The Mark of Athena
Reyna knew she had taken a risk. Oh, and what a big risk it had been. The truth was, no one could have been absolutely sure what the ship would bring. An ally? A foe? She wasn't even sure that Percy was certain. That being said, if Reyna was sure of anything, it was that if something were to go wrong, she would be in some real hot water. After all as Praetor she was responsible for the camp's safety. Yet, even her own potential downfall didn't faze her as much as Octavian's would be accent if things happened to go south. Oh, how she detested that Octavian. He may have looked like every bullies dream come true but she knew he was not your everyday skinny guy that lived down the block. She knew that he was much, much more powerful. After all, this was a guy who gutted stuffed toys in his spare time. Jokes aside though, Reyna knew that Octavian craved nothing more than power. She realised that he was always on the lookout for any opportunity to usurp Reyna and gain control of the camp. More than anything though, she knew that she was granting him a premier opportunity to do just that by allowing this ship to enter the camp. Why did she do it then? She seemed to have enough on her plate already without the added problem of these Greeks. Throw in Octavian and she knew she was brewing a recipe for disaster. Yet, the truth was that there was a possibility that there was something on that ship that Reyna really wanted. Something that had been missing for the past eight months, something that might be able to help her and everyone else make sense of what had been going on. Actually, it was a someone. In fact, his name was Jason....
As he peered over the edge of the ship, Jason felt safe. The familiar landmarks and figures that dotted the rolling landscape below him reminded him of better times; happier memories. The only times when he had truly felt safe were all in one way or another associated with this place. In truth, he couldn't believe his eyes. It had been eight months, eight long months since he had last been here; his true home. He could feel it, this was where he belonged. He felt as if his entire essence; his entire being was being drawn towards what lay below him. The anticipation itself was enough to set his heart pounding and his blood racing. He just could not wrap his mind around it. Sure, the last eight months hadn't exactly been the worst of his life, after all he had avoided becoming dinner to a various assortment of monsters and made some awesome new friends while he was it, but he was never really at ease during that time. He was always on edge, as if he were trespassing on private property. There was just no way around it, he was Roman. Every cell in his body could attest to that fact. Everything about the two was different, their combat tactics, fighting styles; the way they spoke, the way they acted. They were like two sides of the same coin. They couldn't have been more different yet were fundamentally one and the same.
Jason though, of all people, couldn't afford to think like that. He knew that in order to defeat Gaea the Romans and the Greeks needed to set aside their differences and work together. Yet there was still something that bothered Jason; just this lingering feeling at the pit of his stomach that didn't quite seem right. Something just didn't add up, something wasn't clicking into place. Now if only he knew what... "Hey Jason! You alright?" yelled Leo, with a concerned look on his face. Jason had been so lost in thought that he hadn't realised that he had started to lean dangerously close to the edge of the ship. Startled, he tripped over himself and would have fallen overboard if Leo hadn't grabbed his arm and steadied him. "Dude! I'm not gonna be around to save your life forever. You gotta be more careful man, I know you can fly and all but there's no need to be showing off all the time," chided Leo. "Hmph," Jason just smirked and nodded his head as he tried to conceal a smile. " By the way Superman, we gonna be landing soon so you better be ready," Leo remarked as he headed back into the control room of the ship. Jason just sighed wistfully and continued to gaze at what lay below him, trying not to get too caught up in his thoughts.
Percy had never seen anything more majestic. The Argo 2 was unlike anything he could have even imagined. Watching it as it approached the camp was like watching a movie in slow-motion. It was both captivating yet oddly disturbing; after all the ship was defying gravity in more ways than one. Firstly there was no way in olympus that something that huge or heavy should have been able to fly. The beast was big enough to have put the titanic to shame. Second, it was going much faster than anything its size should have been able to go, but then again, flying ships were not an everyday occurrence. Finally though, and strangest of all, it didn't seem to be slowing down at all, odd considering it was already on the outskirts of the city and would soon reach the forum. "Bah! I'm just being paranoid," thought Percy to himself. After all, that Leo guy probably knew a lot more about the ship's capabilities than he did. On that note, Percy just couldn't wait to meet Leo, he seemed quite the character. Of course, he was just aching to see all his friends again, especially Annabeth.
Oh, that Annabeth, just the thought of her filled him with warmth. Yet, there was someone else Percy was really keen on meeting; the ever-mysterious Jason. As best he could figure, he was something of a god around these parts. Everyone held him in high regard, even Reyna, which was really saying something about the guy. Percy was distracted from his thoughts by some rather loud mummers from the campers around him. As he looked up he noticed quite a few of them pointing at the ship and gesturing with concern on their faces. Percy directed his attention back on the ship and didn't notice anything out of place. "Great, now the whole camp is paranoid!" he joked to himself.
He was about to dismiss the weird reactions as nothing more than the shock of seeing a flying ship, when he heard a someone yell, "By gods, it's smoking!" As he looked around to find the source of the commotion, Percy saw one of the legionnaires waving frantically at the ship. Immediately, he turned his gaze back on the Argo 2. He could just make out a trail jet black smoke rising out of the ship's hull. It didn't take much time for Percy to put two and two together. The smoke; the fact that the ship wasn't slowing down; something was seriously wrong. Perhaps the engine had blown, decided Percy, rather calmly. Then the facts hit him in the face. If it was a damaged engine, the ship would surely crash. Looking up again, Percy was taken aback. The ship looked a lot worse, it was now nearly a blur through the increasing cloud of smoke. Percy could barely make out the figure of the ship that now seemed to be pointing downwards. In fact, it seemed to be headed right at him and everybody else. Just then, the screaming began. People began to realise that if they didn't move they would end up flattened by this monstrous entity. Then, all hell broke loose....