Continued from here Chapter 1
Las Vegas, Nevada
A man going by the name Lucas Locke was preforming magic tricks to a crowd as he promoted his stage show later that night. He seemed to have appeared out of nowhere a few years ago and quickly rose up to one of the biggest magic acts in Vegas.
Magicians from around the world constantly sought him out to try to figure out his act, they looked for every tell, or sign of misdirection but they couldn't figure it out, if they didn't no better they'd swear it was real magic.
As Lucas amazed the crowd by hovering above them he looked down and noticed a familiar face. He then dropped down and disappeared in a puff of smoke. He then popped up behind Calder and tapped him on the shoulder. Calder turned to look at the man, "Do I know you?"
Lucas then chuckled and waved a hand that revealed his true face that Calder recognized, "Loki. My father was wondering where you were hiding yourself."
Calder then looked down the street at the large billboard showing Loki's alter ego, "What would Odin say if he saw this?"
Loki shrugged, "I imagine something quite long winded and pompous sounding. Though it'd feel like more jealousy than anything else."
"Why would a God King be jealous of a magician?"
A grin crept across Loki's face, "When was the last time a crowd cheered his name? I had to find something to do and being outcast doesn't exactly overflow with opportunity."
He then reached into his pocket and pulled out a ticket, "Come see the show tonight, impressing humans is easy, if my show can impress our kind it would be a great honor."
Calder took it and passed on a message, "My father did say, if I happened to run into you, to tell you he's missed your company."
"Next time you see him tell him to come visit, that realm has never been a proper place for tricksters."
The Eternal Realm, Olympia
Zan entered his home and noticed his Grand Father Zeus glaring at him while his father sat in a chair with a goblet of wine watching a play being put on in the courtyard by a troupe of Satyrs and Nymphs from his balcony. Zan walked over and looked down on the crowd below as his father sighed at the sound of Zeus' voice.
Zeus was nearly growling, "Come back from your revolution already boy?"
Zan rolled his eyes, "Better than wasting the day waiting for prayers that won't come."
"I am still your king child."
Zan chuckled at that and turned to give him a sarcastic curtsy, "Of course, my lord."
Zeus roared and stepped toward Zan to grab him but Hercules stood between them, "You don't put your hands on my son, I will not tell you again."
Zeus gritted his teeth knowing his son held more real power here than the king of Olympus. Hercules' fame was the closest thing to worship any Olympian had now rendering him the base on which Zeus' position rested. He then looked to Zan, "You will stop these gatherings, or you will be forbidden from leaving these lands."
Hercules looked down on his father, "He merely speaks the truth father, I don't see how you can punish him for that."
A voice then came from behind, "Family discord is always a tragic thing."
The three Olympians looked to the source causing Zeus to groan, "Who invited the spider?"
Hercules shrugged, "Anansi goes where he pleases, but today I asked him here."
The spider then dropped from the ceiling on a line of web and took the form of a man as his feet touched the floor, "Have I missed the beginning? Apologies, I had matters to attend to."
Zeus laughed, "What business does a trickster have that's more important than a visit with a prince of Olympus?"
"Nothing that a King such as yourself should waste time with I'm sure but needed attending none the less."
Zeus then shrugged as he marched away. Once he was clear of the room Hercules looked to his son, "Perhaps caution would be appropriate, your gatherings will stop for the time being. Your Grand father has grown suspicious."
Zan nodded, "I was planning on going to Earth for a bit, now seems as good a time as any."
Anansi placed a hand on Zan's shoulder, "I'd suggest Las Vegas, take in a magic show."
Hercules gave a shrug, "Could be amusing to see what humans are fooled by now days."
Anansi smiled and pulled a ticket out of his pocket, "If you hurry I'm sure you can make tonight's curtain."
Zan read the name, "Lucas Locke. Is he good?"
Anansi nodded, "Oh yes, you'll be amazed I assure you."
After the play had ended Anansi left Olympia and found himself on the Great Plain. Coyote sat by a tree as the spider crawled to him. Coyote nodded to the spider, "Have you decided to join my cause then?"
