December 2009 Archives

The God Wars

Chapter Thirty-two:


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 The God of War

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.

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Chapter Eight

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Prince William was in a small interrogation room with the stunning fourteen-year-old Princess. They sat across each other at the central table in plain wooden chairs. The Prince was attempting to determine his standing as Princess Angelina had told him that he was dead.

"How did you become so ruthless?" asked Prince William.

"Ruthless?" asked the Princess. "I was not the one who attempted to sell me to your father for a paltry stretch of land. To me -- that is ruthless. What I am doing is self-preservation."

"Yet you will let me die here."

"While that may be an eventuality, I do not think it will actually occur."

"Why is that?"

"You could be valuable to me -- if I choose to act ruthlessly."

"What does that mean?"

"It means you may get the chance to die somewhere else," the Princess laughed.

"That is not very funny," sulked the Prince.

"It is, but you lack perspective to have a sense of humor about such things."

"Oh! Very funny," sneered the Prince. "So, what happens now?"

"I have been exploring the resources of the city, and you will be free to do the same."

"What kind of resources?"

"There is an ancient library here. Fascinating stuff."

"You have been reading?"

"Education is the surest way to have a say in your future."

"That is crazy!"

"Oh yeah? You were convinced of this Prophecy of yours. With a little manipulation, you wandered into the Forbidden Zone at your own peril. For what purpose? To get the chance to marry someone that someone else told you would be worthy of you?"

"What is your point?"

"If you had enough knowledge, you would know that prophecy is bunk. It is just a tool to manipulate."

"Be that as it may, I was taking a chance to get land to call my own."

"And, what of this land? It is on the gulf coast. Raiders regularly besiege the coast and pirates are constantly on patrol along its shores. It is not the jewel that your father makes it out to be."

"But, it would be my land, which is important to someone who is not the heir to the kingdom."

"Well, it would be your until someone took it away from you. You would need to recruit a navy to keep it. This would be quite an expensive undertaking -- if you were smart enough to pursue it."

"But your father was willing to take the land."

"As I have said, my father has been less than truthful."

"Your father could deal with the raiders and pirates?"

"My father has assembled quite a navy."

"He has?"

"It was a requirement for doing business across the sea. He has allied himself with some powerful naval powers."

"No one in Morica knows of this," responded Prince William. "Do they?"

"No one -- except those closest to my father, and those of us in Forbidden Zone. It is important to him that it stays that way."

"Another reason I must stay here."

"Your curiosity gets you in deeper and deeper. Nonetheless, this is not such a bad place. Lots of things to do and lots to learn."


"Well, I would not go that far, but it is pretty nice. No snow. Lots of sunshine. Unfortunately, it also gets pretty darn hot outside, but the cooling systems of the buildings are quite remarkable."

"Cooling on this scale is remarkable. How do the accomplish this?"

"That is a good question. You should look it up in the library."

"Very funny."

"Knowledge is power. I must take my leave of you now. You are free to wander about, but please try not to cause any trouble. I would hate to have to lock you up -- or worse."

"Yes ma'am," replied the Prince almost saluting.

"When I am ready to leave this place, I will do my best to get you out of here. That is, if you still wish it by then."

Princess Angelina gracefully arose from the chair in which she was sitting and walked to the door. It opened and she said a few words to the guard. He nodded and she walked off.

Prince William sat at the table for a few moments. He considered his options. He was not sure what he was going to do. For now, he did decide that he would not cause any trouble. After pondering things for a while, he arose and walked to the door. The guard let him out, but followed behind him.

The Prince wandered about the building. It was an ancient hotel. He walked into a great hall where there were vast numbers of people sitting at these strange electronic machines. There was a strange language drifting across the room. The Prince did not recognize it as one of the languages spoken in Morica. These must have been people from across the sea.

The people sitting at these buzzing and whirring machines had an exotic air to them. They did not look that different from some of the groups living in his kingdom, but there was something different from them. As he walked passed watching them, they did not look up from the flashing machines in which they were operating.

The Prince wondered what they were doing. It must have been some sort of local entertainment because screams of excitement would break out every now and then. He walked up to a machine but was unable to make it work. One of the visitors attempted to explain it to him, but he did not comprehend. He just continued to explore this unusual place with the guard in tow.

He wandered about the noisy great hall for a while watching the people play their games. It did his heart good to see the people enjoying themselves so greatly. If he learned about the game, perhaps he too would have fun here. However, that would have to wait for another time. For now, he was just exploring the surroundings.

