“I…I don’t understand,” I am looking at the face of my hand picked guardian, “Zeus died. New guards came and everything, they told me he was just gone one morning.”
“That’s how they knew everything,” Cronus says, sinking to the rocky ground, “I told Demeter about our weapons. I told her if anything were to happen where they absolutely needed us then we would need those weapons. I told her everything. I trusted her. She had to have turned on us.”
No one can speak. Each of us is remembering our guardians. Our hand picked mortals that we spent the first years of our sentence with. Would they have all betrayed us?
Crius doesn’t look up from the phone and our new pilot looks positively confused.
“It’s not just him. Orion has partnerships.”
He holds the phone up again. Oceanus’ face is crestfallen. He and Poseidon had been so close, they’d sailed together on the oceans and shared a love of the sea. They had been friends. Now the man was in pictures in front of giant ships, a trident tattooed on his arm and a global shipping company to his name.
“Poseidon, that bastard!” Oceanus roars, losing himself to the rage, “he destroyed my hammer! Turned it into a damned dinner fork!”
He’s not wrong. In one picture, the man we know as Poseidon sits behind a large wooden desk and smiles. He sits under an ornate golden trident with blue metallic veins running through the handle. Any of us would recognize Oceanus’ ship building hammer, even reforged like that.
“You mean…” Jeff speaks and then stops when he sees us staring, but Mnemosyne motions for him to go on, “you mean the myths are real? I mean, you keep saying Titans but I figured that was just a thing you called yourselves…but Zeus and Poseidon I know.”
“Myths? Wait, you know them?”
“Oh man,” he tugs the phone from Crius’ hands and quickly types something in, “you guys are going to lose it. Watch this video.”
We gather around and watch the small screen.
“The Titanomachy was a ten year war between the Olympians and the Titans, where the god Zeus and his allies cast down the Titans from their rule and into the prison of Tartarus. Zeus, son of Cronus and Rhea-“
“That shit! That’s disgusting!”
A surprising curse from Rhea, though she’s right about the disgusting level of it. Brothers and sisters consorting? Unimaginable.
“-allied with his siblings and the formerly imprisoned Cyclopes and the Hecatonchires, waged a war against his father. The Cyclopes forged great weapons that the Olympians used to defeat the Titans- ”
“We never imprisoned the Cyclopes,” Phoebe said this, she’d always been very fond of them, “and they would never make weapons against us.”
Jeff gave her a queer look but didn’t speak.
“Enough, enough. It’s all wrong but I think we get your point.”
He shuts off the video.
“So what do we do now?” Mnemosyne asks it quietly, “they have our weapons, they rewrote history, they wiped us from existence. No one will remember us and no one will help us. Except him.”
“Siblings. That video said siblings. We don’t even know for certain if Demeter was part of it but that probably means it’s more than just Zeus and Poseidon. Either they killed the others or convinced them to join the betrayal.”
Tethys’ voice betrays her pain and I give her the best comforting smile I can, even if it’s not my strength. I know how much she had loved her guardian, they had always been racing each other and he was always winning.
“I know what we need to do next,” Oceanus speaks, and loudly, “this one flies us to wherever we can find the fool that stole my hammer and we make him talk. And then I’m going to shove that damned three pronged monstrosity right up his –“
“He’s not wrong,” Cronus says, “he has answers and he has one of the Titanic weapons. We need both. Besides, they remember us as we were ten thousand years ago…they would expect Hyperion to come for Zeus.”
He’s not wrong.
That was going to be my suggestion.
Though doing the unexpected may be in our favor over my vengeance. We all deserve that now.
“Alright.” I say, “let’s visit an old friend.”
“They escaped? Billions of dollars and hundreds of personnel and you managed to royally cock it up didn’t you?”
The Colonel doesn’t flinch at the man shouting at him, just wipes a bit of flying spit from his cheek.
Poseidon thumps down into his seat at the conference table, crossing his thick arms with the trident tattoo in blue ink on his right forearm, sparing glares for both The Colonel and Zeus.
Only six chairs were filled and that was all that would be. Zeus cursed his compatriots but refused to let it crack him, not that any of them would have been much help. He only knew where Aphrodite was but she wasn’t taking his calls and he didn’t expect she ever would, not from him. They’d had a rough relationship even before he announced his intention to open Tartarus.
The others had started disappearing long before that, they had just never been comfortable with the situation.
