Suddenly, Ales crashed through the sturdy wooden table. Knees first, he slammed through the table, collapsing onto the packed, dirt floor. Blood seeped slowly out of the corner of Ales mouth. His head throbbed as though a thousand firey blades were penetrating his cranium. Even his muscles ached and screamed in pain as he lay there, dirt settling eerily around him.
Ales groaned quietly, allowing his head to sag back onto the dusty floor for a brief moment. That toss had hurt. No one ever threw Ales around. He was the strongest man he knew. His biceps flexed three times larger than those of an average man. He could shoulder a small oxen with ease. On a bad day, he stood almost as tall as a temple pillar. Ales towered over average men. He was so close to god-like that mortals cowered away from. Perhaps it was the blood of Zeus that mixed in his veins that gave Ales his Herculean appearance, or perhaps it was his hatred for his mother's curse that forced Ales to build himself up out of spite. Regardless of the reasoning as to why Ales walked three times broader and a foot taller than the average man, he was a force to be reckoned with and any stranger could see that... or at least most strangers could tell Ales was a force to be reckoned with. This new stranger, the town's champion, who had just tossed Ales through a wooden table, obviously had not noticed that Ales was not to be disturbed or irritated.
Frustration growing, along with the pain blossoming in his lower back, Ales slowly rose to his feet. The town champion, shocked that Ales was still breathing-let alone standing, turned to face Ales. The two men stared one another down, sizing their opponent up. The spectators who had been cheering but a moment ago held their breath. All was still. All was silent.
Ales punched the man. A guy wrenching crack followed by the man's blood curling scream rang through the air. Ales' opponent crumpled to the ground, collapsing in a pool of his own blood. This time, unlike Ales, the opponent didn't rise. He stayed collapsed on the ground, not moving an inch, drowning in his defeat.
The crowd roared. They all rushed in on Ales, cheering him on. Their champion had been defeated, Ales was their new idol. He was bigger and stronger than their last hero and they adored him for his strength. They threw flowers upon Ales blood speckled sandals. They roared his name so loudly that the arena seemed to shake.
"Ales! Ales! Ales!"
He was their hero. He was their champion. He was their god.
For a moment, Ales purpose for visiting this fighting town faded from his mind. He nearly forgot about his goal: to find his sister, Calliope, and eventually punch Zeus square in the face. Ales vengeance faded from his mind. Nothing mattered. He was beloved. He was adored by the town. They were cheering for him, praising him. He could stay here forever, forget about locating his sister, seeking vengeance on Zeus, and finally setting his mother's soul to rest. He had everything he needed right here: glory, adoration, love.
There he stood, teetering on the edge of giving up his aspirations, and then he saw her: Calliope sitting calmly reclining on one of the arena's chairs. He remembered why he was here in this town: to find her
Three hours later, Calliope was reclining at a different wooden table, one that hadn't been shattered by Ales' fall, sitting across from Ales himself.
"So you're telling me," she spoke slowly, "that you and I are half siblings, children of Zeus, and you walked all the way to my town, from over a thousand kilometers away, to find me?"
"I've been told that you are one of the few children who knows how to find our dear old dad, Zeus. Let's just say... I have something
to give daddy dear that needs to be delivered in person."
"So you have a grudge with the old man?" Calliope asked dryly, seeing straight through Ales cover story.
"More or less." Ales admitted.
"I'll make you a deal." Calliope proposed. "You get me out of this blood thirsty town and I'll show you exactly where to find Zeus."
Thus the union of two children of Zeus was formed. Calliope and Ales left to find Zeus, aided by the cover of darkness, later that very night. The pair set out for the golden archway, a secret staircase within a week's walk that would take them directly up into Zeus' heavenly palace.
Seven fights, six talking snakes, five hours of Calliope complaining, four sleepless nights, three sibling arguments, two heart to hearts, and one week of adventures later Calliope and Aires finally reached the golden stairway.
"So this is it, huh?" Calliope said as the pair stood on the bottom step of the Golden stairway.
"Yes. This is the moment of vengeance I've been waiting for ever since my mother's head was sliced off and bagged like some monster." Ales replied, a hint of sadness lingering in his voice.
" I wish you luck, brother. May your brawl with Zeus end well and bring you the contentment you seek." Calliope responded with a respectful bow of her head.
Ales nodded to her and hugged her goodbye before ascending the stairs. As he climbed the golden staircase, calliope turned back to the road. Ales was at the end of his conquest, but Calliope was happily off to find her life purpose.
Stair after stair Ales rose. With each step his anger towards Zeus grew and mounted.
Zeus seducing his innocent mother
Zeus not stopping Athena from turning his lovely mother into a snakelike beast
The taunts of "Medusa, Medusa, Medusa" his mother had endured by the men who came to slay her
His mother's bloodied head rolling into a bag.
Step, step, clang. Ales had reached the heavenly palace. This was it.
Subtly sneaking in through a window he had located, Ales entered the gods' throne room. There he was, perched cockily upon his golden throne: Zeus. With a mighty roar Ales charged at Zeus. The god barely had time to stand up from his throne before Ales had flung himself in the air, smashing his fist into Zeus' glowing nose.
"Agh!" Zeus yelled. In pain, he clutched his nose, stumbling back against his throne. As he held his wounded nose, bracing himself against the chair's mighty armrest, Ales continued to pummel Zeus. Of course, without the element of surprise Ales was no match for the king of the gods. Ales may have been a walking god among mortals, but among immortals he was nothing. With a snap of his mighty fingers, Zeus vanquished Ales.
Thus was the end of Ales. His life has drawn to a close. Though he had lived but 23 mighty years, he had died content. His mother's slithery soul could finally rest for Ales had succeeded in claiming his vengeance. He had accomplished his one life purpose: to punch Zeus in the face.
Though Ales story is a short and violent one, it is one that Calliope would tell for years to come. She would tell of her bother's stubborn will, of his immense strength, and of his loyalty to the spirit of his accursed mother. Ales' soul has long since been handed by Zeus over to Hades and the underworld, but the story of Herculean man: half son of Zeus and half son of Medusa, will live long in the hearts of men, and in the heart of his dear sister: Calliope.