The helicopter hovers over the rooftop just as we come out through one of the access stairwells, running in a dead sprint as it come lower and lower towards Poseidon. It’s too far and the helicopter is too low. We’re going to lose him. From the door of the helicopter a man raises his rifle towards us.
Gunfire erupts and both Oceanus and I hit the concrete but bullets don’t hit us, or even near us. Instead the distinct noise of metal on metal shrieks above the thumping of the helicopter as sparks flash along its body.
“Get him!” our newly arrived support shouts, walking calmly towards the helicopter and reloading before firing again. One of the bullets hits Poseidon in the shoulder and he drops the trident as his body experiences mechanical failure. The man in the helicopter tries to shoot again but Jeff fires the rest of his ammunition into the man’s chest and he tumbles out of the helicopter towards the very distant ground below.
The helicopter veers away under the hailstorm and Jeff looks at the two of us sprawled on the roof.
We pull ourselves up just as Poseidon hits Jeff with his good shoulder, as he charges towards the other door. Jeff slides across the roof with a grunt and his rifle disappears over the roof. We give chase as Jeff comes to a stop, turning over in obvious pain and using his pistol. He fires at Poseidon just as he disappears around the corner of the doorway.
As he did, two guards came around with their rifles up. They ducked back as Jeff continued shooting from his position on the ground.
Oceanus snatches up the trident and looks to me.
“Go!” I yell at him, “I’ve got this.” He disappears towards the other stairwell and gives chase.
Jeff empties his weapon and rolls onto his back, his breathing doesn’t sound right. There’s no time for that.
With a few long strides I cover the gap to the door just as a guard steps out, his eyes open wide as I hit him, tackling him back into the concrete wall. The other comes forward, letting his rifle fall to the side and trying to drop a knife into my back. I elbow him in the gut and slam his head into the metal railing of the stairs.
He moans as consciousness becomes elusive.
From below I hear shouting.
“Kill them, kill them!” It’s Poseidon and his voice cracks as he repeats the command. I laugh.
The man with the serious head wound has several round objects on his vest. He must be special to be entrusted with those. We’d had a crash course in the equipment from Jeff.
They were grenades.
I pull the “pin” out and hold it over the stairs. There’s a half dozen men rushing up.
I open my hand and let it drop.
The stairwell shakes as it explodes in the confined space, my ears ringing with the noise reverberating off the walls. I look down.
There are no more men rushing up.
The one I tackled tries to get to his feet, swinging his knife wildly at my legs. I grab his vest and lift him up, walking back on the roof where Jeff is on his feet now, clutching his chest.
“What are you doing?”
I lean over the edge to look at the front of the building.
Poseidon fled from the building, limping on his one good leg and clutching his shoulder as gunfire sounded in the office building he was leaving behind. He hadn’t even had time to grab his phone to tell Zeus or Ares about it, there still wasn’t time. He’d caught a bullet in his leg from that fool on the roof, armed with the Titanic ammunition. He limped his way towards his personal car that was pulling around to the front of the building.
It exploded outward under the impact of a heavy object being thrown from the higher levels of the building, the windows bursting and the roof crumpling inward. It was a man, or what was left of a man, dressed in tactical gear. One of the security team.
Poseidon looked up to see Hyperion staring down from the upper levels. Hyperion waved. Poseidon turned and ran as fast as he could on the injured leg, running for a long dock that would lead him to his prized personal boat. It was a long run on one good leg.
His ship was the Goddess of the Sea, of course.
He had lost his trident but he could still escape. Zeus could help.
He ran down the length of the dock and stumbled onto his boat. He fumbled with the keys before the engine roared to life and he eased out into open water.
He looked back to see the nearest Titan wasn’t yet close enough to stop him.
He turned back to the ocean and smiled. He had escaped.
It took him a moment to realize that the ocean was getting higher around him, not with waves but actually higher. The boat was driving down a ramp of sorts. Only a few seconds later the hull ground against the ocean floor and his escape was thwarted.
Surrounded by the walls of the ocean in a very nice cylinder, Poseidon looked around at his defeat. He had lost control of the ocean.
