Chapter 5:

Aftermath of the Ritual

A New Olympian God

“Show us a bright future, god of future!” Bookmark here

“I hope he helps! If he can though.” Bookmark here

“Put your godly powers in good use, Isocrates!” Bookmark here

I am hearing voices as I am feeling like my body is traversing across several directions of where the constellations have taken me. I am feeling like I am being pulled and at the same time a force is holding me still. I think it is more of a mind thing, as the whole... experience with the constellations was. Bookmark here

I open up my eyes! Bookmark here

I am back in the pitch-black place inside the isolated space shaped by Nyx’s shadow figure. The bright light emitted from my right eye has gone, and I cannot see Orion’s constellation in my eye anymore. Bookmark here

“I see you have returned. Welcome back, Isocrates.” A gentle voice is heard. It is easy to recognize! It is Nyx’s soft and calm voice. She is speaking somewhere from the black shadow surrounding me. Bookmark here

“So, the ritual has ended. It is finished, right?” The constellations have said that they have done their designated job, but they never gave me any explanation of my godly powers. So, I assumed that the ritual might have not been completed in its entirety. Bookmark here

“The constellations have done their part. Otherwise, you would not be here talking with me. They have made their decision. They have provided you with godly powers.” It was not much of an offering though. Bookmark here

“But they never told me what I can do with them. How can I use them? All they said was that you will tell me about that.” I directly ask Nyx or else it might take a while before she explains me. Bookmark here

“You have become a god, Isocrates. The god of the future. You ask me what your godly powers are. They give you the power to grasp hold of the future!” Bookmark here

“Can I control the future? Can I change it?” If I can do that, then my powers are quite overkill! I can handle the future, what comes next! Bookmark here

“That you might can.” Bookmark here

“This a vague answer, Nyx! Can you be more specific? What can I do exactly with those powers?” I believe it is pretty important to know what my godly powers are capable of. Bookmark here

“You are the one to define your abilities, Isocrates! Your godly powers will present you the future, nothing more. It is up to you to produce something out of it. It is up to you to perform.” Bookmark here

The shadow-covered space is changing shape. Nyx is changing her figure once more. It seems that I will not get any more information from her! Bookmark here

“It is over, then! Finally, you have become a god, Isocrates.” Athena is approaching me holding the helmet and shield in her hands. She looks pleased with the outcome, though I would not describe her as happy. I think she is pleased because we are finally over with the ritual after Ares’ intrusion. Bookmark here

“Did they reach a decision?” Zeus is not moving. He is standing back with his arms crossed. He asks Nyx if they reached a conclusion, so he knows about the constellations. Bookmark here

“Yes, they did. Isocrates is the new god of future!” Zeus is grinning while bringing his right hand to his mouth. Nyx replies to him as she transforms back into her woman shape. The pitch-black shadow is now approaching me and Athena. Bookmark here

“I shall leave him in your hands, Athena! You have to help him discover his newly obtained godly powers. You have to make him find their true, his true potential. You have to assist him into learning how to properly use them. You must make him into a fine god! Although you will not be alone in this task!” Nyx moves past Athena lightly touching her shoulder. Not alone?! Is she referring to the other gods? But Zeus is already here and I do not think Nyx was referring to him, otherwise she should have mentioned him. Bookmark here

“And with that my job here is done. Zeus, you know that my father will not tolerate any mischief. That was your decision all along, so you better take responsibility. You decided to make him into a god, you better be careful with how you raise him to be one! I have nothing else to say and I have no reason to further stay here.” Bookmark here

“Then, all there is left for us, is to thank you!” Says Athena to deliberately ease the pressure. She does not want Zeus to respond back. She wants to avoid any conflict at that late point. However, Zeus stays silent retaining his grin under his hand-covered, now reaching up to his nose, face. His smile though is not as broad as before. Bookmark here

“I accept your kind gratitude, my kind and wise Athena. I shall take my leave now.” Nyx’s shadow starts swirling, creating an intense whirl blowing the shatters from the marble pieces which Ares’ intrusion and Zeus thunder attacks have left lying on Pantheon’s floor after their fight. Bookmark here

