“I’m ready if you two are,” said Apollo. We were now in his quarters. Calliope and I were seated on a chaise, and he was on a chair across from us. He gestured toward a low table in front of us where the two drinks stood side by side. Both of them looked like ordinary glasses of wine. “Thalia, you pick first,” he said.
I’d made a terrible mistake in selecting these glasses. It seemed obvious now that the vessel with the pestle would have the potion. Or was it so obvious that Apollo would put it in the chalice with the palace? Or would he put it in the vessel with the pestle because he’d know that I’d know that he’d…
“Calliope, you pick first,” said Apollo. Calliope picked the chalice with the palace. I took the other one.
“Now, both of you, drink-”
“I was going to say ‘on the count of three,'” said Apollo.
“What? When?” I said confusedly. “What are we doing here? And when did you get these cups?”
Apollo made some notes on a tablet.
“Just messing with you,” I grinned.
“So you do know what we’re doing here?” Calliope said to me.
“Yeah,” I said. “We volunteered for an experiment, and I guess I’m the control.”
“Thalia, what’s the last thing you remember?” Apollo asked me.
“Some guy taking me to his bedroom and making me and my sister play roofie roulette,” I said.
Apollo rolled his eyes and wrote on his tablet. “Calliope, you?” he said.
“The last thing I remember is going to bed and falling asleep,” said Calliope. “I’m very curious to learn what made us decide we had to drag ourselves out of bed in the middle of the night and perform this experiment right now.”
“What do you remember doing during the day?” he asked.
“The three of us went to Helicon together,” she said. “Poseidon and Dionysus were both there wanting to court Beroe. Beroe said she had something she wanted to tell Dionysus. I thought she was talking about Orpheus’ death. She said she wasn’t, but I’m still not convinced. She all but admitted that she knows Orpheus’ secret, but doesn’t want to tell me for some reason. We fought about it. Later, at home, Thalia and I were talking in her room when we were both summoned to Olympus. Zeus and Aphrodite announced that Poseidon and Dionysus would compete in a tournament for Beroe’s hand in marriage and for Dionysus’ seat among the Twelve. When the announcement was over, we all met at Helicon again. Beroe assured us that she was giving her full informed consent to this plan, and that she was counting on Dionysus to win and to agree to a marriage of convenience. Then the three of us came home for good. I went to bed, fell asleep, and woke up here.”
“Do you remember anything about the tournament itself?” Apollo asked.
“I remember that Athena, Aphrodite, and Zeus are going to be the judges,” said Calliope. “And I think you told me you’d agreed to announce the games?”
“You don’t remember having watched any of the games?” Apollo asked, continuing to record her answers.
Calliope frowned. “The tournament doesn’t start tomorrow, does it?” she said.
“I swear you agreed to this experiment,” Apollo reassured her.
“It was kind of your idea,” I said.
“What’s the point of this experiment?” Calliope asked. “I have a right to know that much, don’t I?”
“Of course,” said Apollo. “We – meaning the three of us; we’re the only ones who know about this – think your mother may have given you – meaning the nine of you, not just you specifically – some kind of mechanism to override memory spells.”
“Wouldn’t we have figured it out by now?” said Calliope. “It’s not like we haven’t had sufficient motivation.”
“It’s more like sufficient awareness,” I said. “We didn’t know Mom was even using memory spells on us until a couple years ago.”
“Plus, high-stress situations can actually have a negative effect on people’s mental performance,” said Apollo. “Especially when it comes to memory. Think about it. We see it in our followers all the time. For some, stage fright can be channeled into energy, but others completely shut down until they’re able to relax themselves. I’ve designed this experiment to be as low-stress as possible. You’re in a comfortable setting, you know you can trust me and Thalia, and to the best of either of our knowledge, nothing of any major significance happened to you in the last two days. Which is the approximate amount of time you’ve lost.”
“Okay,” Calliope hesitantly accepted. “Promise one of you will stay with me at all times until I get the memories back?”
“Of course,” said Apollo. “It’s a necessary part of the experiment. It’s pointless if no one’s observing the subject.”
“I’m guessing the solution isn’t anything as simple as ‘thinking really hard’,” said Calliope. “For all I know, I went to bed before sundown yesterday,” (she hadn’t), “but I feel like I’ve gotten very little sleep. I’ll probably be more capable of tapping into latent powers if I’ve had a full night to recharge.”
“Fair enough,” Apollo agreed.
“Want me to sleep in your room tonight?” I offered.
“Yes, please,” said Calliope.
