God Games chapter 4 – Spectacular Sporting
A/N: Newly written chapter, I hope to put up chapter 5 tomorrow.
The arena was still in a panic half an hour later, with Hermes wailing as he careened wildly through the air, just missing the pillars of the stadium as Hybis and Koelamus cacked, gleefully holding on to his feet.
"Would somebody please help me out here?" He screeched as the snickering imps dragged one of his ankles upwards, making him hang stupidly in front of the grandstands.
Zeus beamed. "But this is entertaining enough! Shall I add some lightening?" He asked Hybis.
Hybis' laughing reply was cut short by a hard slap from Hera. "That is enough! Hermes, get out of there and get broadcasting. We have the Olympics to run!"
The spirit of foolishness was knocked off balance by force of the slap, so much that with a squeal he lost hold of Hermes' foot and tumbled down. With the force of this momentum Koelamus also fell, just saved from hitting the ground by bouncing off Apollo's harp.
Now free, Hermes flew over to the Nymphai Hyperboreioi who were discreetly attempting to change their scores on the tablet.
"That'll be enough from you three. Back to the grandstands where you belong." He picked up the magic voice increaser and gave a beaming smile at the recording crystal ball.
"Recording resumes as technicalities are ironed out. We now proudly present to you, live from Olympia, our next event…Which may I warn you is only for the strongest and best: Boxing!"
More cheers arose from the crowd while Zeus jumped out of his seat and shouted 'HERCULES' repeatedly until Athena and Hera pushed him back.
Hermes continued. "We now present our competitors: Number 1, Odysseus! This was greeted by wild applause and Calypso floated over, holding a "Odysseus the Amazing' board. She waved as Odysseus grumblingly came out on to the field.
"Next up," motioned Hermes, "is Hector, prince of Troy!"
Priam almost fell out of the grandstands. "YOU DID IT MY SON! YOU ARE THE HERO OF TROY FOREVER AFTER!" Hades gagged on the stick he was smoking, as he muttered something about favouritism, and Agamemnon turned blue and mouthed Greek insults towards the elated Trojan king.
"And finally, we have important figures" a drumming sound came from behind Hermes, "Ares, god of war, and Hercules, son of Zeus!"
Zeus beamed again and several lightning bolts emerged from his hand. Poseidon clapped animatedly, causing even more sea water to splatter over the seating area. Aphrodite gave a look of horror and scooted several seats away.
Hades rolled his eyes as Hercules strode out to stand behind the others. Hephaestus gave Ares an "I win" look as he found that Aphrodite had moved next to where he sat. Ares angrily threw a dagger up at Hephaestus, but the god of smithing smiled as his giant hammer deflected the dagger, flattening it into crushed bits.
To avoid further confrontations, Hermes hurriedly announced "Let the games begin" before flying away from thrown objects and foolish spirits.
To make things somewhat fair, it was decided that first Odysseus and Hector would be in one group, and Hercules and Ares in the other. No weapons were allowed of course, and Asclepius had a close eye on Hercules to make sure he didn't cheat.
Dionysus volunteered to be the timekeeper, with an amphora of wine hanging loosely from one hand and a ram horn trumpet in the other; he shuffled merrily up to the boxing ring.
"Let's get this party started," He slurred. "Would either of you fancy a drink before the fight? They say it has great energy giving abilities…"
"From the looks of you, I think I'll pass," Hector muttered as Dionysus wobbled on one foot before regaining his balance.
"Well then, step on up. And do take some wine afterwards," the wine god hiccupped and grabbed the side of the ring to lean against.
Odysseus and Hector climbed over the ring to yet more cheers from the stadium. Odysseus looked up and saw Calypso waving at him, while on the other side was his wife Penelope glaring at the nymph. He sighed. This wasn't going to end well.
They put on their boxing gloves and circled around the ring while trying to ignore the drunken ravings of Dionysus who had temporarily fallen into an alcohol related stupor.
Eventually, Odysseus was distracted by Calypso's high pitched singing from the stands. He put his hands over his ears to stop the ringing, so Hector managed to get in several punches before he too covered his ears from an even greater disruption.
Apollo, who had been trying to mend his harp (It had broken when Koelamus bounced off of it) suddenly managed to 'tune it' and after hearing Calypso, he promptly burst into song, thus making everyone in the entire stadium wince from the noise.
Artemis, upon hearing the clamour, ran up several rows of seats and hit Apollo hard with a jug. It smashed over his head and effectively dazed him, allowing Artemis to stuff several pieces of cloth in his mouth.
Apollo recovered from his daze and made an attempt to grab his harp but Artemis had foreseen this move and snatched the harp out of Apollo's grip, throwing it far out of reach.
It sailed through the air and hurtled downwards right into one of the lower grandstands where Hypnos, Moros, Horme, and Geras were sitting.
Geras, who had been muttering almost the entire time about 'Finer muscles' and 'boxing', received an annoyed look from Hypnos.
"Do you mind? I'm trying to sleep!"
