Chapter 1: For Research Purposes
The next morning everyone walked into the breakfast room to eat. The cafeteria was bustling with activity and laughter as everyone ate. Then Annabeth marched in with a bunch of books, scrolls and records in her arms and dropped them with a loud thump at the head of the table.
“What’s all that for?” Percy asked.
“Research. I wanna to take notes also. Maybe figure out more about why the fates brought us here. Why they want to tell your story.”
“Aren’t we gonna start the next part?” asked Thalia.
“Not yet,” Annabeth shook her head. “I was wondering if our Egyptian and Norse friends might want to explain a little bit about their past and current adventures so this isn’t all as confusing. Magnus mind starting while we eat? Then I’ll explain the rest of the plan.”
“I guess. So before all of this I was homeless. After a bunch of glowing wolves killed my mom I thought I had no one. Then I heard people were looking for me….”
Magnus continued his story letting Sam, Alex, Blitz and Hearth take over once in a while so he could eat. It took almost an hour and a half even with the abridged version.
“Our turn?” Carter asked.
“I think we should do something else first. Sitting still too long with all these demigods is not a good idea. I’m going to continue my research a bit if anyone wants to join me. I saw a room we could use like a library.”
She got up with her scrolls and walked out. Carter shrugged and followed behind them came Ella, Reyna and Sam. Percy looked around. “Anyone else have a plan?”
“I wanted to design some of those shoes. A safe version and stylish,” Blitz shared.
“I will go help,” Tyson agreed.
“I guess we’re splitting up by skillset and other things. Wanna finally compare that magic?” Sadie asked drawing her staff. Hearth nodded pulling out his runestones and Hazel kissed Frank’s cheek before following them through the door to the main room where they could practice.
“Wanna go try out some more healing techniques? Annabeth said something about a potion before,” Will asked Jaz and Magnus.
“Sure. I’d be happy to show you. I wanna see some things with that ambrosia and nectar too.”
“I’m not sure I have as much practical skill,” shrugged Magnus. “For me it’s mostly powers.”
“Incantations and stuff. I do that too. That’d be something else to compare,” Will said.
“The glowing too,” grinned Jaz. “I’ll take the doctors notes.” Both boys groaned as she pulled them along and off the blond haired trio went.
“You said something before about shifting,” Frank asked.
“Yeah. I’m not just genderfluid,” Alex shrugged. “My form is too. I can be almost anything.”
“I can only do animals. It still might be fun to share some tricks,” Frank tried.
“You came to the right person,” Alex grinned. “I’m the shapeshifting master.”
To prove her point she became a cheetah and leaped over the table before sprinting through the hall. Percy laughed. “You better catch up to your master young padawan. It seems you have a lot to learn.”
Frank groaned before going out the door where he changed too. Percy groaned then. “Still wish I could do that. I mean even Carter and Sadie have bird forms!”
“Because of the gods that they hosted,” Walt said. “I’m sure you had something similar if you hosted Neckbeht.”
“Kind of but not really. You got something? You’re hosting a god right now?” asked Percy.
“I can do canines. Jackals mostly. I don’t have control over much besides the dead and burial rights.”
“We never did finish comparing those,” Nico mused. “Are you able to use darkness?”
“Sometimes. Shadows. Death powers.”
“Souls, zombies and all that,” Nico agreed.
“Finish this creepy conversation elsewhere. Just go see what you can do corpse breaths,” Thalia said.
Nico sighed and shadow traveled out of the room. Walt disappeared in a dark mist filled with some mummy wrapping after.
“If they get to compare death, magic, healing and all those powers you need to agree to compare fire powers with me. You did say it was your specialty element,” Leo reminded Zia.
“It is but I don’t think.”
“He’ll behave,” Calypso promised. “I hope so.”
“Don’t worry sunshine. Flame girl and I will be fine,” Leo grinned. “Come on.”
That left only the Greco-Romans. Grover was looking at Juniper who he hadn’t had alone time with since he left for California to work with the nature spirits there. Percy nudged him. “Go on man.”
Blushing Grover did and happily Juniper followed him out. Chris and Clarisse got up subtly too as Rachel spoke. “I’m going to go help the others do some research.”
“I’ll never understand how people enjoy that,” Thalia shook her head. “And I’ve known Annabeth most of her life.”
“I know. It’s strange,” Percy agreed. He looked around at the rest of the people still there. Jason, Piper, Apollo, Calypso and Thalia sat around him. “So what do you guys want to do? I assume we’ll do this until lunch.”
“I wanted to talk to Calypso. I mean we haven’t gotten the chance yet,” Piper asked the other girl.
“I’d be happy too. Leo talks about you a lot.”
Piper grinned walking out with Calypso. “Well did he tell you about the time that we……”
“So that leaves bonding time for us little bro,” Thalia grinned at Jason.
“You visited two weeks ago.”
“I missed nearly 13 years. You can afford a few more hours,” Thalia teased.
Jason laughed. “Wanna spar?”
“Yeah and kick your roman butt.”
The two sibling went out laughing leaving Percy and Apollo behind. Percy rubbed his hair awkwardly. Apollo cleared his throat. “So…”
“How’s the traveling?” asked Percy. “Any leads on the next oracle?”
“I wish. Then I could go back to being my awesome self full time. Nah we got to the Midwest I know Meg is there somewhere.”
“I know how you’re feeling. I’m sure she’ll come back and help you in the end. She seemed like a good kid, but she had bad people taking care of her and influencing her. But even people who betrayed you once can help you in the end,” Percy shared. “I hated Luke. I still feel hurt when I think about him but I have a lot to thank him for too.”
“That’s not like this!” Apollo protested.
“Sorry man. I did want to ask, do you think that your whole quest has anything to do with all this?” Percy asked gesturing to the room around them.
“A lot probably. Why else would I be here? The fates are tied to the oracles and vice versa. Maybe they’re waiting for them all to work again. Then they’ll say something.”
“With my luck it’ll be another prophecy with me at the center,” Percy groaned.
In the new found library Rachel was writing things down for the demigods who couldn’t with dyslexia. There were several lists about things so far. One was of the prophetic things they had said. Ella kept that in her head but the others wrote it down as well. Rachel had agreed to keep it as they watched so she could write down anything that happened. The other list was of strange things Percy had done that might be why the fates were interested in him. Everyone was volunteering information.
“The Fates called him the link,” Annabeth said as Rachel wrote.
“They said his thread was interwoven through all our tapestries,” agreed Samira.
“His stepfather,” Reyna said. “Gaea possessed him planning from the beginning. He was always her key.”
“Right,” Rachel nodded adding a note about his fatal flaw.
“The water healing,” Carter said. “It can’t be replicated.”
“He met many of us before the quest to stop Gaea brought us together,” Reyna put in.
“Languages,” Ella spoke. “Latin is a dead language. So is Egyptian and Ancient Greek. Percy speaks three dead languages.”
“Right,” Annabeth said. “And Horse. And Fish. Though I don’t speak owl and Frank doesn’t speak boar, Piper dove and etc.”
“The fates seemed to have been interested in him since the beginning,” Rachel noted. “They stopped to show him them cut the thread. That’s not common.”
“Right. What about that magic he seemed to do?” Carter asked. “He did that symbol with his hands and the door slammed shut on his stepfather.”
“It did seem more like magic than anything else,” agreed Annabeth. “The oracle moved to look at him. And then he told the future a few times. He even knew what Thalia looked like.”
Rachel nodded. “My dreams are only a little stronger than his, or they were when I was the oracle. Are yours that strong?”
Annabeth, Sam and Reyna shook their heads. Carter shrugged. “It’s a little different for us. Our bas can travel.”
Annabeth wrote something down. “Okay.”
“He’s beaten a god,” Reyna noted. “Almost an impossibility.”
“I don’t know what the romans say but Ares has been beaten by Hercules and the first queen of the amazons. There was another woman who I’m forgetting that beat him too.”
“So maybe our texts are lacking,” Reyna nodded. “We don’t have children of Minerva to help either. But none of these people were age 12 with such little training. He has done what many heroes have previously, such as killing a snake at such a young age. But no others were so young as he was when he was able to beat a kindly one, the minotaur, and Medusa when she was awake too.”
“Those dreams from Kronos said some other important things,” Rachel told Annabeth.
“Write that down.”
“What?” asked Sam. “What is so important to frighten you?”
“Another way Percy was supposed to be someone’s pawn,” Annabeth shrugged. “He obviously refused. So other people took his spot.”
“On that note,” Carter said remembering. “Apollo mentioned that Percy looks almost exactly like Poseidon. More than any other demigod apparently.”
“Anything else?” Rachel said after she had written that down.
“Good. Let’s move onto the next thing,” Annabeth said. Everyone nodded then she turned to Rachel. “Can I have that for a moment?’
Rachel gave her the scroll. “What are you writing?”
“A possibility Percy and I discussed yesterday,” Annabeth told her writing down the words Percy blessed by Poseidon/other gods? then putting down the pen.
Rachel’s eyes widened. “No way.”
“Just a possibility,” Annabeth told her again. “Let’s go catch up to everyone else.”
By the time they joined the others for lunch they had gathered enough research for a while. Everyone was eating when a scratched up Jaz, Will and Magnus walked in next to Leo and Zia who both had little cinders and smoke rising from their clothes. “What happened?” Sadie asked wide eyed.
“Research,” Will answered.
“Leo?” asked Calypso. “Why are you burning?”
“As Will said for research purposes. Now start your story,” Leo called to Sadie. “I wanna have entertainment while I eat.”
Chapter 2: To Recap
Percy recaps what's happened in his life so far
AN: As I said I’m only doing the parts most important to the story mine and the original. If I can skip and summarize I will.
When lunch was finished it was decided it was time to start the next story. Together everyone went into the projection room and sat down. Percy sighed. “So I think I know where this is starting. I wasn’t attacked at all that year and went to school at Merriweather Prep. It was my last day.”
The scene rose. In a cave with a small cot, a loom, material and lit torches stood Grover. He wore a wedding dress and was covered in mud. His face wasn’t visible because of a veil.
“I’m guessing this isn’t your school,” Carter said.
“Yeah. It skipped a lot,” Percy frowned.
“The fates did say only what was necessary,” Apollo reminded them.
“Just summarize,” suggested Piper.
Percy nodded. “So first I dreamed of Grover being chased into a bridal shop in Florida way before this.”
“Why was he in Florida?” asked Sadie.
“Searching for Pan,” Grover answered. “But obviously I didn’t find him,” he gestured to the projection of his younger self in a dress in the center of the room.
