Day, Date, Year Unknown
Titania, The Realm
During Kronos' absence, Zeus sat at his Father's desk and looked through the prophecy book as Gaia and Eos kept their eyes on the immortal block. They were hoping for more contact from Deianera so they could gauge how Alexandria was doing.
But the block instead showed other parts of Titania and many of the deities going about their business.
As Zeus leafed through the pages and was at the very last page, he was just about to close the book when suddenly before his very eyes a sentence appeared. Startled, as he had never heard of this happening before, he quickly read the words. His face reflecting confusion at first, became very grave.
"Eos, Gaia," he called. The two deities turned around as he said, "There is something brand new here."
Both goddesses hurried over and stood before Kronos' desk.
"What does it say, Imminence?" Gaia asked.
Zeus read the words saying,"Tragedy strikes one of the twins with grievous consequences."
The three of them looked at one another as Gaia and Eos sat. After a few seconds, Gaia said, "Tragedy strikes one of the twins? Which one?" Her face as well as Eos' looked very nervous.
"What does this mean your grace?" Eos asked.
"My apologies, Goddesses, but I do not have the answer to your questions," Zeus replied. "We will have to wait until Kronos returns so we can discuss this together."
He then scanned the book again, lost in thought....
Saturday, July 21st
The Millenium Hilton Hotel
New York City, N.Y.
Jon stood up, staring at the man and a second later said, "Kronos! I never thought I'd see you again!"
"You must come with me Jon, for mischief is afoot once again," Kronos replied.
Jon stared at him for a second and then said, "Does this have anything to do with Alex missing?"
"I'm afraid so," Kronos returned. "A rogue goddess has abducted her in return for amnesty for her crimes. Alexandria is being held in a cave in the mountains of Western Titania."
"But why? Why was she taken?" Jon asked, a flicker of fear on his face. "Is she alright?"
"Be assured she is unharmed as the block in my study has proven," Kronos reassured him. "At least she was when I last saw her. And I have no reason to believe Deianera will harm her."
"Deianera?" Jon asked.
Kronos then explained who she was not bringing up the goddess's crimes. Instead he said, "We must leave now for my estate, as I need to gather the others who will be traveling with us."
But Jon needing answers asked, "Wait a minute...What exactly did this Deianera do, and why would she abduct Alex?"
Kronos hesitated, and then said, "I do not have time to discuss it with you. Suffice it to say that she amalgamated with someone she shouldn't have and also seduced a mortal."
"But what does that have to do with Alex?" Jon asked his face wrinkled in a frown. As Kronos tried to formulate his reply suddenly Jon's face went though a transformation of sorts.
Then he remembered. Olivia..... He had made love to Olivia. As his memories became clearer, suddenly it all made sense to him. The mortal Deianera had amalgamated with was Olivia, and he had been the one that she had used a seduction spell on.
He stared at the God his face stunned, so much so that Kronos said, "What troubles you?"
Jon said, "I made love with Olivia. She was the one that Deianera joined with wasn't she?"
Kronos started, suddenly stricken that Jon had this memory. It was his intention that he would only remember the previous ones regarding the rescue mission, not the more recent ones involving Olivia. He must fine tune that memory effect, he thought.
Kronos then admitted that he was correct. He explained to him that when he and the other high deities discovered this, they managed to track down Deianera and her Mother who had assisted her, and that's when she had admitted her crime, fleeing afterward. He also brought Jon up to speed about the contract and also their visit to the Outer Realm. He did not however mention the pregnancy.
Jon had sat back down and had his head in his hands as Kronos talked, overwhelmed not only of his memories of his sexual liaison with Olivia, but everything else the God had told him.
He raised his head and said, "You say she used a spell of seduction? This goddess must be without a conscience to purposefully fuck up so many peoples lives this way, Time Keeper. How will I ever face Richie and not to mention Alex?" he asked, his voice morose.
