"Oh, come on, Hera," said Neyta. "That look on your face, I mean, you are radiant! You look even happier than when the final vote was done on Opening Ceremony day. So who is he?"
"There's no 'he'," I lied, blushing. I had no idea that I was so transparent. What to say now?? But I got saved - not by the proverbial bell but by Scadé who entered the New Dawn office with her red curls ruffled from flying, Maia coming in after her with new pens and notebooks.
"It's really windy out there," Scadé said. "And I mean windy. Not like just another winter storm, but almost like the storms back home in Valhallah when we have to get everything inside and bolt the doors. And trees get uprooted and even stuff like cars and smaller structures get taken by the wind."
"Really," I said. Scadé was not the weather-chit-chat person. And as a confirmation the large glass window suddenly creaked beneath the force of a strengthening in the wind. I looked outside. Scadé had been right, the wind was getting awfully potent. I could see how it bent the empty flagpoles on the top of the semi-circular Electricity Company Building.
"Not really usual Ekarantanni weather. But let's get down to business. Now, Scadé, tell us more about that deity who's challenging you for the Hyperpantheon seat!"
"Name's Loki and it seems that while I've been down here in Capital City he's been plotting the laws of gravity out of the Valhallah Pantheon. And, as gossip goes, he has befriended Odin like you wouldn't believe... And now he wants my seat in the Hyp. He has already started campaigning against me. Held a rally last week, Urdah told me, and beheaded a peacock and drank the blood. "
"Sick!" Neyta and I said in choir.
"That's how they do it back home. It's his way of telling the crowds that he can beat me. I find it sick too, to be honest. But back home they'd probably said that I've softened up by being down south. "
"So what's his party?" Neyta asked.
"Gee... Setting fire on a pile of roses isn't half as spectacular, sister." Neyta made a face. "We'll have to think of something else. "
The next moment we heard a tremendous crash of breaking glass from the next room.
"The storm!" I gasped. "Now it's getting way out weird!"
"Everybody's saying that these days. 'Way out weird'," Scadé pointed out. "Who started it?"
"I haven't the slightest idea," I said. "I think I've got it from Zeus, but I'm not sure. Neyta?"
"Me neither. Heard it the first time at the end of last year. I don't remember who said it first. But you're right, it might have been a Zeus-ism. "
It was even windier in the late afternoon when I met with Zeus on the top of the office building, and I commented on that.
"It's not a normal storm, you're right about that, beloved. But it's not an un-normal one either, if I might use that expression. I remember something similar, when was it? Athena was one... 8 years ago, that is."
"But there was a window that went in the HQ today."
"Hera, haven't I told you that you shouldn't throw things out of closed windows? They break," Zeus said. I just rolled my eyes.
I woke up to the voice of Zeus. He had left the bedroom and was out in the main suite, talking to someone, and he sounded sort of aggravated.
"That's not going to happen," he was saying. "I'll take care of it."
"But it's a... A hurricane. And it's coming here." Astraios' voice.
"I'll take care of it, I said."
I rose. I could feel a kind of tension in the air, almost like excitement. This wasn't a normal storm, I had been right all the time. The energies felt different. Zeus came back in and started to dress.
"Eagle, what's going on?"
"It's a hurricane coming in. Asty got a warning, it's heading right for 'Tanni."
"So what are we going to do? Emergency situation? Have people lock themselves inside?"
"Asty has already warned the authorities, he did that before waking me. I'm going to try to stop it. It might be devastating if it reaches the city."
"Can you do such a thing?"
"I've never tried before, but there is a good chance that I'll be able to do it. "
"Be careful, Zeus!"
"It's just a storm. It can't harm me. But it'll vandalise my city if it reaches it, and I'm not going to let that happen. Go back to sleep, Peacock. "
But I couldn't. As soon as Zeus had left I started to dress too and then I followed him. I found him up on the roof of the main building, in front of the dome, facing south-east. I looked out towards the sea. And where there was supposed to be the first hints of dawn was a huge blackness that was hiding the stars. It was from there that strange feeling came. And it was that "thing "my beloved was going to stop.
Zeus didn't sense me, he was focusing on the incoming hurricane, sitting lotus with eyes closed, hands resting in his lap and the wind tearing at his long hair. His aura was sparkling with such a fierce energy that even a mortal must have been able to see it. I held on to a pillar, watching him. I couldn't take my eyes of him, although the wind made my eyes tear. I don't know how much time passed by while I watched my love battling the elements. It was not like the Chronos fight. Not at all. This was different. This was done on another level.
