The Greek Pact

In the time of the ancient Greeks, the rule of gods and goddesses was undoubted, but as time has gone on, the more the unearthly rulers and their epic abilities seem to be legends. In the age of modern technology and science, realism is preferred widely over mysticism. Yet the gods and goddess are real, and as the people of the world lose faith in their existence, their power starts to dwindle.

To save himself and his fellow gods from being forgotten completely, Zeus, the king of Olympus, enlists the help of a very select group of demigods. These demigods, called the Protectorate of the Divine, were chosen to reinstate the reign of the Greek gods. A majority of demigods will never find a place on the Protectorate, and young Arian Delatorre, daughter of Hecate- goddess of magic, witchcraft, ghosts, and the undead- has been told again and again she could never be a Protector.

Ari despises the haughty Protectorate and sees no reason why they should be superior to the rest of her kind. When she is forced to team up with the Protectorate and a ragtag group of your "average" demigods, saving their celestial parents from becoming nothing but a dream becomes the least of their problems.

The Greek Pack-- Book One-- A Protectorate of the Divine (POD) novel


2. Chapter One

One thing I hate more than anything: crowds. Yet that day I was standing smack dab in the middle of the biggest gathering of people I've ever seen. Why? Because all demigods between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one were called upon by the Dodekathon to witness the selection of the Protectorate of the Divine, a council of demigods selected by the twelve major gods and goddesses to save themselves- and us, so they said- from becoming the stuff of fairytales. I didn't even know why I'd bothered to show up. The Gods know I'll never be on that podium. Someone like me, I've been told all my life, will never amount to anything. I think I came because I didn't believe them, not for one single solitary second. The grand pillars of the open theater I stood in loomed above, and slowly the gods and goddesses began to appear. A cold sweat ran down the back of my neck as I inched my way nearer. Not my best idea going there, being claustrophobic and all. It felt like the people were closing in around me, squeezing me into oblivion.

"Breathe, Ari." I craned my neck to look at the boy standing beside me and offered him a weak smile. For years, Indigo Laurence, son of Iris, has been my best friend. The two of us were nearly inseparable. With all the time we spent training and studying together, we might as well have been family. He gave my arm a light squeeze, and I tried to relax as we pushed closer to the front. Indy was obsessed with the idea of the Protectorate, making people believe in the gods again. I didn't blame him. The title definitely had its appeal, but as much as he hoped, the deciding members wouldn't choose him or me as their candidate. Ares, Apollo, Athena, Aphrodite, Poseidon, and Zeus were the six charged with picking and announcing the Protectors.

Ares would choose one of his children surely, and Apollo one of his own- and so on and so forth until all six Protectors were selected.

"Indy," I hissed as someone barreled into me, nearly knocked me to the ground, "What are we doing?"

"Oh c'mon," he chuckled, lacing my arm with his and dragging me after him, "Don't you want to be able to say you were there when the gods chose the first Protectorate?"

"No, not really," I grumbled, but he ignored my warily made comment and forced his way to the front. I felt like a rag doll being flipped and tossed and pulled in every which way... all at once. Zeus and Hera stood at the middle of the congregation, hand in hand, smiles plastered on their celestial faces. If only they were the happy couple that they portrayed themselves as... we all knew Zeus's habits. Their relationship was hardly that perfect. As we all patiently waited, more gods began to appear.

Aphrodite was the first, and no one who laid eyes upon her could deny that she was the goddess of beauty. Her fine golden hair was braided and fell almost to her knees. She wore a soft pink gown and a crown of white lilies, regal and majestic as expected of her.

Aphrodite was followed by Poseidon. The god of the sea's dark chocolate colored curls were unruly and adorned with a golden crown. He carried his trident in one hand, approaching his brother with a wide smile that crinkled the skin around his nose.

Apollo and Athena arrived together, deep in discussion about something. It seemed Athena was winning the argument. Her hair was pulled back, highlighting the soft round shape of her face. Her sharp gray eyes traced over the young sun god with humor. Apollo, on the other hand, was much less amused, his full lips drooped into a frown. He tinkered with the laurel he wore on his head, which had wispy pieces of auburn colored hair twisting around it, as he bid the goddess of wisdom adieu and took his seat on the other side of the area.

The last to arrive, making his grand entrance, was Ares. He was fully cloaked in a suit of armor and a gaudy helmet with a feather plume to match. He nodded to Zeus as he sat, removing his helmet and revealing dark near-black hair and scruff to match.

"They wouldn't be so... daunting... if they weren't so perfect," I murmured nervously to myself as I watched Zeus rise to address us.