“It must have been a heavy first day in Olympus for you, Isocrates!” Zeus has already moved next to me patting me on the shoulder. Looking outside from the in-between space of Pantheon’s pillar columns, I notice that night has come resting upon Olympus’ deep purple sky. The starry sky resembles Nyx with her constellations shining bright on her expanded shadow form, with the only difference being her dark, pitch-black colour. Bookmark here

“Athena, we should let Isocrates rest for the day. Lead him to his room and bed to relax.” Zeus orders her and charging he transforms into his eagle form. With a flap of his huge wings, he is leaving dressed in his thunderbolt. Me and Athena are exiting Pantheon as well. Bookmark here

I cannot see a lot of things. Actually, I can barely see any. There are no lights on Olympus’ streets. The night is starry but that does not make any difference at all. Also, I do not see Athena holding any sort of lantern to help us navigate our way through. If she has not already shown me this part of Olympus before Pantheon, then I would not even be able to identify what lies in front of me. I could have guessed that there is something taking up the space, but I could not tell what it is exactly. Of course, now I know that ahead of me before Pantheon’s entrance there is Fontana di Olympus and the grand statues of the gods. Further beyond is Olympus’ majestic garden, it is far enough thus it would have been impossible for it to be visible even with an extremely bright lantern or plenty of light. Still, I can smell clearly its scent, the distinct nice aroma and the mesmerising fragrance of its flowers. Bookmark here

“Follow my lead, let me show you the way to your room in your new house.” Athena transforms into her owl form and flies to my shoulder. She is careful not to hurt me with her horned talons. Bookmark here

“Now we have no need for street lights. Let me guide you, Isocrates.” It might have never occurred to them that Olympus needs some night lighting for its streets. It seems that they have not thought of every little detail, although this is not a detail. The gods might not use the streets at all to move in Olympus. Athena and Zeus can freely and rapidly move in their other, bird forms, so judging by the total lack of street lights I assume it is the same for the other gods as well. Bookmark here

“So, Athena, how do I use my powers? Because so far Nyx and her constellations have not given me a clear answer.” I ask her while she is guiding, telling me where to go. I am not even trying to look at which direction to go, I act like I am completely blind left in her care. She indicates the path and I follow it. Bookmark here

“Your powers demand training to grow. Hoo hooo! As for how to use them, how to activate and control them, that is a question only you can find the answer, but for the most part it simply comes with trial and error. You just have to put the effort into theoretically learning it and practically doing it, since we are not talking about mastery. It is the same procedure as with every other thing you learn how to do throughout your life, Isocrates. Hoo hooo!” Bookmark here

Chuckle! Bookmark here

—Gwhu— I am laughing inwardly as silently as possible! Athena is making the owl call, hoo hooo, every now and then, and it is really funny! I did not expect that she would be able to make that sound, but it seems that she has turned into an owl for real. Still, hearing it coming from an owl which I know is Athena AND when she is explaining me something important... I can’t, I just cannot handle it. My tongue slips, my mouth opens! —Ahh ha ha ha ha— I let out an apparent laugh! I am giggling! I cannot hide it from Athena anymore. Bookmark here

“What happened, why are you laughing all of a sudden?” Bookmark here

Oops, she got me! I could not hide it, so I guess I just have to be honest. I hope that she does not have any problem if someone laughs hearing her hoot. Bookmark here

“All of sudden?! Are you not hearing your own owl call, the hoot?! You were making a hoo hooo sound from time to time when you were talking. Are you not able to hear it? Not even a little? Because I did and it was very funny, truly!” I mimic the owl sound Athena made because it really seems like she could not hear it. I mean she looked startled when I started laughing. Bookmark here

“Oh, so that is why you suddenly started laughing. No! I cannot hear it, at least not anymore.” I watch the owl in my shoulder shaking her head in denial. This is also pretty funny. But! I must be discreet. I must hold back! If I burst out laughing now, then it would be quite bad. Bookmark here

