by Jeff Campbell
Note: No one may, without my written permission, use this story for any purpose.
No! Blackness... Gold...water...fire... The fleece... Dragon... Destroy Ares... He was falling again. He looked for the mountain, listened for the voices, but could not find them. A ship appeared instead. A man stood on the deck, a hero. Suddenly, both are gone. Now, the man stood by the ship, a timber falls, kills the hero...blackness again.
Zeus looked over at Allen Hanby. "Three Aces"
"Royal Flush." The two friends played five card draw, while they thought of their next move in the war with Ares, or Mars as he preferred the Roman name. Mars and Mercury kept trying to kill Zeus, but to no avail. Zeus tried to stop the God of War and the Messenger, but no progress was made.
In the past few weeks, Zeus had gained back most of his powers, but he still could not bring Mars down. And the New Roman Imperium, which Mars called his alliance with Mercury, and now Poseidon, or Neptune, joined the fight against Zeus. At least, Hades joined with Zeus.
Hanby confronted Zeus, "You are Zeus, correct. You can do anything. Such as...bringing someone back from the dead? Correct?"
"Hmm...interesting. I can, now since we have Hades. Let's see. Who to bring back?"
Mercury sat with Neptune, discussing the newest technology in finding the Lost Gods. "I can't get the positron compensator to stay in the range. It fluxuates too much." Neptune leaned on his trident.
The room they were in was made of stone, deep underneath the city. Everything was from Greek era, and the inhabitants were also matched to their surroundings.
As they talked, Mars strode in the room. "Hades joined Zeus! Why? Wasn't our offer good enough?" he demanded.
Mercury glanced at Neptune, then focused on Mars.
"Watch your temper, Mars. That's why we're at war. You can't control your anger. And remember Hades was Zeus's closest brother. He is loyal to him." Neptune responded.
"You and I, Neptune, are his brothers. Why wasn't he loyal to us!? Answer that one!"
"Zeus was the king of the gods."
"You must get your finder to work."
"I'm working on it. It's almost finished."
"We'll look for Juno first."
"Hades, we need Jason of the Argonauts."
"Jason? Are you sure?"
As they walked through the gates of the underworld, Cerberus's body and soul were reunited to again guard the netherworld. Charon returned to his boat to ferry souls on the river Acheron. The two brothers walked through billions of souls. Some were being punished, some were being rewarded. A small few were doing nothing. Hades and Zeus came to a sign which read, "Heroes."
When they entered, all of the souls here were being rewarded. Achillies, Hercules, Persues. All the great Greek heroes were here. There were also some non-Greek heroes here: Merlin, Arthur, Aladdin.
Then Zeus saw him, Jason of the Argonauts. Killed when a timber from the Argo fell on his head. "I am Jason, son of Aeson."
"Jason, I am Zeus, you know Hades. I need your help." Zeus quickly explained his situation and Jason agreed to help him.
Hades stood with a broken thread, "Jason, this is your thread of life. This was cut when you died. I will mend it. Your body and soul will be reunited."
"And I will make you a demi-god to help protect you."
Hades put the broken thread in his hand and closed it. Dust came from the ground and formed Jason's body. Zeus streched his hand out and Jason became a demi-god. Jason's soul fused with his body and he was alive.
Hades, Jason, and Zeus made their way up to the apartment of Allen Hanby and prepared for battle.
Mars stood with sword and shield in hand, awaiting the signal. Neptune raised his trident in anticipation. Mercury hid in the trees of Central Park, watching and waiting.
"Here they come!"
Zeus, armored and armed, came up the path towards Mars and Neptune. Jason followed close behind with a bow and arrows.
"Steady!" Mars said to Neptune. "Wait. NOW!" The two charged at Zeus and Jason. Neptune's trident came alive with energy and fire energy bolts at its enemy. Jason quickly pulled a shield off his back and absorbed the energy. He then shot his arrows at Mars and hit home. Mars stumbled backwards, but was uninjured. Zeus threw lightning bolts at Neptune and Mars, who evaded the bolts. Mars reached Zeus and the two engaged in mortal combat. Mars struck at Zeus, only to be blocked by Zeus' own sword. Zeus blocked several other swipes from Mars.
Jason shot several arrows at Neptune, all except one missed. Neptune clutched the arrow and pulled it out, the wound healing. Neptune fired energy at Jason and Jason flew back into one of the trees. Mercury jumped out and fired several arrows at Zeus. All hit, but were pulled out and the wounds healed. Mercury and Mars both fought Zeus, while Neptune and Jason were locked in battle.
Several hours of battle ensued, but no mortal saw the battle. The five gods and one demi-god were all invisible to mortal eyes. Soon, Zeus was overpowered and Neptune was unconcious. Mars and Mercury battled Jason, who also was overpowered. In the course of battling with Jason, Mercury was rendered unconcoius. Mars stood over the body of Zeus and prepared to strike the final blow, when he suddenly flew back and hit a tree. Hades stood near to the bodies and hit Mars again.
"Hades," Mars struggled with speaking, "you...may have...won the battle, but...the war is...far...from over." With that, Mars, Mercury, and Neptune all disappeared.
Hades picked up Zeus and Jason and carried them to the netherworld. Only time would heal the Lightning God and the Leader of the Argonauts. The waiting began...
TO BE CONTINUED...