Jason meets Hera

(CHIRON exits. The POET enters in a spotlight.)

POET
So Jason climbed the sacred mount where he made his sacrifice to the goddess. And then, before him, upon the holy altar, he witnessed a sight of surpassing strangeness — inexplicable and unreal, unlike anything he had ever seen before.

(SFX: cymbal crescendo. Lights up on HERA standing on the god platform. She is dressed like a stylish, 21st century businesswoman and is talking on a cell phone. JASON kneels on the platform steps.)

HERA
(speaking into a cell phone)
Well, you just tell her to do it, girl — no ifs, ands, or buts. She has to learn. It’s a dog-eat-god world out there — god-eat-dog, god-eat . . . god-eat-god? How does that saying go?

JASON
O most holy one!

HERA
Hang on, sweetie, I got another call.  (She presses a button.)  This is Hera. Hello? Hello?

JASON
Hello?

HERA
(still on the phone)  Hello? Who is this?

JASON (doubtfully)
This is . . . I am Jason . . . s-son of . . .

HERA
Who?  (She finally looks down and is startled by the sight of him.)  Oh! My goodness! You nearly scared the immortal life outa me.  (Eyeing him closely)  No, it can’t be! Hang on a sec.
(She presses a button and speaks again into her phone.)
Athena? Well, you’ll never believe it . . . No, it was an altar summons . . . Yeah, a real mortal. And get this, he says he’s Jason, can you believe it? . . . I know . . . I know! . . . Well, I’ll find out. Hang on.
(to JASON, who looks very confused)
So, you say you’re Jason, huh?

JASON
O most sacred one, you speak so strangely . . . I know not how to —

HERA
C’mon c’mon, cut to the chase. Are you really Jason? My Jason?  (leadingly)  Son of . . . ?

JASON
Son of Aeson. My father was slain by my uncle Pelias, who usurped the throne that should now be mine. I . . . I come to thee, holy one, seeking thy counsel.

HERA
So it’s really you!  (into the phone)  It’s him. I’ll call you back. Ciao.
(She disconnects the call.)

JASON
When shall you “call me back,” most holy one?

HERA
I wasn’t talking to you.
(JASON looks behind him to see who she was talking to. HERA snaps her fingers.)
Hey, hey, over here. Don’t go crazy on me, Jason. Now, you want revenge on Pelias, right?

JASON
I . . . I guess so.

HERA
Sure you do! Your uncle’s a creep! He stole your kingdom! He murdered your parents — and he did it in my temple. Your mother claimed sanctuary, but he came right in, bold as brass, and put her to the sword. That’s why I took you. I had to intervene. I saved you so you could go kick your uncle’s sorry keister outa that throne. Got it?

JASON
But, holy one, could not you, with one thunderbolt, strike him down yourself?

HERA
Thunderbolt? You mortals — always with the thunderbolts. Well, forget it. That stuff’s dangerous and expensive. We gods try not to get too mixed up in human affairs, y’ know. It’s just not worth the aggravation. But this is different. Now are you gonna take care of that rotten Pelias or not?

JASON
If it is thy will, holy one.

HERA (impatiently)
It is!

JASON
Then I shall do it.

HERA
Good! Jeez, it’s like pulling teeth.

JASON
But how?

HERA
How? I don’t know how. Go to Iolcus. Go up to your uncle. Demand what’s rightfully yours.

JASON
Will he just give it to me?

HERA
Sure! Maybe. Okay, probably not.
(Her cell phone rings. SFX: piano plays a standard ringtone.)
He’ll probably challenge you to a duel or something.  (She looks at the display.)
Oh, it’s Zeus, what does he want.
(to JASON)
Look, I gotta take this. Go to Pelias. Accept his challenge. You’re young and strong — I’m sure you can handle anything he throws at you. Call me when you get there. I have confidence in you, Jason. Don’t let me down.
(She presses a button and speaks into the phone with false cheeriness as she exits.)
Zeus, darling! I’m so glad you called! . . . What? Really? Oh, how exciting!

(Lights dim on JASON as he descends the front steps of the platform. Spotlight comes up on the POET.)

POET
Armed with the counsel of the goddess Hera, Jason returned down the mountain — his eyes filled with wonder, his heart filled with doubts, his brain filled with questions, his lungs filled with air. You name it, Jason was full of it.

(Lights up on JASON and CHIRON as the POET exits.)image001

JASON
So, basically, I’m supposed to go to King Pelias and demand that he give up his kingdom.

CHIRON
Really? That’s all she said?

JASON
Well, she said I’ll probably have to go through some kind of challenge. A duel maybe, but I’m hoping it’s more like a written test or something. And she said some other stuff, too, but a lot of it was pretty weird and didn’t make sense.

CHIRON
As I said, the ways of the gods are unknowable.

 

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