Read Part II, A Queen Lost
The high-pitch ringing of the phone cut into my train of thought as the library slowly disintegrated around me. I stood in the middle, my eyes glowing, as I waved my hand from side to side. The walls, floors, and windows bent and cracked before bursting, sending shrapnel in every direction. All the records from this historical site would soon be gone. Just as he asked. Kronos wanted to make sure that when the memories started to fade there would be no trace to anyone living or dead.
I obliged. I would do what he asked while having an agenda of my own. I needed the Titans in order to get close enough to Zeus: distract, separate, and keep the family busy. The fewer Gods around Zeus, the better. Kronos thought I let him and the Titans out because I needed their help. He was half right, but not about the part he thought he was going to play. On the plus side, they did have a nice plan set up for everyone, and I just couldn’t wait until the shit hit the fan.
The shrill ring cut into my consciousness once more. I ignored it again as I turned to leave the collapsing building. Concrete slabs and support beams started to fall behind me as I walked out. A whoosh of dust swept in front of me, coating my black leather pants with soot. I reached the soon-to-be-destroyed front door and stepped outside, taking the steps down two at a time. My phone trilled again, but this time I answered.
“What?” I snapped into the receiver.
“I have been calling you for days,” the voice bit back.
“Funny, that’s exactly how long I’ve been ignoring you.”
I stepped to the edge of the sidewalk as the building finished its collapse behind me. Cars honked their horns, dodging the flying debris, and bystanders scurried far away, screaming. Honestly, the sound of their screams was music to my ears.
His voice came back through the line with more malice. “We have a problem.”
“We? I think you mean you. I am beyond great on my end.” I leaned over to slap the dirt from my pants.
The line went silent once more before he went into detail about the problem. I felt the phone crunch in my hand from the anger at the mere mention of what was wrong. Not only had Kronos screwed up once again, now they set a batshit crazy Goddess on the loose and worse, as a fucking teenager. I didn’t respond. The phone in my hand also turned to dust blowing in the wind.
It didn’t take me long to find her. All you had to do was follow the sirens from emergency vehicles. The street had a few cars piled up, and there were smoking bodies lying broken on the sidewalk. I flew through the air; my temporal form helped me travel faster above the chaos. I had to hand it to her though, I wish I could have contributed. I went further up the street trying to see if I could sense her somewhere. The destruction that Hera caused seemed to stop a few blocks back. People up the block weren’t affected and were going on about their normal business like there wasn’t a crime scene further back. Cars honked, and people chattered on their phones, or to each other, which told me everyone was not bothered by the destruction.
I stopped above a line of business and I had to stifle a giggle. A Starbucks? This is where the Queen of the Gods was? I mean, I guess it made sense, her being a teenager and all, but still…ironic. I circled once more just to make sure I wasn’t wrong, but the energy I felt coming from the inside told me I was right. It made my skin, or lack thereof in this form, tingle. Regardless of her age, the bitch still had power. I formed back on the sidewalk in front of two mortals, who jumped and scurried away. I straightened the white tank I wore before knocking the remaining debris from my leather pants and heels. Leaning up against one of the light poles, I waited. It didn’t take long. A slender sixteen-year-old walked out. She exited the shop with one final yell at the inhabitants before turning around with a cup of whatever over-the-top drink they sold. Her eyes met mine, and she stopped dead in her tracks.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous for a second as she looked at me. It didn’t matter what age Hera wore, I knew what she was capable of, more so than most, and I also knew what she cost me. My nervousness soon turned to blind rage as memories danced across my subconscious, but I suffocated those and replaced the rage with my most believable smile.
“And what the fuck are you smiling at?” she asked taking a sip of her drink, one hand on her hip.
Don’t start a fight with her. Don’t start a fight with her.
I kept repeating it over and over in my head.
My face lost its humor at her words, but I had to remember why I was there. I couldn’t waste time on people who no longer mattered to me. Everything had a purpose, just like a game of chess. Remove the Queen, and the King would be all alone.
“Look, you’re not taking me back to those boring Gods who tried to stop me, so don’t waste your breath. Move out of my way before I smite you like those stupid mortals,” Hera spit before starting to walk away.
I jumped in front of her, blocking her path, and I rose a hand in mock defense.
“Actually, I’m here for quite the opposite.”
Her brow rose as she cocked her head to the side, “Oh yeah? Prove it then.”
I slowly smirked at her challenge. I forgot that I never knew Hera like this, only the one my father married after the other women who came in his life. She wasn’t aware of my power or she wouldn’t have asked. I turned sideways as I slammed my foot to the ground, releasing some of the rage that I carried along with my ruin. The earth beneath my heel cracked and opened as it spread across the street creating a thick fissure. Cars slammed on their brakes, but it was too late as a few fell into the holes.
I raised my hands again as people started to scream and run, but it was too late. More energy escaped my hands, turning mortals into dust. I forgot how good it felt to release my power, since I had been trying to save all my energy for Zeus. A part of me wanted to keep going and wipe another city off the map, but I knew I had a mission, and this was not it. I lowered my hands, drawing my power back in, as I turned back to Hera.
I half-expected her to be shocked or somewhat scared, even though nothing could shake the woman I remember. Instead, I was greeted by a teenager with her mouth wide open.
“No freaking way! Do it again. Ohh! Ohh, smite that guy.”
She pointed towards some bystanders off in the distance, who heard what she said, screamed and then ran.
I turned back to her, a thought forming. “Actually, why don’t you and I go cause some mischief instead?”
She shrugged like it was no big deal and headed to a corner of the store, stopping in front of what looked like a rug.
“Fine, but if you so much as think of giving me over to those other Gods, I’ll smite you, too. Regardless of your cool dissolving powers or whatever.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it.”
She stood, then sat on the rug as it began to lift upwards in the air.
“So what’s your name anyways?”
I know it shouldn’t matter or I shouldn’t care, but it still stung. Even with her like this, it stung. To be erased, to be truly forgotten was worse than death to me. After everything I had done and experienced with my family, I was nothing to anyone anymore. He would regret that. They all would.
I smiled softly. With an edge of malice as I responded, “Ate, Goddess of Ruin.”