The God Wars
By Dwayne MacInnes
The trip to Mount Olympus passed in a blur to Reno. His old friend Hyrtios -- he discovered -- was actually Hermes, messenger of the gods and god of thieves. The Olympian had no problem abducting the scientist and whisking him away to the jagged heights of Mount Olympus.
Hermes quickly tossed the poor mortal into a dark, hot, cavernous room. Sulfur and smoke filled the air. The only light came from the many red fires burning from the big pits scattered around the dark basalt floor.
Reno offered no resistance as Hermes shackled the scientist's hands and feet to a nearby rock wall. The god then stood back and stared at the poor man. Hermes smiled and crossed his arms.
"What are you going to do with me?" Reno asked for the hundredth time since his abduction.
"We are waiting for a friend," Hermes smiled.
Reno could tell from the sinister look on Hermes face that he did not want to meet this so-called friend. However, Reno did not have long to wait until a giant of a man walked into the cavern. His legs were in braces much like those Reno saw on kids who suffered the paralyzing effects of polio.
"Ah, Hephaestus," Hermes laughed. "I have a gift for you."
The god of the anvil stared at the shackled man. Hephaestus could see that this was no beefy hero or scrawny farmer. It could only be one of those Otherworlders. The god smiled.
"I need you to help Reno here, to remember some things," Hermes continued.
Reno watched in horror as Hephaestus wandered over to one of the flaming pits. He pulled out a long, red-hot iron and slowly approached the scientist. Reno's eyes focused on the smoking, yellow-white hot tip of the brand as it neared his flesh. The eyes of the gods sparkled malignantly on their smiling faces in the red light of the cavern.
General Crist was in his office interviewing one of the local militia. It took some time searching but he was finally able to locate the only surviving militia member from Knopso other than Theena.
"Your name is Teukros?" General Crist asked the teenager.
"Yes sir," the youth replied. His English was actually pretty good. He could understand Crist with few explanations and Crist could understand him.
"You and Theena were the only survivors from the Knopso militia, is that correct?" Crist asked.
"No," Teukros replied to the utter shock of General Crist.
"I thought there weren't others. If there are please tell me," General Crist began.
"I'm sorry sir," Teukros corrected himself. "I meant to say that I am the only survivor from the Knopso militia."
General Crist was slightly confused and took a few seconds to ponder the puzzle before him before he asked his next question. "Are you saying Theena was not part of the militia?"
"I don't know, sir," Teukros said. "She may have been in a militia but she is not from Knopso."
"Please explain," Crist urged.
"There were several people fleeing south from the fringe villages. Theena arrived with some of them," Teukro began. "She instantly joined up and rallied the local farmers into the militia. We were armed with pitchforks, hunting bows, and rakes. Only a few actually had spears or swords.
"When Ares' horde attacked our village she fought hard and we were inspired by her gallantry. She said we had to slow them down to buy time for the villagers to flee south. We fought until there were only seven of us counting Theena.
"We fled southward as the army torched and plundered our village. I was sent to warn Thelos while Theena and my comrades remained to ambush Ares' scouts in the pass."
"So, before Ares raided your village you never saw Theena before?" Crist pressed.
"That is correct, sir," Teukros responded. "I figured she must have led another militia much like ours and was the sole survivor. She is a born leader."
General Crist smiled and nodded his head. "Thank you, son. You may return to duty."
The teenager stood up, saluted the general, and exited the room. General Crist walked over to his wooden chair behind his desk and sat down. He rubbed his temples in deep thought. The general did not like going behind Theena's back to gather information about her, but he found that it was as Reno stated, it would be difficult to vouch for the locals.
Before Crist could give further thought to the subject two military policemen burst into his office. Crist stood up quickly and glared at the men.
"Sorry sir," a sergeant said. "This is of dire importance. Reno has disappeared."
"What?" General Crist blurted.
"We looked all over," the private added. "But he has simply disappeared."
"Have you checked with the sentries at the gate?" Crist asked.
"Yes, sir," the sergeant continued. "They have not seen him. The night sentries have not seen him. In fact, the last people to see him say he entered his apartment last night and never left it."
General Crist frowned, this was not good, somehow Reno ran away or someone abducted him. There was always the possibility that he was murdered and his body hidden. Nevertheless, something told Crist that this was not the case.