Zeus, Science and Jesus

Zeus looked about his chambers; a beautiful room filled with golden chalices—because he drank the divine nectar often—and other trophies achieved from his War-defining moments as God of the sky. Mortals could get really stupid, fighting silly wars. Hopping out his giant, almost mountainous bed, Zeus recalled the last event before his occasional great slumber.

Zeus, Science and Jesus

Two hundred years of sleep had never felt better.

Zeus, the Greek God of lightning rose from his slumber, with a thunderous yawn. He felt really energized and ready to rule the other gods; that was his purpose. But more importantly; today was his birthday; he was primed to celebrate his 700 thousand year existence as an immortal.

Life was good.

Indeed, ruling over mortals could get boring—and that’s why he slept occasionally—but there was no better feeling than looking out from Mount Olympus and sending some lightning into the desolate abyss below.

Today, he would spare the mortals. He would not invoke rain on his birthday. Besides, he needed to converse with Poseidon before he sent down rain. His older brother was sometimes stingy with the waters of the universe.

Zeus looked about his chambers; a beautiful room filled with golden chalices—because he drank the divine nectar often—and other trophies achieved from his War-defining moments as God of the sky. Mortals could get really stupid, fighting silly wars. Hopping out his giant, almost mountainous bed, Zeus recalled the last event before his occasional great slumber.

Oh yes, the mortals had undergone an industrial revolution.

How silly, for these mortals to think and believe that they had some form of control over this Earth—the very earth which had birthed him along with his siblings. The Gods rule, yet these mortals could not understand this principle. So they create these ridiculous toys for themselves.

I blame Hephaestus; always indulging these mortals.

Hephaestus was the son of Zeus. The young god was born awkwardly; as ugly as his uncle Hades; tossed from his mother’s womb—Zeus’ wife, Hera— for being lame at birth. Of course, Athena healed the condition with her divine healing powers, but Hephaestus never recovered from the shock. He remained crooked; powerless and as divine as the foolish mortals below.

To be honest, Zeus never cared much for the boy. He had other offspring that he was unduly proud of. Hercules was like a son he never had. Aries also was a very handsome lad who took after his father’s looks. Hermes, Apollo—the list went on. Although he had many sons and grandsons who reigned as gods on Olympus or in the Earth below, he still had a soft spot for Hephaestus; mainly because he was smart with construction.

He did build this beautiful room of mine at the hill of Olympus.

Zeus stretched his limbs; he hadn’t walked in a while. So he decided to take a slow walk out of his chambers and into Olympus gardens, a hill lower than his divine abode. Opening his chamber, Zeus was greeted to an empty palace. Fair enough, no one disturbed him during his centenary slumber. The absence was understandable.

However, when Zeus entered the Olympus gardens, he was greeted by... no one.

“Where is everyone?”

Zeus meandered round the great pillars of Olympus; he slid across the shiny marble floors and gazed ponderously at the goblets of illuminations that lined the palace. Olympus was as elegant and heavenly as it had always been. But one thing was out of place; the silence…

Olympus was a place of merriment and constant debauchery. At least, Zeus half-expected Dionysus to be wine drunk, lying with his band of forest nymphos; or to find Aphrodite, his beautiful daughter seducing yet another male god. Something wasn’t right. His palace was too quiet.

And as if reading his thoughts, Olympus rewarded Zeus with a sound in the distance; the crashing of hammers and clanging of metals. Zeus walked to the eastern end of his temple, and as suspected, found Hephaestus hard at work in his forge. For a while, Zeus gathered his tunic and watched the young god suspiciously. Hephaestus always worked his hammer but never had he seen his son so industrious.

Sensing his presence, Hephaestus sighed and dropped his hammer. Without looking, he said, “You angels never learn, do you?”

Who does this imp think he is? Zeus cleared his throat. Hephaestus turning for the first time caught sight of his father and… laughed.

Zeus felt attacked. “What’s so funny boy?” His anger rising with every word.

Hephaestus, almost bawling to his knees in laughter, gasped for control of his emotions. “Apologies sire; I thought you would never wake. Welcome back, father.”

And then Hephaestus returned to his work of hammering very strange machinery into existence.

Zeus ignored the slight and proceeded to satisfy his inquiries. “Where is everyone?”

Hammering what seemed to be a fishing garment but with mouths for pelts, Hephaestus wiped his brow. “Oh, father, where to start?”

“Start anywhere…”

After what seemed like an hour of explaining, Zeus found himself more confused than before. He found himself sorting through various words in his head like Gravity, Science, Technology, Nuclear Bomb; but one term stuck like glue.

“What is an America?”

“A country of great power, father”

Zeus frowned. “And who is this Isaac Newton figure?”

“Father,” said Hephaestus resting his hammer in exasperation. “As I said, you slept for over 400 years. In that time Isaac Newton figured out the universe; gravity, pulls us all together. So the easterners disagreed, and they fought a clueless war—two actually—just to prove a point. During the 2nd war, we see the unthinkable. I mean, it’s a regular party at Olympus—you know how those get—and we’re all pretty drunk. All of a sudden, we hear this giant explosion and a big cloud of smoke. A nuclear bomb, it was called. And…”

“…the resultant smoke filtered through all of Olympus—weird you didn’t wake. However, when the smoke cleared, a lot the gods faded into non-existence.”

