Singapore is a bustling port city of an amazing scale and size. We gather and stand on the deck of the ship, watching other massive vessels come and go. Our own ship cruises in under the deft guidance of an experienced crew. Of course there was some assistance from Oceanus. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so happy to be back on his beloved ocean.
The city stretches to the sky with its buildings and it is beautiful.
I almost regret having to come for such a violent reason.
When the ship docks we disembark with blessings from the crew, Oceanus promises them steady seas for as long as they sail and the men laugh it off. Sounds crazy to them, it would sound crazy to anyone after this long. Gods aren’t real after all.
They are good enough types, having taken us on board like that and they will have his gratitude. Though they may never truly know it.
We stand on the dock surrounded by workers and the bustle of a busy port, sort of lost. Unsure of ourselves. Ten Titans in a brand new mortal world trying to track down a stolen weapon and a half god.
“So, where to?”
Jeff looks surprised to be asked.
“What? I don’t know, I’ve never been here before.”
Excellent. That hadn’t occurred to me, not even once.
Mnemosyne points up at a building that overlooks the port with a very large symbol emblazoned on the top of it.
She was more than likely right. The logo was a trident surrounded by lines that I suppose were meant to be waves. There was a single letter, angled almost as if the mast of a sailing ship. It was a very ostentatious and large letter ‘P’.
Yeah. That was probably it.
Poseidon stood from his desk and walked to the window, watching the ships come and go. He opened a door to an expansive balcony and lit a cigar, walked to the railing and leaned on it, blowing smoke out into the open air and taking in the air that smelled of salt and oil and ships and industry. He loved that smell when it mingled with the cigar.
He knocked a chunk of ash from the cigar and looked down, thinking about his new plan. If the Titans didn’t kill Zeus they would take losses, that was certain. Fewer Titans for him to deal with. Maybe they would go after Ares when they had killed Zeus and leave him just a few to mop up. Demeter was fiery but she was all about self-preservation, Dionysus would come back to the fold once there was safety. The coward. Hera…well Hera would follow Zeus right to the bitter end. She would have to die too.
He knocked the cigar again and smiled, it was a good plan. Hyperion would have his revenge and Poseidon would rise from the ashes-
He stopped thinking. Just stared down to a plaza where a group stood, one of them pointing at his building.
He knew them.
He dropped the cigar and sprinted for his office, picked up his phone and punched in the number.
“Get the helicopter here, now!” he shouted to his protege while he waited for Zeus to answer the phone.
“They’re here!” he shouted into the phone, “they’re outside my fucking office!”
Oceanus stretched his head to the left, then to the right. Held his right arm across his torso and then the left, bent down and touched his toes, then raised his arms to the sky.
“What are you doing?” I say, watching him with a raised eyebrow.
“You should always stretch before any strenuous physical activity brother, did you learn nothing in the pit?”
I snort at him.
“Jeff, you can go find somewhere to wait this out if you’d like. Phoebe, take Coeus and go with him.
She agreeably took Coeus’ arm and the three of them left the plaza. Coeus was currently a liability for us, one more to protect.
We could see the lobby from where we stood and perhaps it hadn’t been smart to get so close but it was too late now. You can’t go back, you can only go forward. People filed out of the building as alarms rang out in the calm afternoon sun, heading for local coffee shops to wait it out.
I lifted my head to the sun and felt the warmth soak into my face, drinking in the rays and letting the power run to my fingertips.
“If we do this, we can’t go back.” Cronus speaks the words but he knows the answer. We all know the answer. Titans are not to be forgotten.
We are gods. The mortals will remember this.
Poseidon may not have been expecting us but he doesn’t lack in security. At least eighteen of them pour from the building in full tactical equipment, rifles held up at the ready. They form a loose semi-circle a reasonable distance away while people scream and run from the scene. It takes maybe thirty seconds for the plaza to be emptied with only a ring of civilians watching and holding up their phones.
“Don’t move!” one of the men shouts, his voice distant over the gap.
“Have you thought this through?” Cronus shouts it, opening his hands to the sky and stepping past me, “do you really want to do this?”
“I said don’t fucking move!”
Cronus looks to me and nods.
Fire swirls around my hands, slowly building into an inferno that courses around my body. The heat and fire buoy me and I rise on the flaming pillar that grows higher and higher into the air, the heat doesn’t phase me but I can see people wincing and recoiling from it. The men step back, mouths open as they watch, rifle barrels dropping as they lose their focus.
