Author: Sai Srujan Reddy
"Thirty five minutes. I have waited here for you idiots for thirty five effing minutes! Where the hell were you?" shrieked the old Ambassador as spittle flew from his mouth. With a short stature and a plump body, he cut a ridiculous figure but the gods decided that it would be impolite to laugh, especially because the poor man was wheezing with anger.
One of them sitting down the table answered "We had some last minute preparations to do sir. It was very important work and it couldn't be delayed."
"And may I know what work is SO important that you delay a meeting with the Emperor's Ambassador himself?"
"It was regarding the operation. We are sorry for disrespecting you. We did not mean it."
The Ambassador glared at them and muttered something about "impudence", "discourtesy" and "lack of civility". Finally he took a deep breath to gather his thoughts.
"Fine. I will let you go for now. But remember that I may not be so lenient next time." He gave a satisfied sigh as the gods nodded dutifully. "Now let's get to business. The Emperor had asked you to conduct a year-long operation on this planet. He wanted you to conduct minor attacks on the native population to study their behaviour and formulate a foolproof plan to destroy their civilization. The allotted time is now over and the Emperor wants to know your progress."
A slender man stood up and spoke. "Before we begin, I hope that the Emperor will honour his promise and let us rule this planet. We were gods here but these humans forgot us. We want to rule again."
"Yes, yes. The Emperor always honours his promises. He will let you rule this planet if you swear allegiance to him. Now which one of you is the leader here?"
The slender man replied. "That'll be me" he declared proudly.
The Ambassador squinted at him and snapped. "Do you have a name?"
"Apollo. Polo, they call me."
"Pray, who are they?"
"My family. My friends."
"I am neither your family, nor your friend." That effectively wiped the grin off his face.
"Now without wasting my time, tell me what you have planned and executed on this planet?"
Apollo grinned again but this time, devilishly. "Since I'm a god of disease, I decided to create a virus and made a pandemic to trouble these people. The virus has caused quite a havoc amongst them. They were not prepared for it. Lots of them died before they came to their senses. Heaps of financial damage too."
Another god spoke up. "I'm Dionysus. To make matters worse, I collaborated with Aphrodite," he pointed to a pretty woman sitting opposite to him "and created some mass mania amongst the crowds. We made these poor creatures lose their sense of reasoning and had them spread the pandemic by making them question and not follow the necessary safety measures."
Aphrodite shrugged fashionably and replied "Least I could do."
"We caused problems on other fronts too," said and grim ugly man on the far side of the table. "I, Hephaestus, single-handedly exploded an ammonium storage facility in Beirut. Quite a lot of damage. I also sabotaged several factories around the world causing minor accidents and mishaps."
The other gods started speaking up too.
"I am Demeter. I unleashed swarms of locusts on the farms in Africa and the Middle East. Created some food shortages in a land already known for famines. Also I burned the forests and homes in California. The sky blazed red that week."
"I am Athena. I caused lots of political unrest. Right at the beginning, I scared the planet by almost causing a war between two powerful nations. It kept everyone on their feet for several months. Also I sparked mass protests around the world. It was surprisingly easy, to he honest. They are always so disunited. It also helped spread the pandemic Apollo created."
"I am Ares. I caused violence and bloodlust in those protests Athena mentioned. Lots of deaths" he grinned.
"I'm Artemis. I helped Demeter to burn forests in California and Australia. I personally led the killing of thousands animals."
"I'm Zeus, the former leader of this bunch" growled an old bearded man sitting right next to the Ambassador. Me and my brother Poseidon", another man sitting next to to Zeus raised his hand "caused hurricanes and cyclones in the world's oceans."
The Ambassador stared at the gods with horror and fascination. "And what is the endgame? What other horrors have you people planned?"
Apollo grinned widely. "These people have managed to create a vaccine to my virus. And guess what we did to this vaccine?" He winked evilly. "We poisoned it! Everyone will inject this poison into themselves. Chaos everywhere! And then when humanity has lost all hope...we will return as saviours! And after so many millinea will worship us again." They all laughed like madmen.