Felicity hadn’t shared everything from her past.
Yes, she had told them that she was raised in Las Vegas but she hadn’t told them that her mum’s family and her were Greek.
Felicity spent her most of her summers touring Greece with her parents visiting friends and family all over it until she was five years old and her dad was arrested.
She loved that part of her summer.
At the age of ten years old she was sent to her cousin Tina in Lesvos to live with her for 5 years because her mum and her grandparents were sick and needed treatment and a little child wasn’t healthy to be around such harsh chemicals. It took them three years to be healthy again but unfortunately, her dad who was in jail ever since she was five for illegal hacking and being affiliated with some cruel acts via the Dark Web was finally allowed out and her mum finally had the courage to divorce him and fight for her custody which took two years.
By the time she was allowed to return to the US she didn’t want to and chose to finish her high school with her grandparents in Central Macedonia in a small town called Giannitsa.
Her mum was sad about it but allowed her but with one condition that she would have to be also studying just like any other US kid in order to be allegeable for their colleges and she did every March she would travel to the US and sit the exams and then return to Greece. While all throughout the years she would have to study both the Greek material and the US one she would be sent by her mother.
But this made her experience the best of both worlds…
She had become part of a Folk dancing group, Drama group and Folk Choir in Giannitsa and she was happy with herself and who she was.
She had a solid group of friends; Minas, Zorzet, Maria, Christina, Theodora, Dimitris, Karen (Katherine), Polly, Nicolette and Eva.
She also had another close friend who lived in Athens called Constantina (Tina) who she loved dearly.
She was happy when they graduated High School the group dissolved into many parts of Greece;
Minas; joined the Army and he was stationed first year in Evros, guarding the borders and later in Edessa.
Zorzet; went to Iraklion in Crete and started studying to become a Social Worker.
Maria; remained in Giannitsa to help her family with their farms and at the same time she attended an online college in Cyprus studying Agriculture.
Christina; went to Arta and started studying Folk music and music in general.
Theodora; went to Thessaloniki and started studying to become a nurse.
Dimitris; went to Athens and started studying Mechanics and IT for four years and later decided to study Cooking as Chef’s assistant.
Karen; went to Thessaloniki and started studying to become a Film Director and Script Writer.
Polly; went to Athens and started training to become an Olympic athlete in Track and at the same time she studied to become an OBGYN.
Nicolette; went to Thessaloniki and started studying to become a Chef.
Eva; went to Thessaloniki too sharing an apartment with Nicolette and started studying the first two years IT and Mechanics but gave up and chose to give up college and work in her dad’s bakery chain in the city where her older brother was working.
Felicity at that time came at a crossroads and didn’t know what to chose, she wanted to become a Film Director, a Script Writer, a Photographer and IT Specialist all at once!
Karen and her ended up submitting their applications to the same college which took them two years to graduate meaning by the time she was 20 she would have graduated and be free to return to US to attend MIT that will accept her application.
You see, Felicity and all the rest had attended two different High Schools who also had a similar Philosophy.
Everyone except Christina and Dimitris attended a Vocational High School which meant that by the time they graduated normal High School they also had a BA Degree in whatever sector they’ve chosen. While Christina and Dimitris attended a Music High School which had the same way only the BA Degree what to be related to an Instrument or Music related sectors.
Minas; was Computer Science and Video Games Designing.
Zorzet; was Nursing the first few months.
Maria; was Chef’s Assistant
Theodora; was Nursing and Special Education.
Polly; was Nursing and Entrance Psychology.
Dimitris; the first year was Computer Science but after Christmas of the first year he transferred schools to Music School and he studying Music Composing and Digital Music Composing along with Piano, Classical Guitar and Trumpet.
Karen; was Chef’s Assistant the first year before she changed too.
Christina; was always in Music School studying History of Folk Instruments and Music, Piano, Clarinet and Zither.
Eva; was Computer Science till she graduated High School yet she didn’t like it.
Nicolette; was Computer Science till she graduated High School but she had no desire to follow it after High School.
As for Felicity; the first year she studied Computer Science and Web Designing and then the second along with Karen and Zorzet they transferred to Applied Arts. Felicity and Karen focused on Graphic Design and for Felicity, she added History of Arts while Zorzet focused on Traditional Sketching and Sculpting.
Zorzet also seated exams for the top Greek Art University but didn’t got accepted so she has chosen the second passion, Social Science.
Once High School graduating exams rolled over a very traumatic period came for Felicity. On the first day of Pan-Hellenic exams, exams that all the High School students of Greece were tested for which University will give them a spot, her grandmother died in her sleep and her aunt Magda and her cousin Sofia found her when they woke up at 12 pm and Magda didn’t see her mother up and about.
