents,’ Joel said softly. ‘Mine died in a car accident. If it weren’t for Emily and the Olympians, I’m sure I would have ended up in prison.’

  Emily sat in the back, listening to Joel and Stella. She pulled out Pegasus’s feather and spun it in her fingers. ‘Hold on, Pegs,’ she whispered softly. ‘Just hold on.’

  ‘Are you talking to that feather?’ Stella asked.

  Emily nodded and gazed lovingly at it. ‘It belongs to Pegasus. He is very sick.’

  ‘Pegasus?’ Stella said. ‘The flying horse?’

  ‘He’s not a horse,’ Emily barked. ‘He’s Pegasus!’

  ‘Sorry!’ Stella said quickly. ‘I do not wish to make you angry.’

  Emily sighed heavily. ‘No, I’m sorry I yelled. I’m just frightened. Before the gold box was opened, Pegasus and I would fly everywhere together. Now, because of it, he’s very ill. A lot of Olympians have died and the few survivors are dying.’

  ‘How can this be?’ Stella asked. ‘I still do not understand. The gods are immortal. How can a simple rock be so dangerous?’

  ‘It’s not a simple rock,’ Joel answered as he drove the car along the empty rural Greek roads. ‘It was a weapon created by the Titans.’

  ‘The Titans!’ Stella repeated. ‘They are real too?’

  ‘They were,’ Emily said. ‘Jupiter defeated them. But right before he did, the Titans created a weapon that could destroy the Olympians. Luckily, Jupiter and his brothers got to it first and sealed it in the gold box. It has remained undisturbed all this time.’

  ‘Until we found it,’ Stella mused. ‘What happens after you destroy it?’

  ‘We don’t know,’ Joel answered. ‘The survivors are old and sick. I hope by destroying it, we will reverse the damage. If not, then even if we do destroy it, we may be too late to save them.’


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