Dark Vengeance

                                              By Arthur


JJ looked below him as he flew towards the barren black sand beach, what he
saw awaiting him sent a shiver down his spine, without any though he called
his Wraiths to his side, this was going to be another long hard fight,
further out to sea and casually hanging high in the sky was Loki, his large
black wings holding him above and behind the lines of minions on the beach.

As the nine Wraiths joined JJ, he counted what lay in wait for them, at the
front of the lines were ten Hades Hounds, these were very much like the
Wraiths in their animal form but much larger and their drool bubbled the
hard packed sand under their four long clawed feet, behind them were
creatures of all natures, some even JJ could not put a thought too as they
were so far away from what he could ever imagine, as he and the Wraiths
hovered just out of reach of the ranks of creatures, Loki's voice rang out
over the water.

"So, the little Perisone would come to do battle, it looks like my Father
has little regard for you, little one, if he really valued your life he
would have sent all his demi gods to face me, perhaps you are not so
favoured after all."

JJ listened to Loki`s attempts to rile him, he may have been young but he
had been given all the knowledge that Zeus could give him, to others he
looked like a young teen boy but, inside his head was knowledge that
covered the millennia as well as all the fighting skills of all of Zeus's
favourites, JJ waited for Loki to continue, his best ally now was patience,
to rush into a fight against what was arrayed on the sand below was fool

"What's this little toy boy, cat got your tongue or do my few minions scare
your little heart, would you prefer me to get rid of some of them so your
fear can reduce a little?"

"No Loki, I do not fear your minions, I am just wondering why you play the
part of the coward and hide away from the fight, are you scared of this?"

As he spoke, JJ drew and held up high the sword of Damocles, it grew
brighter as it seemed to detect the evil that was around it, as the sword
glowed with ethereal fire the fire on JJ's wings grew hotter and also
glowed brightly, for Loki it was a new revelation to not only see the boy
had his wings and looked quite comfortable in them, but they had been
touched by Vulcan himself, Loki suddenly got the feeling it was not going
to be as easy as he first thought, this boy had something special and for
the life of him, Loki could not see what it was and this worried him no

"Now why would I get my hands dirty with something as small as you boy,
that's what my hordes are for, the God of Gods does not soil his hands on
the likes of you, come, did you appear here to fight or just to make a lot
of harmless noise, I promise you I will not take part in this small scrap,
let me see what you are made of?"

"I didn't come here for your amusement Loki, I am here on my Lord Zeus's
command, if you're not too much of a coward you may like to come and get
some lessons, or are you afraid of something with a sharp point?"

JJ saw for the first time a hint of anger on Loki's face as he taunted him
while still keeping an eye on the hordes below, when Loki did not move, JJ
closed his wings slightly and dove towards the massed ranks on the sands,
his nine Wraiths changed into their animal form as they circled out and
around the ranks.

JJ had decided to meet the Hounds himself and let the Wraiths work on the
rear of the masses, in his head came the way for him to defeat the hounds,
while they were large and strong, their one weakness was the lack of
intelligence, they knew only how to carry off those who came to cross the
Styx but had no idea of how to work together when they were the ones being

JJ did not try to reason out his form of attack, the idea and knowledge
came from those a lot older than him, all he knew was that it was better
for him to go straight in and cut them down, it would be the last thing
they expected as no one attacked Hades Hounds front on they would not be
ready for it.

JJ watched as the Hounds did as he had been shown, as he settled onto the
sand, they circled around him in a tight pack, from outside the circle, JJ
could hear the screams of the other minions as the Wraiths scythed through
them, as JJ touched the sand, the Hounds howled out loudly and charged the
small figure, as they closed on him, JJ followed the lesson he had been
given in his head and closed his fiery wings around himself, holding the
sword high above his head.

Loki looked on, the boy had made a major mistake in landing so close to the
Hounds, Loki thought he must have had a death wish as he watched his Hounds
charge the small figure, as he watched, Loki's thoughts began to change,
what was the boy up to, he watched as the boys wings encircled the small
frame leaving only the glowing sword showing, of the boy there was no sign
but the folded white wings.

What Loki saw next brought a touch of never before felt fear, as the hounds
got within killing range, the wing covered figure began to glow even
brighter until it looked like the very pit itself, from the sword came the
brightest of blue glows and, as the Hounds crashed into the small figure,
the red glow of the boys wings seemed to almost explode outwards, when
Loki's eyes readjusted to the glare, all that was left of his Hounds were
the ten burnt and smouldering mounds around the unhurt boy.

