Mercy was not one of Zeus’ most positive attributes, yet he let the Titan go. As I walked out of his office, I could not help but wonder what led Father to decide as such. It could mean one of two things: either he was planning something that was far more important than capturing Prometheus, or having Prometheus free was more beneficial. If that were the case, why did he ask me to track him? Was it all to put on a show? Perhaps to let Prometheus know he was never really free? I shook my head, as these thoughts did nothing to provide an answer. Father was a complicated God, there’s no doubting that! 

I stopped by my office on the 17th floor of the OA building to pick up a treat for Sayeh. I’m sure she’s anything but happy about my delays. I walked around the empty space of my office. It needed work. The last few months had been busy, but working with Uncle Poseidon and then tracking Prometheus provided me with an opportunity to learn more about the mortals. I was pleased to learn of the mortals who cared for the wilderness and the wildlife. Apparently, they had organizations and groups that worked to protect nature and wildlife from the ambitious industrial ones, who did nothing but ruin Gaia’s creation. 

The living of the wild needed me, and it was time I accepted my role as their protector in this modern world! I will have to set up shop soon, but first, I had to make my way back to the cave behind the waterfall where I have hidden Sayeh. Gods know what a dragon left alone is capable of. I better hurry. 

I took in the smell of the damp earth on fallen leaves. The earthy aroma, the sound of ancient creaking trees in the woods, along with the rhythmic pounding of water on rocks is my elixir. The splendor of the wild was soul swelling; this was my paradise. Oh, how I had missed it! I could dance for joy being back here. I should, perhaps, summon my nymphs from Olympus and dance to their beauty. 

I called out for Sayeh as I walked into the cave, but I found her hovering over a mortal in the corner. He sat with his head bowed between his legs, rolled up into a ball. Shivering from head to toe, he looked up when he heard my stride. Terror ran deep in his eyes while thick tears ran down his fat cheeks. His mouth dropped open when he saw Sayeh snuggle into my arms.

“Sayeh…what have you here, girl?” I asked. Sayeh was aware that hunting mortals for food was off-limits for her on Earth. One of Zeus’ many conditions when I brought her here. 

Sayeh and I communicated telepathically. I touched her face, looking into her eyes for a full depiction. The man was a poacher. He was hunting in the area, despite poaching being illegal according to mortal law. He had chanced upon a bear cub and shot it down. Sayeh witnessed the event from her cave and couldn’t let him go unpunished for his crime, knowing full well how I felt about animals of the wild. She couldn’t punish him without my orders, so she waited.

My hands balled into fists, and my breathing became heavier. “A bear cub?” I asked, jaws clenched, staring at the mortal. It took every nerve in my immortal body to hold me from slashing the man’s throat with my silver blade. 

“Please…please…you have to help me,” the mortal stuttered.

“What makes you think I would help you?” I asked, my eyes burning into his very soul.

“You seem to have some form of power over this beast…please…let me go,” he pleaded.

“Power over the beast? Is that what you were doing when you poached that bear cub?”

“It’s just a sport, it meant nothing, it was just for sport,” he said. 

Perhaps it was his tone, or it was the fact that he called it a sport, or maybe it was his reason that I asked, “Ever heard of the term flying too close to the sun?”

“No…no…please,” he cried, comprehending what was coming.

 “Sayeh, καίω!” I commanded.

I heard her familiar growl before I felt the heat of her flames vaporize the mortal. 

Artemis (Rashmi Menon)
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