I kneel by Iapetus, ignoring the laughter from the guards and our tormentors. He is thin, unlike himself. They all were on those screens. Our power does fade and his is weak. Very weak.
“Brother Hyperion!” he groans, opening his eyes a little, “look how they fight back. I’m proud of them.”
He winces as I move him.
“Furious and proud.”
I can’t help but laugh. I look around at the prison that I remember so well, identical in every way. I close my eyes and allow some of my energy to flow into his body, healing the wounds and strengthening him what little I can spare.
“Thank you brother,” he says, looking fractionally better. He stands with me and we both look up to the guard post where Derek looks…perturbed. He should be proud of himself, not perturbed. He tricked a Titan. Well, I will take perturbed.
It will do.
“One, now that we’re together. Tethys is near and I have a mortal under my sway. It nearly ended me brother but I have him.”
I perk up at that. If Iapetus has a plan it will certainly be a good one. He was always the smartest of us. The best of us.
“What do you need from me?”
He looks to the guard tower where both the Colonel and Derek stand, staring.
“I need you to do what you do best brother,” he smiles weakly, “get mad.”
It’s an odd request from any of my siblings. Usually they demand the opposite.
But, who I am to deny a request?
“You will suffer until the end of time!” I roar it at the guard post, shaking the room with the volume of my voice, “you will burn for eternity until the flesh peels from your bones and you beg for the sweet release of death but it shall never come!”
I use what energy I have left to bring forth a gout of searing flame that strikes the thick glass, with no effect. It does make the men stumble back though, which is something.
As they reel Iapetus closes his eyes and slumps, his mind leaving the room.
In the facility a maintenance worker jolts from his magazine, standing slowly and retrieving a toolbox from his locker. He walks through the maze, avoiding the running guards and ignoring the shaking that rumbles through the facility. He makes his way into a room, swiping his badge for access. Inside are dozens of pipes that feed water through the facility.
He pauses, looking them over for a moment. Then he raises an arm to point at one of the pipes, before taking a wrench from the box and using it to turn a valve to the on position.
Then he leaves the room. Once he is out he shakes his head and looks around in confusion, before shrugging and heading back to the maintenance break room.
Iapetus opens his eyes as I continue to lash the walls and glass with fire, shouting ever more creative threats. With every *hiss* of fire on concrete I feel my power fade.
That’s the request I’m more familiar with. I let the fire fade and take great heaving breaths. My power is almost spent.
“It is done.”
Tethys sits in her cell and listens to the shaking and shouting, even through the walls she knows who it is. She smiles at her brother, somehow he must have gained access to his beautiful sun.
She leans back and wonders when they will come for her, it couldn’t be long. Then she feels it. Flowing behind her. It had once before but they had quickly realized their error. Perhaps the guards had left records and information on the Titans.
Except it was back.
She placed her hand against the wall and felt it, even through the pipes and concrete she could feel it. It refreshed her. Empowered her. She drew the moisture from the walls, as much as she could.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
“Soon, I will be there soon.”
We wait patiently. Titans are one thing and that is patient. So we sit.
It’s different now, having someone to sit with. It is better. He is so weak. I never envied his source of power, it was hardest on him all these years. I could take some strength from the magma but very little, he had nothing.
He looked so old, not like the vibrant brother I once had. That infectious smile of his when his beloved mortals were off causing problems for the rest of us. I don’t think any of us could love them the way he did. Without their belief and love in return he was a husk of himself. No longer a tall, powerful young man with that infectious smile. He was bent with time and his long hair was gray and thin. He leaned against the concrete with his eyes closed, breathing slowly and raggedly.
“Brother, stop staring. I don’t need your eyes reminding me how I look.”
He turns to me and smiles. I suppose it hasn’t gone. Just the god around it.
I look up to see the Colonel and Derek still in the guard room, watching us with a half dozen others. Men and women in the white coats and some guards. They are discussing something. Probably how best to enter the room and take us.
“I fear they will come before she does,” I say to him. He laughs so hard he sinks into a coughing fit.
“Brother! Fear? The years have not been kind to me but they have clearly ravaged you!”
I stare at him for a moment but I can’t help it. I start laughing to and we laugh until we need to lean on each other, sucking air in between bouts.
“She will come,” he says when we finally stop, “she must come.”
I nod and place my hand on his. It is thin and bony and not at all like my brother’s hand.
“She must come.” I repeat quietly, staring up at the guard post. I smile and give them a little wave. They turn away.
Tethys looked around her cell, warily eyeing the two guards that watched her constantly. They had taken up staring when she’d sat against the wall but now they were back to whatever game they had been playing before. No discipline, she surmised, not like the old guards.
The shouting and shaking had stopped so either Hyperion was dead or his power was exhausted. Either one was a good option with her brother. He had a temper to match the sun. As the cool water rushed through pipes behind the wall she felt invigorated with each passing moment. Her finger tips brushed gently on the concrete to draw what moisture she could.
She was lucky they lacked discipline. If they had any they would have seen her cheeks filling out, her hair thickening, her posture straightening. She felt at least two thousand years younger.
“If I could be younger,” she said, giggling to herself.
She stood and stretched, feeling lithe again. She held out her hand and formed a small globe of water, holding it with great concentration above her palm. It shimmered and shifted there, glistening and perfect.