“Then I woke up for the last day of school. Last period was gym and we played dodgeball with some visitors which turned out to be Laistrygo-Listra-Lasgotra…..” Percy trailed off.
“Laistrygonians,” volunteered Annabeth.
“Right. Canadians,” Percy nodded.
“Hey!” Frank protested while Hazel giggled. That’s where Percy had got it from.
“They’re giants from up North,” Annabeth said helpfully. “I’m the one who told him that. Sorry Frank.”
“Yeah,” Percy was decent enough to look sheepish. “So the giants played exploding fire bomb dodgeball and I went in front of the locker room jumping out of the way so they’d hit it. My school exploded, Tyson who went to school with me saved me from some giants and Annabeth stabbed one through the stomach because she’d been stalking me all day.”
“It wasn’t stalking,” Annabeth protested.
“I saw your shadow through my window. Don’t worry I don’t blame you for peeking,” he winked at her. She blushed a furious red as several people laughed and Hazel looked faint.
Percy continued. “So then we escaped with Annabeth who summoned the Gray Sister’s taxi. They took us to camp but lost their eye.”
“Eye?” asked Magnus.
“Eye. They have one eye and one tooth between the three of them,” Thalia confirmed wrinkling her nose. “It’s pretty gross.”
“So they drove pretty crazily. I bargained with their eye for information and got some random numbers. When we got to camp it was being attacked by fire breathing bull automatons which crossed the border of Thalia’s tree.”
“That’s impossible,” protested Piper. “That border doesn’t let anyone in.”
“It wasn’t working properly,” explained Juniper. “The whole camp was horrible because of that. I didn’t feel right for weeks.”
“Yeah. It was strong enough that Tyson didn’t get in and I had to give permission for him to enter the camp. He stopped them without getting burnt which is when I learnt he was a Cyclops.”
“You went to school with him for a year and didn’t realize?” asked Blitz.
“You sound like Annabeth. The mist was affecting me then. Not as much anymore though.”
“So why weren’t the borders working? Why was the whole camp off?” asked Frank.
Percy looked at Thalia who nodded. “Someone poisoned Thalia’s tree.”
There were shouts of anger around the room. Most of them had no idea about this happening. The worst were Thalia’s new good friends in Alex and Sadie. Then of course her Greek and Roman friends especially Reyna, Hazel, Piper and of course Jason. The latter of course was the worst, fury was brimming behind his eyes. “You didn’t tell me,” he told her in a sad voice.
“I didn’t have much time too. There was never a huge reason to bring it up anyway,” she shrugged. “It’s all fine now.”
“But it’s not!” protested Jason. “You’re my sister. You were pretty much already dead and that was killing the last of you.”
“I’m just happier you didn’t have to see it,” Thalia told him. “I never wanted you to have to suffer. I hate Hera for separating us. I could have protected you, maybe even taken you when I ran. But I thought you were dead.”
“But I wasn’t,” Jason reminded her. “But you almost were!”
“Because I tried to protect part of my new family,” Thalia told him. “I became that tree to protect Grover, Luke and Annabeth. They were the only reason I kept moving after I lost you.”
Jason inhaled ozone still crackling around him. “But Luke betrayed you. He’s the one who poisoned the tree, wasn’t he?”
Thalia didn’t argue. “Let’s just move on okay? I’m not dead now. And we got to be together again. Can we just try and be happy about that?”
“Fine,” Jason sighed. He wasn’t like his sister. It wasn’t in his nature to be angry for long.
Piper smirked at him shoving him off the couch and putting her feet up allowing him to sit next to Thalia on the floor. He playfully glared back at his girlfriend. Then he looked up at Percy sending a silent message of thanks for having his sister here. His cousin just grinned goofily at them.
Annabeth spoke up breaking it up. “Should I finish the explanation?”
“Can we just skip to me beating you and Percy at everything?” Clarisse asked cockily.
Percy burst into laughter. “Yeah right.”
“Wanna try again punk?”
“We already have. You know who always wins,” Percy told her.
“Enough!” Annabeth sighed. “Basically Chiron was fired as director because Thalia’s tree was dying.”
More protests came. Especially from the Greeks like Piper, Leo and also Jason. Piper looked at Annabeth incredulously, “They fired Chiron? How is that his fault?”
“Mr. D needed someone to blame,” Percy told her. “He just happened to get the worst replacement possible.”
“Ugh, Tantalus was such a creep,” Juniper shivered.
“Tantalus?” Nico asked getting darker.
“How is that possible?” asked Hazel. “Pluto wouldn’t allow one of…”
“It was supposed to be a punishment. They needed someone last second,” Annabeth said.
“It just turned out to be more of a punishment for us than him,” Percy groaned.
“Who’s Tantalus?” asked Carter.
“He was this son of Zeus in ancient Greece. He was invited to Olympus and got to try ambrosia but they wouldn’t let him take any to the mortal world. So Tantalus went home and invited the gods to eat with him. Then he served them his owns son as a meal. So now in his death as punishment he stands in a pool of water but can’t drink and has a tree growing with fruits near the pool but can’t eat. It moves from his reach.”
“And they let this guy near kids?” Magnus demanded.
“Well someone did. Not sure who made the decision,” Percy shrugged. “That’s not what matters. I’m just going to finish. Tyson was claimed by my dad and people had a lot of issues with that because he was a Cyclops. Then Tantalus declared the chariot races on again. Annabeth and I teamed up but got in a fight about Tyson which none of you are allowed to say anything about. So Tyson and I became our own team. I had this dream the night before the race.”
“So can we just watch now?” whined Sadie. “I want to laugh at the goat in a wedding dress.”
“Hey!” bleated said goat.
“She has the right idea,” agreed Thalia. “It’s hilarious.”
“I think you were really brave and smart to be able to trick him like that for so long,” Juniper whispered into Grover’s ear as the projection started to play. Grover turned the same color red as Ares cabin’s banners.
Chapter 3: A Bride's Dream
An: So now there will only be summaries. I’ll summarize conversations too because I know everyone had problems with the other format. Let me know if this bothers you too. Also to recap if someone says the same thing as Percy in the projection they have to donate money to a jar or do Truth/Dare.
The scene rose. In a cave with a small cot, a loom, material and lit torches stood Grover. He wore a wedding dress and was covered in mud. His face wasn’t visible because of a veil. Still he was staring straight up towards what was a dream version of Percy. He called and asked if Percy could hear him, Percy could only ask what was going on before someone called for Grover asking if he was done.
“Honeypie?” snickered Leo. “Polymepheus called you honey pie?”
“How did you know who he is?” asked Piper.
“We had a run in with him after leaving Ogygia,” replied Calypso. “He was your captor?”
“Man. Why’d he think anyone would marry him?” asked Leo. “I mean that guys is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen.”
“You don’t need to tell me,” the goat reminded him.
“Can we return to the point of this giant Cyclops calling Grover honeypie?” Thalia cackled.
“It’s not that funny,” grumbled Grover. Everyone was starting to giggle.
“It kind of is,” Nico told him allowing a smirk.
“Kind of? It’s hilarious!” Alex declared.
“Is there a more unfortunate nickname?” agreed Sadie.
Grover had too assure the Cyclops that it hadn’t been two weeks but just five days. He wasn’t finished. The Cyclops made a lewd remark about seeing under the veil.
“Is he actually that stupid?” asked Blitz. “I mean you hardly look like a girl.”
“Thor played the same trick,” Sam reminded Blitz. “Luckily we had two children of Loki when we had too.”
“Well then I’m glad I’m not the only one who had to go through this torture,” Grover said at their comments. He had heard the story of their adventure already.
In the projection Grover begged for Percy’s help telling him he had gone to Florida and turned left.
“Left is relative,” Reyna said raising an eyebrow.
“I was kind of stressed,” Grover rubbed the back of his neck. He chewed on the string of his hoodie. “Can you all just stop the picking on me?”
“Never,” Thalia and Percy said together.
“Sorry G-man,” Percy chuckled.
Grover continued telling Percy that is was a trap. How Satyrs were lured in to be eaten while be looking for Pan with the nature magic. Then explained how he tricked him and that yes, Polyphemus did want want to marry him.
There was a whole new round of loud laughter as Grover continued to blush hard. Most of them had already figured it out. Those who didn’t were laughing harder.
“I still don’t see how that mistake is made,” muttered Chris. Clarisse looked at him and remembered what would come later. She turned an odd shade of pale purple.
When they stopped laughing Jason leaned over to whisper to Thalia. “That’s where he got the fleece right? It’s what woke you up.”
Thalia nodded. Jason grinned.
“Percy, bro!” he yelled to get his cousins attention. “Thanks.”
Percy grinned back offering two thumbs up. Several others such as Nico, Reyna, Frank, Hazel, Piper and Leo had also started to figure it out. Others just looked confused.
Percy assured Grover he would come help. Then Grover told him that it was the Sea of Monsters and with the empathy link if he died then Percy did too. He left the dream to Grover leaving for Dinner with the Cyclops and asking what exactly was on that island.
Those of the Greek and Roman who did not yet know figured it out then. Others were too focused on Percy and Grover.
“Does that still work?” asked Hazel.
“The link?” Percy replied. “Yeah.”
“It’s helpful most the time,” Grover nodded. “Except if maybe I die. But also it can affect each others feelings. Satyrs are better at repressing it, we already can feel minor empathy with everyone. But with humans…”
Percy looked at Grover. “Man, why’d you never tell me?”
“Didn’t really matter until recently,” Grover told him.
“When’s recently?” Percy asked him.
Using their empathy link Percy was sent images of the Giant War and their journey through Rome and to Tartarus. He cringed. Grover had felt some of that. That he had never wanted for any of his friends. (AN: From That Dam Headcanon.) Everyone else was looking at them questioningly but Percy silently pleaded with Grover to save it for later until it came up again.
“The dying thing is less likely to happen now that the link is older,” Grover assured everyone. “And I could get rid of it.”
“But last time we discussed it we decided not too,” Percy nodded. “We might need to talk about that again.”
Annabeth looked at them both strangely. It was quite now and another projection was rising on the screen.
Chapter 4: Unfortunate Racing Music
The scene rose in the racetrack in a field between the archery range and the woods. People sat in the stands along with Tantalus who was chasing food with his hands. He announced the rules and the exact punishments for breaking them.
“That’s the punishment for killing?” Reyna asked.
“No, that’s Tantalus’ punishment for killing,” Will said.
