By Leonard Pigg
Some of the gods of old have gone on to other realms, others undertake the divine sleep. A few interact in the world, but not as much as in ancient times. Demigods like myself have the freedom to do as we will, walking between mundane and divine worlds. I’ve always enjoyed the pleasures of earthly realms. It’s women, wine and adventures hold such sway over me, more often than I care to admit. I slept for centuries until I met an alien named Doctor Omega. He convinced me that the world needs heroes now more than ever. I gave him my word that I would become a protector of humanity. He raised a point that despite being part god, I am still part man and to not use my gifts would be a waste. I have the gift of flight, which allows me to either float gently or fast enough to create a sonic boom. I’ve even flow into outer space a few times, but typically remain on Earth. I have vast strength, which has allowed me to throw things into orbit or smash a mountain. I have a degree of durability that has allowed me to withstand blows from Hercules himself and to be able to sleep in a volcano, which is good for peace and quiet. My senses are so keen that I can hear the heartbeats of people and I can also pick up frequencies beyond human perception. I also have the ability to tap into my divine nature and perform miraculous feats, however it often leaves me spent afterwards.
Doctor Omega helped me create a living space that would provide me with the obscurity I would need. He and his friend Koschei, created a building for me made of Stellite that had a negative charge. This charge allowed it to resonate at a frequency that humans aren’t able to perceive. In fact, their attention is drawn away from it. Something about altering perception and temporal vibration, he said. I have a building in which I live that is obscured from human observation. I have taken residence in Dalton City, which Koschei told me was a nexus point for many supernatural things, as it wasn’t actually supposed to exist. We helped stop Time Eaters from destroying the multiverse, but in the aftermath, there were worlds merged and the line between dimensions were blurred for a time. Dalton is one of the remnants, which seems to act as a beacon to all things strange. However, I do tend to find myself flying around the globe looking for trouble when there isn’t any to find in Dalton.
I watched him from afar. I was sitting on a rooftop, surveying the city until I saw this guy a couple of buildings away. He stood at the ledge of the building, his multi-colored hair and jacket flapping in the breeze. The young punker had on a “Joy Division” shirt and was crying. He would look around, then pause. It was the better part of ten minutes before he finally made the leap. I could have went to him and gave some rousing speech about how life’s worth living, but I’m just not in the mood for it. Instead, I focus my breathing and create a concentrated stream of air toward the falling punker. The gust hits him with sufficient force to send him crashing through the window of the building and from what my enhanced senses can see, into the middle of a boardroom meeting. He tumbles across the table unconscious, scaring the executives. He’s their problem now. Mission accomplished. I fly away, looking for more good deeds to accomplish. The demigod part of me craves action, so I have taken to heroism in the modern world. I still find myself missing my old friend, Enkidu. I can only imagine how he would be in this era. I wonder if he would wear jeans and a hoodie like me or clad himself in leather. Such speculation often lends itself to depressing thoughts. I must seek out more action.
Minutes go by and I finally decide to float higher into the air and clear my mind. I close my eyes, take a few deep breaths and focus on hearing everything around me. Being in the city, I am surrounded by a cacophony of sights, sounds and smells. Sometimes it is overwhelming to my divine senses. I know this world is full of bedlam and chaos, just as the ancient world was. I simply have to find it. I can hear the screams of a woman, so I fly towards it. A couple is arguing on a patio, the man is choking the young woman. Domestic violence. Perfect. I float over to where the couple can see me. I hover just above and cross my arms, giving the man a menacing glare. He starts yelling at me in a foreign language and slings half a bottle of gin at me. I punch the bottle, shattering it and land on the patio. I invite him to try and beat on me. He charges at me, rearing back his fist for a haymaker. When he connects with my chin, I can hear his knuckles crack. I don’t budge. He screams, holding his injured hand and I backhand the brute, knocking him into the hovel of the apartment and he tumbles over the couch. The woman is crying and she hugs me. I don’t understand her language, but I give an assuring hug back and move her aside. I saw her black eye and decided to give one to her abuser. I pick him up off the floor and head-butt him with sufficient force, to make his nose bleed. He rolls around on the ground and screams. I walk back out to the balcony and fly off into the night.
