The God Wars
By Dwayne MacInnes
General Crist had lost all communication with Fort Knopso. The great winds generated by Zeus had knocked down all the phone and telegraph lines to the north. Even the power lines were down so that even radio communication was out. To make it worse the atmospherics were so bad that even if a radio transmitter had a generator it could not broadcast for long ranges.
Crist fretted over the outcome of the battle. Even though Theena assured him that all was going well, the general did not like to be in the dark. Maybe the gods had found a weakness in the fort and exploited it.
The news from the south was just as frustrating. Alamo had lost contact with their scout and Crist feared that Ares could be moving north. If both armies of the gods were converging on Zakrostas, the general feared there was little he could do to stop them from destroying everything.
Regardless, Crist had the combat ships moved out to sea. From the ocean, they could maneuver quicker and react faster to whatever area Crist ordered them. It was just a good two-day steam south to the city of Atlantis if Ares assaulted there. Alternatively, Crist could have the ships offer support from where they were if Ares decided Zakrostas was a better target.
Crist shuffled the papers on his desk again. He leafed through them one more time even though he had looked everything over three times already. The general hoped to find something that he maybe had missed. Crist adjusted the desk lamp in the dim room. Although, it was noon, the overcast skies obstructed much of the sunlight.
The occasional thunderclap exploded in the sky. However, the lightning storm had greatly subsided over the last few days. It was no secret that Zeus himself was responsible for the foul weather. The rains continued to fall flooding rivers and fields. Military and civilian forces worked hard to contain the potential devastating floodwaters.
Crist picked up a status report on new weapons development. Crist knew the contents, an incendiary bomb that could spread its destruction with the aid of a petroleum-like jelly. He brought the papers closer to his eyes so that he could view them better. As if by demand, sunlight broke through the cloud cover and filtered in through his office window. The paper brightened in his hand.
It took a couple of seconds for Crist to understand the significance of this. The general shot up from his wooden office chair when the realization struck. The cloud cover was breaking up!
Not only that, but Crist also noticed that the steady thrum of rain he had become used to over the last week was now gone. General Crist ran over to the window and looked at the sky. The blue heavens above started to expand as the clouds quickly dissipated. Already, people were running into the waterlogged streets rejoicing.
The black phone on Crist's desk suddenly came to life, shattering the calm silence of the room. Crist picked up the receiver and put it to his ears.
"General Crist, sir?" a young voice asked on the other end.
"This is Crist," the general replied.
"Sir, we finally received word from Fort Knopso," the young man said excitedly. "Sir, the enemies have fallen back. General Theena will send us reinforcements as soon as she is able."
General Crist smiled dumbly holding the phone to his ear. He did not at first notice the young man speaking to him.
"Sir? Sir, did you hear?"
"Ah, yes," Crist brought himself back to reality. "That is good news. Congratulate the general for me."
Before the general could replace the hand unit in the cradle there was a knock on his door. Crist seated himself behind his desk before telling the person on the other side of door into his office to enter.
A military courier sharply stepped into the office and saluted the general. "We have a telegram for you, sir. It is marked urgent."
Crist walked over to the soldier, saluted and took the envelope out of his hand. The courier then about-faced and marched out of the room. The general did not pay much notice to the courier as he was already opening up the telegram.
To: Gen Crist HQ scout from alamo reported in stop says ares army headed for city of atlantis stop
For the second time in over a week, General Crist smiled. He would personally pin a medal on that scout's chest. The general again picked up the phone on his desk. He needed to act quickly if there was any hope of helping King Podaistas.
Ares slowly marched his army towards the capital of the Kingdom of Atlantis. His forces were deliberately driving the fleeing refugees ahead of them. The god of war's plan was to hinder any movement north by Podaistas army by blocking all roads with frightened humanity.
It also would serve his purpose of having the city of Atlantis packed full of refugees. It would shorten any siege and would lower the morale of the army within. Ares relished this stuff.
The god of war's chariot rolled along the ripening fields of grain, crushing their heavy heads underneath the wheels of his vehicle. What he did not destroy was finished off by the trampling feet of the bronze giants and the undead soldiers.
Hades rode over to Ares in his own black chariot. He pulled up even with Ares and leaned over to the god of war.
"Glorious," Hades shouted over the crunching wheels of his chariot.
Ares shot Hades a glance, the smile on his own face let the lord of the dead know he agreed.
Hermes floated down on winged foot and lighted next to the other gods. The god of thieves was also smiling.
"See what a little strategy can do?" Hermes asked.
Ares merely grunted as he flicked the reigns in his right hand making his unholy mounts snort fire into the air as their flint-like hooves sparked upon the ground. The chariot picked up its speed a notch.
"Look there," Hades broke in peering into the sky past the black dragons and ravenous feral griffins. The other gods followed Hades stare and saw what he noticed.
On a great white horse, sporting mighty wings rode Zeus. The king of the gods and lord of Olympus looked haggard and spent as he guided Pegasus down to join the other gods.
"We must make haste," Zeus stated as Pegasus landed next to the chariots. "The northern army is broken and I have exhausted my powers."
"We still have plenty of time," Ares smiled. "The mud and floods should keep any army from riding south. Plus, we should have the initiative. Any refugee fleeing north with a message of our march will arrive too late for the Otherworlders to organize any reinforcements."
"Zeus speaks truth," Hermes warned. "Remember these Otherworlders have proven to be very resourceful. We must not underestimate them again."
Ares snarled and flicked the reigns again. "Very well we will pick up the pace," the god of war bellowed.