A New Olympian God
Mt. Olympus, ancient Greece.
"Zeus, what you are suggesting is obnoxious, at least!"
"Athena, I thought your wisdom would have let you see clearly. The people are protesting, and you know that without their faith our powers diminish."
"And you expect me to agree with your distasteful proposal? You want me to allow a man to become a god?!"
"Oh, my foolish daughter! I am not asking for your permission. I am here talking to you only for you to know my plan beforehand. In fact, I want you to help this man, to guide him into godhood. After I choose him, you will be his assistant."
Athena left the assembly hall immediately. She knew very well that once Zeus, the king of gods, had set his mind on something, there was no hope for him to change his mindset. Zeus is an arrogant king, his wishes turn into orders all the gods must follow. Although she has left the hall without saying a word, Athena has already come up with a plan of action. She can help the human and achieve her own purposes.
Zeus, on the other hand, is not certain about his intents. The gods are in a dire situation! Their godly powers are sustained through human faith. They need believers, not necessarily devoted ones, for their powers to grow and stay strong. Each and every god has his own unique power, which he can use up to a specific degree without the faith requirement. However, if people cease to believe in a god, then said god ceases to exist. Zeus controls the thunder and with his powerful strikes he can destroy an entire city. Athena controls the speech; with her wise choice of words she can persuade even the most stubborn ones. When the gods have a big flock, their powers acquire more abilities and strength. In the rare case, where they have many truly devoted and good-willed believers they can develop new skills, but those newly obtained skills need practice and hard training to be useful.
Agora, Athens, 6 days later.
"We gathered here today to speak our minds, to freely discuss about our concerns and decide what to do with the temples and our gods." Athenagoras said after standing up in the middle of agora.
"The gods are angry, because of such words Athenagoras, the temples are OUR temples and also THEIR temples. Those temples were built over the years of our civilization to show our gratitude to them. Those temples are the place to worship our saviors." Diomedes replied obviously agitated.
"And I never stated nor implied that we should not worship them or stop believing in them. But I must say that I do think they could be a little grateful and give back for all the support they are receiving. We ask for favors and in return we offer our faith. We preach, we spread our undeniable faith in them, and we kindly await their actions."
"What favorable actions do you expect them to bestow upon us, when they hear us talking like that? Do you want them to give us what we asked for so easily? Do you think, by any chance, that we are not getting enough? Listen to yourself asking greedily for more and more! Don’t you even think that if not for them we would not even be here talking?"
"That is enough Diomedes, you said your opinion and we heard it. You need not heavy words and rhetorical questions. What we should discuss instead is how we may manage our faith." Meletios interrupted them trying to restore order.
"That is, we should ask the gods to communicate with us. The priests in the temples are saying ambiguous things. I think it would be better if we directly talk with them and express our feelings. Our town is in a crucial condition, the cultivations bring less and less food to the table and our yields are very poor. Our youths are incompetent and lack the will to do some hard work and bring change. Not to mention our neighbours, they seem to flourish in many aspects, and they can be a threat." Athenagoras continued in the same fashion.
"Indeed, that is the case. So, let us vote! Who are in favor of Athenagoras’ idea? Shall we ask the gods directly for their assist?" Meletios suggested the voting to avoid similar troubles.
- Crowd; «Yes», «Definitely», «This is preposterous», «We can do it», «We must not».
Outside the meeting, a woman is waiting patiently, hidden behind a pillar and barrels of wine. She seems anxious, even though you can barely see her covered face, her whole posture “tells” you, she is worried about something. The men are now exiting the Agora, she approaches one of them.
"Uhm, Isocrates, how did it go? Did they reach a conclusion?" asked Alexandra; the aforementioned woman.
"Shh, Alexandra, you know you are not allowed to be here. Come, follow me." Isocrates said that, while doing a nod with his head.
I don’t understand why she cares so much for those gods, this woman is undoubtedly a weird one. She is sturdy and smart, I don’t get it. Why does she obey gods’ wishes like that? We know each other pretty much from childhood. I could not imagine she would show such devotion. She did not seem the compliant type. Ah, it does not matter. She always keeps me good company and I trust her. Also, it is not that I do not believe in gods. The place we are heading now is my house, there we can talk without interruptions. In the previous gathering Alexandra indicated first that we should let the gods talk to us directly, instead of leaving the priests to convey their words. This way we will be able to receive the best possible guidance, she said.
"We are going to your house, right?" Alexandra easily guessed their destination knowing him for many years.
"Yes, here we are, go inside first. Okay, now hear me out it seems your suggestion last time… it was not for naught. Athenagoras proposed the same thing you did. Of course, he said it in a different manner--"
"Well, did he manage to convince them?" Alexandra cut in.
"Not entirely, but tomorrow morning we will go and let the priests know that we want to talk directly with the gods." Isocrates continued as it was natural for her to interrupt him.
"Those are good news, no, great news! Did they say who is allowed to participate?"
"No, they did not mention anything. It was a rather quick decision. I suppose anyone who knows can be there."
"You would find me there either way, still it is a lot easier when you do not have to look out for guards." Alexandra said and smirked.
