December 24th, 1968 – Colorado Springs, CO, USA
“William, you can’t leave in the middle of Genesis,” Diana insisted. “What do you expect to accomplish? I’m as torn up as you, but Anu died over 4,000 years ago.”
“I can’t just sit here, Diana,” William paced. “There could be a record, Hades could have information.”
“You think Hades has kept Anu all this time, without a single word reaching you?”
“I don’t know what to think!” William growled. “I don’t know who to trust!” he slammed his fist onto the table. “As of yesterday I thought Anu was back on Volo, organizing a resistance. Today I find out that he died protecting one of my greatest enemies. I’ve been lied to, Diana!”
Diana remained silent. She knew his lashing had little to do with her respecting Anu’s wishes of remaining silent and was more in response to witnessing his great friend and mentor being trampled to death.
“All for nothing!” William continued to shout. “Martin was supposed to lead us to him, he was supposed to be the key! Necessary failure… I don’t see the necessity in this!”
“I don’t know what to say… I never anticipated any of this…” Diana stuttered. “But leaving now, while Martin is in the anima, I don’t see what good can come of it. After 4,000 years, what’s a couple of extra days? I don’t understand what you expect you can do?” she pleaded to logic.
“I can try,” William snapped. “I am King of the Gods, that has to mean something! Someone has to know something!” he continued to storm around the room. “Martin will be fine for a few days, you keep an eye on him. It’s not like he matters now anyway.”
Diana remained silent allowing William’s words to settle, hoping he’d hear the words he was speaking. “What are you going to do?” she finally asked, realizing there was little that would persuade him.
“I’ll start with Olympus,” William hesitated, formulating a plan out loud, “check records and go from there.”
“What about Pom?” Diana continued to counter. “What will you tell her? How will you explain a trip to Olympus?”
“I’m quite sure there will be nothing I can say… How would you begin to explain this, about her father? All I can tell her is that I tried…” William said with desperation, arranging his personal effects preparing to depart. “I need to do everything I possibly can, Diana.”
“William,” Diana sighed, “it’s not your fault. No one could have known. It was an accident.”
“I’ll need you to cover for me,” William persisted, her words falling on deaf ears. “Tell Pom that I had an emergency meeting, no phones. I’ll be back in 2 or 3 days, max. Tell her I tried to reach her.”
“You know that won’t work,” Diana dismissed. “She’s finally just starting to trust you again, she’ll think you’re back to your old ways.”
“Just do it!” William boomed. “I’m out of options… Keep an eye on Martin,” he finished, walking towards the exit of the research facility.
“William…” Diana relented, “be careful. Come back in no more than 2 days, whether you have your answers or not.”
“Thank you, Diana,” William appreciated her approval though he knew it was under protest. “I’ll return as soon as I can,” he said walking through the airlock door of Project Genesis.
William entered the large circular domed chamber with the elegant compass rose and sealed the vault door behind him. His long, brisk steps carried him toward the N of the rose and the vault door adjacent to it. Typing on a keypad inlaid into the wall, the computer security system demanded a password for voice recognition.
“Thura Olympus,” William spoke.
The vault door hissed with releasing pressurized gases and William entered the chamber. Sensing motion, cool inlaid lights illuminated a corridor that gently widen into a half circled stone room. The chamber was regal, elegant masonry decorated the walls and high ceilings with the inlaid lighting woven throughout the entire room. In the center sat a short stack of granite stairs. The top of the steps leveled to a platform that was capped by glorious pillared stone arbor.
William closed the vault door behind him and labored up the steps towards the archway. He paused briefly, running his finger through his hair, gaining composure. Fully gathered, he finished the accent without further hesitation and walked through the center of the stone arbor.
Upon reaching the other side of the archway, he instantly found himself in the center of his palace in Olympus. Glorious sunshine fell upon his face, partially blinding him until his eyes adjusted to the light. Tremendous stonework and statues just as he remembered filled the lavish garden and told ancient stories of triumph and peace. Birds swirled throughout the fountains, chasing buzzing insects and singing songs of the Gods. Tranquility and harmony consumed the courtyard.
