The royal table was filled with the best of everything, at least according to a servants’ standards. Goat cheese from the mountain people who wanted it to snow less the upcoming year. Grapes from the valley people who wanted it to rain more. And semi-dried fermented brown balls from one of the rebels in between who said to the priest that it was the only thing left to offer to anyone after being robbed by the mountain lords and jailed by the valley authorities for not being able to pay his taxes. The Chief Officiator at the feast lifted the hardest of them up to his nose, noting an interesting earthy aroma to it along with other smells to it that only he could discern with his oversized nostrils.

“They call it shit, my Lord,” his second in command related in a high pitched voice and a lisp that was more in keeping with those who bore offspring rather than provided the seeds to produce them. “The offering to us made to the Priests when they came around to collect from him. Which smells of blasphemy,”

“Or defiance,” the Chief Officiator said with a voice more fatherly than authoritative to the son who most acted like, and wanted to be, his daughter both here in the colonies, and back at home. The Officiator allowed the odor of the detritus from the condemned man to linger in his nostrils for three more breaths. He stroked his long, white beard as he assessed the rest of the aromatic hints as to what else could have motivated this ‘peasant’ born from simple earth to do something so ‘complicated’. “Defiance fueled by fear, anger, and maybe insights into life that none of the other dwellers of his village didn’t stumble upon nor see. All expressed as something that we have never experienced, nor felt.”

“Futile stupidity?” Apollo said. “For a punishment that carries with it a sentence to spend the rest of his time in his current consciousness in an even worse prison than where he was incarcerated?”

“Courage, my son,” Zeus replied, feeling the painful wisdom of being a middle aged god just over eight thousand Earth years old. “Something that happens, sometimes, when you are not as smart as us, not as secure as us, and not as powerful as us,” he said. “The product of small minds and large hearts inspired by…Hmmm.” He pondered the matter as he looked over the table upon which there were golden objects from all portions of the Greek colonies to which Zeus and his crew had been assigned. The likenesses of him carved into the golden statues and plates were simplistic in design, accurate according to how he portrayed himself to their ‘prophets’ on occasion, such as Homer, who, by necessity, and the established laws that even Zeus could not change, had to be blinded. The pictures the readers of Homer, and the other ‘chosen ones’ put into shape and form portrayed Zeus as being powerful, wise, and even kind. There was only one that was accurate with regard to his internal biology. He picked it up, noting the sketches carved into the flat rock, colored with blood rather than ink, from the man who offered shit to the gods as his final statement.

“Fear,” Apollo commented, with a snide smile at the likeness of Zeus that was the most accurate of the likenesses offered by the colonials in honor of the Highest god’s Feast Day. It was actually the Mission Commander’s birthday, as measured by the calendar back on home planet. A place which was still very inhabitable by those who were smart in the mind, but not to those who had opened their Souls to the quality of ‘heart’, and the postulated, but seldom felt existence of a Being without attribute and beyond description which was more powerful than ANY of the gods. An Entity which was best felt, and served, by the ‘gods’ from either of the two home planets who had come to earth. An Energy that needed no power to be expressed that, oddly enough, the undeveloped humanoids on earth had a better understanding of than the ‘gods’ from Zeus’ home planet. An Essence that, perhaps by ‘collaborative and cooperative investigation’, could be understood better and served better by learning from ‘Earth born’ humanoids who were as important to human development in the universe as they were ignorant of the real origin of their gods.

Zeus knew that the future of his Spiritually sterile home planet and its equally vicious sister extra-planetary world depended on the success of this Mission. And keeping his most secret weapon in this War for Enlightenment secret. Away from his bosses back home. Away from the other race of ‘gods’ who came to Earth to plunder from the apelike humans here rather than to learn from them. And away from his those he ‘loved’, if indeed he was really capable of such an ill-described emotional dynamic. .

Those who he ‘loved’, if one can call it that, included his son Apollo, who was discovering the female side of his humanoid nature, after having bred with specially-picked earthling women who he found internally fascinating more than conquerable. His daughter Aphrodite, whose appearance on home planet was plain, or ugly, but whose features here on earth were considered the most beautiful and desirous by the earthling men, and women. And his adopted professional offspring, such as Heptaetus, whose expertise in measuring and manipulating time warps earned him the right to be left alone to fiddle around with machinery from home base which needed repair every now and then from colonial sources, and gold to fuel any translocation of material or personal goods from earth to home, or vice versa.

