Chapter Two: Rayden, God of Thunder.
''Raijen, could you please hold your brother for me?'' Benten-san said in a tired voice. Raijen took Fujin from his mother without a word. The new born godling continued howling in a volume that far exceeded his apparent lung compacity. Despite this, Raijin looked upon his younger half-brother in wonder and awe. `Was I ever this small?' he asked himself.
''Thank-you, Raijin,'' his mother said as she took the baby back, ``Now hurry up and get ready. You don't want to be late with your appointment with the Elder Gods.''
''Yes, Mother, ``Raijin said as he ran off to prepare. Since leaving his father, Raijin had been as happy as anyone could be. He was allowed to study what he wanted as long as his required studies were not neglected. No longer was he confined to one domain. He actually had the freedom to explore the more friendly realms, a freedom he was more than happy to use. The few times his actions had warranted punishment, it was usually a temporary losing of those freedoms rather than the physical methods Shinnok had used. Although, he rarely had the chance to spend much time with him, Raijin had more of a father-son relationship with his step-father, Enlil the Elder God of Air, than he ever dreamed of having with his true father, Shinnok the Elder God of Shadows.
Raijin quickly dressed in his best outfit of blue and white. As he brushed his now long, gray hair he thought of what today meant. Today was the day he was to receive his first appointment as a god. He had been tested and proven ready for the responsibilities of godhood. After today, he would no longer be a godling but a god. Raijin stopped brushing his hair and looked into the mirror saying, ``Please, please don't let it be a god of shadows.''
Raijin knelt silently as the Elder Gods of Water, Fire and Light discussed his future role among the gods. They did so in whispers so Raijin had no idea what they were saying. He nearly jumped when the Elder Goddess of Water spoke to him directly, ``We have come to a decision. The position you will hold from now on is that of God of Thunder and Lighting for the realm known as Earth.''
Raijen couldn't believe his good fortune. He was to be assigned to his beloved Earthrealm. The humans there, though primitive by some standards, were in his opinion the most interesting of mortals.
The Elder Goddess continued, ``As God to Thunder you are to aid Earth's existing pantheon in ensuring the balance of nature of that realm.''
The Elder God of Flame then spoke, ``With this position's responsibilities you also receive the rights to your own private domain and freedom to mingle with that realm's mortals as long as you do not directly interfere in their development.''
Finally, the Elder God of Light finished, ``You are not to abuse your new powers or the mortals of your realm.''
''I understand, ``said Raijin.
Decades passed as Raijin, grew use to his new position. His fellow deities of Earthrealm soon grew respectful of his skills and sense of duty, despite his relative youth. Just when it started to seem that Raijin was always Earthrealm's God of Thunder, his world crashed around him. Shinnok, his father, was removed from the Council of Elder Gods for crimes unknown.
Raijin himself was called before a Council of no less than five Elder Gods for questions in regards to his father's actions. Briefly suspension fell upon Raijin, but is soon became obvious that he didn't even know what Shinnok did to call upon the wraith of the other Elder Gods. His innocence proven, Raijin returned to his duties. However, the other gods kept their distance as if he was somehow contaminated by his father's blood. In his weakest moments, Raijin also wondered.
''Hey, bro how ya doing?'' asked Fujin when Raijin appeared at Benten-san's domain. Raijin slapped his brother on the back and said, ``So-so, I guess.''
Sensing his brother didn't want to talk about it, Fujin let it drop and said, ``Mother is inside fixing dinner and I'm off to look for Father. See ya!'' The young godling vanished with a pop. A twinge of jealousy went through the thundergod as Raijin thought that the type of life Fujin lived was so different than his own was at that age. Raijin squashed that feeling as soon as he recognized it. He wouldn't wish that type of childhood on anyone.
Enlil asked, ``You haven't said much. Is there something wrong?''
Raijin sighed and pushed his plate away from him, ``Yes. What did Shinnok do?''
Enlil placed his eating utensils down next to his own plate as his wife and son went silent. ``I guess you do have a right to know, ``he began as he answered, ``Shinnok attempted to take over the Council. He has been removed from his position of Elder God of Shadows and is now under house arrest until We determine what is to be done with him. I do apologize that suspension fell on you for short period of time. In a sense, it was you that warned Us. You told us that Shinnok was stockpiling weapons that could kill immortals and that put most of Us on our guard.''