Anansi retook the form of a man, "Yes, the Olympian prince will be with Loki before the sun rises on another day."
Coyote smiled, "My son has already met with him."
Anansi dropped down beside him, "Are you sure this is wise?"
Coyote nodded, "The Raven told me that one of them would show us a better way."
Anansi sighed, "Far be it from me to argue with a creator, but what will the other show us?"
Las Vegas, Nevada.
Calder found his seat in the auditorium and made himself comfortable while four seats down in the same aisle Zan found his. The two gods had yet to notice each other when the lights went down and music began to play. The curtain rose to cheers as Lucas Locke was introduced by the MC. The stage lights came up as Locke stepped between two torches, his hands then erupted in flames that he casually tossed on the torches. He then took a short bow as his assistants rolled in several large boxes.
He then swung the door of one open and a bird made of fire flew out over the audience to a chorus of oohs and aahs. Zan looked on unimpressed at first till he looked up and noticed the bird was a real phoenix unbeknownst to the audience. The bird disappeared as it neared the exit doors.
When the audience returned their attention to the stage Locke held a pair of broad swords and shouted through the mic, "I require two volunteers from the audience."
Half the audience raised their hands hoping to be picked and Locke looked out in the crowd with a look of mock indecision and announced, "I'll let the swords decide."
He then tossed them in the air where the hovered for a moment and then shot out stopping hilt down above the heads of the two gods in the audience. Zan and Calder were then instructed to take the swords and get on the stage. Calder noted the disappointed looks on people he passed but thought it all part of the show. The two gods were surprised to see each other.
Locke had a sly grin as he spoke to them, "Can you confirm to the rest of the audience that the blades are real?"
They looked the blades over and felt them before nodding and Locke thanked them before pulling his assistants over, "Could you gentlemen kindly hold out the blades as straight and flat as you can?"
Locke then seemed to make the women hover up and land flat footed on the blades. Zan looked them over for wires but found none while Calder noted to himself that the woman were eerily identical, even down to how their hair moved in breeze coming from the air conditioning. He also noticed the woman seemed weightless on the blade.
Locke then handed each woman an end of a large sheet of fabric and let it fall to the floor. He then stepped in front of the sheet and made some overly dramatic hand gestures before ordering Calder and Zan to release the swords. They complied and the blades hung in mid air as the women still stood on them and the crowd let out some more oohs and aahs.
Locke then snapped his fingers and the women disappeared in a puff of smoke but the sheet held. Locke then gave a look of false confusion and looked to Calder with a wink, "Could you give it a tug."
The crowd chuckled a bit as Calder grabbed the sheet and pulled. The sheet then dropped to reveal two large bull elephants with the women sitting on their backs before the astonished crowd. Locke then paused as cheers and applause rang out. He then had Calder and Zan to center stage and asked for a round of applause for his volunteers. The two young gods seemed to feel exhilarated by the attention as they took a short bow. Locke then knelt between them and whispered, "Just as good as worship, without all the work."
Zan then caught the sight of Locke's true face for an instant and suddenly understood why he'd been sent here. The two gods then left the stage and returned to there seats as Locke made the elephants disappear in clear view of the audience.
Sarah sat in a church quietly pondering to herself how much of the faith this place represented was real. She had been raised believing there was no such thing as gods and that religion was all hokum dressed up as philosophy but now she knew for a fact that they did exist but instead of being the easy answer her father had professed it to be all it did was force questions.
She sat questioning her entire life and everything she'd ever been taught, she couldn't be sure if any of it was right but sitting at the church wasn't helping. As she stared up at the stained glass she decided she had to find the god who'd saved her again, she needed to know why he'd saved her and why he'd told her these things. She thought perhaps this meant she had some higher purpose. She refused to believe he'd just happened upon her without a plan.
As she got up she passed a man explaining to the priest that he saw an angel that taught him to use his seat belt and she chuckled about the odd conversation before stepping out the door.
(To be continued)