Fae: A Violent Birth...




Acropolis. How beautiful the structures gleamed in the floodlights that dotted the hill. Even for a permanent resident of Athens as himself, the majestic sight of the ruins of Ancient Greece never failed to take his breath away.

Of course, on this evening, the famous landmark’s beauty had considerably faded in the eyes of Inspector Jasper. Negotiating the winding roads leading to the hill in his car, he chewed thoughtfully on the filter of his cigarette, trying to figure out the age-old question of why someone would commit cold-blooded murder

Coming around the last bend in the road, police and emergency vehicles exploded into view, surrounded by crowds of curious onlookers. It was a fairly thick throng and would probably take some time to get through, so he parked on the outer fringe of the scene and opted to make the rest of the way by foot. An officer he was familiar with caught sight of the inspector and waved him through the perimeter, lifting the yellow crime scene tape for him as he past.

After a minute of walking, he found the one person he was looking for.


Junior Inspector Baptiste looked up, a look of surprise spreading over his face. “Alexander,” he greeted in kind. “What are you doing here? I thought you were off-duty.”

He waved a hand dismissively. “I heard the call over the radio,” he answered. “What do you have?”

His partner gestured down to the ground before him where a tarp covered the obvious. “Right down here,” he said flatly. “An American, 28 years old according to his passport. His name is Michael Aniston.”

Jasper knelt down and pulled the tarp back to where the body was exposed from chest up. He couldn’t help but shake his head in disgust and disdain; the victim had been beaten severely, with bruises and gashes covering almost every centimeter of his face and neck, and that was only from what was visible. No doubt, additional injuries existed beneath the sweater he was wearing. However, the most prominent injury of all was the horrific slash wound that extended from one side of his neck to the other, no doubt the killing blow.

“You said you found his passport,” he finally said. “What about a wallet.”

“None that we can find,” his partner answered.

“So robbery was the motive,” Jasper noted flatly. “Any witnesses?”

Baptiste motioned over to a pair of EMTs tending to a hunched form. “Just her.”

The inspector’s eyes went wide with realization. All at once, he forgot about the body he had been examining. “Oh no! Please don’t tell me…”

“His wife, yes,” came the obvious answer. “Talia Aniston. Age 25. She was found nude by one of the security guards. We haven’t been able to get a word out of her.”

“My God,” he swore softly.

“It gets worse,” Baptiste continued. “I did some checking at the hotels in the area. The desk staff at the one these two were registered at confirm that they were on their honeymoon.”

Jasper felt his gut twist, and for once knew the concept of indecision. Newlyweds on their honeymoon! It was something that he had never seen in his twelve years of service on the Athens Police Force. What could he possibly say to this woman that could offset the pain of that kind of loss? He had nothing to draw upon to even begin to try understanding the agony this woman must be going through. The indignity of **** was bad enough – to add the loss of her new husband set a new standard that he was not ready to tackle.

Perhaps there was nothing to say, but he sure as hell was going to do what he could.

“Make sure the American Embassy has been informed of this woman,” he finally instructed his subordinate. “Have her transported to Athens General as soon as possible. Then contact Dr. Eneas there and let him know that she is to be given the best private care he can provide. He owes me a couple of favors."

For Talia Aniston’s mind, the only salvation from sheer hysteria was the to focus on very little. She could see things out of the periphery of her vision, and knew that things were going on by the sounds her ears picked up, but her mind refused to completely process any of it completely. Such was the comfort of shock, a safety blanket if you will that the mind sometimes falls back on when it gets overwhelmed. She existed on a pure logical plain, refusing to feel anything and everything that might send her over the edge.

The most pertinent restriction of all was not to glance up, where no more than 20 feet away lay the body of her beloved Mark. Only two days earlier, she had experienced the sheer joy of affirming her love to him, taking the most kind and gentle giant of a man as her husband. And now he was gone, forever taken away from her in the prime of his life and the peak of their relationship.

Her thoughts drifted to the tragedy of it all. It was her love of Greek Mythology that had decided upon Athens as the venue of their honeymoon. It was her insistence on seeing Acropolis in the dead of night that had brought them here. It was her suffering during the **** that had probably forced Mark to not stand by, after a considerable beating and at knife-point, as he had been told by the trio of attackers. He had leaped to her defense, trying to draw her assailer off… and had paid the ultimate price.

Had she not been so exhausted by the attack and subsequent anguish, she might’ve shed a tear. Instead, the emotions sent her deeper into a state of catatonia.

But not enough to miss the metallic glitter at her feet. Summoning the strength to simply focus her eyes, she found herself staring at a silver chain with a small pendant. It was old judging by its faded appearance, and the etching on the pendant itself had an ancient appeal.

It looked like the numerous charms she had seen at the various tourist booths all over town, and those she had never given a second thought. Still, there was something unusual about this one that lay on the ground. Something that drew her to it.

She leaned down and hooked a finger around the chain, pulling it into her hand just as a policewoman gingerly tugged at her arm towards a waiting ambulance. On the pendant was a helmeted figure that she recognized at once: Athena, Goddess of war, wisdom, and justice.

All at once, she felt a buzzing sensation race up her arm, not enough to shake her out of her catatonic-state, but more than enough to where she noticed it. Immediately, the cold numbness left her body, replaced by a fiery sensation that seemed to explode from every pore in her body. She suddenly felt better. Better than she had ever felt before. Gone was the pain of the wounds and the dizziness of disorientation – she felt like there was nothing she couldn’t do. And even more so, she just felt the ability to do more than she normally could.

A flash of recollection came forth, incredibly fast. Mark… the wedding… the walk to here… the attack… his death. It all went by in a blur, but the images were crystal-clear. She saw the attackers flash by, and instantly knew who they were and where they were. The fire within seemed to well up to an inferno, consuming her being with two thoughts, both becoming her only desires for living.

She would find them… and she would make them pay.