Days of Atlantis: The Vampire Saga
by Julien Gregg

This is the story of Darias and Ren, two gods born of a human queen. They were born the princes of Atlantis and their lives were nearly destroyed by the Olympian God Zeus. After a lifetime of rape, torture and violence, Darias attacks Zeus and is cursed by Apollo. He can never see the sun again and must hunt humanity for their blood. The vampire is created. Learning of his brother's plight, Ren attacks Zeus, thinking that he is the God who cursed his brother. Ren will be cursed by Artemis. He will be ruled by the moon and be forced to change into a beast who hunts humanity for their flesh. The Forsaken is created. This is their story. Many of the Greek and Egyptian Gods will be featured in this story. I did research, but I felt it was necessary for this story to change certain things about the Gods. This is only a story so please don't try to correct me. This is the beginning of the Vampire Saga. This is how it all began. So just enjoy the ride. This story contains scenes depicting violence, death, murder, torture, rape, homosexuality, heterosexuality, homosexual sex, heterosexual sex and has a strong violent and sexual theme. If it is not legal in your place of residence for you to read this type of material, or if you are offended by this type of material please leave the site now. For all others the chapter links are below.

This story is a work of fiction its characters do not exist outside the story. Any resemblance to living people or places is strictly coincidence. This story is Copyright © 2015 Julien Gregg. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This story contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author.

Chapter 3

"My sons," Isis said when the twins were finally allowed to go to their rooms. They sat in Darias's sitting room to await midnight when their powers would manifest. "Be strong. When the moment comes it can be quite painful."

"I was afraid of that," said Ren. "But when the pain passes we'll be Gods?"

"Yes, my son," she said, smiling at him.

"And Zeus won't be able to come for us again," Darias said.

There was such hatred in Darias. Isis looked into his eyes and she saw such a well of sadness, pain and hatred that it pained her. Zeus was responsible for all of that, and she knew that Darias would attack Zeus. That would spark the curse that would set his path. What she didn't know and couldn't see was if the curse would take him from her. She so hoped not, because she'd just gotten him back. With Ren there was only sadness and pain. He wasn't as angry as Darias, but she knew that if Darias was cursed, Ren would attack Zeus for it. They were so close that to slight one was to slight the other. It was a great strength for them, yet at the same time it was their greatest weakness.

Ra paced back and forth in front of the windows to the courtyard. He was more nervous than Darias and Ren, and it wasn't his ascension but theirs. He so loved his brothers that Isis believed it was the pain of their ascension that had him so nervous. He hated the Olympian Gods because of what his brothers had been forced to live through. He tolerated Poseidon, because he was their father but there was no friendship in Ra for the other God. They would share a pantheon, if only part of the time, but they would never be friendly.

"You have to forgive your father, Darias," she said, turning back to the twins. "In just a few short hours you will be his equal, and I know that he would be in this room with us if only he believed that you wouldn't get angry at his presence."

"I don't hate my father," Darias said with a sigh. "It was just that after a life of pain and misery I spent so much time hating him and all of the Gods because they didn't answer my pleas for help. Then he came and explained, but it was so hard to let go of that hatred. He did try to help us as much as he could, and I suppose he turned his back on his family for us."

"Yes, he did turn his back on his family and his home for the two of you," she said. "Poseidon loves you as I love you. Is it harder to let go because you knew all about him being your father when he couldn't help you? You don't seem to have animosity toward me or your brother, but you didn't know that there was any reason for us to come to your aid."

"That could be what my problem was," he said. "I just needed him so badly and he didn't come. I know that Zeus prevented him, but he renounced Olympus and Zeus just two years ago to be with us. Part of me feels that if he could do that two years ago to help us in battle, then what stopped him from doing that very thing to get to us when we were seven?"

"It wouldn't have mattered, Darias," she said, urging him to believe her. "Zeus had exerted his power over Atlantis to keep any God from coming to your aid. Even if Poseidon had renounced Olympus and Zeus when you were seven he still wouldn't have been able to come to you. Perhaps it would have been worse."

"I suppose it probably would have been worse for him," sighed Darias. "I just have to keep reminding myself that my father suffered all those years along with me. He knew what was happening and couldn't come to help me. When I think of it like that I love him so much because he wanted to help me."

"I hate that it happened and we didn't know it was happening," said Ra as he came to stand beside the couch. "We only knew we couldn't come to you."

"Don't do that to yourself, Ra," Darias said. "If Poseidon suffered knowing about what happened to us when he couldn't come to help, then you can only hurt yourself with thinking about what you didn't know."

"You are wise," he said, smiling. "Prince Darias."

