On Mount Olympus the home of the gods, Zeus walks the halls of the gods aimlessly. The other gods new that this was a sign that Zeus was bored. He would get like this way now and again when Hera was on to his cheating ways. Zeus's face was crumpled in what seemed like deep thought, when he exclaimed in a thundering voice, "All my children, bring me the name of your most prized worshipper. I will bestow super powers upon that being making them one of the mightiest mortals on earth".
Zeus's message echoed through out the halls of the gods and immediately got them working on the one mortal that would please Zeus enough to pick. Each god seemed to be going through lists of people except for Ares and Athena. They each seemed to have had a name ready for just such an occasion. They both sat and watched the circus atmosphere that has engulfed Olympus.
Some time had passed and Zeus called an assembly of the gods to give him their choices. Hera was by Zeus's side and seemed to be lobbying her case for a choice of her own Zeus seemed indifferent to her and addressed the gathered gods, "I have called you all here to give me your choices. I will listen to each choice and a short reason for each. Then after all have said their peace I will decide and all shall not question my decision for I have the final say".
All the gods nodded as Zeus finished his speech. One by one each god told the gathering of their choice and the reasoning behind it. Almost all the choices were for selfish reason since the person chosen was a devote worshipper and performed tasks in the gods name. Each god figured they would have some one spreading the word of what their god did for them. Each god just wanted to feed his or her egos.
Then Ares stood forward and spoke, "It is clear who my choice would be, Xena". The gods started staring at each other in shock. Since they all knew the contempt Xena felt towards Ares. Especially with the way he was always trying to turn her back into Xena The Destroyer. "I know she no longer follows us and seems to be a loose canon but there is no one else that deserves our respect like Xena," Ares looked around as he finished his impassioned plea. The rest of the gods seemed to shuffle in their seats as Ares looked around and he felt like he had just won this little contest. When Athena stood up and addressed the gods.
"As well as it may seem that Xena is an excellent choice, I still feel compelled to make my choice known,' Athena looked around as Ares smirked and sat down. Athena continued, "He is a simple man raised by his aunt since his parents died in one of Ares' warlords senseless raids on travelers as they neared Athens. He is a renowned philosopher in Athens and a devoted follower of Zeus. He appeals to the common man. He would not be a walking banner for the gods only a man given a gift from the gods. He has the heart of Hercules and with the gift he would be an equal to Hercules, his name is Petereus," Athena knew she was pulling all the right strings to stroke Zeus's ego but at the same time Hera was infuriated by the mere mention of Hercules.
Athena stepped back and Zeus stood up and spoke, "I have listened to all of your impassioned pleas and I have come up with a decision but first I would like to mention a few thing about some candidates. Hera my wife I will start with your choice, Caleus is a sick twisted man. He rules a kingdom with fear. He respects nothing and would not even been brought up if you weren't his mother," Zeus stared at Hera. She looked back in shock the anger she now knew he had found out about her infidelity.
"Ares your choice as it seems like a good choice since Xena has done so much even as she snubbed us. Xena does deserve the respect of the gods and that is all she will get from me," Zeus said as he looked at Ares. Ares shifted in his seat knowing he lost and he knew once again he was going to lose to his sister Athena.
"Now for my choice," Zeus looked around as everyone was waiting for the words to come out of Zeus's mouth. "I choose…" all the gods leaned in to hear who was chosen when the Zeus continued, "Petereus". A collective gasp was heard. Athena smiled as the gods shifted in their seats and tried to hide their disappointment. "I have spoken and so it shall be done". Zeus finished and walked out of the hall and all the god stood and started complaining about why their choice was picked. They sound like a group of spoiled children.
Ares walked over to Athena and said, "Well sis you won again but Hera looks quite upset and probably going to make life miserable for your boy. I hope he measures up," Ares smirked and disappeared in a flash of light.
Athena turned to see the anger in Hera's eyes. She knew Ares was right and she would need to help Petereus as soon as possible. So Athena left the hall in pursuit of Zeus. After awhile of searching she found Zeus staring at some tapestries and holds a small spider in his hand.