JJ opened his wings, he had been aware of the explosion but had felt
nothing and now he saw the result of Vulcan's power, with a glance at his
Wraiths he quickly went to help them, they were well holding their own but
there was no need to extend the fight longer than needed.

It took nearly an hour to make the last of the horde head towards the newly
opened veil, Loki too had seen enough but the gods were not finished with
him yet, as he turned while the last of his minions went through the veil,
Loki called out to JJ with a parting remark.

"Well you are full of surprises little one, next time you will not be so
lucky and I have many more creatures for you too play with, I bid you
farewell until next time."

As Loki turned to leave, JJ saw him begin to also glow, not with red and
orange flames but with much darker forces, surrounding Loki were flames of
dark purple and black, as they surged out from his very soul, JJ saw the
ocean below Loki begin to bulge and quickly form into what looked at first,
like a water spout.

As Loki released his dark flames, the water spout changed into a cage of
pure salt water, encircling not only the black flames but Loki himself, the
strange water quickly formed into a tight cage around Loki and the flames
and, from the very depths of the ocean came a deep guttural laughter.

Loki remained held in the watery cage along with his black fire, suspended
high above the ocean, as the keeper of the underworld tried in vane to
escape, from the waters edge walked a young man, he could have been any age
but too JJ's eyes he looked to be in his early twenties, his shoulder
length bleach blonde hair moved in small waves over his head and his very
pale blue eyes were almost silver, JJ couldn't avoid letting his eyes drop
lower for a split second, the newcomer was showing some serious size down
there as well, the voice that came from the young man was filled with

"I do not think you want to go there my young Lord Perisone, it may be more
than you can handle."

For the first time, JJ saw the mark of Poseidon's trident on the young mans
forehead, the chuckle he heard from the young man confirmed his suspicions.

"Yes, my young Lord, I am the personification of Poseidon, I like to use
this form, do you find it agreeable, perhaps when you come to join us on
Olympus you will be my consort?"

JJ felt the heat of a blush fill his cheeks as the humanised figure of
Poseidon came closer and JJ could see every vein and hair on the handsome
young man, without a though he sent his weapons and wings to his realm as
Poseidon sank to the black sand and sat cross legged while looking up at
JJ, for Loki he was still suspended high above the calm ocean trying to
escape the cage of water.

"Come and sit with me young Lord Perisone, I've not had the chance to meet
with you yet, let's get acquainted without all the usual Gods and Demi Gods

JJ could still feel the heat of his blush as he went to sit on the sand in
front of Poseidon, he couldn't stop his eyes from flickering down to the
effigies groin, Poseidon's smile at JJ did little to help his equilibrium.

"It seems I am too much temptation for you Perisone, perhaps this is

With those words, JJ saw water bubble up from the sand underneath the young
Figure, if continued to rise up until the young Poseidon's groin was
covered, JJ heard a deep chuckle come from the young man, they were then
interrupted by another softer female voice from behind JJ.

"Stop playing games with Zeus's young defender, you know how serious our
Lord and Master can get with his favourites."

"My lady Hera, what would bring you to my shores?"

"Well it is not too hear your seduction of our Lord Perisone, that's for
sure but, I did want to see him in the flesh, our Lord and Master seems
smitten with the boy."

>From another direction, JJ heard another young voice; it was deeper than
the others but also held a hint of amusement in it.

"I am not, woman, he is my champion, I have to watch over him."

JJ could now see the two newcomers, while their words sounded serious,
their faces showed a touch of humour, for the first time JJ got too see the
Gods in mortal form, Hera looked to be a young lady of early twenty
something, her naked body showed a figure that drew the eyes of every man
around, her long blonde hair nestled over her shoulders in long waves of
silken threads, only the circlet around her head gave any indication of
something more.

Zeus had made himself also into a young man, his blonde curls were worn
like a close fitting skull cap and his youthful beard was now just wisps of
fine hairs around his jaw line, the bright twinkle in his eyes never dimmed
as he looked at the small gathering.

"Well it looks as though the gang is nearly all here, have you all come to
see my champion, he's done well so far, don't you think, it's a pity the
last of us is not here, it could have been like old home week."

Once again a voice came from behind where JJ sat.

"Who says I'm not here, do you think I would miss this little gathering now
that I have a new carrier of my justice?"

