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Brothers & Sisters – Chapter Nineteen: A Storm on Olympus

Note: The point isn’t really for you guys to read a chapter everyday. That would be crazy, these chapters are about 30 pages long. This is just an info-dump situation, collect them all and read at your leisure.

This is basically an un-edited version of this book. There will be typos. There will be your/you’re errors, because I’m dyslexic as hell. Why am I posting it? I’ve more or less come to the conclusion that some major things needed to change, so I’m changing them. However, I like the old version and I already gave you Twins In Death in the old form, so have this one too. It doesn’t matter, the books are being re-written, so enjoy.

Brothers & Sisters
A Tale of The Weirdo
By Brett N. Lashuay

Chapter Nineteen

A Storm on Olympus

 

 

April 14th, 2003

5:21 p.m.

 

            The Weirdo walked into a small reading room, looking for his laptop and saw The Other sitting with a teenaged girl. She might have been twelve, possibly thirteen. He looked at the two and The Other looked up and smiled brightly at him. The dark haired girl looked familiar but he couldn’t place her.

 

            “Hi Weirdo.” The Other said.

 

            “Hello Weirdo.” The Girl said.

 

            “Hi.” He said back. “Have we met?”

 

            “I’m The Other.” The Other said, never looking up from the book the two shared. “We have been introduced.”

 


            “I meant her.” He said.

 

            He pointed at the young girl and The Other looked up at her. She then looked at him, her tiny eyebrows raised up. She then looked back at her, and at him.

 

            “It’s Alice.” The Other said.

 

            “Alice who?” He asked.

 

            “I suppose Alice Cassimano.” The Other said. “Her parents weren’t married but I’m sure she can take his last name.”

 

            “I thought she was an infant.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “She was.” The Other said. “But we talked about it and came to the conclusion that she probably needs to be an adult like Keyrran, so she’s growing up.”

 

            “You shouldn’t…” The Weirdo began and stopped.

 

            “Shouldn’t what?” Alice asked.

 

            “I don’t want to say now.” He said.

 

            “Oh please do.”

 

            “Well.” He looked around the room. “I was going to say that you shouldn’t be in a hurry to grow up, but it seems like a dumb joke.”

 

            “Rather than a kindly given piece of advice?” The Other asked.

 

            “Yes.”

 

            “You could have been misinterpreted, yes.” The Other said.

 

            “I’ve got something’s I’ve got to do.” He said.

 

            “Okay.” She said, turning the page of the large picture book, and turned to Alice. “Then she has tea with this bunch of loonies.”

 

            “Dose she?”

 

            “Only she doesn’t actually get any tea.”

 

            “Bummer.”

 

 

April 14th, 2003

5:41 p.m.

 

            D’var Cassimano was looking at the small black tiles that he had sitting out in the sun in the window. They were the power cells for his pistol, and they had finished charging up. He looked at them one by one to confirm that they had reached full power. He slid one into his gun and slid the others into their small leather pockets.  He heard some muffled arguments and then a heavy stamping of feet.

 

            “No Cydrill!” Azgana said and stamped from the room they had been in.

 

            “Azgana.” Cydrill said following his sister from the room.

 

            “I can feel the death in this place. It hasn’t died, it never lived. There is still magic in Assitania, that situation is not lost.”

 

            “We cannot abandon these people.”

 

            “Yet you abandoned our people.” She said. “You ran away to come here. To this place, where it’s so dry I can feel the air sucking the power from my skin. This place is like a desert.”

 

            “Azgana.”

 

            “We’re going home.” She said. “We’re going to save our own home.”

 

            Cassimano stepped slowly away from the door as Azgana stomped away from Cydrill, who stood ashamed. He looked after her and then looked at his own feet.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

5:43 p.m.

 

            It’s not exactly clear how she had done it, but The Other had managed to work out a way to play DVD’s at three or four times speed with out actually skipping anything and keeping the sound running. She and Alice were able to watch the movies because they managed to… um… shit I don’t know. They had probably just slowed time down so that each second was an infinitesimally long thing. In this way they could make each second become and hour and in that way they could watch a thousand movies and read a bunch of books.

 

            Yeah, that sounds good we’ll go with that. Time dilation. Move along, nothing to see here.

 

            “And this is Ash.” The Other said. “He kicks butt.”

 

            “Cool.” Alice said.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

6:19 p.m.

 

            Max was laying out a series of different handguns on a table in the armory. He was setting out different sizes and calibers, checking each one as he did so. He would occasionally put the soundproof headphones on and walk out to the shooting gallery and fire a few rounds at a target and then come back. He had nearly two dozen varieties of handgun on the table when Jack, The Weirdo and Tommy came into the room.

 

            “What are you doing?” Jack asked as he picked up his belt with the holstered Heckler Koch pistol on it.

 

            “I can’t kill a lot with just one gun.” Max said, oblivious to the reference he had made. “I’m trying to pick out the best of these and figure out where I can carry them.”

 

            “You already use two guns.” Tommy said.

 

            “I use two all purpose guns.” Max said. “These are different calibers, some have different loads and bullet heads. If you’re sending me to go into the wilds, I’m taking appropriate precautions.”

 

            “That’s fine.” The Weirdo said. “I’d take along the phosphorus rounds then.”

 

            “It’s fine?” Max asked.

 

            “Yeah.”

 

            “No comments about if I want to shoot lots of bullets a machine gun with a big clip will do?”

 

            “I think smaller guns with one or two clips a piece would be best.” The Weirdo said. “If one breaks or other wise decides not to work, you’ll have another.”

 

            “You’re sure?” Max asked. “You could still tell me what I young fool I am.”

 

            “Nope.” The Weirdo said picking up two boxes of shells and began to feed them into magazines.

 

            “See the problem is it’s a little scary when you don’t.”

 

            “You should be scared.” The Weirdo said, looking at a dumb dubbed hollow point bullet.

 

He had scored the bullet himself, giving them a slight curve so that the cuts would tear counter to their spin from the barrel. He had to make these specially himself, as the colt forty-five only liked firing solid ball ammunition. He had made the hollow points to resemble ball rounds as much as possible. He slid another into place and looked at the phosphorus rounds that Max was looking at. They would burst upon firing and keep burning through flesh as long as they had air to use. He looked at the clip in his hand and began to feed the hot rounds in as well.

 

            “You scared?” Max asked.

 

            “No.” The Weirdo said feeding a second magazine. “I’m cautious.”

 

            “Do you ever get scared?”

 

            “No.” The Weirdo said. “I just get angry, and then I hurt someone. It’s a very unhealthy way to behave, but there you are.”

 

            “Can this plan of yours actually work?” Max asked.

 

            “I have no idea.” The Weirdo said. “Which is why I brought this.”

 

            He pulled out a second colt pistol and set it down on the table next to the first one. For The Weirdo, this was a concession bordering on throwing his arms up and crying for mommy upon seeing the enemy. He loaded another magazine and began to check the slides on the two pistols. He slowly slid them back and forth, checking the hammers and the sights carefully.

 

            “We’re not all going to be together on this one.” Tommy said. “The four of us I mean.”

 

            “No.” The Weirdo admitted. “We’ve got to make the best teams we can.”

 

            “Which is why I go to Greece with Kestrel.” Max said.

 

            “Yes.”

 

            “Not because you’re afraid to take me into the underworlds with you.”

 

            The Weirdo looked at the site of one of the pistols, and then set it down gently on the table. He turned slowly to Max and took in the young man’s face. There was a pimple, a small white head, growing on his right temple. The Weirdo looked at it for a moment and then at the young man’s profile. Max turned to look at him and they looked at each other for a moment.

 

            “You don’t want to go down there.” The Weirdo said. “You and Kestrel can take good care of Keyrran and Alice. You’re good at watching over people, you keep them safe. You’re not a point man though, not yet. You’re not someone for charging into a room and shooting the first bad guy you see in the head. We’re going down to the worst places, places you’d rather not even know existed. We’re going to have to shoot our way in, and then shoot our way out again in some of these places.”

 

            “I can do that.” Max began.

 

            “I know you could.” The Weirdo said. “But you’re better at keeping people safe. It was what you were good at that made me give you this placement. Besides, you’ve got to do the most important thing.”

 

            “What?” Max asked.

 

            “I didn’t mention this with everyone else around.” He said, and began to lay out a few finer points of the plan.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

8:19 p.m.

 

            “This is Jackie Chan.” The Other said.