Eventually, he exited the great hall and found himself in the lobby once more. There were people on the move up and down in the elevators. He marveled at the technologies the ancients had. He looked at the ancient art on the walls. It was quite an opulent place. He stood in awe of it all with his guard at his side.

He decided that he would see what else the city had to offer. Thus, he decided to leave this hotel. He walked out the front door and was blasted by a wave of intense heat. The midday sun was high overhead and baking the entire place with an intense heat. Because of this, the area outside was deserted. His guard remained inside. Thus, he could explore the exterior on his own. However, the heat was so immense that he would not be able to stay outside long. Thus, he headed for the nearest building to explore it.

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The God Wars

Chapter Thirty-three:

Trumpets over Atlantis

By Dwayne MacInnes

Greek Unireme

King Podaistas was readying his forces. Thousands of refugees had been flooding into the city for days now. They were all bringing news of the approaching army of Ares. Podaistas regretted not following through with modernizing his kingdom as he at first wanted. However, many Atlanteans felt that their northern neighbors were forgetting their heritage by embracing the Otherworlders' technology.

The one telegraph line that ran into the city of Atlantis, which connected it to Zakrostas, was silent. Its lines obviously cut. Therefore, the only messages King Podaistas could send north to the Republic of Atlantis were either by boat or on foot. The land couriers were more than likely captured and killed by Ares' army and the uniremes came back reporting of a terrible storm raging over their northern neighbor prohibiting them from making landfall.

Nonetheless, Podaistas did have some muzzle loading rifles President Greer sent south. His troops trained with the new weapons and knew how to use them proficiently. He also had some artillery pieces called cannons or Napoleons. These large and noisy artillery pieces could fire an iron ball for many hundreds of yards.

Regardless, of these modern pieces of equipment Podaistas feared they would not suffice against the undead horde marching down towards his city. The king could see from the tower that he was perched upon the smoked clouded horizon to the northeast as Ares' forces burned everything in their way. It was evident that the gods wanted to erase all traces of humanity from their realm.

The city of Atlantis relied on the three rings of canals that surrounded parts of the kingdom's capital as its main defense. Fortunately, King Podaistas received some help by constructing a few fortresses outside the city with trench works connecting them together. The military forces of the king now manned these.

"A scout rides in, sire," one of the traditionally garbed soldiers informed the king. King Podaistas followed the man's finger to see a lightly dressed soldier in a modern uniform with a rifle slung on his back riding his horse hard back to the city. The people did adopt the Otherworlders' technology of a modern saddle and stirrup. These greatly improved horse handling and allowed the riders to fight more effectively.

"I will meet him at the gate," King Podaistas informed the soldier. The king swung around and his red cape flew in the air. He dressed in the bronze armor much like the soldier in the tower. The pair ran down the stairs to meet the scout.

Just as the king approached, the scout had just reigned in his sweaty mount, which was covered in foam. The soldier exhausted from hard riding swung out of the saddle and landed on the ground in front of the king. The scout put his right hand in a fist over his heart in a salute and bowed his head to his monarch.

"I bring grave news, sire," the scout announced.

"Out with it, man!" Podaistas exclaimed.

"Ares' army will be here in the morning," the soldier panted. "They are burning every village and field on their way south. The roads are clear of human traffic so it looks like all the refugees are here that are going to make it."

"Not enough time," King Podaistas grunted. His bodyguards stood at attention as the monarch paced in front of the scout. Even if he had a year, King Podaistas realized that he still would not have enough time. He needed to modernize his country, he had not, and now it was too late. In the morning, the trumpets on the eastern towers will announce the arrival of Ares' forces and the best he could hope for was that his men would fight valiantly enough that even the gods would remember them.

The king called for one of his aides. A man in armor ran over to the king. "Yes sire?" the aide asked.

"How many rifle units do we have?" the king asked. He knew the answer but he asked again anyway.

"Not enough I fear. The fortresses and trenches are manned with every rifle unit we have. We have also positioned our artillery on the nearby hills outside the city."

The king slapped his hands to his thigh in frustration. "We have plenty of reserves. How are they situated?"

"Sire, many of the reserve units are in the trenches and fortresses with the rifle units. We have pulled some back to fill holes where the enemy may break through and the remaining militia units will be in the city as a last ditch effort."