William’s bones instantly warmed and he smiled with content, the King had forgotten how much he missed his home. Without taking more than a moment to reflect, he regained focus and began to briskly walk through the courtyard leading inside the towering walls of the palace.
The entire structure glistened and shimmered with majesty while his powerful footsteps echoed off of the tall stone walls and high ceilings. “Hestia,” William shouted announcing his presence, “no need to get up, I still remember my way around,” he teased.
“Zeus?” he heard a small voice reply from the east wing. “Is that you?”
William moved quickly down the corridor to greet her, “Let me guess, minding the hearth?” he said rounding the corner to a marvelous gathering room complete with a spectacular fireplace suited only for the Gods.
“Oh my…” Hestia gasped, “It is you.”
“Don’t sound so excited,” William smiled.
“And still in those awful Earth clothes,” she remarked, returning his smile. “Come here, give me a hug.”
William eagerly wrapped the aging woman in his arms and squeezed her with love. “It’s been a while,” he whispered.
“Indeed it has, my King. Indeed it has,” she hugged back. “Sit!” she commanded, letting go of his powerful arms and gesturing to the plush furniture. “We weren’t expecting you for quite some time, this is a surprise!”
“Hestia,” William sighed, “I’m afraid this isn’t a social visit. In fact, I shouldn’t even be here,” he said, looking over his shoulder. “I have some unexpected urgent business.”
“Oh,” Hestia deflated, “always on the go,” she nodded. “You’d think you were King or something,” she smiled, letting him off of the hook.
“Are you well?” William asked.
“Of course, of course,” Hestia dismissed. “We just miss you and Hera dearly,” she said. “It’s quiet without you around.”
“I miss you too,” William admitted. “We’ll be home soon, I know it,” he added for reassurance. “Earth has its charm, but Olympus is home.”
“I won’t keep you, dear,” Hestia said. “I can see in your eyes that your mind is elsewhere.”
“Thank you, Hestia,” William nodded. “Oh, by the way, has Olympus received any news from Anu?”
“Not that I’m aware of,” the old woman replied with confusion, “we have no communication with the Titans. I thought you established a pirate signal with Dione on Earth?”
“Oh, I have,” William back peddled, “I was just actually talking to Diana before I came here,” he smiled uncomfortably. “We’re trying something new from Volo, seeing if it works,” he lied. “Wasn’t sure if you’d heard anything.”
“I haven’t,” Hestia twisted her eyebrow, “but that isn’t really my department.”
“Of course not,” William smiled. “Hestia, let’s keep my arrival between us. I won’t be here long and I’d hate to hurt anyone’s feelings by not visiting.”
“As you wish,” Hestia bowed, understanding the sensitivity.
“Cut that out,” William smiled, dismissing her formal tone. “I’ll see you soon and we’ll visit next to the fire. You wouldn’t believe the stories I have from Earth!”
“On with you,” Hestia smile, shoeing him along with her hands and ending their conversation.
William continued down the east corridor until he came to the back hallways and his private chamber. Hestia had a point, he couldn’t very well be seen in his Earth clothes, especially not if he wanted anyone to take him seriously. Browsing through his closet filled with a robe for every occasion, armor, and diplomatic travel, he settled on the commander uniform he wore next to Anu when they defeated the Titans together. It was elegant but also suggested tremendous might, a quality he didn’t want anyone to forget when he began his questioning about his friend. He also decided that a long coat with a hood would help him travel throughout Olympus with anonymity, no one expected him from Earth so a second look would hardly be given.
William slipped to the far corner of the palace where he stored his vehicles. Choosing the tachyangeioaeri, a personal anti-gravity vehicle resembling a futuristic motorcycle, William climbed aboard and fired the machine. A blue instrument panel simultaneously came to life with his lightening bolt insignia and the chariot of the sky silently lifted off of the ground and hovered in place. William couldn’t help but smirk to himself, he missed soaring the skies as a god and the technology of Earth’s sleekest jets just couldn’t compare.
