Val burst into my office yelling, “Selene, Selene! Oh my gods! SELENE!”
I was in an important meeting with several record company executives, and she knew I was not to be disturbed. Worried, I stood up.
“Val? What’s wrong? Ladies, gentlemen, please excuse me.”
I walked around the table to face Val.
“What’s so important?” I asked in hushed tones.
“It’s – it’s Endy,” she said quietly and gulped hard. “He’s, he’s been FOUND!” The last part was said through clenched teeth.
I suddenly understood the mortal slang “mind blown”. To say I was shocked was too mild. Yep, mind blown! For thousands of years, he had been safely hidden in a little cave in Turkey. Mortals have visited, but never reached the deepest part where he lie in his eternal sleep. I quickly turned to the execs and said, “I’m sorry, but I have to go,” and followed Val out the door. Their scoffs and yells in outrage didn’t even register in my panicked state.
Shutting the door behind us, Val glanced around to make sure we were alone.
“Some archeologists were excavating and found the hidden door. Selene, they demolished it!”
I rushed into my private quarters and grabbed my bug-out bag.
“Sel, what are you doing? GO!”
“I’m going,” I said, holding up my bag, “but I need to take a few things from here. I can’t wear this,” I gestured at my business suit, “into the mountains.” I gave Val a quick hug before I rushed into my private elevator. When I got to the ground floor, there was a car and driver waiting for me. I normally drive, but in this situation, I might be too reckless. Good thinking, Val. This is why I love you so much.
The driver took me right onto the tarmac to my awaiting jet. I threw open the car door and ran up the stairs. I didn’t even stop long enough to notice my regular redheaded stewardess wasn’t there. I headed straight back to the bathroom. As the jet was speeding up to take off I emerged fully dressed in hiking clothes that I’d pulled from my bag. As I sat down, I noticed the change. “Where’s Rosen?” I asked the sheepish-looking blonde as I buckled up.
“Um, she, uh, wasn’t available on such short notice, um, ma’am.”
“Why are you stuttering? Am I scary or something?” I pressed a button on the panel beside me and said, “Hey Hal, what did you tell her about me? She looks like I’m gonna bite her or something.”
A chuckle came over the speaker and the robust pilot replied, “Just told her you were a bigwig and to do what you say. Honest.” The speaker crackled off.
I looked back at her. “So, what’s so scary, huh?”
I sat back and tried to smile at her. My mind was racing, but there was absolutely NOTHING I could do until I got there. And even then, I had a jeep ride on top of it.
“Nothing, ma’am. I’m just new and afraid to screw up. I thought my first gig would be, like, a full jet so I could bounce around and mingle. The one-on-one attention just sort of scared me. Plus, the way you stormed in here, I just…” she said, finally calming down and finding her voice.
“Well, I promise I do not take my anger out on…undeserving people. Hal gave you my instructions. I think they are fairly easy to follow.”
She nodded in response.
“Now, whiskey, please. If you need one, you are welcome to a dram,” I said as I pointed to the kitchen area, where the decanter and glasses sat.
The blonde and I made small talk until the first fuel stop. The door opened unexpectedly and a redhead emerged in the doorway. Rosen was stumbling over her feet as well as her words as she entered. “I’m sorry, so sorry, Ms. Moon. I was on another flight. There was physically no way to get to you sooner. I’m sorry.” She glanced over at the blonde and gave her a sheepish look and nodded in thanks for filling in.
Before I could speak, the blonde turned to me and said, “It was nice to meet you. Perhaps I shall fly with you again someday,” then turned and left, the jet’s door closing behind her.
“Rosen, really darling, it was ok. I understood.”
“But it’s Endy! Who else can you trust?”
I smiled slightly at her and sighed as I sat back in my seat. I hadn’t even realized I had been leaning forward. “You are truthful there. It was nerve wracking to act calm when I am losing my mind.”
She refilled my whiskey and sat down across from me. Pulling out a file from…hell, I don’t know where from, it was just there…anyway, she pulled out a file and started. “So this is what I got from Ayberk. He allowed some archeologists to stay at the hotel and explore the caves. He has never had any of them defile the ruins before now, and he got lax in checking gear and every detail of their plans. He knows how serious it is.”