"That is the best we could hope for," Podaistas replied solemnly.

"Sire, when should we begin evacuating the citizens from the city?"

Podaistas frowned. There simply were not enough boats to carry everyone away, especially now that refugees packed the city. To start evacuating the city right now could lead to riots and Podaistas needed his troops on the front lines instead of quelling citizens fighting in the streets over who was going to leave on boat.

"I have sent the ships out to sea. There will be no evacuations. This shall be our last stand," Podaistas replied grimly.

"Sire?" the aide asked.

"Plus, it'll give our men more incentive to fight if they know that they cannot retreat. No, as I said we either win or die here!" the king exclaimed smacking his right fist into his open left hand.

The aide merely nodded and stepped back from his grim monarch. The king stroked his beard nervously. He did not like the straits he was in but there was little choice. His only ally the gods had trapped in the north. Podaistas did not even know if President Greer or General Crist knew that Ares was marching on Atlantis. He figured that they knew Ares was on the march. Surely some refugees had fled north despite the terrible rainstorm raging there. Perhaps, some of the fleeing villagers made it to Zakrostas. They would have brought the terrible news that Ares was again on the march and this time he had released the dead upon the land.

As Podaistas paced pondering these thoughts a loud trumpet call broke over the city. It was the call of warning. Podaistas cursed, the scout said that Ares would arrive in the morning. It appeared that the god of war must have picked up the pace of his march and now arrived early.

The trumpet continued the call and soldiers ran towards the city walls and trenches. Civilians cried out in fear and retreated to the central island on the city of Atlantis. They ironically gathered in the old temple established for Poseidon seeking sanctuary.

"Courage men!" cried the king. "We shall remind the gods that even mortal men can die well!"

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Chapter Nine

By Douglas E. Gogerty

After taking her leave of Prince William, Princess Angelina immediately left the hotel where she met him. In the intense daylight heat, she began walking the several blocks towards her living quarters. There was not a lot she could do to protect herself from the heat. The stifling sun beat down upon her from the cloudless sky.

After several blocks, she approached the single story brownstone building she called home. It was an ancient building built in the southwestern style. The size of the building showed the former wealth of the town. The building had plenty of space to hold the resources of the ancient city. It was not nearly as opulent as the hotels, but after all, it was a library.

The Princess set up her living quarters in one of the rooms of this ancient structure. She had the cooling system started, so she would not have to live in the intense heat. Although she could have taken any room in one of the many hotels, she wished to be close to the books. It was the books that were of most interest to her. However, she was also interested in thee strange machines labeled internet. She wanted to know more about these internets.

She was hoping to find information about the machines in the books she had collected. These machines were scattered throughout the library, so she had guessed that they may give her access to even more information. However, how was someone supposed to access this information? That was something she simply did not know.

Princess Angelina entered her room and sat next to a pile of books. She had spent the last several weeks simply attempting to absorb as much information that the books had to offer. The ancient library had information on so much of the ancient civilization that created this city. She hardly slept because she was so engrossed in her reading.

None of the information she was reading was available in her father's library. Perhaps there was purpose for that. She had discovered that the women of the ancients had power. They could participate in ruling the citizenry. Perhaps the king removed this information to prevent the women from rising in revolt. After all, the men of Morica used the women as bargaining chips. Marriage was for alliance and the leaders -- kings -- men -- had no other need for women. Women were there for starting and maintaining families. The men would take care of the important tasks.

The Princess devoured the stories of the ancient women leaders. Across the sea, there had been women heads of state. There were powerful women all over the world. However, when the struggles destroyed these ancient civilization, the warriors put the women into their current role.

The population plummeted because of famine, disease, and the constant battles. Thus, the successful warriors desired to protect the women. Thus, they could increase their population base. It became important to the men that women have children. Thus, they removed women from the military, the workforce, and other positions of power. Princess Angelina was incensed that women had vital roles in the ancient civilization but not in her own civilization. She was determined to fix this situation.

She was not sure how to accomplish this. How was she going to acquire a position of power? Nonetheless, she was sure that it was something she had to do. Perhaps the internets had access to information that would help. She dug deeper into the books around her. However, she was not finding the information that she required. Very few sources even mentioned internets and they were of sparse information. They did not mention what it was or how to work them.

She did find out that to get on the internet it required a computer. She was not sure what a computer was. Why would something that computes allow you to turn on the internets? She felt that source was not trustworthy. However, it was as close as she got.

