INTRO: Echobox is a fictional retelling of ancient Greek myths. There are countless versions of these stories, with just as many cultural and linguistic nuances. For the sake of storytelling and adaptation, we’ve taken creative liberties and added our own flair to many of the stories. The stories and characters of Echobox are by no means the only versions nor should they be taken as the ‘correct’ ones. Neither should they be taken as an accurate representation of who these deities were and are to their worshippers. Thank you for your help in remaining respectful to deities and practitioners!
Today’s episode features content warnings for mentions of suicide attempt, homophobia, and drug abuse.
[ECHOBOX THEME MUSIC FADES IN]
INTRO [cont'd]: Now put some headphones on, sit back, and enjoy the divine drama of episode 9, Is this my fault?
[ALEX PICKS UP THE PHONE]
ALEX: Achilles, this better not be one of your 'pick me up from the club because it's six am and I forgot Pat goes into work early' calls.
ACHILLES: This... isn't a fun call, Alex. Are you at home right now?
ALEX: Um. Yeah. I'm just getting ready for work. What's going on, Achilles? Are you okay?
ACHILLES: I'm fine, Alex. Pat's fine too. I just... There isn't any way you could call off work is there? Say you're sick or had a family emergency or something?
ALEX: You know Zeus just as well as I do. I'm not getting off work unless I'm dead. And even then, he'd probably show up at my funeral to reprimand me.
ACHILLES: Yeah. You're right. Okay. Just. I think you should take a minute to sit, have some coffee, and get yourself ready for a... bad day. And if you need anything at all, just call me or Pat. Actually, call me first, I'll go and make a scene, then call Pat and he'll pick you up while everyone's busy with me.
[ACHILLES LAUGHS NERVOUSLY]
ALEX: Will you just tell me what's wrong? You're freaking me out, Achilles. Did someone from Olympus try going after you or something?
ACHILLES: I already said I'm fine, Alex. I guess you just haven't really looked through your notifications today yet have you?
ALEX: I started turning them off when I go to bed after everything that's been happening. Did something else happen with Hera? I already told everyone to lay off her, it's not like people can keep blaming it on me. And it's not like Zeus has even cared about everything going on with her. I doubt he'll notice whatever's going on.
ACHILLES: It's not Hera.
ALEX: Then just fucking tell me, Achilles.
ACHILLES: Fine. There are... rumors that Perseus tried to kill himself last night. Or maybe just had a mental breakdown and was talking about killing himself? Or. Well. It's kind of messy. Point is, Perseus is at the hospital this morning.
ALEX: You're serious?
ACHILLES: I wish this was one of my bad jokes. He was on an Instagram Live last night just... crying. He put up an apology post too. About lying to himself and his fans and he wished he could have been more honest with everyone. His team already scrubbed it all off his account, but someone took pictures of Andromeda leaving a hospital and she posted this morning about taking some time away from social media with him and wanting some space and privacy, so... It doesn't look good, Alex. That's all I'm saying.
ACHILLES: Yeah. Fuck. Look, I'm going to ask around and try reaching out to whatever connections I still have in the industry, just in case someone has more details, since I doubt we're getting an official story that's anywhere near the truth any time soon. If you hear anything in the office, let me know? I never really knew Perseus when I was working there, but that doesn't mean I want to see him torn apart like this.
ALEX: Are they blaming me?
ACHILLES: Alex. I don't think that's the main concern right now.
ALEX: I need to know if I'm going into work to hear it all, Achilles. Are they blaming Echo? Just. Just tell me. I'll find out on Twitter anyway, right?
ACHILLES: He... Look, I'm not going to lie to you. He named Echo and the show specifically in his live. He kept saying you were right and that he never meant for things to get out the way they did and... There was a lot of barely coherent rambling, but yeah. He did mention Echo a lot.
ALEX: Do they blame me?
ACHILLES [angrily]: Jesus, Alex, is that really all you care about?
ALEX: You're not the one everyone associates with the show, Achilles! You're not the one constantly getting mentioned and tagged on Twitter telling you you're a horrible person and everything wrong with these people is your fault.
ACHILLES: Are you sure about that? Because I was on the stupid fucking show where we decided it would be a good idea to just say he's gay. I'm the one that went and outed his girlfriend too. You know. Just in case you forgot? And I'm not even using some convenient little stage name so whatever they throw at your persona, I’m gonna get thrown straight at me.
ALEX: It's different!
ACHILLES: I didn't call to argue about who has it worse, Alex. I just wanted to make sure you'd be okay today. As in you, Alex, the person, my friend. Not Echo the online personality. The show's fun, but I don't give a fuck about it if it's going to stress you out to the point that you hear about some kid nearly dying and your first thought is your podcast and what people will say about you.
ALEX: That's funny coming from you of all people, Achilles.
ACHILLES: Yeah. Maybe that should give you an idea of just how badly you might need to take a step back and think things through, right? Just... Pat and I are going to be home all day. I'll be making phone calls, but you know I'll drop everything the second you come asking. Pat'll have his ringer on too. If you need someone to talk to or a quick escape from the office or just... someone to distract you from everything, you know who to call.
ALEX: Thanks. And thanks for calling to warn me. I appreciate it, even if it doesn't always sound like it. [SOFTER] And Achilles?
ALEX: Do you think maybe I should feel guilty about this happening?
ACHILLES: That's an answer you're going to have to come to on your own, Alex.
ALEX: Fine. I should finish getting ready for work. I'll let you know if I hear anything. Or if I... change my mind about the podcast.
ACHILLES: Sure. Good luck, babe.