“So, what do we do?” Demeter asked this, rubbing the bridge of her nose between thumb and forefinger.
Demeter rolled her eyes at Ares, the former being the much more rational.
“That’s always your solution. Let’s just kill them, kill those ones too, kill, kill, kill.”
“Yeah. It works. Should have killed them back then but someone decided we could just leave them there. They’ll never get out, I remember you saying, no need to put ourselves at risk. Just take their power and become the new gods. Remember that? I remember that.”
“Damn good thing we didn’t kill them, don’t you take to forgetting just why we were going back for them,” Zeus jabbed a finger at Ares, who slapped it away.
“We need a plan,” Hera silenced the brewing fight, “even without their weapons they won’t be easy to stop.”
The Colonel cleared his throat and Derek shot an elbow into his side but the man stepped forward.
“Hyperion has his chain.”
The collective group groaned in unison.
“Well, I’m not sticking around for what comes next,” he said, unscrewing the top of his flask and taking a long drink, “and I suggest you all do the same.”
Then he was gone, leaving behind a slamming door and nothing else.
“So the most violent and angry of them has his weapon, is that right? How did that not get taken?”
Zeus and the others all stared at Ares, who was responsible for the outburst.
“I don’t know, why don’t you explain that one yourself? You were responsible for gathering everything, you said it was handled. How did you miss it?”
Ares clenched his jaw and stood, leaning on the table with both hands.
“It was handled, the damn thing wasn’t anywhere in that prison!”
Zeus rubbed his temples.
“No matter, one of them has his weapon. We still have the rest and we can still kill the others. What about the weapons we forged from the armouries for you?”
The Colonel stepped forward again.
“Still in our hands, they didn’t take anything but the VTOL.”
“Good,” Zeus clapped his hands together loudly, “however much you need you will have, right?”
Poseidon and Demeter nodded, they were the only other billionaires at the table after all.
“I’ll get more men,” Ares said, straightening his tie and buttoning up his suit jacket, “as many as you need. We’ll finish it, how we should have finished it back then. Instead of letting it become a damned runaway train.”
Ares left with The Colonel close on his heels.
Zeus, Hera, Demeter and Poseidon were left. They sat in silence.
“Do you think they know it was us?” Demeter finally spoke.
“If they don’t yet they probably will soon. They have a human with them after all, if he knows any of the rumours of who sponsored the facility then they’ll know soon.”
Zeus turned to look out the window again.
“They’ll come for me first, especially if it’s Hyperion that has his weapon. He’ll want revenge once he knows it was me. I’ll go to Olympus, it’s as secure as anywhere else in the world. The rest of you take on tracking them, try to stop them before they get to me.”
Demeter and Poseidon nodded and left, leaving just Zeus and Hera.
“You want me to stay?”
“No, can’t take that chance. If he kills me he might stop.”
“You know that’s not true. Poor Theia, I should have been there to stop them.”
She stood there for a long time and then when he didn’t move, didn’t speak again, she slowly left. Quietly shutting the conference doors behind her.
That left Zeus staring out the window, wondering to his own fate.
They should have killed them back then. At least some of them. Too late for that now. He took a deep breath and tried to think how it would work out. There was no answer. So he offered one last thought to the empty room.
Ares and The Colonel stood in the elevator, going down to the lobby. Ares looked to the man he had recruited.
“Do you think they know?”
The Colonel scratched at his arm aggressively and shook his head.
“This skin is wrong, feels weird and smells funny. No, they don’t know. How would they?”
“I don’t know, okay, they’ve beaten us at every turn so far.”
The Colonel rounds on Ares and slapped him.
“They have not beaten us! Those idiots started a war and they will again, if Zeus hadn’t gone back to that prison nothing would have changed and no one would have been the wiser! Mistakes have been made but they will come, Hyperion will kill Zeus and then we will kill them. All of them. I won’t let them drag the world into another war, not like that.”
Ares straightened as the doors slid open with a ping announcing the ground floor.
The Colonel shook his head and looked at his hands, turning them over with disgust on his face.
“I want a new body, this one feels too tight.”
They walked together to a waiting car sandwiched between two others that were packed with private bodyguards. Ares ran a very successful private contracting firm with government ties, gave him access to some very nice perks.
He opened the door and stood back for The Colonel to slid into the back seat, Ares followed behind him.
Neither saw the pair of eyes that watched them from a distance and took note.
No one did.