Athena

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If a child is raised to believe one erroneous thing her entire life, would she be blamed for her ignorance? If those around her knew that their logic was wrong, yet still continued to perpetuate falsehoods, would the child be considered innocent? I found myself asking these questions and more as I gazed upon my niece. She had known nothing but the world Zeus had built around her and yet a part of her knew that her father wasn't telling the truth. As I thought about my niece's predicament, Athena had her brow furrowed and gazed at me in a mixture of anger and confusion. 

"What do you want to know?" I asked as Athena paced. 

"Anything. No, wait. Everything. Start from the beginning and tell me all you know. Hera was willing to kill you to silence you so there must be some truth to your words," Athena explained.

"Hera is not your mother, is she?" I asked, noting the obvious distance between the young jinni and her matriarch. 

"Is it that obvious?" Athena smirked sarcastically before sitting down across from me on a small boulder. "What are you? Who are you and what secrets do you know of our queen?" 

"I don't even know what I am anymore," I sighed before glancing at my hands. It was true for the most part. I wasn't like my kinfolk and I wasn't like the humans. I was different, an outsider looking in. 

"You're someone worth killing and in my years of experience, that means you know too much," Athena pointed out. 

"Years of experience? I pity the years you have known, Athena. You've known nothing but lies, deceit, and violence. Your father continuously calls you gods, yet he kills his own. If we are so superior, why would he stoop to the level of "humans" and kill his own kind?" I asked with a scoff. 

"You have such disdain for him. What has he done to you for you to hate him so?" Athena asked with a frown as she glanced at her own blade. 

"He perverted my people. He destroyed my community and he killed my loved ones. I have no sympathy for him," I whispered simply. I could see Athena lost in thought and decided to ask her a question that now bothered me. "You're called the goddess of wisdom, aren't you? Why forsake your family? Where's the wisdom in that?" 

"Family? Do you think that mess on Olympus had any characteristic of a family? I believed in my father. I believed in his message, but now-," Athena paused as her head shot up quickly. 

"What is it?" I asked and listened to our surroundings. 

"Ares. He must have followed me. I will join you later," Athena growled and took off in a flash. I marveled at the young jinni's speed as she ascended towards the heavens and watched as another streak of light raced into my field of vision and followed Athena. I sighed and was about to head back towards the community when I heard a familiar sound of metal slicing through the air. I instinctively fell forwards just as a blade sliced into my former seat.

I scrambled to my feet and looked behind me in time to see Zoe standing there, her face set in a frown. She held up her sword and looked dead at me before whispering,

"I knew you were one of them. How could Mother have been so foolish?" 

"You were eavesdropping," I stated the obvious.

"No, I was being cautious and I was right. I knew we couldn't trust you. You're some outsider with a strange flame. That's all you are. Did you really think I'd let you harm the few of us that know the truth?" Zoe scoffed. 

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