Dateline: Olympus
Zeus had done it again, and was trying desperately to keep Hera from finding out. He had been doing so well controlling his amorous impulses and keeping his mind on the business of running the world, but when that nymph had gone so far as to tempt him right on the throne of Olympus, well, what was a virile god to do?

Of course, in his secret heart, Zeus knew he would eventually succumb to the witchery of some young thing. There was only so much self-restraint in him, and the fires of ambition that fueled his rise to the peak of Olympus burned not just in his head and heart. His fall was preordained, but he would not suffer for the act itself, as long as Hera could be kept from the truth.

Hera was the worst sort to betray. She was vindicative, creative, and, although Zeus hated to admit it, had it all over him in the brains department. Toying with her affections was to play Russian roulette with the Head of the KGB. There was no question of winning; there was not even the hope that the consequences were going to be less than catastrophic. The only question was could any aspect of one's progeny or memory be saved if the game began.

Despite the dangers, sin boldly was Zeus's credo. If it were possible for an Olympian to have kissed the Blarney Stone, Zeus had done so. In fact, he'd probably talked his way past an Irishman to get to it. He could bring a tear to a corpse's eye with a tale of woe, or get an auditor to return taxes. He was convinced that he could dodge the suspicions of any man or god, even Hera. And he was right. In the end, it was the dog that caused all the problems.

The highest of Olympians was not brought to heel by a mongrel, of course. Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog of Hades itself had been set on his heels, by no less than his the God of Justice. Some of the younger gods had been harboring suspicions that there had been some impropriety in the past involving the untimely death and imprisonment of some Titans. To silence their criticisms, Zeus had agreed to let them investigate him. No one recalls the wag who suggested the dog, but without it, we would have no tale.

Cerberus was not the most clever investigator, but he was dogged. More than that, he was terrifying: a sleepless looming force that held the keys to Hades itself. So great was the fear he inspired that even some sylvan creatures came to his aid. They would go out in the guise of friendly sprites, drink the morning dew with the brownies, gossip with the nixies, and barter news with the dryads until all the forest's secrets were secrets no more. When they had gathered all they could, they would whisper it all into the ears of the unsleeping hound.

So it went for weeks that grew into months, and months that grew into years. The gods kept the dog on the trail, even when there was none, confident that its unwavering gaze would spot some clue, and that its jaws would close on the highest among them. Cerberus kept its informers delving into every corner of Olympus and Earth. Most thought this would be fruitless, that Zeus would never be fool enough to reveal his wrongdoing. After all, he could talk the leaves back on to the trees, and had skill enough to keep avoiding Hera. It was a sure bet that no baying mutt could run Zeus to ground.

When the dog walked into the Halls of Olympus with a cassette tape in one mouth, thong underwear in another, and an unlit cigar in the third, Apollo himself stood mute.

The young gods who had loosed the hell-hound had a merry time at Zeus's expense. They proclaimed Ragnarok, despite the pantheonic differences, and tried to have Zeus hurled bodily from Olympus. Zeus and his supporters countered with stories of the merry-makers' own improprieties, and being gods there were many. But they laughed off their own missteps and continued the chase.

In the end, it came to naught. The night before the elder gods began the real deliberations, the Earth shook with Zeus fury and thunderbolts crashed across Mesopotamia as a reminder of the powers involved. Zeus's allies on the tribunal were many, and despite the howlings of many a Cicero and Ginsberg, nothing changed in the Olympian hierarchy.

But none say that Zeus is happy. During the sophomoric jeerings and futile machinations of the gods, one has stood mute. Hera knows of his indiscretion and has been made the target of public jests because of it. Her wrath is growing, and its manifestation will be sublime and terrible indeed. And all poor Zeus can do is wait and wonder.

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