“Do you know who I am?” The voice was a deep mechanical whirr.
“Yes… Oh dear Zeus, protect me,” responded the blindfolded man.
“What is my name?”
“Say it Priest!”
“What else?” Monster poked a small with a staff. The staff’s crown had the shape of a golden-bearded face, eyes diamonds.
“Father Zeus, protect me!”
“Call him you whining crust!” The whirring voice increased with breath, an engine of the lungs.
“Creature! Fiend! Wretch! It!” “Through clenched teeth, “The experiment of the Doctor!”
“Wrong. I am his son, and it means stronghold of freemen, but I have chosen a new name.”
“You are no so son, or man. No vital essence courses through you. You are soulless.”
The fire bounced shadows about the cave, an unwanted and unruly audience. Fiend rose, using the staff like a cane. He had to duck so not to hit stone and stepped over the fire. His foot fell heavy on the granite. He stood before the Priest whose hands were bound behind his back. His fear the smell of shit that soaked his white robe and mixed with the smoke of the flames. Fiend used the staff to remove the blindfold.
Is this a test? The Priest thought the Minotaur was before him. The beast was huge, near two men in height. But as the fire’s light revealed more, he saw no horns. This was no act of gods. This was an abomination. Patchwork of grey skin was just a façade. Metal hid between sown skin around the forehead and neck. But it was too human, delicately crafted – metallic blue eyes wet with moisture, saliva caked at the corners of its mouth. It wore a brown fur coat. Chest was covered, but its massive legs were exposed, and between them: Nothing. When it spoke, the mouthparts moved perfectly, so human-like, thousands of mini-gods at work.
“Call me Adam. Simple, yes?”
“Father Zeus will not stand for this!”
“Zeus is useless.”
“Zeus is the god of gods!”
“Zeus is no god to me. My father is the true Prometheus, and he bore me the way he saw fit.” Adam leaned down, knees grinding like gears. “Your father Zeus is a flashy mongrel to me.”
The priest shuffled back. He yelped, “Blaspheme!”
A gust of wind threatened to put out the fire. Rain began to fall, small waterfalls dripping at the mouth of the cave. Thunder rumbled with ferocity that shook the cave.
“He is coming, vile insect!”
“Good.” Adam grabbed the priest by the back of the neck and dragged him out of the cave.
“What are you going to do? Let me go, and I will allow you to live! I will speak with Zeus!”
“You are the head priest, the one who sacrificed humans to Zeus? You are his favorite?”
“Yes! So obey me, and you will live.”
Outside, rain fell like needles but in the corner of the sky moonlight watched the playground with anticipation. Adam shoved him out the cave. The Priest hit the ground hard. His face scraped and head cracked. Blood ran down the side of his chin and into his beard.
The storm brewed, heavy with heat and friction. Lightning slammed like angry heels into the mountains behind the cave.
“Your great Zeus ordered his son to kill my father. Adam stepped behind the priest and grabbed his neck.
“No, please,” struggled the priest.
“I am sorry, truly. And I thank you for your sacrifice.” Adam snapped his neck with one quick twist of his wrist. He threw the limp body on the ground.
Clouds formed into a black sphere above. Lightning bolts snapped like whips.
“See before you, your most prized human, bleeding on your ground like cows and pigs! And I will kill them all!”
A bolt of lightning erupted from the cloud. It struck Adam in the face like a boxer’s left hook. Adam flew back ten feet and crashed on the ground.
“Is that all you got?” Smoke curled from his lips.
The sphere took the shape of a glowered face.
Three bolts shot out of the clouds, and, as before, struck Adam with boxer blows: hooks, upper cuts, and a cross.
Part of Adam’s facial skin burned off. The metal underneath was not so much skeletal as it was sculpted: bronzed into human features. Even metal lips covered metallic teeth. Adam crawled to the staff and grabbed it. He struggled to stand. The cloud rumbled on like a stampede.
“Ha! You are nothing to me, nothing but a monster!” Adam smashed the cane. The diamond eyes shattered and wood splintered, and the gold scattered across the stone ground.
The spherical cloud shrunk down to the size of an iron cannonball. Silence hung in the air. The rain froze, trapped in time. Air tasted of salt and acid. A dozen bolts snapped out of the sphere.
Adam exposed his chest. The lightning struck two metal bolts screwed at the sides of his heart. His eyes blazed with white fire. Light lit his heart and spilled out his mouth. He let out a roar that challenged Zeus’ thunder. He then collapsed but immediately stood. Electricity danced on his frame. Again, Zeus spit out tongues of bolts that struck Adam. He laughed and absorbed the god’s energy.
“Yes!” Adam grabbed a boulder ten times his mass and chucked it at the cloud. It popped a hole in the brume. The cloud fled with defeat, dissipating towards a mountainous range. The thunderous rumble like an exhausted dog’s breath.
Adam stood staring at the clearing sky. Energy coursed through his body.
The clouds raced towards the horizon in the distance allowing the suns first birth of beams to crawl out.
“Hercules, your ass is mine.”