An Alternate Ending For the Storm and Stress Part 1: Organizing the Chaos Within

That night, while Daniel rested, he was visited by a cloaked man. The man leaned over Daniel and put two fingers on his eyes, and suddenly Daedalus’ mind awakened. Waves of emotions came crashing over him, hitting him hard. The booming, buzzing confusion arrested him. Then the gears in his brain started to move again with lightning momentum. Bioelectric information started to race through his brain, and his entire body felt a jolt. Daedalus awoke. He was in a bright place surrounded by fog that limited how far he could see.

“Let’s walk,” A familiar voice said.

“Soren, what are you doing here?” Daedalus asked.

“This is your dream, you tell me,” He said with a great smile, then continued, “You have the look upon you that you’re expecting to wake up. This realm is more ancient than you or I though. More ancient than the Earth. Without it, the mortal realm couldn’t exist.

Daedalus followed Soren’s lead as he walked towards a darkened area. They both were dressed in elegant, white robes. “Daedalus, something I am always amazed by is your heart. You’ve got a heart of gold. With it, you feel the world more heavily than a mere mortal. However, since you are mortal, you feel it heavier still.”

The young man paused for a moment and looked at the aging man. Soren stood there with a sparkle in his eyes. He may have seen many years, but his eyes still had a certain youth about them. As Daedalus looked harder at Soren, he noticed something.

“Ah, you’re starting to see, are you? Your eyes are peeled. I can tell by your eyes. You have the look upon you like you’ve seen the magician before he’s gone on stage now. You’re beginning to read in between the lines, see past the graveyard of causes and effects into the possible. I call this sort of vision ‘prudence.’ You know about this though, because we’ve read Aristotle.

Daedalus and Soren then stopped upon a dark precipice looking downward. In his view appeared Earth. As he focused his eyes, he could zoom in and out of individual human lives hustling and bustling, hear soft rain hit tropical trees, he could smell the wind of the ocean. His focus was razor-sharp, anything he wanted to attend to he could at will, so he went to see the Nausica sleeping.

“Ah, yes. Nausica. If you look harder, you’ll see her sad fate. I’m truly sorry, Daedalus. She is one of a kind. It’s a shame that cancer is eating her from the inside.”

Daedalus has only felt like this once before; he felt cursed, with a heart crushed. I know you will make the next few months with her the best month of her life, and she will give you something that will help you along the way. Stay by her side, son. She will make all the difference in your life, and she will be the forge that will strengthen your steel. Only then, after her death, will you be ready to look forward with the attention to feel the beat and the pulse of everything around you. Now fixate your view upward, and tell me what you see.”

Daedalus wiped his tears away and raised his head to look upward. Above the clouds, above the night sky, above the stars, he rested his eyes upon a brutish, old man sitting on the throne of Olympus, seated next to his queen.


“Yes, and his wife Hera. The two make a miserable pair. He rules more by ‘might makes right’ than by anything else now.  He was idealistic in his youth, but time has made a cynic of him. What do you make of him?”

Daedalus then looked at Zeus’ wrinkled brow, past the flesh, into the mind. The young man was unnerved by what he saw. “He’s paranoid. He’s planning something wicked I feel. Judging by everything I’ve experienced, he might be thinking of you this very night.”

Then a sudden stream of lightning came crashing down accompanied by thunder. Soren snapped his fingers, and the lightning slowed down, and he could see it slowly stream across the sky. Then Soren spoke, “Appearances can be deceiving, young man. My name is Prometheus, you may not recognize this face, but you may recognize this one.” Another flash of lightning revealed his father’s face, then another flash of lightning showed another face. “Son, I am a Titan. An ancient race, older than the Olympians. Most of my people have left this realm and now live in Elysian fields where the afterlife awaits heroes and the banished gods.” Prometheus looked out into the sky taking it in for the final time and released a great sigh. He touched Daedalus’ shoulder and firmly patted his back, taking in the view.