As I’ve taken back to the skies, I hear explosions and what sounds like gun play. Music to my ears. I streak through the air towards the noise and see an armored man in a stand-off with police. He has a machine gun mounted on his shoulders and has the police pinned down. They fire back, but have been taking cover. The armored man’s silver bulky suit is riveted at points and has him standing at least ten feet tall. I land in the middle of the street, between the police and the maniac. I don’t say anything, he has to know why I’m there. I walk towards him, as he opens fire on me. Bullets and the occasional rocket collide with my durable form to no effect. At least he’s not firing at cops or civilians now. I continue to walk forward slowly, hoping he runs out of ammo. A moment later, he does. He punches me when I’m close enough and it actually sends me flying back. I crash into the side of a squad car. He charges at me and I leap into the air, coming down with a punch to his metal head. He crashes to the ground, but still conscious. I break off the guns mounted on the shoulders. Suddenly, an armored fist grabs me, slamming me onto the concrete. Electricity courses through his hand and into my body. I give out a scream and my body shakes uncontrollably. He drops me to the ground, my clothes are scorched. I need to start wearing something other than street clothes, if I survive this. I finally find the challenge I want, as the armored combatant starts stomping on me. I’m actually feeling pain, which is something I’ve not had in a long time. He continues to stomp, until the street gives way and I fall into the sewers. It gives me a brief respite, while I hear the police firing at him again. I am dazed, but am getting my bearings. From the sound of the armored steps above, I can hear where he is. I fly up through the concrete, giving him an uppercut. It sends him into the air and I can hear the person inside groan. I decide to move faster and get above him, knocking him down into the sewers. Once the armor hits the water, I hear it short circuit from the damaged mounts. I swoop down, tearing open the suit and pulling out a puny man, covered in tattoos. Before I hand him over to the police, I ask him where in the hell he got that armor. He gets an attitude, until I start to choke him a little and he finally utters the name, “Crimesmith.” I hand him over to the cops and fly away. I don’t have time to bask in the limelight. I need a shower and new clothes. Ideally, I’ll have to find something more durable to wear. In the meantime, the city has a protector and his name is Gilgamesh. Gods help anyone who gets in my way.
As I get towards my dwelling, I can hear a sonic boom in the distance that seems to get louder and louder until another being streaks in front of me. He hovered in the air slightly above me, as the sun glistened off his red and gold costume. There was a symbol on his chest that looked like a sunburst. His hair was perfect. His cape billowed behind him majestically. I had to admit, I was jealous. Meanwhile, I hovered in the air in tattered clothes, like a homeless god. When I told him that I liked his outfit, he seemed confused. I was then chastised about abuse of power and the amount of property damage I incurred while fighting that armored goon. Seems I finished the battle before “Atoman” as he’s know was able to arrive, as he had fought off an alien invasion in Mumbai. I ask him the name of his tailor and he laughs, thinking I was making a joke. He didn’t know who I was, so I informed him that I am Gilgamesh, the World’s Mightiest Demigod and I thumped my chest for good measure. Atoman continued to give me a lecture, which I told him was unnecessary, as I was the demigod of ancient times and had more lifetimes than he had hot meals. Suffice to say, he was not impressed. I was impressed by his prowess when I felt the punch before I saw it. By the time I realized what happened, I had crashed onto the outskirts of town and made a sizeable crater in a wooded area. By the time I get to my feet he’s flying toward me with the speed of a jet. As such, I give him an uppercut which knocked him into the stratosphere and I fly right after him. By the time he’s lost momentum and stops, he fires beams from his eyes at me. “Atomic Vision,” he called it. The thermal beams drove me back down to earth into the heart of the city, plowing me into the ground and scorching the streets around me. I grab an empty nearby car and toss it into the path of his beams. The resulting explosion sends a shock wave through the streets and provides me cover to regroup.
When the dust settles he stands on the opposite side of the street, we charge into each other and glass around the area shatters. Up close, we trade punches and slam each other around. He reminds me of when I first fought Enkidu centuries ago, raw power unleashed. When we get to the point of strangling each other, my ears begin to ache as a hyper-sonic frequency overwhelms my senses. Atoman is effected too, as he falls to his knees holding his head. I give him a kick before the vertigo kicks in. Once on the ground I see a blue energy field surround us both, courtesy of Blue Bolt. He floats down from the sky calmly with a disapproving look. Walking toward us is Doctor Omega with that wand of his, making all that noise. He changes the frequency, which seems to have a calming effect on myself and Atoman. Urban vigilante Scarlet Ace stands at the ready with guns pointed at us. Even the Aborigine incarnation of Thoth the Atlantean shows up barefoot in a business suit. Next to him is Red Riding Hood, her hands glowing with mystical energy. Hugo Danner helps us both to our feet and is a voice of reason to us both. Just as the scene has calmed down as these other heroes have shown up, a group of police move in on the scene and secure the perimeter.
We explain to the authorities what went on and how it was a serious misunderstanding, all the while Thoth weaves a spell undoing all the damage caused by the battle. A moment later, another car pulls up with government plates and a single person jumps out of the car. It’s Enkidu in a suit. He holds up a badge that shows he’s an agent of some kind. I go to hug my old friend and he straight arms me. “I’m Agent Enkidu of the OGA. Gilgamesh, you’re coming with me.” Enkidu says as he takes out a pair of handcuffs. I hold out my hands, confused and he cuffs them. The others look on in surprise as he escorts me to his car, putting me in the backseat. He drives away as they are left to pick up the pieces of the battle that was waged. I’m confused that Enkidu is alive in the present day and even more shocked that he’s taking me into custody. I’m curious, so I’m going to play along until I can figure out this mystery. I also need some recovery time from that battle with Atoman. Despite the vast power at my beck and call, even a demigod has his limitations.
TO BE CONTINUED
For more on Gilgamesh as the semi-historical ruler of Uruk, see here.
For full text of the Epic of Gilgamesh, see here.
Synopsis and Analysis of Epic of Gilgamesh on Sparknotes, see here.
All things Epic of Gilgamesh on Amazon, see here.