The God Wars
By Dwayne MacInnes
Zeus had listened to the counsel of the assembled gods. Their number used to be twelve, but with the death of his brother, Poseidon, it was now eleven. Of those eleven, three wanted to make peace with the humans. These were Hera his wife and queen, Athena, and Artemis. Dionysus did not advise either way. He was more concerned with his drink than in the affairs of gods and men. Apollo only tentatively gave his support to Ares' campaign against the humans.
Only Ares, Zeus, Hephaestus, Hades, Hermes and Aphrodite gave full support to the campaign effort. Therefore, by the end of the gathered council the vote was three to seven with one abstaining. Zeus being father and king gave his blessings to the effort against the humans. The campaign would continue for the cost of letting the mortals alone was too high. Moreover, they had killed his brother and maimed his son. The humans must learn that there were consequences for their actions.
"I will not and cannot sit here while you plan the annihilation of a race we brought here in the first place," Hera hotly replied. "I strongly urge anyone who feels some pity for the poor mortals to leave these premises as long as the idea of destroying the humans continues to be bantered about."
The queen regally stood up from her throne and without glancing behind her, she marched out of the throne room. Athena glared hard at Ares before she turned and followed the queen. Artemis was quick to join ranks behind Athena. Only Dionysus tarried a bit longer before taking one last gulp of wine and staggered out of the throne room.
Zeus surveyed the remaining gods situated around the room. Zeus was pleased about their makeup. He was sure, with the help of those that advocated the destruction of the humans, that he could devise the perfect plan to defeat the Otherworlders and their technology.
It was just as well that the dissenters left the room. Zeus did not want any of them to interfere with their plans or even to try to help the mortals. This was a war for survival and it would come down to either the gods or the humans.
"Well, my son," Zeus said to Ares after the dissenters vacated the throne room. "What are your plans?"
Ares looked down at his new left hand. It was the serrated blade forged by Hephaestus. The wicked looking weapon left no doubt as to its ultimate purpose. "Father," the god of war finally began. "I will take an even larger army next time."
"Where are you going to get the men?" Hermes asked with a smirk. "You lost about 75% percent of your last army. Those that would even dare to answer your summon will only be a pittance of those who survived."
"I will have Hades' dead, Hephaestus' Talos soldiers and Hermes' dragons and griffins. These will overcome those Otherworlders and their technological horrors!" Ares yelled hotly.
"I do not have that many dead assembled yet," Hades broke in. "We all underestimated the capabilities of the Otherworlders. I will need more time to animate the dead for this deed," Hades responded. "However, the bodies from Ares last campaign will make finding suitable recruits much easier."
"I too need more time," Hephaestus added. "The bronze men I have constructed will not suffice against the might of the Otherworlders and their unholy weapons. Their skill in constructing such arms even outmatches mine."
Ares frowned as he glared at the gods around him. "What am I doing sitting with old women who fear ghosts! We need to hit them hard and fast!"
"Calm yourself," Hermes said softly. "Even I will require time to assemble the Draco-Lords. You must admit that you like to take an opponent on head to head. You never did quite master strategy like Athena."
Ares gave Hermes a look of rage. His jaw clenched and his brows furrowed. "What would you have me do? Sit here and draw arrows on parchment?"
"Another direct attack will fail," Hermes replied. "However, we can possibly use a little deceit."
"I do not have time for your games," Ares roared at Hermes.
"I think you do. Because another failure like your last one may leave you missing more than just a hand," Hermes replied coolly.
The barb stung Ares as the god of war glanced at the evil looking blade replacing his left hand. He felt pain and shame remembering how the Otherworlders bested him. Even the Atlanteans had seen a god bleed. Once that happened, there was only one course left and that was annihilation.
"Well, good messenger," Zeus started. "What do you propose?"
"Give me two months time and I will scout out the enemy. When I return our forces should be assembled and we can then plan our attack," Hermes smiled through thin lips.
Ares grumbled lowly. He did not like to wait and he did not like to make plans. However, what he hated more than anything was having another god convince him that his own plans were flawed.
"Calm yourself, love," Aphrodite said as she slid her hands around Ares massive chest. Hephaestus glared at the two, even now with their fates so close at hand, his wife and her lover continued to rub his nose in their affair.
The crippled god stood up. "I have a lot of work to do at my anvil."
Zeus nodded his head. He knew that the god of smithing would work harder at the anvil thinking about his wife in the arms of another god. However, even Zeus, one himself not know for fidelity, felt Aphrodite and Ares were too blatant with their affair.
Hades next stood up. "My lord, I must start assembling my army as well. I will need the Necro-lords to help gather the right material."
Hermes smiled as he stood up next. "Oh, great king. I too have work to do. I must be off, for I myself, proposed the timetable that I am to work against."
"I wish you well in your endeavor, Hermes," Zeus replied. "Be careful around these Otherworlders. They may have a device that can sniff out gods from mortals and I cannot afford to lose the least of us."
Hermes bowed, "My king, I will prove that I am not the least. Mark my time; you will see me in two full phases of the moon."