“Usually it’s up to Chiron but accidents are more lenient. If it’s purposely they’re expelled from the camp, sometimes even given to the gods for jurisdiction,” Apollo agreed. “Hasn’t happened in a while.”
“We don’t have that many power positions that people would try to murder each other. Most of us are teenagers we don’t have adults like you,” Annabeth told the romans.
“There’s a line in between the Roman harshness and Greek lenience that works,” Jason agreed.
“Best of both worlds,” nodded Percy.
Percy and Tyson were in a blue and white chariot with wave and trident designs. Percy had the reins and Riptide out. Alongside them was the Hephaestus chariot made of iron and bronze pulled by automatons.
Leo’s face fell realizing that must be his older brother, the hero he had never meant. Beckendorf. Percy saw where he was looking. Leo pulled a grin on. “That’s what I’m talking about. Cabin 9 will win no problem.”
“Keep thinking that,” said Clarisse and Percy. They both then glared at each other.
Ares cabin’s chariot was bloodred and had every weapon possible. Horse skeletons pulled it forward.
“See?” Clarisse grinned. “There’s no beating a war machine like ours.”
“There is if you have Tyson,” Percy grinned.
“Cabin 3 is the best,” agreed Tyson letting Percy fist pound him. Everyone smiled at that interaction.
Apollo Cabin’s chariot was pulled by palominos made of complete gold and armed with bows.
“Now that’s what I’m talking about!” whistled Apollo. “How can you go wrong with the gold? Almost as awesome as my own sun car.”
When he and Will remembered who was pulling the chariot their faces fell. It was Lee Fletcher the former cabin head, until the Battle of the Labryinth.
Hermes chariot was armed by the Stoll brothers dirty and green.
Seeing it Chris grinned. Other campers exchanged scared looks. The Stolls pranks were legendary even though half of the duo was no longer in camp and the other would leave soon. At least year round.
Percy walked toward Annabeth and talked about his dream and she accused him of distracting her with the possibility of saving the camp. Then he brought up the possibility of seeing the oracle. Annabeth had looked less suspicious.
“Why’d that work?” signed Hearth interrupted through Magnus.
“You saw that mummy right? I was terrified of it. I’d never suggest seeing that thing again if I could help it.”
“Hey!” Rachel and Apollo protested to Percy’s comment.
Then they were called to the chariots. Around them the trees were filled with birds all screeching.
“Those are not normal birds,” decided Jaz. “Demons.”
“Sounds right,” agreed Will.
“Demon birds,” Tyson nodded. “They were very bad.”
Then after Percy and Tyson did double checks and armed themselves the Chariot race started. They all took off. Within half a minute the Apollo chariot had flipped over as the grinning Stolls drove harshly into it’s side.
Apollo cursed. Others were looking at the scene with intensity.
The riders brushed themselves off after landing by a tree but their horses dragged the chariot in the way of the Hermes chariot crashing. Travis and Connor were on the floor in a pile of broken wood. Percy and Tyson were ahead of Clarisse but Annabeth was in front of them. Nearing was Beckendorf and his driver.
Leo grinned. He already knew his Cabin would have some awesome tricks up their sleeves. Especially if Beckendorf was as awesome as the stories made him out to be. He was right of course.
Beckendorf apologized as he pressed a button and balls and chains headed toward the Poseidon cabin’s chariot.
Leo cheered. His brother was awesome he thought sadly. Man was he happy he got to see this.
Tyson wacked them aside before it hit their chariot then knocked Beckendorf’s team aside with the pole so they went sideways.
“Tyson is good at this. Tyson will win,” Ella declared.
“I do not this time. Next time Ella can help,” Tyson decided. “Mrs. O’Leary will pull. She is stronger than the ponies.”
Percy grinned as everyone else laughed at the image. “I think she’ll like that. You’ll have to let me take it on a ride.”
Tyson nodded excitedly.
Then Tyson cried out as the birds started to come toward them. Percy pulled ahead ignoring it and getting closer to Annabeth and her partner. Annabeth’s partner was about to throw his javelin at Percy when the birds dive bombed the stands. Cabin nine’s chariot went into the strawberry fields as the birds steered them off course.
“Stupid birds,” Leo frowned. “We could’ve killed it.”
“What are those things?” Magnus asked.
“Stymphalian birds,” Annabeth told them. “Hercules fought them.”
“He fought like…everything,” decided Sadie.
“Pretty much,” agreed Annabeth.
Clarisse kept moving forward under camoflouge netting. The birds had razor sharp bronze talons and beaks. Annabeth and Percy pulled alongside each other slowing down. Annabeth told him they’d eat everyone down to the bone. Percy, Tyson and Annabeth turned around. Percy slashed at them with Riptide but there were too many.
“You’re not going to be able to stop them,” Sam decided. “Not like that.”
“No,” agreed Annabeth. “Stymphalian birds are tough.”
“They must have a weakness,” Zia noted. “All demons and monsters do.”
“Stymphalian birds. Weakness of loud noise. Tyson will beat them. Percy and Annabeth will help,” agreed Ella.
“We will save the day,” agreed Tyson.
Percy continued to fight but he yelled to Annabeth over the noise asking for a way to beat them. She told him that Hercules used loud noise, the most horrible noise he could find. Then she grinned as she yelled for Chiron’s music.
“That’s mean,” Jaz frowned.
“It’s pretty horrible music,” Will winced.
“That’s a huge understatement,” Annabeth told him.
“Very,” agreed Percy, Thalia, Grover, Rachel, Chris, Leo and Piper.
Assured the idea would work Percy nodded to Annabeth who gave over the reins to her partner before jumping from the back of her chariot into Percy’s.
“Why do you have to make everything look that easy?” groaned Piper.
“Because it is,” Annabeth shrugged.
“It isn’t as complicated as it looks,” Reyna nodded.
“It’s usually that way with rolls, tumbles and jumps. They look harder and scarier than they are,” Samira said.
“They’re fun too,” Alex grinned.
“I need to learn more of those,” Sadie sighed.
“Training session?” Thalia asked. “All girls of course.”
“As long as I get to beat some of you up I’m good,” Clarisse pounded her fist into her hand.
“Why not?” shrugged Zia. The other girls nodded as the boys gulped.
As they headed to the big house Clarisse pulled to the finish line calling them out for being cowards and running. She ran toward the stands with her sword.
She barely looked apologetic but Percy knew differently. They had an understanding now. She glared at Percy who grinned back. Her shoulders weren’t tense as Chris held her hand. It was all in mockery.
They pulled in front of the big house running into Chiron’s room and pulling out the boom box and some CDs. They got back to wounded campers and chariots in flames. Tantalus chased food around yelling that everything was fine.
“How is he allowed to be in charge of kids!” yelled Frank. “I mean…”
“It was bad,” Percy agreed. “Very.”
Then Percy and Annabeth pressed play on the Greatest hits of Dean Martin. The birds started to fly into each other and into circles and away. Annabeth called out for the archers to hit them.
Apollo cheered. “Yeah! My kids are the best! They can hit anything! We never miss!”
Nico however was groaning at the choice of music. “That’s not even real Italian opera! I thought Chiron was better than that.”
“He is in everything but his taste of music,” Jason assured him.
Tantalus was cheering and gave Clarisse the laurels as the wounded campers had gathered. Then he turned to Percy and Annabeth for their punishment.
“What?” protested most the people in the room. Clarisse had the decency to look down.
“That’s so unfair,” Jaz protested. “They saved everyone.”
“And the race should have stopped. No one should have won,” agreed Magnus.
“Well we never expected the race to be fair,” Percy tried to get the attention off Clarisse. “Especially with Tantalus as the judge.”
“It happened,” Annabeth announced. “We’re not arguing about it. Let’s just move onto the next part.”
Chapter 5: Protests to Call a Quest
The scene started exactly where they had stopped talking. “What do you mean punishment?” Percy protested. “We didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Really?” Tantalus said. “Those birds were just minding their own business. They only attacked because your chariot driving was so horrible. It could provoke anyone to attack like that.”
“Just go chase a donut,” Percy told him angrily.
That sent everyone into more laughter.
“Kitchen patrol with the harpies. Now in honor of our champion I think these birds will make a fantastic dinner.”
“You ate them?” asked several people.
Percy and Annabeth shrugged.
“What’s that mean?” asked Piper unfamiliar with the punishment.
Annabeth and Percy wore heavy gloves and aprons to scrub everything. Tyson didn’t have that issue. He was just scrubbing away.
“Wow,” Percy said slightly sweaty. “That was hot.”
“I was dying in there,” agreed Annabeth.
“I feel really bad,” Percy told her. “I mean I still have some of that resistance. How hot it was for me was nothing for you.”
“Just watch Seaweed Brain.”
Annabeth and Percy started to talk. Then Annabeth decided to let him know what it was. She told him about a Fleece and possibly golden. Percy caught on. “The Golden Fleece?”
“What’s that?” asked Walt. “Sounds like a spell, or warding.”
“Second one is closer,” Thalia decided. “I’m sure it will explain.”
Annabeth nodded. She continued telling Percy that Jason and the Argonauts had to do with the golden fleece. That the Ram carried Cadmus and Europa across the ocean to Asia minor until Europa fell off and died but that wasn’t important to the story.
“I don’t know. It was probably important to her,” Frank said.
Percy and Annabeth exchanged grins.
In the story Percy repeated the same line.
Frank groaned. “I choose Truth.”
“We’ll decide on it after,” Leo grinned.
Annabeth continued her story that the ram was sacrificed and that it made everything around it prosper. It healed. Percy made the realization it could heal Thalia’s tree.
Everyone looked at Thalia who glared at all of them. They didn’t stop. She needed another way to get rid of their attention. “You guys wanna hear another interesting fact about that story that Annabeth didn’t say?”
Percy’s eyes widened. “No they don’t.”
“Oh yes they do,” Thalia grinned evily. Wary some others nodded. “That giant ram was a son of Poseidon with this princess he turned into a ram to save her from some nasty suitors. Didn’t save her from him though.”
“Wait, the fleece is your brother?” Leo asked Percy.
“Not the fleece. The ram,” Percy groaned. “None of that was necessary Thalia.”
“Oh,” Carter laughed. “It totally was.”
Annabeth went on to explain no one had seen the fleece in years though a lot of heroes had searched. Percy insisted that Grover had found it. That the whole thing was perfect.
“Way too perfect,” decided Samira. “It’s a trap. A set up of some kind.”
“You’d be right,” Annabeth agreed. “But it was kind of the only choice. Percy convinced me of that.”