Thus, after the frustration of not finding out how to work the internets, Angelina decided to sit at one. Perhaps she could figure out how they worked by using one. Certainly, everything required would be available there. It should not require anything else. Thus, since an internet sat outside her room, she sat down in the chair in front of the machine.

"Hello internet," she stated.

There was no reply. There was some sort of black screen and a keyed input device. Thus, she began pressing the keys. This had no effect either. The screen remained black. She noticed a special key on a box beneath the screen. She decided to try that button.

The black screen flashed and she heard the internet beep. It startled her and she jumped out of her chair. However, the once black screen showed several images with weird things on them. The ancient machine whirred and growled. A cloud of dust shot out the back and the Princess began sneezing.

It has a defense mechanism, the Princess thought as she backed further away from the machine.

She continued to watch it to see what else it would do. She was tempted to run away as she could not control her sneezing. However, she remembered how much of this substance covered everything when she first entered the building. This dust seemed to protect everything -- including the books. It did not appear toxic. It was just annoying.

The machine kept whirring and grinding away but eventually it stopped. It had a strange message on it. Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage, it read.

What does that mean?" wondered the Princess.

It had equally cryptic messages to attempt to solve the problem. She pressed keys to type words that she had found in some of the books she had read. They were of no help. She spoke some words, but they also did nothing.

There was this strange object sitting next to the key input device. The Princess moved it and an arrow moved on the screen. If she moved the object left, the arrow went left. Thus, she determined that it was another input device. However, apart from the arrow, she was not sure how it worked.

It made a clicking noise when she pressed on either of the sides next to the wheel thing. She determined that these were some sort of buttons. The one on the right would pull up a strange list of suggestions. However, the one on the left did not appear to do anything.

After clicking around, Princess Angelina figured out how to pull down items on the screen. The left button did do something. She found a "favorite" that actually came up with something. She had discovered the Google.

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The God Wars

Chapter Thirty-four:

Race to the Harbor

By Dwayne MacInnes

As soldiers ran one way and civilians ran another, Podaistas realized that the trumpet calls were not coming from the wall towers facing east or north. Instead, these calls came from the west. There was someone trying to gain entrance to the harbor. The king felt a moment of anxiety. He had sent all the ships out to sea leaving none for the defense of Atlantis.

Podaistas ran towards the harbor cursing himself for his idiotic mistake. He figured that with Poseidon dead the armies of Ares would only use the land routes. Ares never fought battles from sea before. But, with the arrival of the Otherworlders nothing was the same. Gods now used new tactics, and men now had the capabilities to kill gods.

The king commandeered a horse from a courier and headed towards the harbor. Podaistas jumped on the back of the beast and spurred it forward. The horse leapt through the throng of people. Civilians and soldiers alike made a path for the king as he kicked the horse to faster speeds.

Instead of taking the bridges that would only lead him to the inner-center of the city where the civilians were trying to find sanctuary, King Podaistas instead took the long circular route so that he could be at the harbor's entrance. The monarch only slowed long enough to rally any soldier and militia member to follow him to the harbor. The king vowed that Ares would find Atlantis difficult to take no matter where he landed.

Once the harbor entrance came into view Podaistas noticed that the towers were busy trumpeting away. A strange call echoed back in response. The king had never heard these sounds before. Some were shrill and others deep and some even remotely sounded like someone banging on a very large pan.

The king jumped off the horse and ran to the stairs leading to the harbor wall. King Podaistas ran up the steps -- taking them by twos. As the king reached the top, he rushed to the crowded merlins of the wall and peered out to the sea. The soldiers on the wall were busy crying out and waving towards the ocean.

The sight nearly brought tears to Podaistas's eyes. There in front of him sailed the entire metal fleet of the Otherworlders. That was when the king noticed that the men were crying in exultation and not fear. Even the usually stoic monarch gave a great cry. There was now a chance that they could defend the city.

The Cruiser USS Pima

Admiral Arnold was again on his flagship the USS Pima, a Baltimore class heavy cruiser. He had spent the better part of the last few months restructuring the new Republic's fleet. Until the production of new steel ships began, Arnold had to make due with the uniremes and his precious destroyers, baby flattop, and this cruiser.

It was with great joy when General Crist ordered the entire fleet from the original convoy south to relieve Atlantis. There were soldiers onboard the RMS Olympus, the cargo ships, and even the tanker. They all headed south and carried important material for the defense of the city of Atlantis.