“Anymore? What happened? Did you use your powers to prevent your owl ears from hearing the sound? Did you find it funny as well or annoying? Or did the other gods?” I am acting like a little child discovering little by little the world around him. I asked a lot of questions, but you can easily answer them with a simple response. All my questions are essentially asking the same thing and need only one answer. Well, I am in a playful mood after the ease of today’s tension with my previous laughter. It was a tough day, a difficult first day in Olympus full of experiences. Bookmark here

“Your guess was close enough. I did not use my powers, but Apollon did. He helped all the gods who had trouble with their speech in their animal form. He made us unable to hear those sounds. No, not unable. He hid those sounds from our minds, we cannot even perceive them anymore.” Well, I was wrong when I assumed that my questions had a simple answer! Athena, despite everything that happened today, she has not gotten tired giving me explanations. I bet that if I ask her what Apollon godly powers can do, she will tell me another story. But I am tired, I will choose the bed tonight. Bookmark here

“In your case, you are able to hear my owl hoot because you were a human. Apollon used his powers on us, gods, so that we no longer can perceive each other’s animal sounds. However, even though you have become a god you were a human previously. In order for you to not perceive the sounds like we do, Apollon has to use his powers again on you.” Bookmark here

“So, humans can hear your hoot.” Bookmark here

“That is the case. Though I do not know if Apollon is capable of muting the animal sounds for all humans. We never asked him to do anything about it. After all, we rarely speak with humans, even less in our animal form.” Bookmark here

“Alright human can hear your hoot, but can you communicate with other owls? Will your earlier call gather owls in the area?” My laughter has become nervous at this point! I cannot take seriously whatever Athena tries to tell me. I believe that she would also laugh if not being an owl right now. No, I guess she is laughing, but in her owl form. How does an owl laugh? I think I should ask her! Bookmark here

“I will let that one slide since it was a really tough day for you. Your first day in Olympus was pretty hard, but you should know that you have hard work awaiting you from now on. You need a lot of hard work to be a proper god. You need adequate training and learning for your preparation to be sufficient enough, to be essential.” Athena restores the lost order returning to heavy talk. However, I am not going to join her! Bookmark here

“You can stop now. We are here. This is your new house in Olympus.” Finally! It seems that gods have listened to my prayers, or it was me doing myself an early favour. I am not revealing any of my funny inner thoughts to Athena this time. I learned from my mistake. She does not appreciate a good joke. Bookmark here

“This is your new godly home. Feel free to make any change you would like. Enjoy it. Today’s tour ends here. I should leave you to rest. Good night, Isocrates. Hoo hooo!” I thought that I would not hear it again because she has not done it for a long time, and I assume Apollon will mute it for me soon enough. It seems she does not make the sound so often. Anyway, it was a nice little farewell and goodnight wish. Bookmark here

Athena presented me my new house, but with all that darkness I could not see what it looks like on the outside. She jumped from my shoulder and turned into her human form. She opened the door for me as she finished her sentence. She then transformed back into an owl and left flying fast. Bookmark here

Fortunately, there are candles near the entrance. I light up one of them. I am not going to explore the house right now. I am heading straight to the bedroom. At least that is what I would like to do if it was my actual house, but it is not hence I do not know the route to automatically follow it. The living room is spacious! It would have been enough for me, Alexandra and my mother to fit in here five times. Bookmark here

Come on now, really? There are stairs! The whole ground floor is the living room and the kitchen which has ample space as well. The architecture is different from the usual Athenian house. I have not seen a single house in Athena having floors, also the living room and the kitchen are separate rooms. Bookmark here

I climb the stairs. I am tired, I want to sleep already. I found a room! I am entering and I jump to the bed right away. —Phou— I blow the candle, good night. Bookmark here

Back in Pantheon
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“What is it that you want to tell me father?” Bookmark here

“As always you are the perceptive type, my wise daughter. You noticed that I did not actually left Pantheon. I flew a few meters away and I stood in a tree branch waiting for your return.” Bookmark here

“And here I am. What do you need of me? I would appreciate if you could cut short our conversation. I have to wake up early tomorrow to train Isocrates, your decision.” Bookmark here

