It was always a cool 67 degrees in the office. Even in winter, it was the same temperature. Zeus had threatened anyone who even approached the thermostat with torture the likes of which even Sisyphus and Prometheus had never known.
Today was different. It felt like the inside of the forge of Hephaestus.
The American stock market was tanking. Down 800 points, it looked to erase an entire year’s worth of gains in a single afternoon. The President, a fool so adept at losing money that he bankrupted a casino, addressed concerns of global climate change by offering to purchase Greenland. How buying a landmass of melting ice just to have it eventually flood Florida was the solution to rising tides, was an issue for another day. Zeus was angry, and not in his usual way. This was anger not seen by Olympus since the betrayal of Constantine. Zeus had seen many administrations rise and fall over the millenia, but this American Administration angered him in a way only equaled by the Romans.
“If I could smite him, I would have done it before he started a trade war with Asia,” Zeus screamed at the speakerphone on his desk. A mood bordering on palpable hate filled the office. “Your excellence,” replied the box, “Denmark doesn’t take him seriously, and neither should we. The land grants we have secured by the Danish government are still valid.” The disembodied voice was calm, measured, and in stark contrast to the God of Storms.
“You are lucky you’re family, God of Commerce.” Sarcasm heavy on Zeus’ lips “What are our options? We have at least six temples in the planning stages on this Greenland deal. If this idiot American gets anyone to actually make a move, how to we beat them to it?”
“We have numerous ventures in place. Our fishing fleet and shipyards handle nearly two thirds of the Greenland shrimping economy. The Danes may own the physical land, Father, but Olympus owns their ability to generate revenue. Their economy lives and dies by our hand. We could threaten to license our fisheries and vessels to America to increase our leverage,” the God of Commerce explained. “The American President, in all his folly, may have simply been speaking nonsense, but we have the Arctic under control.” He paused momentarily, a hesitation picked up on immediately by Zeus, who moved to speak but was cut off. “Unless the Norse Administration intervenes.”
“The Vikings!” Zeus erupted. His muscles tensed and coiled in such a way that he looked to snap himself in half. Suddenly a ball of light emerged from his right hand and flew instantly to the far wall of his office, exploding upon impact, leaving a gaping hole into the lobby.
“This is NOT their time! If the one-eyed bastard wants to play war, I will give him war,” Zeus fumed. His skin turned a bright shade of red as the anger boiled inside him. His blue eyes became even more electric as sparks shot out across his face.
“I’ll see who we have in the trickster’s office. Give me a few days,” came the reply.
“You have the weekend, Hermes. I know how fast you can be. Monday morning. My office. Personally.”
The simple ‘click’ ending the call sounded like thunder. Not some far off rumble, but a tangible and visceral shaking inside the room. Zeus stood motionless for what felt like an eternity, until his daughter and personal assistant, Hebe, entered through the hole he has just created.
“Shall I contact the interior designers? You do so love open floor plans.”
Zeus, seemingly despite himself, lightly chuckled and turned to greet her directly. “What do I have next?”
“I moved your 9 o’clock to 10. You have a visitor”
Zeus, puzzled by the vague statement, looked behind Hebe into the lobby, where a man stood silent, but in all manner, a King and a God in his own right.
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