Benten-san patted her oldest son's arm and said, ``That took great courage to have done what you did. You should be proud.''
That did not make Raijin feel any better. It was only because he got a second chance, that he had the nerve to inform the Council of Shinnok's actions. If that woman didn't show up when she did...
''Yes, Raijin, ``Enlil interrupted Raijin's thoughts, ``It took courage and wisdom to see what was wrong and how to go about correcting it. No on told you what to do, they only opened the door.''
Raijin looked at his step-father, who winked and smiled. Did he know of the mysterious woman? ''How...''
''We'll talk about it later, ``Enlil said, ``For now lets enjoy this marvelous food your mother prepared.''
''HOW DARE HE!'' roared Shinnok when he read the scroll announcing his son formally denouncing his father and changing his name from Raijin to Rayden, thus legally breaking all ties with Shinnok. It was bad enough his son betrayed him to the Council all those centuries ago, but this...... Shinnok raged and destroyed everything in his private chambers in anger. As his rage faded and cold hatred took its place, Shinnok said, ``So be. He no considers me his father, so he is no longer my son. When the time comes, he will die like all of those who stand in my way.''
Despite completely breaking all ties to the former Elder God, Rayden still experienced a few cold shoulders from his fellow deities. He shrugged it off, fulfilled his duties and spent most of his free time among the humans. At least they didn't judge him. More than a few even understood what it was like to be judged on the actions of a relative, despite not having any control over what that relative did. More than once, he found himself sharing a wine flask and sob stories with a human.
Time passed, and despite the other gods only working with him when absolutely necessary, Rayden began to enjoy life once again. Then for the first time, panic spread among the immortals. Gods, who never left their posts, began disappearing one by one. No on had any idea what was happening to them, not even the Elder Gods. The worst of the panic struck when word was spread that the Elder God of Stone had also disappeared.
''What's going on?'' asked Fujin, the newly appointed God of Wind.
''If I knew, I would tell not only you but everyone, ``Rayden replied, ``All I can say, we might want to stick together until this blows over.''
''Ha ha, ``said Fujin. His early appointment was caused by the sudden shortage of deities. Fujin was incredibly young for his godhood status, but seem extremely well suited to his job as Earthrealm's God of Wind, hot air and all. Despite the possible danger, Rayden was more than happy to have his younger brother working with him. Fujin was the only god that he could really talk to and the only one that didn't treat him like he was carrying some sort of disease.
''So, are we going back to that tavern again?'' asked Fujin changing the subject to more pleasant matters.
''You can, but I think its best that I don't. I think that one woman is starting to get ideas...'' said Rayden.
''Hey, it's your own fault by insisting on playing mortal,''Fujin said with a grin.
Rayden shrugged and said, ``Better they think I'm mortal than them falling on their knees to worship me either in fear or awe.''
Fujin snorted and said, ``I HATE it when they do that. Just don't let old Ra hear about it.''
Rayden rolled his eyes at the mention of the sun god's name. Ra's insistence on ceremony was infamous even among the gods. Rayden sat on a boulder and looked around. Taking in the fantastic view of the mountain range before them, he often wondered as to how lucky he was to have been assigned to this realm.
A crashing sound made both gods turn only to see two demons already upon them with weapons drawn. Rayden dived to the ground, but one demon's sword sliced into his arm drawing blood. The pain surprised him, but didn't stop him from thinking. ``They have some of Shinnoks weapons!'' he yelled to his brother as he rolled back up and summoned his own war hammer.
Fujin cussed as he dodged the other demon's attacks. The wind god tried to teleport but something was preventing him. So he summoned the wind to aid in his defense and to attack the creature.
Rayden swung his hammer with all his strength and it struck the side of the demon's head with a sickenly crunch. The demon fell bonelessly, but as Rayden watched its injury already started to heal. The thundergod quickly picked up the demon's sword and in one slice its head was severed from the demon's body.
Rayden turned to help his brother, only to see that Fujin had his demon trapped in a small tornado. As the demon spun, Rayden asked with flashing eyes, ``Where's his weapon?''