"Oh Vulcan, stop being so testy, come and sit with us and talk to our new
defender." Hera said.

JJ saw Vulcan's form for the first time, he looked like a teen of about
nineteen, his skin was pale and his shoulders and face were covered in
bright freckles, as would be expected of the God of fire, his hair was the
brightest fiery red that JJ could ever imagine, it also extended down to
the teen groin where JJ saw a very large appendage, he almost shuddered
inside at the thought of something as large as that trying to go into his
butt, Vulcan saw the look on JJ's face and almost laughed at the boys
confusion, it was the voice of Zeus that brought them all back to the here
and now.

"So we have gathered here at last and, as you can see, I have found our
defender, quite a cutie, don't you think." Zeus laughed at his own joke,
the others just got a certain look on their faces and all smiled at JJ, it
was Hera that answered Zeus.

"Do not listen to him Perisone, he would take an ox to bed if I would let

The wide smile on Hera's face belied the words and JJ smiled at the young
looking woman, he had to remind himself he was sitting on a barren beach
with four naked Gods, not sitting out at a picnic by the sea side.

"Well now you have everything you need Perisone, from myself I gave you
life born from the Earth, from Hera you have the wings to use in the Air,
from Vulcan you have Fire and from my Brother Poseidon, you have the use of
Water, so now the four elements are at your disposal, from this day on you
can call on them to aide you, and believe me when I say you are going to
need them."

JJ looked at the four young looking Gods, even now after all he had been
through he still found it difficult to adjust to his new life as a tool of
the old Gods but, he now also understood what they had just given to him,
now, not only did he have the skills of past defenders, but he also had the
use of Earth, Wind, Fire and Water, the first realisation of the power at
his finger tips came as a shock, everything he had learned in school or at
church had not prepared him for this.

Zeus suddenly turned to Poseidon and threw an arm over his shoulders.

"So tell me my Brother, how is that damned annoying son of mine doing, that
boy has been nothing but trouble since the day he was created?"

With a glance over his shoulder at the still suspended Loki, Poseidon
replied to Zeus's question.

"As you can see my Brother, he is taking his once in a century bath, that
boy has the dirtiest ears I have ever seen and, his mouth is not far
behind, what do you think we should do with him, I can keep him in his
water cell for a few centuries if you wish or, I could send him back to the
pits, of course if he goes back there he will be able to return to annoy
our Defender once again?"

"As much as I would like him to take a bath for a few centuries, he is
still my son so, I think you had better send him back to the pits, it will
take him some time to find the energy to return here again so our Defender
will have a little time to fix the other things needed here on Earth."

With a wave of his hand, Poseidon reinforced the water cage around Loki so
that he was ready to be returned back to the fiery pits, he then rose to
his feet and, with a last smile at the direction of JJ's eyes, strolled
casually back towards the waiting ocean giving a slight wave of his hand to
the others as he sank into the water.

"That damn boy will be the death of me yet."

"Who dear; Poseidon?"

"No of course not woman, my son Loki of course, that boy has been nothing
but trouble ever since he was born, I should have run from that little
harlot Leta, I should have turned her away when I had the chance."

"Well I did warn you my husband but, no, you had to let your small head
rule your large one, now you see what we have to contend with?"

"Well it's too late to change things; we will have to let our Defender take
care of the boy, with the luck of Ares he will be able to set the boy in
Hades for a few millennia."

"That's just like you my husband, give the hard work too others and sit
back on your laurels to gloat after the fact."

"Oh stop it woman, you have your own foibles, now is not the time to talk
about it."

Turning back to JJ, Zeus said.

"Well now my young defender, it's time for us to go back to Olympus and for
you to return to your work, I look forward to watching your many victories
in our name, you have done well so far and we will always be watching over

With those last words, Zeus, Hera and Vulcan rose and walked into the very
air to disappear before JJ's eyes, the event had a strange feeling of minor
squabbling of family and siblings, JJ did not know quite know how to take
it all, it had been so strange and yet he now had a few answers that he
could think further on.

JJ watched in awe as a thick arm made of sea water rose from the waves and
grasped the cage holding Loki fast, with no effort at all, the cage was
dragged down below the sea and only the faint outline of black flames could
be seen disappearing into the depths, JJ instantly knew it had been
Poseidon who had come to take Loki, JJ also knew that one day he would have
to face the God of the underworld, this was Zeus's way of letting him get a
taste of what was yet too come.