They and all the others came to the ‘banquet’ table in the hall built by the ‘hairless apes’ who scurried away whenever a thunderbolt would be manufactured by Nordic cousin Thor, or some kind of political, military or naturally-based ‘omen’ cooked up by Thor’s trickster brother, Loki.

The sun rose in the sky above the Olympian landing strip, reaching its zenith at noon. On schedule according to the laws of Nature, a series of ‘events’ which governed EVERYone made of some kind of matter, or physically-expressed energy. “Time to transport up what we collected, and our reports of those we collected from,” Apollo said as he consulted with another one of the time-measuring devises that Heptaetus inspired, or instructed, one of his most favored Earthlings below to construct. They worked better when Heptaetus let the ‘hairless ape’ student use materials from earth rather than home planet. “The conference as to what to do for the next earth year is about to commence as well. And everyone is here,” Apollo noted.

“Not everyone, ” Zeus said, as the ‘old man’ looked up the sky for answers, then down to the valley below for real solutions. “Promethius is due back, any time now.”

“His OWN time!” Aphrodite protested.

“Greek time,” Heptaetus said, experimenting in that odd human phenomenon called humor, in the form of a ‘joke’. “Which means that if you say noon, you actually mean sunset,” he continued.

“Then we will wait till sunset,” Zeus affirmed.

“While our competitors who are working with hairless apes from other parts of this wretched planet, will get ahead of us in this contest!” Loki said. “A contest that you will lose, and my father Oden will lose as well.”

“Along with our rights to rule this planet, and come home as heroes,” Thor appended.

“If indeed home planet will still be there when we lose this war,” Aries reminded everyone. “What happens on primitive planets like earth affects what happens on important ones like ours,” he reminded the Council.

“Which is why we will wait for Promethius, till sunset, or however long it takes,” Zeus insisted.

The old man who was well past his prime in terms of popularity with his fellow gods, and many areas of worshippers down below, exerted his most powerful ‘mind stare’ to his children, crew and collaborators. He reached down to the innermost Core of his being, and prayed to the Beyond Energy for enough strength to hold on to that stare, and the intention behind it. For reasons beyond Zeus’ understanding, the gods under him didn’t voice protests, nor did they do any mutinous acts. They didn’t assault him all at once, or one at a time. The most opposition he got was a stare of vengeful rage from Apollo, and a snide condescending chuckle from Loki. The rest remained obedient, for now. Plotting whatever they were plotting behind their shifting and/or confused eyes. Meanwhile, the transporter beam shone down on the table, taking up the gold and leaving a few more instruction manuals on plates made of material common on home planet but not seen anywhere on earth, in writing that was to be read by the gods alone.

“Anything new to report?” the messenger from the ship asked through the audio transmitter.

There was LOTS new going on, some good, some bad. All potentially earth shattering material, to quote an internal pun that came to Zeus. But Zeus answered for all of the gods with a speech earthlings could not understand nor pronounce, no matter how their humanoid tongues were formed naturally or could be engineered to become by the gods’ best plastic surgeons, even the masters of ape biology from the good old days in Sumaria. “All under control and on schedule.”

Of course it was a lie, by anyone’s standards. Sparta and Athens were at each other’s throats again, now with enough military might to destroy all earthling humanoid life in the Mediterranean and beyond. And for each Army that could annihilate or further enslave earth, there was a god, or goddess behind the scenes, with their own secret mission. But, for reasons based in honor, wisdom or perhaps that most elusive faculty of higher beings, courage, Zeus held firm.

“We are waiting for Promethius before we make any reports, or changes in policy,” he ordered his subordinates as he waved his superiors back to home planet. The ship left, leaving the gods alone in the laboratory they had created. Zeus smiled with relief.

“This is very dangerous,” ‘intel’ and battle strategy goddess’ Athena, warned her father. “We all have a lot to lose here.”

“And more to gain,” Zeus reminded them all. “In ways that, well….we will find out. After Promethius comes back.”

“To sign our death warrants,” Apollo warned. “And unlike the hairless apes, we don’t have a ‘heaven’ waiting for us afterwards.”

Zeus knew that Apollo was right. He was fearful about even more now. But the anatomy of courage was that it’s about being terrified, but doing what you have to do anyway.

MJ Politis, Ph.D., D.V.M., H.B.A.R.P. (human being, aspiring Rennaisance person) 


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