The God Wars
By Dwayne MacInnes
Charon released the three-headed dog, Cerberus. The giant canine ran towards the trenches and dove in. The ravenous dog started grabbing men by ones and twos, and tearing them apart. The bullets from the rifles did little to halt the dog's assault.
Ares was not far behind. The god in his bloodlust began ripping men apart with his left hand. He would drive the evil looking serrated blade deep into his adversary and then gut the poor victim. In his right hand, he wielded his red sword and hewed defenders right and left.
Thanatos, armed only with his scythe, slashed men down like one harvesting wheat. The skeletal embodiment of death kicked his horse urging it up and down the long trenches that were now embroiled in hand-to-hand combat.
Hades, still in his chariot, rode the vehicle back and forth in front of the trenches. Any soldier trying to escape through this route found it blocked by the god of death. Hades would strike down anyone with his cold-blue sword.
Hermes joined the fray as well. The god of thieves was well adept at hiding in shadows. The god would either stab a passing defender in the back or just cut his throat with his black dagger. As the defenders pulled back from the trenches to the city gates, the army of Ares pursued.
The Sherman tanks surged forward, their machineguns and the main cannons firing to halt or distract the advancing army. The giant bronze Talos again would try to overpower one of the tanks. For every tank a group of Talos turned over, the bronze giants would lose three to four of their numbers.
King Podaistas fired the cannons lining the city's walls into the approaching army of the dead. The iron balls would bounce across the ground rolling until it smashed into the onrushing dead. Body parts would fly in the air as the ball cleared a path through the ranks of undead. Again the dead did not take heed of the damage sustained in their ranks and marched ever onward. Any living mortal, who did not flee from the marching horde, the undead warriors put to the sword or spear that they wielded mechanically.
The organized retreat to the city soon became a rout as men ran for their lives. The one redeeming quality for many of them was that the undead were unable to run. The undead did not slow down either. Great numbers fell to bullets from rifle, aircraft, and machineguns or the blasts from the mortars, cannons, and howitzers. Nevertheless, there were always more undead to fill the ranks.
The M4 Shermans raced back and forth attacking Talos and running down undead. When the last defending foot soldier entered the city gates, the tanks rushed towards the entrance themselves. The M4s flew through the mighty oaken gates before the first advancing undead reached the walls.
The garrison of Atlantis slammed the great gates shut, bolted and barricaded them. The men on the walls opened up on Ares' army below them. The few soldiers with bazookas that still had ammo rushed up the steps to the walls.
Ares was pleased; he had finally bested the mortals at their own game. They were now huddling behind their walls believing that they were safe. The god of war laughed at the fools who trapped themselves behind the stone walls of the city. He thought that soon the last resistance would be crushed.
"What do you find amusing Ares?" Hermes asked.
"We have them," the god laughed harder. "The fool mortals were so kind as to place all their remaining forces behind those walls. Those very walls I will soon have crashing down."
"There are still the forces in Zakrostas," Hades reminded Ares.
"Yes, I am aware of that. But, most of those Otherworlders' forces are now locked behind those walls. However, you are right in reminding me about them. Hades I want you and the Necro-lords to take one out of three of the warriors and head north. Zakrostas should fall easily now that we have the bulk of the Otherworlders penned in Atlantis."
Hades nodded his head and stepped into his chariot. He summoned Thanatos and Charon to his side. Cerberus obediently loped next to the god of the underworld's chartiot. One-third of the remaining undead started to trail Hades and his retinue north.
Ares did not watch Hades leave. Instead, once he gave his orders to the lord of death, Ares gave orders to the bronze giants. There were still a number of them left even though the defenders had greatly depleted their former numbers.
The army of the dead stopped yards outside of the city walls and parted to allow the 10-foot tall bronze Talos approach the gates. The defenders continued to fire their myriad of weapons. The bullets from the rifles would down a warrior but would bounce harmlessly off the metal skin of the giants. The arrows fired from the bows of the royal archers did nothing to either until they were set on fire. Then a few undead went up in flames.
Bazookas fired and destroyed several Talos, however, there were more giants than ammo for the bazookas. When the bronze giants approached the gates, the soldiers started dropping grenades on them. Most of the exploding grenades just cracked the skin allowing wisps of steam to rise into the air and thin trickles of ichor to flow to the earth.
The Talos continued to pound on the stout oaken gate with their heavy fists. The doors started to crack under the constant assault. It would not be long before the giants forced their way into the city.
General Crist ordered the defenders to retreat over the first canal to the first ring of the city. Tanks, men and horses rushed over the huge bridge spanning the wide canal. The Pima was on hand to offer any covering support.
As the last of the defenders crossed the bridge, the gates finally splintered inward with a shower of wood. The giants pushed their way into the city, followed by the undead. Ares and Hermes rushed into the city of Atlantis. The god of war ordered his warriors to capture the bridge.
Hundreds of the undead soldiers of Ares were on the bridge and marching to the first ring when suddenly the bridge exploded and collapsed into the canal. General Crist had the bridge rigged for demolition and now ordered it destroyed. The undead toppled with the broken stones into the canal where the bloated bodies of dead griffins and dragons already bobbed. The Pima fired every weapon she had into the thousands of undead overwhelming the city.
Ares quickly sent his giants to the harbor entrance. The destroyers in the canals fired upon the bronze giants. The ships destroyed several of the giants with their big guns and the shattered fragments of bronze flew through the air. However, the remaining Talos were in sufficient numbers that they were able to carry out Ares bidding and topple the towers guarding the entrance into the canal blocking it so no ships could enter or leave the city.
It had cost the last of his bronze giants but Ares laughed. Ares had now trapped the remnants of the Otherworlders' army along with the bulk of King Podaistas forces. It was now only a matter of time before they were destroyed leaving the rest of the realm exposed to the genocide Ares had planned for all mortals.