Calliope fell asleep pretty easily. I didn’t. After about an hour, I summoned Apollo. “Is something wrong?” he asked me as soon as he’d silently closed himself in her quarters with me.
“No, she’s fine,” I said. “But since she’s asleep, I thought I’d double-check with you on our plans for tomorrow. I know we’d decided that you’d help me coach Dionysus, but if you’d rather stay home and observe Calliope, I would totally understand.”
“No, I still think it’s important that I supervise the training,” said Apollo. “Who knows. Maybe the Fates gave us an extra day between the games just so I could help with Beroe’s plan.”
“That would not surprise me at all,” I concurred.
“In all honesty, I do wish it had been you instead of Calliope,” he sighed.
“You know if all goes well, the subject gets all her lost memories back and then some, right?” I reminded him.
“It’s not that,” he said. “I’d wanted to try leading the subject to see how susceptible she is to false memories. Now that you two have it in your head that Mnemosyne might’ve been using memory spells on you all your lives, it’s possible that your minds could invent ‘latent memories’ that never really happened. I don’t want to go there with Calliope, though. Not after…well, the Corybantes.”
“It was your memories against hers,” I understood. “You trusted her right away when she said she remembered it being you, she trusted you right away when you said you weren’t there so it must’ve been a shapeshifter, and you don’t want to do anything that might lead her to question that mutual trust.”
“Exactly,” said Apollo.
“Maybe we’ll be lucky and she’ll trip the mechanism before we meet Dionysus tomorrow,” I said.
“Hope so,” said Apollo. He shifted toward the door a little, like he knew he should go, but I could tell he was both reluctant to leave and unsure whether he should stay.
“Hey,” I said. “Want to stay here? In case anything happens? I’m probably going to be sitting up on the couch all night anyway.”
“Sure,” he agreed. We sat down at opposite ends of the couch and used pillows to prop our heads toward Calliope’s general direction. There was no more talking. It was a peaceful, amiable silence. I’m not sure which one of us fell asleep first.
By the time we were supposed to meet Dionysus the next morning, Calliope still hadn’t accessed her memories. I let Apollo explain the situation to her since I wasn’t sure how much of it he wanted her to know. And because I wasn’t a hundred percent certain about how much he knew. Too many secrets.
I went ahead to the place in Dionysus’ woods where I’d agreed to meet him. Apollo and Calliope were at Parnassus, waiting for my summons. Beroe was in the woods waiting for me. Dionysus wasn’t. “What are you doing here?” I asked. “You’re supposed to be resting and healing.” A huge visible scar down the side of her leg bore witness to my words.
“I’ll take it easy, of course,” said Beroe, “but I can’t just sit around and do nothing all day. Aglaea said some light exercise would be fine.”
“Did she define light exercise?” I asked.
“She did,” said Beroe.
“And that definition was…?” I said.
“Good grief, you’re as bad as Apollo,” said Beroe.
“That’s a terrible thing to say,” I replied, my wounded expression bringing a slight laugh to the corners of her mouth. “But, hey, speaking of Apollo…”
“Are you friggin’ kidding me?” said Beroe once I’d finished my briefing. “Apollo and Calliope? The last two people I want to bring in on this?”
“They’re not really in on this,” I reiterated. “Apollo thinks he’s training Dionysus, and that’s what he told Calliope.”
“So how am I supposed to train?” said Beroe.
“Help Apollo train Dionysus,” I said. “He knows you’re a better fighter.”
Beroe’s tight, stoic face broadened into a wickedly delighted grin.
“No!” I said. “That is not permission to exacerbate your injury.”
Beroe’s scar magically disappeared. “What injury?” she said. “Come on, Apollo saw the fight yesterday. Won’t it be suspicious if I show up with a gash from Charybdis’ tooth running down my leg?”
“No one’s going to look at that and know it’s from Charybdis’ tooth,” I said.
“The original medicine god might,” said Beroe. “It’s simple. You don’t tell Apollo about my injury, and I let you bring him and Calliope along. Do we have a deal?”
“I guess so,” I conceded. If anyone could recognize the source of that scar, it’d be Apollo. It wasn’t like there were that many things that could permanently scar a powerful demigoddess. “But only because Apollo’s already summoning me back, which means he’s panicking, which means-”
Apollo and Calliope appeared beside us. “Beroe,” said Apollo.
“Yes,” said Beroe.
“Did Thalia invite you?” he asked.
“I invited her,” said Beroe. “Whose idea do you think this was in the first place?”
