The Summons

She was dealing with two couriers, a client demanding an immediate showing of a line that was still only on paper and a journalist hoping to score an unscheduled interview with anyone she could wangle her way in to see.

The phone rang, she answered, and asked them to hold, pressing the button before they had a chance to respond.

Two minutes later, the couriers despatched and both the client and the journalist swept up by Aphrodite, the company’s Head of PR, Calypso returned to the phone, only to be greeted by a tirade from her father on disrespect and proper behaviour. He rolled over any attempts she made to defend herself, so she popped her end on mute and ran through catering orders and delivery receipts until he ran out of steam.

She wondered if he’d always been this overbearing and she’d simply never noticed it, or if his time on the other side of the world had brought out a latent tendency. Thinking things over, she had plenty of time, she realised it had always been there, she’d rarely triggered it before.

It was then she discovered how much she’d changed. Before, she would be frantically trying to appease him, agreeing to anything just to make him smile at her and call her his darling girl. Now, she was hard pressed to not hang up on him. She settled for an eye roll and stubborn silence.

He finally wound down with a, “And I expect better behaviour from my daughter in future.”

She forced the sarcasm out of her voice, ” Yes Daddy.”

He clearly didn’t hear anything untoward, so continued on to his next item of business.

“Now I supposed you’re curious over why I’m calling.”

“I assume you need to talk to someone in management, who would you like me to transfer you to?”

“What? Oh, no, no, my dear, I’m calling to talk to you.”

Calypso’s stomach started to sink.

“I’ve decided you’ve been on your own far too long and I’ve had enough. I’ve had a ticket booked for you on tomorrow’s flight to Singapore. I’ll meet you at the airport myself. The second bedroom has been all made up for you, you’ll love it.”

“And?”

“What do you mean?”

“I know you Daddy, there’s something more. And also, how would Z Corp suddenly allow me to join you when they’ve never even wanted contact between us up until now?”

“Now look here…”

She fought to keep her voice sweet and reasonable, it was the only way to sway him, “Daddy, you always taught me to be careful, that’s what I’m doing. What if this isn’t really you, but someone trying to get you into trouble?”

That clearly hadn’t occurred to him and it took a while to process, Calypso went on mute again and took receipt of three more deliveries to the backdrop of his hemming and hawing.

Eventually he came to a conclusion.

“You’ll just have to trust it’s me and I’ll see you at the airport in two days.”

“You haven’t told me why they’re suddenly letting me come out to join you.”

“We can discuss it when you get here.”

He clearly had something up his sleeve and just as clearly wasn’t about to share. Calypso asked him to send her the flight details, he promised his assistant would get right on it, and they ended the call.

She pinged Circe, “I think I’ve just found out what the Fates were talking about.”

“Ooooh, is it good? Do tell!”

“My father just phoned and essentially ordered me onto a flight to Singapore tomorrow.”

“Oh yeah, that’s a summons. What are you going to do?”

“It’s awful, there’s one part of me that’s saying it’s my father and I’ve missed him so much and it would be nice to have someone to look out for me again. Then there’s the other part that would rather stick a knitting needle through my eye.”

“He’s going to take it pretty badly if you don’t go.”

“He’s going to take it pretty badly if I go, and then prove to have acquired a mind of my own in the past two years.”

“I’d have thought a father would be happy to see his child grow and develop.”

“I did too, but thinking through the conversation today, and then going back over, well pretty much my entire life, he’d hate it. He can’t stand things changing. I’m willing to bet the reason his assistant is sending the flight information is because he still hasn’t learned to use email.”

“So, circling back, what are you going to do.”

“About the only thing I can do, I’m going to talk to Athena.”

Circe’s reply was a gif involving dropped jaws and explosions.

“Wish me luck!”

Calypso opened a new email and started to type. She needed to keep it short, clear and professional, and that was going to take a while to pull off.

Two hours later, the email was written, cross-checked by Circe, approved, and sent.

Calypso was amused to notice that the promised email from Singapore had yet to arrive. Having dealt with that office a few times, she knew they prided themselves on their efficiency, so she drew her own conclusions on her father’s relative standing in the political hierarchy and hoped she could use their delay to her advantage.

She was still torn, habits and attitudes of a lifetime are difficult to break out of, but the warning from the Fates had kept her from knee-jerk obedience and the more she thought about it, the more she certain she was that getting on that plane would be one of the worst decisions of her life.

She considered further, then took a deep breath and sent yet another email. This one to Hecate.

Not asking for help or advice, but simply acquainting her with the situation.Her mother’s answer was almost immediate, “Don’t do it.”

“Why?”

“To suddenly push his terms of employment like this, even if he has permission to move you out there? He’s up to something and I don’t like that he hasn’t given you a reason.”

For once in her life, Calypso was in agreement with her mother, and said so.

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