Artemis was stumbling down the stairs. Half of him wanted to believe these tales that the human girl had told him. The other half of him said that it was all a lie.
"Why can't I remember?" Artemis asked absentmindedly.
Because it's too painful for you to know, a voice said in his head. Why do you think I didn't remind you of those memories? I was trying to protect you, Artemis! Why won't you listen to me? Heartbreak and pain are all that will await you at the bottom of those stairs.
Artemis shook his head. He was having a conversation with himself, a self that had evaded the mind-wipe and knew everything. A self that was almost omincient with knowledge, a self that was nearly crying with depression. A tortured self.
"What's so painful about those memories? Why can't you trust me with them?"
Aren't you listening to me? Look at what I am, Artemis. Those memories nearly killed me. Keeping you away from Apollo is the best thing I could ever do for you, the voice replied furiously. It killed me then, it will kill you now! You could never know the real meaning of pain unless you saw what they had done to you...
Artemis furrowed his brow. "Trust me," he replied calmly. "Those memories are a part of who I am. I'm older now. I'm stronger now."
Stronger because you haven't seen these things!
The voice ran a tough argument. Artemis so dearly wished he could know more. The beautiful girl was in danger, and he didn't know if he could really trust her enough to save her life. Butler would only back away from his duty unless Artemis called him off of it. "Do you want her to die?"
Apollo? the voice sighed. I almost wished she would die again. I thought she was dead. You don't know how much this hurts me.
Artemis pondered these words. Again? Apollo had died before? "Please let me see," Artemis begged. "I need to know."
Fine. Before I show you these, I must tell you to brace yourself. It will rip your heart out, Artemis. And before I show you your past, I want you to know this: You will have them for a limited time only. I will take them away from you again when it gets to be too much. If you can handle it, you may be able to keep them for as long as you live. Remember that.
Artemis felt as if he could see for the first time. Memories that had been kept under lock and key for so long finally burst forth with a vibrant energy. Artemis could see Apollo resting her head on his shoulder. Best friends. He could see Ivy thanking Artemis for saving her life. He could see Colten, the centaur who gave him a second chance the boy didn't deserve.
And then the nightmare started. Apollo's body was falling towards the earth. Ivy and Colten, hand in hand, were flying after her. Sobs racked Artemis' body. The voice was right. It was killing him, ripping him from the inside out. To see his only friends falling to their deaths...And a useless death. A death that served no purpose. They died for an empty cause.
A moment later, Artmemis was submerged back into reality. "Apollo," he gasped. "She's alive!"
He ran down the stairs at full speed, and saw her in the foyer. Butler had not killed her. Before she could object, he wrapped his arms tightly around her in a hug.
"Artemis," she gasped. "What are you doing?"
Artemis could feel tears streaming down his face. "I'm not losing you. Not again."
p.s. Okay, this is probably something I should know...Who is Turnball? Refresh my memory, please!!! Wasn't he the guy that got the dart from the finger shooter stuck up his nose? Which book can I read up on him?
[b]Knight of the Invisible Table
<watch it! Best show ever!