“You wanted to train the God of Debauchery to be a warrior, and you decided the Muse of Comedy was the best person to aid you in that endeavor?” said Apollo.
“She told me because I am the only member of present company who hasn’t flipped out on her and destroyed her trust,” I said smugly as I put an arm around Beroe’s broad, buff shoulders. “She thought I, as the Muse of Comedy, would find the situation comical. And I did. She was gracious enough to include me so that it might inspire my honorable art.”
“All of that,” said Beroe. “And because I thought she could keep a secret, though I don’t know why, since you two are obviously sleeping together.”
“No, we aren’t,” I said.
“Why is there a long blond hair on your dress?” said Beroe.
“Made you look.” Bitch.
“So you weren’t training Dionysus so much as observing and possibly heckling?” said Apollo.
“That would be a not completely inaccurate assessment,” I acknowledged.
“That makes so much more sense,” said Apollo. “Thank the Fates I found out as soon as I did.”
“With my every breath,” I said.
“Why don’t you and Calliope have a seat?” he motioned toward a conveniently-located tree stump. “Beroe, summon Dionysus. Let’s get down to business.”
“Remembering anything yet?” I asked Calliope.
“Nothing’s coming to mind,” Calliope said. “It’s still as though the last two days never happened. I’m choosing to believe they did, because convincing me I have two days’ worth of amnesia when I actually don’t seems like a cruel prank even for you.”
“I would certainly hope it does,” I said in indignation, totally not storing the idea away for future reference.
We watched quietly for awhile. Apollo had started off with archery lessons. He gave that up when Dionysus expressed inordinate pleasure at having Apollo correct his form. “Let’s try fencing,” said Apollo, snapping up a pair of swords. He tossed one to Dionysus.
“I always knew you’d give in and cross swords with me someday,” Dionysus smirked.
“Thalia?” said Apollo. On cue, I smacked Dionysus upside the head with my shepherd’s crook.
“Jealous, are we?” Dionysus laughed as he rubbed the back of his head.
“I’m your half-brother, idiot,” said Apollo. “Seriously, are you at all cognizant of the fact that we have the same father?”
“I make a point of never being sober enough to remember who my father is,” said Dionysus.
“I feel like I shouldn’t be judging you for that, and yet I absolutely am,” said Apollo.
“You’re beautiful when you’re self-righteous. You know that, don’t you?” said Dionysus. He wasn’t wrong. “But don’t worry. For the moment, I only have eyes for my future bride.”
“It’s going to be a marriage of convenience,” Beroe reminded him.
“Anything to make you happy, my love,” he said with a deep bow.
“She’s going to be Poseidon’s bride if you don’t win the tournament,” said Apollo. “So I suggest you quit wasting time on lewd advances and start practicing.”
“You underestimate the tactical advantage of lewd advances,” said Dionysus. “Nothing catches a fighter off guard like the feeling that his opponent would as soon bed him as fight him.”
“Yeah, not going to do that,” said Beroe.
“Definitely not,” said Apollo. “I was thinking it might be more helpful for you two to spar while I observe, but not if you’re going to turn it into some kind of sick predatory foreplay.”
“Why would you assume it’d have to be predatory?” said Dionysus. “Maybe I want to be vanquished.”
“You know what? Let’s forget combat,” said Apollo.
“See? Works every time,” said Dionysus.
“My point is, you do have a gift for evasion,” Apollo said. “I think defensive training is your best bet. Don’t try to attack, just avoid being there for Poseidon to hit in the first place.”
“Question?” I called, waving my hand in the air.
“Is it pertinent?” said Apollo.
“Always. Why aren’t you practicing with the thyrsus?” I said.
“Because it seems like a pointless idea,” said Apollo. “He already knows about its puppetmaster powers. I think we should have a few more options in case no one can get Poseidon to eat from it before the game.”
“I can,” said Beroe.
“No,” said Apollo, Calliope, and Dionysus all at once.
“I think it’s a good idea, actually,” I said.
“Still my favorite,” Beroe pointed to me.
“I don’t want you getting that close to him,” said Apollo.
“Once he takes the grape, he can’t touch me or do anything else unless I – Dionysus makes him,” said Beroe.
“Exactly,” I said.
“I don’t understand what’s going on here,” said Calliope, “but Beroe getting close enough to Poseidon to feed him anything seems like a bad idea.”
“If he eats a grape from the thyrsus,” I said, “whoever holds the thyrsus controls his actions for a few hours or so, but only if he eats the grape purposefully of his own free will.”
