They say the Cold War could have gone hot on multiple occasions, and on those such occasions the preservation of peace and prevention of complete and utter destruction often worryingly came down to the judgement of a single individual.
And so it was on December 21st, 2012, a Tuesday, if you could believe it, that the fate of all Olympus fell unknowingly into the hands of one underpaid secretary of the gods that went by the name of Kevin.
“Is there a problem sir?” The guest asked.
Kevin gulped. Now you see, Kevin was not what one would call a particularly intelligent guy. He flunked out of college half a semester in, lost his life savings to phishing scams, and only had the job he had now because his eyes were smarter than his brain and could see through the protective mist of the gods. So, as the Fates would have it, Kevin’s job became that of pushing a button and letting those with clearance up to the divine realm of Olympus, and when they didn’t have clearance to not push the button and sit there awkwardly till they left.
Kevin looked back and forth between the two guests and the passes they’d given him. They both looked like half bloods at least. Both were in their teens, sported Camp Half-Blood t-shirts, and had known to ask for Olympus. Any other day Kevin would have just let them pass, but today, today Kevin actually thought he’d caught something suspicious.
“We, like, already got this week’s shipment of Ambrosia though.”
The first guest, a short boy with a permanent devilish smirk and eyes with a slight yellow tint, stepped forward, “Yes, yes we know ,and I am dreadfully sorry about the inconvenience but, since it is the Winter Solstice and all we desperately wish for the Olympians to try out the camp’s latest recipe.”
He placed a briefcase in front of him and opened it to reveal several dozen golden browny like squares, Ambrosia, the food of the gods. The boy gestured to them and nodded excitedly. Kevin leaned to the side to get a look at the boy’s partner.
The girl stood a full foot taller than the boy and sported short curly brown hair and a stare so intense Kevin felt like he was shrinking every second he kept eye contact.
Kevin rubbed the back of his neck and sighed. He was a mortal, it wasn’t like he could taste test the damn things. Would the gods even let someone taste test a gift for them? Would that even matter? He looked the kids over again.
Not kids, teenagers, upper teens. They must have both been about seventeen by the looks of ‘em. There weren’t many half bloods that old and the ones that were were pretty important, important enough for them to have been to Olympus before and for Kevin to recognize them.
Now Kevin, and he swears by this, was about to turn the two away but, but , the lobbies’ intercom chose that precise moment to play Santa Baby for the sixteenth time that shift and ruin his concentration.
“Ugh not again” he whined, slamming his head into his desk. After a moment of sulking a firm yet gentle hand grasped his shoulder, “Sir.”
He raised his head up to see the girl standing besides him, her eyes a smidge less intense than before “Forgive us for troubling you, but I swear on the River Styx that we will do no wrong during our brief visit to Olympus.”
Thunder rolled in the distance.
Something cold and metallic found its way into Kevin’s right hand, he looked down and found a golden drachma, more than he made in a month. He looked back up to see the boy smiling at him, “And besides, letting us up just this once couldn’t cause too much trouble, right?”
He tossed Kevin a second Drachma, “Now, why don’t you treat yourself like the hard worker you are and get yourself some nice earplugs so you don’t have to listen to this crap any longer” the boy gave him a wink, slammed the briefcase closed and began striding towards the elevator, his partner in tow.
Kevin fumbled excitedly as he slipped the two coins into his pocket and pushed the button he had pushed a hundred times before, “H-have a Merry Christmas!” He shouted to the two half bloods, a genuine smile on his face.
The doors opened and the two stepped inside, the boy looking particularly proud of himself as he shot his partner a glance, “ Do no wrong?” He repeated mockingly under his breath, “I’m a godsdamned son of Eris and even I know not to make promises on the Styx without meaning it Justine.”
Justine rolled her eyes, “I did mean it. I will do no wrong, it just so happens that our definition of wrong might be just a tad bit different than his.”
The boy raised an eyebrow, “You know for a daughter of the goddess of Law you sure do love your loopholes.”
Justine gave him the most calculated of smirks, “Laws are just words Varian, and words can be bent in as many ways as there are words too be bent, and besides you forget-” she pressed the close door button on the elevator. “Nemesis is also the goddess of Retribution.”
Varian broke into a large grin, one hand gripping the briefcase full of Ambrosia, “Then you can bet she’s about to be very, very proud.”
The Elevator door closed as Kevin took out the two golden drachma and began giddily rubbing them together. And so he was completely unaware that he, the latest in that long line of underpaid individuals whose judgment would decide the fate of the world, had just done something that the Titans of Kronos and the Giants of Gaia could not.
He had just destroyed Olympus.
Oh well, at least he got those Hello-kitty earplugs he’d been looking to buy. A fair trade if you asked me.