“I will not bother you for long. I am well aware that your time is little and precious. The word will travel fast. Ares has already started his rebellion. It will not take much for the others to make their move as well. I will keep Isocrates, and you, safe. You do not need to worry about that. But you must hurry with his teaching. He must be an autonomous, independent god. He has to believe that, at least. You will keep an eye to his progress and report anything suspicious. I will shape him into a fine god. The humans will also make their move, pay close attention to his relations with them.” Bookmark here

‘I have been given a task, and I will make sure to see it through. However, it would help me to know your plan beforehand rather than watching it unravel as it happens.” Athena will sure follow Zeus’s order, but she will not stay still, fingers crossed, hoping that it will lead to the desired result. She needs to know more, to have a better understanding of his plan. Bookmark here

“My plan is quite simple. He will help us with humans and the other defying gods. He will help us establish order.” Zeus responds with a half reply not giving away much practical information. Bookmark here

“I assume you will not go into further detail. Then, let me ask you one other thing. Your decision has already caused a minor upset, if you can call minor today’s incident with Ares. And it will not stop here, a turmoil is to come.” Bookmark here

“Athena, you might be the goddess of wisdom, but you can make mistakes as well. You seem to have forgotten that not all gods are similar to Ares. They will not act all the same way. Even Ares can be fixed with the right treatment, and Isocrates can and will help us resolve this and many other of our problems. He is a human and he will lead his kind to the direction we, gods, will point out for them. He will help us put a stop on their intent, their recent, stupid idea to abandon religion. He will help us manipulate them.” Bookmark here

“Let us hope that it will be a successful plan. Or I should better work towards making it succeed.” Athena used her artful words to her advantage once more. Indirectly by doubting Zeus’s strategy, she made him reveal the aim of his plan and how he will try to achieve that. She continues being crafty with the words and sentences she is using. She mentions herself as the person responsible for the plan to be successful. Bookmark here

“You will play your part undoubtedly. You will also admit that it is a well-thought plan. Let me show you this, come with me.” And provoking Zeus was also a well-thought and successful plan of action for Athena. Zeus is revealing little by little, more and more details about his strategy. Bookmark here

Athena transforms into her owl form and flies to Zeus’s shoulder. Zeus is emitting thunder rays from his body; he releases a thunderbolt. A flash of lightning shines bright creating a blueish colour in Pantheon. The thunder always comes after the lightning, the sound always comes after the light. The pantheon is empty, Zeus and Athena have already been transported. —Btoom!— the thunder strike is being heard. Clouds are being gathered upon a rotunda look-alike building without the dome. It is an open circular room, more like an assembly hall, with tall columns all around its base. The rotunda building is situated on the top of a steep hill. It is located higher than the city of Hephaestus and the garden of Olympus. It is in a hill much higher from where Fontana di Olympus and Pantheon are. Even the tall marble door, the true gate of Olympus looks to be further down in attitude. No stairs can take you there, no entrance for you to pass. There is a throne in the rear similar to Zeus’s throne at the end of Pantheon. In the middle there is a bird pond consisting of a short, fat column and a concave container full of water, filled all the way up to the top. Zeus and Athena have been transported here through the clouds using his powers of controlling and handling thunder. Zeus manipulates the thunder and lightning; returning the thunderbolt to its original form, transferring it through the clouds and releasing it again to travel from one place to another. However, the distance depends on his powers’ strength and transportation of this sort while certainly rapid it is a heavy task. The process also requires mental focus. Zeus is the king of gods, and he has many devoted followers and believers thus making his powers suitable and capable of such a feat. Not every god could have achieved that so effortlessly. Bookmark here

“Λοιπόν πατέρα, γιατί με έφερες στην πηγή των ιερέων;” (“Why did you bring me here to the pond of the priests?”) Athena knows very well why Zeus brought her here, it is of her own doing that they came here. To expose a little more of his plan, that is. Bookmark here

“Do we not use this to connect with the priests and communicate with humans? Then, that, we came here to do. I brought us here to show you the ways of humans and how we will get rid of their irritating and problematic idea to abandon us, gods.” Bookmark here

“You will not talk right now with the priests nor the humans. What do you have in mind? What do you want to show me?” Athena understands that Zeus is not going to communicate with humans, he will not connect with the priests. He has nothing to tell them, but he has something to tell Athena. Bookmark here

