I'm not a herder


"Do I look like a damned herder," Heracles asked to no one in particular.

When Heralcles returned with the girdle of Hipolyta, he was told to retrieve the cattle of Geryon. Another far off journey. There was nothing special about the cattle. Hera simply wanted him to cross the Lyrian desert, an inhospitable desert with heat unbearable. A desert that was said to be hot enough to drive men mad. It had taken a toll of Heracles and especially Azeus who was just a man and did not have the same godly protections.

"Who the hell does he think he is," Heracles continued his tirade.

"The King. He thinks he's the king with the divine backing of Hera. You know this. You have three tasks left. Complete them and kill him like you've done king after king," Azeus mumbled.

"Speak up, if you have something meaningful to say," Heracles stopped walking so he could turn and face Azeus.

"I said complaining doesn't help at all."

"And what exactly have you done that I could not do without you?"

"When I decided to follow you, I thought you were a legendary hero. Now I see you are nothing but a drunken ass."

Heracles grabbed Azeus by the neck and lifted him into the air "Who the hell are you to speak to me in that manner," Heracles demanded to know, but he saw no fear in Azeus' eyes.

Azeus was no longer the unwanted boy following Heracles. He was a man now. He had tasted battle, he had laid with women and men. He had faced down with beasts of myth and still he stood. His tall lanky frame had been filled out with muscle during the journey and he had gained wisdom from minds that had lived centuries. As Heracles gripped him by the neck he did what he thought was best. He slammed the heel of his foot into the bridge of Heracles nose. It would not hurt the God but it would be enough to shock him. Heracles threw Azeus to the ground. He drew his sword and prepared to swing at Heracles.

"Do it if you are man enough," Heracles stated calmly.

Azeus rushed forward and swung the sword, only to have his entire body smacked aside and folded by a single blow from Heracles massive forearm. Heracles drew one of the Hydra's poisoned arrows and aimed it at Azeus. Ready to end it all in the desert. At the last moment he stopped he and aimed his arrow at the sun before firing. The two stared at each other, not sure who would make the next move.

"Who is shooting arrows and are you ready to die," Helios appeared.

Helios was the God who traveled around the world each day, carrying the sun behind his chariot. Heracles arrow had nearly struck him, and he did what any person would do. Seek to learn who would try to kill a God.

"I am sorry, it is just so damned hot," Heracles apologized, not bothering to take a knee.

"Oh, it's you Heracles. What are you doing out here?"

"I must cross the desert and retrieve the cattle of Geryon for King Eurystheus."

"Oh, you're still doing that? Apollo told me you had been manipulated by Hera. I just didn't know you were still doing this. It's been a couple years at this point right?"

"Indeed."

"Oh, that's terrible. Borrow my chariot for the day. I'll just pull the sun myself like I used to. Good luck," and with that Helios was gone as quick as he arrived.

"Get in Azeus, let's go," Heracles called out. Using his name for the first time in this journey.

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