There's a saying that goes Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely. In Hidden City that is more true now than ever, but what if there was someone who didn't allow his absolute power to corrupt him? What if the power he had was already corrupted? Tainted in centuries of misuse and abuse, used by someone who knew already how dangerous it was and still passed it on, to his own child...
Dalen had known of Ares' intentions from the moment he turned 18, while he had craved his father's attention ever since Arrilla died he wasn't really sure that this was the best thing to do.
Dalen: Dad, do I really have to do this?
Ares: it's your birthright son, you no longer have any mortal ties to this world and it's time you joined me as you were always meant to.
Ares: No buts son, this is what your destiny has been ever since the day you turned 18.
Ares conjured up the glass of liquid ambrosia and gave it to him. He reluctantly took it and tipped it towards his lips.
Ares: That's it son, drink it all.
Dalen: Will this hurt?
Ares: A little, but you're a man you can take a little pain.
Ares turned as he waited for the ambrosia to take effect. For Dalen, however Ares was lying when he said it would only hurt a little. The electricity raced through his body as it killed ever last piece of his mortal half, Dalen could barely scream as the pain tore though him.
Ares: See son that wasn't so bad.
Once his pain had finally stopped he felt a lot better.
Dalen: You're right dad, that wasn't so bad.
Ares: Of course it wasn't, would I lie to you boy?
Dalen: No, you wouldn't.
Ares: Good, now that's taken care of. If you'll excuse me I have a previous engagement that I would rather not be late for.
Across town he met up with his appointment, she was eagerly awaiting his arrival.
Xena: Ares, finally. I was beginning to think you'd forgotten about me.
Ares smiled. "How could I forget you dear Xena?"
Xena: I called you here today for something important, it's Talia's 20th birthday today and she would really like it if you went to see her.
"Xena, what have I told you?"
Xena: But...she's your daughter.
"Therein lies the problem, a daughter."
Xena: Come on don't you dare do this to her again!! You've missed almost every one of her birthdays since she was a baby the least you can do is see her now!!
"And if this is all you wanted, I've got better things to do. My son just became a full god and I have to start his War God training. I can't be running over here for her, Dalen's training is more important."
Xena: If you leave now without even saying hello, I'll never let you touch me again...and I know how much you like to do that.
A small smile quirked at his lips; " I do so love it when you get pushy Xena baby. Fine I'll go see her, but not for long I've got work to do."
Xena: Thank you, that's all I ask.
Batalia tapped her chin thoughtfully. "So let me get this straight, you finally show your sorry ass and you expect me to be all giddy and girly about it?"
Ares: No, I really wanted to come.
"Mom threatened you with no more sex didn't she?"
Ares: That is none of your business.
"Right, and you fell for it, hook line and sinker? You're so predictable Ares."
Ares: This was a waste of time. I should never have come at all.
"That's for sure; you've never been around before so why start now right?"
Batalia rolled her eyes. "You really are stupid aren't you?"
Ares: I don't have to take that from you girl. I'm a god!!
"If you say so, why don't you go now? You've darkened my day long enough."
Xena got up from her game and went over to him.
Xena: Do you really have to go?
Ares: Mmm, I think maybe I could stay a little longer....
Batalia: Oh gods mom...EWWW!!! Get a room...no wait that's worse!! I'm outta here before I lose my lunch.
Xena: See you kid. be back for dinner.
She headed down to Hidden City Central Park then she saw him, her little brother.
Dalen; Hey I remember you, from the library right?
"At least your mind isn't warped."
"Nevermind. So you are dad's favourite huh?"
Dalen: Well, I suppose. I mean he did give me ambrosia this morning.
Batalia felt the anger rise up in her chest, how dare Ares make him a full god!!
"WHAT??!! He made YOU a full god??!!"
Dalen: Umm, yeah. He said that since I had no more mortal ties to this world that I should be taking my rightful place with him on Olympus.
"That son of a bitch...how DARE he!!"
Dalen: I don't see what the problem is, he's right.
"Gods, you're so irritating!! Where's Diamos? I wanna talk to my real brother. Get him out here."
Dalen: I don't think so, there's no way I'm gonna let that psycho out!!
"You really think you can control me loser? With the awesome power dad gave us I can take you out in a heartbeat."
Dalen: YOU SHUT THE HELL UP!! I'M NOT LETTING YOU OUT!!
"Try and stop me."
Batalia raised an eyebrow, so this is what he looks like when he argues with himself? She got an idea: "Dee, are you there? It's your ever loving sister Talia. Come out and play."
That was all the incentive Diamos needed, he easily tossed Dalen back and took over.
Diamos: Okay, first off I'm not a dog you can just call whenever and second you are hardly a loving sister.
"But you're out aren't you? Doesn't that count?"
Diamos: Okay, fine you got a point there. So what do you want?