JJ took to the air along with his Wraiths, once again they were carrying
injuries but they seemed to have little effect on their ability to stay
with him as he winged his way towards home, his stomach was growling and
the first signs of fatigue began to make themselves known, he was ready for
one of the twins large meals and a long sleep, he was about to find it
would be a while before he got either as the clarion call peeled through
the sky around him.

JJ pushed aside his hunger and tiredness as he banked westward and made for
the far off lands of Mexico City, the Cartels were in a fight for territory
and there were many innocents in their path, JJ had been called to protect
them and deal with any Cartel members that got in his way.

As JJ flew over Mexico City, the sun sank below the horizon, the bright red
edge of his wings now caused a glow in the darkening sky but, too those on
the ground fighting, he was unseen, in the barrios of the poor on the edge
of the city, the gunshots could be heard in an almost continuous clammer of
sound that filled the coming night with terror for those unable to defend

JJ looked through the visor of his Helm and saw the gang numbers rise as
other cartel members came into the vicious fight; it was quickly becoming a
war in the narrow lanes and alleys of the ramshackle huts and homes of the

JJ hovered over the scene of carnage below him, it was clearly apparent
that the older heads were staying back and letting the younger hot heads
take the lead, they were not only taking the lead but most of the injuries
as well, JJ saw some of the boys fighting were no more than thirteen or
fourteen years old and had little true knowledge of what they were doing,
it was time to put a stop to it.

JJ looked over the scene one last time, his first priority was going to be
the older ones, they were the main reason for all the damage being done
even though they were wont to stand well back from any chance of being
hurt, once they were out of the picture, JJ was sure he could settle the
younger boys and teens down, at their young age they were still
impressionable enough to be deterred by a figure with huge wings and a
glowing sword, JJ smiled at the picture of himself that came into his mind,
only the rumbling of his stomach took the smile off his face as he began
his descent towards the mean streets.

JJ recalled his Wraiths and sent them to scour the dark alleys for the
older men, he had them send the men into unconsciousness to await him to
look them over, for the younger ones fighting for their very lives, he set
about disarming as best he could without causing too much injury, he did
not blame the young ones as they knew little else but what they had been
told by the older leaders.

JJ began the long process of finding and disarming the young boys that
teemed through the alleys, gunshots were everywhere and the wild scramble
for positions of advantage gave JJ a hard job to track down the boys, just
as he caught one small group, another would appeared and fire wildly at
where he held them, it was becoming frustrating trying to stop the
fighting, finally, as JJ saw a young thirteen year old boy fall to the
dirty street with a hole in his chest, JJ shouted for the power of Zeus.

>From all above the city came a dark rumbling, thick and heavy clouds
covered the night sky, the heavy smell of ozone filled the air with static
until, finally, there came a cracking sound of live lightening as bolt
after bolt flashed brightly from the darkness above, every where the
lightening struck, flames flared until a large part of the city slums were
on fire, the once fighting boys now cowered in fear as strike after strike
flashed near them, some even being burnt by the near misses.

JJ called a halt to the pyrotechnic display of power, those who had not
been directly affected by the flashing lightening and the deafening
thunder, were soon running for their very lives as though the devil himself
was on their tail, in a way they were right but the devil was not really
the one they had to worry about, their actions had now pissed JJ off and,
as his stomach reminded him once again that he was starving, his temper
lowered even further, it was time for a real lesson to be taught.

JJ made those boys he had been able to capture, go too sleep where they
sat, next he called for his Wraiths to bring all the older ones to the same
place, this was going to be a very bloody exercise and he hoped the lesson
for the younger ones would sink in, while it was normally against his
nature to hurt another living thing, his new duties as the Defender of the
Gods had begun to change his attitude, there was a time for peace and
forgiveness but now was not that time, this had to be an example of what
can happen when you take the wrong road in life.

Once all of the older men had been set on the wet cold alley floor, JJ woke
them all but made sure they could not move from the places they were in,
using all of his power to set his wings wide open and afire, he took the
sword of Damocles and began to sever the heads of every male over the age
of sixteen, the fear he saw in the faces of the younger ones barely
registered as he finished off the last of the older men, on the narrow
dirty ally floor lay the heads of thirty men, the blood ran like a small
river as it worked its way down hill towards the central city.

