I wonder what went wrong. The plan was perfectly conceived and executed. But no Ares. Perhaps he went home to his secret retreat and wasted all that lovely energy on the earth before he died. No one has ever survived a direct link with Chaos Energy. No reason to think he'd be the first. Then why do I feel as if I'm waiting for something to happen?
Perhaps coming to this party was a mistake. If there were any rumors, I haven't heard them. They've all gotten so use to Ares' absences that they don't realize what's happened. If anyone would know it would be Aphrodite or her daughter. Which is why I'm enduring the sickeningly sweet seventeenth birthday party for Harmonia. Perhaps news of Ares' death will come and make everyone sad. Anything to liven up this doting tribute to fleeting girlhood.
I feel a familiar spasm, watching Zeus hug his granddaughter. He looks besotted, slipping a gold chain around her neck and kissing her cheek. Family is important and my supposed family never supported me like that. But then, these are my family and they could care less what happens to me and mine.
Of course, that worked in my favor when I added my third element. Had any of them cared when my daughter died, they would have witnessed the whirlwind my grief created. The tornado of pain that destroyed my home and laid waste to everything that stood on my place of retreat. The dervish of air that I tamed and made my own. Mortals must wonder why so many great whirling winds have destroyed their homes this year.
I played with air for months before I really understood what it meant. Since then I've been trying to recreate the pain that will bring the fourth element under my control. But I don't care about anything or anyone now, so it's hard. I thought that torturing the mortals and making them live the grief and horror of losing the person they loved most would work when I absorbed them. But it's just not personal enough.
So, I must concentrate on my fellow gods. There are so many to choose from. Of course, I favor the strongest. Which means Ares and his family. What in Tartarus happened to him? It's no good hurting Harmonia or Aphrodite or that mortal Joxer, if Ares isn't around to release the grief I need. Damn him, anyway.
I smile demurely at Zeus when he deigns to acknowledge my presence. You are so close to being disposed of. King of the Gods. Not much longer. I itch to bring him to his knees but I can be patient. Very patient. It's one of my many sterling qualities that these fools have never understood. Strife is the only god who knows just how devious I can be but who'd believe the god of mischief. The wanna-be god of discord. He has a lot of evil to accomplish before he moves up.
A voice from the door brings my head whipping around. It's not possible. He can't have survived. Gods, he's glowing with power. That silly mortal is with him still. Odd, it looks like he's glowing too. They must have just finished making love. I can almost taste the energy from here. Delicious. There's Harmonia embracing her father and giving his paramour his own hug. Good. They're all together and feeling loving. I can't kill one of the gods without the others noticing. But the mortal. That would be easy.
End part eleven