• Nereus woke from his ‘required’ daily nap in a rather nasty mood seeing a s the one who woke him was none other than Angana, the mistress and maker of fire, herself. Sitting up with a dismayed grunt Nereus glared at the smirking goddess before him in utter annoyance as he began to stand on his retched legs. “And what pray tell gives you the pleasure of depriving me of my nap?” He snapped frustrated.
    But before she could retort a blond haired man, young in appearance but seemed in every way wise beyond comprehension walked through the water garden to stand before them. “I asked her to wake you but I suppose I should have known better.” He smiled wryly.
    “Demnek! This better be supremely important I was pulled away at a critical moment! If this experiment is left alone to long things could go terribly wrong and I most certainly don’t want Mut yelling at me again!” Nodin huffed dramatically as he ran on air through the elemental garden.
    Demnek smiled knowingly, “don’t worry if anything goes wrong thins time I will take all the blame, and I might even help you clean up the mess.” The very words calmed the young godling into stillness before seriousness fell on the occupants of the garden and all attention fell to the eldest as he took his seat under the large willow tree that grew in the very center of the expansive garden. “We will go during the celebration of the Spring Equinox, Tomorrow, when the Highest are accepting the sacrifices the mortals bring. I might remind you we are to tell no one. This is our secret alone and if I must I will take any measures necessary to protect it, if that means silencing someone ten so be it.”
    Angana smirked with grim satisfaction, “If for a moment you think you are the only one who truly understands the gravity of the decision we’re making then you are sorely mistaken. We each made this decision individually before coming together on this; we are the four elemental gods. We bow to know one and do as we please.”
    Nereus held his hands to the sky as if to grab the sunrays that seemed to float lightly across the skin like weightless feathers. “Well said. It seems that you Demnek have grown beyond this place, like one of your trees.” He brought his hands down as if now bored with his private game. “You’re so old that you forget the powers of the youthful. That’s the problem with all the ‘gods’, that in our immortality we forget what it’s like to discover something truly meaningful and the power that can be had for those with such fleeting existences. Besides I think being mortal will be an interesting adventure, it’s well worth the risk.” he grinned at his companions meaningfully sure they understood.
    “If that’s all that needs to be said I really do need to be getting back to my experiment it’s sat alone far too long for it to be safe. And if we spend too much time together then things will start to look suspicious.” Nodin stated matter-of-factly before bidding them good day and zooming away on a current of wind. Demnek also took that as his cue to leave seeing as he was soon to be needed in the Highest Garden and despised the thought of being late. This left Nereus to do as he pleased within his precious water garden and Angana kept her feet firmly planted to the ground as if to be defiant in some way.
    “So you won’t leave?” Nereus grinned as his abominable legs carried him to the closest and rather large pond, “And I thought you hated seeing my fins more than any one else.” he chuckled as he slipped into the cool liquid and almost instantaneously his feet became fins.
    Angana huffed, “It’s not that I hate it I just think it’s creepy.” She shuddered visibly at the thought. “I am not a fish and I don’t wish to be either, but you are the closest to a fish I will hope to ever come.” she came close to the shore of the pond and knelt down so her head could be propped up on her knees.
    He chuckled at this, “Oh if anybody else could hear you now. Who would know that underneath that fiery exterior is the mind of a child.” He looked back at her as he grinned ear to ear. “But why,” his expression went serious almost instantly, “are you staying here? If you were as bright as your fiery embers you’d have left with the others.”
    Pyralis’ fingers reached out and ran through the dark aqua hair that fell graciously from Nereus’ head. “I like it best here with you; it’s calming and far more easy to talk to you than it is to pretend I care so much.”
    “So are you saying you don’t care about what problems between Heaven and Hell?” Nereus asked, though he was quite sure he already knew the answer.
    “I’ve never cared, sure it’s a problem but there’s no way to fix it easily. It’s not like a wound you can bandage . . . It’s more like a severed limb that can’t be reattached and eradicating the enemy is simply out of the question because then everyone ends up dead.” Angana stated matter-of-factly.
    “You’ve really thought about this, haven’t you?” he questioned softly as he pooled water in his hands and brought it to fall on his face.
    “More than I’d ever like to mention, but those damn Elders keep going over the same things over and over trying to find something they can use to either fully destroy them or convert them back into what they once were but it’s impossible. Maybe one day they’ll realize how futile their efforts have become.” there was a hopeful note in her voice. “I suppose I should leave soon, I’m sure you’d like to go swim with your fish friends anyway.” She smirked as she stood, “And now I will go back to despising you and all that you stand for you dirty Kappa! And you kisses taste like sea water!” She yelled for good measure, though they both knew it wasn’t necessary before storming out of the garden, Nereus watching as she left a smile planted firmly on his features.