JJ ignored the scene and turned to the younger boys sitting on the ground,
their young faces now filled with fear and tears streaming down their young
cheeks, the sight of such slaughter by the biblical angel had given them
little hope of surviving the night, much to their surprise, the glowing
angel of death turned to them and, in perfect Spanish, said.

"This is what awaits you all if you continue to do the will of evil men, I
am Perisone, Defender of the Gods, this is the one and only chance you will
all have to restart your lives, my minions will mark each of you and,
should you continue to follow this madness, you will suffer more than you
can understand."

JJ looked at the large group of boys, before him sat about twenty boys; all
of them now had tears of fear running freely down their faces as the
glowing angel began to speak again.

"When you leave here you will not say one word of what you have seen here,
you will not mention seeing me or my helpers, each night before bed you
will send your prayers to the Goddess Athena, from this day onward you will
give up your belief in your mothers church for they have taken what was
good and turned it into evil for their own use, tomorrow you have the one
chance to change your lives and start to do good works, it is up to you."

JJ made a gesture to his Wraiths and they quickly went to each boy and made
the mark of justice on each boy, it was an open eye tattoo on their
forearm, each boy would now be watched over by others to see if they kept
their soon to be vows.

"You will all say after me the following oath, should you break this oath,
the very Gods themselves will take toll, now say after me."

JJ listened as the boys followed the oath he gave them to say, as the boys
finished there was the sound of bells ringing in the distance, the boys
oath had been heard, just before he released the boys and headed for his
own home and a very much needed meal, JJ gave the boys one last warning.

"Tell no one of what has happened here, your oath will hold you, if it is
broken you will suffer more than these dead have."

Amid staring tearful eyes, JJ opened his large wings and took to the night
sky, within seconds he had disappeared into the dark heavens, he only hoped
that he could now go back to the house before he was called once again, his
stomach was now rumbling more than Vulcan's mountains.

Only six boys were forced by their parents to go too mass and confession,
as each entered the small cubby, they suddenly became mute, as the priest
asked them to relate their sins, the boys found they could not utter a
single word, while the priest ranted about boys wasting his time, they were
all forced to run, in the days and nights to come they would have dreams
that brought terror to their young minds, slowly they faded into mere
skeletons of their former selves, even the best doctors could not find the
reason for their decline, their futures were not long ones.

Of the other boys there was little their parents could do, they tried
pleading and then threats but the boys refused to go to church with the
adults, some where thrown out of their homes, as humble as they were and
yet, each boy suddenly found a renewed interest in education and that they
were helped by people they had no former knowledge of, homes were found for
those who needed one and schools suddenly had space on their rolls for the
new students, in time all of the boys lives grew better the longer they
sent their nightly prayers to the new Goddess.

On his return flight to his new home, JJ could only think of the slaughter,
while it played on his mind that he had now become a tool of ancient Gods,
he was also mature enough to see the need, it was only at times like this,
as he was winging his way alone high up in the night sky, that the horror
of what he was doing would strike him, yes he was the Gods tool but he was
also a teen boy brought up with values that made this new world hard for
him to contend with.

JJ entered the open patio doors to find, as usual, a very large well cooked
meal waiting for him with Tana and Poma waiting with smiles on their faces,
Phin was sitting at the table with his usual glass of red wine before him,
it was easy for the Messenger to see that JJ was not fully himself but, it
was not his place to mention it, he was there to wait for JJ to bring up
any subject that bothered him, Phin was not a callous man but he also
understood that a boy as young as JJ, had to work things out for himself,
becoming a servant of the Gods was not easy on any mortal, let alone one as
young as JJ, but it had been the Gods themselves that had chosen him and
they did nothing without a reason.

For the next hour, Phin sat and watched the young Defender eat, the boys
ravenous appetite would have put grown men to shame, Phin had a good idea
what JJ would have for desert as he watched the boy eye the two servants
with another type of hunger in his eyes, it had been so for all of history,
nothing brought the sap to a boys loins more than blood and battle, he was
sure the two servants would not be moving too well in the morning.

JJ slowly opened his eyes, he had taken each boy numerous times until the
sun showed its first soft rays of dawn, he had no idea how he was able to
do the act so many times but he now felt satisfied, looking at the suns
angle he could see it was still only mid morning, he had noticed over the
last few days that he needed only a few hours sleep to be able to fully
recover from any long night, he was yet to learn that in time he would need
no sleep at all as his body was slowly changed at the will of the Gods,
should he survive the battles ahead, JJ would find that in centuries to
come he would still look as he did now.