"Ah Athena my daughter, you have found me. I was just admiring some of your work here and saw Arachne still working a web. So I was inspired to give this Petereus fellow the powers of a spider. He would have increased strength, amazing agility and quick speed. He will also have the ability to cling to all surfaces and climb just like his counterpart". Zeus waved his hand and Arachne was gone and Zeus open a portal to watch what he sent in motion with Athena.
In the city of Athens as the gods were meeting, Petereus talked to several young boys who were questioning him about Hercules and his legendary feats. "Well as you know the tales of Hercules they always omit his traveling companion," Petereus spoke as the boys looked on with curiosity. "He was always traveling with his good friend Iolaus. Actually he still does travel with him and for some reason the bards who signing the songs of Hercules omit poor Iolaus".
"How do you know about this Iolaus guy any way?" questioned one of the boys
"Well its because I actually met them both and talked to them. I even help them save a burning barn house. It was quite a day for me but just another day them," Petereus responded. "Okay I think it is time for you guys to head back to your parents since the sun is getting lower in the sky and I more things to attend to before night falls," Petereus announced as he shooed the boys away and made his way to one of the better taverns in Athens to get the evening meal and relax.
Petereus finished his meal and settled his bill. He left the tavern and walked across the city to his residence on the upper eastside of the city. He rented an apartment, which he was barely able to afford with money he earned from lecturing and tutoring children. In his scarcely furnished apartment which was nothing more then two rooms, he sat at a table and searched several scrolls till he found the one he was looking for. Petereus opened the scroll and read the title 'The Battle of Xena and Callisto' as told by Gabrielle. Petereus eyes lit up since he loved reading scrolls written by Gabrielle. She saw things that were violent and cruel and expressed them through the eyes of one that is pure. Petereus eyes focused on the scroll again and he noticed a long list of names following Gabrielle's. He now knew the entire scroll was suffered numerous interpretations and would not hold the same feel as if written exclusively by Gabrielle. He continued to read the scroll and was still captivated by the tale it told.
As he read a small flash of light sparkled in the ceiling area around a hanging lamp. A spider inched its way down towards Petereus and landed on his shoulder. The spider crawled over Petereus until it got to an area of exposed skin.
On Olympus Zeus and Athena watched as they saw Arachne make her way down onto Petereus and climb up his shoulder to an area that was exposed. They could see Arachne getting ready to bite Petereus when Zeus raised his arms and focused his power through the portal he created and into Arachne as she bit Petereus.
Petereus jolted at the sudden surge through his body. He dropped the scroll and convulsed for a few moments and then it was gone. Petereus's head was spinning and he began to sweat profusely. As he stood up his little visitor disappeared in a flash of light. Petereus stumbled through the door of his apartment and made his way out to the street. He walked the streets, taking deep breaths trying to clear his head. He sat down outside a tavern and passed out.
Petereus started to move when a strong buzzing in his head seemingly telling him to move. With out thinking he leapt thirty feet in the air and landed on the taverns roof. Petereus looked down and saw a man laying face down were he was moments ago. The man slowly got up and his mismatched armor clanged and jostled about. His helmet was a pointy mess. He looked harder and could not believe that this man could possibly be the inept bumbling idiot warrior as described in many scrolls by Gabrielle. His name escaped him he thought it was something like Jerkster.
Petereus was faced with a new problem how would he get down. Not to mention how did he get up there. He made his way to the edge of the roof near an alleyway. He grabbed an edge and tried to swing his body down when the edge of the roof started to give. His head buzzed and he grabbed hold and felt he was clinging solely by his fingertips. He was hanging down and he moved a hand down and scaled down the wall with ease.
Petereus was confused but quickly headed back to his apartment. He realized it was late by the location of the moon in the sky. Back in his apartment Petereus tried to sleep but it did not come easy but it did come. He finally slept the rest of the night.
