I'd figured out how to use the Time Window to contact New Erebus. Sure enough we found a signal. Jeremiah had a smaller model in his Steelhead workshop, I figured he'd use the same frequency. Some minor focusing, and there he was, clear and crisp, direct from Hell. Sitting in the new improved Throne of Hades, dressed in the scarlet robes.
"Congratulations, Grandpa. Are you getting the crown resized?"
"I'm not wearing a crown, Koen. At the self-coronation, instead of holding the sword up high, I raised a rolled-up copy of the Constitution. Erebus is now a republic."
Wow. I had to sit down for that one. This really isn't the madman that ripped me apart on that arco.
"And you got away with it?"
"There was some consternation at first, of course. But with a promise of only two century-long terms of office, that should convince the noble houses to wait out my reign. Pardon...administration."
"Riiight...about that sword? The Sword of the Blood Wing Knight? We've got an Elder Thing eating people's heads up here in Steelhead..."
"And you need the sword, something powerful enough to slay something before Death, like the Titans. Yes, well unfortunately it broke during the final battle with the Hydra. We're still searching the entire empire for the last fragment."
I pulled the knife from my boot, the one I made a handle for in New Babbage from an umbrella handle and twine, with the jagged dull grey rock for a blade.
"You mean this?"
Back in the swing
4 months ago