Annabeth brought up the fact it could be a trap but Percy told her he was still going to save Grover. Annabeth continued telling him they’d have to face a Cyclops in the sea of monsters. Then explained exactly where it was in the Bermuda Triangle.
“That actually explains a lot,” Carter said.
“SO much more than a lot,” agreed Blitz. Percy raised an eyebrow then decided that must have meant the Norse and Egyptians had some issues in the Bermuda triangle too.
Percy suggested telling Tantalus at the Campfire so he couldn’t say no. Annabeth let a small grin form before getting back to work. She was in.
“That plan worked so well,” Clarisse told them sarcastically.
“It backfired miserably,” Annabeth agreed.
“For you,” Clarisse decided.
Annabeth raised an eyebrow.
“Fine for all of us.”
“What do you mean?” asked Jason. Piper shushed him.
They sat at the fire. When Percy got up and told them he had an idea to save the Fleece. The fire turned yellow. He continued before Annabeth jumped in to back him up. Then Tantalus told them they wouldn’t know where to look.
Annabeth and Percy exchanged grins. Clarisse groaned. Grover just laughed. “Thanks the gods for those powers of yours again.”
“It let him find the fleece?” asked a confused Walt. “With water powers?”
“Not exactly,” Percy said. “Just watch.”
Percy protested he did. Annabeth had questioned him and he continued spouting out four numbers. Tantalus just laughed. Percy frowned at him explaining they were sailing coordinates.
“Wait,” Rachel looked at Percy. “You remembered something from school?”
“It had to do with the ocean and sailing,” he shrugged. “Probably helped.”
“But you remembered something from school,” she repeated.
“It happens. Get over it,” he teased.
“I don’t believe you figured that out,” Zia looked at him.
“I do,” Hazel muttered looking at Frank. Percy had always known where they were on that boat on their quest to Alaska.
Magnus was also looking at Percy. He could really help on their quest if he was insinuating what he thought.
Annabeth agreed saying that was right off of the coast of Florida. The exactly right location. She called for a quest. Everyone took up the cheer as Tantalus protested. Finally as the cheers got louder he relented.
“I’m surprised he said yes,” Magnus said.
“We all were,” Percy agreed.
“He did say yes to the quest. Not to Percy,” Tyson amended. Clarisse shirked getting ready for the glares.
Tantalus told everyone he would choose a champion then announced Clarisse would do it. The Ares cabin cheered harder than before. She stood up and accepted.
Everyone started to yell. Clarisse glared. Chris defended her. She was about to tackle Alex when Percy stood up. “Quiet!” he demanded in a strong voice.
Everyone obeyed. “Clarisse isn’t at fault her. None of you will make fun of her or do anything to her because of this. Understood?”
“I don’t need your help Prissy,” Clarisse said.
Percy raised an eyebrow at her. She continued to glare. He unleashed a little of his glare back. She nodded stopping. She sat down with everyone else then Percy sighed waiting to begin again.
Percy protested that it was his dream and his coordinates. The Ares campers accused him of wanting the spotlight. Then a fight broke out. The scene closed on Tantalus yelling for them to be quiet.
“I don’t think it will show the next part,” Annabeth said. “I already explained Tantalus’s story and you don’t need to see him trying to terrify us.”
“So it’ll skip to the beach,” Percy said. “Or at least me there.”
“Not in Cabin 3?” Tyson asked.
“I don’t think so,” Percy sighed. “Let’s get ready to do this again.”
Chapter 6: Talking with a Thief on the Beach
“Wait, why were you going to the beach?” asked Jaz as the scene trained.
“He’s the son of the sea god,” figured Carter.
“Pretty much. It helps me think.”
“I’ll say. How many times have I had to come get you out of the lake or the ocean?” Annabeth chastised.
Percy stuck his tongue out at her.
Percy spread a blanket on the beach and opened a coke. He looked up at the sky sitting there for a bit. Then when he wasn’t paying attention someone appeared next to him. He wore a New York Marathon shirt and running shorts, had a sly smile and sandy hair. Then he commented on the beauty of the stars startling Percy.
“Which god is that?” signed Hearth.
“Why’d you think he’s a god?” Percy asked.
“He popped out of nowhere,” Calypso told him. “Even those who do not know of the gods realize that is in their powers.”
“Well he is but I’m not saying who.”
The jogger asked Percy permission to sit. When he complied he got a coke as well. Just when he was commenting on the peace and quiet a cell phone went off.
Several people laughed. Apollo sniggered hardest. “Classic. That’s why I keep sending him spam.”
He sighed and pulled out his phone extending an antenna with two snakes wriggled around it. He answered the call, something about vultures and a lost package which was supposed to be humankinds gift. He hung up and apologized which is when Percy noted he had snakes on his phone. Percy was assured they didn’t bite which is when the man told them to say hello.
“Their names are George and Martha?” Walt pulled a face.
“Yeah,” Percy said confused.
“Those are the names of two hippos in a childrens book,” Rachel told him.
Percy looked at her and then broke into laughter. “Sounds right.”
One of the snakes repeated exactly what the man said while the other chided him for being sarcastic. Before they could pick a fight the man put his phone away complaining about the rush before asking Percy about his favorite constellation.
“You know them all?” asked Magnus.
“Your cousin is a good teacher. Knowing the stories makes it easier to remember. I’m sure there’s some Norse ones somewhere.”
“So what’s your favorite?” asked Piper.
“I’m sure I’ll answer but I don’t even remember what I said.”
Percy paused before saying Hercules.
Around the room a lot of people chuckled. “That’s so cliché,” Rachel laughed.
“It’s not my answer anymore,” Percy amended.
“So what is?” asked Jason.
“It’s called the Huntress,” Percy said looking at Thalia, Grover, Nico, Annabeth and Apollo. “She was a better hero than Hercules.”
“Artemis will be pleased,” Apollo noted. Thalia nodded. Grover bleated sadly and Annabeth just looked at him knowing something else was coming next.
“I really should say hello to the stars again,” Percy told Annabeth. Everyone else looked at him like he was crazy.
When asked why that was his answer Percy replied it was because Hercules had worse luck than him. Not because he was strong and famous.
“Even if it was Hercules that’s not a bad answer,” Thalia told him.
“No. I’m happy I gave that one or I’d hate myself forever,” Percy agreed.
“He was a pretty horrible guy,” agreed Jason.
Piper nodded fervently. “I want to make him feel the wrath of my cornucopia again.”
“Maybe,” Percy grinned. “As long as I get to join you.”
“Deal.” Piper and him shook on it.
Percy was asked what he wanted now when the phone started ringing. Martha notified them it was Demeter but Hermes told them to make her leave a message while Martha reminded him of what happened last time. The jogger looked at Percy waiting for his answer when Percy asked who he was.
“Luke’s dad right?” Carter said. “I mean their cabin symbol is a staff with two snakes. And he has the same grin as the Stolls and Chris.”
Chris grinned for a short second. “That’s dad all right.”
Percy was chided for not guessing yet. The snakes pleaded to go full form. Hermes complied. He held his Caducues in his hand. Percy realized he was Luke’s Father, Hermes.
“Does Carter’s count?” Sadie asked. “Please say it does.”
“I don’t know,” Thalia rubbed her chin. “He had the same meaning but it wasn’t the mostly same wording.”
“It doesn’t,” decided Percy. “Frank still needs to be asked a truth. We’ll send him out and decide on one later.”
Hermes frowned saying that he wasn’t usually introduced as Luke’s father. Which lead to his snakes getting into a fight so he had to threaten to put them on vibrate.
“I love those snakes,” Percy said.
“I know,” Annabeth rolled her eyes. She hated Hermes for that quest.
“They happen to like you a lot too,” Chris muttered.
“I haven’t seen them in a while. I wanna visit Hermes and see George and Martha,” Percy declared.
“Later,” Annabeth told him.
Hermes continued by asking Percy what he was going to do about that quest. Percy replied that he didn’t have permission.
“Did you really just say that?” asked Nico.
Percy threw back his head and laughed. “Yeah I did.”
Everyone in the room was in fits of laughter. Annabeth and Grover maybe the most. “You’ve never asked permission for almost everything.”
“Easier to ask for forgiveness than ask permission,” Percy reminded her. “Works a lot better.”
“I’ll say,” Sadie nodded.
Hermes asked if that would stop him. Percy’s reply was that he had to go to save Grover. But you could see him glance back toward Camp and Thalia’s tree too.
Percy sighed. Annabeth wrote something down. “You do know most of your quests were because of your flaw right?”
“Yeah, I’m starting to realize.”
Hermes started to tell Percy a story about cows being stolen from Apollo and how the baby got away with it.
“Those were good cows,” Apollo grumbled.
“But you also got the Lyre,” Will smiled.
“Yeah. Not a bad deal.”
Percy asked the Moral. Hermes told him that truth doesn’t always have a moral. Percy didn’t seem sure. So Hermes told him that the moral was stealing isn’t always bad.
“Not a good moral,” Juniper clucked.
“It is when your survival depends on it,” Percy told her. “Even my mom would agree with that.”
“I can’t count how many times I’ve had to steal something just to last another day,” Magnus nodded. He didn’t notice Annabeth’s sad look.
“Or to save the world,” Walt said. “There’s so many artifacts that happened with.”
“Or just accidently,” Piper muttered thinking about her charmspeak.
“So I guess it depends,” Annabeth. “But if you can, don’t steal.”
Percy didn’t think his mom would like that. So George came up with a new one that Rats are delicious. When Martha told him that had nothing to do with the story he complained he was hungry.
“They’ll never change,” Percy smiled. “Did we ever get them those rats?”
“I don’t even remember,” Annabeth said. “Our date took my mind off that.”
Hermes snapped his fingers telling Percy the real moral was young people don’t always follow instructions but if they don’t get caught and do something good then it’s awesome.
“Okay,” Annabeth conceded. “That one isn’t as bad.”
“It’s actually quite good,” Jaz said.
Percy realized that Hermes wanted him to go on the quest without permission. Hermes asked Martha for a package which came out of her mouth. It was a thermos with red and yellow scenes from Hercules Bust Heads. Hermes told him it was a collectors item and they talked about it. He told Percy it was a gift and to take it. Percy almost dropped it flinching. He turned it around.
In real life Percy winced. “That burns. I mean it’s cold. Pearls of Poseidon it’s like the river of fire all over.”
Annabeth winced too.
He exclaimed it was a compass which surprised Hermes.
“You thought of that?” asked a surprised Piper.