The sun came through the window of his room and Petereus opened his eyes. He moved to the window and saw an image coming from what seemed like the sun. At first it was a speck and as it came closer the speck became larger. Then he saw it was the famed Hermes. He moved with great speed and stooped on a dinar. Hermes held out a pair of bracers and said, "These are for you Petereus".
Petereus looked at Hermes who was floating outside his window. Petereus replied, "I don't understand?"
"Petereus these bracers are a gift from a goddess and the powers you now have are a gift from Zeus. You have been chosen for the powers you were given and it is up to you to utilize them for what you see is best. You are being watched," announced Hermes as he handed the bracers to Petereus.
Petereus too hold of the bracers and Hermes turned and flew away in a blink of an eye. Petereus looked at the bracers and put them on. They were a little loose around his arm when they suddenly shrunk to his arms and seemed to become part of his arms. He was immediately concerned and was flexing his hands when with a twhip sound a stream of what looked like webbing shot out across the room. Petereus found what movement caused the webbing to shoot out. He shot webbing several more times till he realized he was covering his room.
So he stopped and made his way out of the city with out stopping for breakfast he spent several hours finding out just what he was capable of. Petereus was amazed at the gifts had received. He was able to make incredible leaps and cling to any surface. He already knew he had some way of knowing when danger was near. He also realized he could control the flow of the webbing to make a line or a net like covering.
As the sun rose to its highest point in the sky, Petereus took a break from testing his abilities. When his head was started buzzing and he heard an odd sound. He leapt up and avoided being cut by flying round object. Petereus head still buzzed and he leapt again as the object ricocheted off a tree and headed back at him. Petereus had to make 2 more leaps. He followed the object as it kept bouncing. Petereus took aim and let loose with a stream of webbing. It caught the object and Petereus hauled it back to him. He held in his hand a chakram. He only knew of one person who wielded a weapon like this.
"Nice stop," said the dark haired women dressed in leather armor in an even tone. Behind the first woman another woman carrying a staff peered on with interest.
"Thanks I guess, how did I attract the attention of, may I presume Xena?" asked Petereus as he held the chakram and cut the webbing free with the sharp edges. "Sorry about the mess on your chakram but it seems to dissolve in some time."
"You are correct with that assumption. We had a run in with a friend last night that let us know about a Petereus getting incredible powers from the gods. So I assume you are that man especially with the way you leapt to avoid my chakram," Xena answered. Xena made her way towards Petereus and he handed her the chakram.
"Yes that is me but I have no idea why I was given these powers I am no warlord nor priest. I am just a simple part time teacher and philosopher. I can only think that this is an oversight or mistake or maybe a cruel joke," Petereus replied as he looked at both women.
"I can see you are not what I expected but remember If the gods turn you into a pawn for there games I will stop you," Xena said as her steel blue eyes stared intently at Petereus.
"Don't worry about me my future does not include becoming a pawn of the gods. I intend to use my abilities to help people. Much like you and Hercules. I guess it is time to spread what I know and bring it people all about the countryside as well as protecting the innocent. I think it was something I should always have done but my eyes were finally opened," Petereus spoke with his face a glow like a child's.
"I guess the gods made a mistake this time huh Xena." Gabrielle said as she elbowed Xena.
"It appears to be, it appears to be," Xena remarked as she looked on as Petereus kept talking about all he could do and see.
The trio did make their way into the city to eat at one of the taverns. Many people recognized Xena but did not dare to approach while they were eating. Petereus had an extensive conversation discussing Gabrielle's writing and she was pleased that other people had told her stories of Xena. As they finished eating Petereus settled the bill saying it was an honor to sit and talk to them even though Xena said very little. Petereus said goodbye to Xena and Gabrielle since they were only passing through Athens. They were heading to Amphipolis.
The rest of the day Petereus spent ending tutorial commitments and speaking engagements at one of the local theaters. He also paid his rent for future three moon cycles. Hopefully by then he would have some idea or found a more permanent storage for all his possessions he had collected over the span of his life.
