Chapter 35: "The Lightning"

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"The point of mythology or myth is to point to the horizon and to point back to ourselves: This is who we are; this is where we came from, and this is where we're going. And a lot of Western society over the last hundred years - the last 50 years really - has lost that. We have become rather aimless and wandering."

- J. Michael Straczynski

1

The Citadel of Zeus, Olympus

"Where are you?" Meg called out, flying through the open picture window into the throne room. "Show yourself and let's get this over with before more have to die," she added, landing softly on the lushly carpeted ground and hoping her false bravado rang true.

"I am where a king should be, child," Zeus, ruler of the Hellenic gods, replied from his massive seat at the far end of the vast chamber. "And the lives of rebels and mortals mean less to me than the dust in the air."

White marble and gold polished so brightly it hurt her eyes gleamed from every corner and surface. The opulence of the room should have been beautiful, but it made Meg sick. This lazy, selfish creature was a monster in his own right. He had in his possession the tool to possibly end the threat of Ast-Murath forever, but instead he chose to hide on his mountain while the Megaverse burned.

"I know why you are here and you'll be leaving here empty handed," Zeus continued in his rumbling baritone, and then added, "if you leave this place at all."

Coming to his feet, the god dominated the room with his size and power, electricity crackled around his toga-clad form. The hair on the back of Meg's neck rose in response. Meg fought back a laugh. This situation was so unbelievable, so ridiculous, that for a second she considered the possibility she was in a hospital, trapped in a coma, none of this real.

Seriously, she thought with a wry smile gracing her face, I'm about to throw down with the Father of the Gods. How fucking surreal is this?!

"Something amuse you, mortal?" Zeus snapped. Irritation with an overtone of disbelief dripped from his words. "Is this some cosmic joke to the likes of you?"

"First, old man, you say 'mortal' like it's a bad thing," Meg responded coldly, setting her feet and taking a deep, cleansing breath. Power surged from her core and raced to the ends of her extremities. "And second, the only joke here is the jackass standing in front of me. You're a fool and I have no more time to waste. Give me what I need and I'll go away."

"How dare..." Zeus started but was unable to finish.

A bolt or electric blue fire exploded from Meg's right arm in a vortex of power. The energy impacted the Father of the Gods square in the chest, throwing him back into his throne and shattering it into a million pieces. The floor to ceiling windows shattered to dust in the shockwave of the collision.

"Bang," Meg whispered, stunned by the scope of her power. Electricity cracked in her hair and eyes as she watched the unmoving form of Zeus, "Where is it?" Meg demanded. She was so focused on Zeus she never realized he was playing possum until it was too late.

Dozens of gold and white lightning bolts leapt from the fallen form of the god, all converging on Meg. She reacted without thinking, and with less than a nanosecond to spare she managed to pull a protective barrier up between herself and Zeus's counter attack. While Zeus had been thrown backwards from Meg's attack, she was hammered into the floor by his. Marble and granite split below her, and for the first time since exiting her Jeep in that river, she felt fear and pain.

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