“Philomelus Arktos tou Samothrace!” I bellowed in defiance as it dawned on me that I remembered my son. The look of shock on my face must have been more than noticeable. Philo seemed pleased that I’d called out his entire name.
I opened my eyes as I felt his grasp begin to release. I watched in horror as he slowly seemed to be pulled away. “My lady,” he called in an almost inaudible tone. I reached for him, but to no avail. “My lady,” he murmured once again before disappearing into a white mist.
As we began our ascent, I felt a euphoria envelop me. The feeling of being drawn upward, being uplifted, being free. I allowed my mind to wander as I embraced my trance-like state. The roar of the engines became a soft hum in my ears, like the sound of the waves lapping the shores of Crete.
He reaches out with lightning speed, grabbing the side of my head and squeezing. Black ooze rains down on my face, then springs to life, crawling like worms pulled from the dirt as it moves over my face. It leaves cold slimy trails on my skin as it forces its way into my eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. I let out a gargled scream to the blue sky as the blackness of the ooze pulls me down into new nightmares.
“What have I done?” I whispered to myself. “It’s ruined. I’ve destroyed the archives. What the hell is wrong with me?” I stared down at the sickle in my hand, that feeling of insanity crawling back into my mind.
I touched it with the tip of my finger and knew it wasn’t right. Mekon had a soft, silky feel about it. This was grittier. I took just a taste and knew what it was. “Colchicum,” I whispered. Someone had added a powdered form of autumn crocus to my blend. It wouldn’t kill me, but it could cause me to spin out of control in the right doses.
Lana gave me all the details she’d been given over the phone, most of which only made me more curious as to Thanatos’s whereabouts. As I listened, I got the feeling that I was about to head off on a journey that I might not return from.
I made my way to my office, feeling a stiff drink might help calm my nerves. I turned on a small lamp that sat on my desk and noticed something lying on the carpet. It was an envelope that had been slipped under the door.
The message was to take these folders to his ungrateful son. I wasn’t sure who he was talking about until the messenger mentioned that Zeus’s portrait had a hole in it again, and I realized he was referring to you.
I rushed to Hera, wrapping my arms around her in a heartfelt embrace. She stood stiff, never one to show outward emotion. I felt the pain and hurt coursing through her veins and tightened my embrace until she finally fell into my arms and let her emotions flow free. I hadn’t seen my sister this distraught since we’d emerged from our father’s prison.