“It wasn’t that hard to figure out. It was colder facing north. Something useful on a quest like the one we were going on. But then of course I never need compasses either.”
“Why?” asked Samira. It could be helpful.
Hermes told him that there were winds there and to be careful with them.
Jason looked at Percy. “You were able to control those?”
“Kind of,” Percy shrugged. “I’ve gotten better with it after I figured out storm powers.”
“They’re tough. Like really. One direction on it’s own is enough. All four? That’s impossible,” Jason said remembering his own experiences with the wind gods.
“Not for the gods,” Annabeth told him. “Hermes put them in there.”
Jason nodded but was still thinking.
George stopped complaining when Hermes ordered him to hand over the second gift again. Out came chewie vitamins which as Percy and Hermes discussed were different shape of monsters. They were only necessary when really really needed to fell his self again, Hermes instructed.
Reyna and Annabeth looked at Percy and laughed. Leo looked at the red Percy and whined. “Why does Reyna get to be in on the joke this time?”
“Reasons,” Percy said angrily.
“You have to admit,” a giggling Annabeth said. “That Hermes advice worked. I mean you really needed to feel yourself again. Didn’t you?”
“Can we just move on?” he groaned. “You can tease me with everyone else when it comes up again.”
“Fine,” she said pecking his cheek.
Percy thanked Hermes and asked why he was helping him. Hermes smiled sadly saying he hoped Percy could save a lot more people than Grover. Percy said that Luke couldn’t be saved because he betrayed everyone and hated Hermes most. He wanted to destroy everything but Percy couldn’t save him. Hermes should take back his gifts.
Thalia, Annabeth, Percy, Grover and Chris flinched. They all wore sad smiles. Luke had saved his self in the end, that’s what mattered.
Hermes looked at Percy telling him you could never give up on family even if they didn’t appreciate Hermes inventing the internet. That led to more input from George and Martha before Hermes broke in again asking if Percy understood what he was saying about family. Percy said he wasn’t sure. Hermes looked at him and said he would some day.
“I did,” Percy said. “I mean I do now. My family and friends are the most important things and that’s not just my flaw talking. I mean even when we get into fights,” he looked at Nico, Thalia and Jason. “Or get separated,” he looked at Annabeth and the rest of the seven. “Or turn our backs on each other,” he glanced at Chris. “I’ll always love my family and friends. You guys are everything to me and I’m never giving up on that.”
Every stayed silent as they absorbed that allowing the projection to play on.
Hermes told Percy he had to go while George and Martha summed up the messages he had missed. Hermes ignored them telling Percy his deadline was shorter than he thought. His friends would be coming to join him now. Annabeth and Tyson could be heard shouting Percy’s name. Hermes told Percy he packed for them and three yellow duffel bags appeared. Percy was told they were waterproof and if he asked nicely his dad should be able to help him get to a ship.
“What ship?” asked Magnus sharing looks with Sam. They’d have to take special notes of this quest.
“But how would your dad help you?” asked Jaz.
Tyson grinned and applauded. “Rainbow!”
Percy laughed. “Yeah. We need to be paying our undersea friends a visit soon don’t we Tyson.”
“Ella will come too,” Tyson nodded his agreement.
“Do I wanna ask?” Carter asked Annabeth.
“If you do he won’t answer.”
Percy asked what ship.
“Add Magnus to the list. Again. You’ll have to decide Truth or Dare after this,”
“No way,” Magnus shook his head. “Where’s that jar?”
A blue cookie jar appeared labeled Percy jar. Percy grinned. Magnus scowled. “Great. It’s blue too.”
He dropped five dollars in.
Hermes pointed out a cruise ship on the water. Percy protested he hadn’t agreed to go yet. Hermes grinned telling him to decide within five minutes before the cleaning Harpies came around. He wished Percy good luck with Martha while George asked him to bring back a rat. Then Hermes jogged down the beach and disappeared leaving Percy with his stuff.
“And we all know he’s going to go because he’s Percy and he won’t turn down a quest if his help is needed,” Thalia said. “So now we need to ask the important questions. Frank, Truth or Dare?”
Chapter 7: World of Monsters
Frank blanched while he quickly answered. “Truth.”
“Boring,” Leo complained.
“Man, I had a great dare idea,” Frank heard someone whisper as he was sent out so they could vote on the question he would be asked.
He was taken back in by a stone faced Hazel a second later. He could tell she was giggling behind her expression and sat down a little bit scared. He wished he had money to give up for this.
Thalia grinned evilly. “Rachel you came up with it. You say it.”
“Fine,” Rachel laughed. “Frank I’ve seen almost every monster if not in real life in dreams. Most aren’t pretty. If you had to choose one to take out on a date and kiss which would it be? Also it can’t be good monsters like Ella or Tyson.”
Frank groaned. “Why?”
“Because that’s the question,” Percy yelled. “Just answer dude.”
“Fine. One of the Sirens. At least I’d listen to pretty music and think they’re someone else before I get eaten,” Frank said.
Percy and Annabeth exchanged looks. Of all the answers to give he had to give that one now.
Frank blushed. “Can we start the movie-thing now?”
“Yeah. At least this isn’t as bad,” Percy shrugged.
“For you!” Grover and Clarisse yelled.
“You don’t know about CC’s Spa yet,” Percy told them. Reyna and Annabeth burst into laughter making everyone else confused and curious.
“This is probably gonna be good,” Sadie grinned as it started.
Percy, Annabeth and Tyson stood on the beach as the waves crashed around them. Harpies could be heard cawing behind them looking for the campers out past curfew. Percy mumbled a prayer toward his dad. It was quiet for a few seconds. Then Hippocampi burst out of the sea as Tyson squealed. “Fish Ponies!”
“What are those things?” asked Samira. “They’re beautiful.”
“Hippocampi,” answered Percy, Annabeth and Hazel.
Percy continued. “Half fish half horse. They’re not the smartest but they’re good to have around. And they’re very loyal.”
Annabeth repeated Samira’s exclamation as they got on the Hippocampi just as the Harpies arrived at the beach. The Hippocampi left them behind as soon as Percy, Annabeth and Tyson were on safely with the bags. Then they arrived toward the front of the cruise ship and it’s terrifying figurehead. “The Princess Andromeda.”
“Who’d put something so terrifying on a ship? Aren’t figureheads supposed to be pretty?” asked Jaz.
“Not for Vikings,” Alex grinned. “We prefer dragons and Serpents.”
“Dragons are the way to go,” Leo agreed. “Bronze, mechanical ones.”
Piper and Jason grinned in agreement.
“We just have Eyes painted on our boats,” Sadie said glumly. “I want dragons.”
“It’s probably just a bad sculpture Jaz,” Walt said as the projection started to play again.
Annabeth asked how they’d get aboard. The Hippocampi answered instead of Percy taking them to a later on the side. Percy insisted Annabeth go up first followed by Percy.
“See?” Calypso smacked Leo’s arm. “He let’s the lady go first.”
“Because he was scared,” Annabeth answered. “That’s probably not Leo’s excuse though.”
“It wasn’t mine either,” Percy protested as Annabeth glared at him. He wasn’t anywhere near as much scared of his girlfriend as Leo though anyone could see he was whipped.
Percy looked back for Tyson whose hippocampi was doing flips and other tricks with him on it. Percy called him over but Tyson begged to take Rainbow. Percy repeated the name incredulously then told Tyson that Rainbow couldn’t come because he can’t climb ladders.
“Good explanation,” Nico said sarcastically.
“I think it was pretty good,” Will argued just as serious as Nico was sarcastic.
Tyson hugged his Hippocampi goodbye saying he’d miss him. Percy tried to cheer him up promising they’d see the creature again. Tyson brightened saying it would happen Tommorow and Rainbow nuzzled him before leaving for good.
“That’s so sweet,” Juniper cooed.
“Rainbow is a good fish pony,” Tyson agreed. “He’s still my friend.”
“Hippocampi. Also name of Hippcampus in brain because of seahorse shape,” Ella quoted. “Ella wants to see.”
“We will go play with Rainbow tomorrow,” Tyson nodded happily as Ella flapped her wings in excitement. Percy laughed at his brother.
Percy followed Annabeth through the empty boat. Once they’d passed several hallways with no sounds Percy declared it was haunted or abandoned. Tyson disagreed stating there was a bad smell. Annabeth argued she didn’t smell anything.
“Monsters?” Jason asked.
“Sounds right,” Thalia said. “With that ship I don’t doubt it.”
Everyone heard the emphasize in her words and moved further onto the edge of their seats.
Percy explained that Tyson could smell monsters like Satyrs. Annoyed Annabeth asked what he smelled. Tyson replied it was something bad.
“That’s a good choice of words,” Chris grumbled.
“Very,” Apollo nodded.
“I don’t think it answers anything,” Magnus said annoyed.
“Wow, you and Annabeth are alike,” Percy said eyes wide.
Annabeth grumbled that wasn’t very clear. They went outside to the swimming pool before Percy declared they needed a hiding place. Annabeth agreed and they quickly found an empty room with it’s door wide open.
“Get out now,” Blitz advised.
“Not safe,” Hearth agreed. “Don’t sleep.”
“Too late now,” Percy said. “But I would’ve appreciated the warning.”
Annabeth told them she was going next door but warned them not to eat or drink. Percy caught on asking if the place was enchanted. She shook her head saying something just wasn’t right.
“At least you have a little sense,” Grover said. “What would you two do with out me?”
“Get ourselves into a lot more bad situations,” Percy shrugged. “Which we tend to drag you into anyway.”
“True,” Grover agreed.
The scene changed so Percy stood at the entrance to Tartarus again.
“Not again,” groaned Clarisse. “Can’t you just kill stupid titans already?”
“I wish,” Percy sighed. “I had dreams like these for a while.”
Kronos started to talk mocking Percy for being on the way to be a hero again. Saying maybe he’d realize it wasn’t worth it working for the gods for nothing. He was aksed how his father had shown his appreciation lately before ending in laughter and blacking out.
“So he still wants you to join,” Piper asked incredulously.
“Yeah. He stops trying soon enough. That’s when they all start trying to kill me,” Percy said.
“SO more normality,” Jason joked.
“Pretty much. He was wrong about Dad too.”
“He was?” asked Grover and Thalia.
“Yeah,” Percy grinned. “Dad sent me a pretty great gift.”
Tyson looked at Percy beaming his eyes getting wider. Percy winked discreetly and everyone besides the two of them was left in confusion.