“Do you remember me?” she whispered to it. It formed itself into something like a wave, nodding it’s peaks at her, the nuzzling into her palm as if some sort of pet.
“Yes, I’ve missed you too but we have work to do.” The water shot straight up into a column, intent and ready.
“Do you remember Hyperion?”
It slumped slightly but nodded again.
“I know, he was always very mean to you but it has been almost ten thousand years.”
It didn’t move for a few moments and then shimmied acceptance and went ramrod straight once more.
“I need you to help him escape. Can you do that.”
She giggled at the column as it wobbled as if to say ‘that’s all?’ and slid out of her hand to the floor, slithering along towards the door. It stood up as a column again for a moment, turned back to her, then disappeared through the slimmest of cracks.
The prison facility had been abandoned many years ago but the humans had found it at some point, building a research facility over the buried prison and adding some of their more modern touches. It slipped along the edge of a wall, looking like a simple underground leak or seeping. While two of the prison cells had been built to prevent those leaks in them the rest hadn’t. Only two Titans thrived on water. It paused at a corner, peeking just a tiny crest up to look around the corner. The facility was busy with guards and maintenance workers as they readied for the rest of the Titans but it didn’t care.
It was focused on the water bottle that a worker had set on the floor while they worked on a light fixture. Quickly it slunk to the bottle and made a pinprick hole with a quick jab, absorbing the water before slithering against the wall again.
“Damn it,” the worker cursed, when he found his empty bottle, “’I’ll be right back.” He muttered something and stormed off. It followed him cautiously. The worker drove his shoulder into a door with the crude image of a man on it. It followed under the door.
Then it stopped.
The worker stood over a sink, running a tap of water into his bottle and cursing as it started a fine stream from the hole. It bounced slightly and quickly moved up the wall onto the counter, sliding down into the sink and under the running tap. The worker was busy holding the bottom of the bottle and cursing and trying to avoid the water stream when he turned back. Far too late.
It slammed into him like a tidal wave, throwing the worker across the room into a stall door. He didn’t move.
The column filled the bathroom to the ceiling, pulling from all three sinks.
“Hey, you alrig-“
The door opened and a guard stood there, mouth open. The column turned towards him and he took a step backward.
The worker in the hallway heard the scream and turned in time to see a guard being thrown into one of the walls by a rush of water. He didn’t wait to see more, just dropped his tools and began running as fast as he could.
He did have the foresight to press an alarm button as he did. With that the facility was filled with a siren and flashing red lights. The column stared at the lights, shrugged and quickly dropped to the floor, filling the entire hallway with water. A dozen guards splashed through towards the bathroom, pouring from an elevator. It rose up from the floor to their waists and each man stopped in confusion, one of them punching his hand through to find air underneath the sheet of water.
A small tendril climbed the wall just as the guards realized what was happening. The tendril sank into the open light fixture and the hallway went dark.
I stand at the sound of alarms, looking to the guard room. They are panicked, looking to each other. The Colonel shouts orders that I can almost hear through the glass and the guards disappear. He and Derek have some sort of brief argument, Derek pointing at the two of us and the Colonel waving his arm towards the door.
They leave the room together and Iapetus and I are left alone.
“Do you think it’s her?”
“Who else?” he says, coughing.
Our door begins to grind open and I draw what little flame I have left to my hands, what I wouldn’t give for my damn chain. Iapetus tries to stand but falls to his knees and looks at me apologetically.
“It’s okay brother, I will try.”
It finally opens, revealing a column of water and a group of guards on the floor. It looks to me and then to Iapetus, rushing to his side. I can’t blame it.
“Thank you,” I say. It turns to me and nods slightly, then wraps itself around Iapetus and lifts him from the floor. It motions him towards the door.
“Yes, right,” I leave the room first, stepping over the guards and checking the hallways. They are empty. I look back at it and it points a tendril of water to the left hallway, so we go left. Two guards appear from a side room but they are too slow. I snatch the first by the collar and lift him easily into the second with a satisfying crunch as skull connects with jaw. It sends both men sliding down the hallway in a heap.
We continue and the column directs me to the left again then grabs at me before I pass a small corridor. It motions at the door at the end of the corridor and gently eases Iapetus onto the floor again. Together we push on the door and it gives way, sliding open and inward. When it finally reaches the end I can’t help but smile.
“Sister,” I manage, before she is hanging from around my neck. When she releases she pats me on the cheek and smiles.
“Brother, I heard you making all that noise before. Ten thousand years hasn’t cooled your temper?”
“It has, blame that one for the outburst.”
When she sees Iapetus she runs to his side. I look to the column of water and it looks to me.
“I’m sorry for…well before. You did well, thank you.”
It just shimmers and shifts and then bows towards me slightly and the waters calm ever so slightly. I suppose maybe we’re friends now. As I turn something wet slaps across the back of my head.
I look to find it turned away and shuffling around, feigned innocence of course.
A smile tugs at my mouth, something I can’t control. Perhaps just acquaintances for now.
Iapetus leans on Tethys and she recalls the water to her hand, flood falling to the floor and a small orb remaining, floating there.
“Well done, we may need you again.”
It nuzzles her hand and then is absorbed.
She looks to me.
“So, where are the others and how do we get them out?”
Iapetus holds up a hand that stops me from speaking.
“I have an idea about that too.”