We watched Olympus Tonight in my apartment in the Wares Security building. I looked at Moxie and Aunt Demeter’s faces to gauge their reactions to the interview, but they didn’t give much away. I didn’t pay too much attention to the television; after all, I had been there when it was being filmed. I knew what I had said. They didn’t edit a single part of it out, either. That was impressive.
As the credits ran, Moxie and Aunt Demeter looked at each other, then at me. “I have to hand it to you, nephew, I didn’t think you were going to be able to pull it off,” Aunt Demeter said.
“Thanks for the vote of confidence,” I said dryly. I watched them, one eyebrow slightly raised. “I take it you are happy with the way the interview went?”
Moxie smiled. “It was good. You came across as very sympathetic and believable.”
We heard two loud popping sounds, and my parents appeared in my living room.
“That was a wonderful interview, my son,” Mother said, coming over to give me a hug. “I particularly loved what you said about your father. Thank you for that.”
“This is going to turn out to be a fantastic opportunity for us!” my father said, obviously pleased with himself as usual. “The door has been thrown wide open now.”
“I don’t think this is hardly a time to be slapping ourselves on the back,” I said quietly.
“Good heavens, why not, my boy?” Dad said, a shocked look on his face.
“Can any of you honestly sit here and say that we wanted this to come to this point?”
They all looked at each other. “No, I suppose not,” Mother said. “Are you starting to have second thoughts about doing this?”
“Certainly not,” I replied. “It was something that needed to be done.”
“Then why did you ask the question you did?” Moxie said.
“When we came back, we wanted to blend in with the mortals, not stand out. Well, most of us did, anyway,” I said, glancing at my father. He was just one of those people that stood out in a crowd without trying. “We certainly haven’t done that, now have we? Between the sabotage, the battle in the forest, all the bodies that have been left in our wake, whether by us or by someone else, we haven’t blended in at all. We stick out like a sore thumb.”
“That’s true,” Moxie said. “But…”
“No, there’s no buts here, Mox,” I interrupted her. “This has not been an ideal comeback for us. I know you see this as the perfect PR stunt. Let’s be realistic. It’s a nightmare. We get rid of one problem, another pops up, and this one is internal. If the first thing didn’t sink us, this will.” My phone rang at that moment, and I checked the screen. Roberta Sandford. “Good evening, Ms. Sandford. Congratulations on an excellent program.”
“You made it very easy,” she said. “I wanted to let you know that our phones have been ringing off the hook since your interview started, and they haven’t stopped since.”
I put the call on speaker and made a motion to let everyone know to be quiet. “Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”
“Mostly, it’s people who are saying that they don’t agree with the opinions of the rogue group that went after you. They are delighted to have you all back among them again. I think a lot of it is curiosity. They’ve read the stories about you all these years, but they never believed in their wildest dreams they would actually get to meet you.”
“So we’re going to become sideshow freaks.”
“No, you’re not. You wanted to get your story out there. Well, guess what? You did. People have heard it. They want to know more. They want to hear the truth. Now it’s up to all of you to tell them. You have an excellent public relations woman; use her. Don’t flood the market, but maybe once a month or so, let’s feature someone else on the show. Let the public see them on a more…for lack of a better phrase…human level. Talk to her, see what she says. I gotta go. The boss is waving at me from across the room. Bye.”
Moxie wandered over to the window as the others talked excitedly about what Ms. Sandford had said. My only thought was Did the one person who needed to hear the message get it? Did they understand the point that I was trying to make? What was the point? Don’t sacrifice everything you hold dear for your personal agenda. What you do affects us all. As Spock from “Star Trek” said, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…or the one.” If you can’t remember that, then maybe you need to step back and question what the hell you’re doing.
I grabbed Aunt Demeter and pulled her aside for a private moment. “Can we withdraw the lawsuit for now?”
“Because we need to see if the message we are sending is being received.”
“It is. You heard what Ms. Sandford said on the phone.”
“Aunt Demeter, we need to make sure the one person who needs to hear it actually heard it. Let’s pull it back for now. If the message doesn’t get through, then we’ll fight on.”
“You’re trying to make sure the family doesn’t get blown up.”
“Maybe. I don’t know. But can we pull it?”
“I’ll take care of it.”
I let her rejoin the group and wandered over to the window to stand next to Moxie. “What are you thinking about?”
“Strange times, Ares. I’m torn. On the one hand, I did my job and have managed to get some of our dirty laundry aired in public. On the other hand, I didn’t want to do it in the first place. Then there is the issue that I don’t think it’s fair that you guys have been misrepresented. Some of us are screwed up enough without having lies told about us…you guys in particular,” she chuckled ruefully.
I couldn’t disagree with her. I turned my gaze to the world outside. The street lights lit up the city, making it look like a glowing candle. I might have been reluctant to rejoin the family, but now that I was back, despite everything that had happened, there wasn’t anywhere else I’d rather be.
And I’ll be damned if I was going to let someone, family or not, ruin this for us.
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