The dream turned into Grover in his cave. Grover was unraveling the things from the loom when the Cyclops stormed back in. He demanded to know what Grover was doing. When Grover replied he was weaving.
“He still hasn’t realized?” asked a shocked Zia.
“Just watch,” Grover hid his face as it continued to turn a deeper and deeper red.
The Cyclops yelled at Grover for it not getting longer and ignored his excuses. Then he declared this was taking too long and Grover smelled good. Like a yummy goat.
Everyone in the room burst into laughter at the Cyclops idiocy. Grover hid his face further under the old rasta cap he kept in his pocket. Percy looked at him in sympathy but Grover just glared at him jokingly.
Grover threw if off as a perfume. And the Cyclops gave a grin while Grover giggled again telling the Cyclops he was a flirt.
Everyone was sent into more laughter by that.
The Cyclops continued to argue it took to long. He demanded it would happen tomorrow but Grover argued for ten. The argument ended with Grover telling the Cyclops that seven was less than five and got himself more time. He pleaded with Percy to hurry.
“I don’t even think you need Percy,” Nico told him. “You keep tricking him like that you’ll end up fine.”
“He’d have eaten me out of exasperation eventually,” Grover said. “That Cyclops wasn’t patient.”
“He was really stupid though,” Clarisse said as Percy, Tyson, Annabeth and Grover nodded in agreement sending everyone into more laughter.
Chapter 8: Voices and Discussions
The projection was about to start playing again when Percy held out his hands. It stopped as he opened his mouth looking at Annabeth. “I’m really hungry. When do we stop for the night?”
“We won’t continue after Dinner,” Annabeth said. “So how about that time with the donuts.”
Percy nodded settling back in his seat with his arms around her. Then he sighed. “Man. That reminds me. It’s been awhile since I took BlackJack for a ride. You think he’s noticed?”
“He won’t mind,” Reyna told him overhearing. “You have a valuable ally in that Pegasus. Why is he so loyal to you?”
Percy looked at her and at the projection. “Guess you’ll have to wait a day or two and see.”
“Shut up!” Clarisse yelled at them both. “I wanna get this over with.”
The projection started with Tyson and Percy abruptly sitting up in their bed as a voice announced activities. Some of which included disemboweling practice. Percy asked what that meant and Tyson suggested it was bowling. Then Annabeth stuck her head in and repeated Percy’s worries.
“I’d definitely leave,” Leo said. “I mean disemboweling practice seems fun and all but you have so much other near death experiences to go through.”
Grover bleated. “Don’t say that!”
Alex looked at him. “Why are you worried? You already lived through this.”
“And it was scary enough the first time,” Grover said harshly.
The scene skipped. Percy, Annabeth and Tyson stood on the deck. A family passed them speaking in monotone voices saying they would have fun. Their words were similar to that of a programmed computer. As were all the other people’s on board. Annabeth scowled and whispered to Percy that they must all be in a trance.
“I thought you already realized something was up,” Carter said. “It’s not like they’re hiding it.”
“I just didn’t realize how wrong it was,” Annabeth told him. Everyone paled at that thought wondering what exactly that meant.
The scene skipped again. Percy, Tyson and Annabeth were crouching in a bathroom. Then suddenly a voice came from outside the door. He was arguing with someone, saying it was only a matter of time.
“Luke,” growled Jason looking at his sister worriedly. All he could think about was how her tree had been poisoned and he had been happy in New Rome.
“Calm down,” Piper told him gently.
He looked at her and sighed letting the tension flow off of him. Other’s weren’t so easily persuaded to let their anger go. Magnus was also looking at Annabeth worriedly while she rolled her eyes. “Leave the ship.”
“We will,” she groaned. “Now can you watch and see?”
A voice growled back at look asking what would happen if his didn’t pay off. Luke interrupted him disagreeing that it would. The bait would be taken. Then his voice calmed and he told them to come with him to check on a casket.
“A casket?” Walt asked. “What dead would they have? No war has started yet. And I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t bury anyone just because they cared.”
“It’s not that type of casket,” Rachel shook her head. “It’s a lot worse.”
“Dead bodies are creepy enough already,” Jaz squirmed. “That’s why I heal people.”
“I just hope they don’t try to find out what the casket is,” Hazel said darkly. “Or their cruise will get a whole lot worse.”
Percy looked at Annabeth who met with the same expression.
Tyson whimpered asking to leave. Annabeth and Percy immediately looked at each other. Percy refused Tyson.
“Do you two have some sort of telepathy?” Apollo asked. “Because that mind reading is strange.”
He was met with two very intimidating expressions of denial and confusion. Shrinking into himself Apollo looked down. He wasn’t watching as the scene continued in front of him.
Annabeth told Tyson they had to find out Luke’s plans and try to capture him.
“I wish,” Thalia and Nico said at once. They looked at each other surprised then scowled as Percy fell into laughter.
Annabeth continued saying she would go invisible to spy on Luke but Percy shook his head. He told her it was too dangerous and they would all go together or not at all. Tyson perked up then pleading for that option.
“Tyson is smart,” Ella nodded. “Do not follow the man. It is a trap. The Cask of Amontialldo. Edgar Allen Poe.”
Percy pulled Tyson’s arm and he followed the other two. They picked up their stuff and walked to the suite. Annabeth often ducked ahead invisibly and put the hat on again as someone passed by. Percy and Tyson hid fast but it was all entranced passengers. On top of the stairs they stood in front of the door to the suite’s hall. Then Annabeth yelped and shoved her friends into a supply closet.
“What is it?” Calypso demanded.
“Run,” Juniper squeaked at the same time.
Thalia scoffed. “Face it and fight it.”
Two voices came from down the hall. One asked about an Aethiopian drakon. The other commented on how cool it was. The voice continued as it faded down the corner.
Chris was paling dramatically. Clarisse looked at him. She clenched her fists hard and looked at Percy. Percy looked at them both suddenly as well just realizing. He paled and grimaced mouthing ‘I’m sorry.’ Clarisse exploded.
“Skip this! No one needs to hear this or see this. It’s not essential to Percy’s story.”
Everyone leapt in their seats not having noticed what was happening with Clarisse. Piper looked at her confused. “What’s wrong Clarisse? We can work it out I’m sure.”
“No. The Fates need to skip this,” Clarisse demanded. She yelled up at the ceiling. “You hear me? Skip this all!”
“You might not believe this is part of Percy’s story but this realization had a great impact on his actions. Everyone needs to understand.”
Clarisse growled. Chris grabbed her arm. “Calm down. It’ll be fine.”
She sat down but continued to clench her fists. She squeezed Chris’s hand as he grimaced as well. Annabeth cringed knowing what came next.
Annabeth took off her cap and looked to Percy. She informed him that was Chris Rodriguez who had been in the Hermes Cabin.
The room exploded. “What the hell!”
“Why were you working with Luke?”
“Why are you even here?”
“Go to Hades.”
Percy stood up amidst the chaotic yelling, pointing, jeering and angry people. He walked in front of Chris and Clarisse and spread his arms in front of them. “Enough,” he shouted.
Everyone quieted and looked at him. His eyes were stormy and his demeanor was not one to be crossed. It was always amazing how quickly Percy’s goofy grin and manner could turn into something so frightening and commanding. He looked at the others. “Yes, that was Chris. Yes, he did work for Luke. But that doesn’t mean he deserves any of the things you were saying. He’s here now and as a good friend. One of the best. No one should be judged for the things they did in the past if they’ve already been forgiven and forgotten. You have to remember that no matter how hard it is to realize that.”
“But Luke tried to kill you! He probably tried again. And if he was working for Kronos that means Chris probably was too,” Jason said. “He might’ve even helped Luke poison Thalia’s tree.”
“I didn’t,” Chris said quietly.
“He didn’t,” Clarisse protested loudly at the same time.
Percy sighed. “Jason I was upset about Thalia’s tree too. But Chris was confused. Your dad claimed you. You’ve always known who your father is. Chris was almost fifteen and he had no clue. Hermes showed no sign till after Chris returned to camp. Don’t you understand how frustrating that can be? I know you’ve all been upset at your parents and the gods. That you wanted to blame them. Look at it from the other view.”
Everyone quieted. Percy nodded and sat down. Chris looked at him thankfully as he stood up. “I am sorry. More than I can ever communicate. But I wouldn’t harm Thalia’s tree. I didn’t even know about that plan until after. Camp is my home and my family. I’ll never make the mistake of betraying it again.”
“You better not say anything about that,” Clarisse growled. “You hear me you punks? Now let’s start again.”
Chapter 9: Luke's Plan
The scene moved to them all standing together in front of an oak door. Tyson told them there were voices inside. Percy asked how he could hear that far. Tyson closed his eyes and his voice started again as an exact replica of Luke’s. He said something about a prophecy and giving all the fools no way out.
“That’s so cool!” Sadie cheered. “Teach me how to do that.”
“He can’t,” Annabeth told her younger friend. “It’s a skill Cyclops’ have. You might be able to replicate it with magic though.”
“Oh I’m going to try,” Sadie grinned devilishly.
Carter looked at her. “No. Whatever you’re thinking no way.”
“C’mon brother dear. Don’t you trust me?”
“Not at all.”
Before the argue could escalate Percy sat between the siblings. “Yeah. We’re going to postpone this until later. But I hope you don’t mind if I join my favorite Egyptian pair of siblings.”
Carter rolled his eyes and Sadie’s devilish grin got wider. “Not at all.”
Tyson continued mimicking a voice that asked if Chiron was gone for good. Luke’s voice answered that Chiron couldn’t be trusted with his past and the tree being poisoned was the final straw.
“Skeletons in his closet?” Piper asked. “What does that mean?”
“Chiron’s in the clear,” Percy told her.
“The secret Luke was referring to was nothing we could fault him for,” Annabeth agreed.
“And we all have secrets, some darker than most. None of us plan on letting them free but it happens anyway,” Percy said gesturing to the projection.
“I wasn’t trying to say anything bad,” Piper told them. “Just curious.”
Annabeth nodded showing she understood.
Annabeth yelped them telling Tyson to stop. Percy urged him to go on. A gruff voice left Tyson’s mouth demanding quiet. Then Luke’s asked if he was sure before the gruff voice replied it was right outside.
Everyone in the room groaned or made a frightened face. Thalia looked at her cousin and the girl she considered a little sister. “I thought both of you had better sense than to stay long enough to be caught. Especially Annabeth.”
“I’m just following the lead you and Luke set for me,” Annabeth shrugged.
“Curiosity gets the better of me,” Percy agreed.
