Graham sat across from Erebus, as he had come to do every night, and asked him about the souls.
“They’re not here!”
“Unfortunately, I can’t afford to believe you. And I, and therefore you, are running out of time.”
“So, what are you going to do about it? You can’t kill me-“
“I could kill you. But then I’d have to deal with your son.”
“Can you not handle my son?” Erebus asked, smirking.
Graham rose and backhanded the man. “I don’t have time for dealing with him. Now, I will ask you one more time. Where. Are. Your. Souls?”
“I’ve told you, I never brought them up here.”
“Then enjoy rotting in here, I can’t wait around any longer. I have someplace to be.” Graham exited the cell, slamming the door behind him.
He sent out a call to his troops to be organized and ready in the morning, each of the Others hearing the order in their minds. The next morning, the army gathered around him. “Millennia ago, all of you worshipped me. Many of you said you would die for me and many of you did. It was through my nephew that I was able to bring you back with me and now, we, with the help of my brethren and their dedicated souls, will resume our rightful place atop this world. This morning we begin our march toward that final conflict. This morning, as many of you marched for me in your previous lives, you will march for me again. This morning, many of us march toward our deaths in this glorious conflict. I assure you that if you do fall, when we win, you will be reborn. And not as just a soul possessing an unfamiliar body. I have talked of war before. I have spoken of the war I am bringing. Today we give them war. Today we bring the war to them!”
He could feel the wall of sound as it rose around him, the Others chanting and cheering. It took him nearly an hour to get them organized back into their companies. While they were lining up in formation, he made a last trip to the room where his sisters representative and the one silent, unmoving Other resided. He opened the door to find the both of the Others inside speaking, rather cordially, to each other.
“Ah, sister and…” Graham said, trying to figure out which of the other first born Gods he was conversing with.
“Is it that hard to tell me from the others dear Tartarus? You should have known I would show up at some point in time.” Despite the masculine appearance of the Other, the voice was definitely female.
“Ananke, how nice of you to join us finally,” Graham said, eyeing the man that was Nyx for some reaction.
“Oh, dear brother, are you surprised that she would show up now?” Nyx asked.
“Where do you stand Ananke?”
“Stand? Where I always do.”
“In this war, make your allegiance. You are either with us or against us.”
“Tartarus, calm down. I am always on the side of the winners. Always,” Ananke said, smiling.
“Somehow, that is not as reassuring as I feel you want it to be.” Graham said.
Ananke laughed. “Gather from it what you will.”
Graham looked at Other-Nyx again, “And you, your army?”
“Is on it’s way.”
“Have them meet me on the road to Nevada. I can wait no longer here.”
“And what of my soldiers?” Ananke asked, a hurt look upon his/her face.
“Are you pledging them to me?”
“I told you, I will be on the side of the winners.”
“We are headed to Boulder City. Hope to see you there. On my side.” Graham left the room, tiring of Ananke’s games. He had an army to mobilize. He found his driver outside of the building and walked with him to where his chariot waited. He patted each horse as he walked passed it, although each of the beasts stomped uneasily. He popped the convertible top on the Mustang, hiding it within it’s compartment and sat upon the headrest of the back seat, his head rising above the windows.
“Ok let’s go,” He told his driver, sending out the missive to his soldiers who began their march northward.
He kept a more leisurely pace than he had on the way into White Sands, only making ten miles the first day. They were camped in the middle of a plain, the cold wind stirring their tent flaps.
One of his Others made their way into his tent unbidden. “Dearest Tartarus,” Came Ananke’s voice.
“I knew I would see you again soon, I just did not expect it to be this soon,” Graham said, noticing some motion at the edge of the firelight.
“I do not trust your sister Nyx.” She said.
“I’m sure she would say the same about you,” Graham said, glancing at the silhouette of a woman that he had noticed earlier.
“This is not my fight, this is yours and hers. Even though my name may not be remembered, I am still revered these days. They just have a new name for me. Many invoke Murphy’s Law without realizing that it is just a new face for an old god. Ananke, the goddess of the inevitable. I have changed with the times, adapted. I am always on the side of the winners. You should stop this foolishness, do you really think your nephew will allow you to win.”
“If I do so honestly, yes.” Graham that was Tartarus said.
“And do you plan to?”
“Plan to win? Yes I do.”
“That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”
“Maybe so, maybe so. If you will excuse me though, I have an army to get back to.” He said, looking out at the campfires burning around him.
Once she was gone and the Other had left him, the silhouette approached him.
“I head what she said,” Nyx said, “and she is right.”
Graham looked at his sister.
“This is our war,” she smiled and winked.