When the towers began trumpeting announcing their arrival Arnold ordered every ship in the fleet to return the call. Arnold's plan was to bring hope and raise moral among the defenders. It evidently worked, for men lined the harbor walls and towers waving and yelling in great joy at the approach of the fleet.

The heavy cruiser only entered the first circle of the harbor. The inner-circles proved to be too shallow to allow the ship to pass. However, the destroyers were able to make it further inside the inner-harbor. The escort carrier USS Kiska remained outside the harbor to allow her to maneuver so that she could launch her aircraft. The cargo ships, tanker, and the troop ship all docked and began unloading their supplies. The LST sailed further south and began to unload its shipment of tanks.

The Carrier USS Kiska

King Podaistas waited by the dock as the Republic of Atlantis troops began to disembark. The king recognized the tall gray-haired man approaching him.

"General Crist," Podaistas shouted taking the general's forearm into his hand. The king's smile shone upon his weary face. "This brings great joy to my heart."

"Your Highness," Crist replied. "I brought every available soldier I could muster to help with your defenses. When do you expect Ares to arrive?"

"My scouts say tomorrow at dawn," Podaistas frowned. "Maybe even sooner." The monarch waved to the smoke filled horizon to the northeast. The soot was already finding its way into the city and the sky was hazy.

"That does not leave us much time," the general responded. "We'll need to rush your defenses."

"My friend," Podaistas slapped General Crist on the back. "Your very presence has already given heart to my men. We will fight together tomorrow and Ares will at the very least know what it is to face true men."

"Sire, we have other matters to discuss," Crist returned the smile, but he would not be distracted from the tasks at hand. "After all the soldiers are unloaded from the Olympus," Crist pointed to the ship behind him, "we need to get the civilians aboard. This will clear the streets and remove obstacles and worries for concern for your people."

"You are a wizard," Podaistas replied. "You seem to think of everything. However, do you think your ship will hold everyone?"

"She can hold over 10,000 soldiers," Crist replied. "We can cram more aboard if they camp on the decks and in the halls. They cannot bring much with them, but the chance to escape wholesale slaughter may be enough incentive for them to board with the bare minimum."

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Chapter Ten

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Princess Angelina found out that the Google was an interesting and vast source for information on the internets. The words she would type brought a vast selection of results. However, most of these results were no longer there. Thus, when she would use the strange pointing device to click on the items, they returned an error page. However, the item labeled cache on the Google would return a result.

Thus, most of the ancient technology still worked. However, much of the infrastructure was no longer functioning. Nonetheless, the Princess gained access to much of the information available on one of the internets. One of the first things she learned was that the ancient civilization was obsessed with sex. It was as if these internets were made for pornography.

She searched for some of the names that she had read in some of her books. In this way, she found out more information about the leaders of this former civilization. She devoured everything she could find. Sometimes she ended in a dead-end, but there was plenty other things to read.

Princess Angelina spent hours and hours on the internet. She studied the ancient culture with great fascination. In ways, she found the ancient civilization to be much more advanced than her own. The opportunities for everyone were great. She wondered how such an advanced civilization could throw it all away.

Nonetheless, women in the former times were still objectified. It was evident in some of the images she found. However, some women had real power. Women were not just mothers. They had a say in how their lives went. They would not be traded for hunks of land.

If the women back then realized the power over men they had, she thought they could have taken over the world. At least stop the war...

That gave her the idea. Perhaps men had not changed. Perhaps women could still influence men with their appearance. Perhaps a pretty face could still manipulate the opposite sex. Perhaps she had some power that she could wield.

At this moment, she remembered the reaction Prince William had on her entrance. He would be a good test subject. She just needed to determine how far it would go. She would have to be careful. Men had the power because of strength. An angry man could be difficult to handle, especially for a petite teenager. An angry confrontation could be harmful and even deadly.

Nonetheless, she was sure that her rise to power was going to be through her looks. She felt bad about this. History would not judge her on her merits, if all she had was that men were susceptible to her charms. She had studied hard. She had a thirst for knowledge. It would be a shame to have the history books remember her solely for her beauty. However, in her current circumstance, that is all with which she had to work. Once in power, she would make sure she was known for more.

She decided that she would test her allure on Prince William. She hoped she could quickly determine how far he was willing to go and for what. The first goal would be to find him. She had left him at a hotel to do whatever he wished. It was a largish city, and he may be difficult to find.