“The pond is not only used for communication. It can show us the past, it will show you all the past times gods connected with the human world. Let the pond show you what the humans have always wanted.” Zeus and Athena are approaching the pond. Zeus places his hand on top of the water. Bookmark here

“Ω, πηγή των ιερέων σύνδεσέ μας με τον κόσμο των ανθρώπων. Δείξε μας το παρελθόν των διανσυδέσεών μας, δείξε μας όσα αιτήθηκαν οι άνθρωποι.” Bookmark here

(“O sacred pond bless us once more. Allow us to see the past, our previous connections with the human world. Show us all of their requests.”) Bookmark here

The water on the surface of the pond ripples slowly. It gradually changes colour from the dark blue at first to the light blue at last. It becomes transparent, for a moment it reflects Athena’s and Zeus’s faces. Then, it becomes grey. The water turns into a pale opaque liquid. The pond water is depicting images on its surface. It is showing the priests talking with the gods. Humans are visiting the temple. They are praying. Others are conversing silently to avoid troubles. And others are asking the gods for favours. Bookmark here

“Σε παρακαλώ, ω θεέ μου Ποσειδώνα, ας έχει ο άντρας μου ένα ασφαλές ταξίδι! Πες στην θάλασσα να μου τον φέρει πίσω σώο και αβλαβή!” Bookmark here

(“Please, O god Poseidon, let my husband have a safe trip! Let the sea bring him back safe and sound!”) Bookmark here

“Σε παρακαλώ, ω παντοδύναμε Δία, στήριξε την πόλη μας! Δώσε της δύναμη και καλοτυχία!” Bookmark here

(“All mighty Zeus, I beg you to support our city! Give us good fortune! Make us stronger!”) Bookmark here

“Σε παρακαλώ, κόρη του Ολυμπίου Διός, ω πάνσοφη Αθηνά! Δίνε μυαλό στους γιους μου! Bookmark here

(“The wisest among the gods, daughter of the Olympian king Zeus, please, Athena, I beg you, share some of your wisdom with my sons!”) Bookmark here

“Ω μεγάλε πολέμαρχε Άρη δώσε μας δύναμη! Βοήθησέ μας να σπείρουμε τον φόβο στους αντιπάλους μας!” Bookmark here

(“O great warlord Ares give us strength! Let us haunt our enemies’ nightmares!”) Bookmark here

“Άρη, θεέ του πολέμου και της μάχης άκουσε τις προσευχές μας! Κάνε τους στρατιώτες μας δυνατούς και γενναίους! Να μπορούν να υπερασπιστούν την πόλη μας από τους εχθρούς μας ανά πάσα στιγμή!” Bookmark here

(“Lord Ares, god of war listen to our prayers! Give our soldiers plenty of courage and strength. Let them be brave and strong enough to defend our city, to oppose our enemies at any time!”) Bookmark here

“Σας παρακαλώ θεοί! Επιστρέψτε την υγεία της κόρης μου! Κάντε την και πάλι υγιή! Μην μου την στερήσετε τόσο νωρίς! Σας παρακαλώ! Επιτρέψτε της να ζήσει! Μην την στείλετε από τώρα στον Άδη!” Bookmark here

(“Please, dear gods! I beg you! Make my daughter strong again! Make her healthy! Do not take her from me! Please! Spare her, let her live! Please, do not take her to the underworld! Do not let Hades have her!”) Bookmark here

“Δόξα και πλούτη! Κάντε την πόλη μας να ακμάσει όσο καμία άλλη! Δία, εσύ που είσαι ο πιο δυνατός και ο αρχηγός όλων των θεών! Βοήθα την Αθήνα να γίνει η καλύτερη έναντι όλων των άλλων πόλεων!” Bookmark here

(“Glory and wealth! Let our city be fortunate, successful like no other! Zeus all mighty, you the king of the gods. Let our city, let our city Athens be the strongest of all!”) Bookmark here

“Σε παρακαλώ Δία, θεέ των θεών, επίτρεψέ μας να ζήσουμε ήσυχα, χωρίς ταραχές στην πόλη μας!” Bookmark here