While her grandpa was out in the local coffee shop playing chess and tavli with his friends when he got the call from his youngest daughter who was crying telling him that his wife had just passed away.
Felicity had her phone turned off during the first round of exams but she always had been a gifted child when the clock stroked 9 am she felt a terrible pain in her chest and wanted to scream she then looked at the teachers who supervised and saw her school’s principal walking inside and whispering in the head supervisor’s ear then her name was called;
“Athanasia Felicity Ntioudi, please give your examination sheet to the front desk and report to the Principal’s office.”
In Greece, her name was Ntioudi just like her mum’s maiden name while her father’s was Smoak, Polish name.
Felicity looked horrified at them and protested saying how she wasn’t done or cheating. She was told that it wasn’t that reasons she was asked to give up her examination sheet, she was told that there was her Uncle Aristides in the principal’s office waiting for her because of a family emergency, so she gave up her exam sheet and walked to the principal office where she was told one of the worst news of her life.
She was given a second chance to seat that specific exam in the end of day and then she was sent home. She grieved while studying and refused to tell any of her friends what had happened because she knew that they wouldn’t be able to be there for her, studying was a priority for all of them.
In the Wednesday that came was the wake while she was studying in her room she could hear her grandma’s friends and husband crying and saying grieving songs in an old Greek Dialect while screaming and crying she was trying to block their wails and cries as she studied Algebra but gave up and walked out of her room to find it filled with people.
Her grandparents were respected people and part of the elite society of the town. Her grandparents had met in Athens during their time in the Academy where the trained to become teachers in 1949. In 1953 they graduated from the Academy and they started searching for jobs all over Europe only to find two positions in a Greek school in Hague, Netherlands.
They stayed for three years there where they also got married. Then her grandpa got a job offer in Belgium as Head of Immigrant Education in the Greek Embassy in Belgium while her grandma taught in a Greek Afternoon School. In Belgium, her Uncle Anastasios and her mum, Antonia (Donna) were born in 1966.
Then in 1968 her Aunt Marilena and Uncle Aristides were born also in Belgium.
In 1970 her grandparents with their four kids moved to Stockholm where her grandma continued being a teacher in a Greek Afternoon Schools and her grandpa continue working in the Greek Embassy in the very same position. And in the hot summer of 1973, her Aunt Magda was born in Thessaloniki while her parents were visiting.
In 1979 her grandparents returned to Greece and built a home in Giannitsa where her grandpa became Principal of a Primary School and her grandma was a teacher there too where her aunt Magda went to for a while before she joined the rest of her siblings to Junior High and High School.
So, Felicity as a newly 18-year-old walked around the house hearing Swedish, French and Dutch and of course Greek. She knew how to speak all those languages just as well as English and Greek so she was able to accept condolences from family friends and co-workers.
Her Uncle Anastasios (Tasos) came with his family from Amsterdam when he learned of his mother’s passing.
In general, there were so many family members in the house that many had to rent a hotel room to sleep in because the house couldn’t keep them, there were so many blow up mattresses and room to lay down.
She shared her room with her cousins Sofia and Helena while both girls held Felicity as she cried.
Then during June as she and her grandpa were in her grandma’s childhood home in Aigio, Peloponnesus and they were going through old photos and laughing her grandpa had a heart attack and Felicity had to hold him while crying and calling for the ambulance.
Her grandpa died a month after her grandma and she was left alone in a way…her mother couldn’t take another day off and come from Las Vegas and the same went for Anastasios and his family. So, she, Aunt Marilena, Uncle Aristides and Aunt Magda with cousins Sonia and Tina were left arranging the funeral.
The first year in college was a hard one for Felicity she had traumatic summer and she grieving she had no emotional strength to go to parties and even keep in touch with her friends, hell she wasn’t speaking to Minas, Zorzet, Dimitris, Nicolette, Eva, Christina, Theodora and Maria she considered them her best friends instead she shared her pain with Karen, Polly and her friend Tina who dragged her to the Psychologist.
By summer she had become a little better and started coming out of the shocked state when in the summer they decided to take a group vacation and the first stop in their road trip was Athens to get to take Tina and Felicity to visit her grand-aunt Helena and her family, her second husband Kostas and her son, her Uncle Markos and her Uncle Aristides. Both cousins were living together in a small apartment in the same neighborhood as Felicity’s friend Tina and all three of them worked together, Aristides and Markos were firefighters and Tina was an ambulance driver and Paramedic.
During their second day while staying there Aristidis, Markos and Tina were called in for an emergency wild fire in a neighboring district and they were short stuffed so they called for backup. Felicity and Karen at the time had no idea that this small fire in a matter of half hour would turn into a national disaster with a three-day war against the fire and five districts and towns burned to ash.
