Prologue

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On that day, the earth shook, and so did the heavens.

When he stormed the Great Palace of Olympus, marching up to his brother's throne—never kneeling before it—there was a great earthquake along the San Andreas, at the same time a minor tsunami scraped a tiny Japanese fishing town, at the same time an old man looked over Cape Cod and said to his wife, "The waves are a bit high today, don't you think?"

And there on Olympus, the pantheon shuddered. For if Poseidon was angry, he would not rest until they were all angry with him.

"Finally returned to your post, have you?" said Zeus, resting his crowned head upon his palm, watching his brother with narrow eyes. Poseidon stood in the center of the marble walk, his arms folded across his chest like an insolent child's. Quite frankly, Zeus often saw Poseidon as an insolent child. It didn't help that he preferred to wear a young man's face, the carve of his jaw suggesting a mortal age no greater than 25. "Had enough of dilly-dallying with the mortals?"

Poseidon dipped his head. "I can't go back there."

"Heavens, no," said Hera from beside her husband, with a lazy toss of her hair. "You wasted enough time—"

"No, Hera," said Poseidon, his teeth gritting, hair turning a dark blue-black, the color of the wrathful sea at night. "You misunderstand me. I cannot go back there at all. My human body—it has been murdered."

A hush fell over the hall, followed immediately by the murmur of distressed voices. Zeus's eyes traced the various reactions of the gathered: Artemis nervously fiddling with her necklace, Hermes blinking in shock, Athena's face a frightening calm.

"In cold blood, by some prideful mortal," added Poseidon, spitting the words out as if they were poison. He still remembered the knife in his chest, leaking ichor down his shirt, a final cry of anger that left his throat scraped dry.

"Can't you just make another?" Ares offered, stepping forth, Apollo's sunlight glinting against the many war medals he wore round his throat. "Humans are disposable, naturally. No one will notice that one of them is gone."

"But you know the rules," snapped Poseidon, tossing his arms wide. Below, the earth gave another frightening heave. "It takes centuries to build up that much of a presence, this day in age. Perhaps in the days of Alexander it would have been so, but so much has changed since then."

The room fell into a grim silence once again, save for the seething rhythm of Poseidon's breath.

Athena lifted her head. "Without a human form, belief in you might fade," she said, and though Zeus watched her with eyes sparkling, Poseidon only scoffed. "What a bitter end that would mean for you, Uncle. What will you do, then?"

"There is only one thing to do," said Poseidon, and as he did, he grinned. "Hunt down the one who killed me, and hand her a fate worse than death."

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