It had been days since Hade's visit, but Fabio could not erase the gods words from his head. Elysium. No Cavitto he knew had ever been there, but Hades had his own herd, and they had suffered no harm from being in hell, had they? Had they too been banished like the Cavitto who called Olympus their home? Too many questions and no answers.
Rustling in the undergrowth alerted him moments before a dog bounced out to yap at his feet. Fabio snarled at the dog, warning it to stay away from him. The dog seemed oblivious to Fabio's unfriendly response and gave up to bounce away, its ears flopping around its head as it went. If there were dogs around then there would be humans, and that was the last thing Fabio wanted or needed. He set off at a careful trot away from the direction of where the dog had appeared from, half closing his eyes and lowering his face to avoid branches and twigs hitting him. By the time he slowed his pace the dog and its owner was long left behind. Leaving the edge of the woods for a moment Fabio found the landscape quite different from what he had previously seen in this new land.
Small groups of houses nestled in the valleys, and the wide open spaces were fenced off by low stone walls that created a pattern of coloured shapes as far as he could see. Fields of sweet barley and wheat, deep green grass that herds of cattle waded through with not a care in the world. The open spaces posed a problem, he would have to be careful to avoid detection. He skirted along the edge of the woods as far as they went then navigated his way over a fallen stone wall along the edge of a series of wheat fields, the scudding clouds overhead dappling the sea of stalks to faded bronze colours.
The next clump of woodland lay stranded to the north west leaving Fabio with a choice to zig zag aimlessly across the fields or to head straight across them. Feeling a prickling across his back like somebody or something was watching him he took the former option, sticking close to the verges, ditches and stone walls that marked each fields boundary. It took him longer, but there was nothing else pressing for him to be doing, so by the time he reached the woods once more he was glad to slow down and rest, cropping at the grass and taking his time to drink his fill at a pond that was filled and emptied by a tiny brook.
Reluctant to spend another night trudging through the darkness he found a hollow by some old trees and settled himself to doze in the last of the evening sunshine, rousing himself every so often to pick a few more mouthfuls of grass from the banks around him. The brooks gentle babbling and the trees rustling in the breeze above calmed Fabio more than he realized and before he knew it he was asleep.
How he slept with his mind so mixed up he could not fathom but he knew it must be so because before him stood Zeus, just as Hades had done days earlier. The god was unmistakable in both his statuor and the power that emanated from him. Fabio bowed humbly to his maker.
"Olympus my Lord, no harm has befallen it?" He asked before Zeus could speak.
"Olympus is safe, but my Cavitto hath betrayed me, and I am heartsick by it."
"How my Lord? How could we have betrayed you? We are loyal! We are your servants, ever at your side to do as thou shalt bid!" Zeus frowned at Fabio's words, shaking his head sadly.
"Not true, and I will not speak of those who have rent mine heart and betrayed mine trust."
"So its true what your brother said. We were cast out of our home, because of the actions of another? Out of love!" Fabio uttered, shocked by what the god told him. "I did not dare to believe that he might speak the truth. I did not dare to think.."
"All Cavitto have borne the punishment of banishment. I made you all to be above such things." Zeus said sternly.
"All my life, There was only ever obedience, a desire to please my goddess, to help her in all that she might do when she claimed me for her herd. How can you have punished all innocent Cavitto for the crimes of so few? When did love become a crime, when all we have ever been taught is to love without division or prejudice?!"
Fabio quieted knowing his very words could be seen as disobedience but the rage he now felt could not be contained, and Zeus talked about them betraying him!
"Though impertinent in your manner, your words ring truth, and my disquiet with mine first actions are reflected in your response. Hades, ever at odds with my purpose has offered for you to find your way to Hell, therefore, I give you this chance. Prove to me your loyalty and I will show you the way home to Olympus."
"How, how am I supposed to be able to do that? You took from me my heart and reason for life." Fabio said bitterly.
"You are Cavitto. I did not make you to give up so easily when faced with a challenge surely." Zeus chided him. Fabio didn't reply, he didn't know how to reply. Vaguely he wondered if he were to be smited by Zeus in his dream perhaps he would die in the waking world and end up in hell regardless.
"If your aim was to make all Cavitto feel as heartsick and betrayed as you yourself feel my Lord, then you have done so in great fashion."
Zeus in return said nothing and turned away from Fabio as if to leave, but Fabio turned more quickly and stood before his god, his head bowed low in earnest.
"I beg you, stop this banishment. Bring us home, punish only those who truly betrayed you. Our foals are innocent! They will never walk Olympus's halls or taste its sweet grass, they will never know the love of their brothers and sisters, or their gods and goddesses. Please!"
"I will not undo what I have wrought. This has made me see that even gentle creatures of Olympus can be duplicitous. Therefore, all must show their loyalty to me to be allowed to return."
With that the great god Zeus disappeared from sight and Fabio woke to find the cold hard rage in his heart had been set fresh alight.