Daedalus looked closer at the eyes, the only thing that remained the same, and he released a sigh because he felt as though he had always known. He then regained himself and returned his gaze to Earth to see his mother’s eyes to see if there was any hint she knew. She was working late at her desk. He focused more and saw her eyes were red with frustration. She was in pain and he finally, after all these years, understood why.

Prometheus then touched his shoulder and said, “To reach the heights we must touch the depths.[1] Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that for a man to find his steel, he must be forged in the fire of the storm and stress.” The Titan then took a breath and started again, “Zeus let me choose who is to speak for mankind. You were chosen before you were even born. You are the alpha and the omega; the first in the conception and last in design; the reason for everything. Every divine generation has carried with it its own demise. This has been Chaos’ plan from the beginning, to slowly but surely make progress towards the goal of freedom. Now Zeus’ time has come. It’s time for you to begin a new order of the ages.

“But I’m mortal, how could I ever rule over gods?” 

“Ah, but are you a mere mortal? Your heart beats that of a god, and you’ve got the vision now.”  You can’t see your future yet, but your eyes haven’t adjusted completely to the light just yet, but I see the work of providence within you. You may not be immortal, but that I think is good. That’s the very reason I thought of your existence. Death is the great equalizer, Daedalus. Look at Earth, and you’ll see all types of men and women and children. The best of them use their will to extend their freedom to others. That’s the greatest thing another can do.”

“The gift of giving,” Daedalus uttered.

“Zeus plans on raining humanity out of existence. He is unyielding. Global warming, pollution, acidic oceans rising, are all part of the plan. Leaders amongst you are accelerating the process. What are we to do with this mess?” the Titan asked sincerely.

“Man is at an impasse whereby greed and ignorance they choose death, or by principle and wisdom, they choose a future. I’ve searched for possible futures my entire life, out of the billions of possibilities there is only one way for Earth to prosper.” Prometheus then put his hand on his son’s shoulder, and looked him straight in the eye, “Please go to Mount Etna to meet with Hephaestus, god of metallurgy, Daedalus.”

Then a flash of lightning and clap of thunder rocked the sky and time resumed, with rain pouring down from the heavens. Zeus stood there before Daedalus and examined him carefully.

“So this was your plan, Prometheus. To do me in with a mere mortal?” He laughed, which gave a great echo, then he sneered. Daedalus recognized the old man. He was from the coffee shop. However, this time, instead of a suit and a gold cane, he stood there in divine regalia with a golden scepter, which was the source of his power. Daedalus read the legends of cunning Zeus, how he outsmarted his father and brought about the Titanomachy which was the end of Prometheus’ race. He stood next to Prometheus with his gaze fixed upon Zeus.

Prometheus spoke, “I was showing Daedalus your plans, Lord Zeus. Nothing else.”

Zeus walked up to the mortal and looked at him with a hard gaze. “We come from the ages of heroes to the age of consumers. Do you think men can produce an inkling of greatness now, Prometheus? I doubted your plan all along, but now that I’m looking at your product, I must say, I’m at a loss for words.”

“Greatness can be found in the strangest of places, Lord,” Prometheus replied.

“Tell me now, Daedalus, what makes a great leader?”

Daedalus looked at Zeus, and with a saddened look, because of all that he learned today, he said:

A bedrock of principles, a moral compass, a vision, and the ability to build a consensus among his fellow citizens to achieve his vision.[2]

“No, Daniel. It’s loyalty, my dear boy! Loyalty at any cost is what makes a great leader.”

Daedalus looked into Zeus’ eyes that pierced his. He understood exactly what the god of gods meant. Zeus stared into Daedalus’ eyes searching for loyalty, but when he looked, he was deceived, for what Zeus saw as loyalty was Daedalus’ honesty.

Zeus then turned around and said, “Fine, he’ll do. Follow me to the river of Styx to make it final.” Zeus then led them to a heavenly place surrounded in green a forest with a brook. Zeus followed the brook until it entered a cavern. Daniel looked around and had the feeling he has been here before. Of course he’s been here, this is where he gave the coin to the being who brought him to battle the minotaur. Daniel then corrected his thought, for the minotaur no longer existed, he was now Agathon. He kept on walking into the shaded path until it led to a greater river inside the cavern that echoed. Zeus then bent down and touched the river.

