Titans Rising – Fighting Demons

“People are yelling at each other, fighting, stealing, and destroying things. A cop just ran by me with a stolen TV…”

I absently rub my arm while I wait for Didy. Physically, I am fine, but since my godnapping and days of torture, my mental state has been all over the place. I’ve woken up in a panic, face coated in sweat. I hear things that aren’t there, and I’ve snapped at people for no reason. I even had a damn panic attack the other day. I huddled into a corner and thought the room was closing in on me. Thankfully, Urania was there, and she calmed me down. 

I can’t believe this is affecting me so much. Even now, I’m looking all over the place, making sure no one is out to get me. I take a generous sip of my drink. Whiskey seems to be the only thing that calms my nerves. I call to the waiter and order two more. 

I take in a deep breath as something covers my eyes. My heart instantly begins to race, and I can feel my chest start to restrict my breathing. I jump out of my seat and prepare to defend myself. I take a few calming breaths after I see that is was my sister, Didy. 

“Why are you so jumpy?” she asks with a smile. 

I throw her a fake smile and sit back down. The waiter set my drinks down and readies himself to take our order. Didy cocks her head at me and asked. “Do you really need two, Mos?” she sighs as I nod in the affirmative.

Even though I am alone, I still couldn’t help but look around. 

Didy crosses her arms over her chest and asks, “What is going on, Mos?”

I look into her eyes and sigh. Just thinking about it was making me tingle, and not in the good way. 

“Didy, something happened.” I barely got the sentence out.

She asks, “What? Is she alright?” 

My brow furrows.  “Wait, who do you…” And then it dawns on me. “What the hell, Didy? This isn’t about Urania and I. And what makes you automatically think I did something wrong?” 

She shrugs, looking at me. “I’m sorry, but you have a tendency to…you know what, never mind. Tell me what you started to say.”

I want to push this issue, but I would save it for another day. 

The waiter brings out our food and drinks. Well, he brings Didy’s food and another drink for me. I finish the last half of the glass in my hand and hand it to the waiter. “Another.” 

Didy grabbed the waiter’s arm and said, “No. He’s fine.” 

The waiter shrugs and walks off. 

Didy takes one of my two drinks and sips it. “Continue.”

I look at her and said, “I was godnapped.”

She rolls her eyes and takes a bite of food. “Come on, Mos, I thought you said you wanted to talk.” 

I slam my hand on the table, breaking my glass.

“I am trying to tell you.” My breathing is erratic, like I just ran a marathon. I can barely catch my breath.

The area grows quiet and I can feel everyone’s eyes on me. My legs start to shake uncontrollably, and I feel like the non-existent walls are closing in on me. I jump out of my seat and run. 

I don’t get far; the restaurant was near a beach. It is far enough to get the extra eyes off of me. I drop to my knees and let the rays of the sun wash over me. I close my eyes and take in a few breaths. In through the nose and out through the mouth, or something like that. 

I couldn’t see her, but I feel her behind me. “I’m sorry,” I say in a whisper. 

Didy kneels in front of me and puts her hands on either side of my face. I open my eyes and give her a weak smile.

“What’s going on, Mos?” I can hear the concern in her words. 

I take a big breath and told her. “Crius godnapped me.”

The words hit her hard. Her eyes widen as I continue. 

“I was at Urania’s apartment when he took me.”

There is a flash of anger and sadness. We touch foreheads and she softly says, “I’m sorry, Mos.”

We just stay there, forehead to forehead. I can’t even explain how much it helps me. Didy moves next to me and takes my hand in hers. “Tell me everything.” 

So I do. I tell her that Crius had planned this revenge for the last couple thousand years. I tell her what he did to me, and how my big red friend got me loose. 

“I don’t understand,” I say. “I’ve been through way worse than this.” 

She pats my hand. “You have, and this trauma was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back.” 

I could feel my chest tighten. It must have been all over my face, because Didy squeezes my hand and says, “It’s ok, I’m here. Breathe.” 

I follow her words. Long breaths. Once I feel better, I look at her and smiled. “Gods damn anxiety.”

She gives me a weak smile. “We’ll get through this, together.” 