Intuitively using his body to control the machine, he ventured into the streets of Olympus. The city was pristine, God’s kingdom was in full order, even in his absence. The warm sunlight carried him across town to the capital building where Supreme Justice Themis resided and all of Olympus’s records were kept.
Parking the tachyangeioaeri around back of the capital, William entered through the rear entrance, casually trying to remain out of sight. Cloaked in his hood, he methodically passed through various levels of the building in an effort to reach the records. Crossing paths with Eunomia and Dike arguing over a judicial issue, he used their preoccupation to let himself into the records chamber undetected.
Slipping to the back of the room where the data center was located, William methodically began cruising through the holographic display searching ancient records.
“Excuse me, sir,” a deep voice from behind startled William. He instantly froze, contemplating how he should proceed. “Do you need some help?” the voice asked.
William remained silent.
“There’s a lot of information,” the deep voice continued. “I might be able to narrow it down.”
William stood up straight from the hologram and turned around to greet the voice, in doing so revealing his identity. “Hey there, big fella!” William grinned.
“Zeus?” the deep voice boomed.
“Shhh,” William scolded, raising his eyebrows.
The enormous black man remained still with a desperate look of confusion on his face.
“Get over here,” William smiled. “Quiet.”
The man turned and looked over his shoulder to see if anyone else was witnessing what was happening. Still unsure of the situation, he cautiously made his way over to Zeus as directed.
“Samson!” William greeted with a whisper, extending his hand and forearm for a friendly shake. “The dreadlocks, man! Still looking good!”
“I remember the last time they were cut off,” the bulging man said with irony and a smile, vigorously shaking William’s hand.
“What’s Superman without a cape?” William teased. “How have you been?”
“I’m good, brother,” Samson relaxed with William’s friendly tone. “Figured I’d live up to my title of Judge and hang around the Divine Court a bit more.”
“It suits you,” William said sincerely. “I’m glad you’ve finally come around.”
“I’ve seen enough blood, spent enough time on the battlefield…” Samson said, his eyes falling to the floor.
“You’ll always be a warrior, Samson,” William said, “but now fight with a pen instead of a sword. A diplomatic man capable of action will always have a place in my court.”
“Themis and the girls think I’m brute,” Samson smiled.
“You are!” William laughed softly. “But you’re also so much more.”
Samson graciously accepted the compliment. “Zeus, what’s going on? What are you doing here?”
“I need a record,” William said sternly, “an old one.”
“Well, you’re in the right place,” Samson commented.
“Even before your time, big man,” William said, turning his focus back to the hologram. “The current network is complete from Olympus forward, but I need something from the Egyptian days when we were building this place,” William finished, glancing around the room.
“Things are spotty back then, sir,” Samson warned. “After the evacuation, it seems you were short handed. Available gods were performing essential duties for humanity, building Olympus, and so on. Records, well, weren’t an essential duty.”
“I understand,” William nodded. “We had to do what could back then, building a utopia takes more than 6 days,” he explained with a wink.
“What are you looking for?” Samson asked. “We might get lucky.”
“Death records, Earth, June 19th, 2023 B.C.”
“Do you mind?” Samson motioned towards holograph, gesturing to take control.
“Not at all,” William smirked. “Never thought I’d see the day…” he poked fun at the mighty Samson turned records curator.
“You’re not the only one,” Samson returned the humor. “Do you have any more information?” he asked, briskly whipping through the data.
“Yes,” William replied. “The location is Assur, Mesopotamia.”
Samson paused, glancing over at William out of the corner of his eye. “Marduk days…”
“Indeed,” William met his concern, “the entire reason I had to eventually solicit your services. “Clean up” as we used to say.”
