I woke up from a dream. I didn't really remember what it had been about from the start, but the final part was clear enough. I had been down in Athens back in its foundation days. Poseidon had been there too with his trident, challenging me over the city.
"I'll teach you who's in charge here! he had said and hurled the trident at the rock of the Acropolis plateau, where my main temple is located."
"What are you doing!" I yelled at him.
"Draining the magma, girl! Isn't this the energy cross you've been so preoccupied with? Isn't this the place where magic energies come together? Isn't this where everything can change? Behold!"
Poseidon had lifted the trident in the sky and the magma had obeyed him, fountaining up like if it had been water from a broken pipe.
"Chaos! You're killing Athens!" I screamed.
I woke up, entangled in my sweaty sheets, still hearing the sound of streaming magma in my ears, until I realised it was only rain splashing upon the leaves outside my open window. The wind had picked up too and I closed the window kinetically while trying to find a better position in bed and going back to sleep. But sleep failed me, too many thoughts began to assault my brain, and after almost an hour I went up and started to work on this idea that was slowly starting to form inside my mind. The energy crosses...
"You think it can be done?" Poseidon asked the next morning.
"If we work together on this," I told him. "I know how to locate those crosses. Then we'll go there and use the forces located around them to open up a quantum flow and tap the energy of the magma that way."
"And where do we redirect it?" Aietes wanted to know. "I mean we can't just let it out in the aether. It can blow all kinds of things to smithereens."
"We'll create a 6D flux," I replied.
"Not even a 6D flux can last forever," said Aietes. "And it takes a divine mind to keep it from disrupting. Who will volunteer to do that, you think? Will you?"
"No, we can bind the flux. Not forever, that is true. But we can use it to harvest energy from. Letting it return to the 3D in slow doses and heat up water for running turbines."
"Something similar to a nuclear reactor, you mean?" Poseidon asked.
"Yes. We'll have to get help from Hephaistos again of course. He's after all the one behind the nuclear technology."
"Then I think we have to let him in on the truth."
"You're right, Poseidon. We will. But my brother can handle it, I trust him on that. Plus he'll need something to distract his mind on. He's been pouting quite a bit too much over the fact that Ares and Aphrodite had Eros together."
"He has all the right in the world to be mad at them for that," Poseidon said. "It was a rotten thing to do."
"Of course he has," I said. "But it benefits no one to continuing being mad. Life must go on."
"Come on. Poseidon," Aietes was saying at the same time. "You did the same once. Remember Herophilos."
At those words the sea god got something dark in his eyes. Anger. And sadness. A lost child, it probably still hurt to be reminded of the dead son."
"Yeah, I did do that," he answered with a harsh, strained voice, while clutching his fists. "But don't tell me you haven't done the same, Aietes! Or at least enjoyed Aphrodite."
"That's not true!" Aietes sounded unjustly accused. "I've..."
"Oh, shut up, I cut him off. We're not here to discuss Aphrodite's appeal."
"You started it," Aietes said.
"That means I can stop it too," I returned. "Let's get back to work!"
Ares wasn't the only love-sick brother of mine. Apollon had directed his charm at Selene, and they were seen together more and more. One night at Hestia's, Astraea dared to guess that Selene would be the one who finally made the music god settle down. Selene was shaking her head:
"No, I'm still not over the loss of my husband and pantheon. Apollon gives me comfort, but we're not in love. And it's too early for little Pandia too."
"Too early for what?" I asked.
"Getting a stepfather."
"Selene, I hope you have made Apollon aware of that," I told the other goddess. "I'd hate to see him hurt by yet another woman who dumps him. Chaos knows that he's not easy to live with, the way he demands affection and can't stay faithful. But But that's his father's blood. And I love every bit of him, and I care!"
"Don't worry, Athena. We've been talking about it. We're having a good time, that's all."
A few days later Poseidon, Aietes and I flew to Eraganathea in Atlantis. Eraganathea is a city of five million mortals and capital of the Atlantic province Kiruakiun. Just as Athens and most other great cities, it's located upon an energy line intersection. About 50 kilometres away from the energy cross was what Poseidon called "bold 9" one of the smaller of those pressure points that ran like a necklace of horror across the leaf-shaped continent. A reasonable place to start our first drainage-test. Hephaistos together with Caeros and Alatheia were ready to do their part in a closed-down coal power plant back in Sparta.
We had selected the divine core of one of Poseidon's temple to work from. A non-enter spell directed at both mortals and immortals and Aietes as guard should keep our secrecy from curious eyes. Poseidon was the first one to go into trance, with the seismic activity in focus. Next went I, concentrating on the energy of the earth power line intersection. Its forces weren't hard to find, on the contrary, they shone like white beacons in the sub 3D, making the city resting on top of it almost transparent, like it was floating in the air, surrounded by the energies of the sun as well as the earth.
Sunlight in sub 3D is very different from the one we see in normal state. Here you see almost the complete spectra, from radio infra to crackling epsilon waves, turning the normal white into something almost liquid waving between red, blue and the ultraviolets of radioactivity. On the other hand the earth power is nearly white, which gives you a feeling of being upside down and under water, creating an almost nausea vertigo.
