To Solidify the Mist: Cp8

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To Solidify the Mist
Chapter Eight

The things we said would wait until we moved upon the other world did not get said. The birds were noticed immediately upon passing through the portal. There were crows, owls, swallows, and eagles sitting on the limbs of trees with vultures and seabirds circling overhead. What got said was something hissed by Heratin.

“Damn, Mochsha.”

Orintious said, “We have no other option except to make it to camp. We might want to head to one of father’s estates tomorrow.”

Mochsha said, “You don’t have a place, Orintious?”

“Not in this direction. Honestly, Heracropolis is a wonderful place for safety and private discussions. It is still over a day away.”

“I believe it is even further to one of father’s houses. It is not like I went to the Hantarrow Forest on a casual stroll. How about a Cricket House?”

“Not with such a large company. Powers such as this will however know the rules of Cricket Houses, so their privacy cannot be guaranteed.”

Just then a peacock flew across our path, and Orintious yelled, “All right, double-time! Follow tha—“

His statement was interrupted by Heratin slamming into him, then hurrying to stand while spinning then yelling, “That way!”

I did notice the direction he pointed happened to be exactly behind the peacock. Heratin started a strange mad rush to and fro as if worried about directions, although strangely his decisions matched the flight of the peacock. Orintious just ran along with us for a time, but then started berating the middle brother for being so foolish about having us waste our energy on such a foolish series of dashes. I have to admit that I barely noticed the portal before we all went through it.

Something soft caught us. It had an invisible body, but I saw a distortion in the air around us as if there was substance and not just a strong wind. We then were released and I sensed that we passed through another portal before rolling down a hillside. As I caught myself, I heard the sound of the horses.

Ochally brought me relief as she said, “Something gave our horses special treatment, Heratin. They are all right.”

Heratin replied, “Of course, Ochally. My mother is queen of the heavens. We should be all right as well.”

As Orintious had his men sound off, I heard a mature female voice ask, “Orintious, you recognized my bird?”

I could tell the older brother continued to listen to his men even as he replied, “I am not unknown in Heracropolis, Great Goddess. I have also sought to learn things about my siblings. So, yes, I certainly recognized the peacock. All that Heratin did was assure me that it was your peacock, and not that of another deity.”

Where Mochsha glowed, this lady had a presence that revealed itself without any overt sign of power. She was larger than Orintious in height, but wonderfully proportioned. As she advanced over the field toward us, Mochsha however said something about also recognizing the peacock as being meant for us.

“It called Heratin’s name.”

Heratin said, “Yes, Mother, that was a little overt.”

“Those were all watchers, Heratin. They now need to report, so all of you have time. I also rushed you away from any direct obvious path, so you should be able to plan in comfort.”

“Plans? I’m supposed to plan now?”

Orintious said, “Sooner or later I am hoping you will start.”

Mochsha went up to the middle brother before suggesting, “It could help if you simply told me what you were going to tell me.”

It was the goddess that said, “All that he had to say, Mochsha, was that it was your mother that told me to have him again attempt a rescue. How she knew success would be gained I could not say, but my divine nature did reveal that it certainly would be achieved.”

“My mother? But... but I was not seeking my family, but that of Orintious.”

“I gave my son to Galabur, because I wanted a good family, a good father figure, to raise him. I wanted a good son, and not the brutes and show-offs that my husband would sire. If I had a daughter, I had chosen another. Someone I now know to have been your mother.”

“But if you felt she would have been a good mother for your daughter, why didn’t she raise me?”

“Something I know well, Mochsha – timing. At the time of your birth, she had a number of very serious issues with her life. I had issues as well, as I was at that time planning my actions of bearing my own bastard child. She entrusted you to Galabur, because she knew the potential in you, and that with him you could grow and mature into a proper lady. She did pay attention to you as you grew, and stayed back not wanting to affect your path.”

Mochsha’s aura turned orange as she spun around, then she asked, “She is not with you?”