She washed up and put on some clean clothes she believed made her look attractive. She stepped outside and the sun was not out.

What day is it? she wondered. What time is it? How long was I at that?

She could not remember the last time she ate something. Her stomach grumbled. Thus, before she would go looking for Prince William, she would get something to eat. Her experiment would have to wait. Or would it?

While it was important to work on people in power, she could also test her hypothesis on any man. She could even test it on the men visiting from across the ocean. The world just opened up with possibilities. The first step was dinner, or lunch, or whatever.

She walked the several blocks back to the hotel where she had left Prince William. It had a fine restaurant, and perhaps the Prince had not left. Suddenly she felt that the world was a different place. She noticed men looking at her. She smiled inwardly.

She walked in the door to the hotel. A guard was on duty, and he greeted her.

"Good Morning Princess. You are up early today."

"I wanted to take a walk," replied the Princess "and it is simply to hot to do during the day."

"A fine idea."

"Is the kitchen open?"

"Not for another hour."

"Oh! But I am really hungry."

"I will see what I can do."

"Do not bother. I will handle it myself."

The guard had orders, and she was the daughter of the king. Thus, he would not be a good subject for her experiment. The kitchen staff might be a different story. They were younger and more removed from the King's influence.

She entered the kitchen and a few of the staff were busy readying themselves to open. Some were checking inventory. Some were gathering supplies. Some were cleaning up a little bit. They all stopped when the Princess walked into the room. She walked up to the man who had been telling others what to do.

"I do not want to be an inconvenience," the Princess began "but if I could get a little something to eat, I would greatly appreciate it."

"Certainly!" the head chef stated. "Sit down! Sit down! What would you like?"

"I do not want to be a bother."

"Nonsense! Whatever you want."

"Well gosh, what is normally served at this time of day?"

"The special this morning is a crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top."

"That sounds very good," replied the Princess with a twinkle in her eye. "But, it sounds like it would be an awful lot of trouble."

"Not at all! We will get it right away!"

The chef clapped his hands and the kitchen sprang to work. The Princess sat there wide eyed watching the kitchen spring to life. So far, her test was successful.

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The God Wars

Chapter Thirty-five:

Fire from Heaven

By Dwayne MacInnes

Ares smiled as the sun rose above the Dragonspine Mountains and burned through the smoke-choked air in a blood-red hue. He could see the towers of Atlantis rise above the horizon before him. His army marched tirelessly on. Neither the dead nor the animated bronze giants needed any rest. The Draco-lords and the wild companions -- the griffins -- never seemed to tire. They would ravish and burn any village in their path. Furthermore, any unfortunate human, which did not escape in time, made an easy meal for the beasts.

"Prepare your men," Ares ordered Hades. The god of the underworld nodded and rode his chariot down the line of undead. He needed to confer with his Necro-lords, Thanatos and Charon.

"Hermes," Ares turned to the messenger god. "Have your forces prepare to attack the city. We'll march in after your forces have set everything ablaze."

Hermes smiled and took off flying into the air to lead his forces.

"What are your orders for me?" Zeus asked.

"You are my king," Ares responded. "I do not give you orders, but you have the choice of joining the attack wherever you wish."

Zeus nodded and kicked his heels into Pegasus's side. The winged white horse flew into the air to join the Draco-lords now forming up for their assault.

The god of war raised his bladed-hand into the air. The sun reflected off the blade covering the bright surface in bloody light. Ares smiled some more, soon the blade would be covered in real blood.

Grumman F6F Hellcat

Colonel Ray Walsh led his squadron of F6F Hellcats high in the sky. Each fighter plane carried two of the new incendiary bombs, one under each wing. His first mission was to unleash his payload upon the advancing army. His next objective would be to attack any opposition forces in the air in order to protect the TBF Avengers.

Walsh was the air commander for the fighters on the Kiska as well as the training officer for the fledgling Atlantean air corp. However, the nature of this mission allowed Walsh to request to fly against the army marching on the Kingdom of Atlantis personally. General Crist approved the request.

There were 16 F6F Grumman Hellcats as well as 12 TBF Avengers flying high in the sky towards Ares' forces. The dragons and griffins could not fly as high as the American aircraft nor could they fly as fast. Therefore, when the fighters spotted the large black cloud of dragons and griffins floating below them headed for Atlantis, the vast array of aircraft went unnoticed.

