Protection from Kaiju
Zeus and Hera sat together on a couch of archaic design, its cushions being woolen bags stuffed with fragrant herbs, resting on a web of leather straps.
"You who have returned from dark Tartaros — speak to us now of Echidna," said Zeus.
Eirlys had opinions. "She's a horrible, amoral, self-centered psychopathic horror-loving demon."
"Is she planning to challenge Olympus?"
"She sounded like she would avoid any sort of a war — she was sure she'd lose if she tried, so she was just going to putter around with little projects like me, without any big purpose. In particular she doesn't want Typhon to get free. Or she was being deceptive. You might want to have sentinals watch her." Kaiju and Eirlys summarized their visit.
"I do! My hidden brother has many subjects who can be quiet and stealthy and keep a long close watch, on account of being dead."
"So it seems as though Echidna is beingharmless for the moment," said Zeus.
"Except for implanting deadly eggs in occasional innocent mortals," said Eirlys. "Which we have no particular answer for."
"And it does not seem that the gods of Olympus can save me from this egg. Our only approach would be to somehow get Echidna herself to save you, but she claims to be unable"
"That is so," Hera admitted.
"Now, we just did you a service, of scouting and spying, at some considerable danger to ourselves," said Kaiju."I request a boon in exchange."
"What boon? After a few unpleasant myths, we no longer offer "anything you want" as a boon," said Zeus.
"I want a thunderbolt," said Kaiju.
"You could not hold it.That is a weapon beyond most gods,much less mortals," said Zeus.
"Oh, I don't want it as a weapon for myself. I want you to kill me with it, if I need killing. Eor example, if I hatch into a rampaging dragon burninating Pegana, say, or trying to eat Eirlys — dispose of me fast and thoroughly,before I hurt her or anyone else," said Kaiju.
"A sad boon, but wise and responsible," said Hera. "It shall be granted, if needed.
Eirlys hugged on Kaiju, whimpering sadly. she added, "I want some recognition sign, some way for you to say "I'm Kaiju, don't kill me," if you're a kind of dragon that can't talk," said Eirlys.
"Now that you mention it, I would like that too."
"I'll draw an 'E' for Eirlys. Also it should be easy to do with whatever paws i've got, and recognizable."
"Also, not killing and eating anyone is a good start.
"Is it, really? One of Echidna's guesses was that I'd hatch as a wild animal. How do you feel about, oh, taming the beast that came out of my head? Having a pet dragon could be awesome, but one that cost my life... I don't know how you feel about that"
"On the other hand it's like — if I am going to die, you might as well get an awesome pet out of it, I suppose. Instead of just a dead wife."
"I have trouble with that logic, said Eirlys.
"Me, too,"said Hera.
"Think of it as a final gift — the last thing I could possibly give."
"Jointly From you and you killer."
"OK, that's a bit morbid."
"There are too many variations and possibilities to try to game them out in advance.
"It is the hour of dining," said Iris. Eirlys, Kaiju, please stay for three nights; a guest room has been prepared for you. She conducted Kaiju and Eirlys along certain wide corridors, past windows showing the wild mountainscape of Olympus. At the head of the bed was a small vase of white flowers springing from a black bulb. Eirlys thought they were snowdrops, like her name.
Sleep did not come easily that night.