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The Rise of the Sun

The Rise of the Sun

12 mins 279 12 mins 279

It all started on a late Sunday morning. I, Apollo, the Greek god of the sun, medicine, poetry, truth, archery and music was late…again. To top that off, the horses of my sun chariot had slept in as well. This honestly annoyed me. It happened every winter and this made the mortal humans think that it was normal for the sun to rise later in the winters. This made me skip almost the entire northern hemisphere and leave it dark for me to catch up on time.

My horses woke up around the same time as me, which was quite late. Almost 6:00 AM, which is ridiculous for the sun god. I quickly transformed my sun chariot into my favorite, Porsche mode. My sun chariot transformed itself into a Porsche 918 Spyder, while my hoses were the tires. All this was possible thanks to a little modification from my half-brother, Hephaestus, the god of Fire and blacksmiths. I quickly revved my engine and rose over Japan, making sure to fly higher to gain speed, thus making the mortals feel colder.

I was passing by Greece when I spotted Epirus, also known as the doors of death or The House of Hades. Out of the doors came the Minotaur, the half-human half-bull monster. He was as unclean and smelly as always. I could almost smell him from here. I hate some of these monsters. Horrible tastes for music and absolutely no talent when it comes to archery. I pulled out my bow and fired towards him at pinpoint accuracy. As expected, the arrow went right through the gap between his fingers and cracked the rock behind him. He then roared and started to chase me.

“That all you got beef brains?” I taunted. Roar again. Athena needed to spend some time and teach these monsters to at least speak. As the goddess of Wisdom, it was sort of her domain. I eventually lost beef brains after I crossed the Atlantic.

In a short while, I was landing off the coast of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, I was the only one doing my job today. Today was a new moon so my twin sister Artemis would not me driving her moon chariot. As I was done with my sun rounds, I teleported myself to Mount Olympus, the home of the Greek gods.

Tonight, was the winter solstice. The winter solstice was one of the annual meetings of the gods of Olympus. I walked into the Olympian throne room. It was a huge white room, surrounded on all sides with Greek columns. There were twelve massive thrones, arranged in the shape of an Omega (Ω), the last digit of the Greek alphabet. All thrones, except one, were occupied by three-meter high beings sitting on them. The remaining one was obviously for me because, well, most important people last…right? I grew to my original height and plopped down on my throne.

My father, Zeus, slammed his Master-bolt on the ground. The Master-bolt was a two-meter long weapon, made out of celestial bronze, crackling with electricity and lightning at the tips. I like calling it the firecracker, lightning rod, electric toothpick and other such names. He then spoke in his ever so dictator voice. “Now that the unimportant person has decided to join us, we may begin our meeting so I can get to more important things later on”, he said in his oh so annoying voice. For further measure, he slammed his Master-bolt on the ground once again and sat down. The rest of the Olympians and I rolled our eyes.

The solstice meeting went on for another four hours. Most of the gods zoned out, while some stared into space. The only ones paying attention were my father and half-sister Athena. My twin Artemis rarely paid attention and did so only when it was her turn to speak. I sometimes wonder how Athena has such a long attention span. It must be from her mother Metis, no idea what she’s the titan of. The meeting ended abruptly when a Titan teleported right in the middle of the throne room. It was Prometheus, the titan of foresight.

Zeus immediately pulled out his lightning rod and pointed it at Prometheus. “How dare you”, he spat. Prometheus shrugged. “Oh! My bad”, he said, sarcastically, “the wrong destination.”

He didn’t teleport away though. He continued to look at us with an annoying smirk on his face. I was waiting for Ares to say something. “Hey sis”, I mind messaged my twin Artemis, “bet 50 drachmas on Ares opening his mouth?” I asked. “You’re on, gas ball”, she replied. She was one of the reasons why people think the sun is nothing but a ball of gas.

“What do you want? Scum”, Ares said. Artemis groaned and tossed me the bag of coins. Hermes and Hephaestus did the same to a smirking Poseidon.