Map of Atlantis

Ares again became excited in anticipation of the bloodbath about to be unleashed on the king of Atlantis's forces. He flicked the reigns on his chariot and the black steeds reared up snorting fire into the sky. Their hooves sparked on the ground when they began to run forward carrying a laughing god of war in the chariot behind them.

Ares heard the telltale whine of the diving aircraft and quickly scanned the sky. High above him and over his marching forces dove over two-dozen enemy aircraft. They carried large metal cylinders under their wings that they released as they zoomed over the heads of the undead warriors.

The aircraft rose into the air as the cylinders tumbled through the air and fell upon his army. Instantly, the ground exploded and large rivers of flaming liquid poured around his forces. The undead soldiers instantly went up in flames. The bronze giants marched on undamaged by the fire. The attack left a huge hole in the ranks of his advancing troops. Fortunately, there were plenty more dead warriors to replace the fallen.

* * * * *

Colonel Wash pulled back on the stick, the Hellcat climbed into the air with ease. The plane now maneuvered a lot easier without the extra bulk of the incendiary bombs. Walsh looked down upon the carnage the air attack left after he leveled off high in the air. There was a great lake of fire where the large inferno consumed many of the undead soldiers. The bronze automatons just marched through the conflagration paying it no heed, as it did not damage them in the least.

Walsh watched as the torpedo bombers made their run. Like the Hellcats, the Avengers swooped down and dropped their bombs into the horde of undead. Fire burst amongst the soldiers and great fireballs rose into the air. Into the ranks of the dead warriors another huge breach formed. The infernal lakes of fire ran together forming a sea of flames. Any of Ares' undead troops caught in it instantly burned up. Only the Talos were able to withstand the heat and flames.

Walsh banked his fighter towards the black dragons and griffins winging towards the city of Atlantis. The 16 F6F Hellcats gained altitude as they sped towards their next target. Once they were sufficiently high enough the fighters dove onto the Draco-lords. The men in black armor on the back of their saurian mounts did not know what hit them. The Hellcats opened up with their .50 machineguns. The steel bullets slammed into the dragons' scaly hide. Not even the thick scales could protect the lizards from the onslaught meted out by the aircraft diving upon them.

Hundreds of dragons cried out in pain shooting flames high into the air in agony. The riders were often unseated and tumbled through the air on their way to the harsh ground below. The Hellcats were able to shoot past the dragons without the beasts being able to fight back.

The more nimble and wilder griffins also felt the sting of the bullets emanating form the Hellcats. They gave off a harsh avian scream before spiraling to the ground. However, a few of the wild monsters were able to strike at the assaulting aircraft. The griffins were able to knock only one of the Hellcats from the sky. A great gash from one of the griffin's talons rent a huge tear in the wing of a passing aircraft. The pilot was able to bale out before the plane smashed into the ground below.

The surviving Hellcats climbed into the air again. Walsh witnessing the destruction of one of his precious fighters spread the word for the rest of the fighters to keep their distance and to work the flying creatures over with their machineguns.

The Hellcats now joined by the Avengers did another diving run. This time the Draco-lords were prepared and the searing flames of the dragons downed three more aircraft. Walsh cursed seeing another Hellcat and two Avengers explode into flames in midair. There just were too many of the enemy forces and now they were nearing the city of Atlantis. The carrier planes would have to break off.

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The God Wars

Chapter Thirty-six:

Death from Above and Below

By Dwayne MacInnes

Admiral Arnold watched as the huge black cloud started to spread over the city of Atlantis. This was Ares' air arm which was formed by dragons and griffins. Their intent was to attack the city from above and spread fire amongst the structures of the city. Arnold gave thanks that they had evacuated the civilians onto the Olympus, and it was now out to sea.

Arnold had positioned his taskforce carefully around the three circular harbors of Atlantis. As soon as the cloud of destruction was within range, every antiaircraft gun opened up. The five-inch shells and machinegun fire exploded in the air. At first, many of the Draco-lords ignored the black burst of fluffy clouds exploding around them. However, many found out soon enough that the clouds were not harmless.

Shrapnel from the antiaircraft guns tore through the thick hides of the dragons and griffins. Many of the beasts fell from the sky, some crying while others instantly killed. The giant reptiles and the eagle/lion hybrids crashed into the structures below or in the round harbors. The blood of the dead beasts formed great pools of crimson upon the ground.

