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Al The Great . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 8

When the merchildren tired of the game, they decided to show Al their home.  As they toured through the underwater city, she seemed to gather her courage.

“I’m Alena,” she said, swimming alongside him.

“My name’s Al.  Alexander, actually.”

“Thank you for rescuing me.  I couldn’t breathe up there.  It was horrible.”

“I’m glad my men and I could get there in time.”

“You must be the bravest person I’ve ever met!  Do you live near the ocean?”


“Why not?  I think water is wonderful!  Air is horrible – it chokes us awfully.  You should stay here, with us!”

“I can’t.”

“Why not?  Poseidon’s ever so grateful to you for helping us – you save all our lives!   He would let you stay down here forever if you asked!”

Al was relieved when one of Alena’s friends came to talk to her and he could get a break from her constant chattering.  He couldn’t believe he’d ever thought her shy.

Eventually, the merchildren led Al to an outcropping of rock to meet Ares.  When he emerged, dry, from the water, he saw a figure standing, facing away from him, on the other side of the small island.  He carefully crept closer, to see the figure more clearly.


Ares waited by the shore.  This whole affair was Zeus’ idea, though Artemis and Athena had taken it over as completely as they oversaw the boy’s education and training.  Apollo wouldn’t oppose Artemis, as he saw no harm in the project; Hera had hopes for improved family life after the fighting; Hephaestus couldn’t wait to inspire new inventions for combat.  Demeter and Aphrodite followed the majority decision, and would therefore actively help the boy as he grew; Dionysus was indifferent.  Hermes and Hades only stipulated that due courtesy be shown to travelers and the dead, respectively.

Only Poseidon and Ares had any reservations about the plan; of the two, only Poseidon was powerful enough to stand against Zeus.  Poseidon had managed to convince Zeus to let them suspend judgment until they could examine the child.

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