Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Stormclouds and Chariots, part 4

Lightning flaring from his nostrils, Thor spun around to face the voice. There stood a fair skinned giant, who was donned with a toga, and had a massive white beard. His eyes glowed an electric blue and his skin crackled in much the same way as Thor's.

"And who are you, exactly?" Thor asked, unimpressed.

"I am Jupiter," boomed the newcomer. "Though I am more fond of the Greeks' name for me: Zeus. I am the Skyfather. I command the lightning."

Almost as soon as Zeus finished his sentence, Thor began hurling beams of electricity at the Olympian, each of them bouncing of of his skin. From a quiver that he wore on his back, Zeus pulled a spear made of lightning. He lunged at Thor with the point, but he was parried by Mjolnir. Thor took a mighty swing at Zeus with his hammer, but the blow was evaded. They went on like that, never landing a blow on each other, for what seemed like hours. Lightning and thunder flew off of them like beads of sweat from their bodies, and grey clouds swirled and spiraled around them. The force of their strikes threatened to tear the Earth itself to shreds.

The viking and Roman armies cowered far away from the titans, trying to avoid flying debris and stray lightning. They laid on the ground, clutching their helmets tightly to their heads and stared, mesmerized at the two storms as they collided. The battle raged on and on.

"Look!" yelled the viking sentry, trying to be heard above the booming. a few yards away from the battle, there was a bright light shining through some sort of portal, like a hole had been torn, ever so precisely, in the fabric of the world. Through it, stepped a series of awesome and fearsome beings.

The first was clearly of the same blood as Thor. He was shirtless, but wore a wide-brimmed hat, and an eye patch. Two ravens were perched on his shoulders, and he carried a spear that glowed with fluorescent green runes. He was old and wise-looking, with a thick brown beard.

Behind him, a woman-like figure followed, adorned with a dress of writhing snakes. Her torso was covered in human hands and hearts, and her head was made of two serpents, but just one. She had enormous claws, and her whole body never seemed to look quite the same at any one moment.

A man with the head of a falcon followed. On top of his head, a orb of fire glowed brightly. He was shirtless, but wore a white tunic. In his left hand he carried an ankh, and in the other a black scepter. His skin was bronze and his arms and legs were adorned with blue and gold jewelry.

The final being to step through the glowing rift was perhaps the least spectacular. He was Japanese, and had long jet black hair, a short mustache and a goatee. He wore a loose orange fabric shirt, tan colored pants, and a white sash around his waste. He was barefoot and carried a staff that was tipped with a curved blade.

"Cease your fighting immediately, Thor," the first said. "You stupid, arrogant boy."

"Father!" Thor said, shocked. He stopped at once and knelt. "How have I offended you?"

"I don't know, nor do I care, why you saw fit to battle Zeus. But your doing so is liable to destroy the planet. No matter your petty squabble, I forbid you from continuing this madness."

"But father, he--" Thor started

"Silence Thor!" the man in the eyepatch and hat roared. "Lest you feel the wrath of Odin."

Thor hung his head wordlessly.

"As for you," the snake-headed woman hissed, "you ought to know better, Zeus. This never should have happened."

"I won't be talked to by you, Coatlicue," Zeus growled.

"You can, and you will," said the man with the falcon head. "You are removed from the Council of Gods, effective immediately."

"What?!" cried Zeus. "You can't do that! That's ridiculous! I was one of the founders."

"We already voted on it, Zeus," said the Japanese man. "Time and time again, you have proven yourself to be rash, hot-headed and dangerous. Starting wars, siring demi-god child after demi-god child, and now this. Thor has the excuse of being young and not knowing who you are. You have no such alibi."

"Izanagi," he pleaded, "How could you do this to me? Did no one vote in my favor? Ra? Odin?"

The other gods were silent.

"Fine," Zeus said with growing anger. "I leave your company, then. But know this: Olympus is coming for each of you."

A flash of lightning, and Zeus and the unconscious Mars were gone.

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