Felicity was playing cards with her grand-aunt Helena in the balcony when Felicity smelled the smoke and looked up to see a huge wave of fire coming at them. That day would be permanently written in her mind.
As panicked people run towards the sea along with her. Felicity refused to leave as she tried to find her Uncles in the sea of firefighters and their trucks until she was caught by her Uncle Aristides who rushed her away from their burning house and towards the sea.
“Stay with aunt Helena and Kostas and your friend! Don’t lose them, Athanasia!” Aristides told her with emphasis as he kissed her ash-filled cheeks and rushed back to his Unit. Felicity then saw the explosion that took place and saw her Uncle Aristides run while he was on fire.
The burned corpse fell on her feet as she cried and looked utterly terrified as everyone froze and looked at them.
“Firefighter down! Firefighter down…oh god! Ari? Aristide! Holy Mother of Jesus! My cousin is dead!” Uncle Markos yelled as he rushed to Felicity and turned the burnt corpse to see the nametag on his jacket and saw his cousin and started crying.
Felicity was dragged away by her friend Tina as she acted as Paramedic.
Felicity had second-degree burns on her legs and back and inhaled smoked. She was taken to the hospital and from there she watched the news…101 people were killed, 173 were critically injured, 89 people were missing mostly elderly and orphaned children. Italy, Spain and Turkey even Russia volunteered to send Firefighting helicopters to assist since they were short-staffed but the President refused too proud to allow the help.
Felicity saw that her friend Karen was listed as a missing person while her uncle Aristides was listed as a deceased burned victim and a hero. Her grand-aunt Helena and her husband were also missing and her phone was blowing up with calls from her mum and other family members but she didn’t dare to pick it up not wanting to busy the phone-line just in case someone was trying to call for help.
She was watching as nurses, doctors and paramedics were rushing in and out of the halls.
Next to her was a small girl by the name of Carmen, she was a tourist from Spain and she had lost her parents in the whole ordeal. Thankfully Carmen was fifteen years old and Felicity could communicate with her in English, they kept each other sane until the news came on again and delivered the heart-ranching news that Carmen’s parents were found amongst the dead and that the Spanish Embassy in Greece had sent people to get her back to Spain.
Felicity held the grieving girl in her arms as she cried and went into shock while she for the first time realized the situation…
Karen was found lying at the beach with her leg suffering from third-degree burns and she had passed out from the pain. Paramedics and Felicity’s Uncle Markos found her. Karen’s grandmother was waiting for her in the hospital as she took the bus from Giannitsa to Thessaloniki and then flew to Athens with the first plane allowed to land in the capital.
Felicity stood by Karen’s side through it all only being taken away by doctor’s to be examined herself and when she was allowed to leave and taken to the hotel where her grand-aunt and Kostas were staying. She would visit Karen from the beginning of the visiting hours until the end.
But what strike her the wrong way was how none of her friends worried for her safety or Karen’s enough to even call her or even visit just like Karen’s grandma had done.
A week later, she, her grand-aunt Helena and Kostas were allowed back into their property or what was left of it and she finally realized…all the way from the hotel to their neighborhood it was filled with burnt cars pushed aside to allow space for the ambulances and rescue crews to come and go.
Nothing was salvaged from the fire nothing at all.
The funeral happened with honors of a hero.
In a year Felicity and her entire family were hit again and again and again with grief so much that three funerals in a year bankrupt the family.
She tried to find a job and she did as a barista just like her mum in a coffee shop with books.
She worked and went to classes although neither she nor Karen had the emotional strength to sit in a classroom and listen about Film Directors and Lens sizes.
Both girls were awakened by each others’ screams from the nightmares from the fire.
It was time that both girls graduated from college yet they felt more lost than ever, Karen had no idea what she was supposed to do with her degree and neither did Felicity.
At least Felicity was accepted by MIT as her mother sent her application in.
And then suddenly Felicity had an idea, she dragged Karen with her in Massachusetts where Karen finally found creativity and started writing scripts and even found a part-time job as a translator.
Felicity at 24 years old she graduated for the third time and she had a secure job with QC. She left Karen behind in Massachusetts not feeling guilty since Karen herself had been hired as an Assistant Director in film production in Vancouver.
The four years during her MIT Felicity had come to realize something, ever since the wildfire that summer of 2009 she wasn’t the same, she had started withdrawing from Zorzet, Maria, Christina, Theodora, Dimitri, Polly, Eva and Minas. The only people she didn’t withdraw from were Tina and Karen who both had spent the three days in the fiery hell that summer of ’09.