"Welcome friends," he grinned, his dazzling white teeth and ivory hair glistening in the sunlight, "The decision we came to on forming the Protectorate of the Divine was not one we made lightly. Today marks a new day, a new age for the gods of old. We will no longer be the stories told to children, but a reality to those whose ancestors worshipped us. Through the dedication of the Protectorate, we will once again reign over the human race." Whoops and hollers rang out from the crowd as Zeus beckoned Ares to stand beside him. "Each of my fellow gods," Zeus said, placing a hand firmly against Ares's back, "has careful selected a Protector to join the ranks of the Protectorate, and now, it is time to reveal their selections."

Ares smirked as he cocked his head toward Zeus, "Thank you for... that. After much careful deliberation, I decided there is no one better to stir belief in the humans that a son of Ares. With that in mind, my choice is clear. I nominate Dustin Carmichael to serve the Protectorate of the Divine." Loud cheering came once again, this time from the back of the group as a young man that looked to be the spitting image of Ares himself climbed the stairs to the stage, and raised his fist in the air as other members of the Ares family chanted his name.

I bet they started a fight somewhere in the crowd. I could hear yelling and cursing over the already loud chatter echoing against the stone walls of the stadium. The boneheads were always getting into brawls, guess that's how it goes being children of the god of war. Ares turned to the panel of gods surrounding him, "Those in favor?" Six firm nods gave him his answer, and as Dustin moved to the side of the theater, Apollo took Ares's place at the front of the crowd.

"When I think of a Protector," the sun god began dramatically, "a wide range of qualities come to mind. Bravery. Determination. Cunning. Devotion. My candidate, I feel expresses these traits above and beyond expectation. I nominate, with a clear and unbiased mind..." I watched as he glared over his shoulder at Athena and shook my head. None of them were "unbiased" about who they chose. "... Gideon Perry to serve the Protectorate of the Divine." I rolled my eyes as a familiar figure swerved through the crowd, the same person who nearly laid me out on my stomach earlier that day, the same person who lived across the street from me for years. Gideon Perry was something, but all those things Apollo spoke of? Doubtful. Gid waved to the crowd, his smirk playing in his light amber eyes, which offset the deep brown of his hair. "Those in favor?" Apollo questioned, earning nods from all but Athena, who sat solemnly in her spot with a glazed over expression.

Zeus looked over at her quizzically and shook his head with a sigh, "Majority rules." The longer I stood watching the ceremony, the more fed up I became with the gods' familial preferences. They were petty and uncalled for, but Zeus, oh mighty god of the gods, wouldn't do anything to change them. He was just as set on preserving his own dynasty. Apollo scowled at Athena as Aphrodite rose, walking gracefully to address us.

She cleared her throat, gazing softly down at us, "There are many powerful weapons in the world, but one's looks are a very dangerous and often overlooked tool. Many find striving for beauty to be vain and shallow, but I-" A soft giggle escape her lips, and she pursed them as her cheeks pinkened, "I offer a demigod that can use his allure to the advantage of the Protectorate. I nominate Zachary Hollis to serve the Protectorate of the Divine." I was awestruck by the young man that came to stand beside Aphrodite, placing his lips lightly against the back of her hand and grinning at the crowd with a sly wink. I'd met many children of Aphrodite, and all were beautiful, but never had I seen someone as breathtaking as Zachary Hollis. With his long blonde waves and dazzling clear blue eyes, it was like staring at the sun for too long... Zachary's beauty was blinding. My knees felt weak, and my body quivered, dreaming of how those lips might feel against my own. I was starting to drool over his angular jawline and high rosy cheekbones when Indy elbowed me in the rib cage. Quite hard, might I add.

"Oww!" I growled, sending Indy a nasty glare and crossing my arms in a huff.

"You've got a little something there," he teased, wiping at the corner of his mouth. Did I really!? My eyes went wide as I wiped furiously at my face, and Indy bent over in a fit of laughter.

"You dirty liar!" I gasped, playfully shoving him, "What the hell was that about?" He glanced over at Zachary, who'd now taken his place over with the other Protectors, and raised an eyebrow at me. "Oh crap," I mumbled, looking at the floor bashfully. How hadn't I seen it earlier?

"Yep," Indy said with a quick nod, "Good ol' Aphrodite trick. It's hard not to find them irresistible." I pouted a bit, frustrated with myself. Normally I could spot a glamour* (1) like that no problem, but clearly his was stronger than that of any love child I'd met before. Yet even when he wasn't using glamour, he was still mesmerizing. I was jolted from my daze by Indy's fingers snapping in my face. "Yoo-hoo," he waved his hand up and down in front of my face to be sure he had my complete attention, and I batted it away like some pesky bug fluttering around my face. "Good," he laughed, "She's back, ladies and gentlemen."