“I’ll give it to him,” Calliope offered.
“You will not,” said Apollo.
“Who did you have in mind?” I asked him.
“Dionysus, or if that fails, myself,” he said.
“Right,” said Beroe. “Like Athena’s going to let someone give their opponent anything to eat or drink before the game.”
“None of us can do it without it looking suspicious,” I said. “But Beroe has that glamour thing, so Poseidon won’t be able to think straight, and he’ll do any stupid thing if he thinks it’ll score points with her.”
“All of that,” said Beroe.
“I wonder if it would work if one of us shapeshifted as you,” Apollo said to Beroe.
“It wouldn’t,” I said.
“You know this how?” said Apollo.
“I know many things,” I said. “I’m a knowledgeable person.”
“You’ll be a lot better off if you take her word for it,” said Beroe. “Now, are we going to practice at all, or are we just going to stand around and talk about random crap?”
“You’re right,” Apollo conceded. I was feeling particularly grateful for Beroe’s ability to divert anyone’s attention. “We can figure out the logistics tomorrow. For now, let’s get the thyrsus and experiment with the rest of its weapon potential.”
Dionysus waved his hand and produced the thyrsus. “Beroe,” said Apollo, “why don’t you take over?”
“Where do you want us to start?” she asked.
“It’s up to you,” he said. “You’re the coach. I’ll be right here if you need any help, but I don’t think you will.”
“Wow,” said Beroe, not particularly demonstrative, but genuinely surprised and impressed. “Thanks.”
“It’s nothing,” Apollo said, giving her the sun smile. “You’re nearly as good an athlete as Artemis and I. In fact, we might actually stand a better chance if you were the one fighting Poseidon.”
“Ha! No kidding,” Beroe laughed. She turned her attention to Dionysus and his magic pinecone stick.
Apollo came and sat on the other side of me. He leaned toward me. I reflexively scooted toward Calliope. “Thalia,” he caught me with a whisper. “Please tell me Beroe hasn’t been the one fighting Poseidon.”
“That’s my story and I’m sticking to it,” I said.
“Does Athena know?” he hissed.
“Does Athena know what?” said Calliope. “Is this something I’m supposed to know?”
“None of us are supposed to know,” I said. “Except maybe we are. I don’t know. I think it’s safe to assume that if we know anything, not only does Athena already know it, but we know because she wants us to know. Or maybe that’s what she wants us to think. Or maybe she knows that’s what we’re going to think she wants us to think. I don’t know. I don’t know anything.”
“So you’re admitting that it has been Beroe fighting Poseidon?” said Apollo.
“I am not,” I said. “In the event that it comes up, make sure Athena knows that.”
Calliope facepalmed. “If you knew about this, I’m sure I did,” she said, “but I’m also sure he didn’t.”
“Why would you say that?” said Apollo.
“Has anyone ever told you that you can be the teensiest bit overprotective?” I said.
“What she just said,” said Calliope.
“People would probably tell you more things if you would chill out and trust them to make decisions as good as the ones you would make for them,” I said. “I’d suggest you consider they might even make better decisions than you could make for them, but I don’t want to bend your inflexible little mind past its breaking point.”
“Other things? What else is everyone not telling me?” said Apollo.
“I slept with Ares at the after party,” Calliope calmly announced. “I was the initiator.”
Calliope and I gave him the I told you so look.
“- have been through a lot in the last few years, and I am glad to hear that you felt safe and comfortable exercising your agency in that way,” Apollo finished the sentence with forced calmness. “See? I can be told things.”
“We’ll keep that in mind,” said Calliope.
“In the meantime, maybe you should get back to coaching,” I said. “Something I will concede you’re a better candidate for than I am.”
Apollo did go back to coaching. He did a remarkable job of looking like he was coaching Dionysus while actually coaching Beroe. And I could see that it was helping. No matter how much raw talent you have, you can always learn from someone with more experience and more highly-developed skill. I thought about telling Beroe that she could skip the shapeshifted scar removal since Apollo already knew, but I decided against it since she’d have to fight shapeshifted in the game anyway.
“It’s too bad Apollo never had more kids,” I remarked to Calliope. “Well, besides the ones ‘we’ had together.”
“He might have,” Calliope reminded me. “Several times.”
“Yeah,” I said, “but Hermes, Ares, or Zeus always claimed them. I think he would’ve fought harder to keep them if he’d really believed they were his.”