“It’s only going to get worse..”
The voice startled him but the impact of the trident handle on his jaw was worse, sending him spinning to the floor of the boat with a grunt. Then he was picked up by strong arms and heaved onto the ocean floor with an earth shaking thud. He raised his head just in time to take the handle of the trident again to the bridge of his nose.
His nose exploded and he clutched at his bloody face, struggling to his knees in spite of the pain.
“You stole everything!” Oceanus roared it, lifting Poseidon up and slamming him down into the ocean floor again. This time Poseidon didn’t get up, he just lay there gasping for air.
“You took everything from us first.” Poseidon finally managed.
Oceanus knelt beside his former friend and looked him in the eyes.
“We paid for that. You went too far. Made yourself into a god.”
Poseidon’s eyes went from fearful to defiant with a flash of rage.
“I am a god!” he shouted through broken teeth and seeping blood.
Oceanus gripped the trident tight and stood, walking toward the wall of seawater that rushed around the two. He stood at the wall for a moment and then looked back. He thrust the trident into the boat and tore a gaping hole, she would take on water and stay forever buried in the waves.
“You were a pretender. The sea take you.”
He stepped into the wall and the sea carried him safely away.
Poseidon shouted at the sky, the water, everything he could. In rage, defiance, then begging. He held up his hands against the seawater but it did not yield. It was not his. Not anymore.
The water gripped him tight and as the walls crashed into the boat and the ocean reclaimed all that was hers, Poseidon was dragged towards open water with a mighty current. He clawed at the dry ocean floor even as water crushed his hands and filled his lungs and the screaming faded.
Then he was gone.
The ocean belonged to her master once again, carrying Oceanus to safety on a strong current.
Oceanus stood on the beach with the other Titans that had come from the tower, he had been faster and it was his place to choose the fate of Poseidon. He clutched the trident and stared over the calm ocean.
“He was my friend.”
Cronus stepped forward and put a hand on his brother’s shoulder. He was the first of us to kill one of them. I suppose it hadn’t really sunk in that we’d be killing our former friends. Even with the betrayal of our trust they had still meant something at some point.
Oceanus sighed, wiping his eyes and held up the trident.
“Does anyone know a good smith?”
The Smith hammered away at malleable light, each strike sparking as he molded it into something far more powerful.
He wiped the sweat from his brow with a thick forearm and looked up to the group staring at him. A half dozen Cyclopes milled around the massive forge in the open expanse of the icy country they had taken refuge in. They were at least twice his height and thickly muscled, having worked forges their whole lives, but even so the Smith could give them a run in a contest of strength.
They could still drink him under the table though.
“They’re out. Poseidon is dead.”
He snorted, looking down at the arrows he had been crafting from the light. They would need them, perhaps soon.
“Is he there? It’s the quick one, right?”
The oldest and largest of the trio nodded, scratching under his beard.
“Yes, he’ll help them now. Now that we’ve found them.”
The Smith went back to hammering. As the group left he shouted after them.
“A war is coming, are you ready?”
The oldest one smiled before he stepped into the night.
“We’re always ready for a war. We were born for it.”
The roar of prop engines thundered in the sky, drowning out any pretense of conversation. Two rows of men in camouflage uniforms line the riveted metal floor, wearing heavy backpacks and carrying rifles. They waited for the order to move forward and take the leap into the night.
One of them stood in line when he felt a vibration in his tactical vest, fishing his phone out and checking the text message. It was an unknown number to his phone but not to him. It only had two words and it made his heart stop.
He replaced the phone in his vest and waited, hands shaking. One of the soldiers noticed and flashed a thumbs up, which he returned with the cockiest grin he could muster under the circumstances. When they piled out of the plan there was one less parachute open than they expected. When the soldiers gathered at their training point under the cover of darkness they found their head count to be one short.
In the distance a pair of boots hit the ground, ditching the parachute he’d opened far away from the others. He sprinted away, dodging trees and breathing evenly, though his heart pounded. He ran into the darkness. As the others began to search he disappeared into the night.
Like the wind.