We sit around the long table in the Hall of Council, my Deities and I. They are mine, in all but name. I take a contented breath and sit straighter in my Throne. This particular meeting has been dragging on for longer than usual, but I must remain the very image of godliness.
After much deliberation, I decided not to redecorate the Hall. The gold and marble might be outdated, but it is a leftover from an age of stability, and it would not speak well of my intentions if I were to change so much so quickly. I disliked the cold, hard marble Throne I now sit in, but a mountain of cushions has alleviated that particular bother.
The others are discussing the ranks of the Pantheon, and wondering who should be raised in the coming decades, who should be watched, and who should be pruned from our heavenly banzai.
“Kiei’s the real problem,” one of my new Council members cuts in. Hand picked for my new Council, Sheyed is the only Deity who hates Kiei more than I. “He’s a reminder of the old Council – a reminder that our rule is still young and untested by time. Any mistakes we make, anything the rest of the Pantheon finds us at fault for, will be fuel for Kiei. For whoever wishes to sieze power.” She looks around the Hall and meets the eyes of each Deity in turn. Her gaze smolders with the fire of hate. “We get rid of Kiei, and we never have to worry about being challenged. He is the only one who comes close to matching Qae in power. He must go.”
I must admit, I did not think her this wily when I killed off the former Council member whose throne she now commands. A smile touches the corners of my mouth. She will be instrumental in bringing down the former head of the Council; Kiei doesn’t stand a chance.
There is a knock at the door to the Hall – a quiet ‘tap, tap’ almost drowned out by the Council’s argument. I raise a single hand, and all talking stops immediately.
“Who dares to interrupt a meeting of the Council?” I command of the knocker.
“It is your humble servant, Ies,” a voice whines from outside.
I do not recognize the name, but that is not uncommon. Many insignificant Deities still walk the skies of the Heavenly Plane; something that is going to change very soon. “For what do you knock, little god?”
“I have brought tea,” the whine declares proudly.
A moments silence as we inside the hall all blink at each other.
“And muffins,” the annoying voice adds.
It is several seconds before I can reply. “You want to enter the Hall…to bring tea and muffins.”
“Very good, yes, exactly so!”
“What did you say your name was?” I motion to Wiro, the god in charge of the Pantheon’s lower ranks. He nods, understanding that this idiot god should be demoted as low as possible.
“Ies, oh great and powerful Dainty,” the god replies happily.
“What did you say?” This puny god dares to insult…
“Only that you are a great and powerful Deity, my master! Oh yes, the greatest of them all, unmatched in the seven seas!”
I press my fingers to my temples, and will away a growing headache. Then I turn to Wiro. “Make sure he is stationed as far away from my central system as possible. If I ever here his whiny voice again, it’s your throne, Wiro.” He nods affirmative, and I sigh. I am about to tell the guards to throw him out, but realize I am rather in the mood for a snack. Might as well make the most of the situation.
“Well, what are you waiting for, bring in the tea and muffins!”