"I'm not the Crowned Prince yet," he said, smiling back. "That happens tomorrow if I can survive my ascension"

"You will survive," Ra said solemnly. "You are my brothers, flesh of my mother's flesh. You are strong and you will survive."

He was worried because they'd told him that some Gods had died just from the force of their ascensions. Only the most powerful survived without the aid of other Gods. Part of the reason Isis and Ra were with them now was to make sure that Gods were present when the ascension happened. That way if they needed help, help was available. He supposed that he should reach out to Poseidon as well. It had been a hell imposed by Zeus for him to watch what happened to his sons and not be able to save them. If he kept him out of the ascension it would be a hell that he would be responsible for making him suffer through. He didn't want that. He closed his eyes and reached out with his emotions. He tried so hard to keep them neutral, to keep fear and anger out of them as he reached for his father. It must have worked, because when he opened his eyes Poseidon was standing next to where Isis sat on the lounge.

"You called, my son?" he said, sounding so unsure that Darias felt like the lowest scum.

"I want you to be with us for the ascension," said Darias. "It isn't right that we have our mother but not our father."

"Thank you, my son," he said as he took the seat next to Isis. She reached over and took his hand.

"They will be strong," she said, smiling at him.

"Yes," he said, then a haunted look took over his features. "If they could survive the lives they've been forced to live, they can survive the ascension."

"We'll be fine," said Ren. "But what does it mean to be God of the Wolves? There are no wolves in Atlantis."

"We do not know what it means," Isis replied. "We have only a vague idea what it means for Darias to be the God of Blood."

"We were trying to cut our way to the Fates to make them answer those questions when you and Ra came and ended the war," Darias said. "Perhaps if we'd made it there we'd know."

"I don't think you would have known anything more than riddles," said Poseidon. "They fear you as much as Zeus does, and that would make them toy with you to get you away from them."

"Then they don't know me very well," Darias replied. "If they'd toyed with me they'd have never gotten rid of me until they gave me the answers I seek."

"You forget that they are only demigods," Isis said. "They may not be able to answer in more than riddles most of the time. What they see may confuse them as much as their riddles confuse those who ask."

"They didn't speak in riddles to Zeus about us," Ren said.

"No they didn't," Poseidon said with a look on his face that made both Ren and Darias believe there was more to what the Fates had said about them than what he was telling them. It made no difference, because they both knew that he wouldn't tell them any more than he had and that he regretted telling them as much as he had. He believed that what he'd told them would make them attack Zeus.

"Do you have any idea how refreshing it is to be around people and not be able to hear their thoughts?" Darias asked into the silence that followed Poseidon's statement.

"Has it been agony for you?" Isis asked, looking concerned. "Hearing the thoughts of others can be a double edged sword."

"It has been a double edged sword," he said. "Hearing what the soldiers thought of us when we first boarded the ship as their commanders was difficult. Hearing what the palace staff thought of us while the torture and rapes were going on was agony. Yet hearing the thoughts of our enemies in battle was absolutely remarkable. It allowed us to formulate strategies better suited to counteract what they were planning."

"It gave us a distinct advantage over the enemy," Ren said. "But Darias is right. I didn't like hearing the thoughts of our own soldiers when it wasn't what they were thinking about a particular battle while it was happening. It felt like treachery to listen to Phalon's thoughts when he was trying to teach us our lessons, and reading Rafael's mind was like betraying a brother."

"I hope Rafael and Phalon don't treat us different when we're crowned," said Darias. "It would hurt us."

He tried not to think of what they would both think of them when they learned that they were not just the Crowned Princes of Atlantis but Gods of Atlantis. They both loved Phalon and Rafael like family. Phalon had been like a father to them, and they still felt that way about him even now that Poseidon, their real father was at their side. Rafael had always been a brother to them. He shared no blood with them as Ra did, but he was a brother in the most important way. To lose either relationship would break their hearts.

"They love you," Ra said in reply. "Both of them love you. Phalon loves you like sons. Rafael loves you like brothers. They won't lose that love just because you're crowned. They won't lose the love they feel for you when they learn that you are Gods. Fear not, brothers. You will still be loved."

"Yes, my sons," said Isis with a warm smile. "You will be crowned and take your places as the Crowned Prices of Atlantis, you will be Gods and you will be loved. You are loved by far more people than you realize."

"What do you mean?" Darias asked.

"Aphrodite," Poseidon said before Isis could answer. "She touched you both when you were born and her gift was that any who knew you would love you."

"Savetor sure didn't love us," Ren said sarcastically.