"There are more important things in life than sleeping for all eternity," Geras grunted, poking Hypnos with his walking stick. "Like observing the younger generation, oh, it's been a long time since I was that young…" He stared glassily off into the distance.
Horme turned towards Geras, his eyes shining brightly with enthusiasm. "But I heard that you were born old and always will be old." He waved his hands about. "I wish I could be like that, it would be so exciting!"
As usual, he was ignored.
Their conversation was interrupted by Apollo's harp sailing towards them. Before they had a chance to react, it hit Horme with a thud, knocking him out.
"That was his doom. He didn't see it, but the doom was upon him like a shadow in the night," whispered Moros gravely.
"At least he will be occupied for awhile," sighed Hypnos. "Peace and sleep will reign again."
"Never underestimate enthusiasm," said Geras. "He'll be back before long."
Back in the ring Odysseus and Hector were able to remove their hands from their ears as Apollo was silenced. But what about Calypso, Odysseus wondered. He scanned the seats to see a smug Penelope motioning to the other side of the stadium.
Calypso and Eupheme were flying, hanging upside-down by their feet, while Hybis and Koelamus shrieked with laughter as they held on.
"And as you see, said Hermes, who looked rather pleased, "All disturbers of the peace will be treated to this kind of punishment. You have been warned." Then, with media smile up again, "Please do continue the fight, and we are sorry for the inconvenience."
Odysseus and Hector circled the ring again, this time Odysseus managed to punch Hector.
"That's for starting the war!"
"I recall it being your side, Greek!"
Odysseus angrily retaliated. "If your stupid younger brother hadn't stolen the king's wife this wouldn't have happened."
Hector furiously stepped on Odysseus' foot. "It was you Greeks who drove a fake horse into our city, destroying it!"
Odysseus grinned slightly. "Oh right, I was there inside of the horse. It was the best day of my life."
"You take that back!"
Dionysus woke up just in time to stop the brawl. He took a firmer hold on the ram horn trumpet and screamed out a cacophony of noise (To which Apollo leaned forward eagerly to listen) startling Hector and Odysseus out of their argument.
"Times up," He waddled towards the ring and held out the almost empty amphora. "Sure you don't fancy a drink?"
The answer he received was being hit with his amphora, courtesy of Ares.
"Call it a tie, mortals," said the war god. "You fought pitifully."
The two mortals gave Ares a combined black look and climbed out of the ring.
"I'll be the timekeeper," Ares said coolly. He was interrupted however by Athena landing on the ground next to him.
"Competitors are not allowed to time keep Ares."
"That's ridiculous. I'm a god!"
"It's against the rules," Athena said firmly. She motioned to the grandstands. "Would anyone (besides Zeus) like to time keep?"
Fortunately Zeus was too busy counting his fingers, so he didn't notice. Taking the opportunity, Hephaestus stood up, supported by his crutches. "I'll keep score!"
Ares actually levitated a few feet off the ground as his whole face turned purple and steam came out of his nose and ears.
Hercules however looked delighted. "Of course, it would be fabulous for you to keep time!"
"Why….No…You can't! Why don't we select the god of time? Ares sputtered.
"Chronus is out with Themis, Titan of law and order. Last I heard they were giving lengthy jail sentences to a couple of Giants after they cheated in Discus throwing." Athena answered.
"Let's start the fight, Ares," said Hercules.
Hephaestus wore a large smile as his donkey carried him to the boxing ring.
"Climb into the ring, please," he intoned, while Aphrodite proceeded to faint.
Ares grumblingly climbed into the ring while Hercules cart wheeled over the side, to the amusement of the crowd. Zeus clapped loudly, causing bolts of lightning to flash over the arena.
"Starting, now!" boomed Hephaestus
Ares quickly managed a punch at Hercules, but before he could react, the son of Zeus simply poked him, sending him flying out of the ring.
From above, Hades grimaced. "Cheat."
Ares jumped off of the ground and ran over to the ring. "That was unfairly matched!" He bellowed.
Hephaestus grinned. "I declare Hercules the winner!"
Everyone clapped and Aphrodite blew a kiss in Hephaestus' direction. Ares tackled the smithing god.
"Enough!" shouted Asclepius. "Stop this fighting at once. I have enough healing to do as it is!"
Meanwhile, Hercules was waving to the crowd. "Of course I win," he proclaimed. "I am the son of Zeus and I escaped the halls of the underworld, a simple god cannot defeat me!"
Zeus nearly toppled out of his seat. "THAT'S MY BOY! THAT'S MY SON!"
Hera looked disapprovingly at Priam. "I think you've just taught Zeus how to be one hundred times more irritating."
"He did escape the underworld though," commented Demetor.
"What can I say?" said Hades indifferently. "He must have got lucky."
Hermes flew out of hiding back in front of the recording crystal.
"Thank you very much for watching the Olympics live today. Stay tuned for our next event, which might I add will include four of your favourite competitors, as well as two newcomers. We present to you: Weightlifting!"
To be continued in chapter 5…