Wrath of the Gods

The rosy sun lifted out of its dormant 12 hour sleep into the sky and showered everything in a crimson light, bringing morning to the small suburb of Lesmurdie. The owners of a large marble mansion looking out over the sea woke to the brisk morning as the phone rang. A bleary-eyed, six foot three, 100-kilo teenager answered groggily.

"Hello?"

"Nice to see you are up Skywolf," said an overly English accented man.

"Charlie!" Skywolf said happily. "How are you? You old dog!"

"Enough Skywolf, we have two things we need to get over today and I don't need any of your blah-tse manners."

"Sorry, what do you have for me today old boy?" Skywolf said in a mimic of Charlie's accent.

"Shut up Skywolf, the first matter of the day is your names, they need changing," he stated promptly.

"What the hell do you mean we have to change our names?"

"I mean, Skywolf, that when you saved that school last month the whole school learnt your names, leaving you vulnerable to attack if anyone wished it."

"OK then." said Skywolf sardonically and jerked his head toward the hallway as another bleary-eyed, five foot seven, red-brownish haired teen walked out into the kitchen. Skywolf put his hand over the receiver of the phone.

"Hi Chip, sleep well?" he asked with a tangible wit to it.

"Ha! Yeah a little, who's on the phone and wadda they want?" said Chip, as he poured himself a glass of orange juice.

"Well… it's Charlie and he says we have to change our names." he said in a no-nonsense tone. Chip dropped the juice bottle letting out a splashing stream of it onto the tiles and through the grout grooves causing an orange juice river system.

"OK, what the hell do we have to do that for?"

"It's a short story you don't need to hear," said Skywolf, "but I'll let Charlie tell you the rest." he put down the receiver and turned the speaker on.

"Hello? Skywolf? Are you still there?" came Charlie's voice, almost immediately.

"Sorry for the hold up Charlie, Chip just woke up and I had to explain what you were calling for at 5:00 am," said Skywolf accusingly.

"Okay then, now, down to business, have you thought of your new names yet?"

"Yep," said Skywolf instantly. "I'd like to be called Blaze."

"Very fitting," said Charlie. "Welcome, Blaze to the A.D.U. and Chip your name please?"

"Shadow," said Chip. "I've always wanted to be called Shadow."

"Very well, Blaze and Shadow it is then, now onto our next subject, your new mission."

Blaze and Shadow looked at each other and grinned.

"Throw us a bone and we'll find it, Charlie, name your mission."

"Very well, you two do know about the dealings of the A.D.U. with things paranormal and not of this world, right?" asked Charlie, unsure.

"Yeah, who doesn't?" said the boys. Charlie let out an audible sigh of relief.

"Good, well, boys, some archaeologists and scientists hit the mother load on a dig site that was looking for the last resting place of Zeus, the king of the Greek gods"

"Yeah, and what's that got to do with us?" said the boys, already knowing, in the back of their minds, the answer.

"Well boys, the Greek gods actually exist," Charlie paused for effect. "So when the cave is opened the world will be doomed to destruction."

"Lemme guess, bad for us," asked Blaze stoically.

"Yes, very." said Charlie.

"But why would the Greek gods destroy the world they created?" asked Shadow.

"A very merited question Shadow. Thousands of years ago, the mortals of earth rose up against the gods and locked them up separated around the world," Charlie rattled on. "So the gods have had thousands of years to focus their anger"

"OK, shit!" said Blaze nonchalantly.

"Indeed." said Charlie.

"But if they are the Greek gods of ancient mythology, we can't kill them with a gun or a knife," stated Shadow.

"No, but I think you could kill Zeus with a missile from a shoulder-launched rocket launcher into his eye," stated Charlie. "But that's beside the point boys; the gods can't come up if the sacrificial offering is not begun."

"Why is there always a sacrifice?" Shadow asked no-one in particular. No-one answered him.

"Anyway, boys I want you to get there tomorrow and sit there until they open the cave, alright? When they do, go in and have a look around. I don't want any of those researchers harmed, OK?" Charlie demanded more than asked.