 

            “He kicks butt too.” Alice said. “Just like Spencer.”

 

            “Well, Spencer was a boxer and then became a Detective.”

 

            “They both kick butt though.”

 

 

April 14th, 2003

8:21 p.m.

 

            Nike stood with Keyrran and Max as they stood waiting. Max thought about what The Weirdo had talked to him about, and touched the plethora of pistols around him. He looked at Keyrran, and then at Nike. Nike looked worried, she looked scared. He wanted to put a comforting hand on her shoulder, but was unsure how it would be interpreted.

 

“We ready?” Kestrel asked.

           

“I suppose so.” Max said.

 

            “I’ll carry Max.” Nike said.

 

            “I can take Kestrel then.” Keyrran said.

 

            “Can we do this?” Kestrel asked Max

 

            “I have no idea.” He said. “But we’re going to try.”

 

            “How long will this take?” Kestrel asked.

 

            “Almost no time at all.” Nike said. “We’ll be there almost immediately.”

 

            “Okay.” Kestrel said.

 

            “Shall we then?” Max asked.

 

            “Rubber Duck?” Kestrel said. “Bird lady and Lost boy are about to embark.”

 

            “Okay.” The Weirdo’s voice came over. “Keep in touch.”

 

            They walked outside and Max and Kestrel looked at the clear sky overhead, and marveled. It was clearer and sharper than either of them had ever seen. They looked and the city and saw why, the lights hadn’t been turned on. Who ever had been turning all the lights on had stopped, and the city was a dark series of stalactites sticking up against the sky.

 

            “That’s creepy.” Kestrel said

 

            “Yeah.” Max muttered.

 

            “We should go.” Nike said, holding onto Max around his chest and lifting off.

 

            “I’ll just ride piggy back.” Kestrel said climbing onto Keyrran’s back. “Avoid any embarrassment.”

 

           

April 14th, 2003

8:22 p.m.

 

            “There go the kids.” Cassimano said.

 

            “Then you should probably be on your way.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “Shouldn’t I have had Nike with us?” Cassimano said. “It’s her family after all.”

 

            “I needed someone who could keep up with your son.” The Weirdo said. “She and I discussed how to get the help we need, you know what to do.”

 

            “I know.” Cassimano said. “It’s just, I feel it could be easier.”

 

            “You could call her once they get to Olympus.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “I could.” He said. “But then I’d have to admit that I needed her.”

 

            “Something wrong with that?”

 

            “I spent a long time not needing anyone.” Cassimano said. “I never got into anything important, at least not when people depended on me. It was just terrific that I showed up at the end and saved everyone. I was drunk for a long time, I despaired for a long time. I wasn’t dependable, that’s what I’m saying. Now I’ve got the most important part of the plan.”

 

            “And you want to do it yourself?”

 

            “I want to prove that you didn’t screw up giving me this.”

 

            “You do know that you’re not going alone don’t you?”

 

            “Yes.” Cassimano said.

 

            “So don’t worry about it.”

 

            “You sent Cydrill and his sister to get a force.” Cassimano said, changing the subject.

 

            “Yeah.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “Only, he left this.” Cassimano held out a letter. “He gave to me to give to you after he left. I haven’t read it but I don’t think they’re coming back.”

 

            “Oh?” The Weirdo asked, taking the letter.

 

            “They were agreeing about it yesterday. She says this place makes her feel dead.”

 

            The Weirdo didn’t say anything, just looked at the sealed envelope. It was sealed with a large piece of wax that had been pressed with Cydrill’s ring. The Weirdo looked at the seal and then at Cassimano. Cassimano looked at his own hands and then at The Weirdo.

 

            “This gonna fuck your plan?”

 

            “The plan was desperate from the first.” The Weirdo said. “This just makes it more so, if you’re right of course.”

 

            “I’m going to do my part.” Cassimano said. “I’m not going to fail you.”

 

            “Thanks.” He said.

 

            “We should go though.”

 

            “Okay.” The Weirdo said.

 

           

April 14th, 2003

8:23 p.m.

 

            “That’s Sanjiro.” The Other said, almost reverently as the image of Toshiro Mifune came onto the screen.

 

            “Wow.” Alice who was already in the body of a fifteen year old simply said. “Just… wow!”

 

            “I know.”

 

 

April 14th, 2003

8:25 p.m.

 

            Angel walked into the room where The Other was sitting, reading yet another book. She looked at the small child and smiled to herself, admiring the beauty of the little girl. She wondered again, if she might not want to have her own little boy or girl one day. She and Kaala could raise a child, stay with that child and make the world a little better place.

 

            “Hi Other.” Angel said.

 

            “Hi Angel.” The Other said lifting her head from the book.

 

            “How you feeling?” Angel asked.

 

            “Your arm hurts?” The Other said, observing it in the sling.

 

            “Not really.” She said. “It’s just a little weak.”

 

            “No.” The Other said. “It hurts.”

 

            “Some.”

 

            “Why didn’t you ask if I could fix it?” The Other asked.

 

            “You’re not some performing monkey.” Angel said. “You shouldn’t have to heal the ills of every person around you. If you start doing that, people are going to use you.”

            “But I can help you.” The Other said and walked from the place where she was reading and reached up to touch Angel’s arm.

 

            The light wasn’t as bright as Angel thought it would be. It was a nice feeling though, if a little odd. How dose one describe the sensation of doing a months worth of healing in a few seconds? More than that, how dose one describe things fixing so that they might never have been broken. It was a vaguely pleasant sensation, thought a bit disconcerting, to have this child do that to her.

 

            “There.” The Other said and drew her hand away. “All fixed.”

 

            “Other.” Angel said kneeling down. “Do me a favor.”

 

            “What?” The Other asked.

 

            “I know you won’t understand just now, but you need to be more discretionary when you want to heal people.”

 

            “You mean not do it as much?”

 

            “Right.” She said.,

 

            “Why?”

 

            “There are people who’ll want to abuse the fact that you can do it, they’ll try to take advantage of your power. People aren’t nice.” She said.

 

            “They could be.” The Other said, a worried look breaking through her innocent glance.

 

            “Just be careful, okay?”

 

            The tiny clerics eyes sparkled and she smiled brightly. She seemed somehow to understand what Angel was trying to say, and yet was going to reject it. The Other wasn’t going to hold back, she was going to excel. She was going to make sure everyone could get some of what she had. She would be happy to give everything she had.

 

           

April 14th, 2003

9:00 p.m.

 

            “El Mariachi.” The Other said as the images flickered across the screen.

 

            “The Musician?”

 

            “That’s him.”

 

 

April 14th, 2003

9:21 p.m.

 

            “Tanteroy and Darrian just left with Cassimano and Athena.” Aphrodite said walking into the room where The Weirdo was sitting. She was dressed in a pair of jeans and a sweater, and looked amazing in them. She looked like the dream of many a young man, like the perfect Playboy centerfold standing before him.

 

            He was reading through the last few things on the computer. He looked up at her as she spoke, but then his eyes went back down to the screen. He seemed to be preoccupied, and she thought a little frightened. She couldn’t be sure though, he was as inscrutable in his youth as he proved to be in the elder years.

 

            “Good.” The Weirdo said. “You and Eoster will be going soon then?” The weirdo asked.

 

            “We are.” She said. “Angel and Kaala are just finishing getting their last few things.”

 

            “Okay.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “Can I ask you a question?” She asked.

 

            “You can ask.” He said looking up, and smirking a little.

 

            “Why are you doing this? I mean what do you get out of it?”

 

            “Who said I get something.”

 

            “Everyone dose it for some selfish reason. Is it chivalry, honor, a desire not to see your world torn asunder?”

 

            “All of those.” He said. “That and at a certain point, I just hate seeing what these people are doing.”

 

            “I don’t get you.” She said.

 

            “Gods and goddesses, men and women.” He said. “All of them deciding well I don’t like the way things are going so lets just start over. They don’t want to do the work to try and improve. No, just simpler to wipe the table clean and start over. Of course they forget that all the stuff that was on the table is going to end up on the floor that way. They create a bigger mess, but they don’t have to deal with it. Let’s just kill everyone and start again they say. They’ve decided that all those people who they’ve shoved into Limbo or where ever should get no decision. That these few fucks, with the backing of their God should get to decide for everyone. They don’t care about good and evil, they care about making people do what they want. Parents can’t just have children, they have to be married first. Two people who love each other can’t get married if their the same sex or of different colors. No, best to just kill all of them.  They think they’re going to recreate the world in a version that they can control. All that arrogance makes me very, very angry. To that end, I’m going to do everything in my power to not only thwart, but to kill them.”

