"The Unsettling Son": On Mount Olympus, Apollo continues his torture of the First Born, demanding that the demigod swear loyalty to him. Even as the First Born's spine breaks again, he grins grimly in defiance.
- I'm wary of you, Amazon -- you and your loving submission. But I will lead your hunt -- because it amuses me to -- and in return, you will grant me a wish...
- — Artemis
Appearing in "The Unsettling Son"
Synopsis for "The Unsettling Son"
Meanwhile, the Amazon princess Diana returns to Paradise Island with Hermes for the first time since her sisters and mother were turned to stone by Hera as punishment for the queen's dalliance with her husband Zeus. There, she seeks guidance from her mother, though the woman cannot respond. Diana has lost the child she swore to protect, and in so doing, she has failed her friend Zola - who has gone as well.
Morosely, the pair return to Diana's flat in London, where they find Hera sitting in tears. Having been relegated to a mortal's life when her seat on Olympus was given up to Apollo, she has little experience with man's world. When Zola left, she found herself with nowhere to go. And with her sudden mortality comes the fear of death. Diana promises that by trusting in her own strength of character, Hera will overcome her fear. Worried, Hera wonders what happens when that's not enough. The question troubles Diana, who is doubting her own ability to find Zola and Zeke. Hera insists that Diana will find them, and she will help. Heartened, Diana responds that together, they will find some more help.
Zola and Zeke, meanwhile, are in the Provence with Dionysus, and she is relieved to have the chance to just sit and talk rather than be forced onto the roller-coaster ride that is life with Wonder Woman. Their dinner is interrupted by a visit from some of Dio's friends who have come to go truffle hunting with him - and Zola is invited.
Elsewhere, Cassandra and her men scour the Alps for any sign of divinity. Their objective is to find the location of Olympus to free the First Born and place him as the the new God. Their sensors begin to pickup Dionysus' signature, and a fainter one with him. Though he is not whom they seek, Cassandra orders her men to plot a course for Provence.
Despite the animosity between them, Diana seeks out Artemis in Siberia, hoping that she can help her hunt for Zola and Zeke. Because of Strife's power, their path has been hidden from Diana, but with Artemis' help, she might be able to track them down. Artemis is hostile, displeased to have been visited without invitation. Sighing, Diana removes her cloak and promises that she will exchange for the boon by offering a rematch. Artemis transforms into a fearsome bear, and soon grapples Diana into a submissive posture. The Amazon submits, and though Artemis is wary of that loving submission, she agrees to lead the hunt - if Diana will grant her a wish, to be revealed later. Slyly, Diana swears she will fulfill the bargain, having secretly got all that she wanted.
Further, Apollo taunts the First Born, demanding fealty, and in his weakened state, the First Born can only mumble his answer. Proudly, Apollo demands that he speak it loudly and clearly. In response, the First Born breaks free from his chains, wrapping his fingers around Apollo's neck and shouting that he will never swear allegiance.
As Dio and his friends lead Zola deeper into the forests of Provence, she grimaces when the others start removing their clothes. She realizes then that "truffle hunting" was a euphemism for an orgy. Uncomfortably, she proffers that she will take Zeke back to the villa, but Dio grabs her arm and warns that he promised her a truffle, and she will get one. Suddenly, the naked humans begin to transform into pigs, and Dio announces that they are now perfectly suited to finding truffles. Zola is horrified, and chooses to run, whether Dio cares or not.
Hoping to follow the lights back to town, she stops in her tracks when those lights turn out to be coming from Cassandra's ship, and as she disembarks, she orders her Minotaur to take Zeke alive.
- This book was first published on January 22, 2014.
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