“There was nothin’ clean about it,” Samson mumbled, flicking through the holograph. “It looks like there was a death that day, but there is no data associated with. No name. The soul wasn’t marked.”
“Unmarked?” William confirmed.
“Yes, sir. No information other than a timestamp.”
“That’s a bit odd, don’t you think, Samson?” William asked. “No record at all would be one thing, an incomplete record-,”
“Makes you think information was withheld, or tampered with,” Samson finished William’s thought.
A long pause fell over the men while William contemplated the situation. “Who managed these records after the evacuation?”
“Like I said, it was sparse,” Samson replied. “Hades has always been the Director, managing the records of the dead. It also looks like compared to other entries of the time,” he commented, flipping through the data, “Andi made entries… and Nemesis,” Samson hesitated to even speak her name.
“Andi and Nemesis?” William glared.
“Yes, sir,” Samson said under his breath. “Impartially, in their defense,” he stuttered, “it would have been apart of their duty to access these records.”
William remained silent with his brow ruffled, absorbing the thought of his own daughter conspiring against him. Nemesis had already made her intentions clear and drew battle lines when she enslaved humanity by placing Constantine in power, though he didn’t know her hatred went as far back as the days of Marduk.
“Just a happy coincidence, then?” William replied sarcastically.
“Probably not,” Samson hesitated, “but without an investigation, trial… Where’s the justice?”
“You have been hanging around these walls a bit too much,” William smiled, though he agreed with Samson’s sentiment. “No trials, no condemnation… This stays between us, Samson,” William said a bit more sternly. “All we know is that there is a timestamp of death that happened over 4,000 years ago. There’s no reason for either of to suspect anything more,” he diffused.
Samson nodded his head in understanding but his body language made it clear he wasn’t content with William’s explanation.
“Not a word to the rest of the Justices, no public involvement,” William continued, reading the dissatisfaction in Samson’s eyes. “Nemesis has already sealed her fate, piling on is unnecessary and justice will find her. I’ll keep a closer eye on Andi when I return to Earth, but calling her to Olympus for a circumstantial trial would raise suspicion and only alert our enemies that we’re getting close to discovering their dissention.”
“Certainly, King,” Samson agreed with much more confidence. “Not a word from me. May I ask who you’re looking for? I might have heard something, be able to help.”
“You cannot, old friend,” William’s eyes touched the floor. “Not out of lack of trust or respect, but for your protection. If there is falsified records, I’ll need your unbiased testimony.”
“Without question,” Samson nodded. “Anything you need, sir, ever.”
“I appreciate that, Samson,” William said sincerely, touching the large man on the shoulder. “I suppose I should be off to see my brother, perhaps he can add a few more pieces to this puzzle.”
“Hades?” Samson asked.
“Perhaps you should solicit Hermes to join you, just to be cautious,” Samson recommended.
“Is there a need for caution?” William asked, “Something I’m unaware of?”
“No, sir,” Samson remarked. “I just assume no one knows you’ve returned from Earth,” he remarked, looking William up and down wearing his cloaked hood. “Should you fall into trouble, Olympus would be unaware of your location. Hermes is the only one who can freely move between realms, especially since the sanctions.”
William nodded, heeding the advice. “Thank you, Samson. You’re a true friend.”
Samson nodded and reached to shake William’s hand, bidding him farewell. William returned the gesture and grasped Samson’s forearm firmly.
“Zeus,” Samson called as William was walking away, “if you see her, Delilah, in the other realm… Tell her that I forgive her.”
“I will, Samson,” William nodded. “I’m proud of you,” he smiled with approval, impressed with how much his old friend had matured.
William returned to his tachyangeioaeri undetected and mounted the vessel, pointing it towards Hermes penthouse. He maneuvered the hovering vehicle around the back side of the capital and instantly shot to the sky. He accelerated vertically like a rocket, corkscrewing through the high clouds leaving a spiral vapor trail. Reaching the crest of his ascent, he released the controls and allowed the vehicle to plunge into a spectacular dive, freefalling back toward Olympus.