After what must have been at least an hour I felt a shifting in the air. The wind was still terrible, and the horizon looked unchanged. But there was something different. Like - a shortage of power. Zeus was still sparkling, still hyperfocused. The change became more and more prominent while the sky became clearer. Then, suddenly, the wind began to die down. The clouds over the sea started to disintegrate, and the light of dawn beginning to come through.
Then - before I knew it - the wind was gone and the sky was clear. The sun was hanging halfway over the horizon, painting a bright red road across the sea. Zeus remained focused for about half an hour more, before he relaxed, rested his head in his hands and then laid back on the roof.
Peacock, he mindspoke. You curious little girl - come on over here! I obeyed, went over and sat down beside my beloved, took his head and let it rest in the softness of my lap instead, caressing him gently upon his sweaty forehead. Zeus has these exceptional eye-brows, quite a bit darker than his hair, thick and sharp like strokes of an Asian calligraphy-brush. Now I was following their outlines with two fingers.
"It's gone now?" I asked.
"It's gone all right. But that was terrible. I hope it'll take years until the next one is due. "
"But you can control the weather, beloved? "
"Yes, but it's not a walk in the park, to say the least. That storm out there contained so much energy that I had to diverse. I could not have absorbed it all, I'd gone out before it was over. I had to redirect it elsewhere. And that's not easy. You have to know what to do with all this energy so you don't break something else. Tampering with the weather is not a simple deed. There's so much you have to take in mind. So much that can go wrong. Everything is intermingled you see. Gathering some clouds and starting a thunderstorm - that's no big deal, takes a couple of minutes. Redirecting or stopping bad weather is a bit harder. Battling larger weather systems, like hurricanes, tornadoes, front zones and the likes takes a lot of strength and concentration."
"But you did it."
"I had to."
"I love you."
Stopping the hurricane gave Zeus a lot of 'bonus points' in peoples records, and thus he could get the Hyperpantheon to agree on a lot of his ideas. That's why we did not get a strengthening in the funding for quantum-physical research but on the other hand the Union was going to finance a bridge over the Eyatry sound and a highway and train tunnel through the Zennatra mountains. Hard stuff as usual with my Eagle.
But it was after all 'crazy season' and a lot of strange things were being debated. Everything from polygamy to sending people to the moon. And some of the things sounded even crazier than the stuff Athena could come up with during the dinners at Olympos.
"Dad, can't trains be run by electricity instead of steam?"
"Titi, where would we get that electricity from?"
"Where? In the tracks? People and animal would step on them and get hurt or killed."
"But wires in the air," Athena insisted. Zeus was smiling:
"So we would hang wires over all the railroad tracks there is in the whole Union Railway System? Do you know how much railroad there is? How many kilometres? "
"Think about it," Astraios was saying. "I mean, not for the whole URS, that would be too much. But this subway thing everybody is talking about, if we could run these trains by electricity instead of steam it could actually be possible to realise."
"I admit, this is 'crazy season', Zeus said. But here I sit with a nine year old daughter telling me how trains should be run. And the protector of Thessalia getting hyper creative."
"I think it's a good idea," Eos was saying.
"I'm not saying it's a bad idea, just slightly unrealistic."
There was one thing I couldn't push forward anymore. Winter Month was coming to an end and I couldn't and didn't want to keep my relationship with Zeus secret anymore. There must be a way for the Chair Lady of the Nexus to be together with the Divine King. I was not going to end up in a situation where I had to chose between Zeus and the Office.
"I'm going to tell certain New Dawners," I told Zeus later that night. Astraios, Eos, Poseidon and Oreynadan were still talking trains and the rest were off to other businesses or pleassures. "We can't keep this secret anymore. Soon someone's going to find out. The journalists would have a ball with that news, imagine the slander! Iapetos' nymphs would appear as nothing in comparation. And everyone else would be convinced that the democracy concept had been totally screwed and the rule of the realms had been relocated to a certain bed-chamber."
"You're right. Whom are you telling?"
"Freya, Ra, Neyta... Trustworthy people all of them."
"Neyta? Then it will be on the front side of The Ekarantanni Times before we know it."
"Come on, she knows when to shut up. I know certain things about her that she don't want on the front side of Times by the way."
"Well I'm not going to snoop. Tell your comrades, Peacock! Tell them also this:" Then Zeus told me his plan. And it was brilliant in all its simplicity.