But I had done this often enough to soon get my bearings and start interpreting the flux of earth power. There was the point I was looking for, the point where the energies came together in a multi-dimensional whirlpool. That one was what we were going to use to tap the energies of the earth core, releasing the pressure upon the continent.
"Poseidon? You're out there?" I asked.
"You have the seismic energy under control for harvesting?"
"I have. Catch, Athi. And be careful with it, it's strong, hot and fast."
"I will. Heph, Alli, Cae, are you ready over in the power plant."
I got an affirmative answer from Alatheia and then I counted down to Go! Soon energies were streaming from Poseidon through me and over into the hands of Caeros in Sparta.
"Not so fast," my little brother was calling back. "The steam pressure builds up too fast, the turbines might explode."
"I'm adjusting," Poseidon told. "How many strikes do you want me to go down?"
We worked a bit like that until we had created a steady flow that went from the Atlantic 'bold 9' and over to the power plant. At that time Alatheia powered down one of the Spartan nuclear plants and connected the flux plant to the electricity grid instead. It was working!
The Hyp delegate Ephialtes of Aload is one of those little unreliable-looking men that give me shivers. His assistant Otus is just as creepy. Now Cleopatra had learned that they were plotting against dad. I had just left my Atlantic report when she knocked on the door to dads office and let us know of Ephialtes' plans.
Dad was thinking it over and said:
"If I'm correct in my assumptions of Ephialtes of Aload, he will probably use the Chair Office election as a backdrop for his attempt at a coup d'etat."
"By trying to claim that too much power is held within Olympos with both the Divine King and the Nexus Chair Officiant being one of us?" Cleopatra asked.
"That's old news," Alatheia said. "If he don't have anything new to come up with, no-one's going to listen."
"I hope Auroanos is prepared," Hera said."He can lose the Chair Office if you get challenged. It might focus on the Olympic power concentration and while people want to keep Zeus they might vote for one of Auroanos' competitors instead. "
But Ephialtes may have though he was smart. He waited until the election was over and Auroanos had defeated a handful of deities. Auro had hardly sat down in Mimi's old chair before Ephialtes challenged the Divine King. His excuse was rigged elections.
Ephialtes claimed that since the election of Hera back in '17 Olympos had rigged all the Chair Office elections. He said that this behaviour proved that the Divine King office was corrupt, and the rule of the Union really a family affair. A dictator-ship, since no-one dared to oppose Zeus and his family these days. So to give back the power to the elected delegates and fulfil the Union Constitution, Zeus would have to go.
Dad answered back, sounding like these accusations were exactly what he had expected to hear from the Aloadian delegate.
"Do the maths, Ephialtes, if you don't believe me. If I exclude the mortals, six percent of the politicians are of the House of Olympos. Our pantheon consists of 32 adult members. That's a bit more than 8 percent of the Ekarantannian immortal population. This means that the House of Olympos is actually under represented. But what's a daddy to do when his children don't want to work for him?"
The last sentence provoked some laughter, dad smiled back and went on:
"It's true that the election which put Hera in office was rigged. But not by Olympos. It was staged by a libertarian/radical group who wanted anyone but the candidate favoured by Olympos in office. The four elections which placed and kept Artemis in office, were in the hands of the citizens of the Union. Immortals as well as mortals. These are hard to rig. But if you think they are rigged, Ephialtes of Aload, you are welcome to count the votes. They are all being stored in The Vault of the Nexus. Yes, it's a nightmare of a job. Nevertheless that's the only way for you to be confirmed of the truth if you don't trust the ladies and gentlemen who were performing the vote-counts."
Ephialtes seemed to hesitate by the prospect of counting all the votes, but before he got the chance to say anything, the goddess Mnemosyne of West Arcadia rose for a question:
"Great Zeus, how do we know that Ephialtes of Aload will not lie about the results if he finds out that the elections have been performed justly?"
"He will be surveyed of course," dad said from the platform.
Some more questions were asked and answered while I was watching from my place at the spectator's balcony. Most of the times the debates down in the Golden Hall are rather dull, but this event woke some real discussions. Not about dad, it was only Ephialtes and Eneis of Midgård who seemed interested in challenging him. But about the possibility to rig a general election.
The Golden Hall - named after its gold-mosaic walls - was filled almost to the brim with deities, who in their colourful, and glittering dresses and sparkling auras made this large room shimmer with energies. Energies that even paled the sunlight shining in from the high windows. I understood why this large room was considered too small. The Divine Assembly 'The Hyperpantheon' was supposed to move over to the Great Hall "the present hall of the Mortal Assembly, as soon as their new Union Hall was finished.
At last Ephialtes caved in, to some applauds and provocative comments. Dad thanked for an interesting debate and left the podium. One quick glance up at the spectators balcony and a smile. And another, filled with contempt and directed at Ephialtes of Aload who had sat down again together with Otus.
