Dawn came before I got anywhere with the mortal responsible for Endy’s disappearance. I emerged from the backroom, wiping my hands with a cloth before ascending the service staircase to my room. I showered and dressed in silence, trying to wash away the last few hours. I wiped the fog off the mirror and looked at my reflection. I didn’t like this side of me, my dark side, but it was there. I closed my eyes, unable to look at my reflection any longer. I finished drying off and dressing before calling Ayberk to my room.
Ayberk knocked twice before using his key to let himself in. I was sitting at a small round table, staring out the window, holding an untouched cup of tea. “My Lady,” he said, with a slight bow before coming closer. “What did you discover from the man?”
I set the cup down without taking a sip.
The only thing I needed to say.
“Atlas? As in, holding the world Atlas?”
I nodded. “There was a jailbreak in Tartarus, and he is no longer bound to it. I don’t know much more than that. I’m trying to contact Helios, my brother.”
“I thought he was in prison, too?”
I looked at him with disdain.
“Jailbreak, Ayberk. I’m trying to see if he escaped, too.”
“Right, yes, ma’am. Can I do anything, ma’am? Get you anything?”
I shook my head.
“Thank you, Ayberk, but I think I need to be…elsewhere.”
With that, I got up and left him standing there. I made my way down the staircase and back out into the blazing heat where the vehicles were parked. I hopped in my jeep and took off back towards the airport. During my drive, I tried to contact Helios. I thought I could feel him, but it’s been so long, it’s hard to tell if it is him or the sudden influx of Titans on this plane.
The crowds of tourists were especially thick this time of year, and it was harder to get out of town than I would have liked. I finally made it out of town and rounded a bend when I saw him. He was larger than I remembered, but I should have expected that after holding the Earth for so long. Emotion flooded me as I threw the jeep in park and jumped out, “Where is Endymion?” I yelled as I stormed towards him. The rage was evident in every fiber of my being. The ground shook beneath me as I drew in energy and began to glow.
“Selene, I just want to talk,” he began, his arms open in a gesture of peace.
“Talk!” I bellowed. “You think taking Endymion was a good way to start a conversation?”
“I knew you wouldn’t listen unless I gave you reason,” he continued on quickly so I couldn’t interrupt. “All I want is to realign the cosmos. You, your siblings, and myself. The trifecta reunited. Don’t you want that?” He reached for me and I slapped his hand away.
“Not like this! It would never work! Plus,” I paused, a flash of Endy crossed my mind again, “you should have never involved Endy!”
Blinded by my own rage, I went for the massive Titan and missed. He grabbed me by the throat, and before I could even blink, we were on a different continent. He slammed me down into the dry, rocky ground and the earth beneath me shook. I craned my head around to take in my surroundings, and I saw Helios kneeling, bent over Endymion, holding his head in his lap. The overwhelming rage, fear, and excitement was too much to contain, and I sent out a shock wave from my very core that knocked an unsuspecting Atlas on his ass. I got up and ran over to Helios, who looked up into my eyes as I approached. “Sel, I swear, I had no idea what his plan was,” he began quickly before I could speak. “He just told me he had a way for me to see you again if I helped him. I…I’m sorry.”
So many things ran through my mind and heart, colliding in such a chaotic whirl of emotions. I was so happy to see my brother, it had been so long, but he was a fugitive and it didn’t change the betrayal he inflicted before he left. Plus, he was with Atlas and holding Endy. How could I know whose side he was on? Did he aid in taking Endy and is now lying about his involvement? How do I know who to trust? I have tried to come to grips with his choice, even tried to see it from his point of view. But here, now, in this moment, it was all too raw and overwhelming. Not only that, but the way my powers grew when he was around was dangerous. It was taking all that I had do to contain them and not hurt Endy.
I looked at Helios and spoke with him through our link. “Can you send him back?”
He nodded and closed his eyes. Endy vanished and Helios stood to face me. Atlas was still in the corner of my eye and began striding towards us. “How do I know I can trust you?”
Atlas was upon us and Helios turned into him. We ducked simultaneously and stood as he careened over us. The motion sent him careening ass-over-tea-kettle in the direction he was going, but now landed him on his back fifteen feet away.