"I wanna take out Ares, and make him pay for everything he's done to me. I know you'd love a chance to wreak some havoc with your new full god powers."
Diamos: Why the hell would I want to take out dad? He gave me this power and I'll make him proud as his heir.
"Oh for sure, I'm all for the heir thing but why not have some fun anyway? Wreck a few temples, kill a few mortals, I know how you like killing mortals."
Diamos: Well...it has been a while since I've had a good killing spree...maybe you're right.
"Of course I am little brother, I'm your big sister."
Diamos: But I don't want to go after anything of dad's, none of his temples or acolytes alright?
"Sure, no problem. Nothing of dad's."
Batalia: So what do you want to do first?
"They have axe throwing practice here, maybe I can spice it up and use the mortals here as targets instead."
Marylena: Did he just say what I thought he just said?
Meadow: I dunno, wasn't listening.
Marylena: And that's different than every other day how?
Meadow: Like way harsh Mary, I so totally don't space out all the time!!
"I can start with the ditzy blond, what do you think?"
Talia pondered that for a moment; "Naw, way too easy."
Diamos caught sight of someone he'd been longing to see, his old enemy Malcolm. "I got a better idea, another blond target."
"Mal!! Old buddy, how you been? Evict any elderly widowers lately?"
"No? How bout peasant farmers?"
"Always a pleasure talking to you."
Meadow: Alright!!! Like fry him up good!!
Meadow: Aww, he didn't like kill him and whatever, I'm outtie.
Malcolm: Don't you have anything better to do brat?
"No, not really. And watch who you call brat buddy."
Malcolm: I'm not your buddy.
Diamos decided to try out the axe throwing after all, too bad Mal didn't stick around.
"Maybe I can pretend that is him on the target...."
"Why do you have to go and be like that?"
"Oh gods, what do you want?"
"I see and hear everything you do remember?"
"And? Am I supposed to care or something? Now shut up, you'll make me miss."
"Gods be damned!!! I missed!! I told you to shut up."
"No, I would really rather not."
Marylena: Try to ignore the crazy kid talking to himself, try to ignore the crazy kid talking to himself....
"ARGHH!! I'm sick of this, I'm leaving."
"You're really a sore loser aren't you? Give me a try, maybe I can actually hit a target that big."
"If I could kill you I would!! You irritate me soo much!!"
"I know, the feeling's mutual brother."
" I plan to enjoy this new power, and I won't let you ruin it."
Dalen: As if!! If you think I'm gonna let you roam free with full god powers you got another thing coming!!!
"And what do you plan to do about it huh? I'm in control of the body now, and I'm allowing you to project."
Dalen: You don't allow me to do anything, I allow me to do things.
"Sure, whatever lets you sleep at night brother. Where's Talia? I think you need a time out. Get back in your cage!!"
By sheer will, Diamos forced Dalen back again and out of his sights. He headed towards the farm when he ran into someone else he wasn't expecting...
"Oh what now? Not you."
Mokosh: Same to you, where's Dalen?
"In his cage where he belongs."
Mokosh: I was coming here to see him, a friend of mine said she saw him here.
"Well he's not so piss off."
Mokosh could tell this wasn't going to be a fight she could win, especially when she just felt the air grow heavier...
Mokosh: Ohh...not now. Not a Dark Witch...There's no way I can get to Dalen now with this much evil around him.
Dark Witch: There's too many happy people here, someone should remind them of what misery really is.
" Now this is my kind of people. Thanks for the power boost."
Dark Witch: What power boost halfling?
"Oh, I'm not a halfling anymore. I've crossed over to the better side."
Dark Witch: Oh ho? Another evil god? We sure need them around here.
"Tell me about it; there's definately too much good energy around here."
Dark Witch: Tell me then; are you in the market for another kind of power? One that comes only with joining the Dark Side?
"No, I'm already too far out of your league mortal. I have more power than your entire coven put together."
Dark Witch: Most likely that's so, but it wouldn't hurt to have a god join our order so we can eliminate the Followers of the Light.
"Sorry; you're just too insignificant to me now."
Dark Witch: Well if we ever need a favour, to whom should we be praying?
"Me, Diamos. The next God of War."
"Not if I can help it..."
Diamos: Shut up.
Dark Witch: Are you addressing me oh powerful one?
"No, my loser of a twin brother. I've got other engagements so if you'll excuse me."
He teleported off, the strain of fighting Dalen had worn him out more than he let on. Even the presence of the Dark Witch didn't help. The power of a god, especially one who happens to live inside your body, is too much to control when he wants out. Dalen could feel how tired Diamos was and he was going to take the oppertunity it presented. Halfway though the teleport he managed to take back control of the body.
When Dalen arrived home he had just sat down when he heard a knock at his door.
Mokosh: A-Bomb!! There you are!! I ran into Diamos at the park and I was so worried about you and...