    “And your kisses taste like the sun.” he whispered just as he slipped under the cool water.
    Nodin sat behind a cool metallic desk as he studied his current findings on his latest experiment. ‘This is all wrong!’ He gave an aggravated sigh making the papers fly all around the room but in a fury of movement the papers were gathered up and soon placed in the Wind gods waiting hands without taking a look at them. “Thank you Sevak.” The man nodded before disappearing out he door from which he’d entered. Nodin tried to go back to try and make sense of these nonsensical findings but after only a few minutes he knew it was useless. He’d have to take it up with Demnek later since discussing this matter with and anyone else would result in imprisonment for treason. He vanished the papers properly before standing up and air walking over the desk and out the door.
    Ten minutes later none other than Mut found him sulking silently as he tried to recreate and fix the problems that would have led to his findings.
    “You shouldn’t think to Hard on a subject, it’ll only cause more problems than there where before.” She stated simply.
    Nodin sighed, “You always know just what to say when I get into pinch.” A small smile graced his lips. “Did you ever take a look at those theories I sent you?”
    Mut grinned, “Yes, in fact I really liked the one on molecular deconstruction, it seems like something the humans would really enjoy.” she chuckled at the thought. They began walking down the corridor slowly as the conversation took off. “So where were you this morning? I was told you were working on an extremely experiment in your lad but when I looked you were nowhere to be seen.”
    Nodin fidgeted uncomfortably, he’d never been good at lying and he didn’t think he could bring himself to even try to pull a fast one on Mut of all gods. “I was called away at that the moment I suppose. You should have checked back ten minutes later.” that was the closest to the truth as he would let himself get for fear of letting their precious secret leak.
    Mut considered this for a moment before she nodded her acceptance and moved on with the discussion. “I think I’ve come close to discovering the secret to that mystifying hair of yours.” She said proudly.
    Nodin grimaced as he shook his head. “You aught to know better than anyone, there is absolutely nothing mystifying or special about it, it’s just hair.”
    She smiled, “Yes, but it’s always fun to watch you get bent out of shape because of it.” Mut nudged his shoulder teasingly as they turned a corner and began walking down a disserted corridor.
    Nodin’s mind began to drift off as thoughts of tomorrow’s festivities ran through his mind. As hard as he tried not to over-think things the more he began to understand the gravity of their decision and before he could stop himself he asked, “I-If I were to disappear . . .or go away, what do you think would happen?” he’d regretted saying it as soon as he had but it was too late now and he’d have to face it now.
    She looked at him her face blank of all emotion, carefully considering his question. “Well I’d have to come find you then wouldn’t I? everyone know you’re just about helpless on your own. With out me around to take care of you, you might as well be human.”
    Nodin smiled sadly, “do you promise?”
    Mut stopped and pulled him into a tight hug, “Absolutely and always, you helpless idiot.”
    “Thank you.”
    “Yes well someone has to look after you, or you probably blow you self up and you’d most likely state that it was all in the name of science.” Mut huffed as she pulled back, hands on Nodin’s bare shoulders.
    “Have you appointed yourself as my mother then?” He asked, grinning, utterly amused at the mere thought of it.
    “Yes! That’s exactly it, that’s what you need to keep you in line!” And with that she brought his in for yet another hug.
    “again,” He whispered against her shoulder, “thank you.”
    Very much later that day as the sun began to die Angana yawned as she was making her way into the conference room near the western wall, to find that she was the last to arrive as she made her way to a seat at the end of the table. Menthu, eldest of the war gods began the meeting with the standard message of why they fought this endless battle against the tireless underworld and its foul creatures of the darkness. Menhit, Murugan, Aries, Mars, Enyo, Bellona, Tyr, and Guan Yu each spoke in turn about the ways they had plan to win their battles but when it was Angana’s turn to speak she could only look at them blandly and say, “They’re dying but we’re dying also, so who’s really winning?”
    At this Aries began to rage at her attitude towards their responsibilities calling hers profane names until Enyo and Bellona calmed him down with a few words of their own.
    Bellona pulled he aside and told her it would be best if she left the meeting and Angana didn’t argue, thankful she didn’t have to waste her time with the old fools anymore.