“The Titan Pantheon is free”, Prometheus said. “I just wanted to see the look on your face when I break the news to you.” All of us gods groaned at this. This would be the second time the Titans were waging war on us. If Kronos, the titan of time, comes back, we would be in a tight situation. As far I knew as the god of truth, he was speaking the truth.

“You lie”, Artemis snarled. “Umm, Artemis, he’s not”, I mumbled. The others heard this and paled. Hephaestus rushed towards Prometheus with fat chains made of celestial bronze but he simply vanished from sight. We all paled.

A few months passed after our encounter with Prometheus. Today, was the summer solstice, and I was just starting my decent ever San Francisco when I looked at Mount Tam, I saw that there was no mist above it. Mount Tam is the mountain on top of which the titan Atlas stands, holding the sky on his back. Normally, the funnel of clouds that Atlas has to hold is covered by a thick layer of Magical mist that shields him from being seen by the mortals. The mist is all over the world and it prevents the mortal world from mixing with the mythological world and shows them what they think they see or what they want to see.

I transformed my Porsche back into the sun chariot and teleported myself to Olympus. Since my horses were close to the landing point, I knew they would be able to handle themselves. I appeared in the Olympian throne room and fired an arrow into the starry sky above. The minute the arrow exploded, thunder boomed and the rest of Olympians flashed into their thrones.

“There’s no mist around Mount Tam”, I said, still standing in the center. As usual, my sister, Artemis, didn’t believe me, thinking that it was a prank and decided to flash herself to the place. She reappeared on her throne, looking worried. “Apollo”, she said, “the mist isn’t the only thing out of place. Mount Othrys is rising once again.” The temperature in the throne room dropped a few twenty degrees, as we all paled. Mount Othrys was the Titan stronghold. The Titans were first children of Gaia and Ouranos, the primordial of the earth and primordial of the sky. Both Gaia and Ouranos were children of Chaos, the creator of the universe. There were a total of twelve Titans. Six guys and six girls. The girls were Metis, Pheobe, Themis, Thetis, Theia and Rhea. The guys were Oceanus, Koios, Krios, Iapetus, Hyperion and Kronos. If they were truly back, we were doomed.

“We shall close Olympus”, Zeus said. The other Olympians nodded but Artemis and I protested. “No way!”, Artemis and I said said together. “Excuse me?” Zeus asked in disbelief of the fact that we were not agreeing with him.

“You heard us father”, Artemis said. “You cannot close Olympus. It would just prove to the Titans that we are cowards. I also can’t leave my hunters alone.”

I stood up. “I agree with my sister”, I said. “I will not stand and watch while our demigod children are slaughtered while we hide away in Olympus. I will stand and fight with them. If we let innocents die in our war without us even taking part in it, we’re as bad as the Titans.”

My sister and the others looked at me in shock. I was not one to stand up for myself or ever say something such as this. I was surprised, myself. Poseidon nodded, “I agree with the twins. I am also afraid that there will be an attack on my underwater kingdom. It was now three against nine.

My father, Zeus gave me a cold glare. “Are you sure?” he asked. We nodded. He then nodded and said something I thought I would never hear. “The three of you are then banished from Olympus until it is reopened. Apollo, for comparing us to the titans, I hereby take away your godhood. Begone mortal”, he said and flicked his hand. The others gasped. I felt my domains over truth, poetry, archery, medicine and music get taken away. At the same time, my domain over the sun flared, literally. My entire body erupted into yellow and white flames. I know understood what true power was.

“I am not under you control”, I said to my father, Zeus, “I am Apollo. I was the chosen heir of the sun”, I said, my voice deadly calm. “I was chosen by the people of Earth and my predecessor Helios, the titan of the Sun, the son of Hyperion and Themis. I am Apollo, the son of the Titaness Leto and grandson of the Titan Krios, Lord of the South. I am the god of the sun, medicine, poetry, truth, archery and music. My godhood is my rightful domain and I claim it as my own and I accept full power over it. I swear upon my existence to be responsible with my domain of the sun. I accept the roles of the god of the sun and I will use my domains to do only right and bring a balance to this universe.”