I punched his arm, glowering at him as if he were the bane of my existence, "Cool it."

He shrugged his shoulder softly, "Sorry... I just wanted you to know that Athena's up. Oh, and you missed Ares reject Aphro's choice, Poseidon too. It was perfect. They were staring at her like her she was a complete and utter airhead for her selection." Surprise, surprise. Ares didn't think beauty was a weapon, so he was appalled by Zachary's appointment to the Protectorate. Couldn't imagine any other reaction from him, and Poseidon... well, I'm sure that Zach just didn't float his boat.

"But majority rules," I puffed, "so Zachary's in."

"Yeah," my best friend grimaced beside me, "Unfortunately."

"In every successful venture, there must be balance. Balance which can only be gained through strong thoughtful leadership," Athena spoke calmly, and her voice carried as if she were speaking directly to each demigod in the hushed dome, "Wisdom offers leaders great opportunities and burdens them with the weight of great responsibility. I trust that it is common knowledge that no child is greater equipped to lead sensibly than a child of Athena. For this reason, and this reason alone, I nominate Jasper Yang to serve the Protectorate of the Divine."

Athena was the only of the six I trusted to make her decision based on what she deemed best, so her selection didn't faze me as some of the others had, but Apollo was flaming. Not literally, but how cool would that have been? He was furious, especially after being called out by Athena. "Those in favor?" she asked, not bothering to even pan her head to look at Apollo, whose features twitched with frustration. All the others nodded, and Athena sent Jasper, who had silently appeared on the stage, on his way. I hadn't even noticed the quiet son of Athena make his way there. He stood tall, adjusting his glasses and looking confident and sure of himself. His aura wasn't overly self-assured, but more knowing as he nodded to his godly parent and joined Dustin, Gid, and Zach.

Poseidon sauntered casually to the front, looking laidback and carefree as he began, "The seas are a wild and restless place, impossible to tame, yet they have a comfortable sameness to them. The flow of tides, the sound of waves crashing against the sand- these things are constant. With the strength and durability of the sea behind her, one name came to mind as I searched for a candidate. Rhia, darling." He reached his hand out to a girl in the front row with short spiked brown hair and dark eyes. She took his hand, allowing him to pull her up. "I nominate Rhiannon Corday to serve the Protectorate of the Divine." Rhiannon bowed deeply, like a queen to her subjects. After all, her name did mean queen. "Those in favor?" Poseidon watched the other gods as he gave Rhiannon an assured nod. The daughter of Poseidon was quickly accepted, which left only Zeus' choice to be revealed. It was as if time and sound were standing still, as if Chronos* (2) himself put our lives on pause. The only sound I heard was the frantic beating of my heart and my heavy breaths. The final member of the Protectorate of the Divine.

"Pull yourself together, Arian," I whispered, the sound barely reaching my ears. I focused on Zeus's slow approach to the front of the group, Hera walking alongside him.

"With the help of my beautiful wife," Zeus wrapped Hera's hand in his, and the goddess smiled, "I have selected a hero worthy of joining the Protectorate, a strong soul determined to reverse the fate befalling us."

"With that," Hera took over, scanning the crowd for someone. The corner of her lips turned up as she found who she was looking for, "We nominate Tesla Bastille to serve the Protectorate of the Divine."

"A daughter of Zeus," Indy's eyes met mine as a girl with purple and red streaked platinum blonde hair pulled up into a chaotic ponytail stood in front of Zeus and Hera. "Those in favor?" Zeus's tone challenged the other to deny Tesla, but if they knew what was good for them, they wouldn't. Tesla's nose ring and assorted ear piercings caught the light as the gods deliberated, Aphrodite cringing at the girl's look. "Well?" Zeus asked impatiently, his stare touching the soul of each god and goddess there. Five nodded in agreement, only leaving Aphrodite. She gulped at Zeus' menacing expression. Tesla was going to get into the Protectorate without question... Zeus would ensure that. Aphrodite nodded feebly, averting her eyes from Zeus's gaze with a gasp.

"Children of the Gods," Hera waved her hand toward the previously accepted Protectors and placed her hand lightly on Tesla's shoulder, "the Protectorate of the Divine!"

Google Defs! ;)

1) glamour- for my purposes, glamour is a talent often held by children of Aphrodite; the ability to make one's self appear more attractive to others.

2) Chronos- the Greek god of time

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