"Alright, we've got it Charlie. We'll do our best."

"Good. There is a Hercules 400 4-power prop transport at the airbase thirty kilometres from your mansion. It belongs to us so don't worry about the guards, I'll be there to fill you in." Charlie sighed. "Get all of your gear and all the weapons you can into your cars and load them on the Hercules. I'll brief you in the air."

"Will do Charlie, you can count on us, mate." said Blaze as Charlie hung up.

"Let's get to work shall we?" said Shadow.

Blaze headed for the Jacobs ladder down to the basement for the weapons, while Shadow busied himself with the bedding, tents and clothing for the trip. Three hours later, they shoved the last of the stuff in the back of their respective Humvees and left the mansion. In fifteen minutes the rounded a corner and came face to face with a ten foot tall razor wire fence. A bulky guard that looked like he presses 100 kilos in one hand walked up to Shadows car and rapped on the windows.

"I'll need your I.D. sir, please," the guard said, with a Latino American accent.

"Sorry," said Shadow indifferently. "I don't have one."

The guard seemed taken aback by the lack of fear in this teenager's eyes and put his face right up to Shadows face so they almost touched noses.

"You'll show me your I.D. or you can't pass you little punk," he spat.

"I really wouldn't taunt me," said Shadow confidently.

"Oh Mr. Big Teenager please don't hurt me, I'm sooo scared! Waddaya gonna do? Piss on me?" the guard asked tauntingly.

"Not me," Shadow said with an air of humbleness. "Him." He looked over the big guard's shoulder toward Blazes car. The guard followed his gaze and it settled on the barrel of an FN S.P.A.S. 12 Gauge automatic shotgun pointed at the bridge of his nose.

"Oh, shit." The big guard breathed.

"'Oh shit' indeed sir, now if you would kindly let us pass…" said Blaze.

"Of course man, sir, how rude of me." He said apologetically. "They can pass!" He yelled to the other three guards standing near the gate. All three hesitated.

"Goddammit they can pass! He yelled again, this time the others complied and pushed the gates apart.

"Thank you old man," said Blaze stoically as he and Shadow passed through the gates and headed towards the Hercules parked on the runway. Charlie was waiting for them at the loading bay and, after they loaded and fastened down their Humvees, they went out to meet him. Charlie, an ageing man of 60, looked 45 with black hair at the top and grey at the temples. He didn't have a receding hair line and looked like he had springs in his feet. The boys walked up to him and shook his hand.

"Hey Charlie, what's it been? About a month right?" asked Blaze sincerely.

"And what a blissful month it has been without you two gallivanting around!" said Charlie cheerfully.

"Good to be back to cause some havoc," Shadow added.

"I'm sure you are, but for now, shall we?" he said ushering the boys into a luxurious cabin, just to be joined by the four guards that had been standing at the gate.

"Oh, you four" said Blaze, recognising them.

"Blaze, Shadow, say hello to Luis Della Vega." The burly guard that had abused Shadow smiled sheepishly.

"Sorry about that act out there I had to be sure you were the ones needed," Vega said.

"No probs" replied Shadow. Another man walked forward and introduced himself, pumping the boy's hands.

"Lieutenant first class Shane Schofield at your service."

"Nice to meet you," said the boys. The other two approached together.

"Al Giordino and Dirk Pitt," they said together shaking the boy's hands.

"Glad to get to know you," said the boys.

"Yes well, now that acquaintances have been made, its time for you four to get back home, ill call if I need you," said Charlie, while the men trudged out of the plane and into a big car that shot off the second they got in.

Charlie sat with the boys silently until the plane took off and levelled out. He then explained everything they already knew and added a footnote.

"The cult that will bring back he gods is unnamed, so we couldn't trace where they operate from, but they will show up and it's your job to stop them. There is also the little problem of the god's minions that you will have to face and how to defeat them. It's all on this." Charlie handed them a sheet of paper with names and methods of destruction. Shadow and Blaze made a pass over of it and their eyes widened as they recognised some of the monsters.

