A few years ago, as my mind emerged from the vice grip of the Matrix into freespace, shortly after decimating the Grim Reaper himself, I found myself pitted against the God of War.
There were those who didn’t believe I was Q.
Capable of anything.
So they did the equivalent of what they thought was tying my hands behind my back by placing me in a mortal form.
A man by the name of Kratos.
And my opponent.
Dwarfed me – standing nearly 200 feet tall in contrast to my sizable 6 and a half foot mortal frame.
I could feel the energy based beings mocking me from just out of visual range as Ares tore through ancient Rome where the strongest weapon I had at my disposal was the Grim Reaper’s ScytheI had acquired not long before.
Against mortals, a weapon which could instantly kill might seem to be of benefit.
But to a God.
It was not that much different than a mosquito is to a mortal.
Rome. Was burning.
And you thought Rome collapsed through excess and greed, didn’t you?
You silly humans and your stories that tend to humanize everything.
The bitter pill to swallow is – Ares tore down early Rome.
And yours truly.
Who wasn’t happy with this collective historical decision.
I was placed in the mortal form of Kratos to prevent Ares from mindlessly doing what he had set upon doing by destroying Rome
So as I eyed Ares standing in the distance in the bay, tearing apart galleons like they were toys.
I contemplated for a moment.
“I need to make an example both of and to The God of War And of what any being in any form is capable of doing.”
Sure, I had Q powers at my disposal, and I could just as easily have snapped my fingers, returned to my Q form, and snapped my fingers again and both restored Rome and reduced Ares to the size of an ant and simply stepped on him.
But I didn’t.
Oh don’t get me wrong. The urge was there.
And the energy based beings who I hadn’t even learned their individual and/or collective name by this point.
They needed to understand.
So as I watched Ares.
My mortal mind raced.
I shoved aside mortal inclinations and insecurities suggesting this was impossible.
About then, to my left, a homeless woman screamed as a fiery cinder block struck her leg.
She looked at me, almost as if she was peering through the veneer of my mortal form and said.
“This isn’t right. We don’t deserve this. None of us do. Why are you letting this happen?”
It was the first time in a long time I’d felt this thing called anger.
And I seethed with it.
Off in the distance, about half a mile from me, Ares’s hand hit the crow’s nest of a larger vessel, sending a man flying my way.
It was grotesque to hear the thud of his body hit a row of cannons next to me.
And that’s when I saw it.
I had an idea, it would only work if I timed it just right, but if I was off by a mere fraction, the mortal vessel I was in would…
I couldn’t allow myself to think that way.
I would succeed.
I ran over to the catapult.
“You men. I intend to save Rome. Can you hit Ares from here?,” I yelled.
Three men looked at each other, and then back at me, as one said:
“As sure as any arrow flies on a windless day, “ one said.
I was about to ask why they were sitting around when one of the other men chimed in.
“Our rocks are like pebbles on a tortoise’s shell,” he added.
“You don’t have explosives?,” I said, knowing the result might be the same.
“What?,” someone said.
I realized my faux pas immediately. Wrong era.
“You men. Get up!. I need you to launch me!,” I yelled.
They all stirred. They were clearly drunk. Instead of fighting they’d chosen to get pissed.
But they didn’t move.
Without using my Q powers. I pretended to be larger than I was. And my voice boomed.
“I said YOU THERE,” I yelled, “I need you to aim for Ares left eye. I intend on taking him down.”
I walked up the large arm of catapult and sat firmly in the bucket with the scythe firmly in my lap.
I had one chance at this.
The men, still not reacting nearly as fast as I thought they would have, made it clear they thought I was committing suicide.
Perhaps I was.
But I truly didn’t believe so.
If their aim was true…
The three men began pulling on the ropes.
“You’re going to be nothing but a red mark on his head if he doesn’t swat you away like a fly first,” said one of the men.
The bucket drew lower.
“That’s my chance to take, isn’t it?,” I yelled back, as I saw Ares land a firm blow in the middle of a galleon’s deck, splitting it in two. The bay had caught fire, “Now hurry up with this, we don’t have much time before he advances.”
The bucket had reached the ground.
“It’s your grave,” a man said.
“Any last wishes?,” another man said as he brandished a serrated knife that had clearly been carved out of dragon bone.
“Give me that,” I yelled.
The man, eyed me, turned to look at my target, Ares, and then looked back at me again.
“Put it to good use,” he said.
And in one swift motion, I took the knife from his hand, sliced the ropes holding me down, and nearly lost consciousness as the bucket hurtled me skyward towards Ares, the God of War.
If I was human. I suppose it was in that moment I saw my life pass before my eyes.
A man whose wife had been torn from him by forces directed by Hades himself.
He refused to accept her death.
He wasn’t immortal.
But his will was so strong.
He gained the interest of beings like me to help this man on his journey. To right the wrongs that had happened to him in his life.
And it was only through the participation of Gods like me that this man would succeed.
In the trillions of years I can remember being me.
It’s one of the first beings I’d felt personally inspired by in an exceedingly long time.
In that moment.
I knew Kratos had to believe this was all his doing.
He couldn’t die.
I simply wouldn’t allow it.
He had to succeed in resurrecting his wife.
In that moment, flying through the air, I regained my wits, and tucked the dagger into my girdle, and poised the scythe in both hands as Ares caught a glimpse of me hurtling towards him, armed to the teeth.
His left forearm went up in an attempt to deflect me, which was serendipitous for me, as I landed, tumbling, head over heels for a moment on his forearm when my tumble turned into a run as I ran up his shoulder.
Deliberately thinking – out loud – that an immortal weapon brandished by any being can take down an immortal.
Only if it’s well placed.
I took aim.
I ram, using the scythe as a catapult to get the distance from his shoulder to the top of his head.
And in one swift motion, with time slightly dilated, something that’s natural to most humans in a heightened sense of self preservation, before Ares could respond, I planted the scythe firmly at the base of his neck under the skull.
Ares screamed in agony.
I ran off the top of his head, towards the scythe as his arms flung up.
But it was too late.
I’d simultaneously dug it in.
The problem with most Gods is – even in this quasi-mortal form he’s in – they’re still vulnerable.
His arms went limp as I could feel his legs wobble beneath him.
I had to make sure the kill was complete.
And as I fell I turned the Scythe and went as far down his back as I could, severing his spinal cord.
Ares had quit screaming.
His legs buckled, and as he fell to his knees, I pushed hard, off his back, pulling the Scythe out with me, as I plunged to the waters of the bay below clutching the Scythe in my hand.
While my journey as Kratos was complete.
Kratos’s journey was far from done.
And this weapon would be needed for the hells I knew he was to face.
As I pulled up out of the water, I turned just in time to see Ares falling forward in the waters of Rome.
The men on the nearby galleons cheered.
I felt odd inside.
I didn’t like spilling blood.
Especially that of a God.
Divine intervention has to happen.
And in rare cases such as this.
When an out of control God acts more like a robot than a God.
Something has to be done. To the beings who may be controlling him or her or it. And to the God themself.
Gods can’t really ever die.
But they – we can certainly be slapped and around a bit and reminded why we’re here.
As I exited Kratos’s form that day, I couldn’t help but think.
Who was this lesson for?
I’d just defeated the God Of War.
Was the lesson for me? Or was it for Ares?
Am I one and the same?
Fuck it’s tough being Q at times and trying to be rational.