The daughter of Zeus or Privatizing mount Olympus – A Play in One Act

By Franklin Frederick

Mount Olympus, home of the gods, 10:00 AM and someone knocks on the door.

Hera, wife of Zeus, opens the door and see three men standing dressed in blue, grey and black suits.

-Good morning Madame. – they say together.

-Humans! What are you doing here? Who are you?

Man in Grey:

-We would like to have a few words with you and your husband.

Man in Black:

-We have some important news.

Man in Blue:

-And we have a message for you – from your son Ares.

– Zeus, come here, these humans have a messagefor us – from Ares! We haven’t heard from him in ages!

Zeus approaches the door.Looks angrily at the humans:

-How dare you come to my house!!! Humans!!

Man in Grey:

-Good morning Mr. Zeus. We apologize for coming unannounced but there was no other way. This letter is for you – it may help you understand why we came. it is from your son Ares. – he gives the letter to Zeus.

– Read it Zeus – says Hera – I want to know what he wrote!

Zeus opens the letter and reads aloud:

“Father and Mother,

I do not have much time to write and explain. The humans who brought you this letter will tell more. I just ask you to listen to them. They may change your life as they changed mine. I haven’t been happier since the Peloponnesian War!

Your son,

Ares”

Man in Blue:

-May we come in now and talk?

Zeus and Hera look at each other puzzled but let the three men in. They all seat in a sofa opposing a little table and another sofa were Zeus and Hera seat.

Man in Black:

-Let me introduce ourselves. We work for the European Central Bank, an institution you may have heard about. Your son Ares works with us since many years now! We all love him, such a fine chap! He began his career as Personal Advisor to Mr. Wolfgang Schäuble and is now Policy Advisor in our institution. Today we do not know how we could work without him! The Americans are so envious, they would love to have him working for them but your son, clever and loyal Ares, said he prefers to stay in Europe! Lucky us!

Zeus and Hera look at each other, still puzzled, and back at the three men:

Man in Grey:

-I know it is all very surprising and it may be hard to understand in the beginning…

-Man in Blue:

-But, nevertheless, we have some important issues to discuss. The fact is that we privatized the Mount Olympus…

-Privatized?!! – exclaims Zeus.

Man in Black:

-Yes, privatized, it was the best thing to be done, your son fully supported us in this. Actually, most of the privatization agreements are under him as Policy Advisor, he adores it!

Man in Grey:

-But do not worry, nothing has to change immediately in your life. That’s what we came to discuss.

Man in Blue:

-Just that you will need, from now on, to pay rent, of course…

Zeus, furious, stand up and shout:

-Pay rent! Me, the father of the gods!!!Hera, where are my lightning bolts, I will burn these humans to ashes!

Man in Black:

-We must inform you that we also privatized the electricity…So, if you use one of these lightning bolts of yours, you will have to pay…

Man in Grey:

-And it will be VERY expensive… and a waste of energy, which is contrary to our corporate sustainability goals…

Zeus, feeling impotent, seats back, tired. Hera holds him

Man in Blue:

-This question of the rent is a minor problem that we can easily solve. In fact, we have a proposal for you…

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Man in Black:

-That’s really why we came. Would you and your wife be interested in working with us as well, like your son and your brother Hades…

-My brother Hades?! He is also working with you?!

-He is my brother too! – says Hera – And he never told me anything about it!

Man in Grey:

-Oh, we are sorry, we thought he had informed you. He works since long with us…

– I don’t believe it!! – Zeus looks around – Iris, Iris, come here!

Iris, messenger of the gods, promptly arrives:

-Here I am, O thou powerful Zeus!!

-Go to Hades now and tell him to come to me!

Iris disappears and in less than a minute is back with Hades, who is also dressed in a dark suit.

-Hades, my brother, what is this that you wear? -exclaims Hera.

– It is a Hugo Boss full suit, nice isn’t it? It is very comfortable.

-But Hades, my brother, are you really working with these humans? You, a god? I can understand Ares, he was never very intelligent, but you?

