I don’t know what I expected, some fanfare maybe? Nah― that would be ridiculous.That would mean they actually took notice of my help, and let’s face it, they used me. Dinlas, the bugger, used me to do his dirty work. I caught Hyperion. I stopped him from turning the Earth into burning ash. I think I proved myself to the family. I know whose side I’m on.
The internal struggle I was having beat out the deafening silence that surrounded me when I finally got back to the underworld. Not a single person from my family had been here to greet me to say, “Job well done, Erebus.” Doubts about them slipped back into my head, probably as a result of all my conversations with Atë. I rubbed the back of my neck. I was curious, though. I wasn’t not sure how she was doing it, but she had been in my head more times than I could admit to anyone. I’m supposed to be the strong one here, but ever since those stupid dreams with “Emily”, Atë’s been there in more ways than one for me. She hadn’t done me wrong; she did tell me the truth about Hyperion’s whereabouts. Our conversation in the refreshment room replayed over in my head. UGH, gods! I hated that we had more in common. What would my family think? They wouldn’t give it another thought because that would mean they actually thought about you.
I waited for Charon to bring the ferry across. I rubbed my ring subconsciously. If I had half a mind, I’d release Hyperion from the black hole I put him in. Let him and the other Titans rip apart Olympus. I shook my head, still arguing with myself. They’re just busy catching their own Titans. Relax. They still care about you.
Charon pulled the ferry up against the shore.
Charon only grumbled at me as per usual. He stretched out a hand, waiting for his payment.
“Really? I’m your father. I don’t even get a free ride?”
Charon flexed his palm from open to closed, silently saying, “Gimme.”
I rolled my eyes at him. I should have known better than to cheat him, this is all he had now. It was the least I could do. I reached into a pocket and pulled out more than enough to ferry me back and forth. We set sail on the short journey across to where all the Titans were held.
“You know what I have here, don’t ya?” I held out my black hole ring for him to see, but he didn’t look, his bluish-gray eyes only stared forward. I shrugged it off and continued to talk to him as if he were listening. “I caught Hyperion, again!”
Smiling to myself, I imagined him congratulating me. Way to go, Father, tell me all about it. But Charon remained quiet. He didn’t care about the battle of Dark vs. Light. He probably didn’t even care about me. I sat quietly for a while before admitting out loud and for no one to hear, but him.
“I need to find someone, son. I know you shuttle Dinlas and your mother back and forth to her apartment.” I shook my head. “As much as I hate the prick, I know he’s better for her than I ever was.”
The ferry reached the shore, and I looked up at the triple wall of bronze. Tartarus. As I walked further in, I could see the destruction left behind by Atë. She really did a number on things down here. I felt a pang of worry for her all of a sudden. Zeus wasn’t going to go easy on her. Maybe I’ll come visit her while she’s down here. Wait – what? Am I admitting I wouldn’t mind spending more time with her? Well, that’s a new development or old…just maybe the first time I’m realizing it out loud. I’m not talking out loud, I’m talking to myself. Yeah…you really need to stop that. People are really going to think you’re an old crazy hermit in a cave. I gave my head another shake, remembering what I was here to do.
Time to release old sunshine himself. My shadows would still be wrapped around Hyperion so that he could not flee once released from the black hole ring, although they probably weren’t needed. To be held in the black hole ring was a jail in and of itself. Torture to anyone who was so lucky to be inside of it. Alone with your thoughts and those of all who hate you, among other things. The time Hyperion spent in his Tartarus cell would look like a cakewalk in comparison to what he was currently going through inside the ring.
Once inside Tartarus Correctional, I twisted the ring, opening the secret component that would release Hyperion. He fell to the ground a blubbering mess.
“Oh hey, old boy,” I chuckled. “Enjoying yourself?”
Hyperion lay on the ground in the fetal position, rocking himself. I spoke to him like I would a four-year-old mortal. “Time to go back in your cell, little buddy.” His hands were still bleeding from where I had removed the daggers I had thrown. Putting an arm under his, I helped him to his feet and walked him into his cell. A few of the Titans that had been caught looked on.
“What did you do to him?”
“Nothing he didn’t deserve. Don’t mess with a primordial, let that be a warning to you all.”
I closed the gate behind him and went back to the ferry where Charon was waiting.
“Okay, son, take me back.”
I was inside my GC flat, undressing when my phone rang. I half expected it to be Dinlas, but laughed at myself. A soft-sounding mortal voice was on the other end.
“Is this Erebus?”
“Who wants to know?” Could never be too careful with these mortals, schemes and telemarketers harassing everyone all the time.
“This is Sandy, I’m a producer for the television show Love me or Love me Not.”
“Yes?” I was a bit confused.
“Well, I have your video and application here and I have to say, we just love it!”
“I’m sorry, come again?”
“We would love it for you to be our next Love Me bachelor.”
I rubbed my head, trying to understand the words coming across the phone. Me on a dating show?
“You’ve come highly recommended and tested well by our viewing panel.”
“I came highly recommended? By who?”
I listened as Sandy the producer shuffled the papers that were no doubt in front of her. “Your friend, Erik Amor.”
“Erik? Erik…” I searched my memory. EROS!