"You better be careful. You always put yourself at risky circumstances and that mouth of yours, it definitely does not help." Isocrates pointed out.
As if she did not hear my warning Alexandra left my house jumping from the window. She is once more showing off her rebellious attitude. I guess only if I were a god only then she would listen to me. Believing in one of the twelve gods is not obligatory, even so she is breaking the rules again. It is like she believes in all twelve of them, because she has to. Conversely, my relation with the gods is that of a human and his cat, independent and unrestrained. There are times I show them my belief and there are times I turn my back at them.
Mt. Olympus, evening of the same day.
"So, father. Have you found your precious human?" Athena asked while having a suspicious look on her face.
"I have yet to find a promising one, but I can sense it. Tomorrow is the right day. The humans are on the move, they are preparing something." Zeus was pondering.
"Do I have to remind you the importance of your decision? I hope not!"
"Since you will be his assistant, I think the situation will be under control."
"And how exactly do you expect him to help with all the commotion? I can see how a human might be of help to us dealing with human problems, though I do not see the point of making him a god. You are playing with fire by giving a mere human such power."
Athena does not simply fret. She understands the seriousness of the matter and she knows how her father does things. Using her intellect and speech abilities she tries to get information about Zeus’s motives. Athena will handle the welcoming and advising the human to his new role. She is aware of the possible corruption to his soul from the immense power of being a god. The status quo of godly affairs will probably change, but she wants to retain the damages at the minimum.
"You do not need to worry. In terms of hierarchy, he will be at the bottom. It will be the same in terms of power. I will choose him with only one thing in mind. He will be our servant and he will ease all our pains coming from humans." Zeus laughed and averted his gaze.
"I will constantly monitor his skills growth and check his mental state. I will tutor him into a proper god. However, father, I fear that your choice will do more harm than good. Your selection criteria were always selfish and impulsive." Athena responded seriously and coldly in contrast to her father's joy.
Zeus looked at her persistently and said, «We shall see». Zeus surely is full of himself. He has his own reasoning behind his actions. He might appear egoistic and arrogant, but he is not all talk. He is the king of gods because he brings results. He satisfies both gods and humans. Also, his fame among humans is huge. A significant part of his devoted believers are women, who are generally in love with him and have true faith in him. Still, Zeus is popular among men as well. In the eyes of men Zeus symbolizes leadership, he is strong and has the will to succeed.
Delphi, morning of next day.
I did not sleep well yesterday. I had a bad premonition. Although my night thoughts were not about me, they were about Alexandra. I fear that she will get in trouble. I think the gods might have noticed her, because of her sincere faith, and they are protecting her to some extent. But she lives in the world of humans and sometimes she can be a real nuisance. She is fierce and she is not going to suppress herself, despite the difficulties and problems that might arise.
"Now then I shall ask the priests." Meletios told that to the people gathered outside the temple. He then proceeded stepping inside to inform the priests about what we have decided in yesterday’s Agora. Immediately a loud voice echoed through the walls. «Oh, dear gods forgive the moronic humans»! It is clear to all of us that our idea quickly became a sin, and an uproar has already started. Suddenly, an even louder voice was heard. «Silence!!! You imbecile people, you have angered the king of gods himself. The all-mighty Zeus is connecting with me to announce your punishment». A bright light started glowing behind the priests. It is so bright that we can barely see them anymore. What we are now watching resembles a face. The face of an old, but nice-looking man. His grey hair and beard are long, clean and neat. He must be Zeus. No, there is no doubt, he is Zeus. His face looks like that of a noble king, the king of gods.
"My beloved children, I have not come here to bring my wrath upon you. How could I? I am showing my face to you. I am showing you, my generosity. I have heard your request, and I want to grant your wish. I want my kids, my precious kids, to be as close to me as they need to. Today, I am choosing one of you to accompany me back to Olympus. I am choosing one of you to represent humanity in our sacred home. I am choosing one of you to be a god with us!" Zeus spoke calmly at the beginnng and gradually raised his voice and changed the tone of his speech.
Tumultuous applause! A tremendous cheer from the crowd. Ear-piercing claps and shouts are heard from everywhere. Even the priests are dumbfounded. How is it possible to believe that a moment ago Zeus, the king of the gods, uttered those words. For a human to be a god, that is an illogical, an irrational thought. No, a human is forbidden to have such a desire. Zeus asks the fervent crowd to calm down. After that the bright light, previously a face, takes the form of a body. Zeus’s body, in spite of his age, is equal to that of a young well-built man. Strong arms, powerful legs, brawny abs, a muscular chest and shoulders. All his muscles are well-defined and easily visible, not hefty though.
"Isocrates you may approach me." It seems that Zeus is referring to me. His face and body have turned towards my location. His index is pointing at me. The bright light expands from his finger creating a line reaching straight at my thorax. I simply did as he said and climbed the stairs walking up to him in the entrance of the temple.
"Behold my children! One of your people! This is our new member and our fellow god! He is your new god!" Zeus raised up his hands and said with a clear voice.