“So they just blew up the door? How did they even know it was there? It doesn’t look like a door. And it’s supposed to be enchanted, so how? I have more questions than answers. I hate not being there already.”
We were in the air again so I unbuckled and started pacing the length of the jet. “If I was not confined to this form, I would BE there by now! I should be there! Why did I decide to do this?”
Rosen stood up and took the now-empty glass from my hand, placing it on the counter. She placed her firm hands on my arms and drew my attention saying. “Sel, look at me. Endy is safe. The men were caught and are in custody. If you were in your true form, how would you even know? Hermes? At least in this form, as you call it, you have contact with the mortals entrusted with his care.”
She was right, as usual. With Hermes down here, working at the GC, I was essentially cut off. If I wasn’t here when it happened, I wouldn’t have been able to get to him at all. Rosen and I talked some more, and Hal had to make one more fuel stop on the way. Rosen finally got me to lay down on the lounge and place my head in her lap. She stroked my head and listened to me talk about the adventures Endy and I had before Zeus got involved, and even about some of the places he had been moved to after. We landed in a record time of six hours and forty-five minutes, the fastest Hal has ever gotten me from L.A. to Turkey.
Unlike my office locations, here I had a deep green jeep waiting for me. Ayberk and my Turkish assistant, Esmeray, was in the jeep with an update.
“Selene, I’m not sure how to tell you this,” Esmeray began.
“Did Ayberk and his men get any more out of them?” I interrupted.
She nodded. “Yes and no.” She seemed hesitant. “Selene, ma’am, Endymion is missing.”
“He’s what!?” I yelled, completely flabbergasted. “How? Where did they move him? Can Ayberk not get more out of them?”
“Yes ma’am, they are capable of more punishment.” She paused and swallowed hard. “They weren’t sure how far you wanted them to go, ma’am. They have already, um,” she paused again and shivered. “Well, it’s not pretty.”
I knew if she was upset, my men had done their job. Now it was time for a Titan to show up.
A couple hours later. we arrived at the cave system. I jumped out of the still-moving jeep and rushed up the steps to the hotel. The doorman saw me coming and held the door open for me. I made my way to the back rooms of the hotel where I knew they would be holding the men. Esmeray was right; it was a mess when I walked in. The three men were strapped to chairs, and Ayberk and his crew were leaning against the tool-littered table at the far side of the room. I rushed across the room towards my men and said, “Well, anything in the last few hours?” Ayberk shook his head no.
My voice echoed in the stone walls, causing some chips to fall from the ceiling. I spun on my heels and marched back towards the chair-strapped men. I felt out their auras and approached the man with the strongest, darkest will. The rest of them were sniveling rags, only there for coin. I bent down into his face, nose-to-nose and growled out of the corner of my mouth, “Where is he?”
He returned my stare, but his will wavered the slightest amount. He recognized me for the Titan I was, and that was the only thing to give him pause. There was something else, though. He knew who I was because he had seen one of us before.
“Who has him,” I shouted, “and what do they want?”
“You’ll find out soon enough.”
At that, I lost whatever control I had left. I drew back and punched the guy so hard, he and his chair landed on their sides a few feet away. I turned back to Ayberk. “He’s working for a Titan. He knew what I was. Get the rest of these domuzlar cleaned up and out of here. He’s the only one we need.”
My crew picked the man up, and he sagged in his restraints, still unconscious. They untied the rest of the men and gave them wet rags to clean themselves. The men were led out by their bound arms through a side door and loaded into a four-runner. I gave orders to have them taken to the authorities and charged with vandalism of a protected site. I removed my jacket, revealing my tank top. I turned back to the remaining man as he began to come to.
“Now that we are alone…” I calmly said to him, “I’m going to ask you again. Where is he, and who are you working for?”
He looked me dead in the eyes and hacked his bloody spittle onto the floor by my feet. I stood back up and stretched. “I haven’t had to do this in a very, very, very long time young man. I really wish I didn’t have to do it now. Last chance.”
Silence filled the room.
“Have it your way.”