Do I trust Atë? She was like an annoying gnat, but if the information she provided me with was solid, what would I owe her? She might also be sending me into a trap. That was the most likely of my choices, but either way it would bring me face to face with Hyperion. I decided not to chance it and headed for the mountains. I didn’t want to be detected, so flying up wouldn’t be an option. If it was a trap, I needed to figure out the best approach. Travelling up the mountain would take me all night. I would have to stop in the town of Litochoro before heading up to make sure I had everything; there I would carefully lay out my plan. It’s times like this where I wish I had teleporting capabilities. When I got into Litochoro, I made sure I kept in the shadows until dark. Any kind of alteration of the elements would give me away, and I couldn’t risk any spies reporting back to Hyperion. Although, if Atë was sending me into a trap, he would already know I was on my way. I wasn’t eager to give him a leg up either way.
At dusk, I circled back into an alley where I was able to scope out a mortal hiking map of Olympus. There were parts I hadn’t visited in ages. While looking at the map, my plan began to take shape. I would sneak up the east side of the mountain using my shadows to block me and camouflage me into the side of the mountain. I know what you’re thinking, the east side, really? I’d be coming at Hyperion dead on.
Exactly! He’s so vain, while he’s watching the sun come up, he will be momentarily out of sorts: in awe of his power and no doubt inflating his ego. He’ll be so blinded by it, I will literally jump out in front of him, taking him by surprise. If he’s not surprised, then I will have the fight my shadows have been aching for. Or worse, it could be a trap and gods only know what will happen to me. It’s not like I have family here to have my back. I am on my own, as always.
I was more than halfway into my hike and was making good time. My mind wandered a bit, flashing through memories of being with family and the promises I made to them at the winter solstice. I wondered how much of it I actually believed anymore. It had only been a month and nothing felt any different. I knew all hell had broken loose, but here I was climbing up Mount fucking Olympus to catch a Titan all in the name of what? Family? When I came up to Agios Antonios, the site of a sanctuary of Zeus in antiquity, I decided to stop and have a look around. The mortals and how they used to pray to us – boy, times have changed. I took a moment to rest, and by rest, I mean take a nap. I guess I shouldn’t have picked a fight with shit for brains after tearing it up with Atë in the streets of Italy. I stretched out my wounded shoulder and drank some coconut water to replenish my electrolytes. I heard it was all the rage with mortals…that and avocado toast. I figured it couldn’t hurt to get some rest and clear my head before having it out with Hyperion. I laid down on the path carved into the side of the mountain, the cool air of the evening nipped at my face. My eyes closed and I was out.
Seriously? You stopped on the side of the mountain to take a nap? We need to work on your stamina dark god.
Atë was here? My eyes opened and I looked around, but here was not where I fell asleep on the side of the mountain. Instead, we sat in a refreshment room at the Stavros shelter back at the foot of the mountain.
“What are we doing here?” I asked.
“You tell me?”
There were drinks in front of us. I grabbed mine and shot it back, waving to the bartender for another.
“I need to know something.” I looked at Atë. Her long black hair was drawn over her shoulder in soft loose curls. Her brown eyes sparkled in the low light of the refreshment room. It took me a minute before I could ask my question. “Why are you helping me?”
Maybe it was a culmination of the last several days’ events or the elevation getting to my head, that’s never affected me before, but for the first time I was seeing Atë from a different perspective.
She took her glass in hand and shot it back. “Do you want the truth or a lie?”
“Of course I want the truth.”
Atë gave me the once over, then shrugged while looking me in the eye. “I pity you. The look in your eyes when we were in Italy, when Nyx found us and accused you. The fighting between the two of you upstairs when I was locked in that cell. We’re alike, you and I.” She faced forward and drank from a glass that had magically appeared. “Because we’re both alone and we both hate it.”
At that moment, I knew that she wasn’t setting me up. Hyperion would be where she said he would be. I could bring him back to Tartarus and I could be back in Zeus’ good books. Did I really care though? I thought about the reasons that drove me to this stupid hike in the first place. It wasn’t for Zeus. It wasn’t about proving my innocence. No, I wanted to shut Dinlas up. He may have taken my family, but I wanted him to know he wasn’t better than me. Maybe Atë understood this on some level.
I looked over at her and that weird feeling inside the pit of my stomach had returned. “Does this mean I owe you?”
Ate winked behind her drink. “Oh, yes.”
My head snapped up as I woke, and I knew right away I had to bust my ass and finish this hike. I needed to use her motivation to keep on going. I would make it to the top before sunrise and kick Hyperion’s ass down to Tartarus.
The sky was getting lighter. I had positioned myself low enough and away from the peak that Hyperion couldn’t see me. But I could see him; there he was, just like Atë had promised. I still tried to fathom why let a Titan loose just so I could catch him again. Maybe this was her game, catch and release?