''Over there, ``Fujin pointed to some bushes. With a pale face he asked, ``You going to kill this one too?''
''Do I have a choice?'' answered Rayden, ``Put it down.''
Fujin nodded as he stopped the wind. He had to look away as Rayden sliced the creature open with the sword, its black blood spraying as it fell to the ground.
''Get the other sword, ``Rayden ordered, ``We have to report this to the Elder Gods.''
''What about your arm?''
''I'll deal with it later.''
The Elder Gods of Water, Time and Light were horrified at the sight of the demon's head and the proof of the weapons the brothers brought. ``I thought those cursed weapons were destroyed ages ago!'' exclaimed the Elder God of Light, not caring that Rayden and Fujin were still present.
''It seems that Shinnok was better prepared than We thought, ``commented Time, ``Perhaps it is time to bring forth Our dragons.''
''The what?'' asked Fujin without thinking. Rayden kept silent, but want to slap his brother for his slip.
``Enough!'' said Water, ``We will continue this discussion with the rest of the Council.'' She turned her attention to the two kneeling gods, ``You two have done well. Fujin see to it that your brother's arm is tended to and you both will remain at Rayden's private domain until you are summoned.''
Hours later, Enlil appeared in Rayden's domain. This was the first time he had visited since Rayden attained godhood status. The Elder God of Air internally winced when he thought of this. He knew his step-son suffered from the coolness of the other gods, and Enlil felt guilty for inadvertently adding to it by his own lack of attention. Looking around, Enlil noticed that Rayden tried to create an idyllic version of Earth. A hotspring, moss covered ground, wooded landscape in the distance with the sounds of birds in the air. Bright sunlight shined with only the mist of the hotspring disrupting it slightly. A house not too far from the spring seemed tiny if compared to some of the other gods creations, but more welcoming. Enlil smiled, it seems that Rayden was more different than he first thought but different in a good way. He didn't seem to suffer from...what was it that humans called it...a `god complex' that so many deities seemed to acquire.
Enlil knocked on the door and Fujin answered within seconds. ``Father!'' the wind god said with a smile.
''Fujin, ``Enlil responded as he entered the building, ``I heard you and Rayden had a little adventure this morning.''
Fujin's face paled as he said, ``You could say that..''
''Let me guess. It was Rayden that who killed the demons, ``Enlil said as he looked around the room, noting the simple, human-made decorations. Fujin remained silent as Enlil continued, ``Its nothing to be ashamed about. You are young and inexperienced. Rayden has been an active god for centuries now and even before that he has experienced a great deal you, I hope, will never have to. You should be proud to have been able to hold the demon while your brother fought the other one. Remember no other god can claim that. Anyone else the demons have attacked is most likely dead.''
Fujin sighed and looked at his feet, ``It was all that training you insisted on.''
The Elder God chuckled, ``Now you know why I was so insisted on it. Now where is your brother?''
Hearing the knock and then his step-father's voice, Rayden began to prepare some water for tea. Both Fuijin and himself needed something soothing, hopefully Enlil would enjoy the blend as well. Rayden could clearly hear the conversation between his brother and the Elder God. The thundergod also tried to tell his brother that there was nothing to be ashamed of, but having it come from Enlil as well should push the point home. It was all true, Rayden was more than happy in the way Fuijin acted in the conflict.
Rayden was more concerned about his own actions. How could he just kill those creatures so easily? The Elder God of Air entered the room with his son leading the way.
''Hello, Enlil, ``said Rayden, ``Care for some tea?''
''Rayden, ``the Elder God accepted the cup with a nod of his head. As he sat down, Enlil continued, ``It's nice to know that neither or your brother was seriously injured in the fight.''
''Yeah, ``said Rayden as he prepared his own cup.
The Elder God watched Rayden and sensed his unease. ``Fuijin,'' he said, ``I need to speak with Rayden alone for a few minutes.'' Fuijin nodded as he left the room. ``No listening at the door!'' Enlil yelled.
Rayden smiled at the sound of Fuijin's squeak of surprise from the other side of the door. He sat down and asked, ``What did you want to talk about?''
Enlil raised an eyebrow and said, ``I sensed you wanted to talk about something.''
