We sit in silence and no one wants to break it, not now. Hades’ pilots are taking us to the safehouse where Phoebe and Coeus are safely hidden.
Themis’ body sits in a seat, covered with a blanket for some shred of respect we can provide her. Mnemosyne hasn’t spoken since she told us what had happened on that balcony, how they had ended up with Dionysus alone.
She sits blankly, staring ahead and playing the scene over and over and over again in her mind. I know she is because I would be. Any of us would be.
“It’s not fair,” Artemis says it to me quietly, just to me. She’d taken the seat next to me and I hadn’t argued it. Tethys sat beside Themis’ body, holding one hand and crying silently, staring out the window.
I don’t have anything to say to those words.
All I could think about was how we had failed them both, how we should have been with them and we could have stopped it. How Themis did the right thing, but Mnemosyne would never forgive her for it, would never forget.
When Artemis said those three words it sank in for me, sank in that it wasn’t fair. For Themis to be snuffed out like that wasn’t right.
That wasn’t justice.
First Theia, then Iapetus and now Themis. Titans were dying all because of me. The war that I had started three thousand years ago had led us to this point in time, every rash decision I had made and every ounce of power I had craved had brought us down.
It had killed my sister.
It had killed my brother.
It had killed our moral compass.
I had killed them all.
When the phone that Hades provided for me begins to vibrate in my pocket I am pulled from the thoughts that threaten to give way to a fiery rage. I remove the phone from my pocket and tap the green button with my finger for the unknown number, holding it to my ear to hear Ares’ voice. A voice I hadn’t heard for a long time. He and I had always got along well, though he struck me as a bit on the slower side. What Iapetus had seen in that one was always a mystery.
“Dionysus? That’s an interesting choice for you. Did you know that you’re all over the news?”
I hold back the anger and engage, wondering who I am. I would normally have threatened to pull his innards out through one orifice or another but…I suppose that’s growth.
“Ares, come to beg for your life? Grovel? Make a deal?”
Ares simply laughed at that. It was worth a try, even if it was a long shot. He’s too stubborn, maybe even too stupid to make the right decision.
“Not quite, I have someone who wants to talk to you.”
I heard weak breathing take the place of his voice, a rattling breath that sounded like it belonged to a very hurt person. Then she spoke.
“Hyperion,” it sounded like Hestia but at the same time it didn’t, like she was talking through a mouth of broken teeth and swollen tissue. I don’t know what to say to her. My sister’s confidant and friend does not sound good and I have a feeling I know where this is going. I don’t think it’s going anywhere good.
I hear her breath catch and she chokes out a sob before the phone is taken away from her.
“Ares, you can still stop this.”
I hear the phone being set down, a choking sob and a gunshot.
Then Ares returns.
“See you soon.”
There is nothing but silence as the call is ended.
I look up to see that everyone has been watching me, that they could only hear the one side of the conversation. They could hear the gunshot though.
I throw the phone down the length of the plane where it shatters on the cockpit door. One of the pilots opens it and glances back then quickly shuts the door again when he sees the broken phone. I stand and storm the length of the aisle and then stop, screaming at the back of the plane. It’s a bestial sound that I haven’t heard in a long time.
I scream until I don’t feel helpless, until I don’t feel weak, until everyone has backed away from me in fear and the light burns outside the small windows as the sun feels my rage. That’s all I have for now.
So, I scream.
She was a young woman, wearing the habit of a nun and walking the streets. Children gathered at her hem and she whisked up one into her arms, the whole group giggling along with her as she did. A well-known figure in the community, Hestia had all but pushed thoughts of the Olympians and Titans from her mind. She had taken up the mantle of helping where she could and doing what good she could in the world, spiriting away Theia’s weapon to a corner of the world that none of the Olympians would dare tread in.
She turned a corner and shooed the children off, having work to attend to at the small convent where she was to serve dinner for the community later in the evening. There was no place for the little ones around the bustle of the kitchen, they had enough volunteers who came to repay the kindness of the nun they had come to love.
All Hestia had to do was cross through a single alley. An alley that was almost too quiet for the midday bustle of the city.
The hair on the back of her neck stood straight and she tensed, she had never been one for combat though she’d learned a few tricks along the way. She didn’t know if the Olympians would leave her alone but why would they come now?
“Who’s there?” she called out softly, hoping to draw the unseen figure out from the shadows of the alley.
She immediately relaxed and ran to the woman, embracing her tightly and choking out tears of joy. They hadn’t seen each other in a very long time.
“How did you find me?” Hestia asked, gripping the other woman’s hands tightly. The woman smiled at her.
“I never lost track of you in the first place.”
Hestia smiled and checked the alley for any untoward eyes that might watch them, hurrying the other through the alley towards the safety of the convent.
“Come, quickly, we’ll talk somewhere safe.”
As they walked together, the woman said something to Hestia.
“I need your help, badly.”
“Of course,” Hestia answered without hesitation, “anything.”
“I need to know where the children are. I need to find the Titanic children.”