I. Who can say what it was about Humans which made Great Zeus despise those upstarts?
Oh, ask any anthropologist, anyone enlightened enough to know that the Gods aren’t real. Mankind made the Gods in our image because it made them comprehensible to us.
In this are two concepts, each sufficient to make the Father of the Gods even more furious than your average embodiment-of-the-Tempest. The first is that, if this were true, it was sheer sadism on the part of Humanity. And the second is, even the Gods hate a dogmatic academic. Humans left off the study of the Gods in order to study Humans. Even if one might forgive the slight, who’d forgive the narcissism?
II. So Zeus went to Hephaestus. They say Hephaestus, who bore the horns of his Goddess-wife’s infidelity, commanded little respect among his peers. But this is not wholly so. None could work a forge like the great Implementor. If he was the subject of more barbs by his peers than any other of the Pantheon, perhaps it was not so much that the Lord of Bellows and Flame was as weak as they say; perhaps he merely spent all of his days at his great forge, and had neither time nor inclination to lie about in the drinking-halls of Olympus, bragging.
It is not known if Zeus asked with respect or with insolence; if Hephaestus acted because he feared to disobey the Summoner of Thunderbolts, or because he relished the work.
He took a metal, one he had made over many long aons, one which has never appeared in myth or story, because he never gave unto any Humans a glance at the substance. He made chains. Chains of unbreakable metal. Many of them.
III. And finally, fleet Hermes flew Earthward to implement the plan: to scout, to find a city or two upon which to begin, to hurl the first chains, and keep twirling them ’round that upstart species until it was in pinions whose numinous strength would bring them eternal despair.
He turned his head, once, and looked away.
He returned in sorrow.
“We are too late; their prisons of the mind are superior to any confinement we might forge.”