More Fate

Her one light was Circe but even that interaction was restricted by their respective work commitments.

One random Tuesday with nothing in particular to recommend it suddenly took a turn for the strange when Mercury bounded through the main doors of the building. This wasn’t a particularly remarkable occurrence, he had a habit of floating by her desk with a smart remark about three times a week, on his way to who-knew-where to do or say who-knew-what.

What made it remarkable was that he didn’t pass her desk but delivered his message to her.

“The Fates want to see you, now.”

“Well they can’t, there’s no one else available to look look after reception. I’m available after work tomorrow, or on Sunday.”

His brows shot up so high she thought they might overlap his hairline.

“They’re not going to like that your highness.”

“Well then they know who to complain to. I don’t set my hours.”

Mercury’s gaze turned assessing, he stood for a moment, then spun on his heel and walked out.

Calypso would have liked to have spared the strange conversation a little thought, but a sudden influx of mundane couriers and terrified intern applicants kept her busy for the next two hours.

She was slightly disconcerted by his reappearance, but reassured that all was normal when he continued past the desk and into the lift well beyond. Of course, she’d relaxed too soon. A few minutes later, Mercury emerged from the lifts with another woman in tow. A woman Calypso had an uncomfortable feeling was Odysseus’s boss, Athena.

He waved his hand towards the reception desk, “And there she is, sitting like butter wouldn’t melt.”

The woman sighed and moved behind the desk, sitting at the chair next to Calypso’s.

“Fine, but don’t be long and you owe me fly boy.”

“You’re sparing Z Corp the wrath of the Fates, if anything, you owe me.”

“Nice try, payment will be a bitch, I promise.”

That one pulled a nervous giggle from Calypso, pulling the woman’s attention to her, “Well, off you go, the Fates have called and we really do want to keep them sweet. We’ll chat when you get back.”

A threat that wiped the smile from Calypso’s face and sent her scrambling for her coat, the woman took pity on her.

“Nothing bad, I promise, I’m curious about a report regarding you from Odysseus, a very positive one. I’d like to know more.”

Calypso nodded, “I have to help take registrations at the graduate trainee course ending tonight, then serve drinks, so I’m not sure how much time I’ll be allowed.”

“Consider yourself off event duty until further notice. We have more interns than we know what to do with, I’ll pull a couple of them in.”

Calypso’s thanks were left waving in the air as Mercury grabbed her arm and hauled her out of the building.

Once clear, she wrestled her arm back and stepped away from him, glaring, “You can keep your hands to yourself and try for a vague semblance of manners or you’ll be left explaining to your three grumpy ladies why I refused to go anywhere with you.”

“Well that’s rich, I hear you were far more friendly with Odysseus.”

She gasped, and gritted her teeth in fury, “Whereas you’re consistently turned down by pretty much everyone. Maybe he could give you lessons.”

Mercury glared back, “Fine. We need to get a cab.”

He turned and flagged one down, then flung himself into the far seat and stared out the window, pouting.

“You need to tell the driver where we’re going you twit.”

“You are not nice.”

“I’m very nice, just not to you. You don’t deserve it.”

Mercury gave the driver the direction and returned to his dramatic glower.

Calypso ignored him. She’d never really had the chance to ride a black cab through London and she decided to enjoy the novelty, such as it was.

All too soon, they drew up at the house she recognised and Mercury was paying the cabbie.

She hopped out, and walked up the front stairs, reaching out to ring the bell.

“I’m supposed to do that.”

“Well you should have been paying attention then.”

The same child opened the door and showed them to the studio. Definitely not human, they hadn’t aged a day in the two years since her last visit.

This time, Calypso didn’t wait for an invitation to take a seat. If there was going to be more bad news, she’d at least like to be comfortable when she heard it.

The Fates looked at Mercury, “You may go courier.”

“What? That’s not fair, she’s been a complete pain and I want to know what’s going on.”

“If you continue in your current attitude and behaviour little godling, your life will be eternally doomed to disappointment.”

Mercury gulped and fled the room.”So little Titan princess, you didn’t want to visit us?”

“Given what happened last time I came here, no I didn’t.”

“And you had fun poking holes in the ego of our arrogant courier.”

The twinkling grin that accompanied that statement was shockingly unexpected but managed to pull an answering one from Calypso.

“You’re doing well child, starting to rely on and believe in yourself. But we wanted to warn you. You will be soon encountering one of the greatest tests of your life and, for your own sake, we are begging you, please, do not obey the summons.”

Calypso was utterly bewildered, “What summons? What test?”

“We like you. You’ve taken a difficult situation and accepted it with grace. Now you’re finally in a place where you can start to grow in your own sun. We want to see you become the woman you can be. If you do not heed our warning, that will not happen. We can’t say more, it is forbidden.”

She didn’t quite know what to say to that, unsure whether to be more astounded at the warning, or at admission they liked her. Her audience clearly over, she rose, bobbed a quick curtsey in the absence of any other ideas, and left.

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