“He might’ve thought staying away was the best thing for them,” said Calliope. “We all learn from our parents, whether we realize it or not.”
I breathed a dry, halfhearted laugh. “What do you think we learned from ours?”
“How to keep secrets,” said Calliope. “From the ones we love, and from ourselves.”
“Sounds about right.”
My mind wandered to Leto, Apollo and Artemis’ mom. Apollo didn’t talk about her that much, even to me. As much as I enjoyed the whole “living in a different realm from my mom” thing, I also enjoyed the knowledge that we could visit her whenever we wanted. If need be, the nine of us could even summon up a conference call, although we didn’t do it very often. What would it be like, I considered, to go nearly a thousand years without seeing my mom, and to know that I’d put her in danger if I summoned her? It was truly incredible that Leto had successfully stayed hidden as long as she had. I doubted it would be possible for any other god or goddess. But, then, Leto was the Goddess of Hidden Things.
“Do you remember anything yet?” I asked Calliope.
“Still nothing,” she said.
“I’ll need Apollo’s help to implement this, but I have an idea.”
Back in the lab, Apollo asked Calliope, “How are you progressing?”
“I’m not,” said Calliope. “But Thalia has an idea, apparently?”
“That’s cause for concern, I’m sure,” said Apollo.
“Why don’t we sit down?” I said.
“Now I’m terrified,” said Apollo as he snapped up three floor cushions. We each took one. “What’s this idea of yours?” he asked.
“Well, our theory, as you know, is that these memories are hidden somewhere inside our minds,” I began.
“Yes?” said Apollo.
“I was thinking maybe the best person to help us find them, having ruled out the Goddess of Memory, might be the Goddess of Hidden Things,” I said.
“First of all,” said Apollo, “no. Second, I don’t think you understand how my mother’s powers work. She safeguards hidden things. She doesn’t reveal them, she keeps them hidden. And last, no.”
“Maybe you don’t know the full extent of her powers,” I said. “You weren’t with her that long, and you were just a kid. For her to safeguard hidden things, doesn’t she have know where they are first?”
“I’m not summoning her,” said Apollo.
“You wouldn’t have to expose her,” I said. “Once you summon her, she can summon you back, and you can take me and Calliope to her.”
“I could summon her right now, and she’d be in this room before I finished this sentence,” said Apollo. “Losing sight of moderation in the face of a perceived threat to loved ones is kind of a family trait.”
“But you and Artemis have both learned moderation,” I said. “Who’s to say your mom hasn’t?”
“When did ages in isolation ever make anyone less defensive and paranoid?” said Apollo.
“Apollo,” Calliope said gently, “do you not want to see your mom? It’s okay. I wouldn’t blame you. We’d all understand.”
“We haven’t seen her since we were children,” said Apollo. “Why wouldn’t I want to see her?”
“Because you haven’t seen her since you were a child,” said Calliope. “I don’t want to put you through any unnecessary pain. Since I consented to this experiment, I’m sure I knew the risks going in. If causing you a mental breakdown is the only way to get my memories back, I’d rather they stay lost.”
I considered pointing out that it wasn’t our only option since we could always just visit Mom under convincing pretenses, but before I could so much as open my mouth, Apollo opened his.
“You might think that’s an acceptable outcome, but I don’t,” he said. “I’ll talk to Artemis. It wouldn’t be right to leave her out.” He teleported away, presumably to Helicon or to Artemis’ camp.
“Did you do that on purpose?” I asked Calliope.
“No,” she said. “I really meant it. I still mean it, and I hope this isn’t going to lead to any trouble for him or for Artemis.”
“I’m less worried about Artemis, actually,” I said. “She’s in therapy.”
“Do you really think that helps?” asked Calliope.
“I never would’ve believed it before, but, yeah, there’s no doubt. As far as Artemis is concerned, anyway.”
“Hm,” said Calliope. “I suppose it’s been helpful for Beroe, too. Of course, she and Artemis both had very serious issues to deal with. Don’t you think, though, that for most people, it’s better to just work through it yourself or maybe talk with someone close to you? I mean, it seems like, for normal people, Psyche’s analyses could just bring up a lot of stuff that’s better left undisturbed, like picking at a scab.”
“Or cleaning it,” I shrugged. I wasn’t about to divulge the fact that I’d actually witnessed a session or two, but after having done so and seen the results for Artemis and Beroe, I couldn’t reasonably deny their effectiveness.
“Anyway,” said Calliope, obviously wanting to change the subject. “Would it compromise the experiment too badly if I asked you a question about the tournament?”
