The most powerful being in the universe walked down the small town sidewalk, past a bookstore and cafe, and entered little studio that sold hand blown glass trinkets to tourists.
There were half a dozen people in the shop and even though they didn’t notice the fairly tall, broad shouldered man, they felt a presence, as though they could tell that something powerful was near.
One by one, they left, none of them quite knowing why.
The short, squat, and bearded shopkeeper returned from the backroom and busied himself near the register, polishing various knick knacks on his counter.
He looked up and saw the man who was currently the embodiment of the most powerful being in the universe and tried his best to pretend he didn’t see him
The being was a little perturbed for a lesser immortal to try this but he was too busy to acknowledge such slights.
“Got any lightning bolts?”
And the Smith sighed knowing that his quiet retirement was over.
“I haven’t had any for a long time.“
“Shame they’d come in handy.”
“I haven’t needed them. Not since you and your brothers killed the big guy and sent the rest of us scattering.”
“You can’t be mad about that. We let you have your run, but Zeus wouldn’t get back in line. He thought he could challenge me. Why a glass blowing studio?” the man asked walking around the shop.
“I wanted to stay close to the forge and no one needs blacksmiths anymore. And what brings you here now?”
“Because there’s a war coming and I’m going to need all the help I can get.”
The Smith tried to hide his surprise that Michael would need his help.
“I don’t know what you want from me. I’m just an Olympian. We pale in power to you and…” he paused thinking it best not to say his brother’s name, “your brother.”
“I’m recruiting everyone. Lucifer has already started marshaling his forces and he’s visited some of your kind. He already visited Hades but was rejected. Rather rudely I might add.”
The Smith laughed. People were surprised with his uncle’s contempt of the dark lord, despite people associating them, they didn’t really have much in common. And they ruled two different realms. Uncles Hades was closer to a shepherd tending a flock, where Lucifer reveled in torturing the souls that came his way.
“What about my other Uncle?”
“I haven’t tried, besides I just got a new suit and didn’t want to get it wet.”
“I wouldn’t bother. He hates you. You killed his brother.”
“As long as he sits out it’s fine with me. I just don’t need Lucifer to get anyone else. He was able to convince most of Odin’s folk to join him.”
“How did he manage that?”
“Loki helped him.”
Made sense the Smith thought, the Trickster was always sowing chaos.
“What about the Ancients?” The Smith asked. They were the real get. Beings like Death, Nature, and Time, were almost has powerful as Michael. If he either brother could convince them it would tip the scale.
“They’re remaining neutral. Time doesn’t want them taking sides. Though one did join me. You know her well.”
Figures, he thought. He was once married to Love, back when she was Aphrodite. They separated when the previous entity retired and they chose her to be promoted to the Ancients.
“Did she mention me?”
“She sent me here. And she said that if I convinced you your brethren would follow.”
“Oh I doubt it. I’m not the glorious one. You want Apollo or Athena, or even Ares.”
“They’re the flashy ones but you’re the one everyone respects.”
“Would I be here if that wasn’t true? Lying is my brother’s game.”
“I guess so.”
“You were the one there when Zeus fell. Still feeding him bolts. They rest had scattered.”
That was true, he thought. He often thought his brothers and sisters cowards.
“I still don’t get it. You have the heavenly host. Why do you need help?”
“The host isn’t as strong as it used to be, and my brother has The Fallen.”
The Smith nodded. When he rebelled, Lucifer, back when he was called Samael convinced 13 of the most powerful angels to go with him.
“And there’s something else Hephaestus. Something only you can help with.”
“Please, call me Hep I haven’t gone by that name in a long time.”
“What do you need me to do?”
“This broke in our last struggle,” he said and he snapped his fingers and a trunk appeared. When he opened it he retrieved a sword broken in two pieces.
“This is what I need you for. I need you to fix it.”
“I don’t even know if I can,” he said looking at the flaming sword of the Archangel Michael.
“You have to.”
“I can try.”
“I can’t believe it broke.”
“Keep quiet about it. If my brother knew I couldn’t use it he’ll attack.”
“I’ll do my best.”
“Your best isn’t good enough. I need this done.”
“I don’t think it’s physically possible.”
Michael’s eyes glowed a flaming orange, “Listen to me Smith. My brother is coming to kill everyone. You will not be bound by natural order. I will bend the laws of physics to my will if I have to. Just get it done.”
He hurried back to the forge where did the glass blowing. He went to his closet and retrieved his hammers.
He got the blade white hot and swung his hammer. Metal hit metal, as he worked the angelic steel. He used every spell he knew, every ounce of godly magic.
Finally, he quenched the blade and returned it to Michael.
“Perfect Hep. This will do nicely. Now I can cleave my brother in two. You have been a wonderful help. I will be in touch with you.”
And with that the most powerful being in the universe disappeared.
The Smith went back to counter and waited for the next customer.
Just then, the whole front of the shop exploded as though a meteor hit right in front of it.
An angel walked through the now destroyed front wall, “Is he here?”
The Smith was confused. He was looking at Michael resplendent in his full armor. His wings glowing white. Fire emanating from his very being.
“Lucifer wasn’t here. You were.”
“That wasn’t me.”
“I don’t get what’s happening. You just showed up saying you were gearing up for war and that I needed to fix the sword.”
“Hephaestus please tell me you didn’t fix it.”
“I did. He said it was broken when you two fought.”
“No I enchanted it to break if anyone other than me tries to use it.”
“Why would you do that?”
“Because the Heavenly Host doesn’t follow me. They follow the sword. Whoever holds the sword commands the host, as written by my all powerful father and it can’t be undone. They will be compelled to follow him.”
“Oh no is right you hammer headed oaf. You just gave the Devil the ability to defeat Heaven with its own army.”