Blindsided

Zeus cut the call before Atlas could respond and turned to Calypso with a smirk. “Well? What are you waiting for? Off you go.”

Hera rolled her eyes. “Well done idiot. It’s going to take my undivided attention for at least the next day to get her employment terms untangled from her father’s. Ares is going to have to drop everything he’s doing on your supplier contracts to sort it out before the press get hold of it, and in the meantime we’ve got no one to take care of the front desk. No one to take deliveries or keep every story-hungry reporter in the city from waltzing into your office.”

Zeus waved a careless hand. “This is your area my love, deal with it.”

“Oh I will.” Hera reached for the phone. “Leda? I want you and Europa down in the foyer immediately. As of now, you two are on reception duties until I decide otherwise.”

Zeus blanched.  “You can’t do that! You don’t need both of them down here.”

“While Calypso was away, we needed a minimum of three people on the front desk at all times and four during rush hours. I’m afraid your two ‘executive assistants’ are going to have to executive themselves down here until you find a suitable replacement.”

Hera turned, ignoring any attempted reply from Zeus, and fixed a steely eye on Hermes. “And what are you so pleased about.”

He smirked and held up his phone. “I got all of that on video, it’s totally going to go viral.”

Zeus bellowed from behind them. “You did what?!”

“Oh just internal, don’t worry, I’m only airing your dirty washing inside the family.”

As Zeus advanced on the grinning courier, two nervous-looking women approached the front desk from the lifts.

Hera waved them towards Calypso’s realm. “There you are ladies, get yourselves settled, the lunchtime rush is just about to start.”

She turned to Calypso for the first time. “Log off and gather your things, we’ve got a lot of paperwork to get through.”

Calypso gulped back tears, and silently did as she was told, ignoring the group arguing around her.

She stood back, coat over her arm and her bag packed. “I’m done.”

Hermes blinked. “That’s all you have here? Where are all your precious family photos of you and daddy, and your ballet trophies?”

Calypso rolled her eyes, ironically grateful for the courier’s snark. “I didn’t do ballet competitions and I know what my father looks like. You’re the one always taking photos, how’s your memory?”

Hera smirked and steered Calypso towards the lifts. Keeping her moving despite Leda’s desperate call after them. “But we need a handover, what’s being delivered today other than the boardroom lunch I ordered?”

The last thing she heard as the lift doors closed was Hermes’s gleeful. “This is going to be fun. I might just have to stick around.”

Hera ushered her up to the HR department, where people where already clustering and whispering, falling silent as the two of them walked to Hera’s office.

She ushered Calypso inside and closed the door.

Rather than taking a seat on the other side of her desk, Hera herded Calypso to a small meeting table and into a seat. She then took one and looked at her with unexpected sympathy.

“My husband’s an idiot, and we both know this is going to bite him in the backside, but he’s the boss, and I’m afraid that means we need to somehow process your separation from the company. Thankfully he’s made you redundant, rather than trying to fire you. That would have made things very difficult, but at least we should be able to set you up with a good severance package and I’m also going to set you up with an outplacement firm.”

Calypso nodded, not trusting her voice. Hera looked her over, sighed and picked up the phone. “Echo, could you bring tea and biscuits to my office? Thank you.”

Hera fetched her laptop and began working, while still sitting at the table. Calypso wasn’t sure whether it was some form of highly disconcerting comfort, or if she needed to be kept an eye on.

One of Hera’s assistants scurried in with a tea set and set it on the table, then fled with wide eyes.

“Now, I’ve just sent Ares an email, he’s going to have to untangle your employment terms from your father’s contract so Atlas can’t come back and quibble or rant on anything. I’ll tell him to use Zeus’s budget and pay through the nose for your severance. I’m not happy about this at all and hitting him in the hip pocket will let him know.”

She continued, fingers flying over her keyboard. “We’ll need to get Hephaestus up here so you can hand over your phone directly. I’m told he has a soft spot for you as you don’t do silly things with his fragile deliveries, so he may be able to organise something so that you don’t go completely without technology as you’re adjusting. Then I’ll have Hercules arrange a lift to your apartment so you can start clearing that out. He’ll know how long he can get away with giving you time to pack.”

She paused and gave the still-frozen Calypso a sharp look. “Well don’t just sit there, you have quite a few people you need to get in touch with, let them know what’s going on and giving them your personal contact details. I do hope you have a personal email at least?”

That broke through and Calypso summoned a small smile. “Yes I do. If I’m allowed to still use the messaging system and company email for now, I’ll let people know.”

“By all means. I’m afraid your computer is now being thoroughly wrecked by one of my husband’s little trollops, but that it no longer your concern, you’ll simply have to do all your messaging from your phone.”

Calypso reached into her bag and pulled it out. It was vibrating non-stop with message notifications. It was going to be too hard, and too upsetting to read through them all, so she simply typed out a quick message and copy/pasted it across to Circe, Athena, Jason, Hecate, her reception team and Atalanta.

You’ve probably heard already, but I’m finishing up at Z Corp today. It’s a little unexpected so I’m not quite sure where I’ll be for the next little while, but I’ll still be on email and I’ll let you know my new phone number as soon as I have it.

That done, she switched her phone to silent, put it on the table upside down and determinedly focused on making tea.

She looked up after her first sip to find Hera looking at her curiously. “You’re not going to read the messages?”

“I can’t. I’m barely holding it together now. People being nice to me, or even asking where the printer ink is stored, is going to send me completely over the edge and I’d rather not give certain people the satisfaction.”

Hera laughed. “You’re an unexpected package little Titan girl. I have a feeling we may have wasted a rather valuable opportunity with you. Ah well, that’s his problem, not mine, I just hope you bring it back to bite him.”

Someone knocked on the office door and, at Hera’s call, opened it. Hephaestus was barely above Calypso in height but twice her width in pure muscle. Calypso had never seen him outside his den of computers and screens at the back of the ground floor and only then when she’d taken a moment to run a particularly fragile or urgent gadget or component through to him. Here he was though, scowling in a way that said he was uncomfortable and unhappy, rather than angry.

“Well girl, this place is about to go to the dogs, make no mistake. You’d better give me your handset then, and I’ll take care of transferring the SIM.”

Calypso looked at him blankly while Hera rolled her eyes and muttered something about tech jargon. He pointedly ignored her and, after asking Calypso to unlock the handset for him, started tapping and scrolling.

A minute to so later, he pulled a paper clip out of one pocket, unbent one end, and used it to pop out the SIM card tucked inside the phone. He put that carefully to one side, and pulled a second one from an envelope he’d had tucked in his pocket. It looked tiny in his huge fingers. He slotted it into the phone, tucked in the cover and switched it back on again, handing both it, and the envelope to Calypso.

“Here you go. This handset was about to be written off and replaced anyway, so you may as well keep it and save me the trouble of disposing of it. The phone number and recharge details for the new SIM are in there. It’s a prepaid service so make sure you keep it topped up. I’ve also put the list of personal contacts you had onto the phone, rather than the SIM, so you won’t lose any numbers.

Since Calypso was fairly sure she only had three or four numbers in that list, she thought that was unlikely to be a serious problem. When she looked at it though, he’d somehow added at least twenty numbers and emails to it. He met her confused stare with a small smile and a wink, so she thanked him, and hoped it wouldn’t create problems later.

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