“It probably depends on the question,” I said.
“Was Beroe’s glamour still in effect when she was shapeshifted?”
“Very much so,” I said.
“So, what, Poseidon thought he was in love with Dionysus?”
“No, he was intensely focused on the person he thought was Dionysus,” I said. “The obsession was still there, but manifested in a different way, if that makes sense. Rage and jealousy instead of lust.”
“I’m guessing Apollo didn’t suddenly become ‘Dionysus” paladin father figure, then?” Calliope laughed.
“No, he was sticking with Beroe on that,” I laughed with her. “More obsessing over Dionysus and why he’d be a terrible match for our little girl.”
“‘Our’ as in Team Beroe’s,” I said. “You know what I mean. I have no delusions of being any kind of parental figure in her life, nor do I have any delusions that her father and I would be together to this day if he hadn’t been a total moron and gotten himself killed.”
“Adonis didn’t get himself killed. Ares got him killed,” said Calliope.
“Fair enough,” I said. Whatever.
“You know, the more I think about it, I’m surprised Athena didn’t bring Apollo in on Beroe’s plan from the beginning,” said Calliope. “Did I ever suggest it to her?”
“If you did, I don’t know about it,” I said. What? It was technically true.
“I understand her worrying that he’d throw a fit and forbid it,” said Calliope, “but I’d think she and Artemis together could’ve gotten him to see reason, and he’d have been channeling his protective instincts into training from the start.”
“All I know is, I was specifically told not to tell Apollo about the shapeshifting, so I didn’t,” I said.
“Ohhhh. I understand now,” said Calliope.
“You understand what?” I said. “You think Athena was counting on the fact that I can’t keep a secret? I totally can. Pretty much the whole pantheon still thinks the Corybantes are my sons.”
“That’s a secret you’ve kept with Apollo,” said Calliope. “I think Athena was counting on your inability to keep a secret from him. Him specifically.”
“Let’s say for the sake of argument that that’s true,” I said. “Why would I make a better messenger than Athena herself? Or Artemis, his own sister?”
“Because you’d get him to see reason,” said Calliope.
“If she thinks I have any influence whatsoever over Apollo’s actions, Athena’s job as Goddess of Wisdom is in serious jeopardy,” I said.
“I wouldn’t say that,” said Calliope. “You’re the only one who can distract him from Beroe.”
“When do I do that?” I said.
“For one example, today. He practically let Beroe spar with Dionysus unsupervised because he noticed you were acting suspicious and had to investigate. Not that you acting suspicious is ever inconspicuous, of course, but the point is, it was Beroe. Who has her parents’ unnatural ability to be the main thing anyone notices.”
“It wasn’t that big of a deal,” I said.
“More to the point,” said Calliope, “I got the impression that he ended up tagging along to the training session at your invitation anyway.”
“It was at his own invitation,” I said. “Long story short, I had to tell him I was training Dionysus as a cover story, and he decided he had to be include- oh my goddess, Athena totally set me up.”
We were both quiet for a few moments. I can’t speak for Calliope, but my brain was getting completely sucked into a Holy Fates just how much of my life is Athena responsible for anyway? vortex.
“I wonder what she needs Leto for, besides our alleged latent memories,” said Calliope.
“You think that was the point of all this?” I said.
“One of many points, I’m sure,” said Calliope.
“Seems like an awfully inefficient way to go about getting her,” I said. “Whatever influence I may or may not have over Apollo, I can’t imagine it wouldn’t have been easier for Athena to just ask Artemis herself.”
“It’d be best to start with us if finding our hidden memories was part of her purpose,” said Calliope. “Athena’s known about your powers for a long time. She probably wants to see what the rest of us can do. And if she’s going to use us in whatever she’s planning, it’s best to let Apollo think it’s his idea. He’d never agree to it if it came from anyone else.”
“No kidding,” I said. “And I can’t think of anything else she’d want Leto for. I’ve always gotten the sense that Leto’s not all that powerful, haven’t you?”
“We all have,” said Calliope. “Apollo and Artemis have been protecting her since they were babies, and she’s just stayed back and let them.”
“Maybe Athena just wants to meet her mother-in-law,” I laughed.
Apollo returned to us. “That took far less time than I imagined it would. In fact, I’d say most of the conversation was Artemis convincing me. Apparently she’s been wanting to try to find our mom for awhile now, but wasn’t sure how to bring up the subject. The four of us will meet here at midnight. Artemis says she knows a summoning place where we’ll all be safe.”