"That's because Zeus made him hate you," said Isis. "Savetor saw your true appearances before I could mask you. That sparked his fear, because he knew you weren't truly human, that you were Gods. I took you from Amaila's arms and changed your appearances to make you match the Atlantian characteristics. Set erased the knowledge of what you truly were from Savetor's mind, but then Zeus made him hate you. Something was done to make any who see you lust after you. That had to be Hermes. He said he was going to give you the ability to see through your own lust and find true love, but I fear he did much more than that."

"He was probably ordered to do that by Zeus," said Poseidon.

"That's no excuse," said Ra, clearly angry. Apparently this was the first he'd heard of this particular gift. "Hermes is the son of Hades and the Goddess Thalia. Zeus should have held no sway over him. I know for a fact that Hades only gave my brothers their immortality so that short of taking their heads they couldn't be killed before their ascension. Hermes should pay for what he did to my brothers."

"He has paid," Poseidon said quietly. "I punished him for fourteen years for what he'd done."

"How did you punish this lesser God?" Isis asked.

"He has no power," said Poseidon. "I don't have to tell you what it's like to be a God with no power. We all fear it. That's how Zeus has kept most of us in line for so long. He has more power than any of us."

"He doesn't have more power than I do," Isis said. "Ra is more powerful than Zeus."

"And Darias and Ren will be far more powerful than Zeus," said Ra.

"Yes they will be," said Poseidon as he looked at his sons. He feared that knowing how powerful they would become would make them attack Zeus with the belief that they could kill him. It was very hard to kill a God even for another God.

Before he could voice his fear both Darias and Ren gasped and fell off their seats to their knees on the floor. Ribbons of white and red light came as if from the ceiling, but the Gods knew that it was the primordial force that all of their powers came from. They swirled around both of the twins, running through their bodies and lifting them into the air. They cried out from the agony when the lightning began and immediately ran through them. The ascension had begun. It could last for hours or it could be quick. There was no rhyme or reason to an ascension.

"We're here, my sons," Isis said, her voice tight with worry. "Fear not."

"They are strong," said Ra, clearly tasting the power that was flowing into them from the source. "So strong."

Poseidon could feel the power as well. They were about to be far more powerful than any God he'd ever known. He was amazed to find that they would be more powerful than Isis who was the most powerful Goddess of all. He had met no other God who could match her power. Now he was the father of two who could outdo her in power. It was a terrifying thing to consider, and it was a heart breaking thing to watch happen to them after all they'd been through. That there had to be more pain in the ascension after so many years of torture was almost unacceptable.

They hung three feet off the floor, suspended by the ribbons of white and red power infused with lightning for what seemed an eternity. They'd gone silent as if the pain was too intense for their vocal chords to express it. Isis watched them so closely. Poseidon knew that if it became too much for them to bear she would help them. Ra watched them just as intently. That Ra loved them so much made Poseidon happy. He'd worried about what Ra would think of his mating with Isis, but it was clearly etched across his tanned skin. He loved them so much.

Everyone in the palace knew that something was happening. They didn't know what it was, but the source drew power from all of the electronics, dimming lights and shattering bulbs. People cried out in the halls, and they could hear them running to and fro. He was surprised that Amaila hadn't come to check on her sons with all that was happening. He supposed that Isis was responsible for her absence. She'd said that the queen must believe that Darias and Ren were her true children for the rest of her life.

Poseidon watched as their long blond hair came un plated and flowed out around them like a fan of melted gold. He gasped as the dark Egyptian color spread through the strands of their hair, like water running down a declined surface until all of their hair was as dark as Isis's and Ra's. Their eyes were wide open and he saw the onyx color seep into them from the pupils out until their eyes matched their mother's and brother's. Their skin darkened from the slight golden tan of Atlantis to the deeper olive tones of Egypt as he watched. The disguises Isis had given them at birth melted away until they looked like Egyptians once again.

Then the glow of the Gods enveloped them. They radiated from it like golden beacons. Poseidon was sure that anyone in the courtyard could see their brilliance spilling through the windows. He knew that with that golden glow the ascension was nearly complete. Still they hadn't changed facial expressions or uttered a sound. He worried for a moment that something was wrong with them, but then he could clearly hear their thoughts. They were in pain, but they were dealing with it.

The tongues of power and lightning began to lose their color and shape. The boys slowly drifted back to the floor. When they were kneeling there on the floor once more all of the ribbons of power and lightning died away completely. The ascension was over. The golden glow faded into them and completely disappeared. They finally moved. Both of them moved in unison to stand. They flexed their arms and fingers, tightening their fingers into fists and then flexing them straight again. They turned their heads from side to side and looked down at their now naked bodies.