Mean while on Mount Olympus Hera is protesting Zeus's decision, "I think your chose only to please your daughter who flatters you and not giving a better qualified mortal an opportunity," Hera looked as Zeus as she spoke and Zeus blankly looked back. "I as queen of the gods demand that I be given the opportunity to test this mortal Petereus to see if he truly worth the gift he has received," Hera finished and gaze was demanding and cold.
Zeus's expression changed slightly as he spoke, "Of course you can test Petereus for a period of time, I will put a halt to your tests when I am satisfied with the results. There are limits to the tests. Petereus can forced to conquer cities destroy lives. If you do any of those things the test will immediately cease. Do I make myself clear?"
Hera nodded and walked away from Zeus in order to plan her first test for Petereus. She moved through the halls and made her way into one of her private chambers. Hera sat in one of the many lavish chairs and waved a hand and a portal opened and it showed Petereus moving about talking to various people. "Enjoy yourself for the moment mortal soon you will feel the wraith of Hera," the words came out of Hera's mouth like daggers flying towards a target.
Petereus finally completed all he needed to do. The sun had set sometime ago and his stomach started to rumble. He knew it was time to eat. Petereus headed to a tavern and ordered a meal and ale. He quickly ate the food that was brought out. He washed down the meal with the ale and paid the barmaid and headed home.
In Petereus's apartment he packed essentials he would need for his journey. He then lay down to reflect on what had happened to him in the last day. He was amazed at the changes in his life. He stared up into the roof and tried to sleep but couldn't fall asleep right of. He figured this was how Gabrielle felt at the start of her journeys with Xena. Sleep did finally come.
Petereus awoke to a slight tingling in his head, which caused him to sit up abruptly. He realized he was fully dressed and not in his bed like he thought. He looked around and saw several hug stables in ill repair and water running through them. Looks like some one diverted the river to clean out the stables. At that moment Petereus knew where he was he was on Augeus land and those were the stables Hercules cleaned during the twelve labors of Hercules. That still did not answer the question why he was here.
A portion of the sky in front of Petereus blurred and twisted and turned dark. A pair of cold gray eyes appeared in front of Petereus and a voice seemed to emanate from the eyes. "Mortal, I Hera the queen of the gods will be testing you to see if you are truly worthy of the gift that has bestowed upon you". Petereus just continued to gaze at the eyes as the voiced continued to speak, "As you may have noticed the stables are in poor shape and the flowing water is making it a problem for the cattle to be placed back in the stables. All you have to do is correct the water flow and make necessary repairs by nightfall. Oh and if you fail it will be enterable damnation in Tartarus," the eyes faded out of sight and Petereus was staring at the huge stables.
Petereus stood up and took a deep breath and thought this is going to be fun yesterday I am a teacher and now I am carpenter repairing the biggest stable known to man. As he finished the thought he began to run over to the stable and down the long length only to find several large stacks of wood and various tools to repair the stables. Also there was an older man staring at the supplies.
"I would assume that you are the young man who is going to repair the stables?" questioned the man.
"Well I am the one who is going to try. First I think I need to stop the water from flowing into the stables," Petereus answered.
"Yeah when Hercules first did that to clean them it was a good idea."
"It still is a good idea but you will need a way to control the flow of water. I read about a water flow control system in a scroll not to long ago. That will have to wait. I need to stop the water now". Petereus quickly made his way over to the river where it forked off to the stables. There were still the boulders and dirt from when Hercules dug out the new course for the water. Petereus webbed the pile of rocks and drug it into the path of the water. Luckily it was the time of season when the water was running low. So the rocks held the water back nicely
Petereus move back to the stable and began pulling off rotten boards of all the stables. Even with his speed and strength it still took him to midday to remove all the bad boards. Petereus wasn't sure how he was going to finish the job as he took a breather to survey what he accomplished so far.
Hera was looking on and was pleased to see that Petereus should never finish the test and he will be condemn to Tartarus. So Hera closed the portal and opened another to check up on Hercules. She hasn't caused him any problems for a while and she was feeling like thing were finally going her way. So Hera planned to continue and she could get rid of another thorn in her side at the same time.