Luke appeared flanked by two hairy men pointing javelins at them. Luke welcomed them into a beautiful room nicely decorated. But it got creepier when they all spotted a large casket raised in the center.
“I hate that thing,” groaned Rachel.
“It’s not exactly a thing,” Nico told her. “What’s inside I mean.”
“A dead body is no longer a who,” Samira said. “Just it’s essence. That’s what travels to the next life.”
“Leaving the dead body behind,” Magnus agreed. Annabeth caught his eye and he grimaced. Yeah, looking at his own dead body had been very strange.
Nico looked at them. “I wouldn’t say that’s what it is though.”
“What is it then?” demanded Jaz. “If it is a body who’s is in there? It’d be super gross to just keep it around.”
“Says the culture that mummifies their’s,” Will muttered.
“Just watch,” groaned Grover. “This body talk is making me feel sick.”
Luke continued to brag about the room and his position before introducing his assistants. Agrius and Oreius.
Thalia cringed suddenly recognizing it. As did Reyna, Juniper, Piper and Apollo.
When there was silence Luke continued. He explained how Aphrodite had ordered a woman to fall in love so the woman took solace with Artemis. Her revenge was to have the woman fall in love with a bear so Artemis abandoned her in disgust. But the twins didn’t hate halfbloods like Olympus, because they were good food.
“Ugh,” shivered Frank.
“Luke twisted that story,” Thalia snarled. “He forgot the many other roles in it. Like my Father’s.”
“That’s what he did, and his view was twisted too,” Annabeth said sadly.
The other bear twin laughed for a very long time then was sent to go punish himself.
“Is he a house elf or something?” Frank asked.
“A house elf?” repeated Hazel, Calypso and Nico.
“Like Dobby,” Magnus said. There was still no recognition.
“From Harry Potter,” Leo tried.
“What’s that?” Nico frowned.
“Who you mean,” Hazel said confused.
“Harry Potter. 7 book series. Written by Joanne Kathleen Rowling. About a young boy who finds out he’s a wizard and must face the villain Voldemort. Best selling book series and movies.”
“Thanks Ella,” grinned Hazel. “But seriously why is that making you so upset?”
“We’re having a marathon after this,” declared Frank suprising everyone. He shrugged. “What? It was my favorite series growing up.”
“I’m sorry but did no one else hear those similarities before?” asked Rachel. “I can’t believe I didn’t till now.”
“What?” several people asked.
“A pre teen boy with green eyes and black messy hair who lives with a fat mean man, doesn’t know at least one of his parents and has had strange things happen all his life is told he’s got amazing powers and then is expected to take down one of the worst villians of all time.”
Percy stared at Rachel with wide eyes for a few seconds. His face slowly grew into a grin. “No way.”
“No,” Sadie cackled next to him. “She’s right. Here.”
She muttered something and something fell into Percy’s lap. His grin grew wider and more mischievous. “I really am Harry Potter.”
With the glasses on there was a resemblance. He wasn’t completely like the famous character but he came very close. Annabeth happened to blush looking at him which made him grin wider. Finally everyone stopped laughing as the shadows in front of Percy opened up and Nico popped out. He took the glasses. “Can we continue now?”
“If you give the glasses back. I want them for later,” Percy said. Nico did so reluctantly but by then everyone had quieted.
Luke sat back on the sofa and asked Percy about his life. Percy just glared at him before blaming him for hurting Thalia’s tree.
“Thank you,” Jason and Thalia said at once.
Percy just nodded.
Luke sighed agreeing he had.
There was no explosion at this. Everyone already knew that he had and what would happen. Jason was still getting angrier though but Piper kept him calm. The guy didn’t burst out unpredictably and harshly like his father or other demigods.
Annabeth screamed that Thalia saved both their lives and this dishonored her. Luke interrupted midsentence disagreeing. Thalia would be on his side if she were alive.
“That is extremely false. I might not love the gods but I’m not stupid enough to do what he did,” Thalia spat. “Grief twisted him. If he thinks doing this in my name makes his intentions better than he’s never been more wrong.”
“He’s insane,” Jason said suddenly. “He poisoned your tree and said if you were alive you would be with him? Does he not hear how that sounds?”
Annabeth looked at Jason. “No. Thalia is right. He was too far gone to understand most of what you and I think. Some of his points were valid too but he took them to the point of insanity.”
Jason nodded calming. Percy looked around at both of them then at Thalia the person both called their big sister. Hopefully he could be as good at this older sibling thing as her, Carter, Nico, and many others he knew.
Annabeth screamed he was lying. Luke tried to calm her telling her she’d understand if she knew what was happening. Annabeth continued screaming he wanted to destroy camp and was a monster. Luke shook his head saying she was blind to the truth. Their whole history and idea of the world was evil. It had to be destroyed so they could start over and they could really use her and her brain. She scoffed saying he only needed it because he had none.
Everyone cheered at that. Annabeth just looked down sadly as did Percy, Thalia and Luke. Percy was discreetly looking at her as well. How much recently had he thought like Luke? How close was he to becoming like that? Someone who frightened his friends and was made blind by anger and the thought of revenge. Sometimes he scared himself.
Luke continued saying he knew Annabeth. He believed she deserved better than to be on hopeless quests. Now or later her choice would to be join them or die. And she would be on the losing team with company like a Cyclops. That was what dishonored Thalia’s memory. Annabeth screamed at him to stop.
“Tyson is a friend,” Thalia said. “Not all monsters are the same. Just not like all gods, or humans and halfbloods are.”
“I was wrong about Tyson. I treated him cruelly because of a past he had no part in,” Annabeth agreed. “And I’m not sure if I ever said sorry.”
“No. We are friends. I am not mad,” Tyson told her. “Cyclopses can be mean. I don’t want to be.”
“You’re not,” Percy assured him.
Tyson grinned toothily. “Peanut butter now? With my brother and Annabeth?”
“With everyone,” Percy grinned. “Sandwiches is probably a good dinner choice.”
Percy looked at Luke harshly telling him to leave Annabeth and Tyson alone. Luke laughed saying he had heard about his father claiming Tyson. And about finding the fleece. Luke recited the coordinates saying he still had friends at camp. Percy growled. There were spies.
“Her,” Piper muttered. Clarisse had turned pale and then a bright red. Chris put an arm around her shoulder. Juniper blushed greener then shrank into Grover ashamed. Percy looked down as well.
Luke continued to goad Percy saying his father wasn’t grateful and didn’t care anymore for him than Tyson. He told Percy he was being used and his sixteenth birthday meant there was something horrible in store. Luke laughed that Chiron hadn’t even told Percy about the prophecy.
Everyone turned to look at Percy. Especially the Greeks and Romans. Thalia paled. “That’s how you heard?”
“It is,” Annabeth agreed.
“I wasn’t told about any of it. I just knew Chiron had gotten a prophecy that was probably about me. I didn’t know about it’s involvement with the oath. Or my birthday. I pieced the rest up myself, with Annabeth’s help, but I only heard the whole thing the week before I turned sixteen.”
“Even hearing from the ghosts and dad was better,” Nico muttered.
“Grover told me about the oath. I heard the rest from Chiron after the tree,” Thalia said.
Percy didn’t say anything just thought about Luke’s words again. How much they had been like his own thoughts during the later parts of the Giant War. And how some of them still haunted him even now.
Alex disturbed the silence annoyed. “Wanna clue us in?”
“Not really,” Percy said. “You’ll just have to find out like I did.”
Percy shook his head saying he knew what he needed too. Luke called him a fool which set Tyson off. Tyson charged towards Luke but the bear twins caught him. Luke mused letting the bears hurt Tyson but Percy disrupted telling Luke his father had sent them.
“You have the worst timing,” groaned Grover. “First the paycheck for Charon. Now this?”
Percy had the decency to look sheepish.
Luke turned red and protested. Percy continued saying Hermes wouldn’t give up on Luke. Luke exploded saying his father abandoned him. He wanted to destroy Olympus and every throne. They only got stronger with each new recruit. Especially him, Luke told them pointing to the casket.
“Him?” squirmed Leo. “You mean…”
“Yeah,” Percy said disgustedly. “That’s Grandpa.”
“Kronos?” Blitz asked. “The guy in the dreams who wants to kill you all. He’s being pieced together in there?”
“Pretty much,” Annabeth said. “It’s much more complicated than that but that is the easiest way to think of it.”
“That’s the only way I want to think of it,” Frank shuddered.
Percy didn’t seem to understand then he stepped back suddenly with a scared tone. Luke smirked explaining how Kronos was reforming with each person joining their cause. Annabeth protested which Luke countered reminding her how Athena was born. Luke proudly talked about the new body they would make him.
Annabeth gasped. Percy paled dramatically along with the others who had fought in the titan war. “He didn’t know. I knew that but I didn’t want to believe it.”
“And even worse,” Grover said. “It could’ve been you.”
“We would have lost then,” Nico said. “There would have been no fight.”
Percy’s eyes widened. “What?”
“You didn’t join. That’s the only reason we’re still here. If it was the opposite way then we’d all be dead,” Will repeated. “Doom and Gloom is right.”
Nico elbowed will and Will blushed making the mood just a little lighter. Percy looked away to Annabeth. “I’m going. I’ll see you when you come eat.”
Annabeth looked at him surprised then nodded.
Annabeth called Luke insane. Luke tried to persuade them to join telling them they had rich sponsors who could help them fulfll their dreams. Like a nice home and fame for Sally, or Annabeth being an architect.
“The Triumvirate,” Apollo growled. “All along.”
“Everything,” Annabeth nodded. “Percy and I have already been looking into it more. With a little help from Rachel.”
Luke sighed then pressed a button. Security entered Luke asked them to take Percy, Annabeth and Tyson. He told one of the bear men they were supposed to feed him to the Drakon. Percy looked around at the ship and the bear twin behind them. His eyes brightened. He told Tyson now. The bear twin was smacked into the pool. The tourists screamed in monotone voices that the pool was not a blast.
Everyone in the room cheered and laughed except Annabeth who kept looking through the door that Percy had left through.
Annabeth knocked a security guard back with a kick. Percy managed to bang one on the head with a deck chair but he had hit an alarm. Red lights flashed and Percy screamed for them to get to the lifeboats.
“Finally you have the sense to actually leave,” Zia praised.
Monsters and security guards were charging at them. Annabeth screamed frustrated she couldn’t get the lifeboat down. A hellhound was knocked away from Percy by Tyson and a fire extinguisher. Percy yelled at his friends to get in. He took out riptide and slashed arrows out of the air.
