Chapter XI: Sabotage

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Cornelia's feet stuck to the floor held there by industrial Roman Cement. Her suspicion laden eyes immediately dropped to Hades. He looked up at her paralyzed, still pinned helplessly to the floor. She shook the terrifying feeling Medusa's words had created in her mind that sank deep into her core. "What do you mean?" Her voice trembled as she directed the question to Medusa.

Her eyes again fell to Hades. Her vision softened as her mind faded back to the warm summer night in the field of pale asphodel flowers. She smiled remembering how his heart broke for those who were mourning. Her heart fluttered in blind reassurance, and her soft voice gained strength as she whispered. Her eyes narrowed on Medusa visage. "I do not believe you."

"Believe what you will snakelet. Your road ahead is not an easy one." Medusa loomed above Cornelia's crouched and helpless form supported only by paralysis and her sword.

Cornelia's cheeks were still wet from tears she did not know she had shed. She looked around at her companions. All of them helpless, all of them paralyzed. Cornelia chastised herself for letting down her guard. I should have been stronger. How could I let Medusa manipulate all of us with so little effort? They were all helpless under the power of Medusa's song, and she knew that they were at her mercy. All Medusa had to do now was steal their shielded glasses, and they would all turn to stone.

Terror for her friends consumed Cornelia "If you release them, then you have my word. We will not imprison you." Cornelia's voice shook with pain and fear. She cursed herself for the terrible decision; but, she could no longer stand to see the people she cared for remain in agony.

"Very well," Medusa said and walked carefully around them to the door of the ship. She sang one more time in a beautiful jubilant melody, and then she vanished.

A heavy sigh emitted from the group as they felt their bodies collapse to the ground. Relieved silence ensued then followed by a slew of cursing from Artemis and Apollo. Cornelia remained frozen in place, a hateful and ominous feeling coursing through her veins, as she stared at the spot where Medusa had been standing moments before.

Hades scrambled up from his position and launched himself at Cornelia; he covered her with his body he holding her tightly. After several moments she began to fear her breath. She gasped and pushed hard against him. "I'm fine!" She squeaked to regain her voice.

His eyes searched her face for reassurance, and then ever so delicately he released her. She got up and ran outside. Searching desperately for any sign of the Gorgon. She ran around the forest with her ears perked as she listened intently for any sign of a song or melody.

All she heard was Artemis calling her back to the ship. "She's gone. She stole Apollo's badge."

Hades walked out and stood beside Artemis. A look of vengeance and triumph crossing his features."No matter." Artemis stared at him mouth agape. "we can track her that way!" He patted her on the shoulders gleefully.

"Not until we get back to the S.S. Olympus, and by then she will be long gone and will have ditched the device."

Cornelia looked back at them helplessly. Guilt coursed through every fiber of her being. The Gorgon was loose, and it was her fault. "I," She stuttered. "I am so sorry."

"You had no choice." This time it was Apollo. Desperate sadness crossed his features as he looked forlornly into the depths of the forest around the ship. "She was not meant to be tamed."

"Zeus is going to be furious," Cornelia whispered demurely.

"Only if we return without her," Artemis assured her. "That just means we do not go back empty-handed. Come on. Let's see if we can get this hunk of junk to turn on and track her from here."

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