KRATOS INTRODUCTION PT.2
Kratos tumbles into the Underworld and into the River Styx. He slams into its water with a hard slash. The moment he comes up to take gasp of breath he is immediately assaulted by the other souls swimming in the Styx. They grab at Kratos, threatening to pull him down. His Spartan will has Kratos fighting the shades off. They leave him alone momentarily. If he is to escape yet again, he must leave the Styx or be dragged down to Hades himself who will, without a doubt, torture him endlessly for escaping his realm twice. Kratos knows Hades will not allow him to escape a third time. Kratos swims the river, fighting off the shades clawing at him. He will not be dragged into this accursed river. He will have vengeance on all his betrayers—Zeus, Gaia, the gods and titans—they will all pay. Fury driven, he fights off the shades until he reaches an embankment and hauls himself out of the river. His muscles ached, both from the fall and the exertion of fighting for his life in the Styx. But there is no time to rest. Zeus and Gaia must pay for their betrayal. Staggering, he walks up to the bridge in front of him and looks out across the Kingdom of Hades. There is no need for him to loiter. He has seen this place more times than any mortal should have. He will escape again. If he has to kill the God of the Underworld, he will escape again.
“We are not finished, Zeus. The gates of Hades have never been able to hold me!” Kratos took a step before stopping suddenly at the sound of a familiar voice.
“Hades cannot hold those with purpose, Kratos.” Kratos turned to look at the spirit of Athena descending slowly toward him. “I have missed you, Spartan.”
“Athena, I—” Kratos still felt regret for killing the only god on Olympus he has ever trusted. Of all the gods, Athena has always had faith in Kratos. Because of her, the other gods aided Kratos in his quest to kill Ares. Because of her, he was able to ascend to the throne of the God of War. Though she stood by Zeus in the end, she was the only god he mourned when he run the Blade of Olympus through her. Seeing her now, he wondered if she will now haunt him for all his days and into eternity for murdering her.
“My sacrifice to save Zeus has brought me to a higher existence,” she tells him. The former goddess has no ill feelings toward him.
“You still appear to be an Olympian.”
“Appearances can be deceiving, Kratos.”
“So can the children of Olympus,” Kratos replied, turning away from Athena.
“Perhaps,” Athena agreed. “But my death came from your blade.”
“My blade was meant for Zeus,” Kratos sternly reminded her, turning to face her. He had no time to speak with Athena. Zeus must die. “Be quick with your words.”
“As we speak the war on Olympus rages on and mankind suffers,” Athena tells him.
“Let them suffer. My only concern is to kill Zeus.” Kratos never really cared for anyone else other than his wife and child. Without them, all others are meaningless.
“Zeus will not fall as easily as Ares. To kill the King of Olympus, you will need great strength. You will need the Flame of Olympus.”
“You once sacrificed yourself to save Zeus and now you aid me in his destruction. Why the sudden change?”
Following her death, Athena has seen the truth. Zeus, her father, has become corrupt with power just as her brother Ares has. He once watched over mankind, protecting them from danger. Now Zeus has turned his back on them. He has ignored the prayers of his worshippers, the words of his priests and the wisdom of his oracles. They have become nothing more than fodder in his war against the Titans. Athena can no longer stand by and watch innocents die senseless deaths. “I see truths where I did not before.” She places her hand upon his broad chest, and then through it—and him. Kratos felt nothing as she stepped through him. She truly is dead, he thought. Athena takes the blades she has given him—the Blades of Athena—from his back. “Perhaps these will earn back your trust.” With a wave of her hand, the blades become wrapped in ethereal light. The light fades. A new set of blades appears. “These are the Blades of Exile. They will guide you on your journey to the flame.”
Kratos takes the blades in his hands. He can feel the power within them. These will serve me well in killing Zeus, he thought. He secretly grins at the thought of running these new, powerful weapons through Zeus the same way Zeus ran the Blade of Olympus through him.
“However, before you can begin your journey, Kratos. There is a task I would like you to complete,” Athena said.
Kratos looks up at her and snarls. Athena and her tasks, he should have known. He tired of the gods and their games. “I do not have time this,” Kratos says as he slides the blades on his back and storms away. “Neither you nor anyone will stand in my way.”
“But this task is necessary if you truly wish to kill Zeus. Complete it and you will be on your way,” said Athena.
Kratos considered this for a moment. If he refuses to complete the task, Athena could haunt him for the rest of his days. His mind is plagued with enough nightmares as it is. There is no room for a dead goddess. With reluctance, he says, “Very well, what is this task?”
“I will send you to another time and place. There, you will find a warrior whose power is close to the might of Zeus.”
“And if I do this, will I finally be rid of you,” Kratos says with contempt.
“Complete this task and I will trouble you no more.” Athena waves one hand. Ethereal light gathers in the empty space near her, opening a rift in time and space. Kratos steps toward the portal and, sneering at Athena, he steps through. “Do not disappoint me, Spartan.” She says after Kratos had stepped through the portal. There is a tone in her voice that shows she has not lost her deceitful nature even in death.
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