Ra went to Darias's closet to get tunics for them. Isis walked around to stand in front of them as they began to breathe easier. Such power radiated from them. It would take time for that to dissipate. They were whole and alive, their minds were just as clever as before the ascension and they were finally Gods with power. Poseidon was proud and relieved.

"We look like you now," Darias said as Ra handed him a tunic.

"Yes," he said. "As you should."

"You have to change back to your Atlantian disguises, my sons," said Isis as he stood there and watched them dress. "Amaila must not see the real you."

They closed their eyes and as one their hair turned blond, their skin changed back to the Atlantian pale tan and when they opened their eyes they were as blue as Poseidon's. They'd changed back completely. Their hair was even plated behind their heads and down their backs again. The disguise was completed just in time as someone began to pound on the door to the suite. Darias went to the door and opened it to reveal the guards that had been standing outside.

"You are well, Prince Darias?" said the guard in front.

"We are fine, Tam," he said.

"There was such light and everything shook," said Tam. "We thought you were under attack, but the door would not budge. We tried weapons and even a battering ram, but the door wouldn't even splinter."

"That is strange," Darias said, putting a hand on the man's shoulder. "Don't trouble yourself about it, any of you. We're fine. We'll be going to sleep soon."

"Yes, Your Highness," said Tam as he backed out of the door.

"That was interesting," Darias said as he closed the door and turned to face them. "I could hear his thoughts, but once I said not to worry his thoughts changed. He didn't understand why he was standing half in and half out of the door any longer. The other guards were equally confused."

"You must be careful with what you say now, Darias," said Isis. "Your power will make your words into action. It will make others do or think exactly what you tell them to."

"Then we'll both have to be extremely careful what we say," said Darias.

"This is why we don't spend much time with humans," Ra said. "We influence too much."

"How will we not spend time with humans?" Ren asked. "We are the princes of Atlantis. We have to be with the people."

"I would limit the number of people you are in direct contact with until you get a hold on your power of suggestion," Isis said. "Your guards have already been persuaded by Darias. They should be fine with you. I should think Phalon and Rafael will be fine because you love them both so much. Love can change things drastically."

"But I'm going to be expected to rule," Darias said. "If anything should happen to Amaila, and I hope she lives a long and full life, but if anything were to happen I'd be King. They expect rulers to address their people. Are you telling me that any promise I make to the people will be fulfilled just because I said it?"

"That's exactly what we're telling you," Poseidon said. "This is why we as Gods have never tried to rule a country before."

"But you created Atlantis," Ren said. "If you created it why would you not want to rule it?"

"That's a long explanation," he sighed. "But there are things that your lessons haven't taught you about Atlantis. Things that even the finest teachers don't know about this great country. One is that when it was created it was meant to be a utopia without rulers and royal families. There was never to be hunger or violence against the people in any way. We gave you things that no one else in the world has. Electricity, technology, you know how to read and write and there are so many things that we've given this country that no other country in the world has."

"So what happened?" Darias asked. "Why, if you intended it to be a utopia does it now have a royal family?"

"Because of the Sea People," he said softly.

"The Sea People," Ren nearly gasped. "You mean the Sea People were real?"

"Yes, Ren," he said. "They were very real and very dangerous. They lived in colonies in the middle of the sea. They sank ships quite often, because they believed that the sea was their domain and any who tried to cross it were trespassing. They would swim to the shores of Atlantis and lure unsuspecting people into the water where they would drown and become food for the Sea People. You believe, because you have been taught that Atlantis has never seen battle. You're wrong. The battle with the Sea People was a terrible war and cost many lives. Atlantis was nearly empty by the time we stepped in."

"Who created the Sea People?" Darias asked.

"A Goddess who no longer exists," he said, and they could all hear the pain in his voice. "She created them and fought for them. She tried to destroy Atlantis when we stepped in to save it. She went against the entire pantheon, declared war on the Gods. We had no choice but to destroy her and all of her creations along with her."

"Who was she?" Ren asked, though Darias thought that it was probably best not to ask anything more about the Goddess.

"She was my mother," he said. "Her name was Leah. She was the Goddess of the Sea. She was the mother of Zeus, myself, Athena and Hades. It took all of her children banding together to destroy her and her creations. We did it because humanity was at risk. The Sea People planned to kill all of the Atlantians and then move on to the next country and the next. We had no choice."

Darias and Ren looked at each other with matching shocked expressions. They couldn't imagine what Poseidon had felt knowing that the choice to save humanity would mean killing his mother. It was something neither of them could even stand to think about. Isis and Amaila were their mothers. One was their genetic mother and the other their birth mother. To kill either of them was something that was too painful to even contemplate.

