When all else fails

by Becca Frawley

Around the hall of Mount Olympus, all the gods congregated around Jupiter, who was in yet another rage. Below him, almost as bad as the day that the humans gained fire from Prometheus, was a rebellion of the humans. There was something about Pluto raging and taking souls that did not belong to him, but he had his queen, Persephone, so there was no reason for Pluto to take anymore souls. They were preparing to storm Mount Olympus in a rage, and Jupiter would nothing of it.

“What will you do?” Minerva asked, staring her father down. Already she was planning how to end this rebellion before her father’s temper caused him to end the human race. She knew he wasn’t above doing it when he was extremely angry.

“Not all the humans are rebelling,” offered Vulcan, being of a gentler breed than Jupiter. “How about removing those who’ve resisted your authority?” He offered instead. He beat Minerva to the easiest solution, but maybe not the best display of power. Vulcan doubted his idea would be taken, knowing how prone to violence and godly shows of power Jupiter was. But Jupiter was interested. The idea showed humility, and it would give the humans yet another side of him to honor. If they saw their god as good when he needed to be, then maybe there would be fewer rebellions in the hopes of staying on his good side. It was easy. It was simple. It was perfect.

“We’ll do that. Alert Pluto that he’ll be gaining a few more souls. I know he knows when they’ll die, but tell him these ones are to suffer like Prometheus,” Jupiter ordered as he stood up suddenly from his throne. The gods and goddesses around him stepped back, hoping that they wouldn’t be next to be chatised.

“Of course!” Mercury raced off, down to the underworld where Pluto greeted the news with happiness. He didn’t mind torturing a few souls for eternity, he revelled in their screams of anguish as he set them about the most mind-numbing, torturous task he could think of.

“Vulcan, more lightening bolts,” Jupiter ordered, holding his hand out. There was already an impressive supply next to the King of the Gods, but he would need more than he had to suppress the growing rebellion at the base of Mount Olympus. Vulcan nodded and raced off, as fast as a crippled man could, towards the volcano that he worked in. Sparks flew from the top of the mountain as he pounded at the metal, the first sign to the humans that there was going to be a reaction from the gods. “Minerva, a back-up plan please. And no station gods along the trail up. If we make it look like they have a chance to storm past one, they’ll have no respect for the rest of us. Go!” Minerva nodded and stood over the edge, watching the rebellion and planning. Mars stood next to him, his fingers itching to spill some of the humans’s blood.

“Mars!” Jupiter bellowed from his throne, “Prepare your horses, your chariot, anything that you need to fight. You’ll be in charge of killing any who don’t die from my strikes.” There was nothing that needed to be said about the giddiness on the God’s face as he too nodded and took off to prepare.

“Here you are,” Vulcan limped back and handed easily another hundred lightening bolts to Jupiter. The King of the Gods grinned as he threw them down effortlessly at the people trying to scale the mountain. He was horrified to see that not only did they not die, but they turned into the living dead.

“Get. Me. Pluto!” Jupiter screamed as he stared at the zombies now climbing his mountain. They were scaling it faster now that they were dead and didn’t have to worry much about the deadly obstacles in their way. Pluto was slow in arriving, and when he did, there was an anxious way he fiddled with his hands.

Adibimus Montem Olympum!” The zombies roared as they climbed. It became their mantra, each deadman and deadwoman chanting it as some spare body parts were left behind, only to inch after the living dead anyways. “Occidemus deōs! Nos ā deōs non paremus!” The zombies were obviously sick of listening to their gods, who would only strike them down when they found something they didn't enjoy.

"I've got this, Zeus," Mars smirked as he urged his chariot forwards down the hill. It wasn't hard to slash down the zombies as he rolled past them, but it got hard once some zombies leaped up onto his chariot and distracting him from driving. His horses were smart, but they could not control themselves and they pulled away from the chariot, leaving it to swerve and eventually flip over on Mars and a few unfortunate zombies.

On the top of the mountain, Jupiter's hands were clenched in rage.

"Let me try?" Minerva asked, stepping up to her father's side and looked down at the mess below. They were halfway up the mountain and had picked up a new mantra as they carried Mar's helmet in victory.

"Deus bellῑ mortuus est!" Minerva and Jupiter were taken back by the violence that these zombies were prone to, but never the less, Minerva stepped down to try. She was infamous for turning a girl into a spider, one that was easily crushed beneath the feet, so she decided that she might as well try again. It wouldn't be hard to crush the lot of them beneath her feet if she succeeded. Funny how they all ran faster than she thought they could.

"Tu virilis es! Sine altero deo nos petis?" Minerva glared at the zombies, having issues believing that they were that good at taunting. They were still somewhat human, but even if they were dead, they fell under the rule of a god. She tried to change them to spiders anyways, but there were only a few that changed. She couldn't change an army as fast as they marched, and soon she was swarmed by them as well. "Nōs Minerva prendebamus! Jupiter secundus est!" Jupiter felt his eyebrow twitch. Two of his gods were incompetent enough to be caught, and he didn't feel like sending Vulcan out there with his limp.

With one final roar of anger, Jupiter turned around and marched inside. He could still hear their chanting, and how their topic had turned to what they would do with the rest of the Gods, but he would beat them. He just needed Pluto.

"They'd better get here sooner!" Jupiter growled, storming around the main hall as he waited. Finally the winged messenger appeared with Pluto, who was staring at the zombies curiously.

"Praesumus Toto mundo!" Pluto watched them for a moment, his eyes darkening as he contemplated what he could do to them. He knew his brother would not enjoy the thought of letting them rule like they wanted to, but if he gave them a kingdom of their own, they would eventually rot. Unlike the human-created version of zombie, these were actually slowly decomposing, and it was why their arms and legs kept falling off.

"Jupiter, give them a kingdom at the edge of the earth to rule until they decompose and their souls are mine. I'll torture them to the end of the world," he smirked sadistically at the thought, "and it won't take long before their souls drift to my kingdom. It's a small price to pay for keeping Olympus..." Jupiter stared at Pluto in disbelief, but he gave in anyways.

"You be the one to tell them then," he stormed out, already debating how to destroy the new kingdom without it backfiring.

"Zombies!" Pluto roared, stepping out to the mass of flesh, "you have a kingdom now!"

"Adquiremus Olympum cum deos non vis!" Pluto stared at them, wondering if they would ever back down. He'd enjoy torturing their souls for eternity. "Homines malunt deos mortui!" Pluto shook his head and wandered back to his brother, wondering how long until Zeus cracked and just destroyed part of the mountain to destroy them.

He wouldn't mind a new window to the underworld.

"Jupiter deus pessimus est! Nos non dormiemus cum Jupiter vivus est!" Jupiter heard it, but he didn't believe it. He broke the earth beneath the zombies and watched as they tumbled into the River Styx. He finally smiled and looked down at the broken mountainside.

All that was heard as the zombies fell was a faint, "Venimus. Vidimus. Vicimus."

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