Of course Polly had other things to worry about herself since there was a huge earthquake in her dad’s village in Lesvos, in 2012, that shook the entire village and grumbled it to the ground, Polly’s aunts and uncles even cousins were in danger and from what she managed to learn from Polly’s sister, Christy, their grandpa died and many other friends from the collapsing houses and even mountain rocks. Felicity felt such a bad friend that she couldn’t be there for her because she was packing for Starling City.
Yet, that summer after her first year in QC she visited Giannitsa and tried to surprise her old friends only to come to a halting realization…they had already thought of her as gone, as not part of their group. Dimitri also had stopped hanging out with them and he had a different life, traveling the world assisting great chefs all over the world.
She was happy for him yet she missed their talks.
She was hurt seeing how passive-aggressive were Maria and Zorzet towards her…the accused her of leaving them behind and not being a good friend. And while there was this huge fight broken while they were out for coffee that Felicity erupted and yelled at them for how dare they accusing her of leaving them behind while they were nowhere in sight when her grandparents died, her uncle died, when she laid in the hospital surrounded by fire and when they learned of it their answer was and she quoted;
“Oh! It’s over now.”
She yelled at them that grieving wasn’t just a period that would just pass! And that they should have known better since while the years of them being in High School they lost four classmates, three in a car crash and one to suicide. And those classmates were their close friends and even neighbors.
She then stormed out of the coffee shop but as she walked home she heard Minas’ calls and turned to face him.
Ah! Minas, when they first met she was frightened of him because back in Lesvos she was extremely bullied by a guy that looked similar to his mannerisms. It took her three years out of the four years of them knowing each other to even allow him physically close to her and when she first hugged him on her birthday to thank him for coming she felt weird.
Then, she was tired of hearing of her girlfriends of gushing over crushes that she had chosen him to be hers just for the sake of conversation and to be just like them. In all honesty, he was the only male friend she ever had. She liked their conversations about TV shows and comics and movies. And how he didn’t mind her rambling about all of the behind-the-scenes she knew about the movies and tv shows and actor’s lives.
During the third year of High School Felicity had to fake that she wanted to ask Minas out on a date just so she can shut up Maria and Zorzet’s pushing to do so….so she sends Maria and Zorzet as messengers and she hid behind a wall close enough where Minas and Dimitri were drinking their morning coffee during the break. Felicity heard Minas say while laughing that he would accept to go on date with her if she wasn’t that fat and dropped twenty pounds…
Felicity was hurt by how sallow he was…she thought of him as a better person. Yes, she wasn’t model thin and she was getting bigger thanks to the amazing cooks her grandma and her aunts were. She wasn’t hurt because of the rejection she was hurt that Minas’ standard was just like any other males in the school which made her so angry. Fat girls were cute and worth of the males’ attention just like any other female!
She had to pretend to be surprised by his answer and then hurt but she was beyond mad!
She wouldn’t allow him to get to her besides everyone deserved their opinions and now she could finally stop pretending she had a crush on him for the sake of being just like any other girl.
Their friendship took no-hit and Felicity pretended as it never happened but she was careful what she entrusted him with and revealed nothing major, their friendship was slowly warming up since he too started to talk more about his home life and his family with her and she started to talk to him about other things that also interested her other than movies, TV shows, and comics.
But all that changed when she moved to Thessaloniki, she visited four months after she settled into her house and called him out for dinner while Karen was visiting her grandma.
They went out for dinners bad it was so awkward and quiet to the point Minas asked if he should invite Christina and Theodora too who were in town and she agreed just so they won’t die from boredom and silence.
After that every second weekend she visited to see her grandparents they would invite her out but she would feel detached and the same feeling was experienced by Karen too!
Both girls discussed it while on the bus back to Thessaloniki and had tried to find a cure for it but came up blank.
Felicity had come to accept that Minas didn’t think of her as his friend anymore and more like a schoolmate if not an aquatint.
So, when she turned to face him while he was dressed in his Army uniform a clear sign he had just climbed down from the bus.
“Hey! I thought it was you! How are you?” He asked unaware of everything and he smiled.
“I’m well, how about you? Did you have a day off?” Felicity asked him kindly as she put her hands like so and let them hang down.
“Yeah, my dad is sick and I need to help my mum. Want to walk with me while I go home? You know to catch up…I didn’t got to say goodbye to you and Karen when you girls left…It was my turn to guard the borders…you know your cousin Elias is also in the Army.” He rambled nervously and Felicity studied him. He wasn’t acting like himself.
So, like that she agreed. They walked to his house which was on the other side of the town and there she learned that his dad had been diagnosed with cancer and he had a few days of life. Felicity felt bad for him and hugged him saying how sorry she was and that she was here if he needed someone.
This time the hug was prolonged by Minas and Felicity noticed it, it was seconds but still, she had been in Minas position too many times and knew he was trying to hold onto someone who knew how he felt.