-Well, brother and sister, we have to go with the times, modernize… The fact is, everything changed, we haven’t seen each other for such a long time…Where I lived there was so many problems… The river Styx, for instance, did you know that it dried up?

-The river Styxdried up? How come? – asks Hera

-I do not know why. There is not as much water as before…and all the water of the Styx is gone…You remember Charon, the ferryman? His only duty was to cross the dead people to the other side of the Styx… But since the Styx dried up, Charon is unemployed… If he were not already a shadow, one could say that he was a shadow of his former self…a shadow of a shadow… Unemployment is hard… Then one day these humans came to me, they talked, I listened … new perspectives were open to me, I began to work with them… I am much happier now…

-But what do you do with the humans? – asked Zeus, genuinely curious.

– It is difficult to explain if you do not know much about how the human world works…  When the humans came to me, they first asked if I could help them with my knowledge of the mineral and the underworld… Then, soon I was in the Advisory Board of several Oil and Mining Companies and really enjoying it…

– But don’t you miss home? … asked Hera.

-Well…in the beginning yes, but there was much excitement and when I discovered what I could do through mining and fracking…

-Fracking? What is it?

-It is a way of extracting oil…it is complicated to explain now, my point is that everywhere we were doing it, I had such a feeling of being cosily AT HOME! Through mining and fracking I could make any place be my house! Amazing! And this is not all! I can help others. I am responsible as well for human resources for several institutions…

– What is human resource? – asked Zeus, more and more perplexed.

– Well, it is like finding employment to people who are under my domain. There are many corporations interested in hiring subjects of mine and they come to me to see if I allow them to go. Depending on the situation and the kind of working contract I am always willing to help. King Midas, for instance, he now works for a company called Goldman Sachs, I do not know if you ever heard of them…

-No…- answers Zeus.

-Never mind…Anyway, I could also help Charon to find a new job. He is very happy now working for the European Refugee Centre… And do you remember Procustes?

– The one of the bed? – Zeus asked.

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-Which bed? – asked Hera.

– I think he lived on Mount Korydallos and he had the habit of inviting every passer by to spend the night with him and if this person didn’t fit in his iron bed, Procustes would either cut his legs or work on them with hammers and other instruments to stretch them to fit…-  Zeus explains.

-Yes, exactly, this one, you always had a very good memory brother! So, Procustes was in my domain, doing nothing, and now he is well-employed, happier as never before…

– And what is he doing?

– He is responsible for the Adjustment Programs of the International Monetary Fund, a fine human institution, Ares just loves it. We often party together, Ares, me and the people who work with us. I am telling you – you must modernize, listen to the humans, they said they have a proposal for you…

Man in Grey:

-Yes, it is a very good proposal and if you both accept it, there will be no need to pay rent on your house…. Instead, you will even get a nice payment to compensate you for your efforts…

Man in Blue:

-We are helping to finance a new luxury resort here in Greece – it will be called “Living with the Gods” – and we want you both to help us with the marketing…

Man in Black:

-And to be there for part of the year, socializing, making selfies with the clients…

-Selfies?….-asks Hera.

-It is like portraits with them… Just being around…. Let them be close to you, talk to you….go to parties, cocktails, play some games with them…

Man in Grey:

-But that is not all… We are also launching a new ultramodern luxurious office building – the OLYMPUS TOWER – and who better than Zeus himself to promote it? Trump will die of envy!!! What is a Trump Tower compared to an Olympus Tower?… – the three men laugh.

Man in Blue, controlling himself to stop laughing:

-We also have a special proposal to Madame Hera…

Man in Black:

-Oh yes, something to make justice to your beauty Madame…

– What is it? – asks Hera, her eyes shining.

Man in Grey:

-A personal beauty products line with your name…

Man in Blue:

-For personal use and also for homes…

Man in Black:

-Aphrodite is working for Helena Rubinstein … she has her own beauty products line…

-Does she? – says Hera with contempt.