Hera replied, “Should she be? She is not a goddess, Mochsha. She can make bad decisions.”

Mochsha’s turned a brilliant soft blue as she approached the older brother and said, “Oh, Orintious, I am now wishing that I could return to that cell. There are now new things for me to contemplate.”

He replied, “No, Mochsha. You have thought on answers long enough. Now it is time for you to go seek answers. Maybe, after we chased all the leads that what wisdom we have gained will have us follow, I will join you in spending time in contemplation.”

She turned from him to go and kneel before Hera to say, “I don’t know where to start.”

The goddess replied, “I have before me four children of Galabur. If any group of people know how to handle knowledge, it should be you. Over there is an estate dedicated to my brother, Poseidon. You should see herds of horses about the land. What paths you take will determine your fates, although all paths will need to be taken at some time.”

Hera then faded from view. Heratin went to his slave to assure that she and the horses she tended were in good condition. Orintious turned to check on things with his men. I could only hope that Hera was still present in some manner as I told her that I enjoyed her celebration.

Heratin turned from Ochally to say, “She is appreciative, Vernallor, but we need to talk about other things.” Before I could say anything in reply, he kept talking. “Mochsha, help me to understand something. I know that I am thinking about this wrong. I learned rather early who I was, who my mother was, and a number of things about my birth. However, when I go looking through the records of all our siblings that is just not the case. Father gives us a good home. We are blessed with a fabulous education, and given the connections to establish a wonderful life that actually meets our talents. Why aren’t there more stories like mine?”

Mochsha replied, “You heard the answer, Heratin. Those parents that see our success do not want to ruin it. Hera had a place for you. She had a reason to do what she did, and had the authority to force Galabur to accept his place as your father. The rest of us had parents that were desperate. None of us are normal children, so there was more in the raising of us than just giving us food, clothing, and shelter.”

Orintious said, “Yes, but I have to agree with Heratin. I understand most of our brothers and sisters. Surely they had gifts as strong as any of us, but just did not encounter the stress that would pull forth their unique talent. Most actually did, but immortality was just not one of their graces. You would think that a parent would want their child to at least know their history. Maybe not get involved to possibly disrupt a good life, but just to give the person some grounding in who they truly are.”

“Heratin came close to the answer. First, not all desperate situations are limited in duration. Think that if I had a child. My confinement would surely have lasted longer than its life span. Second, immortality is really not common, especially as a blessing for the young. Most who are immortal do something to gain the blessing. They do not start life with that gift. One thing our life with Galabur provided was access to the immortals. Our father is an interdimensional librarian. Access to our father is not easily gained, so for most it is a one-time contact for some historic record that they could find nowhere else. Those that come more than once, especially with any frequency, are very few in number. I have to say that there are many more of us children than there are people we consider visitors to our home when growing up. That means that the parents to most of us were not immortal, so very possibly died before they could see our success.”

Heratin said, “So, according to what you said, the conclusion could be that the reason your mother is letting you know of her existence is that she happens to still be alive.”

“And she feels I need to know about her. She feels that her contact with me will not disrupt the life I have. Why the contact would be through such a grand divine presence as Hera, I cannot say, although that should be something explained when we do meet.”

“Uh, yes. Listen, if you don’t mind, let’s get to the estate to continue this conversation. It’s Uncle Poseidon’s, so the wine will be watered down, but it should be refreshing enough.”

Suddenly, as if arising from water soaked into the ground, a lady made herself apparent in our midst. Her dark hair flowed about her body that seemed to ever shift. While I sense her grace, something about her never allowed me to truly focus on her enough to say she was truly lovely.

The lady said, “Now, Heratin, that was not a nice thing to say.”

The middle brother bowed as he said, “I knew you were there, Aunt Amphitrite, rudely eavesdropping on our conversation. Let me say thanks for your hospitality.”

