The Colonel stood with a secondary team at the second bottleneck, checking over their weapons and making sure the non-essential personnel had been evacuated.
His radio crackled to life.
“Colonel, dear Colonel.”
He closed his eyes and sighs, giving a quick motion to the men to begin their own evacuation procedure.
“Sorry but the Colonel is unavailable at the moment, I think he’s buying flowers for your sister.”
There is a long silence.
“I’ll spare your men if they throw down their weapons but you, you I will enjoy killing.”
The Colonel tore his earpiece out and began shouting orders to his remaining men.
With the elevator under our control and information from the surrendering guards we are led to the final access point to the main facility and freedom. Most of the guards turn out to be in it for a paycheck. Makes sense really, after ten thousand years without Titans or gods they wouldn’t be there for us. Just a job.
They hadn’t believed in all that.
Or at least they hadn’t believed it before.
“How do we get out?” I ask one. He doesn’t play tough guy, just answers.
“There’s aircraft on the main level, with a pilot you can fly anywhere you want.”
“You’re still using aircraft?”
He gives me a queer look.
“Never mind, where can we find a pilot?”
No time for a mortal history lesson, perhaps they went back to fire being the greatest invention after we were imprisoned. Wouldn’t surprise me, not one bit. They have clearly made leaps in some areas but others…not so much.
One of the men stands, shakily raising a hand.
“Excellent! That was easy. What is your name, mortal?”
“Jeff…my name is Jeff.”
“Wonderful, welcome to the service of the Titans.”
These mortals have been very busy. We had left our mortals with a great deal of advanced technology but these ones had apparently taken more to warfare than travel or science. Each man wore a sturdy metal harness that made them stronger than their fragile bodies ever could be though still not nearly as strong as a Titan. They used rapid firing “rifles” that fire terrifically dangerous bullets, pointed and forged from the melted Titanic weaponry so they could injure or kill a Titan. Each guard also carried a knife also reforged from the armory weapons.
Not that it had made any difference.
“There’s another guard group on the next level up,” our new pilot informs us, Tethys and Themis jog off to scout it out while the rest of us wait behind. I kneel by Theia and the guards don’t make eye contact, probably for the best.
“It wasn’t them,” Iapetus says, his voice trembling again. His power is fading quickly, we will have to support him for some time.
“Don’t be angry with them. Vengeance is called for but it must be dealt to the right mortals. If it’s not then what have we learned down here?”
I don’t speak for a long time. Then I look at him.
“Furious and proud, right brother?”
“Something like that.” He puts a hand on Theia and closes his eyes. Then he stands and goes to talk to the captured guards.
Furious and proud. Only Iapetus could be proud of them still.
“They’re not there, it’s empty,” Themis returns and announces it.
Tethys waits for us by the route to the main level, holding her orb.
She takes all of us up to the next point and her elemental is proven right, there is no one to be seen. They must have abandoned it when the first defensive position fell.
“Good, let’s be free of this place then,” Cronus says, motioning to Jeff to lead us to the hangar.
I still carry Theia’s body as gingerly as I can as we wend through the halls and rooms, she is so close to the sky now. So close to her home.
Our pilot guides us to the aircraft and I am impressed. It’s not anything like I remember the mortals having, not even close.
The black and white craft is blocky but still sleek in a way, painted to resemble snow and rock, or at least that’s what it looks like. Two rotors are built on the side in circular and moveable pods and the tail sports two fins. He sits in the front and hits switches the bring the rotors to life.
“Impressive,” Crius is thrilled by it, he always was the traveller. At least in the sky.
The craft lifts slightly and starts to turn it’s nose towards the other end of the hangar, deftly handled by our pilot. It’s only then when I look at my siblings that I realize someone isn’t with us.
“Where is Iapetus?”
The Colonel and his premier team of guards quickly roll out their secondary plan, two mobile anti-air batteries that will bring down the whole group. Their benefactor won’t be pleased to lose all the Titans but the Colonel wasn’t asking permission and he certainly wasn’t going to let all the Titans escape.
The Colonel waves to the Titans inside the craft then switches to a middle finger, spitting on the hangar floor in their general direction.
“Ready to fire?”
The men nod, the system is ready to engage. Anti-air missiles with metallic shrapnel stuffed inside their tips, shrapnel from the re-forged weapons.
He snaps his fingers and two of his men drag out a figure, throwing him down to the hangar floor. The Colonel saw Hyperion disappear into the cockpit of the craft, clearly shouting something and pointing down. The pilot shook his head and motioned to the anti-air batteries.
Hyperion reappears and his face is contorted in absolute rage. The older one, Cronus does the same.
The Colonel smiles at them.
He gathers up a handful of Iapetus’ hair and pulls his head all the way back.
And he slides a knife from the armory across the Titans throat.