"What did the Sea People look like?" Ren asked.

"They were beautiful," Isis replied. "Their upper bodies were human, and they were crushingly beautiful to behold. If human perfection exists the Sea People had it. From just below the navel to their feet was a long scaled tail equally beautiful. Their scaled tails with large heart shaped fins at their feet allowed them to swim faster than most sea life. They lived under the sea."

Poseidon waved his hand and there was a scene in the air in front of them. It was the sea with a beautiful red haired woman half in and half out of the water. They could see that her lower half was that of a beautiful scaled tail with the massive heart shaped fin at the bottom. Her hair was so long and beautiful. Darias imagined that if he were to run his fingers through those long locks it would feel like silk.

"Their beauty was part of their offensive gifts," Poseidon said into the silence as the image faded. "They would pretend to be drowning victims when ships would pass. Then they would kill whoever tried to save them as their sisters and brothers waited. When they had enough numbers gathered they'd sink the ship, killing every human onboard."

"They weren't all out for human blood," Isis reminded him. "There was a society of the Sea People who believed that what the others were doing was wrong. They alone were spared."

"So they still exist?" Darias asked.

"Their offspring exist," Poseidon said. "This is a closely guarded secret, Darias. You must understand that to tell anyone about this would be the wrong thing to do."

"Tell anyone about what?" Ren asked.

"Gods mated with the remaining Sea Folk, and the Atlantians were the result," said their father. "All of the people of Atlantis have at least a fraction of God blood in their veins and they can all trace their ancestry back to the Sea People."

"It is why the Atlantians are such beautiful people," Isis said. "They have a mixture of God blood and Sea Folk genetics. They don't have fins, no, but they are all great swimmers from birth. They don't have to be taught. They can also almost breathe under water, which allows them to stay under the water much longer than normal humans."

The twins had no idea what to do with any of this information. They were still trying to deal with the after effects of their ascension. It wasn't pain that they were experiencing now. It was more a subtle vibration that ran through their bodies, bumping into the ends of their fingers and toes only to change directions and run the other way. It was both thrilling and a bit annoying. Darias imagined that it was power that he felt running through his body, and he believed that he would simply have to get used to the sensation. Ren believed that it would pass, but he also believed that it was power that he felt running through his body. He believed that it was trying to settle and when it found the place to settle the sensation would pass.

They were all startled to hear the bells that marked sunrise. Darias and Ren had much to do today in the human world. They had to go through the crowning ceremony and then be presented to the people as the Crowned Princes of Atlantis. There would be a feast with celebrations all over Atlantis to celebrate their birthday and the fact that Atlantis now had legal heirs to the Laurel Crown. It was to be a very busy day for them.

They quickly changed into the proper tunics for the ceremony which would be held after they had breakfast with the queen. The Gods moved through the palace, drawing stares and gasps from the staff. They didn't intrude on the breakfast with the Queen, but they were always near to help the younger Gods if they needed it.

The Queen's Dining Room was a long room with a table that took up nearly the entire length of the room. The queen sat at one end of the table as staff moved around her, filling her coffee cup, her punch cup, putting platters of meat and fruit on the table in front of her and basically seeing to her every need or desire. Darias sat to her right with Ren directly across from him. Then the staff began to fill their cups, place meat and fruit in front of them and basically get in their way.

Amaila was dressed in a flowing white dress. Her blond hair was pulled up from her neck and pinned to her head. A mass of tiny curls laced with shining gem stones were arranged on the top of her head. The Laurel Crown circled the curls. The crown itself was pure golden laurel leaves with the pointed ends of the leaves standing upright. A ruby topped each point. Large pearls were encrusted in the center of the leaves, and on the band of the crown that held the leaves together were square emeralds. They were between each stem.

"My sons," she said as they took their seats. "Today you will truly be the Princes of Atlantis. I trust you slept well."

"As a babe," Darias lied while Ren nodded.

"That is to the good," she said, smiling at them. "We have the ceremony just after breakfast. Then you must both make a speech from the balcony as the people gather in the market square in front of the palace. I have invited Phalon and Rafael to the feast. I was sure that you would both want them there. Are there any others that I should see to inviting?"

"No, Mother," said Darias and Ren at the same time.

"And shall the Gods be attending the feast?" she asked.

"You would have to ask them," Darias replied. "We didn't discuss the feast with them."

"The Temple has been destroyed," she said. "I've had reports upon reports about the devastation of the temple. Who would do such a thing?"

"The Gods," Ren said. "Isis said that since Zeus had placed the ban on all Olympian Gods there was no need for temples to worship them."

"Fitting, I suppose," she said. "It still would have been nice to have been consulted before the temples of the Gods we've worshiped for generations was destroyed."

