Author : Andrew Bolt

“Why is there no Zeus, Vale? Why am I the only one?”

Dee sits on a pile of aquamarine thermal pillows. Cushions of air, tinted and pressurized, hold her aloft, warming her blood and chlorophyll and making her glow red and green like Christmas.

“C’mon, Dee. You know this one. You were the only one with enough residual Psi-fi left. Something to do with the mineral content of that sanctuary in Sicily. I don’t know. I don’t get it either. But the point is, we haven’t found enough psychic residue to recorporate anyone else.”

Her eyes darken. It’s subtle, but I’ve been watching this for months now. It’s an open secret that she’s been growing peyote in her arterial walls for the last twenty or thirty years. She’s just released some into her bloodstream. Her metabolism operates at a rate fifty or sixty times that of a professional athlete. The amount required to have even a mild effect must be incredible.

“What about Ares? That temple in Thrace?” she inquires with a slight slurring.

“Yeah, well, we talked about that, too. Believe it or not, the WestHem government is not thrilled about the idea of recorporating the ancient god of murder. There’s a spot somewhere outside of Parga that we could probably use to pull together Hades, but we’re not going to be doing that either. Death-related gods are not considered viable candidates.”

“We’re not gods.”


“I’m not a god,” she mumbles, drifting both physically and mentally. “I’m a physical embodiment of the neural energy empowering a generalized faith in something like me. I’m a recorporated Tinkerbell, powered by your fucking belief in fairies. I exist because some government tool clapped too hard and brought me back from Never-never-land with that damn PsiReCor.”

“To Never-never-land.”

“Hmmm?” Her head lolls to the side.

“Tinkerbell died. The clapping brought her back to Never-never-land.”

Dee glances around at the walls of her room, a plush setting that looks like a cross between a botanical garden and a medlab.

“My mistake.”

Screw the Westie rules. I slip my electric bandolier off my shoulder and settle next to her on the thermal couch. Up close, she looks terrible. Greenish veins trace spider webs down her cheeks. Sweat is slick on her face and hands, even though the couch is set at only slightly above room temperature. She coughs once. I lay my arm across her shoulders.

“I’ve saved the world, more or less,” she murmurs. “You have food growing everywhere, in deserts, around the poles, on the surface of all major oceans, even on the moon colony that everyone said was impossible. Why do you still need me?”

She gazes at me distractedly, a milky white film over her eyes.

“Why am I still here?”

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