"That's no mean feat Charlie" Shadow said in awe.

"Indeed not, but you will do it. I believe you can."

"Whatever you say Charlie," said Blaze shoving the sheet into his pocket.

The rest of the trip was uneventful except for a few bumps here and there. It proved useful to Shadow to be tired, as he nodded off thirty minutes into the flight. They landed on a remote airstrip in Greece, and, as they touched down, Shadow awakened, stretched and looked around for Blaze but couldn't find him, or Charlie, for that matter.

"Guys?" he called out, Blazes head popped out of a door way and he smiled.

"We're here and its b-e-a-utiful today," he said cheerfully.

"We're here? Cool!" exclaimed Shadow.

"Come on you lazy bastard we're unloading and I need your help."

"I'm a comin'."

Blaze led Shadow out to the open loading bay that showed a panoramic view of the fertile lands of Greece. Trees were full of birds twittering and the wind whooshed through the branches, a small rabbit popped its head out of a bush and quickly retracted it as he saw the two boys. Blaze was right; it was a beautiful day with a few cumulus clouds drifting low in the sky and a bright sun beating down onto the fertile soils.

"'Beautiful'" was the only word that came to mind when looking at the landscape. Blaze and Shadow stood to admire the view for a while before getting back to work. The Humvees were unclasped and rolled out and the loading bay door was closed. Charlie came out to say goodbye.

"I'll see you back at the mansion boys, good luck and be careful." He said mothering.

"Who are you and what have you done with the real Charlie?" asked Shadow jokingly.

"Bye Charlie seeya later," said Blaze.

"Goodbye chaps." Blaze and Shadow stood back as the four Pratt and Whitney engines roared to life and the Hercules hobbled along before taking off just before the end of the runway.

"Bye Charlie," Shadow said to the air in front of him.

With Charlie gone they got in their car and proceeded to the dig site. When they arrived, they saw an endless sea of tan canvas tents and drilling equipment. They saw a group of people in khaki shorts and shirts debating something upon a large table carved out of stone. They got out of their cars and, as they approached the conversation, it became more audible.

"Well I still say this is the sacrificial table of Mycenae!" said a short, orange haired man of about twenty.

"I completely agree with Sam on this one, I mean look at the carvings," said a tall brown haired rotund man wearing what seemed to be a pith helmet. The conversation stopped as the large man noticed the boys approaching and pointed it out to his companion; they both left the table and walked up to the boys, beaming.

"Hello!" said the shorter man named Sam. "I'm Sam Matheson; this is Sam Townes, my associate. We are the leading scientists on this dig, and you two must be Blaze and Shadow, our pre-selected search team."

"Yep, that's us," said the boys.

"I do hope to press upon you to not to touch, or shoot for that matter, anything inside the cavern."

"Don't worry sir, it wont happen" said Shadow. "Another thing, have we met before? I swear I've seen you somewhere"

"Not that I know of," said Sam Matheson, puzzled.

"We're happy to have you here boys; I hope you enjoy the week. We will be opening the cavern two days from now, well three actually, so I do hope you learn something while you are here," said the big Sam.

"Hey, do you mind if we call you guys Big Sam and Little Sam and when you two are together, Sam squared?" asked Blaze.

"Feel free," said Big Sam.

"Cool, we are going to see to our things being set up, then we would like a tour," said Shadow.

"That sounds good, in about an hour say?" asked Little Sam.

"An hour it is."

"See you then," The two pairs separated and went about their businesses.

Half an hour later Blaze and Shadow's tent was set up and everything was inside. Blaze propositioned Shadow for a walk around before they met up with Sam squared. They left the tent and instantly felt the cool Greek air hit their faces. Refreshing their strength after setting up the tent, they took a stroll, looking at the hills and brush, playing games on who could spot the wildest life. After half an hour they went back to find Sam squared sitting in front of the tent waiting for them. The two of them quickly got up and asked "Shall we give your tour now?"

