Metanet Presents:


Swifty: Yo! Girl chic, it's nice you rang.
Ody: It's so kewl having a chance to chat. I've always wanted to meet you.
Swifty: Me? You just know me from all the trouble I've gotten into. ;)
Ody: The heroing business hasn't been very open to women. It must have been even tougher in your time.
Swifty: I must admit, I never thought about it much. But you've got to remember that I was raised by a she-bear.
Ody: Was that difficult?
Swifty: Not really. Old Rowlers taught me a lot about being myself, and enjoying here and now. Of course she wasn't just any old bear. She was a manifestation of a spiritual being. Artemis sent her to take care of me.
Ody: You were lucky. I didn't have that sort of help to begin with. My parents were pretty traditional.
Swifty: Yeah, but my dad had to abandon me first to die because he really wanted a son. It was when I went more than half way across the world and back with Jason as an Argonaut, and proved that I was almost (his opinion) as good as having a son that we finally became reconciled. It also didn't hurt that I helped kill the Calydonian Boar.
Ody: That's true. My pop and I had our share of disagreements, but he has always loved me and always stood by me. Eventually, he let me have the crown.
Swifty: So in a way, you're the lucky one.
Ody: You're right. I should know better than to talk of luck. I just feel like Fortune has turned per face from me lately.
Swifty: Been having a hard time? :(
Ody: Holy Zeus, I have lost many people to horrible deaths and it has been years since I have seen my beloved Penelopos and our daughter, Telemakhe.
Swifty: I can let you in on a few secrets that might help you feel better, if you promise not to tell.
Ody: Sure, what secrets?
Swifty: Some secrets to do with metempsychosis.
Ody: Metapsy...what?
Swifty: Metempsychosis. It's this thing where every person who has ever lived goes through some processing concerning their experiences during earthly life. They then have their personalities washed away in the river Lethe and then head back to earth to be born in some woman.
Ody: What!? You mean you don't just hang out in Tartarus or the Elysian Fields for the rest of eternity?
Swifty: No, no. It would be terribly unfair to eternally punish someone for finite sins. I've got a caseworker right now helping me to develop elements of my next life: what things I can improve upon, how I can be of service, what sort of purposes I'll have. That sort of stuff. I also know I'll be some female called Cathy Freeman.
Ody: And what about Elysia?
Swifty: Everyone gets to go there eventually. You can either stay there, or sometimes people like to go back in order to show off how together they are to their friends on earth.
Ody: That sounds like some flaky Middle Ages stuff I've been hearing about.
Swifty: Yes, but for Elysia's sake you're sitting in Pluto's domain talking to me, Atalanta. How flaky is that? The point is that your people are fine. They will probably be given very happy, boring lives next time around.
Ody: I suppose I should be reassured. But I still have a long trip ahead of me in order to be with the family I miss. Even that disagreeable old pop of mine. I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't have all been easier if I had just been a proper woman and housewife.
Swifty: Did you ever really want to be a proper woman and housewife?
Ody: No not really.
Swifty: Well, then.
Ody: *sheepish grin* Thanks for the chat. I hope we can do it again some time.
Swifty: Sure thing, girl chic. *hugs* BFN!

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Copyright © 1998 Katherine Phelps