(“O Zeus, god of the gods, let us live peacefully in our city, keep the troubles away from Athens!”) Bookmark here

“Σε παρακαλώ Άρη, εσύ που κατέχεις την τέχνη του πολέμου πρόσφερέ μας λίγη από τη δύναμή και την ικανότητά σου στη μάχη! Βοήθησέ μας να ταπεινώσουμε τους αντιπάλους μας! Να κατακτήσουμε τα εδάφη τους!” Bookmark here

(“O Ares, god of war, you who possess the art of war lend us your power, some of your abilities in battle! Help us defeat our enemies! Let us conquer their homes and land! Let us take their pride!”) Bookmark here

The pond of the priests shows Zeus and Athena the humans praying. They hear the prayers of many humans coming to the temple asking for favours. Zeus is standing with his head looking straight while Athena has lowered her head to carefully look at the water of the pond. Zeus has crossed his arms on his chest. He is staring Olympus from the rotunda waiting for Athena to finish. Athena is watching the water with a thoughtful, serious look on her eyes. She seems to ponder about something. She raises her head. The water starts rippling and it becomes clear and transparent again. It also gradually regains the dark blue colour. The pond water is now standing still returning entirely to its original state. Bookmark here

“I suppose those prayers have a meaning. You wanted to show me something, those prayers to explain me how Isocrates will help us resolve the problem of humans and their faith.” Athena directs her gaze at Zeus and tells him what she thinks of the prayers. The reason, why he showed her those prayers of humans. Bookmark here

“You want Isocrates to deal with the humans and their demands. No, no... This is foolish, you cannot let him have all the power of their belief. You would never— No! You do not want Isocrates to make human requests come true! You want him to act as the mediator. You want him to convince them of our efforts to materialise their wishes, to remind them how important gods are to humans. A mortal cannot ever understand gods’ work, but they can judge our results. They can determine whether or not we are useful to them in particular. Are we offering enough aid? Are they getting what they ask for? And you want Isocrates, a human, to remind them of our assist.” Athena continues to speak. Her pondering was not for naught. She has come up with a guess for Zeus’s plan. She might have some insight now. Bookmark here

“You never fail to be wise when it counts, my daughter!” Zeus uncrosses his arms and claps only twice. He is smiling broadly. Bookmark here

“Your understanding is not wrong. Although Isocrates will not be a simple mediator. He will be far from a passive viewer. He will have a much more active role to play. His powers are not those of an aggressive type. He will not be an attack-based god—” Bookmark here

“Θεωρείς πως οι δυνάμεις του Ισοκράτη θα είναι σαν και αυτές των Μοιρών;” (“Do you believe that Isocrates’ powers will be similar to the powers of the fate sisters?”) Athena interrupts Zeus and she is approaching him standing on his side. Zeus is sitting on the throne; legs crossed this time with his right hand covering his mouth and touching his beard and mustache. Bookmark here

“I think it is logical to assume. The sisters of fate are also time related deities like Isocrates. Clotho spins the thread of human life, Lachesis draws it out and Atropos cuts it. All three of them, together they twist and turn the thread of human life. Clotho twiddles your life. She decides your present, what is happening right now is because of her own permission. Lachesis knits your life. She decides your future, what will happen next is because of her own permission. Atropos cuts your life. She lets you have a past, what have happened so far is because of her own permission. This is the human description of their divine powers. However, these powers, we know that they are not their real powers. The description fails to describe their true abilities and mispresents their true capabilities. They are deities of time in fact. But there is no such a thing as a thread for them to utilise their powers. Clotho handles the present, she allows for things to happen or not. She is responsible for letting situations to occur. She has no control over the situation itself. A situation is a situation, Clotho cannot prevent it from happening. She gives permission, she consents to happen to you. Lachesis handles the future, she shapes how things will happen. She is the one that can change a situation. She can alter or delete a particular occurrence, but she cannot turn it into reality, into an incident. She can form a situation, but she cannot decide whether it will happen at the end. Finally, Atropos handles the past. She permits situations to exist, to be created for you. She can disapprove an occurrence from passing onto the next stage to Clotho and Lachesis. She cannot directly end your life, but she can make it an empty and miserable one with no memories to remember and with no days to look forward.” Bookmark here