They looked at her for a moment. She was not the mother they remembered. They had sat at her bedside and held her hands countless times. Granted it had been the poison that Savetor was using to keep her in that bed that had probably altered her personality, but the woman who sat at the head of that table was very different. Her back was straight, her head was held high. She was regal, but there was an edge that Darias and Ren were only just coming to see in her.

"They're Gods," said Darias, making Ren wince. "Why should they consult with anyone before they do what they do?"

"Because I'm Queen of Atlantis," she said coldly, giving Darias a look that he'd never seen from her beautiful face before. "Anything that is done to alter Atlantis should be at least discussed with the Queen of the realm."

"Be sure to tell Poseidon and Isis that when you see them," Darias said with a smirk.

"Do not be flip with me, Darias," she spat, slamming her hand on the table. "You are only a prince. You do not rule while I am in power. I will not have flip remarks from either of you. You will both treat me with the dignity and respect my station demands. Is that in any way unclear?"

"No, Mother," he said, trying very hard to hold his anger in. Why was she being this way? He had no idea.

"And you, Ren?" she asked, glaring at him.

"No, Mother," he said. "Forgive us."

"We shall see," she said, her voice still cold though her expression had softened. "You both have your coronation to get through. Then there's the announcement and the feast. What plans have the pair of you for tonight?"

"Poseidon has plans for us tonight," said Ren. "We don't know what they are yet."

"That's a good thing," she said, nodding. "It's high time he act like a father to the pair of you. Don't think I've not been told about your attitudes toward the staff."

What was she talking about? Neither of them knew what to think of the words she'd spoken. Was she under someone else's thumb now that they'd stopped Savetor? Darias would feel a lot better once that man no longer had a head. He planned to discuss the queen's manner with both Poseidon and Isis. If there was something going on either of them would find out about it. Then he had a thought that made him pause. He was just as much a God now as Poseidon and Isis. He searched within himself to find the power that he could still feel pinging around in his body. When he felt that he could grasp it he let it trickle outward from himself.

Ren must have noticed what he was doing, because his twin's face grew tense as he looked back at him. Darias paid that no mind. He let his power settle over Amaila and probe within her. What he found was a weaker version of what he was doing that was already inside her. He could actually taste it. It had a metal taste and made him think of electricity. Suddenly he knew exactly who had exerted power over the queen. Zeus had been in Atlantis and touched her!

"When was Zeus here?" he asked the queen as his power wrapped around her like a shield.

"Last night," she said softly. Her mouth was slack and her eyes were unfocused.

"What are you doing to her, Darias?" Ren asked.

"Confirming a suspicion," Darias replied. "And trying to remove a mark of another God from the woman who birthed us."

"What are you saying?" Ren demanded quietly.

"I'm saying that Zeus was here last night while we were busy ascending," he replied. "He touched Amaila and put distrust in her. I'm assuming that distrust is directed at us."

"Oh for the sake of all that's sane," sighed Ren. "When will Zeus leave us alone?"

"When he's dead," Darias said coldly as he yanked his power back from the Queen, erasing the mark of Zeus upon her soul.

She shivered and shook her head. She looked around her in confusion for a moment. Then her eyes settled on Darias. She looked at him as if she'd never seen him before. She turned her head and looked at Ren with a matching expression. Ren worried that Darias had done damage to her mind. He'd acted in haste without knowing what he was doing, and now Ren worried that he'd addled the queen's mind. Then she spoke.

"What happened to me?" she asked, turning to look at Darias.

"Zeus," he said simply. "He's been trying to kill us for the last two years."

"But why would a God want you dead?" she asked. "What have you done?"

"We were born," Darias sighed. This was all getting very old. Just when he thought it was all over Zeus struck again.

"What is it, my son?" Poseidon said as he appeared in the room. Amaila quickly bowed her head to show her respect.

"Zeus touched the queen last night while we were busy," he said quickly. "He made her distrust us. We knew something was wrong because she was very cold. I touched her mind and found Zeus's mark. I think I removed it."

"But how could you touch my mind and remove the mark of a God?" Amaila asked him.

"It's an ability that I gave them," Poseidon said as if it were the truth. "It seems Zeus is the larger concern here. You're sure it was Zeus?"

"It had a metallic taste and radiated a power that made me think of electricity," Darias explained.

"That's Zeus," he said, clearly happy that his son had identified the mark of another God.

"What is it going to take for him to leave us alone?" demanded Ren, looking to Poseidon for an answer.

"Is he trying to make sure that we attack him?" asked Darias. "Did he not listen to the Fates at all?"