 

            “And that’s why you’re trying to prevent the end of the world?”

 

            “No.” He said. “That’s why we’re arranging this army, that’s why were preventing the creation of a theocracy. We’re going to avert the end of the world because I promised Kaala I would.”

 

            “Because you told Kaala you would?”

 

            “Because I promised.” He said.

 

            “Nice to promise things.”

 

            “I’ve never broken a promise yet.” He said.

 

            “Oh.” he said,

 

            “We’re ready.” Eoster said walking into the room

 

            “Then you’d better go then.” The Weirdo said.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

10:33 p.m.

 

            “Vincent Vega.” The Other said. “And Jules.”

 

            “They sure do talk a lot don’t they?” Alice asked.

 

            “Yeah.” The Other said. “Well once this is over we can watch another of this guys movies.”

 

 

April 14th, 2003

10:46 p.m.

 

            Judy looked at Sheila, who looked at Judy. They then both looked down at the bags before them and returned to packing. Tommy entered to the room, and looked at the two of them. They didn’t deserve to have to be a part of this. They, if anyone, deserved a quiet life. He watched them for a long time, not saying anything as they packed their bags with the prepared packages. He worried about them, and he worried about himself.

 

            Were they ever going to lay in that bed again, caressing one another? He bit his lip, wondering about the feeling. He hadn’t looked for it, and yet now he wasn’t sure he could do without it. He looked at his feet, and breathed a silently as he could. His gaze transferred from his shoes to the patterns on the floor. If he looked long enough, he could see faces and cartoon like shapes in the random like and dark lines of the wood grain.

 

            Judy turned and looked at the door, and saw him staring down. She knew what he was thinking, she had been thinking it herself. The problem was, there wasn’t really time any more, not even for a quickie. She looked at Sheila and when the blonde looked up the same fear was on her face. Sheila looked at the door and saw Tommy who’s eyes glanced up and beheld them two of them. She tossed the last few packets into her bag and took both bags and set them on the floor.

 

            “I think we have time.” She said.

 

            “Do we?” Tommy asked, stepping into the room.

 

            “If there’s not time for a good three way, what’s the point?”

 

            Tommy’s foot hooked around the door and swung it closed.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

11:01 p.m.

 

            “So, he died?” Alice said.

 

            “Fraid so.” The Other said.

 

            “But he was the best one of the bunch.” Alice said, near to tears.

 

            “I know.” The Other said, and she had to wipe at her eyes with her sleeve.

 

            “But…Kikuchiyo was the best.”

 

            “I know.” The Other said. “We ready for Xena?”

 

            “That’s a lot to get through.” Alice admitted.

 

            “Still got Dirty Harry too.”

 

 

April 15th, 2003

1:04 a.m.

 

            The Weirdo looked at the letter that Cydrill wrote again. It was apologetic and said that he wouldn’t be coming back. The Weirdo expected a bit more from the giant, but felt in a way he understood. Cydrill had always thought he’s let his own land down when he ran, and now he could help them. It was the last line that Cydrill threw into the letter that was hanging on The Weirdo’s mind.

 

            “It’s too bad there aren’t any heroes left.”

 

            It was something that really had struck The Weirdo, though he sympathized. He could have used a Superman, or a Spider-Man, or even The Tick at this point. He thought about Captain Midnight, and how everyone had admired him. They all admired the Shadow too, but The Shadow came later. The Shadow even came after The Weirdo had already vanished. What he thought Cydrill was really talking about though was the Achilles and the Ajax’s of old. There were no Charlemagnes or Beowulfs left in the world, there was just him.

 

            “We ready?” The Weirdo asked, sliding his hands into black leather gloves.

 

            “We are indeed.” Jack said.

 

            “Are you sure that you don’t want me to go?” Mrs. Pendleton asked.

 

            “Some one has to make sure The Other gets to bed on time.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “Just the four of you are going to charge into hell?” Mrs. Pendleton asked.

 

            “We’re not going to hell.” The gray man said, grinning slightly. “We’re starting in Mictlan and then going into Mitnal, Uca Pacha and Duat.”

 

            “Until we end up un Nefelheim.” Jack said. “See, not hell at all.”

 

            “No.” She said holding back a sigh. “What if something happens here?”

 

            “If they invade.” The Weirdo said. “Just go quietly with them.”

 

            “What?”

 

            “They’ll want you to see it.” The Weirdo said. “They’ll want you to see.”

 

            “But.” She said.

 

            “I don’t like this any more than you do.” He said “But we’ve got precious little choice left. Just make sure you keep Alice and The Other with you, don’t get separated.”

 

            “If you say so.” She said.

 

            “Trust me.” He said, “We’re all going to be fine.”

 

            “We should go.” Tommy said.

 

            “Alright.” The Weirdo agreed.

 

            The four of them walked out the door, leaving Mrs. Pendleton alone. She listened as the car started and Jack’s bike began to run. She heard them drive away and saw the splashes of light that were the headlights against the windows. She had never felt so alone before. Even when mister Pendleton had died, she hadn’t been this alone. She wanted to go find The Other and Alice and catch them up.

 

            “Mrs. Pendleton?” The Other asked walking into the front room.

 

            “Yes dear?” Mrs. Pendleton asked.

 

            “It’s just you and me now. Alice went after her brother.”

 

            “She’s too little.” Mrs. Pendleton began.

 

            “No.” The Other said solemnly. “She finished her growing, now she has to help Keyrran.”

 

            “But how can she help him rule Olympus? I mean if Keyrran is to over throw Zeus, how can she help?”

 

            “You don’t get it.” The Other said. “No body gets it.”

 

 

April 15th, 2003

8:22 p.m.

 

            Kestrel looked at the massive dome of the acropolises, or was it something else? It was a massive structure to be sure. She had pictured the building that would be a top Olympus when she’d read the stories in school, but this. She hadn’t actually expected a small city, or for the top of the mountain to have been leveled off. The buildings were in the brightest marble, alabaster statues standing on raised plinths. They sparkled, everything sparkled. It was better than new, it was what you thought something new would look like.

 

            All four of them were taken in for a moment, just watching. Nike found herself breathless for a moment. She looked at Kestrel and smiled, seeing the look of amazement on her face. Max pointed at things and said silly things about them, or at least foolish things. Keyrran wasn’t happy though.

 

            He looked like some one who knew why they were there, and he wished he was anywhere else. He knew that they had a horrible thing to do here and he didn’t want to. He sucked in a deep breath and looked at the other three. They looked so happy, so incredibly happy. He cleared his throat and waited for them to look in his direction.

 

            “Um. I hate to… it’s just we.” He looked around and then slipped his helmet on. “We came for a reason.”

 

            “Yes we did.” Kestrel said.

 

            “So let’s do that thing.” Max said.

 

            It would be quite a long walk to the front doors of the palace where the Gods lived. It was a long walk down a wide broadway of white stones. They had been put together so well that not a single blade of grass stuck up between the stones. Max couldn’t help but wonder if maybe the reason for no grass was because they used a lot of plant killer.

 

            The doors were quite impressive, for a human standard anyway. They were each eight hundred feet high, three hundred feet wide and placed on such well-balanced hinges that even Max’s one hand could open them. The door swung gently, just enough for the four of them to walk through, which is to say the door’s corner that Max pressed against sailed forty-two feet. They walked through the massive doors and began to move into the living quarters.

 

            “Who needs doors that big?” Kestrel asked as they walked. “Is Zeus that big?”

 

            “His ego is.” Nike said. “He’s big, but not that big.”

 

            “He’ll be big enough.” Keyrran said.

 

            “Don’t be a pessimist.” Max said.

 

            “We shouldn’t have come with out Alice.” Keyrran said.

 

            “The baby?” Max asked.

 

            “She’ll be grown by now.” Keyrran said.

 

            “But I don’t understand.” Max said,

 

            “She’s the one who’s to rule. I’m to protect her till that moment, I’m the second born.”

 

            They all stopped and looked at Keyrran, even Nike’s wings seemed to deflate. They all stared at him and then began to look at each other. Nike shrugged when they looked at her. When Kestrel looked at Max he shook his head and shrugged.