"Jon, you're not to blame," Kronos said. "You were but a helpless pawn, there was nothing you could do against that kind of power. As for facing the others, once we bring back Alexandria I will remove the memory from you once again. You will have no knowledge of it happening, just as Olivia has no knowledge."
"And that makes it all better?" Jon asked, an angry tone to his voice.
"No, of course it does not," Kronos replied. "But I assure you Deianera will be punished for this. There are several crimes she is guilty of and now this latest one, abducting Alexandria, has been added to the list."
Jon was silent for a few seconds, and then Kronos said, "Jon we must go. We have only a short amount of time to go on this journey and bring Alexandria back."
Jon took a deep breath and then stood again and started walking toward the God.
Then suddenly he stopped, as he thought of something else. "But what about Sydney Green, Alex's editor? She'll be back any moment."
"I've already taken care of Ms. Green," Kronos replied.
He thought back to how he'd found Jon to begin with. Checking at his estate he found that the rock star was not there. Amalgamating briefly with Jon's Swedish servant, he was able to garner from the woman's memory that Jon was headed for the Hilton hotel. Along with that, he had ascertained the information on who he was meeting with, Alexandria's editor, Sydney Green.
Once at the hotel he'd had to stop time briefly so that he could locate Alexandria's and Sydney's rooms in the book and then headed up to the fifth floor. He found the editor's room and entered to find the woman three feet away from the door, obviously on her way out. Walking behind her he started time again and then quickly amalgamated with her. Then setting her cell phone down which she had clutched in her hand he went into the bedroom and laid down on the bed. Then leaving the woman's body, he placed a sleep spell on her which would last for approximately two hours, he explained to Jon.
"But when the woman wakes up she'll remember that Alex is missing," Jon said.
"Do not fear," Kronos replied. "I will erase her memory of that. And once we are successful in bringing Alexandria back, I will insert a false memory of her being too ill to go to the signing."
Jon digested this and then said, "That might work. For Sydney told me when I was on the way to the airport that she had canceled the signing as well as Alex's appearance on the T.V. show tomorrow, after she'd discovered her missing. She also said she didn't tell them that Alex was missing but that she was not feeling well."
"That's perfect," Kronos said, "Once I remove the memory from Ms. Green about Alexandria missing, all she will remember is the reason she'd given the contacts for having to cancel, because Alexandria was suddenly ill," the timekeeper reasoned.
"So let us be off then," he said but as they headed toward the door he stopped.
"Wait. There is one more thing I must take care of."
He disappeared abruptly causing Jon to jerk and then a few seconds later returned, causing Jon to do the same.
Kronos held out his hand saying, "Alexandria's hotel key. It wouldn't do to find it in Ms. Green's room."
He set it on the bureau.
"Now," Kronos said turning. "Are you ready?"
Jon stripped off his leather gloves then and said, "I'm ready. Where's the portal this time?" He looked around the room.
"This way," Kronos replied as they left the room.
As Jon and the deity headed down the hall toward the elevators, Kronos said he would meet him behind the building and then simply walked through the window at the end of the hall.
Jon, hurrying to the elevator pressed the button and as the doors opened he stepped inside. As the elevator doors closed and started it's descent, he thought, once again I'm rescuing you Alex my love. I only pray that you'll be alright until I get there....
* * *
While Zeus and Gaia still poured over the prophecy book, with Eos studying the Immortal block, the portal door at the end of Kronos' study opened and both he and Jon walked into the room.
All conversation stopped as the three other deities stared at the mortal.
Jon stared back, recognizing the male God from when he'd seen him, during his last visit. But the two female goddesses he had never seen before.
Kronos led him over to his desk where Eos had now joined the others. Eos said, "Welcome John Francis. I am Eos, Goddess of the Dawn, and Mother to Thalia." She smiled at him. Jon said hello and then looked at the other female.
Kronos said, "John this is the Earth Mother or Mother Nature as she is sometimes referred to, as well as my own Mother, Gaia."
