Zoe Foreigner and the hydra’s tomb
“I know, it’s here somewhere” Zoe muttered as she examined the wall of the old room with the help of a ball of light conjured by her phone. Dust and cobwebs obscured the writings making it near impossible to decipher some of the symbols. Luckily, she wasn’t dumb enough to touch any of them without reading them first. “Death by pit, death by javelin, death by fire, death by excrement, death by oil, death by fluff, death…death…. death…” she muttered as she examined each section of the massive room’s circular wall in excruciating detail. She was wearing a pair of glasses that pulled a digital rendering of each symbol of the wall and ran it through her phone’s translation app to give her an approximation of what each said.
Zoe was by no means an archeologist, in fact she had been forced to pay a very arrogant one to get her this far. She’d groan more about the four grand upfront she had paid for him to bring her here but the fact that he himself was a small pile of gold dust seemed punishment enough. “Ah here we go, she said finally, death by curiosity and natural causes.” she ran her fingers over the letters and just like before a three headed dragon head popped up. Only this time a wall section fell away to reveal a hidden staircase.
They glowered down at her and boomed in unison, “You have trespassed into my domain mortal, prepare to meet your…”
“Wait…” said the head on the left. “I thought this was the correct answer we were doing now?”
“Why didn’t you say that before we started recording Darrell!” snapped the dragon in the middle rolling his eyes. “Screw it, it’s not like anyone will ever see this one anyway and I don’t want to record this again.”
“But isn’t that kind of rude to whoever does see it, I think we should rerecord it. What do you think Daryl?” said Darrell to the head on the right.
“You’re always a perfectionist” complained Daryl, “Let’s just get this over with, it’s the last one anyway.”
“Oh, would you two shut up!” snapped the middle head.
The one on the left dropped its head in embarrassment. While the right head just muttered, “Loud-mouth Larry always had to have the last word.”
Larry sighed, “Alright, let’s just do this….”
All three sets of golden eyes turned back to Zoe as they boomed, “Congratulations, you have been wise enough to choose the death guaranteed to any mortal. Proceed with caution and claim your prize. Although this is a merely a projection of our will you may now ask any questions you have.”
“So, your names are Larry, Darrell, and Daryl?” Zoe asked.
Larry shot his other heads a filthy look before saying, “We are the immortal hydra! Destroyer of…”
“Yeah, yeah, I get that but seriously?” Zoe interrupted.
“Look,” Daryl said, “our head splits off and we become duplicates of the original head, but that doesn’t mean we’re all one mind.”
“Though I kinda wish we were!” interjected Darrell, earning him a cringe from the other heads. He ignored them and continued, “We’re like different personalities of the same being, different sides of a large dice if you would.”
“And it’s annoying as hell, so if you don’t have any real questions than we’re done here I think.” Larry finished as the projection began to fade.
“No wait!” screamed Zoe bringing them back into focus, “The artifact at the bottom of those stairs does it work on humans? I mean all that knowledge but can it really tell me how to do what I’m trying to do no matter what.”
All three heads shrugged and said, “How should we know you’re the first to ever get this far.”
Zoe shoulders dropped at the lousy response. “Well thanks I guess?” she said then stepping over the pile of gold dust that had been her guide she ventured down to collect her prize.