The howling wind rushed through William’s hair and parted his beard. The sensation of flight, the freedom from gravity compelled him to go faster. Grinning wildly, William grabbed the controls and accelerated, gravity not moving him fast enough. The top of Olympus skyscrapers rushed towards him and William continued to pick up speed. Dive bombing Hermes’ home, in one fluid motion William brought the vehicle horizontal and instantly stopped, parking it perfectly on Hermes’ balcony. A rush of wind from the high-speed freefall caught up with the vehicle and blasted the penthouse, shaking everything within it. William grinned.
“For fuck sake!” Hermes shouted from the pool. “Was that necessary?” waves created by the force of air caused the water to lap over the stone edge holding the water. “You don’t park up here!” he continued to shout.
“Sure I do,” William said, removing the hood from his head.
“No, you don’t,” Hermes quickly fired, unaffected that it was his father that had just dropped in to pay him a visit. “You park down below and take the transport up, just like everyone else.”
“Nice to see you, son,” William grinned.
“You could have called, rang the doorbell at least,” Hermes continued to rant.
“Who’s the nymph?” William asked, noticing an attractive woman floating on the far side of the pool.
“She’s not a nymph,” Hermes corrected with an irritated tone. “Aspasia, meet my father.”
“Aspasia of Athens?” William questioned with a smirk.
“The one and only, My King,” Aspasia introduced herself, swimming towards the shallow end of the pool. “I see my reputation precedes me,” she let out a coy smile from the corner of her mouth. Hermes rolled his eyes.
“Please excuse my informal appearance, we weren’t expecting you this afternoon,” Aspasia said stepping from the pool. Beads of water dripped down her sun-kissed naked body. She paused for a moment, allowing both men to get an eye full as she rung out her soaked hair before grabbing a towel. Her confidence and sexuality permeated with each bend and bow while she dried her damp skin from all angles.
“Really, Asia?” Hermes said shaking his head with contempt, her ploy to gain the attention of William clearly working.
Aspasia ignored Hermes’ criticism and dropped the towel to her feet, slowly walking toward William. William’s eyes widened the closer she approached.
“This is absurd,” Hermes said with frustration. “Do I need to find Hera?”
“Easy, boy!” William barked out of the corner of his mouth though his eyes never left the spectacle in front of him. “I’m just… sitting here.”
“Such words!” Aspasia gasped. “I’m simply fetching my robe,” she said as if her actions were completely innocent. Aspasia locked eyes with William as she walked past him to the patio furniture where two sets of clothes were draped over the backs of chairs.
“You don’t have to watch,” Hermes insulted William while Aspasia slowly maneuvered herself into her clothes.
“Sure I do,” William grinned. “She may need an extra hand.”
“A King and a gentleman,” Aspasia smirked.
“See,” William fired back at Hermes. “It wouldn’t hurt if you were nice once in while,” he teased.
“Yeah, Hermie,” Aspasia ganged up and teased with William, “your father knows how to treat a lady!”
“Does he?” Hermes didn’t take to the humor. “Should we ask all of the countless ladies what they think of him?”
“He’s just jealous,” William nodded to Aspasia, “the only reason those women are upset with me is because they can no longer have me,” he smiled devilishly.
Aspasia finished dressing and situating herself then walked over to greet William formally.
“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you after all of this time,” Aspasia said bowing. “Again, my apologies for the first impression.”
“An impression I certainly won’t forget any time soon,” William grinned. “So, what’s the deal with you two?” William asked straight away, ignoring any further pleasantries.
“Enough!” Hermes shouted, at this point removing himself from the pool and trotting over to get his clothes. “There will be none of this,” Hermes flicked his fingers between the new acquaintances, “no talking between you.”
“Well, it looks like you know how to get a rise out him,” William laughed.
“Play him like a flute, sir,” Aspasia smiled.