Jon again said hello, thinking to himself, there really was a Mother Nature? Gaia smiled and returned the greeting as Zeus said, "Greetings mortal!" Then walked around the desk and whispered to Kronos, "I need to discuss something with you Father, regarding a new prophecy."
Kronos then said to the others that he and Zeus must attend to some business and would return shortly.
He then told Jon to have a seat, picking up his prophecy book as he and Zeus then left the room.
Jon sat down in one of the very comfortable arm chairs, as Eos and Gaia did the same. This was the first time Gaia had ever directly seen the mortal and she thought to herself that all of the rumors were true. He was as handsome as Adonis himself and she had more insight now as to why Deianera did what she did.
Gaia and Eos made pleasant conversation with the mortal though he appeared to be nervous, and both reassured him, saying not to worry, that they would soon have Alexandria back safe and sound...
* * *
Meanwhile once inside the prophecy room, Kronos sat at his table and opened the book. He read the latest, his face afterward looking stricken.
"This is the worst news!" he said. "We must find out who the prophecy is speaking of." He stared at Zeus for a moment as his son stared back, both of them lost in thought.
Getting up, Kronos went over to his computer like device and picked up a small thin disc laying nearby. He inserted it into the object and Scout's face lit up on the screen.
Speaking the prophecy directly as written he ordered Scout to do a future check for the next thirty days, giving him coordinates and names. He told him to bring whatever data he could find on anything that would happen to either of the twins. He told him to hurry as speed was of the essence.
Then he walked back over to his table and sat again. "We will have to wait and see what Scout comes up with," he told his son. "But the longer we wait, the more dangerous it is for Alexandria. We only have an hour's left earth time before the editor, Ms. Green will awaken. Alexandria must be back by that time," he said a worry line creasing his forehead.
"Do you think Scout will be able to find this new event?" Zeus asked his Father.
"Let us hope so," Kronos replied, "Otherwise my son, our rescue mission may be too late."
* * *
Twenty minutes later the machine made a beeping noise and both Zeus and Kronos stood and hurried over. Kronos pressed a button as Scout's data was displayed on the screen.
Both deities stared at what was written, their faces registering looks of shock and dismay.
Kronos turned off the screen then and said, turning to Zeus, "We must not let the mortals involved know this news and especially not Alexandria. Better to let them find out as the events unfold."
Kronos thought briefly of going back in time, to try and change the event, but as if Zeus read his mind, he said "As hard as it is for me to say this, I forbid you going back to change the future Kronos. We must let things stand as they are. There has been enough meddling regarding this whole mission."
The two of them then left the room and headed back to Kronos' study....
Saturday, July 21st
Cape Neddick, Maine
Just before midnight Olivia was talking to Richie on the phone, sitting cross legged on her bed.
"I miss you so much Richie," Olivia said. "I'm so looking forward to seeing you tomorrow."
"I know hon, I miss you too," Richie told her. "So my plane should be in around six pm okay? I already called the limo and the driver should pick you up around 5:00."
They talked a little longer and then they said goodbye as Olivia closed her phone.
Removing her robe she climbed into bed. After a while of tossing and turning she finally fell into a fitful sleep...
As Zeus and Kronos returned, Jon and the two goddesses stood. Jon stared at the God of the sky noticing that he had changed into a more formidable piece of attire having a long red gown and a dark brown robe on. In his hand he held his lightning bolt staff.
"Are you ready Jon?" Kronos asked.
Jon took a deep breath and said he was and walked nearer the Gods as Eos and Gaia also joined them.
Kronos said, "The others will be using teletransportation, but since you do not possess that ability, you and I will use the portal."
Kronos said to the other three deities, "Head for the edge of the Great Forest right near the caves themselves."
As he said this, abruptly the three of them disappeared, as Jon stood there blinking, staring around wildly on either side of him.
"I know that is difficult to get used to seeing," Kronos said smiling slightly.
"And a whole lot of other stuff, too," Jon said, returning more of a grimace than a smile.
Kronos led the way then across the room to the door as the both of them entered the portal room.