Luckily most of the boards were hole ones that needed no cutting just need to place and fastened. Then like a bolt of lightning Petereus figured out how he was going to complete the job. He would web up the boards in place and get hole sections done then nail them in place. It should save a lot of time trying to hold and nail. So Petereus put his plan into action.
As the sun was setting Petereus was climbing down the side of the last stable. He had finished the job and expected Hera to come calling at any second. He wasn't disappointed. Just as it happened earlier he saw the eyes and heard the voice. This time it was harsh and angry as he heard Hera say, " You may have passed this test but it is by far not your last".
The eyes disappeared and the older man was standing where the eyes had been. "I can not believe you finished the whole job. I was looking at what you did wit the other stables and it looks great. The herd is not due back for another day or so," the man said
"I never got your name sir I assumed you were Augeus. I was ordered by Hera to do this job or I would be sent to Tartarus," said Petereus.
"You are correct and you are Petereus correct". Petereus nodded and shook hands with Augeus. " I am much obliged for the work you have done all this and I am sorry you were forced to do all of this with the threat of damnation. If you come with me my wife has an excellent meal waiting for us".
Petereus and Augeus walked toward the home just beyond the stables. As the walked Petereus told of a marvelous idea called a dam with a door hatch that will allow him to control the flow of water to the stables to help clean and water the cattle. Augeus was amused and listened intently to Petereus.
That night Petereus lay down in a guest room in Augeus's home. He was pleased at what he accomplished that day and wondered what Hera was going to do next. Petereus smiled and felt like no matter what Hera did he would be able to handle it.
As Petereus slept he was visited by a vision of a gorgeous woman. Her beauty and the way she carried herself captivated him and he did not want to wake up. The sun had other plans as it rose up into the sky and was shinning into his eyes. Petereus sat up and realized he was no longer in the guest room of Augeus. He was on the edge of a dense forest.
Petereus looked around and tried to see if he recognized the area but he did not. Then the eyes appeared in the sky. They looked ominous and the voice was icy as it spoke to him, "You are outside the Amazon forest. The home of the original tribe of amazons, were queen Hippolyta rules. Oh and that belt that is in your lap is the symbol for Amazonian ruler ship. It is your mission to get the belt back to the temple and place it on the alter with out being captured or killed. If you fail you be sent to Tartarus". The eyes disappeared.
Petereus looked at the belt, which he knew, by lore was a gift from Ares. As he looked at the belt he thought according to legend Hippolyta had been killed by Hercules. I guess her father had a say what happened to her. A smile crept across hi face as he thought about the belt when his head began to buzz. He reacted and jumped into some cover as he saw several arrows land where he was just sitting. Petereus looked but could not see what he assumed was a small party of Amazons. Petereus used his uncanny sense of danger to dodge more arrows and traps set up by the Amazons.
The only thought was not to loose the belt and no to get killed. All morning Petereus never saw his attackers. He was dodging arrows darts and various traps set to stop him and get the belt back. He felt like a hunted animal and was not sure if he was getting any closer to the village. He did not understand Amazon battle tactics, he only knew they were trying to herd him in a direction that was most likely not the direction he wanted to go.
After several more attempts of his life he realized they were forcing to head in a westerly direction. As arrows blazed in the Petereus's direction he leapt towards the direction of the arrows and bounced off trees to avoid darts. For the first time Petereus saw his pursuers. Petereus ran and used the trees to head northeast. He heard several horns sound and battle cries. He could only assume he did something that upset them and that may be good.
There were more attacks and he avoided them but it was getting tougher as more amazons joined the attack. Petereus climbed one of the tallest trees and he saw an opening ahead. That had to be it he thought. Petereus started to jump from the treetops to make some distance. Just as he reached the clearance Petereus stopped as he peered down from the treetop. He was able to make out the temple to Artemis. So all he had to do was get across the entire village and into the temple.