Feeling bad that I had not voiced my thanks to Hera, I stepped up to bow to this lady and say, “And I want to thank you for the sword.”

The lady approached to say, “Ah, so this is the one Trinacha gave the sword to. She said that she was scared of your eyes, so felt you would be the one best served by the weapon. Her words made no sense to me, but I believe that I can see that her decision was a good one. Heratin, would you introduce us?”

Heratin replied, “Well, might as well get everything done. This, dear Aunt Amphitrite, is my youngest sibling, Vernallor. He is only now beginning his transformation into a man. In another one of my father’s most bizarre decisions, he allowed Vernallor the blessing of enjoying the week of celebrating the rebirth of our land. My eldest surviving brother, Orintious, who you should know, has an army right now very vexed at him for not allowing them to enjoy the festival. Vernallor, this is my Aunt Amphitrite, the wife of the great god Poseidon who is lord over the watery realms – and horses, which he made, so the purpose of this estate.”

“And with it being so remote, seldom sees visitors. So you are most welcome.”

“I’m not finished, Aunt Amphitrite. Let me see – oh, this lovely lady is my lost sister, Mochsha. It is her rescue that is necessary for our being here.” I saw Mochsha turn yellow as she curtsied to the lady, even as Heratin said, “Mochsha, Aunt Amphitrite is really a gracious lady, and should be willing to help you gain anything you might need.”

Mochsha said, “My purpose for coming was not to be a burden.”

The goddess replied, “At least not to me. Still, as Heratin’s sister you do rate as part of my extended family. Let my staff know of your needs.”

Heratin interrupted any further statements by saying, “I’m still not finished. Orintious has his army and, ah, personnel. They can be given menial quarters. The lady who praised the treatment of the horses, is my own latest possession, Ochally. I believe she has the spunk to be one of my better acquisitions. I definitely have to say that I am still enjoying her presence. Let me see – okay, I’m finished.” I had seen the coaches coming, but Heratin then sounded out, “Aunt Persephone? Aunt Amphitrite, you did not say that Aunt Persephone was here.”

“I was waiting for you to finish.”

The lady that rode in the front of two coaches was indeed very lovely. Flowers were in her hair, but they seemed to only extend the bright color of her face. Her tresses flowed behind her as if the wind wanted to improve itself by having it blow through them. While I had been amazed by the glow from Mochsha, I felt this lady radiated something even more wonderful.

I noticed the goddess in the coach look to me, and when it stopped in front of us she rose to ask, “Who is this dark-skinned lad?”

The goddess Amphitrite answered, “He is Heratin’s youngest brother, Vernallor. Remember that mermaid that I questioned concerning who she had given my sword to? Well, this youth is the person.”

“Vernallor, I was going to request Mochsha to ride with me, as we ladies could ride together. I however will allow Amphitrite the honor while I entertain the men.”

Orintious gave his men the command to fall in behind. Heratin said basically the same to Ochally, although assured her that as his possession she would be placed in his room. In looking from the maid to the goddess in the coach, I noticed something that I felt needed to be said due to the glance from Persephone.

"Of all the goddesses, you seem to be the youngest."

She directed me to a seat as she replied, "It is the same grace that blesses Heratin. I also am reborn each year, so the youth of again being new to the world comes to me. Vernallor, how did you enjoy the festival?"

I had to admit, “It went by in a blur. Everyone is telling me to eat better next time.”

“That means they care about you, Vernallor. If you were not a good companion, they would have promised you even stronger drink the next time.”

Heratin took a seat as he said, “That is true. For some people, we try to get them passed out drunk rather quickly.”

Orintious gained a place as he commented, “Not that they notice the insult. I have men that fall into that category, but they still desire to come back and do it again.”

Persephone said, “Well, I am glad to have the presence of three wonderful gentlemen. Let me enjoy your company for a time, then you can be given your rest and the privacy of determining your own business.”

And our group begins to look for answers.