The sentence of Apollo

Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine whatsoever. They belong to their respective owners instead.

Apollo was in trouble. He was being sued.

Well, not exactly sued – more like being taken to court. Well, considering that it was the Olympian court, it was more like a kangaroo court, but with thunderbolts! And lightning! And, possibly, divine smiting as well.

The thing was that Apollo had conflicted with Zeus in the past. Once, when Zeus smote Apollo's son Asclepius with a thunderbolt (for healing the dead), Apollo had shot the Elder Cyclopes dead, and Zeus was left almost without thunderbolts during the first Giant War. The second time, when the god of music had joined the others in their failed coup to oust Zeus. And now, regarding this mess with Octavian, for the third time, and possibly the last – Zeus had never fully forgiven him for killed the Elder Cyclopes in the first place (it was temporary, though), and was currently eyeing his son in a way that made Apollo suspect that the elder god is going to do something unpleasant to him – like exile him into the land of the Hyperboreans, Cimmeria, once again (what was it called these days? Crimea?), or maybe make him a camp director in place of Dionysus - wait, the last bit did not sound too unpleasant...

"So, do we have any preliminary business to get before get to the sentence?" Zeus rumbled.

Hades raised his hand.

"Yes, brother?" Zeus asked, before realizing that something was wrong. "Hades? What are you doing here? You don't bother with the Council unless it's something on your end."

"Oh, I just gave my neighbour a leg up," his sibling replied, as an aged woman – or a goddess – moved forwards.

Zeus's mood soured even more. Unlike the Greeks, the Egyptians, and the Norse, the Sumerian deities have never really had much of endurance, and by now they were largely gone, except for two sisters: Inanna, also known as Ishtar, and Ereshkigal. The later, being a goddess of the dead, somehow was able to hang on, possibly by making some sort of a deal both with Hades and Osiris of the Egyptians – Zeus neither knew nor cared. The Sumerian tended to defer to him and the other Greeks when conflict would arise, so he had nothing against her. Her sister, Inanna, however, was something else – but she was not here right now, either.

"What do you want?" Zeus rumbled at the Sumerian.

"Does this belong to you?" the latter replied, as she raised a spherical container that contained the spiritual remains of Chronus. (They were in an even worse shape than when the Titan leader had been cast down the first time around.) In any case, no one of the Olympians expected to see Chronus for the next two millennia or so, so his appearance still caused a furor, albeit a minor one.

"Yes, yes it does," Zeus twitched. "But we, ah, don't really want him, so can you keep him?"

"Excuse me?" Ereshkigal raised one eyebrow. "While it is true to the letter of our agreement, I don't think that it'd been written with the spirits of your father or his relatives just lying down there in my domain for any period of time!"

"Um," Zeus had largely forgotten the mentioned agreement (though it appeared that Hades had not, judging by his look), and was flying by the ear. "Can't we just get over this quickly? We have a sentence to pass."

"Hm?" Ereshkigal seemed to notice Apollo for the first time. "What's he in for?"

"For failing to live up to his duties of the god of oracles, the Divine Seer, etc, and preventing our latest war with the Giants," Zeus shrugged.

"Just because he can see the future, doesn't mean that he could change it," Ereshkigal shrugged. "As you Greeks say it, it's inevitable."

"Hear, hear!" said the goddess of Inevitability, (a minor deity, but still), who was peeved at being ignored all this time.

"Nevertheless," Zeus glared, and the Sumerian goddess backed down:

"Regardless then, what is his sentence?"

"A few decades of house arrest," Zeus shrugged.

"Great, then his grandfather can take it for him instead," Ereshkigal nodded. "I'm sure there's a container somewhere on your mountain that can contain him, especially since he's already weak."

"Container? Try an entire chest!" spoke up Hephaestus, who was secretly on Apollo's side. "It can contain Chronus' remains without any problem!"

"Then it's settled. Chronus will take Apollo's place under house arrest, and be kept out of my hair," Ereshkigal said brightly. "Deal?"

"Deal, I swear it by the Styx," Zeus instinctively replied, somewhat confused by all of this high-speed legal talk, cough, before realizing that he was tricked. "Wait a second!" He erupted in wrath and anger, but it was too late – everyone, including the Sumerian visitor, had already hightailed it out of here.

And so, Zeus shook Olympus (and also Manhattan, and a fair bit of the rest of NYC) in vain anger, while Apollo did get away scot-free.

The end?