After that Felicity got to her grandparents house, now her house and laid down to sleep she was too emotionally tired. Half hour into her slumber she was awakened by Maria calling her.
Confused she picked up the phone;
“Athanasia, Minas’ dad just died.” Maria said shocked and saddened. Felicity never met the guy…maybe three or four times but that was it.
“Oh! God! How is he?” Felicity asked Maria and Maria sighed.
“Broken. I’m taking the first bus and Zorzet will go to his house.” Maria informed her and she nodded at the useless piece of information.
“You should.” Felicity said with an emotionless tone.
“Okay, I have to get ready.” Maria said as she hanged up and Felicity did the same.
She fell on the bed and looked at the ceiling. She was sick of funerals and death.
A couple of minutes into deafening silence Theodora texted her that at 8 pm there will be awake and she would come by her house to pick her up and to alert Karen.
Karen had come to her house at 7 pm dressed in black and sad both girls gave pep-talks to one another and revised what was the wake etiquette.
Karen’s family were atheists.
Felicity’s family ranged from Jewish, to Orthodox, to Catholics and to atheists so it was according to the family member. When her grandparents and Uncle died they were Orthodox while her mum and dad were Jewish, her mum had converted before their wedding and remained one. Her cousins in Amsterdam and her uncle were Catholics, her uncle converted before marrying Amelia.
She and Karen were picked up by Theodora at 8 pm sharp and they walked to Minas’ house only to see it packed with people.
Felicity got violent flashbacks of her grandparents’ and her uncle’s funerals and she subconsciously reached for Karen’s hand and they climbed the stairs only to see Maria, Zorzet and Minas talking in the stairs, comforting him as he cried.
Felicity lit the candle and took out old candles that were a fire hazard and turn to Minas to say how sorry she was. She couldn’t bring herself to look Minas in the eyes or his mum when she walked inside and saw the coffin and laid the floors on top of the dead body.
“I know how you feel.” Felicity had whispered in Minas’ mum’s ear as she hugged her and the woman squeezed her in a tight hug as she started to sob.
She then looked around her as Minas’ dad’s mum started to say the exact same grieving song in dialect and wailing that Felicity saw for a second her grandma’s coffin instead of Minas’ dad’s coffin and she was itching to run out of there to go somewhere happy.
She asked around if they needed help serving the coffee but no one knew her enough to trust her with such a thing.
So, she walked out at the back porch and sat in the stairs before she was joined by Minas and she smiled painfully but he seemed fine.
The next day there was the funeral and when she saw Minas at the end of it and hugged him and again the hug was longer and her waist was occupied by his hand which she felt it was odd since their hugs didn’t last long.
The following days Felicity spend them trying to contact Minas to no avail yet he was seeing her messages but never responding then she had Maria calling her as if the fight at the coffee shop never happened and boasting in disguise, masking it as telling her about Minas’ wellbeing.
She never felt close to Minas but now she felt even further away.
The day came when she and Karen had to leave and return to US and this time Felicity was sure that she wanted to become more of a person she was right now so she legally changed it to Felicity Smoak instead of Athanasia Ntioudi for good.
Her mum understood about taking her ex-husband’s name but her daughter wanted to have a clean slate.
The following months she’s been trying to contact Minas yet nothing. She spoke to Karen about it because she was confused as hell.
Was she doing it the wrong way?
Three years later and still nothing…she was done calling and work didn’t allow her many trips back home but whenever she visited Greece everyone told Minas was in the base.
Then Oliver Queen started asking weird favors and then bled in her car and then she joined Team Arrow.
Then the Undertaking happened and she had terrible flashbacks of the fire…it’s been six years since then…
Felicity sat in the Foundry breathing in and out, in and out, in and out, trying to stop scenes flashing before her eyes as she felt the earth rumble.
Tears slipped on her cheeks as she closed her eyes and brought her knees to her chest and sobbed for all 101 people who were killed and the 14 who were never found…for her uncle…for the beautiful home she grew up spending part of her summers, the very same home she took her first steps, the very same home where her parents got engaged in and had the many celebratory lunches/dinners during Christmas and New Years.
Memories flood her brain and flashed before her eyes too tired to push them away, she allowed the emotional pain…she held onto her legs where the burns where and on her back and shoulder…she still had the scars.
She didn’t hear Oliver coming downstairs with Diggs as they rushed to her asking if she was okay when Oliver touched her knee Felicity startled let out a name in hopeful tone and eyes only to be filled with pain and disappointment later;
“What?” Oliver asked confused and worried;
“Nothing, how are things out there?” Felicity shook him off as she stood up and walked away from him. Not wanting to be with anyone at the moment but herself.
