By Athena

A distraught trans girl attracts the attention of the goddess Artemis, and is never the same.

This story gets a little lewd towards the end (this is the gay Artemis, not the ace Artemis).

It can also be found on Archive of Our Own (as there is a significant community of writing based in Hellenic myth there already, and I thought they might be interested).

I stormed out of the house into the woods. Of course. Of course they would…

I should never have told them. Why would they accept me? Why would I think that?

It occurred to me that going into the woods alone at night without my phone was a great way to end up lost and starve to death. It’s fine, the moon is dead ahead. Just, keep it there, then put it directly behind me on the way back. Right?

I walked for maybe an hour. Just trying to get away. Eventually I came to a clearing with a convenient fallen tree. I sat down hard and put my head in my hands to cry.

Now I was tired, dirty, scratched up, and at least some degree of lost.

It had to be an improvement, though.

I’d been sobbing for a while when someone touched my face. I shouted and jumped away, suddenly breathing hard with adrenaline.

A woman stood there by the rotting log, calmly withdrawing her hand. She was taller than me, with an impressive physique- and I forcibly stopped any further evaluation of her.

Who the heck are you‽ was what I meant to say, but what actually came out was garbled by surprise and the remnants of my sobbing.

Hello, Luna, she said. Her voice was gentle, but somehow held a note of restrained strength. She stood just right to catch the moonlight, and seemed-

Wait what.

How do you know my- How do you know that name‽ I winced at the pitch and timbre of my own voice.

She smiled kindly. How could I not? Her gentle tone had gained an edge of amusement. It’s so perfect, isn’t it? Named for the moon, rejected by society, out alone in the wilderness… I can’t simply leave you alone.

It somehow only just occurred to me that she was carrying a bow. And, though it was wooden, it seemed to reflect the moonlight better than metal, just as she did. She glowed impossibly, and she must have been the most beautiful person I’d ever seen…

You… I trailed off, then tried again. You’re… Artemis.

Her smile widened, gaining a mischievous tint. You’re quick.

I just stared.

I am the patron, she said, gesturing for me to sit again, of young maidens. And especially of those maidens who are outcast; who are different from what society expects of a young girl, or, as the case may be, she stared at me piercingly, who they think is a young boy My heart jumped in my throat. And while I cannot have them think to expect my aid, I do so enjoy seeing them overcome those expectations… And some of them have such potential for my retinue.

She had looked away into the distance, but now her eyes locked back on me. Some like you. My breath caught.

I forced out an answer, I… I don’t know what you mean, I’ve never hunted a thing in my life, I can’t shoot a bow, I-

Oh, no, she interrupted me. I require much more than just hunters. Camp attendants, trackers, cooks, healers, bowyers, fletchers, commerce, information, and many other crafts besides. The Hunt is a complicated operation. Especially with the prey I tend to seek… Well, would you like to join me?

I was speechless, staring at her for a while, before looking down at myself and back.

You have three versions of yourself, she eventually commented. Your ideal self you would be happiest as, who you pretend to be to meet expectations, and who you truly are today, which falls between the two, tainted by the pressures of those expectations. If you will serve me, I shall ensure you are yourself in every way, strip away all your preconceptions and complexes and give you a body that fits you and a self-image to match. I can guarantee your happiness. My eyes widened in amazement.

But. I do not do this out of sheer benevolence. The deal is, I will make you perfectly suited as my attendant. I will change you, body, mind, and soul. And after, it will be everything you could ever want. But it will not be exactly what you want now. You will be a different person. Immortal, and eternally happy as my attendant, but not the same you, nor that ideal self you could reach by your own efforts; I am sure she would be lovely, but not so well-suited to my retinue.

She fell silent again. I stared. I was doing that a lot. But… I would be…

A girl named Luna, living happily in the wild with me and mine forever, helping to keep the population of truly monstrous creatures at zero, and enjoying each other’s company. Which will be exactly what you want to be.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. As I thought about the offer, I realized she had already done something to me, mentally. The feelings of reverence, deference, fear even, that should be making themselves known in the presence of a literal goddess were there, but at a distance. Almost like they were behind a barrier of some kind, unable to affect me.

I had little doubt she could do what she was proposing. Existentially, it was more than a little disturbing, but…

You said… who I really am now, is different from my ideal self. She nodded. So, one way or another, who I am would change, and I would be happier. I can go one way for a long uphill fight against a medical system that doesn’t really want to help and a society that isn’t really ready to accept me, or… Why should I care about missing out on something I’ve never known? I won’t know the difference.

She smiled again and gave a slow nod. Others in your position have thought similarly. Are you certain? I will not be disappointed if you refuse me; what I am offering is no less than to obliterate who you are and who you want to be, for my benefit.