"And you don't think anyone will notice when you start shutting down nuclear plants?" Cleopatra asked. "It was the weekly meeting and we had just informed the Olympians of the seismic activities beneath Atlantis and how we were working on saving it from impending disaster."
"No, it's our own plants," Caeros told. "The ones I run. My mortals are perfectly loyal and don't question why we are switching plants as long as they get paid for their work. And besides they don't notice the difference between a nuclear reactor and a flux ditto."
"So what you guys are doing is saving Atlantis by turning off nuclear reactors and employing the needed amount of flux reactors instead," Apollon asked.
"True," I replied.
"But how do you know how much energy is needed?" Artemis asked.
"By computer calculation."
"Isn't there a risk you drain too much of the seismic energies?" Artemis again.
"No, it's not," Poseidon said. "If we drain enough the pressure simply stops and we will have a minor earthquake as a warning. And by minor I mean something only sensitive immortals like yours truly can sense."
"And how about the electricity?" Leto wanted to know. "What's the difference between electricity coming from this flux setup of yours compared to regular electricity?"
"Nothing of importance," dad answered. "It's true that the energy to produce this electricity flows through the sub 3D...."
"Sub 6D" I corrected him. He shrugged and went on:
"But there's only a minor difference in the energy signature. Nothing that affects tools run by electricity. This actually means that Poseidon and Athena's group have not only saved Atlantis for us, they have managed to find the embryo for a new energy source."
Then dad called for a break. I got some chance to harvest fresh gossip from Iris while we were collecting nectar and ambrosia from the buffet table.
"What's with Ares and Aphrodite? They seem to avoid each other like plague these days."
"Ares has given Enyo a son. Enyalos," Iris told.
"I thought it was over between those two since years."
"I guess all of us did. But who can tell with Ares."
So came the scary event with Asklepios. I was sitting with dad, Eos and Apollon in dads office discussing something semi-important when suddenly Persephone bursted through the doors with a pale face and Apollon's unconscious son in her arms. The tall and slender doc looked badly in need of healing himself. His aura was dull and week and his chakras had slowed down to a dangerously low pace, almost only skidding.
"Apollon, help your son! He's dying and I can't hold him anymore! Persephone cried."
My brother rose fast and ran over and grabbed Asklepios, sat down on the floor with the lifeless body. Tears started to flow down his cheeks, not since his teens had I seen him crying like that before.
"What happened, what did he do?" I asked my cousin while Apollon started to work on his son. Zeus came to his help.
"Get Eleithya!" he ordered Eos, who closed her eyes, started to mind-search for my sister.
"He wanted to trip," Persephone started. "Asked me to ward him. First I was kind of surprised, thinking why would he need me, since he was only running around in the sub-3D. Then we encountered what he apparently was looking for. A traffic accident. A mortal on one of these big, powerful motorbikes. The biker was hit by a truck, and the poor mans back snapped like a stick. It still surprises me how fragile mortals really are."
"He died instantly," Persephone went on. "Then I understood what Ask wanted to do. He entered 6D mode fast, started to go after the mortal's soul, tried to pull him back again."
"Saving his life?" I asked.
"How far ir was he?" Dad wanted to know.
"39/648:th curve," my cousin said.
"That's way too long. Beyond 20:th it's too late. Even for one of us. You know that, Peri, didn't you tell Ask?"
"He wasn't listening. He wanted to save that man's life so bad."
"Why? Who was he?" I asked.
"No one! That wasn't the point, Ask wanted to show that he could wake up a dead man. But he began to be pulled down with the mortal and I lost my grip on him. Couldn't hold him. I'm sorry, Apollon." Peri started to cry even more and I took my cousin in my arms, pulled her close to me, feeling my own eyes wet.
"Chaos!" Dad said. "Was he out of his mind? Haven't I told him, haven't I told everybody that such a thing can't be done? Not beyond the 20:th! Metis' cousin Inarnana tried, and she died. And so did Inarnana's daughter Isigi. Metis showed me why it was impossible. The pull becomes too strong, you can't stop it. Not even the mightiest immortal can. It's beyond the laws we function by."
After a while and with the help of dad and Apollon, Ask started to come around again, and then there was Eleithya ready to help him mend his tormented soul. Dad had Asklepios swearing by his heart to not do such a thing again. That wasn't really hard – Asklepios was too scared to try bringing back another dead. He knew, that hadn't Peri been so fast and hadn't both dad and Apollon been around to fetch him, he would have died for sure.
"Not even Hades can do these things," Persephone told. "He tried once, with a mortal named Eurydice. Just out of curiosity. Got her as far as 618/1489/2528. Then the pull became too strong and Eurydice fell again. The only way to return someone is normal reincarnation. It has to work that way. We can't change everything."
"Not yet," I said.
"Don't you start anything, Athena!" dad warned me.
"Not after what I've seen here today," I assured the gathered group. "Besides, I have other things to do. Seismic energy for instance. By the way, dad you owe me and Hera 1000 credits each!"