"That'd be good" the boys said.

The two Sams led the boys around the camp, pointing out all of the different drilling and sonar imagery equipment. They also showed them rock samples and relics they found on their previous digs.

"This one we found in the Americas, it's a container for chains, necklaces and such," stated little Sam sounding like a giddy little schoolboy.

"Is he always this into things?" asked Shadow to Big Sam.

"Not normally about anything else, but when it comes to our old digs and the digs we're on he goes psycho," Big Sam explained.

"And this one we found in Egypt. It used to be ten foot long but time and nature took away the wooden handle, it was a pure gold tip that was for show only," Little Sam continued.

"I think we should move on to the dig site now Sam," said Big Sam, sensing the boys becoming bored.

"Indeed! Let's go, I have a lot to tell you about his dig!" the two boys let out a groan and said.

"I think we'll go back to our tents and get some shut eye, we're extremely jet lagged," said Blaze.

"Indeed! Well I'll show you tomorrow! See you then," said little Sam.

"Have a nice sleep boys, you'll need it," said Big Sam.

"Thanks man," said Shadow, with a noticeable look of relief from being freed from Little Sams ramblings.

The next two days went on unhindered. The sun rose and fell with the grace of nature and the days remained fine and free of rain. The drilling went on as usual and Blaze and Shadow watched attentively as the big diggers removed tons of soil at a time. Sam squared visited usually and during one of these visits they planned the entry to the 'Portal to the Gods', as the archaeologists called it. The plan was that Blaze and Shadow, no-one else, would go in and search for anything out of the ordinary, then, given the all clear by Blaze and Shadow, the archaeologists and scientists would set up a base of operations inside and begin research, where Blaze and Shadow would remain for protection for the next three months as the research went on. They would then pack up and leave, leaving Blaze and Shadow to demolish everything inside and out with explosives, this part Sam squared did not, would not and could not know.

The third day was the day of the opening, and nature had blessed them with a beautiful, cloud-free sky and a warm 27 degrees Centigrade. Blaze woke up first, slipping round and lowering his feet to the floor from his hammock. He pulled himself up and walked over the door, opened it and stepped outside, letting the cool morning air wash over him and revive him from sleep.

"Just as good as a shower," he said to himself as he stepped back inside and shuffled over to Shadow, sound asleep with his arm dangling over one side.

Blaze shoved him and mumbled "get up", with no reaction so he shouted "get up!", still with no reaction, so he drew his Colt Anaconda .44 Magnum revolver out of its holster and put a shot through the roof, ensuing a great BOOM! and startling Shadow to consciousness.

"Waa? Who?" he said, jumping. "Thanks a lot Blaze; I was having a good dream!"

"Dreams are over mate, get geared up, they blow the opening in an hour." Blaze rushed excitedly.

Blaze and Shadow put on their specialty Titanium-Kevlar vests and helmets, the only two existing in the world. They also put on their balaclavas and jackets. Blaze was loaded out to the max, with two Colt .45 SilverBallers with compensators, two .44 Colt Anacondas, two Glock 18's with inbuilt compensators, a .25 calibre pistol, a S.P.A.S. 12-gauge semi auto shotgun with rifled slugs and a Heckler and Koch G36C Carbine which fires a 7.62 mm NATO round at full auto, and a three round burst at semi auto. Shadow preferred hand to hand so carried six throwing knives, two K-Bar knives sharp enough to shave with, and a Titanium Katana. But he wasn't going in "naked", as Blaze said, and was taking two .45 Mac-10 Uzi's, two automatic Glock 18's and a Heckler and Koch MP5SD5.

"Let's go," Blaze said promptly.

The two boys went to the dig site to find everybody waiting for the C-2 charges to go off. The charges blew with a small thud and showered everybody in dust and debris. As the dust settled the boys raised their guns, and Blaze said mock-politely to Shadow "After you."