“Finally, we come to the place where not even a god can hide his true colors. Daedalus, come here, dip your right hand in the river.”

Daedalus Knelt beside the river and felt the surprising coolness of the currents flow between his fingertips. He closed his eyes for a second and opened them to percieve the the calming river. His nostrils flared to smell the river. His heart started to beat in a melodic rhythm to feel each passing second. Daedalus took a deep breath and his mind was clearer than ever before. Daedalus then submerged his hand in the river.  

“The River of Styx, where the gods make their pacts final,” Zeus said. “It’s time to take the oath, yound man.  Daedalus, will you give me loyalty?”

              “I will give you honesty.”

              Zeus then paused briefly and looked at Daedalus with a queer squint and said, “Honest loyalty is what I need.”

              Daedalus replied, “Then you shall have it.”

              “Give me your hand.” The Lord of thunder held his hand out and waited. Daedalus then removed his hand from the river, tood up, and reached out, and Zeus grabbed his hand with a firm grip that tightened to seal the pact between them, drawing Daedalus ever closer to him. “This is how it is, young man. You do my bidding now!”

Daedalus caught a glimmer of Prometheus’ eyes, who stood behind Zeus. His face was shaded but he could have sworn he saw a silent smile across his face and an almost unnoticeable nod.

Then Zeus turned to the old Titan with thunderstorms in his eyes. “Your plan is gone, old Titan! He swore his allegiance to me; he made the sacred oath. You were a fool to believe in a mere mortal. Now, instead of a Titan, humanity has a mere man!” And the god pointed at Daedalus. Prometheus stood there with patience like a statue written across his face. This disturbed Zeus, so he went to grab the Titan, but as he was doing so Prometheus fixed his gaze upon Daedalus and used his last act to cast his divine power to stun Daedalus. There laid Daedalus, his head mounted on a rock, as he watched the exchange between the two divinities.

“I never trusted your kind,” Zeus said as lightning struck the Titan. He then kicked the fallen Titan. “You were right in allying yourself with me during the war, but you’ve wavered over time. Something has to be done to prevent Earth from total destruction, fool! They’ve been given everything since halcyon days, and this is what they’ve constructed, their own demise!”

“You can try to rid me, even banish me of this place, Zeus, but I’m too powerful to ever really die,” Prometheus said as he came to his feet and faced Prometheus.

Zeus then raised his scepter and crashed it into the Earth. Daedalus felt a quake beneath him, and outside the cavern he heard the deep quake of thunder. Lightning then struck outside the cavern and Zeus loomed over Prometheus.

Prometheus said, “You’ve always underestimated me. Strike me down to the ground and you’ll regret it.” Then Zeus raised his scepter and crashed it into the ground and lightning came spiraling into the cavern dealing a great blow to the old Titan. The old Titan then collapsed and laid there motionless until he disappeared into the ether of things. Daedalus’ emotions wanted to scream out, but he laid there paralyzed in shock, unable to come to Prometheus’ defense. It was all over before he could do anything. The storm outside the cave was nothing like the storm and stress within.

 Zeus met Daedalus’ gaze and walked towards him. Then he spoke, “You might not agree with what I have done tonight, but it’s too late for you to take action. You have sworn your allegiance making you no less than a slave to my plans. Perish in peril or follow me, what do you choose?” Then Zeus held out his hand. Daedalus looked at Zeus’ mind unraveling the possibilities conceived in time. 

The stun suddenly wore off of Daedalus, and he grabbed Zeus’ hand and came to his feet. Zeus then pierced his eyes with malevolence, and said, “So where do your loyalties stand?”

He stood to his feet and said, “You have my honest loyalty.” 

“Good. Then follow me where all your dreams will come true.” Daedalus followed him to the council of the gods where they all sat there at Zeus’ mercy. As he looked across the council he suddenly felt déjà vu, like he’s seen this all before. Each one of the council members seemed familiar. The members exchanged silent glances with each other and then gazed at Daedalus unflinchingly. 