“Even so, they possess significant powers. The real burden to their powers is not the difference with the human description, but the fact that they cannot do anything when it comes to divine. They cannot interfere with divine affairs, godly or whatever else. They cannot meddle with divine incidents. They cannot intervene on divine situations at all. Yet we cannot be sure that Isocrates will share the same burden.” Athena interrupts Zeus once more. She is not content with his strategy. She considers her father to be negligent. She has spotted a possible failure on his plan with Isocrates, an important oversight. Bookmark here

“The burden as you have decided to call it, is not the only problem for the fate sisters. In fact, it is irrelevant to our case with Isocrates. We have seen the sisters of fate using their powers on humans, we have seen enough to be able to understand. Manipulating situations is not an easy task. They are three and still they cannot handle messing with occurrences. Even when it comes to only one human. The required mental strength is enormous and demands your undivided attention up to the very little details. The concentration needed is extremely heavy putting a real burden on your brain. The desired mind control of the individual handling any time-related power must be very high.” Bookmark here

Zeus raises the tone of his voice a bit. He is angry, angered by his daughter’s distrust, but he is trying to retain his calm. He has decided to bring her here to explain because she was skeptical at the first place. He remains seated on the throne, although he has uncrossed his legs leaning forward with his arms open Bookmark here

“And do you not think that Isocrates might be capable of that? Even if he is not, you should have taken it into consideration when you were preparing your plan of action! The whole strategy of choosing a human to become a god and help us deal with our problems!” Athena also raises the volume of her voice. She is infuriated. Despite being the goddess of wisdom, she leaves the manners aside for a while. Bookmark here

“Here comes our turn to play our part in the plan. While we do not know yet what his powers can truly achieve, we can be sure that with the right guidance... with proper guidance on our side, he will become a useful weapon in our hands. You might be wise Athena, but do not forget that we can properly think as well.” Zeus brings his fists under his chin and sits back on the throne. Bookmark here

“If you paid close attention to the human prayers, then you should have noticed what kind of favours they ask for. They want prosperity for their city and their families. They pray for health, wealth and easy-going lives. Nonetheless, there are those among them who wish for war and battles. There are those who want victories over their enemies. There are those who want to conquer, those who want land and glory. Even if you have not watched it, you would still be able to guess to whom they pray.” Bookmark here

“Ares!” Athena mutters in agreement to Zeus’s word. His observation about the prayers makes her ponder again. Bookmark here

“Exactly, my daughter. All of them are praying to Ares. With the help of Isocrates, we will reduce his influence. We will make decisions and moves to reduce his followers. We will take away his believers to give them to Isocrates. If needed Isocrates’ powers will tell us the future showing us the results of our actions, indicating what we should do next to increase our chances of success. Even if Isocrates obtains many devoted believers, his powers are no problem to deal with. The order will be retained, only the hierarchy between the two and the strength of their respective powers will change. Isocrates will move up the ranks leaving Ares powerless enough to stir up any more trouble. And he will maintain the human faith in us gods. We retain our powers, and our problems are solved.” Bookmark here

Zeus is telling even more details about his plan. He seems to be quite confident about the success of his strategy. Athena might have come to a better understanding now. She has obtained pretty good information. Her plan has succeeded, the strategy of provocation has worked in her favour. Bookmark here

“I have underestimated you father. It seems that you have put the right amount of thought to your plan for once. Though you still leave many things up to luck. You should not make the same mistake as I did here, you should not underestimate Isocrates and his powers. You also should not expect him to join forces with you and comply with your strategy. He might not want to follow your plan as well.” Athena praises her father for properly thinking things rather than right away acting based on his whims. However, she is still in distrust. She cannot accept his plan as is. To her this strategy is not a well-thought one. She has spotted inconsistencies. Therefore, she is rather careful and uneasy. Bookmark here

“For the problems that may arise. For that case, I have chosen a strong ally to be on my side. This is why we are here now talking, Athena. This is why you knew firsthand my decision to make a human into a god, to bring Isocrates in Olympus. This is why you will be in charge of his teaching. This is why you will oversee his growth.” Bookmark here