"Wow this is going to be fun," Petereus said aloud to no one in particular. He took a deep breath and jumped down from the tree and ran into the clearing. It was an ambush as he thought. Petereus was jumping and twisting to avoid darts and arrows. He was so lucky with the arrows as three arrows grazed him and blood began to flow from his wounds. He did not let any of this slow him down, as he kept moving closer to the temple. He did manage to use the rooftops to get him closer the temple but the temple was a building standing alone.
Petereus took some cover as he saw the Amazons regroup. Petereus look at the Amazons as they set up for the final line. Also they switched to swords and staffs. Petereus strapped the belt around his shoulder and said to himself, "Well if I am going to die I guess this is going to be it a good way to die".
Petereus jumped down and ran head on into the line of woman. His head was buzzing and he reacted without thinking. Webs were flying he was jumping around like a mad man. Dust was flying and swords were swinging. As the dust settled Petereus stood with blood dripping from wounds he received during this test. The amazons were either knocked out or webbed together except one. Se was standing in front of the temple.
"I had that belt stolen from me once and now this morning it was stolen again except this time we got the culprit returning to the scene of the crime. Now you are going to pay. Prepare to feel the Amazon wraith from Queen Hippolyta!" Hippolyta charged and let loose a horrific war cry.
Petereus stayed his ground and dodged every attempt Hippolyta made to cut him down. "I did not steal the belt I just have to return it to the alter. I can not let you stop me," Petereus managed to say as he was dodging the sword kicks and elbows.
"I am going to stop you, you are only a man and I am the Queen of the Amazons!" Hippolyta screamed as she slashed the air around the dodging Petereus.
"Well then I am sorry for what I am about to do," Petereus replied as he let his instincts guide him. He made a several dodges and landed a punch to the stomach that buckled Hippolyta. Petereus webbed her into a net and quickly advanced into the temple. Petereus placed the belt on the alter and suddenly the Eyes of Hera appeared.
"Well you finished this test but you still have to get out of there". The eyes disappeared.
Petereus looked at the doorway to the temple and saw no one there. He made his way to the doorway and looked out and saw Amazons getting up and others struggling to get out of the webs. Petereus looked about and started to run as fast as he could to get out of the Amazon village.
The moon rose and Petereus felt that he was finally out of harms way. He found a clearing and built a fire. He tended to his wounds he received earlier with water from a small steam and tied bandages from his already torn and bloody shirt. Petereus knew he had no food but was to exhausted to even think about eating. In moments he was sleeping near the fire. The same dream of the beautiful woman, she visited him and talked to him and it almost seemed like a relationship.
On Mount Olympus Athena watched Petereus and at night she was the beautiful woman who would visit him in his dreams. This went on for a long time Petereus was hounded almost non-stop by Hera and Zeus was nowhere to be found. So Athena took it upon herself to have Hermes follow Zeus. After several days Hermes reported back to Athena and she realized what Zeus was up to. He was using Petereus as a distraction for Hera so he would be free to have numerous amorous encounters with the mortals.
One day Zeus was actually in the great hall of the gods and seemed to be full of energy and in a joyous mood. Athena saw this and knew this was the opportunity she needed to voice her concerns about Petereus. She moved in closed to Zeus and spoke, "Zeus may I have a word with you".
Zeus turned to Athena and replied, "Of course my child".
Athena could see his face glowing and she began speaking, "Zeus I know why you have chosen a mortal to have such powers".
"Do you Athena, just because you are the goddess of wisdom do not presume you know everything. I am Zeus king of the gods and I know everything. I know of your secret love for Petereus. I also know that Hera is plotting and scheming to get rid of him. I also know you had Hermes follow me. It is almost impossible to escape my watchful eye. Do not see my indifference as lack of knowledge. I am merely playing out the game I set in motion. So my dear daughter this game is coming to an end and I alone know the outcome".
"You intentionally set all this up?" Athena asked
"Of course, a god does need sometime for himself. With Hera occupied with Petereus it gave me time to relax and watch the mortals" Zeus replied.