With each passing battle and the drawing of power from the Gods, JJ was
slowly changing his own internal make up, his youthful looks and body would
stay as it was now but, deep inside he was becoming invincible, he was too
find in the future that, even if he sustained an horrific wound, it would
heal within seconds without leaving so much as a scar on his body, the Gods
demanded perfection in all things, especially in their warriors and

JJ stretched and went for his morning shower, the two boys were moving
stiffly but had wide smiles on their black faces as they soaped and rinsed
his slender body, next came a soothing massage from Poma while Tana set out
a hot breakfast for JJ, JJ thought this was the best part of any day, his
slender body shone with the fine coating of scented oil that Poma used
while Tana fed small tid-bits to him as he lay back enjoying the soothing
hands that played a tune on his skin.

JJ felt he would like to visit the Mall once again to see how the smaller
kids were doing and too make sure the owner was following his orders, even
though he knew that he would be told if the man did not, JJ felt he wanted
the touch of normalcy around him to keep him grounded, his new life was a
rough and bloody one and he did not want to loose himself in it, he felt he
need the familiar sights and sounds of his former life to be able to
continue with the work of defending the Gods.

While JJ could just as easily use his wings to get to town, he liked the
idea of being driven in the large black limo, the time it took was another
reminder that he was still really a human boy, as they neared the mall, JJ
decided to pay a visit to the coin shop to see how his friend was now
doing, what he saw made him smile.

Thomas looked to be very busy, unlike the last time JJ had come here, this
time the small coin shop seemed to be busy, Thomas had even hired an
assistant to help with the extra business, as JJ walked in the door, Thomas
looked up and broke into a wide and welcoming smile, leaving the customer
to his assistant, he hurried to where JJ was standing.

"JJ, what a nice surprise, I don't know how it happened, and I have a funny
feeling I should not ask, but since that man gave me the Grand Coin, I have
had a sudden increase in business, most want to see the coin and the offers
for it would turn your hair white, but each offer I turn down, one does not
sell a special gift, no matter how much is offered by those who would only
hide it away from everyone's eyes, now enough of me, what can I do for

"I just came to say Hi and too see if you were ok, also there is a small
matter I would like your help with."

"Anything JJ, just ask and I am sure I can get it done for you."

"The money you make from the other coins I gave you, I would like you to go
to the mall once a week and pay the owner ten thousand dollars, also that
you look around and see that he is following my orders to make certain
games free for the young kids, it's an agreement I set up but he is one of
those that lets greed get in the way of common sense some times."

"Certainly, those coins were all sold within minutes of my making a call;
there is plenty of cash there if you need it, would you like me to bank if
for your use?"

"No thanks, I would feel better knowing it is held by an honest man, no one
can trust bankers as you well know."

"Then I shall leave it in the main safe along with my personal collection
of coins."

JJ suddenly felt heaviness in his pocket, reaching in he was not surprised
to find a handful of small gold bars with Chinese characters stamped on
them, there were seven bars.

"You might like to put these on the market, if they sell well then add the
money to what you are holding."

JJ slid the small gold bars across the counter top, he watched as Thomas's
eyes grew larger and larger the more he looked at the shining gold bars.

"Where do you get these things JJ, do you know that these are also very
rare, they are Ming dynasty Talons, I've seen some before but they are
usually lost as people melt them down for the gold value, too see some in
such perfect condition is really thrilling, do you want these sold as well

"Yes, you can add the cash to our reserves, keep one for yourself if you
would like to, I'm starting to like this coin collecting hobby."

"It's a very good hobby to have, you can learn a lot about our history from
the coins they used, it's not so much the value of the coins but what they
represent to the times they were struck in, its a pity the modern world
would rather use paper than get the feel of a true coin in their hands."

"Well I will leave those in your hands, I'm off to play some games at the
mall, see you again Thomas, take good care of yourself."

"I will JJ, and thank you for these new ones, I will make sure that they
are sold honestly and your cash is here whenever you need any."

JJ left and walked towards the mall, he knew without thinking about it,
that the mall owner was dealing fairly, information like that seemed to
just pop into his head and he was now becoming used to it, while he
defended the Gods, they also looked after him, he was about to find out
that they had many ways of looking after him.