"What are you talking about?" Amaila asked. "I'm very confused by this conversation."

"Boys," Poseidon said in warning.

"She has to know why, Poseidon," said Darias. "There's no point in keeping this secret if it's going to allow Zeus to use it against us by touching her every time our backs are turned."

"Keep your secret," said Poseidon. "I can't tell you the damage the truth will do. It would be disaster if the truth were learned too soon, Darias."

"What are you talking about now?" Amaila asked.

"Nothing," Poseidon said, stepping around the table to put his hands on the sides of her head. Her eyes closed immediately.

"What are you doing to her?" Ren asked.

"I'm making her forget this conversation," Poseidon said. "I can't make the two of you understand. The only thing I can tell you that you will understand is that I went to the Fates myself. They told me what would happen if Amaila learned the truth about who you two really are. Now you say that Zeus doesn't have the sense to listen to the Fates. Do you two?"

They looked at each other and thought about what he'd said. Darias wanted to go back to Greece and find the cave and make those sisters tell him everything. He wanted to know all of what it was that was driving Zeus to make mistakes that would only end in the attack the Fates had warned him of. He wanted to know why it would be disaster for Amaila to learn what and who they truly were. He was tired of getting second hand information and warnings that those who had been to see the Fates parroted to him and his brother. He wanted to hear it from their own mouths for once.

"So she won't remember any of what was said or done since we sat down?" Ren asked.

"No, she won't," Poseidon said as he took his hands away from the sides of her head. She looked up at him with dazed eyes. Then she shook her head and seemed confused.

"What are you doing here, Poseidon?" she asked, smiling. "Not that it isn't a pleasure to have you among us. Tell me, why have the Gods abandoned Atlantis?"

"There's much to tell you, Queen Amaila," he said, taking a seat next to Darias. "Atlantis only has three Gods now."

"You, Isis and Ra," she said, remembering. "The three of you are at war with the Olympians?"

"Not at war, no," he said. "Think of it more as a conflict."

"That's not good," she said, looking worried. "What will it mean for the people of Atlantis. We've only just come out of war with Greece, though that war was ill fought, I think. Was it really Zues's attempts to kill my sons?"

"Yes, Amaila," said Poseidon. "You must never trust Zeus or any of the Olympian Gods for that matter."

"That will be hard," she said. "How will we tell the people?"

"The people already know," he said. "We've made sure of that. I fear I'm going to have to do something to keep the Olympians out of Atlantis for good."

"What can you do?" she asked, looking interested. Darias couldn't believe the change in her at Poseidon's touch. Could erasing part of her memory really do all of this? Or was it more?

"I can exert my power over Atlantis," he said. "But that would keep all of us out of Atlantis once again, and there are two reasons I don't want to do that. I shall talk with Isis about what to do, but please, for the sake of our sons, stay away from the Olympians."

He flashed out of the dining room then, and Amaila smiled at the twins. She prattled on about the coronation and the great announcement. She was a completely different woman than the one they'd encountered when they'd come in for breakfast. Darias looked at the food in front of him and was amazed that it was still steaming with heat. They'd been talking for so long he'd have sworn it would be cold.

After they'd eaten, the twins were excused to follow the tailors to their suites so that they could be outfitted for the coronation. Every noble in Atlantis would be present for the coronation. It would be the most important event since their birth. Darias stood in his sitting room with his arms outstretched allowing the seamstress to pin the cloth around him. Instead of the tunics they usually wore he would have breeches and soft leather boots that reached his knees. He'd have an undershirt with what looked like far too much cloth and an over jacket that was supposed to hug his body. His hair was pulled tightly back from his head and plaited in a long braid as the beauty maids tsked about the length, talking about cutting his hair. He put his foot down about the cutting of his hair. There were advantages to being a Prince after all. He just hoped that he wouldn't look the dancing fool in the get up they were trying to create for him.

The coronation took place in the grand hall of the palace. Normally there would be only one red carpet, but since they wanted both princes to be crowned at once there were two. Normally a king and queen would crown their princes or princesses, but with no king and only a disgraced consort who was now in the scold awaiting his execution Poseidon would crown Ren while Amaila would crown Darias. They stood side by side in their matching suits. They looked more identical than usual in their made up costumes. They had little time to think about how identical they were when the trumpets started to sound to begin their walk down the carpets.

They said nothing as was tradition, held their heads high and looked straight ahead as they walked to the center of the carpets where Poseidon and Amaila waited. Both had the smaller version of the king's crown in their hands. Laurel leaves on their sides overlapping in a circle with rubies and emeralds at each point of the leaves. Darias stopped and faced his birth mother who was smiling wide with pride in her blue eyes. He knelt slightly as he was at least a solid foot and a few inches taller than the queen.