This makes no sense. “We cannot die! We are immortal!”

Hephaestus shrugged. “Remember the Titans? You know, the Gods before us. They thought the same, yet they died when we took power. Now, science is taking over and some guy called Jesus Christ; though I have only seen him on occasion.”

“Nonsense.”

“Not nonsense father. This is happening!”

“And why are you still alive then?”

Hephaestus spread his arms like a smug teacher condescending to a student. “I have to exist, do you not see?”

“I do not see.” Zeus was fuming. Many thoughts went through his head, but one thing was clear; he had two enemies: Isaac Newton and Jesus Christ; and he would smite them, Olympus willing.

“Father,” said Hephaestus suddenly holding his new creation aloft. It looked like a huge satchel, worn on the back. “I am the god of inventions. Somehow, this is all my doing. But you, I’m afraid, do not have very long.”

“Don’t insult me!” roared Zeus. “I am still the King of gods.”

Hephaestus pressed his palms together in a form of silent prayer. “Okay,” he said. “Let’s do a little experiment. Again, you don’t have much time father. We have to head into mortal territory now.

“That we must,” said Zeus, suddenly feeling empowered. “I must find this Newton.”

“Long dead!”

“Jesus then! Lead me to this imposter.”

Hephaestus sighed. He strapped on his backpack invention. “Father, hold on to me.”

“Why?”

“We must descend carefully.”

“Nonsense…” Zeus never needed any strange machinery to descend Olympus. He was the god of Sky; he could just jump off the cliff and…

“Father, NOOOOOOOO!”

But Zeus was already off into the sky. Falling through the clouds, he felt like himself again. He was truly the god of the sky and nothing could stop his…

“Father!”

Hephaestus was falling beside him. “Hold my hand father!”

As the earth below approached, Zeus suddenly felt afraid.  “Son, why am I falling?”

Just in time, Hephaestus grabbed his father, held him tightly, and released what was a parachute. They landed gently in the center of a valley, not far from civilization—a rather sophisticated civilization with tall buildings, strange lights, and very loud honks.

“My God,” said Zeus at the world around him.

“Exactly, father” said Hephaestus, “We are no longer that. Now, father, you don’t have much time, we must pray—”

Zeus began an angry march towards the city nearby. I must find their leader and kill him, he said. Zeus truly believed that if he murdered whoever ruled now, he would regain his immortality. But he never got far; Hephaestus held him fast.

“Father, the closer you move to that reality, the more you lose yourself—Shit, it’s already happening!”

And true enough, Zeus began to shrink like the wind; he felt his very essence fade into nothingness. He couldn’t believe his eyes. He was…

“Am I dying?”

Hephaestus nodded grimly. Before Zeus could speak further, Hephaestus dug out something from his backpack. Zeus found that it was a book.

“What is this?” he asked incredulously.

“It is a bible.”

“A what?”

Hephaestus started to mumble. “Or should I have brought a bigger size?”

“Son!’ A chunk of Zeus’ arm suddenly faded into nothingness.

“Jesus!” said Hephaestus.

“Yes; he did this. This… Jesus fraud… I will kill him, I swear I will,” said Zeus forced into a kneeling position as his arms faded into thin air.

“No, no,” said Hephaestus shaking his head. He opened the book quickly and began to read something called a Psalm. “Father; do you accept Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? You must say yes!”

Zeus found himself saying, “What the fuck!” as his left leg exploded into nothingness. He had never felt so mortal. Well, once; when some lesser god called Typhon tried to overthrow his government. Zeus murdered the evil monster with a barrage of lightning. But then he had been a god; now he was becoming nothing.

“This is the only way father. To be God or human; you choose.” Hephaestus said. “In this book, bible rather; Jesus—yeah, that guy—he promises eternal life. This is the only solution I have, father. Every other god I know—we know—Poseidon, Athena, Aries, and all others faded the same way. I’m trying to save you father.”

Again, do you accept Jesus as your personal lord and savior?”

Zeus crumbled emphatically into the dirt. Nothing remained of him but his neck and face now. If this was the way he was destined to die, he would make sure to find Hades and reincarnate himself in his true godly form. Someone had to be punished for this; and it was definitely not Zeus, the god of gods.

“Come closer son,” Zeus said as his face began to fade. He whispered a few words and faded finally into the nothingness.

After a moment of holding on to Zeus’ ashes, Hephaestus rose to his feet.

“What did he say?”

“Jesus! You scared me.”

A figure dressed in a fine Nazarene robe emerged from a huge rock behind Hephaestus. “Do not be afraid,” the stranger said and then laughed hysterically.

Then the stranger calmed himself. He seemed to be floating ever slightly. “No, seriously... What did Zeus say?”

“He said,” Hephaestus shook his head in exasperation. “He said Fuck you Jesus—he really hates you, you know.”

The stranger, who was a handsome figure—and of course Jesus in this tale—grabbed Hephaestus by the shoulder as a brother would. Walk with me, he said. They walked on in silence in what felt like a forever journey up into the clouds, back to the very top of Olympus.

“Hell is hot, you know?” Jesus finally said, bobbing his head like a little kid.

Hephaestus nodded knowledgeably, sighing as he lifted his hammer once again. “It truly is.”

 

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