Andromeda: Queen of Monsters | Teen Ink

Andromeda: Queen of Monsters

February 26, 2015
By EvangelinaGrey SILVER, New Braunfels, Texas
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EvangelinaGrey SILVER, New Braunfels, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
They don't know that they don't know enough to know anything.

A thunderclap jolted Andromeda into consciousness, but she slowly drifted back into darkness. In those few seconds she realized she was numb from the cold wind blowing on her wet body.
How am I alive?
The storm clouds overhead were bigger and darker than any she had ever seen before. Zeus was very angry.
Because I’m alive.
She felt she was in purgatory for a never ending time. Then, breaking that purgatory, something warm touched her cheek, sending a shock through her. Her body suddenly felt weightless, as if she was flying.
Now I’m dead.
She flew for a long while. She thought about all that she was leaving behind; her friends, the castle, her parents… her parents.
Her Father who condemned her to death. Her mother who did nothing to stop him.
Something stirred deep inside Andromeda, a newfound will to live and a rage that could not be tempered.
I am going to live, Hades. Leave me be.
Let me tell you a story about a hero with a heart of darkness and a villain with a heart of gold. You decide who’s who.
For centuries the Olympian gods would have children with mortals without consequence. Their children usually grew up to be heroes or celebrities of an almost ridiculous magnitude. However, the more that they were held above mortals, the more it became apparent that nothing they did would ever put them on par with their godly parents.
Above humans, but below gods. The demigods’ mindset began to develop to think that they deserved their own higher place in the world that they were born into, that they should be hallowed as gods on earth.
When the kings of Greece, of course, refused to let that happen, the group of demigods decided to achieve their goal by force. They called themselves the Argonauts.
Over the course of eight years, the Argonauts (though they never had more than two hundred soldiers) fought relentlessly in battles and killed hundreds upon hundreds of Greek soldiers.  Kepheus, the greatest of Greek kings, decided there had been enough death and called upon the gods to intervene with their children.
Zeus, king of the gods, had his eye on Andromeda, Kepheus’ daughter, her whole life. So when the king called out for help, Hera (Zeus’ wife) intervened. She screamed over her husband that if Andromeda didn’t die, Hera herself would rain wrath down on Greece. The king, desperate to end the bloodshed, complied and sacrificed his daughter to a horrific sea monster that lived hundreds of miles away from Greece.
But obviously things did not go as expected…