“Drop your weapons now or taste the wrath of a Titan! I am Hyperion, lord of the sun and sky, ruler of flame and death, bringer of the end! Will you face me or will you kneel?”
I shout it out through the flames, feeling a little silly about the overboard dramatization of it all but…well mortals do love theatrics.
The guards look nervous, casting glances to the speaker who had so rudely ordered us to not move. He looks at me and I see the decision being made. The wrong one.
He is first to raise his rifle and begin shooting, so I bring up a shield of flame that melts the bullets. The others begin shooting as well, pelting the column with their bullets. I feel the fire slipping in strength as the bullets seep into my power, they are forged from the armory and sap my strength even if they do not strike me.
That is why I didn’t come alone.
The shooting stops, quite suddenly, and I see through the swirling flame. Tethys easily tosses one of the men to her elemental. Cronus punches one across the face and it almost hurts me, I remember that impact even after all these years. Themis lifts yet another above her head and tosses him into two more, bowling them over. Mnemosyne leaps through the air and strikes a man in the face with her knee and I hear the sound of bones breaking even through the firestorm. I think it was the one who demanded we not move though I’m not sure I could recognize him now.
I’m not sure anyone could.
When Rhea summons her lion forth from the ground the fight ends.
I’ve always found it amusing in a way. A column of fire or the control of the sea or even Cronus’ gift of the earth bending to his will are not enough to send fear through a mortal heart. It’s always Rhea and her lion that do it, that molten rock beast is the line for a mortal.
The rest of the men quickly throw down their weapons and drop to their knees, holding their hands above their heads. The crowd around is silent, no screaming or running as they hold up their phones still and talk excitedly among themselves.
These mortals are much different than I remember. Less fearful.
I allow the flame to dissipate and drop to the scorched stone of the plaza but there is little time to deal with the mortal crowd before we are distracted.
As we stand there we hear a thumping sound that sounds quite familiar. An aircraft appears over the city skyline and approaches the building. It’s still a long way off but it’s gaining on the building.
We see a figure on the balcony, still looking down at us but now holding a golden trident.
Oceanus looked up as well and I don’t think I’ve ever heard him get so loud. That’s saying something.
“I’m going to kill you!”
Then he was off, sprinting into the building’s lobby without a moment of thought while the rest of us tried desperately to catch up.
Cronus and I were the last into the building.
“I suppose they know about us now.”
I look back to the crowd with the phones up, most still unsure of what they had just seen.
“You might be right.”
As we cluster in the lobby there is a deafening roar of gunfire from above that sends all of us scattering for safety as bullets thump into the many decorations and walls of the lobby.
Oceanus looks positively chastised, which is good because that was what we were going to do.
“Ah.” He says, grinning, “my bad.”
The guards that were busy shooting at us were holding a second level overlooking the lobby and there were a lot of them. Either they had been expecting us or Zeus was walled in behind even more security. Either option wasn’t appealing.
I duck as chips of stone hit my face from the bullet impacts, cursing the armory under my breath.
If we hadn’t stocked it so well, we wouldn’t be here.
A bullet grazes my forearm and I flinch, looking down as thick blood seeps out and a small ring of black veins spread away from the wound. Direct hits would be much worse.
I launch a small burst of fire but it goes wide and high, hitting harmlessly well above their heads. There’s too many and they have the high ground along a walkway perched on several stone pillars that rings the building lobby. Two curving staircases lead upwards but charging up would be certain death. A wide reception desk of marble and stone is our hiding place, bullets hammering away as they shoot down.
When it stops for a moment none of us is willing to hazard a look. Then the floor shakes, as if something very heavy had landed on it.
“Hyperion!” a voice shouts, “come out and die.”
Cronus shakes his head at me, mouthing something about a trap.
I think I’ll take those odds. Better than dying like a cornered rat.
I stand, bracing for the hail of bullets but it doesn’t come. Instead I see him.
The floor is caved in slightly under his armored feet. He looks eight feel tall but much of that is the armor he’s wearing. It’s a humanoid framework that supports his body and makes him much larger. He looses a punch into one of the concrete columns and it explodes under the impact, sending shards through the lobby.
Gives him strength too, apparently.
“Come then!” he has a wild look in his eyes, stepping towards me like he expects to win this fight.
I don’t move as he closes the distance. As he raises an armored hand to strike. I don’t need to.