 

            Kestrel found that everyone was looking at her, looking for an answer. She thought about the small pen shaped device in her pocket, and it’s capabilities. She could still call The Weirdo, look for back up. She looked down at the floor, thinking. Cassimano was near, and he had some Goddesses with him. The Weirdo would come, and he’d bring Jack and Tommy. She could get everyone here and storm the Bastille as it where.

 

            Then she thought, fairly ashamedly; No, that’s a Wendy thought. She thought that it would hurt the rest of the plan to detract everyone. She looked at Keyrran, with the magic armor and the sword that went ting. She looked at him for a long time, a look of deep cogitation on her face. She thought about something The Weirdo often said, something about brilliance.

 

            “We could baffle them with bullshit.” She said. “After all who knows that he wasn’t first born?”

 

            “Well we do.” Nike said.

 

            “And who else?”

 

            “Well…” Nike began.

 

            “You could be right.” Max said,

 

            “He’ll know.” Keyrran said. “That was why they took Alice instead.”

 

            “Hera took Alice.” Kestrel said. “Is she going to want to revel right to Zeus’s face that she tried to get his grandchildren killed?”

 

            “She’s done it before.” He said.

 

            “We’re not going to get any help here are we?” Kestrel asked.

 

            “Aphrodite left here for a reason.” Nike said.

 

            “And you?” Max asked.

 

            “I had other reasons.” Nike said.

 

            “Max?” Kestrel said turning towards him “How many guns you got strapped on right now?”

 

            “Maybe a dozen, why?”

 

“You ever seen A Better Tomorrow? Dumb movie but The Weirdo showed it to me a little while ago.”

 

 

April 15th, 2003

8:35 a.m.

The Clock room

 

            “Is it ready?” Lucifer asked, looking at the large digital clock.

 

            “Oh yes.” Chronos said.

 

            “You don’t have to be part of this you know.” Lucifer said.

 

            “Oh, don’t I?”

 

            “I’m not sure I know what you mean.”

 

            “Lucifer.” Chronos said sipping from a mug of tea. “There are certain mistakes I made when I was young. I allowed things to get out of hand, and when they did I let my son take over. I swept everything that had transpired before he came along under the rug and I walked away. My sons have not behaved in the best manner, nor have my daughters. Zeus and Hera particularly are cantankerous. They have never gotten along, no wonder it is that she left him.”

            “So they’re not together anymore?” Lucifer said.

 

            “Not to my knowledge, not for some fifteen hundred years.”

 

            “Who is she with?”

 

            “Oh, I’m not sure, an Egyptian I think.” He said, “Why?”

 

            “I’m just trying to figure out why she would have wanted to kill Athena’s child.”

 

            The tools dropped from the old gods hands and the clock he held tumbled to the ground where the glass shattered. Bits of brass and wood spun in every direction as the steel spring let itself loose in a most violent fashion. Lucifer looked at the old god, who’s face had gone as white as his beard.

 

            “Did I say something?” Lucifer asked.

 

            “Athena had a child?” Chronos said, failing to sound merely curious. “How interesting. Oh dear I’ve dropped a clock, or deary me.”

 

            “Chronos?” Lucifer asked.    

 

            “If some one supplants Zeus, there is no way for her to return to the throne. She’s been trying to think of a way to get him away so she could take over.”

 

            “If there is an heir?”

 

            “She can’t.”

 

            “So she’d want to destroy the heir.”

 

            “Athena is also suspected to be the result of one of his dalliances. He apparently ate a chick he knocked up and Athena was the result, hence why she was inside him. He was afraid of being supplanted, which is why she remained a virgin so long.”

 

            “I’m not sure all this adds up.” Lucifer said.

 

            “My daughter is as much a delusional psychopath as my son is a sex crazed ego maniac.” Chronos said. “She’ll kill because she’s gotten it into her head she needs to kill.”  

 

            “Which would be why there would be someone who’s job it was to protect her.”

 

            “Exactly.” Chronos said. “Keyrran was as much my doing as he was Aphrodite’s. We sort of placed him, well placed a space for him to exist. The reason he looks feminine is that we knew we’d need a male protector so the space was male. The problem was that Alice wasn’t male the twins split in the womb and he became make in spite of himself. He’ll forever be feminine.”

 

            “I see.” Lucifer said.

 

            “Is it actually going to happen?”

 

            “Yes.” Lucifer said. “It is, can you be ready?”

 

            “I’ve been ready for a very long time.”

 

            “This is going to be the big one you know.”

 

            “I know.” Chronos said.

 

            “It’s likely that things won’t go back to the way they were.”

 

            “Things never go back to the way they were. Even if we tried to put them back, just by quantum fluctuations, they’d be different. You can’t ever go back, not even one instant. I expect things to change, I just don’t want them destroyed.”

 

            “We try to do our part.” Lucifer said. “Besides, The Weirdo claims he promised Kaala. I think we get to come along for the ride.”

 

            “Jolly nice of him.” Chronos said, sipping his tea. “Do they know, about you?”

 

            “No.” Lucifer said. “And I don’t want them to. That’s my thing to deal with, in my time.”

 

            “If you say so.”

 

            “I do.”

 

            “You’re not even going to mention it.”

 

            “No.” Lucifer said. “Not now, if ever.”

 

            “Oh it’ll come out eventually.” Chronos said.

 

            “Eventually is a long time off, and I don’t have to explain it till I’m ready.”

 

            “Fair enough.” Chronos said, raising his hand in surrender.

 

            “You’ll get the others?”

 

            “As many as I can.” Chronos said. “Many of them have come to believe that either it’s time to join up or give up.”

 

            “They’re going to just give up?”

 

            “A lot of them are tired, a lot of them are afraid. A lot of them are weak.”

 

            “But not us, right?”

 

            “No.” Chronos said. “Not us.”

 

            “Yeah, I thought not us. I thought you and I were strong.”

 

            “We’re strong.” Chronos said. “And we’re brave.”

 

            “Yeah.” Lucifer said as he walked towards the door.

 

 

April 15th, 2003

8:46 a.m.

 

            “Should we knock?” Angel asked looked at the massive oak doors.

 

She touched the flat iron bars that held the oak in place and helped bolster it. The doors were also covered in frost, though there was a crack of nearly two inches at the base of the doorway. A long thin blade of orange light flickered from the crack in the bottom. There was a definite draft drawing air from the outside into the hall.

 

“You don’t knock here.” Eoster said as she pulled the heavy parks up around her ears again. “You either should be here or they don’t want to see you.”

 

“How do we get in then?” Kaala asked.

 

“We push on the doors.” Aphrodite said.

 

She pushed the doors and they creaked open on hinges so rusted that they must have been deliberately set up like that. The four women pushed with all their strength and got the heavy door opened wide enough to creep through. They walked in single file, one after the other, into the hall. Kaala had expected to be dwarfed by giant tables and men, but these were her size. There were men sitting at the tables, laughing and drinking.

 

Kaala noticed an incredible difference in the variety of outfits, yes there were men dressed in skins and steel, but there were others. A man who looked like an SS officer was trading tobacco with a man in the blue uniform of the Union Army from the American Civil War. They were discussing the difference between Leningrad and Gettysburg, offering suggestions on how each man could have faired better.

 

“These are soldiers.” She said.

 

“Some of them came to the battle at central park.” Angel said. “I remember seeing that banner.”

 

“That was a warm up.” Aphrodite said. “We’re about to ask them for the main event.”

 

When they came to the Lord of the hall, he was impressive. He was huge, two great wolves lay at his feet, and he had a large mug of wine. Not a chalice or a glass or even a grail, but a mug. A stout, heavy mug that looked like it could contain a gallon at a time. Odin drank from it and looked at the four women who stood out like beautiful women in an army camp. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and looked at each of them in turn. Finally he pointed at Angel.

 

“I know you.” He said in a voice like thunder. “You’ve bowed to me.”

 

“Yes.” She said.

 

“I am your image of a male god.” He said. “You use me as the aspect.”

 

“That’s right.” She said. “I didn’t insult you did I? I mean I know I’m not exactly a Nordic worshiper, I just wanted to have a strong God.”

 

She found herself faltering and decided to shut up before she began babbling. The modern pagan is an oft-conflicted creature and they do mix and match religions like some people mix furniture or clothing styles. Angel had been enamored of Odin at a young age, but didn’t feel she could fully follow that path. As many of her generation did, she incorporated him into the male and female dichotomy that rests at the center of the ancient (circa 1960) art of Wicca.