“So, I guess I share the responsibility. Even though I never asked for it, I should bear with it. Since I am directly involved in this, I should rest assured. I will try to do my best and be of service to you father but be sure that I will not blindly obey your every order. I will come up with a plan of my own as I train and advise Isocrates.” Athena declares while moving to the pond of the priests. She is lightly touching the water with her fingers. Bookmark here

Zeus stands up from the throne. He approaches Athena who has already turned into an owl sitting on the pond. She jumps on his shoulder as he passes by. Zeus is emitting rays of thunder. He releases a thunderbolt. —Btoom!— the thunder strike is being heard. A bright flash of lightning shines covering the space. The ground trembles, the rotunda is shaking. Clouds are being gathered, the thunder returns to them. Athena and Zeus are being transported back to Pantheon, at the lower parts of Olympus Mountain. Bookmark here

“Father, I will head back to my house. I could use some rest.” Bookmark here

“Go on, Athena. Our sleepless nights will come to an end soon!” Bookmark here

Athena leaves flying, still in her owl form, to have some rest at last. But Zeus is not. He waits for Athena to leave. He waits until she is out of sight, far gone. He is entering Pantheon! Bookmark here

“I see you are here!” Bookmark here

“I could not have said no to you, my king.” Bookmark here

“Cut it out! You know that flattery does not suit you, it does not serve you well as I remember.” Bookmark here

“Haha, I see you have not changed at all Zeus. Still arrogant, but you do not mince your words and I respect that. So? What will it be? Why did you call me here?” Bookmark here

A figure emerges from behind of a Pantheon’s pillar column. He resembles the figure of a sturdy, rather short man. Bookmark here

“I need you to take care of the corpse.” Bookmark here

The man is looking around him, the complete darkness inside Pantheon does not provide any help for sure. Zeus creates a thunder in his hand lighting up the area around them. The man continues to look at the illuminated space. He has spotted something. It is a body. He is approaching the body lying on the ground. Bookmark here

“Hmm, so you have finally killed him. I have to admit that I did not expect that. Despite being a problematic child, he still was your child. It might have been your fault, bad parenting.” Bookmark here

The man stands on top of the body kicking it from the side on its ribs. Bookmark here

“And I see that you have not stopped being stupid. I have not killed him yet, but if he continues with this foolish, insolent behaviour of his, then yes, I might kill him as well.” Bookmark here

“Haha, I guess Ares is indeed your child and you are indeed his father. I assume you do not want me to finish him. So, what do you want me to do with him? You know that we are not exactly close, right? I hope that you do not expect me to befriend him.” Bookmark here

“Can you stop being stupid for a second brother? Of course, I do not expect to take him home and raise him. What are you trying to achieve with these silly proposals of yours? Comic relief maybe?” Bookmark here

“Then, I have to get serious. I would not want to anger you. Still, I have no idea what you expect me to with Ares. I do not know what I can do for you.” Bookmark here

“Oh, you do not have to do anything special. I am the one punishing him here. I shall teach him a lesson he will not forget. As for you, I want you to buy me time to prepare. I want you to keep him away from Olympus for the time being.” Bookmark here

“Like I said I have no idea how to do that. Do you want me to fight him until he is pleased, because that would mean my death. Or do you want me to keep him imprisoned somehow?” Bookmark here

“And I thought you said that you would be serious, but it does not seem like it. You just need to give him a challenge to keep him busy. And I think it should be pretty obvious; what you have to do. No fighting, no imprisonment, not anything fancy like that. What you have to do is much simpler and requires no extra effort on your part. I hope you get it now, brother.” Bookmark here

“I understand now why you called me here Zeus. I will help you this time, but it will not come free of charge.” Bookmark here

“Do as I say, and you will receive in return.” Bookmark here

“Fine then, let it be.” Bookmark here

Snap!Bookmark here

—Pteeeep!— A loud, sharp sound is echoing in Pantheon. The man snaps his fingers; hands appear from inside the ground enveloping Ares’ unconscious body. Bookmark here

“I will take good care of your son, Zeus! Await your reunion with impatience!”Bookmark here

Zach G
You can resume reading from this paragraph.