    Angana made her way into the western library to find a way to pass the time and she came upon Athena who looked up from reading some old text, “Aren’t you supposed to be at the war council?”
    “I was but I said something that made Aries made and I was kindly asked to leave. I was mode that happy to oblige.” she explained as she found an interesting text pertaining to a creation theory written by a human.
    Athena smiled, “You do seem to have the uncanny ability to make him angry with words alone.” she spoke softly as she placed a few books of text back on the shelves. “You might want to practice thinking before you speak as to avoid confrontation.”
    Angana grinned sheepishly, “I’ll try working on it, I’ve got all eternity to-” she stopped herself, no she didn’t, tomorrow was her last day as one of these powerful beings that seemed to hold the fate of the world in their hands.
    “You may not have as long as you once thought, things can change.” Athena said seeming to understand in some way what her inner turmoil held. “You should think long and hard about the decisions you make before you rush forward,” she smiled in a way that reminded Angana of a mother. “Knowing you, you won’t listen to anyone, you’ll rush ahead and destroy and this that gets in you way until you get what you want.”
    Angana stared at her utter shock she whispered hoarsely “W-w-what do you mean? do you know what-” She was silenced as Athena held up her hand with out a word.
    Athena looked at her for a long time leaving her to contemplate all the horrible things that might happen to her once the Elders were informed, “I’m sure you didn’t think I would notice. You constantly sneak off to meet Demnek, Nodin, and even Nereus of all gods. I know the four of you have something planned, whatever that something maybe I don’t want to know. The less I know the better things will be once whatever you’ve planned has taken its coarse.” She sighed, as if to signal she was finished being motherly.
    “Thank you for understanding.” Angana smiled sheepishly.
    “As the goddess of wisdom its part of the job description, to understand.”
    Athena smiled lightly before taking a look at the giant hourglass near the entrance to the library. “Well sense it’s slowly turning to night as the Equinox is tomorrow, I needed to go prepare things for the celebration.”
    “A-alright then, I suppose I’ll see you tomorrow, before the Highest accept the sacrifices.” Angana spoke softly.
    Athena nodded understanding the unspoken words of when the deed would take place if fact take place. “Until then act wisely.” And with that fond farewell Athena was gone. Angana sighed finding nothing of interest any more in the forgotten text she held loosely in her hands so she dropped it on the nearest table and headed out of the library and decided to make her way to her rooms, all the way on the eastern side of the wall. How she wished she might run into Nodin within the minute, then she could make him fly her to her room, but knowing his he was probably locked up in his lab studying something ‘scientific’ as he called it. So with out even realizing it she walked into the first empty garden she could find and found the most secluded area to settle into. And as she did just that she felt herself falling almost instantly into a peaceful slumber, with dreams of bright embers dancing gracefully on the wind.
    Demnek sat peacefully in the Highest Gardens playing his sitar, as the sun rose over the walls and the day of festivities were supposed to begin soon but not just yet because every meal time the creation gods as well as the king and queen of all the gods, or as some called them the ‘Highest‘, made a tradition out of gathering in the Highest Garden for the morning meal and it became Demnek’s job to provide the soothing music. King Zeus and his queen Juno, Kamui, Gaia, Atum, Coatlique, Pele, Mut, and Con Tiqui sat around the low set table as Hestia severed them all her finest crops.
    This lasted most of the morning until the sun had fully reason in the sky and then once the king, queen, and the creation gods had their fill they thanked Hestia for the food, thanked Demnek for the music, and then departed to prepare for the events later that day.
    Demnek rose from his comfortable spot underneath a large redwood tree and took his leave of the place. He made his way through the courtyards, hallways and small side streets until he came to his very own private garden, surprised to find Nodin standing outside the main entrance, obviously waiting for him.
    “It took you long enough! I was beginning to think you would never show up.” He grinned, “I never knew it would take so long for the Highest to eat their morning meal.”
    Demnek smiled softly as they walked through the entrance and into the overgrown garden, “You do know you could get in trouble for saying things like that, don’t you?”
    “oh yes, of coarse but I’m not doing anything far worse like planning to abandon heaven for life as a human.” He laughed energetically, “No commenting on the Highest’s eating habits is far worse.”
    “Sometimes how young you are is far more viable than I’m sure you’d like.” Demnek commented as he found his shovel and began to dig up a hole in the garden.
    “What are you doing? The humans are coming up to give the sacrifices in just a few hours. This is no time for gardening.” Nodin declared, hands on his hips.