They mounted the steps and Kronos quickly put in the coordinates. A second later they stepped through the portal and in a very short amount of time, they found themselves facing a large mountain range, with caves pitted here and there.
Hearing a shout they turned and saw the other three deities a short distance away, wave and began to walk over.
As the other three joined them, Kronos said, "According to Deianera's instructions they should be in the mountain range to the right. He pointed to it and said, "The cave should be the large one in the center."
As Gaia, Eos and Zeus abruptly disappeared, Kronos said to Jon, "We will have to go by foot. I must warn you, Jon, when we enter, it will be best if you don't look at Deianera or talk to her. Just let my son and I handle everything."
Jon nodded as they both started up the path which eventually grew steeper. They could see the other three standing in front of the mouth of the cave, as they wound their way past occasional large boulders laying on the rocky path.
Eventually they made their way up to where the others waited.
Before the five of them entered, Kronos whispered to Eos, "Did you take care of that other little task I asked of you?"
Eos nodded and then Kronos turned, entering the mouth of the cave with the others following...
* * *
Inside it was fairly dark so Zeus tapped his staff, and it began glowing. The cave had two passages leading off to the left and to the right. The one on the left however, had a faint glow of light emanating from the entranceway.
The five of them took that one and in a short time entered a large open part of the cave which is where the passageway ended. The room was lit by several torches mounted on the walls.
On the left side of the cave, there was a figure laying prone on a stone slab. After a second it was apparent to them that it was Hekate who still appeared to be sleeping, but on the far right side of the cave sat Alexis, her eyes growing wide when she saw Kronos enter.
Deianera was standing near a cave wall directly across from them, examining a document. No doubt the contract, Kronos thought.
When the remainder of the group entered, Jon saw Alexis as he rushed over to her. "Baby, are you okay?" he asked grabbing her face in his hands. She was crying but she made no sound.
"What is it? Talk to me baby! If she hurt you I swear I'll..." he broke off swearing.
Deianera had been staring at Jon, shock evident on her face at the fact that her beloved was there and then her shock was replaced by a yearning mixed with tenderness look.
"What have you done to her?" Jon yelled angrily turning his head to look at the goddess. But when his eyes met her own, he had the thought that he had never seen a more exquisite woman in his life. His eyes glazed over and he felt desire rage in him. He stood and started to walk toward her. He had to have her... right now...
But Kronos seeing the transformation come over the mortal jumped in front of him and said, "Jon! Do not look at her! Do not look into her eyes!"
Jon blinked several times and then stared briefly at Kronos looking a bit confused, then quickly turned back to Alexis.
He held her trembling body as Kronos turned around and said, "You have what you want Deianera. Remove the muting spell you put on Alexandria as well as her bindings!"
Deianera still surprised to see Jon, mumbled a few words and waved her hand. Abruptly Alexis, cried, "Jon! Oh Jon! Where am I? Who ARE these people?" Jon kissed her all over her face and said, "Darlin' I will explain, but have no fear, no one is going to hurt you baby not ever again!"
Kronos told Jon to take Alexandria outside and they would be out shortly. Jon helped Alexis to her feet and with his arm around her he led her back through the cave.
Meanwhile Deianera had walked over to her Mother and had just removed the sleep spell. As Hekate awakened she helped her Mother sit up.
Hekate after she got her bearings pulled herself away from her daughter's hands and said, "Deianera! How could you? I am your Mother!"
She slid off the slab, her face scowling.
Deianera said, "Forgive me Mother, but I could not let you turn us in. I had to do what I did.
But I have good news, it is all over."
She held out the contract to Hekate. "You see, both Kronos and Zeus' signatures are on it. We have both been pardoned," she said smiling triumphantly.
Kronos, silently watching, spoke then and said, "I'm afraid that is not entirely correct."
As Deianera and Hekate turned to face the four other deities, suddenly the room darkened to twilight as the torches were extinguished. The only light came from a blanket of shooting stars that blazed a trail across the cave ceiling.
