Want to give a shout out to Lilly for your kind words and review! 3 thank you so much!


The sun was long gone, and the candle on his desk was burning low as the new praetor sifted through papers. He gazed into the flames for a moment, his mind drifting back over his past. It was a very long past, too, so long that getting lost in thinking about it would take up much of his time. Once, Altair had worried about such things, but when you can not die, things such as worrying about time didn't really matter much. Altair took his time with everything now, mostly because he knew he had so much of it to spare.

However, he had learned to balance duty and urgency with his increasingly lax attitude towards time. He had learned the hard way through the centuries that others did not have the luxury he did; their lives burned as quickly as the candle before him. He had even seen gods and goddesses die, from every region of the world imaginable. There were very few gods that were completely alive now, most had faded to a shadow of themselves from neglect. Some could be mistaken for ghosts.

He still had a hard time believing his good fortune; to have found this sanctuary of demigods. He had spent so long in the mortal world, full of increasing devices and weapons. Most mortals were so fixated and completely devoted to these new inventions, that he had seen strange apparitions grow from this energy. Altair didn't belong in the modern world, he belonged in the familiar structure of Rome, facing mortal and immortal dangers alike. Unfortunately, when you cannot die, you constantly have to re-invent yourself, otherwise mortals and even demigods became suspicious of you. He knew he would not be able to stay here a long time, but perhaps he could remain here several years before he had to move on to somewhere else.

He leaned back in the chair, the candlelight dancing on his slightly bronze skin. He did not get to relax long, as a figure began to materialize before him. The form was a woman, tall and lean, with tan skin and black hair hidden under a military barrette. She wore a modern military uniform of mustard green colored shirt and pants, and black combat boots. She had a bullpup rifle slung over her shoulders. There was a wild light in her eyes that was always there, though it sometimes burned hotter or calmer depending on her level of anger. Right now, her eyes burned with as docile a light as she possibly could have.

Altair stood. "Hello Mother."

"Son." The woman said curtly, taking in his ancient Roman attire.

Altair similarly observed her modern uniform. "What activities have you been part of in the mortal world this time, mother?" he asked, and not completely in a pleasant way.

"Oh, there are plenty of things in the Middle East for me to be involved in." she answered. "Since you have gone all retro on me, would you prefer this?" She transformed herself into a woman with long black hair, wearing a crown of myrtle leaves and cow horns. "Or perhaps that is not retro enough for you." She then changed into wearing her hair in Egyptian style braids, scantly clad in Egyptian dress with a crown of feathers on her head, and holding a gigantic spear. She was surrounded by flames of fire. "Oh my, I had forgotten how incredible this form feels! When the world fled before the great Anat!"

Altair refrained from groaning in annoyance. Instead, he folded his arms across his chest, and waited for his goddess mother Anat to come back to the present. How his Roman demigod father had put up with her antics, he would never know.

Unlike the gods who were only remembered by the stories, and therefore had their powers diminished, Anat had defeated Death in combat, and so nothing could diminish her powers. Altair did not wish to ever see a display of her full-fledged powers.

"Hmm, well, back to the present for me." Anat switched back to the modern uniform.

"Mother, what can I do for you?" Altair asked politely.

"Can I not visit my son?" the flames flickered around her body.

"Of course." Altair had to remember he was pretty much the only living family member she had in modern times. Her official consort had faded, the Egyptian pantheon she had been adopted into had diminished to the point of being almost ghosts, and his grandmother, another goddess, was fading as well. Altair and Anat could not die, so they were doomed to watch everything else wither away. This softened Altair's outlook towards the visit. He noticed her features began to soften, too. After all, she was the goddess of parenthood and love, as well as war. She rushed towards Altair with glistening eyes, and Altair allowed himself to be wrapped in her embrace.

He embraced her back. "It is always an honor to see you, mother." He stated, standing back from her.

"Aww." Anat cupped his cheek and smiled. "It has been so long! How long has it been, exactly?"

"The 1960s." Altair answered. "Plus, we spent all of the 1940s together. It was when the gods fought against technology to remind humanity that they still existed." It had been pretty much the same thing in the 1910s.

"Ah, yes. Such foolishness that was." Anat shook her head at what the other gods had done. "Dying gods spurred humanity into a frenzy against each other because they couldn't stand to be forgotten. I, however, have found that to be forgotten is a blessing."

"How so?" Altair was curious about this new-found revelation of his mother's.

"It you are forgotten, you can live life your own way; you are not bound by what others expect of you." Anat answered, wistfully.

Altair couldn't help but be impressed. "I had never thought about it that way. To live in obscurity. But, does obscurity have meaning if there is no end to it?"

Anat grinned. "That, I cannot answer. However, when you tire of playing dress-up in the past, you should join me back in the homeland."

Another machine gun appeared, and she held it out to him. Altair touched it; its feel was so familiar to him; he had used it in his homeland and fighting for his adopted country.

Altair shook his head. "Don't you ever tire of it, mother? The endless fighting in the mortal world, and no one knows when it will all end. What is there to fight for anymore?"

Anat's eyes blazed briefly. "That there will be something left for the future. That their children and their children's children will have something left to call home." She left the rifle in his hands and was suddenly gone.

Altair sunk back into his chair, and gazed at the machine gun. Was he making a mistake? Which world need him the most? The demigods or the mortals?


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