 

“Think nothing of it.” He said with a broad smile. “Best bit of strumpet I’d had in years.”

 

“Oh.” Angel said, somewhat mystified. “Good.”

 

“And I know you as well.” He said tuning his gaze on Eoster.

 

“Yes and now The Weirdo asks me to bring you a message.”

 

“Dose he?” Odin asked, sitting back, an amused smile on his face.

 

“He says that that he understands.” She said, nervously.

 

“Understands?” Odin asked.

 

“Yes.” Aphrodite said, stepping in for Eoster who was about to falter. “He says that he understands if you want to sit this one out. He says that you can to fight the frost giants already and brought warriors from Valhalla. He says that he must consider the agreement fulfilled. He said that if he were facing these odds and could stay home he probably might.”

 

“What odds?” Odin asked, sitting forward.

 

“Well Zeus, Horace and Quetzalcoatl for starters.” Aphrodite said. “Oh and the Christian god most likely.”

 

“I should fear those pussies?” Odin said standing.

 

“Well they’ve also summoned some sort of demonic soldiers from the other side. All in all it’s an impossible battle to win, and he understands if you don’t want to fight in it. After all, we can’t find much of anyone else who’s bothering, to even attempt this side.”

 

“You said if he could abandon the cause, why can’t he?”

 

“He promised me.” Kaala said. “That’s what he keeps telling people.”

 

“He promised you what?” The god asked, his single eye narrowing.

 

“That he wouldn’t let the world end.” She barely whispered, he lip quivered and a tear fell from her eye. “He can’t do it, but he promised and now…”

 

Her shoulder’ shuddered and she actually did begin to cry. She slumped into Angel’s arms, despair over taking her. She had suddenly been struck with the uselessness and how The Weirdo was doing all of this because of her. If not for her, he could have run away. She shuddered deeply into Angel’s shoulder, trying to hold it all back in.

 

No one looked at Odin’s face, just at the little girl, who had lost hope. His own lip may have quivered under his great beard, and his one might eye may have become slightly misty. We say may, because we cannot be sure. It is a fact that when he spoke, his voice cracked on the first word and required him to clear his throat.

 

“We. Ahem! We will honor the agreement we made with him. I will find him myself to inform him that the Aesir do not run. Mount up you mother fuckers, this is the last ride.” His hand touched Kaala’s head and stroked her hair for a moment, and then he spoke in  a low tone that only she and Angel could hear. “You are not the cause of this, you are just a reason. If it had not been you, it would have been something else. He could fixate on the promise he made to you. He could tell people that was his reason, he would have done this anyway. He is the last of a great line, where the glory far outweighed the gold. In him is one of the great heroes of old. He is like unto like Beowulf, Achilles and Doc Savage.”

 

 “Doc Savage?”

 

            “Aye, a mighty and noble warrior with skin of bronze.” He beamed as he looked at them.

 

Kaala’s head turned to the Great god and he smiled at her. He had a nice smile, like Santa Claus. She couldn’t get the idea that he was exactly like she had always thought Santa would really be like. He stood up slowly and looked at the assembled soldiers, still looking at their leader.

 

“Did you cum soaked tampons miss when I told you to get on your fucking horses!” He screamed like the progenitor of all drill sergeants. “Move it you cunts or I’ll send you back to the mid wives that birthed you and make her exchange what she thought was after birth for the real thing. Get going to used douche bags, I’m not fucking around!”

 

            They moved, they all moved.

 

 

April 15th, 2003

8:49 a.m.

 

            There were bats, there were spiders; there were all the things a cave should be. There were also stones that had been deliberately cut. The four of them began to walk into the mouth of the cave, which had been formed into a god, with his mouth open. The Weirdo looked at the tongue he was stepping on and began to try and think happy thoughts. He certainly didn’t want to consider where he was going.

 

            “Hey Tommy?” The Weirdo asked as they began to walk through the massive cave entrance.

 

            “Yes Weirdo.”

 

            “I understand you manage a baseball team.”

 

            “Yes, yes I do.”

 

            “Got strange names them Baseball players huh?”

 

            “Sure do Weirdo, they sure do.”

 

 

April 15th, 2003

8:52 a.m.

 

            “They have abandoned the playing field.” Jorgaes said.

 

            “Have they?” Lilith asked, as her eyes melted to green from silver.

 

            “You don’t believe me, go to his home and check.”

 

            “Will anyone be there?”

 

            “The people they didn’t care about.” Jorgaes said. “The old woman, the little girl, no one important.”

 

            “Little girl?” Lilith said, trying not to sound as interested as she obviously was.

 

            “Yes.” Jorgaes said. “Small thing, blonde hair, name like uh, Cother. Cother? No, that’s stupid must be Heather or something like that.”

 

            “The Other.” Eve said behind Lilith.

 

            “Well she’s the other person at the house anyway.” Jorgaes said with a laugh. “The rest of them ran off, I watched them.”

 

            “Then they won’t be interfering.” Lilith said, and smiled at Jorgaes as her eye faded to green. She re-crossed her legs, in an obvious attempt to show off the fact that she wasn’t wearing any lingerie. Her eyes seemed to flutter to gray.

 

            “No.” Jorgaes said looking as she crossed.

 

            “You could get us in the house without trouble.” She said, her eyes swirling to amber.

 

            “I might be able to do that.”

 

            “You would be rewarded.” She said re-crossing her legs and sliding one well-turned calf up and down the other as her eyes faded to red.

 

            “Well I’ve always been a sucker for instant gratification.” He said smiling.

 

            “Then  lets get the reason, and then jump to the reward.” She said, leaning over to expose her cleavage.

 

            “I can take you there in twenty minuets.” He said.

 

            “Why not now?” She asked, her eyes suddenly flashing to a bright yellow.

 

            “Because I have to go to the bathroom to snort some coke and jack off.” He said bluntly. “I can’t come when I’m fucked up unless I jerk my own rod and unless I get some coke in me I’m gonna be no good to anyone and if I don’t come when I’m fucked up it takes me a fucking hour to come down.”

 

            “Well, how delightful.” She said as her eyes melted into fucia.

 

            “I’ll gladly fuck you in every hole that I can fit my dick in later.” He said smiling.

 

           

April 15th, 2003

9:03 a.m.

 

            “I said I don’t give a darn.” The Weirdo said

 

            “He’s our short stop.” Tommy said as they came to the end of he pathed part of the cave. They had gone quite a way really, but now it was just a bare cave.

 

            “Homey.” The gray man said.

 

            “Isn’t it?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            There was a cool breeze coming up from the cave, which smelled of something rotten. They hadn’t really wanted to go this far, but no one said it was time to stop. The Weirdo looked down at the path and shrugged, he then began to walk down the tunnel. There was a sound like chattering voices in the distance and then feet began to run away.

 

 

April 15th 2003

9:04 a.m.

 

            Zeus wasn’t as tall as they had expected. He was six and a half feet, which made him taller than any of them but still. In such grand style one would think he’d match the scale, but he didn’t, he was just man sized. This somehow made Kestrel feel suddenly contemptuous of him. This was what they were all so afraid of? Just some blonde git with a bit of a beard?

 

            “Grandfather.” Keyrran said entering the hall.

 

            Posidon and Hermes looked to size up the newcomer, watching him carefully. Kypris raised her head from Melicertes mouth and turned to the youngster, intrigued by any one who would come to the great hall while still wearing armor. His helmet wasn’t even raised, it was clear he was here for battle.

 

            “I’ve just got something to do.” Hermes said slipping away from the table he shared with the sea lord.

 

            Zeus looked at the young man, who had his helmet snuggly down on his head, holding his spear couched under his arm. Zeus set his goblet down on a table and walked towards the youth. Kestrel watched him coming with trepidation, unsure if a few bullets could bring down a god. She hadn’t really tried with a Greek god before but Loki had simply laughed at her.

 

            “Who are you?” Zeus asked.

 

            “Hello Zeus.” Nike said. “This…”

 

            “I am Keyrran! My armor is mighty and my sword goes ting!” The boy yelled. “And it has come to the time for you to step down grandfather.”

 

            “Have you come to fight me?” The chief of the Olympians asked.

 

            Pontus watched, leaning against a wall, while Aristaeus began to look around for a way out of the room. Nilus began to move closer, fascinated by the idea of a fight. Merope stood still, her left arm supporting her right arm, the finger of which ran across their lips.