I about jump out of my skin when my leg vibrates. Didy falls over laughing as I pull my phone from my pocket. The caller ID reads a name that I didn’t think I would ever see again: Star. 

“Star?!” Didy’s eyes widen at the mention of my ex. “How are you?” 

“Apollo, I don’t mean to bother you, but something is really wrong.” I can hear the fear in her words. 

“Hey, what’s wrong?” I try to sound as calm as I could. Didy leans in to hear the conversation, so I hit the speaker button. 

“Well, you sent me that message about the Titans Rising. You said to call you if anything was off.” She pauses again. 

“Star, it’s ok. What did you see?” 

“There’s been a lot of destruction and looting going on.”

She lives in LA, so I didn’t think that was a big deal. The next part is what gets me. 

“People are yelling at each other, fighting, stealing, and destroying things. A cop just ran by me with a stolen TV…”

Didy is scrolling through her phone. “Here.” She pulls up a video, and it is exactly what Star said. People are just going crazy. 

“Everyone that ends up in the path of this thing is hypnotised or something. It’s like someone is using a magic spell to make everyone angry and act rashly.”

Didy opens another page, and it looks like a tornado on a path of destruction. 

“It’s affecting everything and everyone in its path,” Didy says. I know what her next words are going to be, and it made my heart race. “We need to figure out what is going on.”

“Ok Star, get somewhere safe. We will figure this out.” I know that Star will be ok, because she has taken ambrosia a few times. It doesn’t give her powers, but it does prevent her from being affected by them. I push end and slide my phone back into my pocket and look at Didy. 

“It’s probably a Titan,” she says. 

I materialize my new weapon, the shrederator, and smile. “I finally get to use this bad boy.”

It is a double bladed axe. Heph basically took two axes and a guitar and smashed them together. 

Didy shakes her head and we teleport to LA. I stifle a laugh as Didy punches some big guy that is running towards her. He falls to the ground like a sack of potatoes. I’m sure if the guy is ever going to get back up again.

She materializes her bow and drops to one knee, hand on the ground. I love when she does it. She can track anything. After a few minutes, she stands and pointed. “Ok, whatever is causing this, is this way.” 

I follow close behind as we run a thousand yards or so. She drops to a knee again and turns a bit when she stands. We do this a few more times. Thankfully, it is taking us away from the city and away from people. 

We are in some sort of park when she kneels down again. I follow her lead and look around. “There,” she whispers.

I look where she is pointing and sigh. A Titan and a Primordial are sitting on those animal things that kids ride with the spring under it. There are two mothers slamming two strollers into each other. I am really hoping that they don’t have kids in them. 

To the right of them, three toddlers are screaming at the top of their lungs as they throw sand at each other. 

Didy notches an arrow and pulls the string back. The string twangs and the arrow flies straight and true. Just as it is ready to hit its mark, the Primordial, Ananke, snatches the arrow out of the air. She snaps it in half and turns to us. 

“Did you really think it would be that easy, Arrows?” 

I shrug and think, I was hoping so. The Titan and Primordial stand and face us. Ananke is a little shorter than me with fire orange eyes and chin-length brown hair. I can smell the stink of misery on her. Menoetius is a good four inches taller than me and carries about fifty more pounds, and I don’t mean in muscle weight. He has a cropped beard and short buzzed hair.

I snicker as Didy dematerializes her bow and materializes her sword and shield. She is one of the best archers ever, but with the sword and shield, she is nasty. Combine Wonder Woman and Lagertha, and that’s how badass my twin is. 

I quietly curse as my heart start to beat faster. I do not want to have a panic attack right here. I try to not think about it as Didy says, “Don’t make this harder than it has to be.”

Ananke rolls her eyes and hisses, “I make everything harder, Artemis.” 

She materializes two black sais. 

Menoetius pulls a broadsword from his back and says, “I’ll snuff out the sun.” 

I roll my eyes…like I haven’t heard that one before. I feel tingling run down my neck and sweat slides down my face. Didy must have felt my tension, because she asks, “You gonna be alright?” 

I just shrug. I sure hope so. 

Ananke charges Didy, and I see her sais spark off of Didy’s shield. Didy pushes her back with the shield and moves forward with an attack.