We’re not so stupid as to fight alone. Not anymore. Not like him.
He’s too busy closing the gap to see the water that slithers along the floor, winding its way up a leg and through the framework until it reaches his head. He’s too busy until he’s not.
If I hadn’t been so close I might have missed it.
The water plugs his nostrils and mouth and he slowly comes to a stop, a few feet from his goal. As his breathing is stopped the crazed look fades from his eyes and is replaced with panic. He tries to gasp a breath, I can see the movement in his mouth and throat and chest but no air comes. He tries again. He unstraps an arm from the suit and claws at his face, slowly turning blue.
He drops to his knees and shatters some tiles. His eyes roll back in his head and he falls forward with a thump. The water slips away from his face while the rest of the men on the upper landing stare down.
“Open fire!” one of them yells but they are too slow. Their idiot broke one pillar. That leaves three and I am close enough now. I swing wide and long, letting the chain carry itself out and through the three pillars. One by one it cuts through them with an explosion of dust and shards, one by one they are no more.
The upper landing shudders.
The men run but not fast enough, with all their weight and without the support it starts to tip. Then it comes crashing down.
They skid down the length, some falling the fifteen feet or so to the hard floor below as the landing crumbles around them, others caught in the tumbling cascade of crumbled metal and stone. They stumble to their feet and to their credit, or stupidity, they don’t give up and go for their weapons.
“Hyperion, Oceanus, go!” Cronus pushes us towards a door marked with an image of stairs, “we’ll take care of this. You two go get him.”
He charges off into two of the guards as they rise, tossing them aside like rag dolls while more come towards the building from outside, including one more wearing a heavy suit. Where are they getting all these mortal fools from?
Cronus and the others can handle it so we go to the stairs and we start upward. A long climb to where another god waits, perhaps calmly, for our arrival.
A lesser god.
This will be interesting.
“Shit, shit, shit.” Poseidon rushed through his office, stopping only briefly to feel the power of the trident in his hands. It is unfamiliar, the thing had become more of a decoration to him than a weapon. His hands don’t remember the weight or the feel, it’s unbalanced and awkward.
“Shit! Where is the chopper?”
His protégé looks up, hands shaking and nerves failing.
“Five minutes sir. We should go to the roof.”
“No fucking shit!” Poseidon yells, going for his office door. Yanking it open he sees two men running down the hall and slams it shut again.
The door opens briefly and we see him. Then the door slams shut, like he hoped we didn’t see him.
Like a flimsy door will stop us.
Oceanus takes the lead and throws his beefy shoulder into the door and it explodes off the hinges, flying inward before being split in half by a trident. The pieces fall harmlessly and Poseidon stands there. He is fatter than I remember but the crazed look in his eyes doesn’t bode well.
Another man takes shelter in the corner of the office, covering his head and screaming.
“Come on then!” Poseidon shouts, coming forward with a thrust of the trident.
We dodge it easily as the trident moves between us, but he jerks it to the side and sends Oceanus through the air into a bookshelf with a heavy thud. Books tumble to the floor and Oceanus shakes his head as he stands. I see the marks of blood soaking into his shirt, the trident is powerful.
The trident comes back towards me so I drop under it, sliding on the floor for a few feet and lashing out with the chain. He sidesteps it and the chain shatters one of the windows overlooking the docks, shards of glass tumbling into the open air.
A closed fist hits me in the side of the face and I see stars and my head snaps to the side into his heavy wooden desk. He stands over me with the trident, points down and raised high before a blur of motion hits him around the midsection and both he and Oceanus tumble across the office.
I manage to stand just as a shot rings out and a model ship shatters. I drop to a knee and spin, sending the chain out in a wide arc to hit the man that was cowering in the side of his torso. I hear ribs crack and he grunts, tumbling over the desk before coming to a stop on the floor and not moving.
Poseidon stands as Oceanus is distracted for a brief moment by the shot, sending the bottom of the trident handle into my brother’s chin with a loud crack and he falls backwards, clutching his jaw. When he recovers there is blood seeping between his teeth and one is missing.
I have no time before Poseidon throws another model ship at me and I duck under the heavy glass case.
When I recover Poseidon is gone from the room.
“No!” I pull Oceanus to his feet as he shouts it, as we both hear that growing thumping and see a helicopter closing the final distance on the rooftop.
There’s no time but we run anyway.
He can’t get away.
He just can’t.