 

            “Got the whole gang here I see.” Max said.

 

            “Do you know who even half these people are?” Kestrel asked.

 

            “Gods.” Max said.

 

            Tyche leaned against Nemesis, chewing excitedly on her ear. Nemesis reached a hand up and gently massaged the prosperity goddess’s hair. They both watched in an excitement that could easily be regarded as sexual. Max watched the two of them and realized that they were in deep shit. They were in it up to their ankles, and he was supposed to keep Keyrran safe.

 

            “I ask again.” Zeus said. “Have you come to fight me?”

 

            “It is time for you to step down.” The boy said and stood his ground.

 

            “Fuck.” Nike said looking at the crowd of Gods that were beginning to slowly crowd in. “There sure are a lot of them.”

 

            “And they would have driven out any one sympathetic.” Max muttered. “There is no help here.”

 

            Zeus swung his fist, and struck Keyrran against the head. The magic helmet bent from the impact and Keyrran rolled to the ground. To his credit though, he rolled and stood right back up.

 

            “Kill ‘im.” Pontus yelled.

 

            “Fuck him first Zeus.” Tyche yelled. “He looks like he’s got a pretty ass. Make him squeel!”

 

            Zeus kicked Keyrran in the slats, causing his curse to compress into his body. He his the shield so hard it folded around Keyrran’s arm. He then hit Keyrran in the head again and the helmet came away.

 

            “Fuck him up bad, son.” Rhea said entering.

 

            “Not very motherly.” Kestrel said.

 

            “I wonder if maybe Bulfinch got things badly wrong.” Max said, more to himself than anyone.

 

            “We are so fucked.” Nike said.

 

            “I will fight you.” Keyrran said, blood trickling down his face from his scalp, nose and mouth.

 

            Zeus took another step forward and Kestrel felt the back of Max’s hand brush her breast. She looked down and saw his hand drawing up, there was then a sound of thunder. Zeus’s head snapped back and after a second earth-shattering bang he fell over. Max stood with the big Smith and Wesson five hundred magnum in his hand and looked around the gods. Hephaestus leapt over Kypris and charged. Max leveled the pistol and without a moment’s hesitation fired the revolver. Hephaestus did half a back summer salt and landed on his head, before finishing to land.

 

            “You mother fucker.” Zeus muttered as he began to get up. “Do you have any idea how much that hurts?”

 

            “Keyrran?” Max yelled

 

            “Yes Maximilian?” Keyrran’s voice was just audible.

 

            “Can you run?”

 

            “I think I could manage.”

 

            “Then we’re going to retreat as bravely as we can while running like hell.”

 

            They began to run down the hallway, Max firing the five hundred behind him and Kestrel shooting almost blindly with the nine millemeter as she ran. The bullets did some good, it slowed the gods down a little as they ran. Nike ran to the first of the big flowerpots they came to and reached under the leaves, coming up with a hidden pistol. The phosperous rounds had originally been designed to be tracer rounds, so a person could get a good idea where they were firing. It had also proved to be a rather painful way to be shot though, which she now did.

 

            The bullets were white streaks as they found their targets, still burning when they entered flesh and shattered. Nike was surprised how little she felt for the pain she was causing while doing this. She just wanted to get away from Olympus, with her wings in tact if possible. Max tossed the empty five hundred to the floor and reached behind him, producing the Glock and the Berretta. He ran backwards, firing the two guns at the on coming gods, who were getting more and more enraged as they fell to the ground and were therefore trampled by the gods who hadn’t been shot.

 

            “We are so fucked.” Max yelled as he threw the two empty pistols to the ground and reached for a flowerpot they hadn’t actually put a gun in.

 

            “I see that.” Kestrel yelled.

 

            “The hall wasn’t this long when Cho Yun Fat went down it.”

 

He lifted the pot and threw it in the path. Kestrel pulled two guns from the pot across from him and tossed him one of them. Nike grabbed another gun from another pot and fired at the approaching gods.

 

            Keyrran just ran, like he’d been told to. He turned as he exited the doorway and looked behind him. He hadn’t realized that they had gotten so far behind him and he felt an urge to run after them. He felt an odd sensation that he thought might be fear. He pushed the massive doors anyway.

 

            “Keyrran.” A voice said behind him and he looked.

 

            Max grabbed another pistol thrown by Nike in mid air and pointed it up at some god or other. Had he known it was Heraclese he probably wouldn’t have stopped. The massive god had moved faster than the other gods had though and grabbed Max by the neck, throwing him against the wall. Max looked and saw as Kestrel and Nike made it through the doors. They stopped to look at him and he felt his neck being squeezed.

 

            The stupidest things come to us at a moment of emanate death. Max couldn’t help but think of a Melissa Ferrick song. It had been running through his head for days in fact, and he couldn’t make it go away. As the god squeezed, it just seemed to intensify. He squeezed his eyes shut as the massive hand tried to squeeze them out.

 

            “Do you have any last requests?” Heraclese asked, his breath reeking of spoiled meat.

 

            “No.” Max said, and gave a little laugh. “Everything I need, is right here in my hands.”

            He pressed the two guns under the god’s chin and blew the top of his head off. He was dropped and he aimed the pistols around and just fired, the gods fell back as he began to get up. The problem was, the guns didn’t really have that many bullets if one was jus shooting as fast as they could, and they soon realized he was empty. He looked at the two pistols as he stepped back slowly and dropped them in the front of him.

 

            “You little shit.” Zeus said walking forward “Look at what you’ve done, look at the damage. You’re only lucky this place is going to be gone soon.”

 

            “Kestrel?” Max said over his shoulder. “Do you even have one round left?”

 

            “Friad not.” She said.

 

            “Damn.” He said.

 

            “I’m going to just kill you quick, because I’ve got things to do.” Zeus said.            “We’ll kill the three of you quick too.”

 

            “Fuck.” Max turned to run but his foot was caught before he could move much more than a few inches.

 

            As Max was lifted he felt himself being dropped. There was then something in front of him, he was set down and something that moved too fast to actually be seen went after Zeus. There was a lot of hi-ya sounds coming and within the period of two second Zeus was falling back into the crowd of gods and a young woman was standing between the Olympians and our heroes. One could ask why she was wearing a silvery lavender silk kimono, but haven’t we learned not to ask silly questions buy now?

 

            “Alice?” Nike asked.

 

            “Damn Skippy.” Alice said. “Now, who wants some?”

 

            “I’ll kill you, you little bitch.” Heraclese stepped forward.

 

            “It’ll hurt.” She said.

 

            “The first time always dose hurt girls.” He said.

 

He grabbed one of her slight looking shoulders and tried to push her to her knees. She punched him once in the groin and then once in the face. There was a cracking sound both times and the huge god fell over trying to scream through blood. She swung her fist into his stomach and there was another cracking sound.

 

            “Who’s next?” She asked.

 

            No one answered, no one could look her in the eyes. She took a step forward and was gratified to find that they took a step back. She curled her lip and gave Heraclese another savage kick to the solar plexus. She then turned to the rest of the Olympians who had gathered.

 

            “You are dismissed.” She said. “You may simply leave now.”

 

            “The hell we will.” Poseidon said moving forward.

 

            Keyrran didn’t even think for a second, he simply hurled his spear. It stuck in the right side of Poseidon’s chest and as it hung there, Keyrran unsheathed his sword. He leapt into the air and with a single stroke, took the top of the sea god’s head off. Just for the record, the sword went ting. His eyes rolled up and Poseidon fell to the ground, the remainder of his brain slumping out onto the floor.

 

            “I am Keyrran.” The youth said, slowly and distinctly. “My armor is mighty, and my sword goes ting!”

 

            “You will all leave now.” Alice said. “Keyrran and I shall find spouses and we shall begin the next generation.”

 

            “And if we don’t?” Tyche asked from behind the rest of the gods.

 

            “You were going to leave anyway.” Alice said. “You might as well go now. I don’t want to have to kill all of you. You can go now, but these two stay.”   

 

            She indicated Heraclese and Zeus, and then looked at the rest of them. They looked at each other and in whatever form the preferred, vanished from the hall. Alice watched them go and then considered the two gods on the floor. She tilted her head this way and that, causing popping sounds to illicit from them.

 

            “You were going to try and rape me.” Alice said to Heraclese. “You must be punished for that.”