I barely get my head toward my opponent when I throw the shrederator up to block an overhead shot. The near four-foot blade is just a few inches from my eye. I push him back and throw a few tornado swings. My axe sparks off his sword as he goes on the defensive. I am feeling fairly anxiety free until I hear Didy cry out. 

I look to see Ananke slice up Didy’s upper arm. I am about to call to her when a large foot slams into my chest. I lose the shrederator as I crash to the ground. Menoetius smiles as he raises his broadsword. 

“I thought that you Olympians would be tougher.” 

Thankfully, Menoetius has a big lumbering sword, because it gives me time to roll out of the way. The sword drives into the soft ground as he falls forward. 

I have a moment, so I look to see if Didy is ok. She slams her shield into Ananke’s face and the Primordial falls to the ground. She gives Ananke one more hard hit from her shield and turns to me. She rushes over towards me, shield ready. I look up and saw Menoetius moving toward me. Didy slides to her knees and slices her sword across his thighs.

Menoetius screams as blood spills from the wound. She puts out her hand and helps me up. 

“You want to get into this fight, or am I going to do all the work?” She winks at me, and I grab my axe.

We square up on Menoetius and I ask, “Wonder twin powers?” When Didy and I were young, we liked to incorporate moves that we both did into our training. They weren’t always practical, but damn if they didn’t look awesome. 

Menoetius harrumphs as he says, “You will not take me back there.” 

I roll my eyes and move forward with a horizontal swing. Once I am about a foot away, I drop to my knees, Didy jumps off my back and Superman punches him with her sword, leaving a long cut across his chest. 

Menoetius clutches at the wound and cries out, “Nooooo!” 

I grab Didy’s wrist and twirl her around. I let her go, like it is the hammer toss competition for the Olympics. She slams the edge of her shield on his temple, and it drop him to a wobbly knee.

Didy hits the ground and curses. “Ananke is getting away.” 

I turn to see the Primordial run off. 

“Go!” I say. “I’ve got this.”

Didy takes off without a word. I turn my attention to Menoetius as he is slowly standing. I swing the shrederator at him, but he catches it and pulls it from my grip. He tosses it aside and scowls.

“You ain’t got this, Olympian.” 

This idiot wants to grapple with me. Okay…but I practically created it. We lock arms and I realize he was stronger than I thought. He pushes me back a step or two, and I do the same. Things are fairly even until I shift my weight below and hip toss him.

Bark explodes off the tree as he crashes into it. He is dazed as he slowly stands. I rush him, throwing a shoulder against his chest. There is a loud crack as he slams into the tree, and I’m not sure if it is him or the tree. I grab his hair in my hand, which is kind of hard to do, and I punch him. 

“Gods damn Titans always gotta mess things up.” I punch him again. “I had a perfectly stress-free life going on before you idiots went and ruined it.” I hit him again. “I just got back from an amazing vacation, and you ruined that, too.” I punch him twice. “I.” Punch. “Was.” Punch. “Perfectly.” Punch, punch. “Happy.” Punch. “Not knowing.” Punch. “That I was about to have a breakdown.” I punch him over and over, until I could barely move. His face is a bloody mess. You can barely tell it is Menoetius; his eyes are swollen, his lip and nose are bloodied, and I think I cracked his jaw. 

But damn, if I don’t feel better after that. “You’re just lucky I can’t kill you.” I grab his throat and portal him to Tartarus. I drop him in front of Hades and say, “Uncle.” 

He gives me a tight nod and I portal out. 

I pop into Urania’s apartment…well, I guess now it is our apartment, for a drink. I sit down as Dugo and Frank rub on my legs. I looked at my hand and smiled. Urania is going to kill me.

Apollo (Chris Smolinski)
Chris Smolinski is working on being a published author. He is married with three kids, two of whom have autism. He is a stay-at-home father, so he has lots of time for writing, and yet, does not always get the time to a ton done. He loves American football (Fly Eagles Fly) and has multiple championships in fantasy football. He loves to read and listen to audiobooks. His favorite book is Nightlord by Garon Whited and his favorite narrator is Sean Runnette. He is ecstatic that Apollo chose him to be his scribe.
Apollo (Chris Smolinski)

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