    “I’m retrieving the incantation for when the time comes.” Demnek stated as he dropped the small shovel as his hand hovered over the hole. Suddenly vines began to push their way through the soil bringing a small scroll of paper with it. Demnek took the scroll and placed it in the folds of his tunic .
    “Hey! Look at this!” Demnek looked up to see Nodin disappear behind a large willow tree and he came forward to see what he was called to see only to chuckle at the sight. Laying there in the tall grasses was none other than Angana still sounds asleep. Nodin bent over her and poked her cheek, she sleepily batted it away making him grin, “If you don’t wake up I’ll kiss you.”
    “Kiss me and I’ll punch you so hard you’ll feel even when you’re a mortal.” Angana grumbled sleepily as a light blush creeping into her cheeks, as she sat up and rubbed the sleep away from her eyes.
    “But you let Nereus do it all the time. Why would it be any different if I did it?” he question as he backed away a bit, giving her room to stand up.
    As she stood Angana stretched her limbs, reaching up and out, then releasing her limbs to slump back down into their original positions. “I won’t even dignify that with an answer.”
    “The reason it would be different is simply that you don’t share her bed.” everyone looked to the middle of the garden to see Nereus kneeling next to the small fountain, hands pooled together scoop at the water playfully.
    “And what makes you think you do? You’re barely ever in my bed.” Angana smirked.
    “As entertaining as this is, our ceremony will begin soon and each us needs to get ready. So go dress yourselves in the ceremonial garb and show up on time. We don’t want anything to seem out of place.” Demnek informed them curtly motioning for them to leave.
    “Well then I’ll be late, I’m always late.” Angana smirked as she headed out of the garden gates and out of site.
    Nereus started sulking, “And I only just got away from Raziel and now I have to go back.” his complaints could be heard over the walls as he left.
    “I-I have something I wanted to talk to you about.” Nodin checked to make sure that Demnek was listening. “I was running a few tests on a theory of mine and the outcome of all the tests every time led to the destruction of Heaven.” he informed grimly.
    Demnek sighed, “yes I know, I always knew. But don’t worry, I’ve written the incantations myself, parts of our powers will be seeded into this place and it will hold it up.”
    Nodin’s brow knitted together, “But will it last and for how long?” Even as he got the answers he knew he’d only find more questions to ask.
    Running his fingers through his hair, Demnek groaned, “That’s the only thing, I don’t know. We can only hope that it will last more than a few centuries.”
    Nodin hesitated, “Well yes I suppose its all up to hoping. I should go now, I have to get ready and the angels will pester me if I don’t get everything done perfectly.” He grinned. “You’d think since they were made to be servants they wouldn’t be so bossy.” He walked slowly out of the garden trying his best to hold on to the little peacefulness he had left.
    Hours passed and it came time for the ceremonies to begin. The first to begin were all the goddesses that represented all things harvest, Demeter being the head of them made, their speeches and accepted their offerings. Other gods stepped forward, made a show of things, and then I came time to see the four elements to step forward and bless the coming harvest. Angana was late of coarse but showed up just as they walked forward to present themselves to the Highest and properly bless this years harvest.
    Once things where done they stepped aside and began to blend back into the crowded street where the other major as well as minor gods congregated to watch the spectacle . Now it was time, the Highest were ready to take the sacrifices from the humans. Each element caught the others eye as they began to slowly back out of the streets and towards a back alley. As soon as they were out of sight each of them broke into break-neck run heading straight for Demnek’s private garden. Once there they began the preparations for the spell, calling in the candles and drawing the circles on the cleared away dirt.
    Once done they each took there places in the circle and held hands. “Alright well you know how this goes, it starts with you Nereus.”
    Nereus nodded. “Water, enter from the south.”
    “Earth, enter from the east.”
    “Fire, enter from the west.”
    “Air, enter from the north.”
    And the spell began, Demnek recited the incantation written in an older language. As the words were said the circle began to glow each elemental god began to feel a sensation crawl it’s way up from their feet to the top of their heads as they themselves began to glow brightly and as the last words were uttered their bodies began to shatter until their bodies were gone and they were nothing but souls. In one bright flash they were thrust out of Heaven and pushed into human bodies.
    When everything was over the garden lay still and empty except for one white candle that stayed lit, waiting to be blow out and a figure standing in the shadows a nasty vicious grin spread across his face, “And now the fun begins.” as he stepped forward and blew out the candle after lighting fire to the incantation breaking the magic it once held.