Helios straightened and turned back to me. He took my hands in his and said out loud, “You will always be my choice. Sel, I can’t change the past, nor take back anything that happened, but missing you has been harder than anything I have endured down there.” He sighed deeply as Atlas came charging back at us. “I’ll show you, but right now…” and we turned in tandem and swung at Atlas.
Helios went low with a straight punch to Atlas’ stomach. As he hurled forward, I seized the opportunity for an uppercut to his face, sending the Titan soaring backwards in a flip several hundred feet. Atlas was agile and landed in a kneeling position. Helios was back on him in a fraction of a second. He continued the physical assault as I reined in my glow and snuck around behind the Titan. I wrapped my arm around his neck and pulled back with all my might. Atlas reached up in an attempt to unhinge my arm and Helios took the open window.
As I leaned back and pulled the Titan’s body, even further exposing his torso, Helios released a barrage of powerful combinations on his body, finishing with a massive uppercut to his chin. The final blow sent the Titan over me and careening another fifty feet. He lay there a few seconds in recovery before standing again. This time, we could feel the rage emanating from him as he barged towards us. His every step shook the ground beneath our feet. His power flowed through the ground, causing the ground to crack, as he bounded in our direction. Helios and I fought to stay on our feet as the cracks grew towards us. Atlas advanced on us. He jumped into the air about ten feet in front of us and landed with such an explosive force, it knocked Helios and I back at least ten feet. We landed on our asses and bounced a few feet more.
By the time we regained our footing, he was upon us again. With his gained momentum and our instability, he used a flying kick to our chests and knock us back down. He landed on his feet and bent down, picking both Helios and I up by our throats. Anger expanded between us. Our bond and thoughts grew strong. He was NOT going to seperate us again! Our power grew exponentially, and with a planned, synchronized move, Helios and I both wrapped our legs around Atlas and pulled.
Atlas was knocked off his feet, and we hit the ground in a tangled heap. Helios and I were mostly on top of the Titan when we landed, so we were able to keep the upper hand. I grabbed his head and made a half-turn, shoving his chin downward. I heard bones crack as I twisted his head. Atlas pivoted into a backflip and landed flat on his chest with a grunt. Helios straddled Atlas with a knee in the small of his back. Quickly, my brother ripped his arms backward. I followed suit and climbed on his back and wrapped him in a headlock. The Titan was momentarily down and that is all we needed.
“NOW!” I bellowed to Helios and the three of us apparated into the welcome center of Tartarus. We were surrounded instantly by guards. I looked up as Lord Hades walked towards me. Atlas was still struggling under our grasp so speaking was difficult.
“Lord Hades, one of yours, I presume?”
He nodded, and the guards reached down and took a hold of Atlas. Helios and I climbed off of him and stood as they fought to take control of the Titan and began to stand him up. Atlas lashed out an arm and knocked one of the guards on his ass before Hades fastened a chain around his neck and the lot of them walked him away into the Underworld.
I turned to Helios and embraced him. “I missed you so much!”
He held me tight in return.
“Oh, moonbeam, being apart from you has been the biggest punishment.”
We just held each other as long as we were allowed. I felt Hades’ presence as he came up behind me. I lifted my head and turned towards him. I shook my head.
“He helped me. He has served his sentence. Please.” I begged.
His stare unwavering. I turned back to Helios and wrapped him in my arms again.
“Moonbeam,” he said out loud this time, “I have to go back, in good faith. Speak to Lord Zeus, yes, but I have to show them, and you, I am not a threat. Can you understand that?”
“I do, my sweet brother, but so soon? We haven’t even had time to speak.”
He pulled me away from his chest so I could look up into his eyes.
“Sel, I love you, but this is the right thing to do.” He stepped back from me and the guards standing near us each grabbed an arm. They weren’t rough, but I yelped anyways.
“Helios,” I breathed as they took him away.
“Lady Selene,” Lord Hades said, “my brother will want to see you.”
I nodded and dropped my head. A guard walked me to Charon, and he escorted me across the Styx before I snapped. I closed my eyes and imagined my Paris office. I opened them again and was there.
I’m sorry, brother, but I can’t just bow to him again. I’m coming for you, I need you.