“Speaking of play,” Hermes
interjected without warmth, “why don’t you play ‘find the wine’ and bring us
back a couple of glasses?”
“I’m not your servant, Hermie,” Aspasia quickly countered.
“Asia, dear…” William brought civility back to the conversation, “Would you mind giving us a few moments to catch up?”
“Certainly,” Aspasia straightened herself once more. “See, Hermie, that’s how you speak to a lady.”
Hermes slit his eyes and shook his head with frustration. “Thank you,” he raised his voice in mocking falsetto.
While Aspasia made her exit, William climbed off his tachyangeioaeri and greeted Hermes with a hug. “It’s been a while, my boy,” William grinned.
Hermes returned the gesture and hugged William back with warmth. “It sure has, Pops. What are you doing here?”
William removed his coat and lead himself around the patio furniture, taking a seat in a large cushioned chair. Hermes followed suit and sat across from him with a small a fire pit dividing them.
“She’s something else…” William nodded toward the penthouse, commenting on Aspasia.
“Trouble,” Hermes smiled, “the good kind.”
“She looks like a handful, in more ways than one,” William grinned. “Loyal?” he asked.
“She found her way into Olympus,” Hermes remarked. “She can’t be all that bad... But doubtful.”
William nodded, understanding the sentiment. “Is she able to keep quiet?”
“About you?” Hermes smirked. “Also doubtful. She’ll eventually have to tell someone.”
“Great…” William sighed.
“She is extremely intelligent though,” Hermes added credibility. “Plato and Socrates wouldn’t have been inspired, wouldn’t be nearly the great thinkers they are without her. It was really in her mind that all great philosophy among men began.”
“I remember when word first reached me about her,” William remarked. “She was running Athens, not bad for a slave girl… I was just starting to behave with Hera and I refused to meet her. Unnecessary temptation…” he smiled. “Though everyone spoke very highly of her.”
“It’s too bad you can’t control yourself, Asia should be one of your top advisors. She’s brilliant, father,” Hermes said with a bit of disappointment in his father’s infidelity.
“Without that lack of control, you wouldn’t be sitting here,” William reminded, sinking into his chair. “You’re right though… To my credit, I’ve been unbelievably faithful to Hera over the last millennia.”
“It’s just those other couple millennia that gets ya,” Hermes smirked.
“Perhaps it’s time to stop punishing others for my shortcomings,” William ignored Hermes insolence. “Give Aspasia her dues, see how she mixes with the Counsel.”
“I’m sure there’s nothing she’d like more,” Hermes replied modestly, surprised by his father’s candid outlook and honesty. “How will you explain that to Hera? It’d be a bit easier if she looked like Pan…”
“Make it her idea, of course,” William smiled. “You really don’t know anything about women do you?” he teased.
“Besides ruining my afternoon,” Hermes brushed the comment, “what are you doing here? You’re not supposed to be back from Earth.”
“Keeping tabs on when and where I’m supposed to be now?” William raised his eyebrow.
“They’re your rules, not mine,” Hermes said defensively. “No unsanctioned travel, I just assumed that applied to you as well.”
“Of course not,” William laughed. “Seriously though, something has come up. I need your help.”
Hermes adjusted himself in his seat, realizing the conversation had just taken a much more serious turn and was reaching the crux of his father’s visit. “What’s going on?” he asked.
“I know you remember the stories, the legend, but do remember Anu? The God?” William asked.
“Of course,” Hermes replied. “I was young at the time, but he’d always help me play tricks on Apollo.”
“You remember that?” William smiled.
“Some of my best memories,” Hermes admitted.
“He was a tremendous man,” William said somberly. “Even when Hera was livid and wanted you for dead, Anu treated you as his own. He didn’t hold my infidelity against you.”
“Not at all,” Hermes said. “I remember being sad at the evacuation, out of everyone leaving I knew I’d miss him the most.”
“Well, Anu didn’t leave with the evacuation,” William said rubbing his forehead. “I found out yesterday through a subject in the anima.”