 

            “Please.” Heraclese attempted.

 

            “No.” she said.

 

            She took Keyrran’s sword from his hand and lifted Heraclese loincloth. She took what she would later come to realize was his measly equipment in her hand and with one swift stroke emasculated him. She walked to Keyrran and handed the sword back to him, and then towards a flowerpot. She pushed a few leaves aside and lifted a heckler Koch nine millimeter from the urn. She dropped the gentiles into the dirt and looked over at Max and Kestrel.

 

            “Yours?” She asked.

 

            “I thought we missed one.” Max said.

 

            “Sorry.” Kestrel said.

 

            “Hey don’t be, now we have at least one that’s not broken.”

 

            “You have no understanding.” Zeus said getting up slowly. “This isn’t play time missy. This is a war between good and evil.”

 

            He stood up to his full height and he was a bit frightening really. His voice began to boom and he had regained the ruddy good looks and charm he had temporarily lost. He tugged at his shirt to place it back into shape and re-tucked it into his pants.

 

            “Do you understand good and evil?” Zeus boomed. “We are the good, they are the evil. We want to heal this world of its ills, and they want it to continue in pain. Now are you going to be good or bad little girl?”

 

            Alice had begun a little annoyed and was now sliding into bloody furious territory. She did not loose her temper though, she kept her cool. She simply stuffed the barrel of the pistol into his open mouth and fired a round through Zeus’s head. The explosion managed to blow most of his head clean off, and sent his body reeling. There was more blood than Max would have ever thought possible, it flooded down the long corridor they had just run down.

 

            “Good, bad.” She spat. “I’m the god with the gun.”

 

            “Where are my nuts?” Heraclese asked, reaching for the large flowerpot.

 

            “They are not yours any more.” She said.

 

            “You cunt! You fucking cunt! Where are my fucking nuts.” He flailed his arm and knocked a different plinth and pot over. He grabbed the pot and threw it, missing miserably. Nike sidestepped the pot as it crashed at her feet.

 

            “I will not allow that kind of language.” Alice said placing the gun against Heraclese’s knee.

 

            “Fuck you. You fucking slut.” He said savagely.

 

            She pulled the trigger and the scream of what had once been the most powerful man on earth was really something to hear. He grabbed at the knee and as his mouth was open, she rammed the pistol into it. He tried to bite down on the gun, and thought he should have been able to bite through it. He had been able to chew through huge bars of steel since he had become a god, but now he couldn’t. Something about this young Goddess, holding the tool had made it stronger.

 

            “You see how Zeus is still dead? No more life for him, no coming back. Same for you. I was going to let you live, but now.” She shook her head. “You’re filthy mouth has decided the end of your life.”

 

            He tried to plead around the pistol. Tears trickled down his face and Kestrel suddenly felt sympathy for him. Max took a few steps towards her, but she raised her hand to stop him from interfering. Nike actually was smiling, and she looked like a sort of justice was being exacted. Alice’s face was stony and cold.

 

            “Do it.” Nike said. “Kill the fucker.”

 

            “Nike?” Max asked.

 

            “I want him dead.” Nike said. “Kill him.”

 

            “No. I’ll spare him this time.” Alice said standing. She spun the pistol on her finger and rammed it into the back of her jeans. She then walked to where her brother lay and helped him up off the floor “Are you alright?”

 

            “I’ll be fine.” He said. “I was supposed to protect you.”

 

            “That’s all right.” She said. “The Other showed me some movies, and I think after all that, we should re-examine sexual roles. Come we must find some young Gods who have been neglected a place in the Pantheons and create a new one.”

 

            The two of them began to walk down the long corridor, she propping up he. Nike walked to where Zeus lay and made a few savage kicks to the dead body. She reached down and grabbed Keyrran’s spear and began to stab it into Heraclese, screaming as she did so.

 

            “Nike.” Max said grabbing onto her arms.

 

            “Bastard.” She said, while hot tears streamed down her face.

 

            “What is it?” Max asked.

 

            “You ever actually read those stories Max?” She asked, suddenly becoming calm again. “You ever notice how many children were born from rapes? Rape was a common theme in this shit’s life.”

 

            She stabbed the body again and found that Kestrel had grabbed her arm this time. She looked at Kestrel’s firm face and stopped, breathing heavily. She dropped the spear and Heraclese groaned from the pain.

 

            “Come with me.” She said, walking down the long hall.

 

            “What?” Nike asked.

 

            Kestrel picked up her five hundred magnum from the floor. She opened the revolving magazine and let the five huge empty shells drop onto the floor. They clinked and pinged off the hard marble floor, rolling away into obscurity. She then pulled a speed loader form her pocket and slid the six new bullets into place. This was the new variety of speed loader that was simply a plastic disc that let you slide the bullets into the gun without removing it.

 

            “This, is a Smith and Wesson five hundred magnum, the most powerful hand gun in the world, and could blow his head clean off.” She turned the butt of the pistol towards Nike. “Go get him.”

 

            Max watched as the winged Goddess of victory walked towards the god who represented strength. He began to walk towards Kestrel and held his left hand out as he walked past Nike. She slapped it in a spirit of sportsman ship. He kept walking towards Kestrel and didn’t flinch as the five loud shots echoed down the hall.

 

            “You showed her how to use that.” He said.

 

            “I did.” She said.

 

            “That was possibly naughty.”

 

            “Possibly.”

 

            “Is that it then?” Jorgaes asked. “Did the kids win?”

 

            “Jorgaes?” Max said without turning to look at the UN secretary. “If I turn around are you going to be a ten foot tall dragon or something?”

 

            “No.”

 

            Max turned around and it was still the short man, smoking those horrific Pakistani cigarettes. He smiled and waved then took in a deep breath and exhaled with some pleasure.

 

            “All done then?” He asked.

 

            “How the fuck did you get here?” Kestrel asked.

 

            “I’ve got contacts you’ve never even dreamed of.” He said as cupid stood next to Nike and placed a hand on her shoulder. She touched his hand and patted it before walking away from him. Jorgaes took out his cell phone and typed out a few numbers. “Hermes? It’s been done. I’ve just got to talk to her for a moment and then I’ve got to get back. Thank you.”

 

            “What’s going on?”

 

            “I’ve got to talk to Alice.” He said walking into the room and near the fountain where Alice was using the water to cool her brother’s brow.

 

            “This is empty.” Nike said handing the revolver back to Kestrel.

 

            “You want to reload it?” She asked.

 

            “No.” Nike said. “I don’t think I’ll ever need to again.”

 

            “No, I’ll bet not.” Max said.

 

            “We should go and help Athena now though.” She said.

 

            “I’m coming with you.” Cupid said.

 

            “Fine.” Kestrel said reloading the revolver. “We should pick up the guns first though.”

 

            “Sure.” Nike said, her body shuddering as she exhaled. “Let’s do that.”

 

            “You all right?” Kestrel asked quietly as the two boys began to gather the discarded pistols.

 

            “When I get back to Athena and there is time, I’m going to cry. I’m going to cry and scream and punch the floor and beg her forgiveness. After all that, no matter if she forgives or not, I’ll start to be okay.”

 

            “Did he um…”

 

            “Three times.” She said. “I shouldn’t complain, Zeus was worse, he and Poseidon liked ganging up.”

 

            “Well, we got Poseidon as well.” Kestrel said looking at the dead sea god.

 

            “I’ve made my peace with them.” Nike said. “They would just do it and leave, only got me once. Heraclese was the one who liked to hear women scream. He would hurt you for no reason.”

 

            “Bastard.” Kestrel said remembering.

 

            “Can I ask you something?” Nike asked.

 

            “Sure.”

 

            “I thought they said you don’t feel any better later.”

 

            “You felt better?” Kestrel asked.

 

            “I can’t even describe how much better that made me feel.” Nike agreed.

 

            “I think they say that Revenge is hollow just to stop people from going to get it.” Kestrel said. “I might not be able to get back what he took away, but no one can take away that feeling of satisfaction.”

 

            “I thought maybe I was the only one who felt it?”

 

            “Nope.” Kestrel said.

 

            “You too?”

 

            “We’re all victims till we decide not to be.” She said.

 

            “Are you two going to help?” Max asked.

 

            “No.” Kestrel said smiling. “Gun grabbing and reloading is boy work. Like killing spiders and mowing the lawn.”

 

           

April 15th, 2003

9:30 a.m.