"Mo, calm down. I could hear everything you were talking about.
Mokosh: I heard Ares gave you ambrosia...
"Yeah, he did. I'm a full god now."
Mokosh: So that means he is too?
Dalen nodded. He could tell she was upset but for the moment he was at a loss as to what to say to her.
Mokosh: Dalen, you do know Ares is just using you to release Diamos don't you?
"Yes I know and I won't let him Mo. I won't let that psycho roam free with full god powers..."
Mokosh: I'm--I'm worried about you A-Bomb, what if he kills you?
"He won't, trust me."
Mokosh: Then why don't I feel any better about this?
Dalen took her hands and pulled her into a slow dance, it was all he could think of to do.
"Trust me when I say this Mo, I will not let Diamos loose on this city with full god powers, so long as I breathe."
Mokosh stared into his grey eyes, somehow his words actually made her feel better.
Mokosh: I do believe you Dalen, I know you'll be there to stop him.
Dalen drew her in closer, Mokosh suddenly felt nervous...
For the entire time she was in his arms, it felt like time had just stopped. It was the most comfort and love she had felt in a long time. But part of her knew all along how much she really felt for him, ever since they met in the park that day. Now that he had become a full god she was more determined than ever to help him make sure Diamos never hurts anyone with that power.
However their moment was ruined by the appearance of Ares.
Ares: You, halfling take off. Dalen has work to do.
Mokosh: Halfling? I hate being called that.
Dalen looked apologetic; "I'm sorry Mo, I really have to get back to my training now. I'll call you later okay?"
Mokosh glanced at Ares then headed out.
Ares: Get to work boy, I didn't give you my sword so it could sit around and collect dust.
Dalen practiced until well into the next morning. Everything Ares taught him about swordsmanship, stance and postures rattled around in his mind he knew it all by heart by now.
"Dad said I should be practicing too. Let me try."
"No, if I let you out you'll take off."
"And miss this? Hardly."
"Shut up!! I'm busy!!"
"You call that a punch and block? You suck man."
"I would so love to knock you on your ass right now."
"I bet. Anyway I've been doing this for hours, I need a break."
"What?!! We're just getting into the groove!!"
"WE are not doing anything; I AM doing everything."
"Then let me out, take five."
Hephaestus: Are you sure? I mean you can always go tomorrow.
Aleidra: Yes daddy, I'm sure. We've been planning this for a while now. We finally found Leslie's father.
Hephaestus: Alright, I suppose. But be back for dinner okay?
Aleidra: I know daddy.
Hephaestus and his daughter Aleidra have always been close ever since her mother died when she was nine. She was his only child and for him that meant more to him than anything in the world. He had always felt like no one would ever love him because of his facial scars, his own mother Hera couldn't stand the sight of him so how could he ever expect any woman to? But when he met Aleidra's mother it all changed; she actually loved him for who he was and didn't judge on looks. Her death seemed cruel and unfair, why would the Fates give her to him only to take her away so soon? Hephaestus had Aleidra and that was all the motivation he needed to move on with his life. So naturally when she became a teenager and started spending more time away from home, he worried about her; more so after she told him about Dalen. All of Olympus knew of Ares' plans for him and it made some of the gods nervous. Dalen was not only another half god child; he was host to two different souls and the other gods worried about his sanity when dealing with that. When word got out about Ares giving him ambrosia, the uproar on Olympus shook the city; Zeus was beyond angry and the other gods avoided being around when he was ranting and raving about it.
Giving a half god as unstable as Dalen the powers of full god could only mean disaster....
On the outskirts of Hidden City, just before the temples begin, there was an ancient castle standing alone against the base of the mountains. It was here that Aleidra had found Leslie's father, a mortal king named King Leian. Leslie's godly parent was Hera, she was only a child, barely turned six. Her powers began to show only last year they gave her insight into whether or not people's relationships will last. She shared this ability with her older sister Dominique who spent most of her teen years raising Leslie alone. And she was cute too, big puppy dog brown eyes and lovely long lashes usually meant that anyone she batted her eyes at would be putty in her little hands she especially likes to use this on Dalen.
Leslie: Aleidra? Are you sure that this is a good thing to do? What if he doesn't like me?
Aleidra: He'll love you Leslie, I know he will.
Leslie: I don't know....
Aleidra: Trust me. He will.
This was just the break Dalen was looking for; he managed to subdue Diamos's rants and objections for the time being. Little Leslie had been looking forward to this for a while and when she asked him to come, he couldn't say no to those puppy dog eyes. However he wasn't expecting Reias to show up as well; he rarely socialized with them.
Dalen: So what brings you out of your cave Reias?
Reias: Okay, first of all I resent that and second I just felt like I should be here today.
Dalen: I'm teasing buddy you know that. Cross my heart.