As JJ neared the games shop, he saw that what had once been a small health
food shop next door, had closed its doors but, the games shop owner had
taken it over and changed it into a special room for the younger boys, the
large plate glass windows at the front were left clean so you could see
easily into the store but the door was locked shut, the owner had opened up
the dividing wall between the shops for the boys to enter, at the opening
stood a young man in his mid twenties, JJ saw instantly that the young man
had lost both legs and his left arm, it was easy to see he had been a
returned soldier from Afghanistan, JJ decided to ask the owner what it was
all about.

The owner saw JJ walk in, instantly he broke into a huge smile of welcome.

"Well, well, my lucky charm as returned, how are you JJ?"

"What happened here, you seem to be doing well?"

"You would not believe it, not long after you left, I was giving some
thought as to how to do what you asked, at that precise moment, the young
man, David, walked in asking for work, he had been badly injured while on
duty overseas and was having a hard time finding work, he was pretty down
and out, it just came over me that I should hire him to watch over the
young ones, best thing I ever did, they just adore him, he looks after them
like a mother hen, next thing I know, the people next door asked if I would
be interested in taking over their shop, seems folk around here are not
into that health food stuff, anyhow, I no sooner decided to take the place,
not really knowing what I would do with it, than I got a call from my games
supplier that a games shop had gone bankrupt and they were trying to sell
off all their machines, if I wanted them I could have them at a very low
cost as they were used, best decision I ever made, the place has been full
every day, all thanks to you."

"That sounds like quite a story but, I can tell you that I had very little
to do with it, perhaps it was your time to get lucky."

"Perhaps, but without you agreeing to our deal, I would not have had the
money to go so far so fast, I have even got some parents asking me too look
after their kids while they go shopping and they don't mind paying a small
fee for the safety of their kids so I win either way."

"That's good, now Thomas from the coin shop will be paying you each week,
if you keep going like this I see no reason for you both to not have a
successful business, now can I get a game, I would like to waste some

"Pick any game you like, here take this card, you can keep it with you so
you can come and play whenever you want, it will give you free access to
any game in here."

JJ smiled his thanks and moved deeper into the shop, suddenly, from out of
the very air, came a music he had never heard before, it was somewhere
between the high pitched notes of a violin, the deeper notes of a bass or
guitar and the soft trebles of a harp, the rest of the noise in the shop
seemed to dissipate into the background as the music filled JJ's ears, he
looked around for the source of the soft music, finally he thought it was
coming from the far corner of the shop, as he moved in that direction, his
heart began to beat faster and his temperature increased until he felt he
was in an oven, as he cleared the last of the players and stepped into the
corner, his jaw dropped and his heart rate went up another couple of beats.

JJ stopped and stared, standing beside the last machine in the long row,
was another boy looking at him as though he was caught in the headlights of
a car, the boy was about his own age, his caramel skin and dark flashing
eyes told of his Latin descent, all around JJ the sound disappeared, there
seemed to be only the two of them in the large games room, each was caught
in a moment of pure joy, it was as though they were meant to be here right
at this moment so they would meet, JJ felt his knees begin too shake as he
looked at the vision before him, somehow he knew they were destined to be
as one, with little thought, JJ knew the boys name was Marco, suddenly they
were in each others arms, the world around them had disappeared and they
were the only two left.

The embrace was not only instant but the warmth of love was pouring out of
both boys as their lips found each other, Zeus looked down at his defender
and smiled, it was such a good feeling to see two lovers embrace and think
the rest of the world no longer existed, Zeus clapped his hands in glee,
over the city the loud cracking of lighting from a perfectly clear sky had
many people wondering why it was happening, Hera looked at the ecstatic
Zeus and scolded him for being careless, Zeus just smiled and gave one more
clap, the lightening bolt cut through the roof of a bank in the central
city causing the computers in the loans department to crash, thousands of
loan files were destroyed and the bank never did recover the monies owed.

As the two broke from the first kiss, JJ stepped back to look at Marco
again, he saw only perfection in the other boys eyes, their hands grasped
tightly as an agreement was mad without words, with not even a first word,
they turned and walked from the shop to the many amazed looks from the
others at the game consoles, it was a very daring thing to do, boys holding
hands was not very macho but, for some reason, no one tried to stop them.

As they emerged from the mall, still holding hands and still not a word
said, the long black limo pulled up beside them, JJ led Marco into the back
of the limo and the long car left the town behind, in the back the two boys
were looking deeply into each others eyes as their hands stayed entwined,
there was no need for words.




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