If I do refuse? I wanted to at least know.

I’m afraid I can’t let you remember this conversation in that case; I would erase your memory of it, and ensure you return safely. With my blessing I suspect you will someday achieve your ideal self, but it will be long, hard, and painful.

I… don’t know if I want to go through long, hard, and painful in return for… nebulous existential benefits.

And, she added, you would be turning down immortality.

Of course, can’t forget that.

How… big of changes would they be?

She looked me up and down. More or less, your body would be almost completely replaced. The broad strokes of your personality will be the same at the core, but society has instilled extensive inhibitions against femininity in you, and the consequences of their removal are drastic. Of course, to stay the course of more… mundane methods, you would eventually find yourself without them anyways. Your self-image will, like your body, be a near-total replacement; you will see yourself as Luna, no qualifications. I would make some significant adjustments to your temperament, preferences, attitudes, et cetera, to fit better among my retinue and incline you to make yourself useful in relevant ways, remove your less helpful habits and conceptions, and, perhaps most to your concern, instill a deep and exclusive loyalty to me.

I took a heavy breath. It sounded like a lot. But… So, not writing an entire new person over the top of me.

Nooo, she hesitantly began, but not too far short of that, all considered. Almost nothing of you would be unchanged.

But that would be true if I transitioned the other way, too. Just over a longer timescale. She nodded. I… may as well get it over with. I swallowed heavily, steeling myself with deep breaths. What… What do I do?

Stand. I complied. Wait. You will know what to do.

Nothing happened for a few moments. Then, the feelings Artemis had walled away suddenly burst loose, swelling in my mind as the raw presence of the being before me actually registered. My eyes widened, I inhaled sharply, and I fell to my knees, averting my gaze. I wasn’t about to try, but I doubted I’d be able to speak coherently, trembling as I was.

The sense seemed to push me to the edge of a yawning pit of oblivion that opened up in my mind, awaiting the entry of my consciousness. Up to the edge, but not over. She wanted me to jump in myself.

I shut my eyes, squeezing them tightly. Then, I let go of my self, pushing off into… whatever Artemis was about to do with me.

My eyes fluttered open as I woke quickly and completely. I was in a tent, laying on my back on a soft pad of some kind. I looked down and realized I was naked. Memories suggested that would have once alarmed me, but I trusted Artemis, and anyone she trusted in turn. Of course I did; she was my goddess. I would kill for her, I would die for her, if I could die that was. Which I didn’t know; it seemed I had not received any mystical infodump. I didn’t have any new knowledge of archery, either, but maybe it would come to me upon picking up a bow for the first time.

I got to my feet, realizing immediately that I was both stronger and far more dextrous.

Oh, and I seemed to be absolutely gorgeous. Nothing like Artemis, to my memory, but- A soft giggle behind me caught my attention as I looked down at myself in wonder. I whirled.

It was Artemis. Oh! I chirped, internally delighting at that first taste of my own voice. Lady, I-

How are you feeling, my darling Luna? I shivered with euphoria for my name and pride at the adjective. Her darling!

Much better, My Lady. Thank you.Thank you was not what I wanted to say. I wanted to sing her praises aloud for a week or more. But thank you would have to do for now.

Very good. She stepped forward, cupping my chin in her hand. My breathing became strained.

May I kiss you? she asked softly. My brain shorted out. Oh, I thought weakly. Some things made sense now.

Amusement crossed Artemis’ expression as she noted my inability to respond. Is that a no?

Ghhk. I managed to twitch my head in a tiny, almost desperate shake. I wanted her to kiss me more than I had ever wanted anything.

Very well.

Her kiss set me on fire and eradicated all other contents from my mind. I melted instantly, and she caught me with one arm as I fell away from her. My addled mind hadn’t had enough time to properly record anything, but I knew it had been incredible.

My goddess chucked. There’s more where that came from, she teased. I shuddered again as my only response. I do so like making pretty girls. She brushed a lock of hair out of my eyes. My brain’s attempt to restart was scrambled and I made a small eep noise instead. You have to breathe, dear. Indeed I did. That helped.

Unfortunately, the ability to comprehend my surroundings immediately proved a liability as I blushed bright scarlet in response to the sound of a telltale droplet landing on the tent floor below me. Artemis grinned. But then, she pulled me upright and allowed me to collect myself, which took several deep breaths.

I’m sorry-

Don’t apologize for being adorable, Luna.

I blushed again and stammered, I- I- I just- just wanted to say, again, thank you. However you wish me to serve you-

Later. I am sure you will find something to excel at, but later. For now, darling girl, let’s not be selfish; your new fellows will be excited to meet you.