"Oh gag me; knock it off with the buddy-buddy talk I'm gonna hurl."
Dalen: Shut up loser.
Reias: Diamos again? How do you stand that?
Dalen: I deal; I have to.
Reias nodded understandingly; the real reason he was here was because of what the Fates had told him that day after he met up with Dalen in the Marketplace. He wasn't entirely sure it was a good idea to do it but if the Fates decreed it be done, then he had to do it; he was the only one that could....
It was just after Ares had given him the ambrosia, he teleported to the Marketplace before Dalen got there and waited for him. Dalen was telling him all about what Ares just did and was going on and on about how cool it felt to be a full god. Reias knew he would be excited at first, it was a great honour to become a full god after all. But Reias could feel Diamos's energy in him, and he could make out the faintest traces of his aura. It was a pulsating angry red colour, which meant bad news.
Of course he didn't say anything to Dalen about it, he wanted him to remain thinking that he couldn't hear or see Diamos when he wasn't in control of the body; as the Prince of the Underworld he can see souls and hear them as well. Diamos's anger was climbing towards an apex which meant it was going to be only a matter of days before he went off. And when that day came he had to be prepared...
"LET ME OUT NOW!!!"
Reias shook away the memory; now was the time. "Hold still Dalen; this is gonna hurt like hell."
Dalen: Huh? What?
Before he could get a reply the whole area suddenly went bright and he screamed as he felt the pain tear through him; he could only see a blur through the tears in his eyes but he saw a dark haired figure appear in front of him, it looked like Diamos. Reias grabbed onto Diamos's soul and tore it from Dalen's body as the replacement body appeared beside him, he let go of the soul and it headed right into the body. A Soul Separation of this magnitude given the strength of the soul in question, was highly dangerous. If the slightest thing went wrong, both the soul and host body it was in, would be destroyed. Which meant that only Reias was qualified to do such a delicate procedure, this is what the Fates told him that day after he met with Dalen.
When the area returned to normal again, Dalen got to his feet slowly. The bits of pain ebbed away as he steadied his stance.
Dalen: Some warning would have nice you asshole!!
Diamos: WHAT IN THE GODS' NAMES HAVE YOU DONE TO ME DEATH FREAK??!!
Reias remained calm; " I separated you two."
Dalen: I see that, but how?
"I preformed a Soul Separation; it's a highly dangerous and delicate procedure and has to be done carefully. Diamos's anger was ready to explode and it would have obliterated you and most of us here if I hadn't contained it in time."
Dalen: Hang on, back up; you could hear everything Diamos was saying this whole time?
Diamos: And you could see me?
"Yep. I am the Prince of the Underworld, it's my job to see and hear souls."
Dalen: You bastard; I hate you so much right now.
Diamos: I can't believe I'm gonna say this but; I actually agree with Dalen. You bastard.
Diamos: However, now that I'm out and free I can do something I've wanted to do for years!!!
Dalen: AHH!! LET ME GO FREAK!!
Reias crossed his arms over his chest; "Do you two ever grow up? And you're welcome by the way, don't say I never did anything for you guys."
Reias teleported off after that, leaving them to finish what they started.
Diamos: Let's see what else I can do with this new body. Hey Aleidra!!! Duck!!
She hadn't heard him, and the build up of power behind his energy ball was already getting out of control. Diamos lost his grip on it....
The ball of energy flew straight towards her; Diamos cried out for her to move but it was as if his voice was slowed down so much that it didn't reach her in time, instead she stood up. Leslie's eyes went wide as she watched the energy ball speeding towards her friend.
The ball of energy went right through her body, Aleidra's knees buckled as she fell to the ground. Leslie began to sob as she watched her friend die right in front of her eyes; Diamos covered his eyes, why did she have to stand up right at that moment?
Leslie: ALEIDRA!!! ALEIDRA NOOOO!!!
Diamos: What have I done?
Leslie: Aleidra....why did you stand up? Why did you protect me? It killed you...Aleidra...wake up..please...don't die...
She choked as another round of sobs escaped her throat, her best friend died protecting her. If she hadn't been in front that ball would have hit her instead.
"Peaceful god, forever drifting between life and death's sweet embrace....."
"Past sins revolve around igniting the Fire God's wrath....."
"Despairing parent; lost child....."
"Innocents die at hands of Nature."
Well...what can I say? That was awesome. I spent the last three days preparing this interlude chapter and finally all that effort has paid off. This fills in the rest of the story that Mokosh told Adonis and Jade about, to get a feel for what happened on that day 25 years ago. Also it explains a little bit more about Batalia's past and why she's so determined to make sure Dalen stays crazy. There's still more to this story, for example how Diamos went from being evil to the God of Peace. And that last picture is a real shot of Mt. Etna erupting by the way, it was just too perfect not to use. ^.^