"My son, I crown you Prince Darias of Atlantis," she said as she placed the crown on his head.

"My son, I crown you Prince Ren of Atlantis," said Poseidon at the same time as he placed the identical crown on Ren's head.

"Ladies and gentlemen of Atlantis," said Ungar, the royal announcer as he tapped his staff on the floor three times. "I present her majesty, Amaila, Queen of Atlantis and his royal highness, Darias, Prince of Atlantis. His royal highness, Ren, Prince of Atlantis."

There was thunderous applause as they assembled on the royal steps that led up to the platform where the two thrones of Atlantis stood tall and proud. Queen Amaila stood on the platform with Princes Darias and Ren standing on the first step, letting Amaila stand taller than her sons. The flags of Atlantis were carried forward and placed in floor stands a foot away from the queen on each side.

"Let us celebrate the crowning of our great princes," said Amaila.

The noble men and women of Atlantis filed out of the grand hall to the dining room where twelve tables were set up in rows across the dining room. In front of these rows was the long table where the royal family would dine. They waited until everyone was seated at the tables before they made their way inside the dining room from the back doors closest to their table. No one seemed to think it out of the ordinary that Poseidon, Isis and Ra were with them. They got a few glances as the three Gods sat down at the table a few seconds after the queen was seated at its center.

As they'd insisted, Phalon and Rafael, done up in their own version of royal finery came in after the royal family and Gods were seated. They joined them at the head table. Amaila had been against this but the twins had insisted. Darias had been ready to use his powers to make her do as they wanted when she finally smiled at them and said that she'd do anything for them. She professed her love and devotion to them and then sent them off with the tailors.

"It's good to see the crown on your head, lad," said Phalon as he beamed pride at Darias. "I'm so happy that you've both returned from the war relatively unharmed."

"We are both glad to have come home from the war," Darias said. "We've missed your lessons, Phalon, and I've missed playing Stones with Rafael."

"He's missed you both so much," said Phalon. "I can't express how happy I am to have you home where you belong."

"With luck and good fortune, we'll never have to see another war," Darias replied. "Your happiness to have us home warms my heart."

"I must say that I was shocked when the Temple of the Gods fell," Phalon remarked. "I see that temples are under construction for Isis and Ra and that the rubble from the original temple has been cleared away most quickly."

"Isis and Ra are now Atlantian Gods, Phalon," Darias said softly. "The Olympians are our Gods no more. Zeus has seen to that."

"Perhaps you will honor me with part of your time," said Phalon in such respectful tones that it made Darias weary. "I would love to hear the tale of how Zeus withdrew the Olympian Gods from our great land, and how the Goddess Isis and God Ra were added to the Atlantian pantheon."

"Phalon, you have been as a father to Ren and myself," Darias said carefully. "You have but to ask and we will come to your home and sit with you and Rafael."

"You're both going to be very busy soon," Phalon protested.

"We will never be too busy for our beloved teacher and honorary brother," Darias said, smiling at the older man. "I can't express what the two of you mean to us, Phalon. Never fear that we will forget the time you have spent instructing us on life's important lessons."

"I am touched," said Phalon. "Please understand that we both had no idea what would happen when you were crowned. That isn't to say that we thought the way you feel about us would change, Darias. We feared that the duties of the crown would keep you both from having the time to spend with commoners such as myself and Rafael."

"Phalon," Darias said quickly. "You are no commoner, and your son is anything but common. You have been as a father to us. I have told you this so many times. Please believe me. I am now Prince of the realm in truth. I have the power to make you a nobleman along with your son. I invoke that power now."

Then he saw all of the men who had helped Savetor rape him and his brother. These same men had born witness to their lashings and cheered with every crack of the scold's whip. He motioned his head guard to him and gave him a list of names of the men in the room to arrest as soon as the feast was over. Their charge was treason, he told him and ordered that his orders be carried out.

"What of the Master of the scold?" Phalon asked when the guard walked away to spread the word.

"Master Yon fell from his horse during the war and struck his head," Darias explained. "He didn't survive the wound."

"I'm sure I'm sorry to hear of his bad fortune," Phalon said, trying hard not to smile.

Darias did smile at him. It had been a lucky turn for him and Ren. He'd often wondered if it had been the work of their father or another God who had not agreed with Zeus. He thought that he should feel bad about the fact that he'd just sentenced over thirty men to their deaths, and some were elders now. He didn't feel anything but satisfaction over what he'd done. Then he remembered what they had called him on the battlefield. Darias the Bloody. He supposed he was living up to that name.

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