Andromeda stood looking over a map of the empty plains the army was camped in, writing down orders on parchment to give to Admetos. She wished she could go out and give the orders herself, but announcing to an all-male army that there was a woman in camp wasn’t the best idea, even if she was a queen.
I’ve come so far, she thought to herself. She recalled storming back into the castle five weeks after being thought dead. By that point she had been completely recovered and unharmed. Everyone thought that the gods had made her into one of them.
Andromeda slightly smiled.
Evidently Hera’s wrath on the kingdom wasn’t nearly as bad as everyone thought it would be. Hera had merely murdered King Kepheus. When Andromeda heard this, she mourned.
For three hours.
The truth was that her father’s death only made her plan a lot easier. All she had to do was release her newfound rage on her mother. It didn’t take much convincing to convince her mother to abdicate and give the crown to Andromeda.
The next step had been to convince the other five kings that she was more than a power-hungry brat. However, she easily gained their respect when she introduced them to the greatest weapon they could use against the Argonauts.
The looks on the kings faces when they walked into the abandoned (well, not anymore) prison and saw those things in cages had been absolutely priceless. Although before they were allowed to use them, Andromeda had one condition: that they never try to find out how she knew where to find and catch them.  It was a small price to pay for The Kings, but it was very important to her. She only wished she could've seen the looks on the Argonauts faces when they saw a dozen centaurs charging towards them.
That day had been Greece's first victory in the war. The centaurs were all killed, but not for many Argonauts were dead, injured, or at least dead tired. Then the soldiers would attack and for once the Argonauts had to retreat. A few more battles went like that. The Argonauts were attacked with hell hounds, Cyclops, and chimeras. Now here they were planning, what Andromeda intended to be, the last battle. She was going to hit them with the three worst monsters in the world.
She snapped out of her reflective state when all five Kings barged into the tent, Yelling and arguing. Andromeda raised an eyebrow but was not surprised; for this was a common occurrence amongst the male rulers.
Midas, known as the golden king, broke away and came over to talk to her.
"What happened?" She lazily asked.
He noticed her tone of voice, "This is no boring matter, Andromeda. The leaders of the Argonauts have asked for peace negotiations."
All of a sudden Andromeda was alert. Peace negotiations were not something you do usually expect from a gang of vile warriors like the Argonauts. She charged past Midas and jumped right into the yelling argument.
"I’d believed they were too barbaric for a solution of this kind!" Exclaimed Minos, known for his brilliance.
"Peace might not be the nature of why they called this meeting," Responded Admetos, The oldest and wisest of the king. Indeed, wise he had to be, to be able to thwart all the lethal protests many had to his long lasting rule.
"But what would that be? This whole situation is completely out of character. They've never negotiated at all for anything!" chimed in Andromeda.
"That's not entirely true, they did negotiate at first," contradicted Midas. After Andromeda, he was the youngest ruler, in his mid-thirties. He was infamous for his legendary talent to turn anything he touched into gold. He only kept himself from doing so by wearing gloves made from thin gold thread, which he never removed.
"That was not negotiating; that was extortion. Although, I do you suppose that in times of war negotiating and extortion become the same thing," responded Sisyphus, The most vindictive and cunning king.
"They must be doing this because they know that they are not indestructible anymore. I suppose that throws their ideology of gods on earth out the window, those arrogant idiots." Offered Tyndareus, the greatest mortal warrior in all of Greece. It was said that his sword was a gift from the god of war himself.
"Exactly! They must think that they have no other choice," said Midas.
"But to throw in the flag right before battle? I would have thought that was beneath them," said Minos.
"We have to stop assuming we know how they think. We thought we knew before and then they decided to conquer us," countered Admetos.
"Let us just agree that it is safe enough to go out to the meeting, "said Sisyphus.
"Yes, we'll do it, but we must have the soldiers ready to attack on the chance this doesn't go well," said Minos.
"Not to mention, those psycho hags should be ready to attack as well," added Tyndareus.
"Alright, it's settled. Someone send out our acceptance!" said Andromeda.
The plain was still and quiet as the leaders of both armies gathered to decide the fates of hundreds of soldiers. They all only stood within earshot of each other, not daring to be any closer.
The representatives for the Argonauts were Jason, the leader of the Argonauts, and Perseus, his lead strategizer. They were accompanied by their greatest warriors:  Heracles, Theseus, Achilles, and Atalanta. All, apart from Atalanta, were sons of Zeus; made obvious by their striking blue eyes.
“No going back now,” whispered Jason, “this has got to be the most suicidal idea you’ve ever had. It even tops the lion fiasco!”
Perseus responded with a slight nod of his head. He wasn’t even going try to placate this plan. It could mean his life. Never the less, it was the best chance they had. They couldn’t take another blow like they had in the four previous battles. It was either surrender or change the stage of the war.
Perseus scanned the five kings that stood before him and his comrades. The one queen, however, was not present. She must have been back at her castle, all safe and snug as she must’ve been during all the previous battles. The kings at least fought their battles, but no one had ever seen the mysterious Queen Andromeda. That is, except for Perseus…
“State your cause for this meeting,” shouted Admetos.
Jason drew up to his full height and took a step forward, “We wish to put an end to this bloodshed. “
King Minos dared to laugh, “Lately most of the bloodshed has been on your part. Who says we want it to stop?” He glanced over at Theseus, who had been fuming ever since he laid eyes on the King. In fact, a storm was now brewing overhead because of his anger. Everyone was well aware of the history between Minos and Theseus. Theseus had won the king’s challenge- to slay a Minotaur in an underground maze- and therefore the hand of Minos’ daughter. Long story short, Minos made sure that the marriage didn’t happen and his daughter was now married to the god Dionysus.