[PHONE CALL ENDS]
[ECHOBOX INTRO SONG PLAYS IN UNIVERSE]
ECHO: Hello, listeners. Welcome to Echobox. Today... I don't really know what I'm going to talk about today. You know I don't like to have scripts for these and I prefer to sit down and have a conversation with you, but today, I don't even have the slightest idea what I'm going to say. I'm sorry. I know you all come to this show - at least the ones of you who come because you like to listen, not because you want to have new material to attack me on Twitter - for Olympian gossip, not to hear the sad ramblings of a girl, but... I don't know. I guess I should start with the elephant in the room. Firstly, I want to extend my sympathy to Perseus and all his loved ones. His spokespeople haven't been very forthcoming with details and out of respect for his family, I've decided not to go looking for more of a story, but I know my name has been floating around many of the reports and on Twitter, so I thought I should comment on it. As a person, not a reporter. We don't know what's going on behind the scenes. It's not like the glass closet Perseus was in or Apollo walking around with white powder on his nose or Ares walking out of his sister-in-law's house with hickeys on his neck. I know this goes against everything I've said so far, but sometimes... sometimes we just don't know what's going on.
ECHO [cont'd]: And maybe we shouldn't know. If Perseus wants us all to think he's hospitalized for stress or heat exhaustion, then who am I to tell him no? I guess I already did tell him no when I brought him up in this show in the first place... Look this goes without saying, but this was never my intention. I don't like any of these artists, but that doesn't mean I want them dead, okay? Anyone saying otherwise needs to take a step back from their computer and consider why they want to defend Zeus and his Olympians so badly. Okay? Because I see everything you all send online and I don't appreciate being told to kill myself because I attacked your favorite pretty boy guitarist. Or everyone saying that if something happens I'll have blood on my hands. Because I don't, okay? I don't come on here and tell anyone to broadcast their breakdowns on Instagram Live or take a bunch of sleeping pills. I just tell the truth. And if the truth these boys are living in is too much for them to handle, that's not my fault.
ECHO [cont'd]: It's not. Of course it's not my fault. I don't do anything except tell you what's already there. LA's rich and famous have been doing this long before my show started and they'll keep doing it long after. So stop..... Just stop saying I put someone in the hospital. I don't have that kind of power with just my little show. I almost wish I did. Here's something else you all want me talking about. Hera. Yes, I've seen the rumors. Yes, I saw those pictures of her crying at brunch. Yes, I saw the moving vans outside her and Zeus' mansion. What do you want me to say? My sources don't have confirmation about whether they're separating or if it was because of this show or anything. Not that I think many of you would care. Few weeks ago, you were flooding my mentions with all those nasty messages about how Hera was secretly to blame for everything and saying she's a raging bitch, so she deserves it all. Now it's all about how I did this and I'm a monster for hurting poor precious Hera. I think that none of you care all that much what happens to any of them. You only care about whatever's trending on Twitter and getting a chance to fight the enemy of the week. If you all think I don't care, you haven't been listening close enough. I care. Of course I care!
ECHO [cont'd]: This whole thing is because I care. I care about everyone those monsters at Olympus Records are hurting and that includes Hera. I care. What I don't care about is random haters on Twitter, so what I'm about to say absolutely doesn't go out to any of you. Just to be perfectly clear. Hera, Perseus, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that dragging you into this thing opened you up to all this attention. I'm sorry that some people have used this as an excuse to treat you like this. I'm sorry for whatever is going on right now. But I need to keep doing this show. I need to. If I don't who will? And if no one calls these artists out, they're just going to keep getting away with it. I need to keep doing this even if things don’t always go perfect. I....
[AUDIO ABRUPTLY CUTS OFF, THEN CUTS BACK IN]
ECHO: Okay. Sorry. You know I usually like to just do these in one take. No scripts, no pretend, just authenticity. A rare treat in this town. But hey. I guess even mean, scary Echo isn't infallible, right? I'm sorry for the situation Perseus wound up in. I can’t do anything about that now other than... give him space. And I'm sorry for Hera. I really am. She should have never gotten caught up in any of this. She's... The way Zeus and everyone treats her is exactly the sort of thing I've been calling out all show long. I don't know if I could have done anything to avoid it. I'm not the one who runs the company or did any of those things. But I do wish people like Hera didn't need to be hurt in the process. If I could, would I go back and do things differently? I don't know. I guess those are my words of the week. I don't know what to make of this situation or how to feel about it or if I could have done anything to stop it. I just don't. Maybe I shouldn't have started this whole thing until I had answers. Anyway... You've been listening to Echobox. I'm Echo, logging off.
[ECHOBOX OUTRO SONG PLAYS IN UNIVERSE]
Echobox is written and produced by the Echobox Podcast Team. This episode stars, in order of appearance, Isabella Sales as Alex/Echo, Emma K Blakeslee as Achilles. It was written by Sebastián Ponsa-Nazario. Audio and sound design by Corienne Swanson, Meg McKellar and Marianna Marcon. Logo design by Lucas Eduardo Bueno and website by Andy Cerdan.
Transcripts for this episode and others can be found on our website by transcriber Maxwell Caetano. Our website also has additional in-universe content and ways to get in contact with us. Visit echoboxpod.net or check the show notes for a link.
The music we used today was Ethernight Club and Magic Scout Cottages by Kevin McLeod, licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 from creativecommons.org/by/3.0.
Echobox is created out of love for storytelling and provided at no profit to us. Your feedback is our reward! Reach out on our website or find us as echoboxpod across social media.
If you liked the episode, let us know and share with a friend! You can also drop us a review at Apple Podcasts to help us grow. We would love to hear your thoughts on it.
Thank you for listening. Until next time, dear listeners.