-Man in Grey:

-But we are sure we can get a much better deal for you with L’Oreal.

Man in Blue:

-We already talked about it with our good friends Peter Brabeck and Emmanuel Macron, such nice people, they are eager to meet you! You know them, don’t you Mr.Hades?

Hades:

-Oh, yes, they are lovely! I see Peter Brabeck very often, we sit together in the advisory board of many corporations. We really enjoy talking to each other, we have so much in common! And Emmanuel Macron, I had dinner with him a few weeks ago. He asked if I could lend him my dog Cerberus. He believed Cerberus could be very helpful to him in dealing with the Yellow Vests…

Man in Black:

– Nasty people these Yellow Vests!

Hades:

-Indeed, very nasty people. So, as I am always willing to help a good friend, I told Macron that his police could take Cerberus for a walk every Saturday.

Man in Blue, turning to Hera:

-Madame Hera, I insist that you think about working for L’ Oreal. You are soooo much more beautiful than Aphrodite…

Man in Black:

-She is so common, she does not have your …how would I say?

Man in Grey:

-Royalty?

Man in Black:

-Exact! Royalty – your royal beauty!

-You think so? -asks Hera, smiling.

All three men, looking and nodding to each other:

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-Definitively, no comparison! You are by far the most beautiful goddess…

Hera looks at Zeus, still smiling, and comments:

-Well, Zeus dear, don’t you think we could accept the proposal of these gentle humans? It seems to be a lot of fun….

Zeus, still undecided:

-Well, I do not know….

Suddenly a light shine at the door and Athena arrive:

-Father, here I am, Athena!

-Daughter, why are you here?

-I know what these men are trying to do, what they already did to Ares and Hades…it is evil, you should not accept!

-And who are you, you motherless creature, to come here, MY HOUSE, uninvited, and tell us what to do? – Hera shouts, angrily.

– She is MY DAUGHTER, Hera, and this is my house too… – answers Zeus.

-There is a war among humans on Earth, Father, a dreadful war! – says Athena, passionately – A war like no other, a war against Creation itself, against our Mother Gaia …There are humans fighting for Gaia, helping to protect her! We must help them!

Man in Black:

-Listen young lady, you have been away for far too long, there is nothing like it going on…

– Where have you been Daughter, all these years?…

– I went to a place very, very far away, where Apollo and his chariot dive into the sea …an island called Cuba… one of the few places on Earth today where I am always welcomed…. From there I am helping the resistance, organizing with the others…

– Which others? – asks Zeus.

– Prometheus…

-Him? He once disobeyed me…

-But he was right! He brought the divine fire to humanity… He lives now in a place called Venezuela, from where the divine fire will shine again… And your sister Demeter, she is also with us… She is inspiring young people all over the world to fight for her, with her! Join us Father, fight with us, do not listen to these other humans…

Man in Grey:

-You are far too young to know what you are talking about girl… Grow up…

Man in Blue, addressing Zeus:

-Will you listen to her, such a young girl, or to us, adult and responsible human beings?

-Remember Father, much, much before you were born, long, long ago there was already our mother Gaia… Do not betray her! The Greek people, our people, together with people from all over the Earth are fighting for Gaia, defending her from this merciless creature that the humans call CAPITALISM, a monster worse than Scylla or Charibdis. Let not Hades or Ares misguide you. Tell these humans to leave your house immediately, their allegiance is not with us or our kind, they serve other gods from I do not know which world…

-Shut up girl! – shout the men.

Zeus rises up, reaches for his lightning bolt and says:

-Shut up YOU men! She is MY daughter, she is the best of me! Athena is her name, respect her! From her youth comes the wisdom that you never had, could never have! Now leave! My decision is taken. I have been very stupid but I also learn – from HER. And from Demeter, and from Gaia…

-Let’s go Father! There is much to do! From the island of Cuba to the islands of Greece, from the shores of Europe to the shores of Venezuela people are coming  together to fight! Let’s help them!

-Go Daughter! You ahead! It is you leading now!