Oliver gave her a small report on how many were dead and how many injured and so on but he and Diggs noticed how Felicity was acting, she looked as if she was trying to hold a pile of puke back.
“Felicity? Are you going to throw up?” Oliver asked her as he touched her back that caused her to jump and flinch away from him only to worry him more.
“No! I’m good…I’m well.” She said as she quickly moved away from him.
That day was that Oliver and Diggs started to suspect there was something wrong with their IT girl.
But many things distracted them and they forgot about it since Felicity started acting normal again.
One year later, Sara appeared and as they were training the whole scar conversation started and Felicity found herself saying she had a scar.
That comment reminded Oliver and Diggs their previous worries.
“I was twenty years old…seven years ago today actually…I was visiting my grand-aunt and her husband with my three best friends as our first stop to a road trip across Greece when my Uncles Aristides and Markos along with my best friend Tina were called in for an emergency, my uncles were firefighters and my best friend was a paramedic/ambulance driver. There was this wildfire in the neighbor district from we were and they were short-stuffed. We had no idea that in half-hour time a huge wave of fire would burn five districts and towns in a matter of three days…killing 101 people, 173 were critically injured and 89 people were missing mostly elderly and orphaned children. Italy, Spain and Turkey even Russia volunteered to send Firefighting helicopters to assist since they were short staffed but the President refused too proud to allow the help.” She started saying the trivial facts first that came easily to her and she could see the shock and horror in the eyes of Sara, Oliver and Diggs.
She wondered what their faces would be once they learned her role in all of this.
“My best friend Karen was amongst the missing, they found her lying near the shore her legs suffered third-degree burns and her lungs were filled with smoke it was a miracle she wasn’t dead… I refused to leave grand-aunt Helena’s house calling my uncles and best friend Tina to see if they were okay when I saw people running away and firefighter and rescuers along with paramedics running towards us then I saw my Uncle Aristides running towards me telling me to move…my back had caught fire he put it out and yelled at me to find grand-aunt Helena and her husband and Karen….i didn’t listen. I was frozen in my spot when suddenly there was this explosion and my Uncle Aristides was in the eye of it…I saw him running towards me while on fire…he fell down pleading for help as he grasped my legs burning them in the process before he died in front of my legs…next thing I hear is my Uncle Markos’ voice yelling that a firefighter was down and as he turned the corpse to read the name tag he started sobbing for his cousin then I was dragged away by Tina to the hospital. I suffered second-degree burns in my back and legs and smoke inhalation. So I have three scars on my back and two in each leg that was my Uncle Ari’s fingerprints…” She said as quickly as she could but she had to stop for breaths but didn’t allow herself much time the shorted time she spent storytelling the longer she will think about it. She didn’t even want to look at the trio before her but she had no choice it was them or the ground…her eyes were shifting up and down like crazy for a moment she thought she was going to pass out.
She then looked more carefully at the trio before her and analyzed their faces…as usual whenever she said that story…shocked, shocked and…shocked.
She felt a wave of small anger rising in her why they acts so normal when it came to them yet they act shocked when it came to hers? Normal people do go through shit too!
“Excuse me.” She said quickly as she rushed out and dialed Karen’s number.
“Hey, can you talk?” She asked in Greek and Karen answered yes in the other side.
Oliver and the solider and assassin stayed in their spot until Felicity left and the door shook them out of their state.
“Dude, go after her!” Diggs exclaimed to Oliver who shook his head and run outside only to see Felicity pacing back and forth on the phone and when he tried to listen in he couldn’t understand anything.
What language was she speaking?
“What the fuck is wrong with humanity, Karen?” She asked her best friend who sighed in the other side of the line and then asked her what was going on.
Oliver seeing her talking on the phone made him feeling as if he was intruding.
The time she spent talking to Karen she calmed down but didn’t want to return to the Foundry and their pity/shocked looks.
She went into her car and drove to her home where she locked the doors and windows and started doing much needed chores while talking on the phone with Karen.
Then she Skyped with Tina telling her she told her new friends in town about the fire put she stupidly runaway before they had time to react from fear of rejection.
She then cooked her favorite food, chicken breasts with lemon, mustard and olive oil dressing. Then she boiled some vegetables such as green peas, carrots and normal peas.
She ate while watching photos on her laptop of her summer before the fire and after.
After the fire she and the rest who weren’t hurt that bad joined forces and searched through the rumbles and the sea, she and some other people dived and searched for bodies.
She saw beyond horrifying things and I’m not talking about blood and gore I’m talking about burnt bodies, dead, burnt houses, burnt cars, burnt bodies tangled up together like a parent curdling their child protecting it from the flames, giving them a few more seconds of life than they had.
She then took part in trying to reunite families together through help lines.
