Later that night, Hestia knelt before the Olympian Hearth, holding vigil over the vibrant flame as she always did. As she meditated, concentrating on keeping the protective shield around the hearth, she began to see something in her mind. An image was forming in her head as though she was watching it being painted on a canvas. A huge city, set on an island, stood ablaze and crumbling. Every moment that passed, more of the city and the island itself sank into the sea. She knew this island to be Atlantis, the home of the only people known to have magic aside from the Olympians. The island her brother had mercilessly destroyed in order to set himself and his family as the gods, insuring that no one would be able to rival them. She wished the image would go away…she hated what her brother had done that day…she wished it wasn’t as recent as it had been…
Suddenly, everything zoomed in, as though she was thrown into the city at full speed. She was running through the streets and her whole body was in pain. No…this couldn’t have been her. The gods didn’t feel pain like this. She looked down to see a little boy’s head resting on her shoulder. He couldn’t have been more than a few years old. She was holding the boy (who appeared to be asleep or unconscious) as she ran. She had to protect him. She didn’t know why, but she felt the determination rising in her heart. Even if she didn’t make it, the boy would. Dodging falling debris and fires in the streets, she finally made it to the docks. She found a small boat and quickly got onto it, setting the sleeping boy down on the floor of the boat before quickly raising the sail and making her way away from the island. As they floated away, she watched Atlantis fall into the sea, never to be seen again. Then she collapsed on the floor and blacked out.
She was jerked again, like a hand was pulling her by the neck of her dress and slowly the boat, with its two passengers receded into the distance. She realized then that she had seen the demise of Atlantis through the eyes of one of its people. She had been inside that woman’s mind and had essentially BEEN her. Again, she was pulled, over the vast sea to the shore she recognized as one near her temple. She slowed down enough to see wreckage on the shore in the distance. It was the boat she had seen the woman and little boy escape on. It had clearly been tossed in the seas and was no longer able to be used. Where were the survivors? Had they really come all that way only to die on a foreign shore?
Hestia’s vision blurred and when it had cleared, she was staring up at the ceiling of her temple. The flame had given her another vision and the force of it had apparently knocked her unconscious. But she quickly got to her feet. She had to find those survivors. The flame had given her that vision for a reason. She quickly made her way out of the temple and out of the sleeping town, down to the shore a few miles away. Frantically, she searched the shoreline, looking for the wreck she had seen in her vision. She finally found it near the sharp rocks of the cliffs. She ran over to it and threw aside splintered pieces of wood. Her heart felt sick as she found a limp hand sticking out from under the boat. No. There was no way they were dead. She prayed silently to anyone listening but her brother that she wasn’t too late. Using her power, she lifted the wreckage off of the body and threw it aside.
Underneath the wreck, the woman from her vision laid, on her side with her eyes closed, arms around a bundle of what looked to be the remains of the sail. Hestia’s heart sank as she took in the paleness of her skin and the lack of heartbeat. The woman was dead. Why had the flame sent her a vision of this survivor if she was only to find her dead?! As she sat there, kneeling in the sand, she noticed movement in the bundle of fabric that the woman had apparently died protecting.
Her heart stopped. The boy. She had almost forgotten that there had been two survivors. Quickly, she dug through the torn fabric until her hands brushed soft skin. Gently pulling the remains of the sail off, she pulled out the boy from her vision. His eyes were closed as well, but the shallow rising and falling of his chest told her that he was still alive, if only barely.
There was a crack of thunder and rain started pouring down. The sound and the cold startled the child and he woke, crying. Hestia glared at the sky, knowing for a fact that her brother was behind the noise, and gently rocked the child, trying to soothe him. She had to get him inside at least. He was cold to the touch and his breathing was still shallow as he cried. Now she realized why the flame had granted her this vision. She was supposed to save this child, and save him she would. She quickly wrapped her cloak around him and made her way back up the shore, only looking back once at the woman lying on the beach before making her decision.
She quickly called fire from within and burned both her and the wreckage away, then called a favour to Demeter, allowing a small patch of heather grow in the spot where the woman had been. She bowed her head and silently promised the woman that she would protect her child and that she would insure that the woman was allowed into the Elysian Fields when her soul made it to the Underworld. It was sadly, the most she could do for her. But somehow, through the boy, she felt feelings of immense gratitude and assurance that her actions were more than enough. Then, there was a great moment of calm and Hestia knew that the woman was now at peace.
She sighed in relief and quickly hurried back to the temple. Her work wasn’t done until she saved the boy.
Hestia froze in place as she heard the voice in her mind. She didn’t recognize it at all, but at the same time, trusted it immediately. “His name is Tristan.”