Max stared at her, and slowly repeated, "Goddess of…"

"…Involuntary Transportation" she finished for him.

"You can't be a goddess." Max said, shaking his head. "If you were, you'd be living in a temple with worshippers at your feet. What kind of goddess would live in an…" his arm made a sweeping motion to encompass the room, "…an apartment?"

"A fallen goddess." Gordon replied. "The days when Zeus ruled the heavens are long over and most of the gods are dead, but those of us lesser deities that are still around muck out a living as best we can, pretending to be mortals. My father and my uncle do the same, though I don't know if they are in this dimention."

"But don't you disappear when no one's around to worship you anymore?" he thought aloud.

"You'd be surprised." She smiled sadly. "There are still a few who follow the old ways and seek guidance from us, but they are few and far between. Our power grows weaker in this land where science and machinery and a variety of religions rule. Most of the gods that weren't killed, faded away as they lost power and now are barely more than wisps of energy. Us lesser deities had fewer worshippers than the greater gods, and therefore were less affected when our followers left us. And many, like myself, were devoted to certain aspects of mortal life that still exist today. Writers still thank the muses for inspiration, Echo still haunts caves, and I still guard involuntary transportation."

"What is involuntary transportation?" Max asked. "What do you do?"

"Involuntary Transportation is the exchange of animate and/or inanimate substances from one time continuum to another or from one parallel universe to another simultaneously, and without the substance's permission or knowledge." She replied smiling "It's a mouthful, but it saves a ton in legal hassles." She handed the paper with the symbols back to Max. "And if you want that spell to work, I'm the one you need."

~~~~~

Iolaus and Hercules went through the castle with a fine toothed comb. They quizzed suspects and interviewed the guards, but still there was nothing. Now Iolaus, Jason, and Hercules were sitting in the throne room, trying to decide what to do next.

"The guy was just too good." Iolaus admitted. "He covered his tracks."

"We have to find out who did this!" Jason exclaimed. "But how?"

"Maybe there's someone who could help." Hercules suggested.

"But nobody saw anything." Jason replied. "Who could help?"

~~~~~

It was almost twilight when Max pushed open the door of the Crashdown Cafe, his mind a scramble of thoughts. Hoping that talking about this crazy evening to Liz might help, he was surprised to see all his friends gathered in the restaurant. Michael had been pacing but stopped when he caught sight of Max; Alex, Isabel, Tess, and Kyle were seated in one of the booths, Maria was standing in front of the counter and Liz was behind it, both in their waitress uniforms. All seven of them were staring at him.

"Where have you been?!?" Michael accused.

"Huh?" Max said.

"It's Saturday night." Alex explained. "We always meet here on Saturday night to discuss stuff." He placed emphases on the last word.

"Sorry I'm late. It slipped my mind." Max replied lamely.

"'Slipped your mind'?" Michael exclaimed. "What were you doing that caused you to forget?"

Maria smiled, "Did you see Madam Vivian?"

Tess frowned, "Who's Madame Vivian?"

"A nutcase con artist that Maria recommended." Michael mentioned.

"She is not!" Maria exclaimed.

Max grabbed an empty chair and sat down backwards in it, facing the group. He had left Gordon's apartment shortly after she had told him about her job, but she had given him a warning, 'Time to choose is growing short, you must decide soon if you are going to use this spell. But be careful in your decision; Spells are tricky things. No matter what the reason is for casting one, they often use unthoughtof means to achieve it.' Max took a deep breath. "There's something I have to tell you guys. I did go see Madame Vivian."

"And?" Isabel prompted.

"And she gave me this," He pulled out the sheet of paper with the greek spell on it and gave it to her to look at and pass around, "and the address of a woman who could decipher it. A Gordon Sirel. She said that it was a spell 'designed to alter time and space in order for an exchange of beings'. She also said…" Max paused, waiting to see the expressions on his friends' faces, "…She said that she was the Goddess of Involuntary Transportation."

"A goddess? Come on." Michael scoffed, "She's obviously a psycho."

"No." Max shook his head, "She knew things." His voice lowered, even though everybody in the room needed to hear this. "She knew I was a king." Michael's eyes widened.

"If she knows you're an alien, she could be another skin." Tess warned.

"Wait." Alex interrupted Tess, but looked at Max, "You said that she knew you were a king. You didn't say anything about her knowing you were an alien."

"You'd better tell us everything that happened." Liz said.

Max explained everything that had happened, excluding the mix-up at the door and the cat with his name. "She said that I had to decide soon whether to use this spell or not." He concluded.

"You can't really be thinking about doing this?" Michael exclaimed. "The woman's a fruitcake. Remember Topolsky?"

"Do you remember Topolsky?" Liz demanded. "We voted then and decided not to go, when we should have gone."

"So what now?" Maria said. "We vote?"

Max looked around at all his friends, then nodded slowly. "We vote." The paper with the Greek spell had been passed back to him. He looked at it, "I'm for it. I have to find out what this means."

"No way." Michael said venomously. "I'm against. We don't know who we're dealing with."

Tess interrupted, "But that's just it, Michael. We have to go, if only to find out who she is, and exactly what she knows." She smiled at Max, "I'm for it."

Liz sighed softly, "I agree with Tess."

"I can see how much this means to you." Isabel said to her brother. "I'm with you."

"I don't know." Alex shook his head. "It sounds dangerous, but Liz is right. We did mess up on the Topolsky thing. But then again,. It could be a trap."

"What if…" Maria interjected, "What if we all go, and be careful? Surely this Gordon women wouldn't pull anything with all eight of us there."

Kyle shrugged, "I'm in."

"If we're all going," Alex said, "Count me in too."

All eyes turned to Michael. "Alright. We'll go. But at the first sign of anything wrong, we're out of there. Got it?"

Max nodded. "So when are we going to go?" Kyle asked.

Max shrugged, "Anybody busy tomorrow night?"

~~~~

"What if…" Iolaus murmured, lost in thought.

"'What if' what?" Jason queried, desperate for an idea.

Iolaus shook his head, "Nothing."

"Spit it out." Hercules said.

"Well," Iolaus started, "Remember when Hercules and that guy who looked like him, Sean, changed places?"

Hercules and Jason nodded.

Iolaus continued, "The first time it was Mimma who had switched you, and the second time she was able to send me and Eurydice to the future."

"So?" Hercules questioned.

"So," Iolaus finished, "What if Mimma could make a spell to get help to find the fleece?"

The three friends were silent for a long time, and then Hercules broke the silence. "You know, that just might work."

Iolaus jumped from his seat, "What are we waiting for? Let's go back see if Mimma will help?"

"Iolaus," Jason replied, his hopes high for the first time since hearing about the theft, "The sun has already set. It would be better if we get a good night's sleep and head for the Academy in the morning."

"Until morning, then." Hercules said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Will Mimma be able to help? Will the heroes find the golden fleece in time? Will Auto make an appearence in the next chapter? Will the spell work? Will the sun ever rise while they are talking? Does Ares have anything to do with the theft? Will I ever stop writing these questions and start writing the next chapter?

Bryn
Goddess of Unrequited Love
Amazon of Inane Questions