Back to the present; she finished washing the dishes and went to bed, sleep took her after she turned around in the bed for at least an hour.
She didn’t notice the shadows watching over her in the window. A couple minutes after sleep took over her the shadows were ready to leave when Felicity’s whimper made them turn and look at her.
They couldn’t translate what she was saying until Oliver took out of his phone and put a translator on and put it near her mouth.
The translator showed them that the language was Greek. Shocked the two shadows looked at each other.
The translator recorded everything and translated them;
“Where are your parents, little guy?”
“Let them talk to them…”
“You’re dead! How can I see you?”
“I’m so so sorry I can’t help you! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! Oh! God I’m so so sorry!”
“Uncle Ari? I thought….i thought…somebody help! Please he’s on fire!”
Felicity gasped awake as she looked around her as tears streamed down her face. For a minute she looked around her before she sobbed and curled under the covers sobbing.
The shadows run over the rooftops and then jumped before the Verdant and walked inside a secret passage.
Sara and Oliver walked into the Foundry and Oliver waved his phone at Diggs who looked at them expectantly.
“She spoke Greek in her sleep.” Oliver said confused as he gave him the phone and he saw the translations.
“Seriously? I’m gonna type Greek Big Fire and see what comes up.” Diggs said with a confused shrug.
Their search didn’t need more than the first article that came up.
GHOST TOWNS, BODIES AND ASH MAKES ATHENS AND THE NEARBY DISTRICTS LOOK LIKE A DYSTOPIAN MOVIE SET: (Read on page 3)
On June 10th, 2009 is a calm hot summer afternoon when at 17:45 pm the small districts called Tavros, Matti, Glyfada, Kallithea and Eksarxia started to smoke. In a matter of 30 minutes, those five districts were engulfed in flames that killed 101 of people.
In a matter of 30 minutes, the lives of thousands upon thousands of people were put at risk, many rushed to the beaches surrounding some areas those were the few lucky ones. Others burnt trapped in their homes holding their loved ones tight as the fire burnt their lives’ work and them.
Many found their deaths while jumping off a small cliff that led to the nearest beaches but the smoke clouding the sky and turning day into the night made it impossible to see and anything from airplanes and helicopters to fly.
Many flights directed to Athens from abroad and entire Greece were re-routed to Italy, France, Russia and Turkey promising their passengers free hotel stay. Furthermore, many ships both merchant and civilian ones weren’t allowed to throw anchor in Pireas because of the thick smoke.
This wildfire was categorized as the second worse fire Greece ever experienced after 1917’s fire in Thessaloniki that burnt the entire center of the town changing it completely from what it was then to what it is now, many had said that it was conspiracy fire to smoke out the Jews put by the Turks since it was six years after the distractive fire in Smyrna and just three years after the Armenian massacre.
The smoke clouded all over Greece and photos from the International Space Station passing over Greece at the time of the fire paint a very horrifying picture since the smoke and fires were able to be seen from up there.
The incomplete action made by the Present of Greece was the cost for the very old equipment and a small number of responders couldn’t control the fire.
The surrounding countries such as Italy, Spain, France, Turkey and Russia volunteered to send help in the form of firefighting aircraft but it was refused by the Present. But in the shock of everyone, the Greek immigrants in these countries banded together in a matter of 24 hours and sent first aid kits, food and clean water, clothes and urged many of other citizens in their countries to do the same.
The second day of the wildfire some of those immigrants had drove their own cars bringing people and volunteers to help put out the fire many of whom stayed long after the fire was put out and helped searched through the wreckages.
Many of the tourists visiting Athens at the time of the fire were also hurt during it which caused an International incident but thankfully the families of those people didn’t pressed any charges understanding that many of the firefighters and paramedics had lost their lives and/or had to watch their loved ones burn.
For three days the telephone lines all over Greece were down heaved by the billions of 166 (991) calls. Many who were answering those calls had to hear people in their last moments, mothers and fathers even children cry and being burnt. Many citizen cried and pleaded, asked why the first responders had forgotten them. Numerous were the callers who just called to give their names, address and last words to be delivered to loved ones.
A horrifying loss was the loss of an orphanage full of kids sleeping being burnt with them inside, the solo survivor was small kid age five years old going by the name Alexis, he had disobeyed the nap time rule and he was playing with the toys when he turned to the window and saw an orange sky and the fire burning the forest and playground of the orphanage, he tried to wake up as many as he could but no one believed him. Alexis runs out to the forest and runs towards the main street, he stood there alone watching the orphanage burn while he screamed for help but no one came.
He walked himself to the nearest police station finding it burnt to the ground, he said he saw a burned street sign that pointed to the nearest beach and he runs to see if anyone was there he could ask for help when he arrived he saw the beach full of panicked people calling in their phones for help, a kind woman by the name Helena had seen him and rushed to him bringing him the little water she had in a bottle and giving it to him.