“You’re kidding,” Hermes said with disbelief.
“I wish,” William said. “This entire time I thought he was back on Volo, preparing a resistance.”
“Me as well, I think that’s what we all thought,” Hermes said.
“Some among us have known a little more than that,” William continued. “Hades has never mentioned anything to you?”
“Not a word,” Hermes said with a puzzled look on his face.
“Verdandi? Nemesis?” William asked.
“I don’t like where this is going,” Hermes said. “Tell me Anu is okay.”
“Anu died almost 4,000 years ago,” William looked Hermes in the eye. “He died protecting the child version of Marduk.”
Hermes let out a long breath of air, absorbing the news.
“I’ve already visited the records at the capital. There’s a timestamp of his death, but no further information. No name, an unmarked soul.”
“Unmarked?” Hermes questioned. “How is that possible? All Gods are marked.”
“I’ve reached two possible conclusions; Anu corrupted his own documentation when he refused to board Atlantis during the evacuation or someone knew it was him that died in Assur and falsified our records.”
“This is outrageous,” Hermes stood from his chair and began to pace.
“I completely agree,” William said, “hence my visit to Olympus.”
“How can that be?” Hermes thought aloud. “You can’t corrupt DNA.”
“There’s always a way…” William paused. “Though not easy or likely. I can only think of two instances, unsuccessful, a couple of purist Titan’s trying to manipulate data under Kronos.”
“They were discovered?” Hermes questioned.
“And quickly executed, their corrupt efforts completely in vain,” William explained. “Mutations in regeneration, compromised data within the network. A complete failure.”
“I’d suspect…” Hermes hesitated. “Why not just flee to a pirate network, Venus? Regenerate there?”
“Ideology,” William shrugged. “Desperate men without compromise.”
“That doesn’t sound like the Anu I remember,” Hermes shook his head. “Even after the war with the Titans.”
“I wouldn’t think so either,” William stuttered, “though there’s only two possible explanations.”
“And now you want me to go with you to visit Hades?” Hermes pieced together the rest of the puzzle of why his father had interrupted his mid-afternoon pool party. “Hoping for treason rather than all out lunacy?”
“Precisely,” William said. “I need someone I can trust, someone who is familiar with the other realm. We need answers, son.”
“I knew you should have let me go after Nemesis,” Hermes fumed, his only possible explanation for the turn of events.
“She had help, Hermes,” William rationalized. “To think otherwise is naïve. It wasn’t safe and it still isn’t, not until we discover her conspirators.”
“How do you plan to do that?”
“First things first,” William gathered. “Anu is our priority, we need to find him.”
“I don’t know,” Hermes shook his head, “after 4,000 years… There isn’t going to be much trail. Even Hades isn’t stupid enough to try to pull something like this off.”
“I don’t know who I can trust anymore,” William said with desperation. “I just know that I have to try. How could I ever face Pom again without doing everything in my power? How could I ever look in the mirror again? …Anu was like a father to me. Better than a father.”
“I’ll help you,” Hermes said, his eyes focused on a crack in the stone floor.
“Thank you,” William replied with sincerity. “It’s important that we don’t let on about Anu, to anyone. We can use our perceived ignorance to flush out dissention later. You’re not the only one who knows how to use tricks,” he smiled.
“I understand,” Hermes nodded.
“I’d also like to keep as much anonymity as possible,” William said, nodding inside toward Aspasia. “There’s no need for rumors to swirl throughout Olympus of my arrival, it will only cause suspicion.”
“Perhaps the request would mean more coming from you,” Hermes suggested.
William reluctantly nodded in agreement. “We need to leave right away, I have to return to Earth. The subject that discovered Anu is still in the anima.”
Hermes shook his with disapproval and a smirk, “that sounds quite ill advised.”
“Yes, Dione is quite upset with me,” William chuckled. “Go get dressed and I’ll have a word with Aspasia.”
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