Rayden looked down into his cup and sighed. ``Why don't I feel anything? I just killed two living beings and I don't feel anything. No guilt, no remorse...''
''What about pride?'' asked Enlil.
''Pride?'' Rayden said as if the thought never crossed his mine, ``No, I don't feel any pride either.''
The Elder God took a deep breath and then let it out. ``Maybe the shock of the fight hasn't worn off yet. Unless I'm mistaken this is the first time you have had to kill something face to face, ``Enlil said. He noticed that Rayden didn't look convinced. ``Look if you felt proud about killing those demons, then I would have been worried. The mere fact that you are concerned about your lack of feelings shows you do have some remorse.''
''Look, I'm an Elder God and your step father, ``said Enlil, ``Trust me, I know a little more about these sort of things than you do.''
With secrecy no longer an option, Shinnok declard outright war on the Elder Gods and their followers. With an army of demons each carrying a god killing weapon behind him, he slew gods by the dozens. Entire realms were lost to the Fallen Elder God.
To counter those weapons, the Elder Gods released the dragons. Dragons whose very breath killed mortal and immortal alike. Whose mere presence blocked certain abilites such as teleportation. The dragons, created by the Elder Gods, but nearly impossible to control by anyone.
The war raged for centuries and one realm in particular refused to fall before the demon hordes. Earthrealm, with its few surviving deities now lead by Rayden, fought off swarm after swarm. Humans now carried the immortal maiming weapons, taken from the destroyed demons. The red and black dragons flew the skies of Earth taking down all that would harm it. The so-call weak and worthless mortals were proving their worth as no one but Rayden predicted they would. One nation in particular, Talitas, proved incredibly resourceful. Creating exploding powder and light weight flying contraptions, they could stun and injured demons by the millions as to weaken them for their fellow but land bound humans to mop them up with their swords. The combined forces of powerful gods, inventive humans, and destructive dragons were able to literally throw the demons back to the Netherrealm from whence they came time and time again. Eventually, word reached the Earth's forces that Shinnok himself was going to lead the next attack.
The red dragon, seeing its chance for even more power betrayed its creators by serving Shinnok. To prove himself to his new master, the red dragon led a small group of demons into the private domains of the Elder Gods themselves. The Elder God of Fire was killed by his own Red Dragon of Flame. The next target proved to be Enlil, the Elder God of Air. The Elder God and his wife, Benten-san, also fell but not before imprisoning the red dragon within its medallion prison. Weakened they could not stand up to the demons that swarmed over them.
When word reached the brothers, they both changed dramatically. Fuijin lost his laughter and became as wild as the tornadoes that he created. Rayden used the power of his rage as if it was a weapon of mass destruction. Waves of demons fell before his wraith. The God of Thunder overnight became a God of War. When he heard the reports that Shinnok was sighted among his hordes, Rayden was almost overjoyed. Now he would have his chance to pay his father back for all he had done to himself and everyone. Rayden ordered his human smiths to line his warhammer with the immortal killing metal. He trained with a bloodthirsty relish that was never seen before in the thunder god.
''Like father, like son I see, ``said a voice from behind him.
Rayden turned with his hammer in had in case whoever spoke proved to be an enemy. He was surprised to see the same woman that helped him escape from his father so many centuries ago. She now wore armor similar to what he now wore, her white hair was pulled back into a tight bun and her crystal blue eyes had no humor in them as they looked over her dark scarf. She carried twin swords on her back in comparison to his warhammer.
''What do you mean?'' the thundergod asked. The woman shrugged as she walked around him as if studying him. ``What do you want?'' he demanded, as he started to feel uncomfortable under her scrutiny. ``Look I don't have time for this.''
''Oh really, that's a shame for I have all the time in the world, ``she said, ``You know I never would have expected that you had this side to you. You must get it from you father.''
Rayden's eyes flashed dangerously with lighting as he growled, ``I am nothing like him.''
The woman shook her head sadly and said, ``You don't even seem aware of what you are becoming.'' She then vanished. Rayden was about to roar out his demand for a straight answer when on of his followers ran in and said, ``Lord Rayden, Shinnok and his demons have been sighted!''