In a private chamber Hera spoke to her son Caleus and she was not happy. "I am tired of all your excuses to rid me of the thorn in my side known as Petereus. You have tried to kill him numerous times and failed. I delivered him to you on tests and all you had to do was slow him down and you failed. Our time is growing short, I can not believe Zeus has allowed this to go on as long as it has"
The door suddenly burst open and Hera and Caleus both looked to see who was impudent enough to burst into Hera's private chamber without knocking. The figure they saw was Zeus and his face was stern and he began to speak in a low and commanding voice, "Hera the test have ended. Petereus has shown me that he is a true hero and deserves our respect and the respect of his fellow mortals. Since I did allow you to test him there will be one last battle between Petereus and a champion of your choosing. The winner becomes immortal and the loser will suffer a fate not fit a warrior".
Hera stared at Zeus as he spoke. Caleus got down on one knee and begged Hera for the opportunity to be the champion. He begged that he deserved the right to become immortal so he could spend eternity with his real mother. Hera looked at her son and then to Zeus. "I choose Caleus as my champion" Hera spoke.
"Then it shall be done both fighters will be brought to Olympus and fight in our great hall. Vulcan will provide all weapons, so no one has any unfair advantage. This will take place when the sun rises anew," Zeus's gaze now turned toward Caleus as he finished his talking, "So Caleus you better be prepared because losing will be no fun". Zeus turned and walked away. The door closed and Hera and Caleus were left alone to ponder what Zeus was planning.
By a small campfire Petereus sat along with Gabrielle Joxer and Xena. They all have fought together off and on over the last years while Petereus was being tested by Hera. Tonight they were just sitting and enjoying each other's company since it had been awhile since they last spoken. Gabrielle had changed over the years she no longer looked like the wide-eyed girl he had met the first time. She had short hair and was talking of peace and non-violence and following the way. Petereus listened intently and laughed as he heard her tell her Joxer stories, which Joxer frequently interrupted to correct her. Xena was Xena quite always on alert never really easing up. Petereus wished he could get her to rely on him so she could relax more at times.
Finally they all went to sleep and the vision came to Petereus again. This time it seemed more real than it ever has. He felt the heat of her body when he touched her he could smell the fragrance in her hair when they kissed. She whispered in his ear that she loved him. He moved his hands to he face and placed his palms on either check and he spoke in a tender voice, "I know and I always have loved you. I would gladly give my life to be with you".
The woman started to cry and suddenly the vision was gone and Petereus opened hi eyes to see Joxer standing over him asking if he was okay. Petereus shrugged and stretched and told him he was fine and realized the sun was coming up.
"Well you kicked me a few times so I thought I would check," Joxer rambled and before he could finish his sentence Petereus disappeared. Joxer scrambled about and could not figure out what had just happened. He figured he was still sleeping and having a weird dream.
In the great hall of the gods Petereus stood in front of what seemed to be all the gods of Greece. There was another man standing beside him and he stood up straight and sneered at Petereus. That’s when Petereus recognized him as Caleus the son of Hera who has tried to kill him many times. Petereus also noticed he was wearing gladiators outfit and his bracers were gone.
"Petereus, Caleus, You have been brought here to fight for the prize of immortality. Petereus for several years you have been tested to see if you were worthy of the powers I have bestowed upon you and you have performed exceptionally" Zeus announced as he addressed the assembled gods as well as the combatants.
"I don't want to fight for immortality," exclaimed Petereus as a collective gasp was heard from the gods. Then Petereus noticed some movement as a goddess move forward. Petereus noticed that it was the woman in his vision. She was a goddess Petereus thought and hung his head thinking it all had been a game to her.
Zeus immediately responded with, "You have no choice Petereus you don't defend yourself, you will lose. You will not like the consequences. If you fight and win you will be giving up your life as you know it for a better one".