High in a corner of the cave a woman appeared and hovered. Her hair was of darkest night, with a halo of stars on her head. Her dress was made of stardust and a train of tiny little baby stars surrounded her ankles.
"NYX! NOW" Kronos shouted, and then the room plunged into total darkness. Kronos and Zeus quickly uttered some words and then screams and curses broke the stillness and the cave was suddenly lit up again as the torches blazed to life.
The four of them stared at Deianera and Hekate who were now both trapped inside of a large metal cage.
Deianera said, her face furious, "You cannot do this Kronos! The contract is valid! Even if you destroy it, it has been witnessed and recorded. You have to honor the pardon that you and your Son made!"
Both Kronos and Zeus walked closer to the cage and stared at the two women. "I am afraid it is not up to us, Deianera," Kronos informed her. "For you see, even though my Son and I do honor the contract, there is one who does not." He looked at Hekate and then back again at Deianera.
"You see," Kronos continued, "Heaven being the most High God did not agree, and as you both know, Heaven can do whatever it is he wishes."
Deianera, her face an angry red, immediately started muttering some words, but Zeus spoke then and said, "Don't waste your time goddess attempting a spell, for your powers are useless inside this cage. It contains an invisible barrier rendering your powers ineffective."
Deianera then stopped as the anger left her face. She realized then that the game was over and anger was replaced by dismay as her lower lip trembled and tears slowly spilled out of her eyes. She knew now that she would never see Jon again, nor would she ever look upon the face of their child.
Kronos looked at her realizing at that moment he needed to tell her the truth behind the newest prophecy. He turned to the others and asked them to wait outside.
When they were alone, Kronos told her what he'd discovered. Her face totally crumbled then as sobs were wrenched from her body. Hekate took her in her arms trying to soothe her as Kronos left the cave...
* * *
Jon in the meantime had explained as best as he could what the entire episode involved. He reminded her of when she had found herself in the Viking era with Jahn and then told her about Kronos and the whole story. He also told her that a memory charm had been placed on both of them afterward to forget until just recently. Then he told her about the most recent trouble regarding the meddling goddess Deianera. It was not easy to admit that he had made love to Olivia, even if it was against his will, being that he had been seduced by a powerful goddess. During the whole explanation he didn't dare look at Alex at all.
Finally afterward there was silence and finally he put his head up and looked at Alexis. "Can you ever forgive me?" He had tears in his eyes but when he saw her own eyes overflowing, they flew into each others arms and held each other tightly. His mouth came to hers as they kissed each other passionately.
"Forgive you?" Alexis asked, as the kiss broke. She lay her head against his shoulder, and said, "There's really nothing to forgive love. You didn't have a choice in the matter."
At that point Eos, Gaia and Zeus had come outside and then shortly thereafter Kronos appeared.
As he led the way back to where the portal waited Jon asked, "So what will happen to them now?"
"The cage which is a special transportation vehicle, will take them both in a few moments to their cells to await their sentencing," Kronos told him. "My Son will be the judge and it will be up to him to exact the punishment."
As the three of them entered the portal they were transported back directly to Alexis' hotel room.
Alexis laid down on the bed as Jon sat next to her. He caressed her cheek as Kronos whispered some words and then her eyes closed as she fell asleep.
"Come Jon, Ms. Green will be awakening soon. We must leave," Kronos said.
Jon bent his head and kissed Alexis on her lips softly and then both of them left the room.
Moments later they were back at his estate. Entering his bedroom, he walked over and sat on the edge of his bed, as Kronos followed.
"I guess this is goodbye again Time keeper," Jon said.
Kronos said, "Hopefully barring any other interference, it will be for good this time Jon."
Without delay, he repeated the same words he'd said for Alexis as Jon suddenly feeling very sleepy, lay back and closed his eyes.
Kronos gazed at him for a moment and whispered softly, "Take care of Alexandria, Jon. She is going to need your strength in the next few days, more than you know"...
END OF CHAPTER 19