Daedalus now knows he speaks for humanity, so he faces the gods. Zeus then took a seat on his throne and then looked at the young man.

Zeus then sneered and said, “You speak for mankind, so speak!”

Daedalus paused. He felt a cool wind blow and a time pass with silence. Then he spoke, “Man is social by nature; man is political by nature. One supervenes atop the other, but the distance between the two can construe and contort one’s view as the veil if ignorance surpasses wisdom. Reason runs through history and proves to be progressive over time, at least to the few who pay attention.

              Zeus then spoke, “Mankind is killing Earth. They can’t even bring peace amongst each other. Why should we save them from their eventual fate? Having the flood will save Earth and mankind can start again.

“Zeus, there’s strife amongst the gods themselves, so of course there would be strife amongst mankind. It’s not that you are superior to mankind; it’s how you are similar. The cognitive and affective and moral capacity of each of our races binds us together. What does it mean to be human you might ask? What it means to be human is to have a set of limitations and potentialities and somewhere therein our short life is rooted. In there the trials and tribulations of social life occur. With social life language evolved. This natural language, of which all other artificially contrived languages arise from, comes in the form of body postures, hand gestures, grimaces and smiles. Without this innate understanding of this natural language, we could not have a basis on which to communicate to each other at all under any circumstances. Out of this arose an artificial language built upon words. Words are what we uniquely do as human beings and as gods. For us mortals, it’s what sets us apart from all other animals on Earth. Through words we can safeguard meaning and create a coherent world, and even reflect and question that world.

Through language, laws are written. The central role of democratic law is meant to aid humans in becoming ever greater friends. It’s not supposed to act as the whip and the chair but as friend. Through law we come to intuitively believe that we do have a will and that it is free to act or forebear from acting. Although many try to prove we are nothing but a perilous ball going down an incline plane, this can’t be true, because we must go on with the day and take responsibility for our actions and our duties.  Through this functioning, friendly quality we can construct a political rule of law, and we can trace the lineage from the necessity of social life to its more refined evolutionary progression into political life. However, how we differ from the gods, is due to the short breath of life, which contains more mysteries than we’re able to understand. Unlike you gods, we are restricted by time and experience.

Lastly, part of being human is to be mortal. Would I choose to be a god or a man? Accepting man’s fate comes with urgency because we are vulnerable beings, and our time is limited here on Earth. Unlike a god, man is not perfect in any sense. Therefore, the task set before us is to accept all of this and take up the doomed but defining task of self-perfection, while patiently waiting for whatever mysteries the future will unfold. Please, Zeus, give me a chance to correct the course of human history. You mustn’t lose hope in us. 

Hera looked into his eyes, and in Daedalus’ mind he heard an echo that said, “I know what you dream of, I can see in your mind, what you desire and what you seek, but are you everything the Titan spoke of?”

Daedalus stood there, forcing himself to look ahead with his head held high. Dark storms were circling above him. Rain started to come down, and the echo of thunder clapped. Zeus stood up from his chair and started to walk towards Daedalus, his scepter crashing into the stone with each step. Webs of lightning covered the sky, and then they stood head to head. He then lifted his scepter and crashed it into the ground, and lightning bolt struck Daedalus, making him to almost cry out in agony, resulting in him hitting the floor instantly. Daedalus looked at his reflection in the puddle beneath him, and he told himself, get up Daedalus, get up. He could feel the beat and the pulse, as he got back to his feet again, and looked at Zeus unflinchingly.

Zeus then turned away and faced the other gods. “He’s got grit after all.” Then Zeus went back to his throne and sat in amusement. “But do you have the brains, young one? Tell me, how much time does humanity have before it’s too late for even I to decide to step in and save Earth from them?”

Daedalus then peered downwards and looked at mankind, his heart still beating and pulsing, his hairs on his arm rising, his focus flexing, he began to see. However, he hasn’t yet mastered this ne sight yet, but he was beginning to. Daedalus then understood that reality is woven from a single fabric with two natures: on one side, the physical causes of the world often moved matter at its will to create physical composites; on the other side, reasons and causes worked in unison due to the programming of organic nature, where the world of consciousness, moved by reason and passion, were rooted in the universal psyche. This showed to Daedalus that the many threads of the fabric are entirely alive with vitality, and his eyes had adjusted further to see many transparent possibilities.