Mental note: do not let her get too close. It might be a little late for that, the woman is already invading my dreams and can now speak to me when she’s not around. What’s the deal with that anyway? FOCUS, Erebus!
I watched Hyperion. Just as I thought, he was in all of his glory, getting hopped up on the Sun. I had to laugh at the irony of knowing that his actual son, Helios, was still locked up in Tartarus. Wonder how that feels? He’s gotta be pissed.
The sun began to spill over the land, breaking higher and higher into the sky. I waited for the perfect moment as it inched up to the peak where Hyperion briefly closed his eyes, letting his power soak in.
I leaped from my hiding space, my wings spread out, carrying me the rest of the distance. Instantly, the sky and the sun fell into darkness. Hyperion rose from his spot of worship. My shadows protected me from any immediate reaction from him.
“Erebus, how nice of you to come see me. How’s the Mrs.?”
“Quit the small talk, Hyperion. We both know you don’t give a shit.”
“On the contrary.” His eyes grew bright. “I have been waiting for you for millennia. I have been waiting for this precise moment for as long as I can remember.” Hyperion raised his arms overhead, his eyes burning orange and yellow like the sun. His rage radiated from him. “Finally, I will have my revenge.”
“Pretty big on theatrics, aren’t you?” I threw my shadows out to encase him, but they bounced off of him.
Hyperion let out an obnoxious laugh, putting his hands down. “I see you don’t have any new tricks there, old boy.”
I ignored his comment and pulled out my daggers. “I don’t want to hurt you, Peri, but I will if I must.”
“You don’t get to call me that anymore, not after what you did.”
“You were on the wrong side. I did what I had to do to protect my family. You, of all people, should understand.”
“Says the god that was screwing my wife.” His eyes burned brightly.
There was something different about Hyperion. He was radiating with heat and fire, not just because he was angry, but like he was holding the power of the sun in his hands. He raised his arms in the air and began chanting some weird incantation. At that precise moment, I could feel the atmosphere warm up.
I looked behind me at the sun; it had become unusually large and increasingly hotter.
“What in Hades?” I mumbled. I looked back to Hyperion, “What do you think you’re doing?”
“You Olympians, you love Earth so much and love being worshiped by mortals. When I am through with it, there won’t be anything left for you to love but a charred surface. It won’t matter if you lock me up, you’ll all be miserable.”
I sat back on my heels, looking back and forth between him and the sun. His power grew as the sun rose higher in the sky. I pulled from my power deep within, a power I had not used since that great battle all those many moons ago. My shadows expanded as I threw them up in an attempt to block out the sun. But Hyperion wasn’t lying, he had been working on this revenge forever and his power was stronger than it had ever been. I would have to take him out.
Nah ah ah. That’s not allowed. Atë reminded me of the rules when it came to fighting the Titans.
Rolling my eyes. I’m sure Zeus wouldn’t mind just one Titan not returning to Tartarus.
Okay, maybe if I just take off a hand then?
I quickly threw one of my daggers at Hyperion, striking the dead center of his hand. Immediately his strength faltered. My eyes turned black in anger. “You will do no such thing, Hyperion.” My shadows stretched higher and wider until a blanket of inky darkness swept across the entire sky. It might as well have been the dead of night, because to any mortal they would not be able to see two feet in front of them. The temperature instantly dropped below freezing. Nothing would be catching on fire or drying up. I threw a second dagger into his other hand, his incantations stopped, his power succumbing to my own. I was finally able to use my shadows to secure him as I had originally planned.
“You’re forgetting one tiny thing, I’m not an Olympian. I am Erebus, Primordial God of Darkness and Shadows. I have more power in my little pinky than you will ever have.”
I slowly walked over to him, whistling for my shadows that blocked out the sun, and once again the world could see. The remaining shadows wound tightly around Hyperion. I relished pulling out each dagger, making sure to twist the daggers so that the pain was exquisite. I had brought Hyperion to his knees.
“Now there―that’s how I remember you. Grovelling and sniveling,” I said as I wiped his blood from my daggers on to my fighting leathers.
His eyes burned orange, but the fire that was raging inside them only moments ago had been doused to that of a small campfire. He spat on the ground in front of me. “You know, I never understood how Nyx could be married to you all this time. My wife didn’t think much of you.”
“Some people just don’t know when to let things go,” I smirked.
“What I do understand is how alone you must be. Not one person came here today to help you take me down. What does that say about you, Erebus?”
“It says they know I can handle a puny Titan like you.”
“Face it, E, your family doesn’t care about you. They never have and never will.”
I rubbed my black hole ring, an idea forming. I hadn’t used it in years. Instead of listening to this blathering idiot all the way back, I could use the ring and store him for safe keeping until I reached Tartarus. My lips twitched at the corners.
“Did I ever show you the ring Chaos gave to me, Hyperion?”
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