When I finished speaking, a sun appeared above my head. It was so bright that the Olympians had to squint even with their super vision. I had just been claimed by Helios. So far, I was the god of the sun but I had never fully accepted the responsibilities of the god of the sun. I had now been blessed by the last of the essence of Helios. The Olympians all looked at me in awe. All accept Artemis, who was glowing like me with a silver aura. She repeated the same lines as me but with moon instead of sun and Selene instead of Helios. The two of us then summoned our chariots. Our horses kneeled before us and raised their hooves, neighing. I then got into my chariot. Artemis did the same, while Poseidon nodded to us and dissolved into sea mist. My sister and I then drove off into the night sky together, the sun and the moon, side by side. We glowed together. We had just made our first intentional eclipse. The other times, it was just her racing me.

We continued racing each other, causing eclipses all around the world, until we arrived at Delos, our home. It was the place where our mother Leto gave birth to us. Here, no one could harm us and it was also the place where we were the most powerful.

“We should be safe here”, Artemis said. I nodded, “Yep”, I said.

We proceeded towards the house there, when there was a blinding flash of light, which revealed our mother Leto, our grandfather the Titan Koios and grandmother the Titaness Pheobe. They all looked around the same age as us, which made it slightly awkward, but we smiled and hugged our mother nevertheless.

We then looked at our grandparents wearily. They had after all fought against us in the first Titan war. “Don’t worry”, our mother said. “They are peaceful now. Every Titan has now returned and have all become peaceful.”

Koios nodded, “But our brother Kronos still hates the Olympians, the two of you excluded.”

My sister and I shared a look that only twins share. We then proceeded to tell them everything that happened, starting from me waking up late to the point where we left Olympus along with Poseidon. The narration went pretty smoothly, apart from the expected interruptions from Artemis, when she commented on my laziness in waking up late and when it was her turn to narrate.

Our mother and grandparents had a hushed conversation among themselves, before turning to face us. Pheobe then spoke, “You two should come with us to Olympus, where we claim our innocence”, she said.

Artemis and I looked at each other and shrugged together and teleported all five of us to Olympus, where the summer solstice was still in session.

Artemis and I sat on our thrones and conjured up three chairs for the three Titans. Artemis then spoke, “We have proof of the Titans’ innocence”, she said. Zeus then gestured for us to speak. We then told them everything, with Leto, Koios and Pheobe adding tinny bits that we didn’t know. When we were done explaining, Zeus shook his head in the stubbornness that all his children inherited from him. “I will not allow the Titan Pantheon to reign along with Olympus”, he said.

Pheobe stood up and nodded, “If we cannot convince you, nephew”, she said stressing on the word, “then I suppose my sister could”, she said. She then shot a beam of light into the sky, causing the sky to rumble and lightning to flash.

“You dare use your powers in my throne room?” Zeus thundered. “You will not call me anything other than Zeus”, he said, to which Pheobe just smirked, challenging him.

He would have kept on going, to which I would have intervened, but there was a bang on the throne room doors and they flew open, revealing an extremely angry looking Titaness Rhea, queen of the Titans.

On seeing her, Zeus paled and shrunk down in his throne, beads of sweat forming on his brow.

He then started to stutter, “M-moth-th-ther.”

The other Olympians had to stifle their giggles, while the other children of Rhea jumped off their thrones and hugged her. Even Poseidon and Hades, as the Mommy boys teleported into the throne room and hugged their mother.

“S-sorry m-mother”, Zeus stuttered. He then cleared his throat and banged his firecracker on the ground. “Let there be peace”, he boomed.

His dramatics had no effect after everyone saw him stuttering under his mother’s gaze.

The gods then erupted into their true form, which was pure light and flashed away to tell their children that they were now at peace.

It was now time for sunrise and I took off in my chariot, which looked extra shiny. I couldn’t help but think that I should wake up early in the winter. The sun then rose over a new world and a new day. One without unnecessary quarrel and bloodshed. A world of peace.

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More english story from Arvind ashok .