Then Daedalus spoke, “We have a decade until it’s too late on our current course.”

Zeus replied, “Men of gold and silver no longer exist, Daedalus. The culture men have created has devasted the mind of men to a hallow existence. Men of virtue and honor have left. All that remains is you, whatever you are. So I ask, what are you?”

              “I am man, the Titan before I taught me to reach up, and I have, and now I am before all of you, to reach you. I ask, help me help man. To rain them out of existence would be the end of my race, a race that has always tried, in times of stress, to progress.”

Zeus waved his hand and replied, “Scientific achievement is small in comparison of what else lies in the soul of man. Every action of man rips at the moral fabric of the cosmos. Man cannot escape the consequences of what clever bulwark they have sewn.”

              Daedalus then looked to the council and told the gods, “But man has sewn the university, universal healthcare, and something that even the gods have stumbled with—democracy. It’s a difficult form of government, but when looking at all rest, doesn’t it wins automatically?”

              Zeus then crashed his scepter to the ground and lightning struck Daedalus again, bringing him to his knees this time.

              “Choose your next words wisely.”

              “I need time,” Daedalus said gritting through his teeth.

              “The fool thinks time will change the course of history. If time is what you want, that is what I will give. Humanity turned in the wrong direction over two thousand years ago. If you think you can change the course of history go now. You have one year.”

              Daedalus stood onto his feet and met Zeus’ gaze. “Thank you.”

Zeus then struck him with another bolt and he found himself back on Earth. Daedalus then remembered what Prometheus told him to do, so he packed his bags, and took a plane to Italy to get to Mount Etna. Once there he studied the mountain and found a hidden path at its base and entered. There worked Hephaestus, God of metallurgy.

              He heard the echoes of a steel hammer hitting metal. The god didn’t even look at Daedalus, he kept to his work and said, “Long ago I was born, deformed, and kicked down Mount Olympus, banned from my birthright. Only when the gods need me, they come down here.” Hephaestus began to take a cauldron from the heat of the volcanic fire and poor the liquid into a small mold. Then it was lowered into cold water that began to bubble and steam. “Yes, long ago Prometheus came, and we plotted the possibilities in the stars. You are the alpha and the omega, Daedalus. Your time has come. All you need is a weapon fit for a king.” When the water stopped bubbling and steaming, Hephaestus took it with tongs and slammed it onto the table, then hammered the molding off, and there it lay, a small golden ring and a pair of wings formed a patterned on it.

              Hephaestus said, “It’s quite cool to the touch; you can hold it.”

He took the small ring and examined it. Indeed, it was cool to the touch, and Daedalus slipped it onto his finger, and a burst of cool wind blew over them both.

              “Careful Daedalus! That isn’t just a ring. Inside of it lay the power of the four winds. If Zeus is the god of lightning and thunder, then I give you the power winds that can drive his storm cloud away.” He gleamed and patted me on the back 

              Daedalus looked at the beautiful ring in awe, more elegant than he conceived.

              “Everything is just as Prometheus said.” Hephaestus knelt, and continued, “Long has been the time I’ve dreamed of joining my brothers and sisters in the heavens. All that stands between them and me is Zeus. Please, do not fail us.”

              Daedalus knelt beside him and grabbed his shoulder in a caring way and said, “Democracy doesn’t work when gods kneel before men. It works when they greet each other as equals.” Daedalus stood up and helped the god to his feet. They then shook hands, and the god went back to his workings. Daedalus then exited the volcano and felt the rain beat down heavily on him. Daedalus then said to himself, “So Zeus sends down his warning to mankind.” He then tightened his fist and punched at the sky, and a burst of wind overtook him, sending him flying through dark storm clouds.

[1] Seneca

[2] Fears, Rufus J. “Pericles”. Famous Greeks. The Teaching Company. 2001.