Rayden and his followers fought long and hard. Millions died on both sides, so many humans perished that possible extinction of the race was a reality. But in the end, the fate of all depended upon a single fight between two leaders, Rayden and Shinnok.
''Shinnok!'' Rayden yelled with all the rage in his soul.
''Raijin, ``the dark lord answered astride his new steed, the black dragon, ``Let us end this once and for all.''
The black dragon flew down breathing its deadly flame upon mortal and immortal alike. Shinnok still on its back, roared with laughter at the slaughter. Fuijin let his arrows fly one after another into the dragon's wings, shredding them as they flew through them. The dragon and its rider fell to the ground. Shinnok walked from the crash unharmed as the dragon writhed in pain.
Rayden glared at his father with such hatred and anger that the surrounding battle slowed and then stopped. Rayden with his warhammer in hand watched as Shinnok summoned his polearm. ``Well, my son, ``the former Elder God drawled, ``You've grown stronger than I ever hoped you would. If you were not on the wrong side, I would have been proud.''
''I am no longer you son, ``replied Rayden, ``All I see in front of me is a traitor and cold blooded killer.''
Shinnok shrugged with his polearm over his shoulder, ''That's your opinion, Raijin, not mine.''
''My name is RAYDEN!'' the god of thunder yelled as he swung his hammer in rage. Shinnok smiled as he easily dodged the hammer. ``Tsk, tsk, ``he said, ``Guess that bitch of a mother of your's never taught you to control that temper.''
From his vantage point, Fuijin could see what Shinnok was doing, driving Rayden into such a rage, that he could think or see straight. Fuijin didn't know what to do, he dare not take his bow off of the dragon in case it regained its strength but he needed to get to his brother to stop this insanity. The mere presence of the dragon prevented him from teleporting and he couldn't shoot from here in fear of hitting Rayden by mistake. Then something he never expected, happened. One of the mortals attempted to calm Rayden down by getting in between him and Shinnok. Shinnok just laughed at the sight of a `worthless' human trying to control a god. It was Rayden who struck the human with his hammer to knock him out of the way, killing the man instantly. Shinnoks laugher increased and he said, ``Well done, my son. You have learned.''
Rayden stared at the broken remains of the man he just killed, shocked at what he had done. `Like father, like son I see, 'came the woman's words in his mind. `Am I becoming just like him?' he asked himself. Rayden looked from the dead man to his now bloody hammer, red blood dripped from it not the black blood of demons. Not since that night that in a sense never happened had he killed a human. `Like father, like son...' Like ice cold water on the flames of his anger, that realization and those words doused his rage. He turned once again to face Shinnok, but this time with only determination in his heart and soul instead of the insane rage that had controlled him. ``Yes, I have learned, ``the now calm God of Thunder said, ``Learned that I need to change my direction or I will become like you. I will not allow that to happen.''
Shinnok glared at his son, studing him closely. He then hefted his weapon and said, ``So be it.'' The battle had begun. Lighting and Shadow raged against each other for dominance. Fuijin ordered the Earth's forces to retreat as the ground shook violently. Shinnok's demon horde did not need such encouragement.
Eventually it was Rayden who proved victorious, breaking Shinnoks polearm by smashing through with his hammer. Not stopping his momentum, Rayden spun around and stuck hard into Shinnoks side. Shinnok flew and fell hard onto the ground, Rayden followed to ensure that he did not get the chance to get back up. With the last of his strength, Shinnok yelled, ``Finish it!''
The God of Thunder was just about to do as Shinnok ordered, but as he raised his hammer the woman's voice once again entered his head, `Like father, like son...'
''No, ``Rayden said as he placed the hammer onto his own shoulder, ``That's what you would do. I'll let the Elder Gods decide what is to be done with you.''
Next time of Mortal Kombat: the Mythos of Rayden
''Nothing to say, brother, ``the Emperor said as he removed his skull mask, ``Perhaps this will loosen you tongue.'' Rayden was shocked to see his own face staring down at him.
Author : Preferred Customer
Creation date: 2005-8-14-15-33
Modification date: 2005-8-14-15-33
Ok heres the second chapter of my Mythos of Rayden story. There maybe a few typos since at the time I wrote it I didn't have a beta reader.