Chapter 17

As I continue this report fifty more years have passed. I must begin with the sad note that sixteen more of those that came here are lost to our effort. Their age has simply caught up with them. But the rest of us are much younger. I believe it should be another three hundred years or so before I have to report any more losses, and then I am afraid our numbers will begin to dwindle quickly for many of us are approximately the same age. I am the youngest of all! My dear wife is even a hundred years older than myself. I fear that some day I may be the only one walking The Halls Of Olympus!
2 There has been a difficulty. I have had to punish one of my sons, Prometheus, severely. He gave the natives knowledge on how to make forges in which they could work iron. He did not think it an unreasonable thing. But Creos had forbidden him to do this. He did not want the people to develop the use of iron for another thousand years, if possible, because as soon as they developed it, their enemies would learn of it, and they, too would have iron weapons. Prometheus did not listen, and gave the people the knowledge of the forges. The information has quickly been carried throughout the area, and all the peoples in the region are beginning to work iron. Creos is furious! I think he would've killed Prometheus, had I not interceeded. But he insisted that Prometheus be put somewhere where he could do no harm, by himself. So I have put him on an island to the north with all he needs, and his mother comes by once a month with fresh provisions. To make sure that he does not leave I have put a device on the island that will destroy within a hundred miles if Prometheus moves ten miles away from it. Even one of our ships would not be able to travel fast enough to carry him out of the blast zone. So he is there by himself. Occasional people might wander by, but he would be unable to leave with any of them. He is bound to that place, as surely if he was chained to a rock! Creos is satisfied with this arrangement. Many of the natives do not approve. They do not see that Prometheus has committed any fault. They cannot understand how destabilizing their having this technology will make them. Creos says they could've held the empire to the east off for a thousand years. But with iron weapons they'll be lucky if they can hold them off for a couple of hundred. It is a major setback to his efforts!
3 Our women continue to suffer from low birth rates. Our men are producing more children with the natives. But they are finding that even they are slowing down. They can only keep company with one woman to a time instead of two or three, and it is taking them longer to fertilize them. Again Creos says it is because there are so few of us. Even with all the extra energy Hades is producing, there is not enough. We will simply not be able to produce children the way we would've had if there had been three or four thousand of us, and thousands of souls in The Afterlife to be born and maintain the energy. "It is incredible," he has told me, "that your people understood the necessity of taking thousands of unattached souls with you in your colony ships! You brought enough souls to enter many of the new bodies you created! You lowered the birth rates on the worlds you left because there were not enough souls to be born. Without knowing why you did everything right!"
4 "What if we colonized a world," I asked him, "where the people were equally developed to us? Would we have all those problems?"
5 "I don't think so," Creos answered. "Among The Three Great Races almost Everyone could be born in each others' bodies! I had several lifetimes as members of the other Races, which I think gave me an advantage. Those among us that have lived in several different types of bodies have to shed far less energy to use a local form than those that haven't, those from just one race. Your people's diversity helped you, tremendously! Now, if you will go talk to the Kings in these three cities, I will go talk to the ones in these. We must unify these people into functioning local governments, city states that will cooperate with one another, or they will never be able to withstand what is coming. If they are separate little nations that take months to get others to help them, they'll never have a chance! The moment one is attacked, others must immediately come to their aid or they will never be able to drive this enemy off."
6 "I will do my best!" I agreed. "They all want Dionysus to bring them some of his cuttings and establish his grapes in their vinyards. The quality of our wine is beyond anything they can prepare. He does not like to leave Olympus and his wife for very long. He will tend my vinyards but I'm having a hard time getting him to go and help the wine masters of these Kings, even when the youngest and fairest girls are offered him!"
7 Creos thought for a moment. "Have the Kings offer him mature women," he suggested, "still fertile, still attractive, but that have had experience. I might possibly be wrong, but I think this might be the solution to your problem."
8 I did as Creos suggested. As usual he proved right! Not only did the Kings get their vinyards, we got several more children! I do not know why I do not see these things, and Creos does so easily, perhaps because it is the Olympian way to seek the young and the fair, and I did not think that my son would vary from this. But all in all, the last few years have not been that bad for us. I grieve that I had to send my son away, but he should've listened to his elders. And I have told everyone in Olympus that Creos is my equal. His instructions are to be obeyed, unless I order directly that they are not, and I have seen no reason to ever do so. If nothing else, when our days here are done, there will not be a blood group among these people that does not carry our ancestry from at least one of us, if not two or three. There may be a constant intermix among these people, keeping our inheritance at a high level, perhaps not a perfect colony, but a presence, nonetheless!

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