 

            “Are we ready to go then?” Jorgaes said, pushing back his hair that he had wetted in the sink.

 

            “Are you calm now?”

 

            “Yes.” He said. “I think I could safely fuck a few girls before we went, but I’m calm.”

 

            “Business first Mister Jorgaes.” She said

 

            “If you insist.” He agreed amiably. “Shall we then?”

 

            If she had looked carefully, at least more carefully than she had cared to, Lilith would have noticed something odd about Jorgaes. His eyes were not dilated, his lips were not engorged, his cheeks weren’t rosy. If he had taken a stimulant or had just finished a session of what the Victorian psychologist called “Self-Abuse” then some of these signs should have shown, they did not.

 

            There could be reasons that Lilith didn’t notice these things, possibly she wasn’t watching for them, possibly she was engaged in self-abuse as well. It’s possible that her red shimmering to blue eyes were a little too blurred to see under the dim lighting. It’s possible that she didn’t really know what signs to look for, or she might be inattentive. Whatever reason, she missed the tell tale signs.

 

            Jorgaes placed a cigarette in his mouth and lit it, letting the smoke flow up around him. He sucked on the white stick, and smiled with pleasure. He let a plume of smoke out and caught a look at Eve who was looking at him. His smile widened, and he rolled the cigarette around to the other side of his mouth. He winked at her and then turned to follow the beauty out.

 

 

April 15th, 2003

9:35 a.m.

 

            Athena and Tanteroy were walking a bit ahead of Darrian and Cassimano, who were watching their backs as they walked across the land. It was like a wasteland of stones. It was amazing how wide the plain was, but it was made up of stones no bigger than a fist, and that was the largest ones. Most of them were small enough to be hidden in a closed fist. The stone plain seemed to go forever in each direction, which it may very well do. The river was ahead of them, they could see it from here.

 

            “Can I ask you something D’var?” Michael Darrian asked.

 

            “Sure.” Cassimano said.

 

            “What are you doing here?” Darrian asked.

 

            “I’m not sure I follow you.”

 

            “You could have left at any time, Cydrill and Piedmont managed to get back to Assitania, you could have gone with them.”

 

            “That’s not my home.” Cassimano said. “My home is far in the future to that place. I’ve been away from that place so long, yet I still feel that I’m just away from home.”

 

            “But you could have gone back, but you stayed. Why?”

 

            Cassimano didn’t say anything for a while, and his steps slowed to allow a larger gap between them and the two ahead of them. He finally, when enough room had opened up between them, looked at Darrian.

 

            “I’m a lucky guy.” He said. “I’m the sort of person who can get into all the parties, and is accepted at whatever level of society I try to get into. Yet, I hate all of them. I’ve been with royals and I’ve been with the unscrubbed masses and I can’t stand anyone in those groups or anyone in between. All these years have taught me that most people are really as bad as you think they are. The poor are a bunch of drunks trying to escape reality, all the rich really are monsters who would kill a baby to get just a little richer. Anything bad about a group, pretty much is true. I kept seeing the worst of everyone, and I couldn’t stand them anymore.”

 

“That doesn’t explain it though.” Darrian said.

 

“But I’m not done yet.” Cassimano said. “The Weirdo isn’t like the rest of them. He really is as good as they say he is, and I can stand to be around him. I’ve never found a group that I thought I could actually hang around with, until I met this one. When you don’t have a lot of friends, you throw your lot in with them, no matter what. Dose that explain it?”

 

“I think it dose.” Darrian said.

 

            “What about you?” Cassimano asked. “What are you doing still here?”

 

            “I keep asking myself that.” Darrian said. “I think it’s because I owe The Weirdo.”

 

            “Owe him?”

 

            “Yeah.” Darrian said.

 

            “What do you owe him?”

            “A personal debt.” Darrian said.

 

            “Ah,” Cassimano said, “I understand.”

 

            “I hope so.” Darrian said.

 

            “You coming?” Athena asked.

 

            “Just discussing your butt dear.” Cassimano said, and picked up his pace a bit.

 

 

April 15th, 2003

9:36 a.m.

 

            “What was that about Doc Savage?” Kaala asked Angel.

 

            “Oh, that’s Jimmy’s fault.” One of the soldiers, a world war two marine captain, marching next to her said.

 

            “Jimmy?”

 

            “Jimmy Rosenblat, he’s over there.” The soldier said pointing towards the crowd. She couldn’t make out any one soldier from another, so she just nodded. “He died on a battle field with a Doc Savage book in his pocket. Well they still tell tales instead of having TV or anything up here. We’re supposed to take turns telling tales of greatness, we go around in a rotation. When Jimmy’s turn came up, he reached into his pocket and pulled out that book. Read the whole thing and when he was done Odin asked if there were other stories of the Doc. Well of course there were, so some fellas had to go out and get every book about Doc Savage that’d ever been written. Now Odin thinks he’s one of the greatest heroes who ever lived.”

 

            “Amazing.” Kaala said.

 

            “He likes stories.” The captain said.

 

 

April 15th, 2003

9:38 a.m.

 

            The end of the deep was blocked up with a massive door. It was the sort of door one might use to keep the fires of hell back. It was black wood and steel spikes, all of which had a very intimidating feel. There were torches set into sconces this deep, providing just enough light to make out the rest of the tunnel. It was beginning to get hot this low down, they must be reaching the core. Jack thought he could hear magma flowing around them.

 

An imp sat on a stool before them, an actual imp. Not a person who was small, or a bent up child, but an imp with horns and a tail and everything. It was naked, and yellow skinned, with huge green eyes. Tommy had placed his hand on the butt of his pistol when they’d seen it, and hadn’t let go yet. The imp simply looked at them, his eyes flashing against the dim light and making the eyes appear luminous. He withdrew the cigarette from his lips, if you could call them lips. He folded the newspaper, which would turn out to be a copy of the London times pronouncing William Pitt the younger the new prime minister.

 

            “You have come.” The imp said.

 

            “I have.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “They said you would not come.”

 

            “I know.”

 

            “And yet you did.”

 

            “Are you going to open the doors?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            “You’re not dead though.”

 

            “No.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “The living are not supposed to tread on the same ground as the dead.” The imp said. “You are not permitted to enter.”

 

            “You’ll have to let us through.” The Weirdo said. “We want to speak to Ah Puch, and he’s on the other side of the door.”

 

            “He doesn’t want to see anyone.” The imp said.

 

            “How long have you been reading that paper?” Tommy asked.

 

            “Beg pardon?” The imp asked.

 

            The paper had become hard, and so brittle that the pages could not be folded, but rather held as individual things. It was clear that the imp had read every lines of the paper several times over, possibly thousands of times.

 

            “The news paper.” Tommy said reaching into his coat. “It’s just I wonder.”

 

            He pulled a folded newspaper from his left pocket and held it up. The paper was new and fresh, Tommy opened it and held it in front of him. It was a few days old, and nothing much of any importance was in it that day, but it was a newspaper. He looked at the headline, and then at the imp. The small creatures green eyes shown at just the idea of a new paper.

 

            “It’s a few days old,” Tommy said, “But it’s fairly current. I mean sure the movie show times and TV listings are going to be out of date but still.”

 

            “I, ah, I couldn’t?” The imp began.

 

            “What’s that?” Tommy asked.

 

            “Well you wouldn’t mind if I just looked, would you?” The imp said.

 

            “Well I’ll have to read it if we’re to just wait for you’re resolve to break.” Tommy said. “I mean I need to occupy myself.”

 

“But if you were going to go through?” The imp asked.

 

“Wouldn’t need it.” Tommy said. “Probably just leave it behind.”

 

            The imp’s eyes swung up to The Weirdo.

 

            “I’m sure we could just open the door this one time. I mean if I open the door to see if my shifts over and you happen to slip in, not my fault is it?”

 

            “No.” The Weirdo said glancing at Tommy. “We couldn’t blame you.”

 

            “No.” The imp said, “Surely not.”

 

            His yellow claw hand touched the massive door handle, and it opened at his touch.

 

            The Weirdo’s team thus crossed into the connected underworlds, beginning with Mitnal to see Hunhau, also called Ah Puch. They would have to cross long roads to get to the end of The Weirdo’s plan, and they had just put their foot down on the first step.

 

            And thus The Weirdo spake saying, “And a way we go.”

© 2014 Autumn Knight Productions

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May 13, 2014 - Posted by | Fiction | , , ,

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