The moment they entered, the room felt heavy. The four of us were in different areas of Noel’s grand ballroom, but instantly, Kratos, Bia, and Zelus were around Mother and Father. With their hands at their sides to draw their weapons, Bia scanned the room to find me. “Nike, attend!” she sent telepathically.
I hadn’t noticed them until Bia called to me. I dropped my reading and was at her side in the blink of an eye. The smell of sulfur was very foul. It’s the one scent I hate. It’s the smell of rotten eggs and old man farts…so gross.
“Nike, focus!” Bia shouted in my head.
“Ow! Not so loud! I’m here; I see them.”
I looked over at Zelus; he was clutching his chest. I knew what that felt like. It was the deep call of who we are. He was in agony as they drew closer to Lady Nyx. They were not friends. They were THEM, the ones from before the time, before this time…
My mind wanders to the Great God War, and the clashing of metal and armor. The blood splatter from an unfriendly Titan I never knew the name of, as I slashed my way to get closer to Dad…
I felt a hand on my arm. Opening my eyes, Bia was staring at me with great concern on her face. “Yes, little one, I feel it, too.” Looking at her face, I could see she understood.
Kratos stared at us for a moment, then we were back at full alert around our parents. Dad moved forward to confront the Elder Father. Mom also spoke. Inside of me, it felt like both Zelus and I were in a tug of war because of our calls…the ache in my chest was strong…and very indecisive.
Dad moved to stop Lady Nyx from moving in on the Elders, Kratos right behind them.
Most don’t know the bonds we four have in our protection of them, Mother and Dad. We are never far from them. Kratos is the strongest of us all, so he is on point nearest to Dad. Bia has both telepathic and telekinetic abilities; she knows that Elder Father and HIM are not here to fight, but she tells us, “Be ready for anything.”
“Aw, I see you have ‘the Children’ with you,” Kronos said to Dad, referring to the four of us.
Dad raised his right arm slightly, which was the command to hold steady. It had been a long time since we had been needed. The protective circle, as we called it.
What was it Kronos said he set in motion?
After THEY left, Mother and Dad popped back to Olympus and Bia linked us. “They’re headed home, Nike. You stay here,” Kratos said before he popped out, followed by Bia.
Zelus looked worried. I crossed to him. Our heads touched, and we both knew this was going to test us, just as it had so many years ago. He popped out without saying a word.
I was at Lady Nyx’s side, tense and ready to fight to protect her, as that was my new assignment. “Are we going to war again?” I asked as I watched the others around her. I wasn’t afraid; I had never turned away from a fight. My only thought was of the new mortals we were all so close to.
“Easy, Tory, it will be alright,” Eros tried to calm me.
“Victory, you should go rest. We will work this out in the morning,” Lady Nyx suggested to me.
I nodded and turned to head upstairs. I paused and looked over my shoulder. I saw Eros, Lady Nyx, and Dinlas talking. I listened to them as I crossed the room to retrieve my book. She asked them not to go to Tartarus alone. She made them promise her. A slight grin came over my face…she didn’t make me promise.
I popped up to my room and began pacing the floor. They always tried to keep me from there. What would or could happen? I mean, sure, Uncle Hades had forbidden it, but I needed to know who exactly had escaped. I mean, What if he?…He’s dead, Nike, come on. He can’t be out, because he was never in prison.
I shook my head to release the thought that my father, Pallas, might actually be freed, and he would come for us like he said he would. I started to think about how they could have gotten out. I got up and pushed on the window. Ugh, this window didn’t open like the ones at home. I decided to pop up to the roof, but realized I had forgotten to change out of my party clothes. As I quickly changed, I could hear Eros approaching my room. I popped out and went flying in search of answers.
Then, a few days later, I got the worst news anyone could give me…
I felt a change in the air. The wind seemed to push against itself, pushing me side to side. There was only one reason something like that would happen. Dad…what, where is Dad? He and the others had gone on some quest with Perseus. I knew something wasn’t right.
I landed on the ground and ran. I ran as fast as I could push myself. The God Complex was half a block away. Impatient, I leaped over the mortals and took to the skies again.
A blast, followed by shattered shards of glass that were busted down to the sand particles they were made from. I was hurled back, tumbling through the air like a leaf during a hurricane. I tried to gain my wings to catch myself, but I hit the building across the street and went through the glass. I don’t know how long I was knocked out.
The office building floor was destroyed. The fluorescent light fixtures were hanging by electrical wires. I slowly stood up, dizzy, shaking my head to regain my focus. I could hear sirens, car alarms, and screaming. I walked over to the now shattered window and looked out.
Furniture, people, and car crashes are what I saw below me, but it was what I saw across the street at the God Complex that made my heart sink. All of the windows were blown out. Like an IRBM hit the building. I stood there, shaking, memories of the bombs bursting, the screaming of all the men, the burning of their flesh. I knew I was having a bad flashback. My breath was catching, and I could smell the fear. I closed my eyes, clutching my fist against my chest, inhaling deeply.
“Steady, Nike, steady. Just breathe. Focus on my voice, little sister. Can you hear me, Nike? Breathe.”
My breathing slowed as I focused on my brother’s voice. “Ares?” I asked as I started shaking.
“Shhh, little one. It’s done. They’re all dead,” he said, pulling me into his arms. “You did your job. Now go home. Dad and Mom, they’re waiting for you.”
I exhaled and opened my eyes. I was back in the blown-up building, and I realized the building across from me was not only my home, but my family was inside. I took off, full flight. I had to see what…I needed to know…no, please no…
I hovered just outside, then flew around the building in search of anyone that might be hurt. I found some of the maintenance people; they were hurt, but not dead. I helped them to the curb outside. Ambulances had arrived, along with the fire department and several police cars. They were here to evacuate the building and to assess the damage. I needed to get inside.
When I walked into the lobby, it looked like the elevator was stuck. Where is my brother, Kratos, when I need him to do the heavy lifting? I said to myself as I rolled my eyes. I rushed in and pulled open the door. Sure enough, there were people stuck inside. “Hold on, folks. Is everyone alright? It’s me, Nike.”
“My Lady Nike, help, we’re stuck.”
“Help us, Nike!”
“I’m coming.” I climbed inside the elevator shaft and hovered up to the car. “I need everyone to sit on the floor,” I called up to them.
I could feel the weight in the car shift. Gently, I guided the elevator down to the open door shaft and held it in place. The firemen held the door open and helped everyone out. The weight in the car shifted again, and I could feel it was empty. I pushed the car up enough so I could get through the door. The elevator car crashed to the bottom of the shaft.
I heard a lot of displaced air around me, which meant the Gods and Goddesses were leaving. I remembered Mother had appointments. Mother! I started to pop away when someone grabbed my arm.
“Nike, it’s Dad. Something has happened to Dad,” Ares started to tell me.
My eyes widened in total fear. “What? Oh no! NOOO!” I snatched my arm from my brother’s hand and popped up to Mother’s office. The floor was practically gone; the walls were down to just the framing.
“Mom…MOM!!!” I shouted as I walked into her office. I gasped as I walked further into the room…
“Mom,” I whispered as a tear slid down my face…