Few dragons and their riders were able to dive towards the ground unscathed in order to torch the buildings. Most of the beasts the guns knocked from the air in bloody burst as steel tore through their bodies.

* * * * *

Hermes, high in the sky, witnessed the assault upon the city. The presence of the Otherworlders' aircraft was his first clue that things were not going to go as expected. The airplanes were able to do some damage to his forces. However, the ships below, firing their great guns into the air, devastated his forces.

Many of the surviving dragons, now a lot without riders, winged it back to the mountains as fast as they could. Even the fierce and unpredictable griffins lost their appetite for human blood and sought the security of the Dragonspine Mountains.

Hermes curse and yelled at the retreating troops. However, not even he could rally many of the terrified animals to continue their assault. Even those brave enough to continue soon fell out of the air only to die on the ground or in the blood filled harbor.

The Greek God Zeus

Zeus did not join the assault on the city of Atlantis; his eyes noticed something out at sea. He urged Pegasus to fly towards the distant spot on the horizon. In a matter of minutes, Zeus was overlooking a great ship. It did not have an escort and there were thousands of humans aboard it.

Zeus the father and king of the gods smiled to himself. He would avenge his brother, Poseidon's death on these mortals. They thought that they could flee from the city; well Zeus reasoned that he would soon prove them all wrong.

The king of the gods raised his hand towards the heavens. He had sufficiently recovered from his assault on the Republic of Atlantis. Zeus then summoned a huge lightning bolt.

The god took careful aim on the ship below. The unsuspecting ship did not know that it was the target of Zeus high above in the heavens. With a fling of his wrist, Zeus tossed the lightning bolt as an athlete would a javelin.

The charge of electricity struck the ship. Much to Zeus's chagrin the lightning bolt did not seem to damage the ship. Zeus figured that the humans had another of their ingenious devices aboard that could render his lightning useless.

In the heat of the moment, Zeus commanded Pegasus to dive towards the large ship. The winged horse complied and Zeus dove towards the deck. In a full rage, Zeus flung bolt after bolt of electricity at the ship. None did any damage.

Soon, the sky around Zeus started to form black exploding clouds fired from the transports ship's antiaircraft guns. The king of the gods laughed. These humans would need more than fluffy clouds to stop him. Suddenly, Pegasus reared back as a piece of shrapnel from an antiaircraft burst grazed his flank. The flying steed, in a panic, tore off back towards his pastures near Mount Olympus.

Zeus caught unawares by the sudden movement found himself unseated and tumbled from the horse. As the god king plummeted towards the ship, another cloud exploded near him and he felt hot metal rip into his godlike skin.

Zeus took a moment to look at his chest. A great gash was open over his chest. As he fell towards the ship, blood ran from his wound. The wind burned inside the torn and ragged wound bringing tears to his eyes.

Stunned by the sudden events Zeus fell and landed upon the deck of the Olympus without even changing his size from that of a man. There was a sickening thud as the god smacked into the wooden deck. His blood splashed into the air like a great geyser.

Zeus tried to pick himself up but he lacked the strength. All he felt was agonizing pain rip through his body. The taste of blood in his mouth told the god that he was suffering from internal injuries.

Several men with guns in their hands cautiously approached the god. Zeus was able to roll over onto his back. The pain in his sides also alerted him to the several broken ribs now in his torso.

A man with a gun walked over to the god and spoke in a heavily accented Minoan, "I say, do you need assistance?"

Zeus cringed at such a stupid question. Of course, he would need some form of help. However, even the god knew a mortal wound when he felt it. He only had a matter of moments before he too joined his brother in the great unknown. Zeus forced himself to sit upright.

"No, I am done for," Zeus finally replied.

"May I have your name?" the man asked.

Zeus laughed coughing up great bouts of blood. He spat it upon the deck that was already slick with his rapidly flowing lifeblood. "I am Zeus, King of Olympus!"

The man looked at Zeus with some pity, a look that hurt the god king more than his mortal wounds. Finally, the man removed his hat and held it too his chest.

"I am Captain Bolger," the man stated. "This is my ship the RMS Olympus."

Zeus looked at the captain incredulously. "The ship is called Olympus?"

Bolger simply nodded his head in the affirmative.

Zeus finally understood the prophecy that the gods feared for so long and started to laugh. He laughed until tears ran from his eyes. Suddenly, Zeus's eyes glazed over and the king of the gods fell onto his back. Zeus was dead.

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