PrologueMature

The room was near to pitch black, the only light daring to penetrate darkness, emanated from the small torch that sat in its bracket on the wall. The smell of rot hung in the dank air, mingling in with the scent of dust that had accumulated over centuries of the room's desertion.

A figure paced somewhere in the confines of the four walls, the echoing of his heavy footsteps the only thing to indicate the presence that lurked in the shadows.

Minutes passed, or it could have been hours. The darkness made it hard to tell and the pacing figure was no good at time keeping.

Just when he had lost all patience and made to leave, a small noise caught his attention. He watched, captivated as the earth flooring rose to take the shape of a man.

"Always one for dramatic entrances" the first figure muttered, "A new trick I presume?"

"Zeus," the new arrival said, his voice low and rich, completely ignoring the question he had been asked."It has been a while."

"We both know the lack of interaction between the two of us is a good thing, Hades. It means there is no trouble in this or any other realm." Zeus replied.

"Shame." he tutted, "I really do miss our little chats, brother." He spoke in a cool, detached manner, all the while running his fingers through the flame of the torch, the flickering light dancing in his cold blue eyes.

"I wish I could say the same, but I'm afraid that would be a lie." the sky God glanced over at his brother, taking in his formal appearance. "Enlighten me as to why you are dressed in such attire, Hades. I thought you would prefer to uphold tradition."

The God of the Underworld let out a low chuckle.

"So you noticed? I rather like this suit. Your humans really do have a wonderful sense of style." He glanced down at himself and then back up at Zeus, comparing his all black tailored suit to the white toga that draped on his brother's body. "You might want to try it sometime. The tablecloth look is so... Oh, I don't know. Three thousand years ago."

"Why did you call me here, Hades?"

Zeus's voice rang with power, and the room shook under his temper a faint echo of thunder to be heard in the aftershock of his words.

"Must you always do that?" Hades tutted, rolling his eyes, and dragging his finger along the stone wall as if inspecting it for dirt, "We all know you are God of the skies, no need to rub it in. If you've noticed, I don't pull riches out of the ground everywhere I go."

Hades protests fell on deaf ears and Zeus merely stood still waiting for his brother to answer.

He held Zeus's gaze for a few minutes before throwing his hands in the air in exasperation.

"You always were impatient, little brother. Why do you think I called you here?" he whispered mischievously, a smirk dancing across his face,  "We have matters to discuss."

"Matters that could not be discussed in the throne room at Olympus?" Zeus questioned.

"Matters that are important to be kept quiet." Hades told him, arching his eyebrow in the direction of the other god. "Matters that ought not be overheard by others in fear of the inevitable."

"And what matters may they be? Stop speaking in riddles. My time is not to be wasted."

An inane grin crossed Hades' face, before he spoke again

"You do enjoy rushing things. It rather spoils the dramatic build up, don't you think?"

Zeus merely set his thunderous glare upon the god of the underworld, waiting for a response.

"Very well. But you really must stop doing the all powerful staring thing. It's rather creepy, brother dearest."

"Hades! Your point?"

"Fine, fine. Now, where was I? Right, the thing we shouldn't talk about. You know what you asked me to look out for all those years ago?"

"Surely not... You cannot mean..." Zeus trailed off, panic evident in his tone and across his features.

"Oh but I do, brother dearest. I have evidence to suggest it's happening."

"You mean to tell me she is rising?"

"No. I mean to tell you she has risen. That it is not merely happening, but that it has happened." Hades' smile was bigger than ever, the god of riches taking pleasure in the distress of his brother.

"Hades, if this is one of your tricks, an attempt to meddle, this is not the correct way to do so."

He pouted, feigning sadness. "Why would I ever do that, brother?"

Zeus let out a humourless bark of laughter, and Hades dropped all pretence.

"Well, I must admit that meddling does sound like something I may dabble in on occasion, but I promise you this is no joke. I assume I am correct in believing you do have a plan you can put in place, Zeus-y boy, in order to... alleviate the issue. Otherwise the may well be... how do those humans of yours put it? Oh yes; dra-ma!" he said, singing the last word in an attempt to rile up his brother.

"Don't you think I know that?" Zeus snapped.

"Well you better get to it, then." Hades smirked, "Or else humanity will cease to exist. And it'd be such a shame. I've really grown to love these suits."

His words rang in the silence, and, with the Earth collapsing beneath his feet returning him to his underworld palace, Hades was gone.

 

The End

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