“I agree with Minos!” shouted Tyndareus, “You wicked people thought to conquer our cities! And you killed hundreds, even thousands of our men! You have simply been given what was due.”
At that remark, Achilles had to hold back Heracles to keep him from charging towards Tyndareus.
Sisyphus stepped forward. “Enough!” he shouted, “Jason, we once spoke on good terms. Allow us to do so once more.”
Jason’s jaw clenched, but he nodded. He then glanced over to the sixth figure that had joined the kings that no one had noticed until now. This new person was completely covered with heavy black clothing, including his face. Yet he was familiar to the Argonauts, for he had been in the battles they’d fought for the past two years. He tended to stand out amongst the traditional Spartan warriors.
Jason decided to ignore him. “There has been plenty of bloodshed on both sides. What we want is for there to finally be peace in a way that is beneficial to all of us.”
Sisyphus studied him suspiciously, “’beneficial to all of us’?”
“Yes.” Jason glanced back at Perseus, who nodded.
“I propose a marriage between my best man, Perseus, and Queen Andromeda.”
Silence. No one made a sound and the soldier in black stood more still than ever before.
Then King Admetos roared with laughter. His companions and his enemies all looked at him as if he were mad. When he finally got a hold of himself, he responded that they would talk it over and they would have their answer within the half-day. All the other kings agreed. They mounted their horses along with the black soldier and rode back to their camp.
“Well,” Achilles said after a moment, “I suppose that’s that.”
“We. Are. Doomed.” Atalanta finally spoke.
“I need a drink.” Perseus muttered.
Andromeda charged into the main tent, a chorus of arguing men behind her. She tore off the heavy black cloth from her head, letting her white blonde curls fall to her waist. She slumped into a chair and absorbed herself into her thoughts.
She had never expected this.
She had never planned for it; never even considered it a possibility; never even gave marriage one shrivel of a thought! She poured herself some wine and moments later poured herself another.  Then she stood and insisted to the men to let her speak.
“Hypothetically, if I accepted, all my reasons for doing so would be justified. No more of my men would die and we could declare victory. But what reason could they have to do this? It makes them look like complete cowards! They’re surrendering and right before battle no less so-“.
“So I actually think it’s very simple.” Sisyphus interjected, “Albeit very clever.”
“Care to elaborate?” Andromeda asked with growing impatience.
“They’ve been almost totally defeated on the battlefield.” Admetos answered, “So now they’re changing the field, making this a political game.”
“Of course,” Midas said, “Perseus would become royalty. He could slowly work his way to getting his comrades positions of power too.”
“Well, that took -what? -five minutes to figure out.” Minos said, “They can’t honestly think that we’d be stupid enough to not see right through this. Let’s send the monsters out right now and have this war be done with that way.”
“They obviously don’t realize how involved in the war Andromeda actually is.” Midas held up her head-cloth for illustration. “They probably think she’s a spoiled brat, sitting pretty in her palace. Nonetheless, she’s still a queen; she still has power.”
Andromeda realized what he was getting at. “They- he intends to use me as a pawn.”
“Then they’re still idiots.” Tyndareus said. “Let’s end the war here and now! We have every advantage!”
A scream unlike anything they’ve ever heard before rang through the camp. They all crouched down, struggling to block their ears off from the sound. The soldiers themselves shouted and wailed outside the tent. Behind the scream, Andromeda could hear the sickening sound of bodies being torn apart along with maniacal laughter and the unmistakable sound of… hissing.
After the scream faded Andromeda cursed profusely and yelled, “The Gorgons are loose!”
The kings scrambled to their feet and unsheathed their swords, blood dripping out of their ears. The monarchs charged outside into chaos. There were already dozens of statues of soldiers throughout the camp, but while Medusa generally gave a clean and painless death, her sisters were not so merciful.
As Andromeda ran through the camp, Midas beside her, she saw the bodies of the poor soldiers who were far too near Euryale (the second eldest of the Gorgons) when she released her lethal bellowing scream. They weren’t hard to pick out; they were the only ones that weren’t torn to shreds.
They came into the clearing in the camp where the Gorgon sisters stood. They averted their eyes as their presence was noticed.
“Look at me, child.”
Andromeda winced. She knew who was speaking so she obeyed and raised her eyes to the eldest Gorgon sister.
Stheno stood taller than any man in the camp. The living snakes that slithered on her head were always hissing. She bared her fangs in a vicious smile and her eyes were ever filled with bloodlust. Her already filthy dress was covered with blood, as was the rest of her body from tearing men limb from limb.
Andromeda fought to keep her expression emotionless, though she wanted to whimper in fear, wail at the loss of her men, and pull her hair out in anger.
But the monsters had been amused enough.
So Andromeda took a few steps forward and merely frowned in disappointment. “You would’ve been so useful. You would’ve won me the war.”
The Gorgons barely to c*** their curious heads before Minos stepped into the clearing and brought down his sword into the ground and three bolts of lightning struck the sisters down. Tyndareus trudged into the clearing as well and swiftly decapitated them. As Andromeda approached the corpses, she noticed that the snakes were still flailing and hissing.
“How many do you estimate are dead?” Midas inquired.
“I’d say around a quarter of our men, maybe a little less.”
Midas and Andromeda sighed and cursed at the estimate. Tyndareus followed suit and stabbed Euryale’s head for good measure.
Minos continued. “Admetos and Sisyphus were able to keep the rest of the men from entering this part of the camp.”
They all stood there in silence, staring at the heads, for a time.
Until Midas spoke up, “I do love weddings. They always have enough wine to make a small river.”
Andromeda couldn’t disagree. She herself was in desperate need of some liquor at the moment.

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