The woman had asked him where his parents were but he told her he was an orphan.
The woman then asked him if he saw her grand-niece on the way there and described her as blue eyes and dark brown hair and white skin but the boy had said no.
Helena’s missing grand niece was one of the thousands of missing people reported that day.
Mrs. Helena kept Alexis by her side for total of four days refusing to let him alone and when Mrs. Helena and her husband Kostas were taken to the local hospital a happy reunion between her grand-niece who had been one of the burnt victims occurred, the good thing was that their story wasn’t the only one with happy ending, the bad thing is that many also didn’t get to see their loved ones ever again.
In Mrs. Helena’s case was a mixture of grief and happiness as her grand niece and son were alive yet her nephew wasn’t so lucky, he died saving his niece from pipe explosion due to enormous heat.
Her nephew was firefighter, Lieutenant Aristides Ntioudis, a hero whose family gonna miss him terribly.
Many of the victims who had managed to get discharged and be able to walk joined forces with many citizens from all over Greece in the search parties for missing people.
Some were found dead, others were found alive and hiding in hilltops and deserted beaches in the area.
Unfortunately, the wildlife surrounding the forests in the area were also put into danger and harmed many of the search parties came across dead deers, cats, dogs, birds, turtles, foxes and snakes. A lot of people took in strays and hurt animals nursing them back to health and even adopting them but the damage was done.
If now, six years later, walk-in those districts you still see ghosts from those horrible three days as houses that were there aren’t anymore and the people’s smiles aren’t genuine their eyes are sad and depressed many too afraid to get comfortable anymore since they all have a to-go bag ready.
A lot of children who had lost everything those days say they refuse to set foot in those areas because is too much.
What caused the fire? The official answer was released to the public a year later, it was an arson put by a blacklisted realtor wanting to build illegal mansions in the area and the fire went out of control.
The realtor by the name Thomas Liontaris was charged with 10 lifetimes imprisonment and arson, many of the Greek citizens were outraged at his actions and started to send death threats his way.
But life moves on yet scars emotional and physical ones stay with you and those districts are an example of it.
Author: Lisa Tzalanis.
Photographer: George Andreas.
For Thema News.
End of Article:
Diggs stopped reading and took a deep breath as he rubbed his face with his hands too distraught to say anything.
He turned to look at Oliver and Sara waiting for their reaction.
Their reactions were; folded hands, teary eyes and shaking hands.
“Guys, if Felicity survived this and Uncle Ari is Lieutenant Aristides Ntioudis then she must be going through hell and if what she told us to happen the nightmare she was having? Oliver, she needs us, today is the anniversary of her Uncle’s death and God knows how many more she lost during that day.” Sara said in realization and wiped her tears.
“She saw him die and he was the last thing he touched was her and she had it permanently imprinted on her body, that is so many levels fucked up!” Diggs said sighing as he stood up and walked out of the Foundry breathing some fresh air and shoot a text to Lyla saying how much he loved her and then texted Felicity a text asking if she wanted to talk tomorrow.
The Next Day:
Felicity woke up and put her favorite band called Bastille on and blasted as she started her day by washing her bloated face from crying all night.
Then she went and made coffee and cereal for breakfast and started singing to the songs as she ate while going through her phone. She purposely avoided opening Diggs texts while she video call Tina who for her time it was still June 10th at 9 pm and she had change clocked out of her shift in the hospital and kept her company on the bus ride home.
Tina’s family lived in Tavros and the fire had destroyed everything they had and killed her little sister and couple months ago there was this earthquake of 4.6 Richter scale and an after earthquake of 5.1 Richter scale that leveled half of Tavros and killed her parents she was a mess and the idiot Tina (not in a bad way) kept it from Felicity because she knew that Felicity would have taken the first flight to Athens to be by her side and so would Karen.
Tina had begged them not to come to stay as far away as possible and that if they were safe she had a little peace of mind. She had refused time off from the hospital to grieve and she was using her frustration in helping the district rebuild what they had lost. Felicity and Karen had sent money to Tina who at first refused but then accepted as the medical and funeral bills started to come in.
Felicity and Karen had come up with a plan, Felicity check on Tina during her morning and Tina’s nights while Karen checks in with Tina during Karen’s night and Tina’s mornings, it was the best they could do other than be physically present and if Tina refused their calls…
Felicity would send the big guns; Uncle Markos, Kostas and grand-aunt Helena.
Oliver and Sara had just realized that there was more to their IT girl than they thought…they had this romanticized idea that Felicity’s childhood was the plain American upbringing but it was far from it…and most importantly it wasn’t all that American in the first place!