The words give your life echoed in his head mixing with the word I would gladly give my life. Petereus looked over to his vision and she seemed to plead for him to fight for a chance to truly be with her. The choice was simple he would fight for his heart. "Okay I will fight"
"Just a few more particulars you will be interested in. Neither of you will have any of your own armor or armaments. Also Petereus I put a damper on your ability to sense danger, so you will have no unfair advantage over Caleus. All the weapons and shields have been hand made by Vulcan himself. So if both of you will face each other may the best man win".
Caleus charge Petereus and caught him in the mid section driving him into a pillar. Petereus felt the air leave his chest as he slumped to the ground. Caleus walked away with his arms raised as if the one blow had stopped Petereus. As Caleus turned he saw Petereus standing up and trying to get air back in his lungs.
Caleus ran over to a large rack of assorted weapons and chose a barbed sword. Petereus looked over and saw Caleus admiring the sword as he picked it up and made several cuts through the air. The gleam in Caleus eye told Petereus he would enjoy slicing into his enemies with this sword. Petereus hoped that over the years of fighting warlords and most of Caleus's army he would be able to dodge the attacks sufficiently with out his ability to sense danger.
"Well Caleus you got the first blow in so now it is time to Dance," Petereus said as he moved cautiously towards Caleus.
"You have no hope in beating me without your webs and your ability to sense danger. You are dead and don't even realize it yet," Caleus shot back. Then Caleus charged Petereus and swung the sword violently to cut Petereus to pieces.
Petereus watched as Caleus charged and everything seemed to happen in slow motion. Petereus dodge three slashes and connected with a left to Caleus's face. Petereus felt the bone break as his fist connected with Caleus's face. Caleus dropped to the ground as blood flowed freely from his nose. Petereus stood away from Caleus as he watched him struggle to his feet and wipe the blood off his face.
"I am doing pretty good for a dead man don't you think?" Petereus asked with a smirk. Hoping this would enrage Caleus so he would make a careless lung at Petereus.
Caleus growled and charged Petereus wildly and Petereus side stepped Caleus. Caleus quickly recovered and swung the sword back and caught Petereus's arm. Blood flowed freely from the wound as Caleus admired his work. Caleus then wasted no time and moved in to slash Petereus again when Petereus caught the sword in both hands just like he saw Xena do several times. This surprised Caleus and Petereus head butted Caleus. That opened a cut over Caleus's left eye. Caleus was staggered and Petereus moved in and land several punches to Caleus mid section, which caused Caleus to drop his sword. Caleus then fell back and blood was running from his mouth from the punches to his mid section. He lay convulsing and Hera looked on with a look of utter horror in her eyes.
Zeus arose from his throne and addressed the gods, "The fight is over Petereus is the victor". Zeus raised his hand waved it across the two combatants and all wounds were instantly healed.
Petereus looked on wondering what would happen next and Hera moved out to her son who was still on the ground. Petereus watched Hera then looked over to the goddess of his dreams.
Zeus again spoke, "Petereus you have won the right to receive the gift of immortality". Zeus held up a hand in Petereus's direction and a flash of light and Petereus clothes changed and he was now wearing his bracers, leather vest, leather pants and boots. He felt no different but Zeus continued to speak, "Caleus as the loser to this competition you are condemned to spend the rest of your years with your brother Typhaon as a snake".
Hera looked up at Zeus in shock and Caleus face went pale. Zeus waved his hand and Caleus disappeared. Hera stared at Petereus with hate in her eyes and she disappeared also. Petereus looked about and saw the gods starting to disburse as Zeus made his way towards Petereus and the goddess of his vision followed just behind.
"Petereus you have performed all the tests with great honor to yourself and your sponsor my daughter Athena," Zeus motioned Athena to come forward and Petereus smiled because now he had a name to go with the woman he loved. "You have made a great enemy today as well as earn some respect from the rest of the gods. Enjoy your immortality with my daughter," Zeus turned and walked away and disappeared.
Petereus hugged Athena and they embraced in a kiss that seemed to last for an eternity.
This site was last updated 12/23/02