“That’s impressive,” Apollo said. “Doing something like that takes a lot of skill. I should know.”
He was ignored.
Percy jumped into the lifeboat beside his friends. He screamed to hold on and cut the ropes as more arrows flew over their heads. Percy screamed for the Thermos. Annabeth looked at him strangely but Tyson took it out giving it to Percy. He yelled for them to hang on tighter. Percy opened the cap a little and the wind pushed them away. They splashed a few times. Yells came from behind them as the ship disappeared in the distance.
The projection faded. Everyone looked around once they heard a large growl. Tyson blushed then looked at Annabeth pleadingly. “Peanut butter now? With Percy?”
Annabeth laughed. “Percy and Peanut butter sounds great.”
Chapter 10: Break Time
As everyone else went to go sit down and eat dinner Annabeth excused herself to go find Percy. She found him in the room he was using with Carter and Magnus. He sat on his bed in the middle of the water. SAT books were laid out in front of them but he was focused on them. He was drumming Riptide on his thigh with a stormy look in his eyes.
She waded up to him sitting gently on the bed beside him. He looked up surprised. Putting her hand over his so that it stopped tapping and the pen was shut she looked at him closely.
After a moment he sighed throwing up his hands. “I just don’t get it. Why is this happening? All of this? I just want to live my life.”
“I understand Percy,” Annabeth said. “But I hate to break it to you. This is your life.”
He looked at her and let out a dark chuckle. “You’re right. But still, why me? I’m not special or anything. You guys keep saying that when it’s not true.”
“But it is,” Annabeth told him.
“I’m not more powerful than Jason, Thalia, Hazel or Nico. I’m not anything to special. I’ll never be as good a fighter or swordsman as Luke. And yeah, I saved the world, but so has almost everyone else in that room.”
Annabeth looked at him incredulously. “You’re not serious are you?”
Percy looked at her strangely.
“And here I thought you realized. You’re not so oblivious as you seem Seaweed Brain. We both know that. There’s so many things we’re realizing no one has or will ever be able to do. Except you.”
“If you got possessed by a vulture goddess you might be able to speak Egyptian.”
“Maybe,” Annabeth said. “But you’re special Percy. And you’re upset because you realize how hard that is. Everyone wants you to be something great, even your enemies. But you….well you just want to be you.”
He looked at her appreciatively as if surprised after so many years she could still glean his thoughts. With a look of exhaustion, sadness, and small joys on his face he laid down so his head was on her lap. She ran her fingers through his black hair curling around her fingers. Small breaths came out of Percy’s mouth as they sat in silence again.
Ten minutes later she felt his head move. He was looking up at her with a loving gaze. Then he caught a glimpse of his reflection in the water and frowned. “It’s just hitting me. What Nico said before, about Luke not knowing. I’ve known that for years. But I never really thought about it.”
“You did,” Annabeth countered as he sat up. “But you never thought about it knowing that it could be you.”
“I wouldn’t have though.”
“I know. You never even considered it. But Kronos still had that plan for you. Everyone will be thinking about that now. And the fact that Gaea had plans for you too. She’s been planning that with you since the beginning.”
Percy sighed. “Take with that all the other things I’ve done. Not that they’re too spectacular. But the others will take it as such. And then I’m never going to be just Percy to them again.”
“You were never just Percy to any of us,” Annabeth told him. “But that’s why you’re you.”
She gave him a quick kiss then got up. He took the hand she offered down to him and rose as well. There was a slight grumble. Annabeth laughed. “C’mon. I promised Tyson peanut butter with Percy.”
Percy grinned. “That’s going to be an awesome catastrophe.”
He was right of course. When they got to the dining hall different jams and spreads were splattered everywhere. People had food all over their faces and deli meats hung off the walls. Percy walked into the room only to be splattered with someone shooting ketchup from a bottle. Some round piece of deli hit him in the face seconds later.
Everyone paused as he peeled it off his face. He looked around the room seriously. “Who threw this?”
Zia stepped forward to everyone’s surprise. “I was trying to hit the obnoxious boy who can make flames.”
“Hey!” Leo shouted as Calypso snorted.
“Who started this then?” Percy asked.
Sadie stepped forward with Alex. Both grinned unabashedly. Percy glared at them too but they grinned harder. His face grew into a grin as well. He held up a hand which they smacked in a high five. “Great job.”
Annabeth rolled her eyes at him as she walked in. “Yes but we probably need to clean up.”
“Oh,” Percy grinned. “I’ve got the washing taken care of. As long as there are some sandwiches for me I’m good to start.”
“Peanut Butter for Percy. And Annabeth.” Tyson grinned holding up a plate full of sandwiches. He took one off the top and ate it whole.
“Then move back,” Percy said as he looked around. There was a sink on one side of the room for people to wash up. Everyone stepped back.
Suddenly the sink turned on. The water rushed out and it should have started overflowing. But Percy moved his hands in a motion and the water rushed around the floors and walls. It seemed to race around creating a whirlpool out of the room. Then it all disappeared down the sink’s drain. Percy looked around and nodded. Then he pointed to a closed cabinet on the room’s side. “Who wants to mop?”
Sadie looked at Carter who laughed. “You’ve been wanting to do this for a long time now.”
“So long…” she sighed dramatically.
“What does she want to do?” signed Hearth as Blitz translated. He had a feeling it had to do with some spells. That made him even more excited.
“Ever hear of the sorcerer’s apprentice? Like the Mickey cartoon? That’s based off an old Egyptian myth. And after hearing that I happened to learn the spell so I’d never have to clean again. Or so I thought, but big brother dearest here said I need to slave away like a normal human.”
“Hey!” Carter shouted then sighed. “Just do it.”
Sadie nodded before muttering a few things in quick succession. Mops burst out of the closet and started up. She held two thumbs up when a large yawn came from Grover sounding a lot like a bleat. Juniper giggled making him affronted. “Satyrs can be tired too.”
“He’s right. It’s late and I’m exhausted,” agreed Piper. “Bed sounds good.”
With a quick shuffling, some more yawns and a last check on the brooms they filed out of the room. They got into their beds and went to sleep. Except for two people. Thalia and Sadie met up in the hall.
Sadie held some bottles and other supplies in her hands. Thalia looked at it and grinned. “You managed to get some.”
“Found it in my bathroom. I guess the Hemsut heard out plan to dye our hair yesterday.”
“Him first. Then us,” Thalia said.
“Right. Him first,” Sadie agreed. “I saw Carter go into that room and I know he’s sharing with Percy. Mind if I cast a few spells?”
“If it’s for invisibility I have Annabeth’s hat. But some silence is welcome,” Thalia agreed. Sadie nodded mumbling. Then together they pulled open the door and tip-toed into the room.
Chapter 11: Monster Donut Kids
Percy opened his eyes the next morning to see he was alone in the room. In a slow fashion he threw on a shirt and some shoes before quickly brushing his teeth and putting on deodorant. Then he ran down the hall to breakfast. Opening the door he walked in to see everyone stop eating and stare. He looked back. “What?”
“Did you look in a mirror this morning?” Piper asked slowly as she held back laughter.
“No,” Percy replied confused.
“You might want to,” Piper said handing up her knife. Everyone giggled as Percy’s face looked even more confused. He took the knife and that’s when full out laughter broke out.
Percy’s reflection in Katropis showed his usual appearance with one exception. His windblown black hair had a blue streak in the front. Putting down the knife he reached up. “Who-“
“Who do you think?” Annabeth said laughing. That’s when the door walked in. In matching combat boots with matching blue streaks in their hair Thalia and Sadie took seats at the table. Percy’s face contorted.
She looked at him with a full grin. “Morning Percy. You’re looking good.”
Percy looked at her weirdly. “Sure. At least you two had the decency to pick blue.”
“C’mon,” Sadie whined. “Don’t you like it? We’re all matching too.”
Percy didn’t answer he only sat down next to Annabeth and Hazel and started talking to them not noticing their laughter and snorts at his hair. He poured as much syrup as possible over a plate of blue waffles and started eating.
Twenty minutes later they were all sitting in the room next door again waiting for the projections to start. As it rose from the mist Percy looked at his cousin. “How long will this last?”
She looked at Sadie who grinned wickedly. “A month maybe. But we’re also here so different things might happen.”
Percy’s expression was unreadable as the scene rose in front of him.
Percy, Tyson and Annabeth rode in the waves. They were riding along the shore where they could see hotels in the distance. Fishing boats lined the beach. Annabeth explained that it was Virginia Beach and that the Princess Andromeda shouldn’t be able to travel that far. Percy agreed immediately saying it was over five hundred nautical miles.
“How do you know that?” asked Jaz.
Annabeth pointed at the projection.
Projection Annabeth repeated the question. Percy looked unsure so she questioned him on their position. He immediately gave their coordinates. He seemed very confused on how he knew that.
“That’s sick,” breathed Alex.
“It comes in handy,” Percy agreed.
“Really,” agreed majority of the seven. Percy blushed.
Magnus was staring at Percy thought fully as the conversation commenced. “I wonder if I could do that. But there’s a reason we met up now too.”
“You’re right,” Sam said. “He could come in very handy.”
“Wanna clue us in?” asked Will.
“You’ll see,” Annabeth and Magnus said together.
Annabeth explained he had perfect bearings at see because of his dad. They then looked behind them into where a coast guard vessel was approaching. Annabeth told him to go to Chesapeake Bay, where she knew a place to hide.
“There?’ Thalia asked.
The scene changed to them going toward the beach of the bay. Percy suddenly slumped as Annabeth continued to direct him.
Percy yawned. “I forgot how that feels.”
“What happened?” asked Hazel. “You seemed fine before.”
“I left the salt water. It gave me some extra power but fresh water doesn’t have the same affect.”
“It did when we were in Alaska,” Frank stated in confusion.
“It did,” Percy repeated confused. “I guess so. I don’t know why though.”
Annabeth and Rachel were adding some more things to the list as Percy and Frank spoke.
Annabeth led them onto a sandbar where they parked the boat. She led them further in after they covered the boat with branches and leaves. Then moving back a patch of brambles she showed them a camoflouged shelter.
“Whoa,” Leo said. “What is that place?”
“A shelter,” Thalia and Annabeth answered.
“One of yours,” Jason realized.
Neither of them responded.
Annabeth explained it had been her hideout with Luke and Thalia. Percy seemed uncomfortable and asked if Luke would find them. She told him he wouldn’t remember. There were too many similar places. Percy sent Tyson out to find something like powdered donuts, which Tyson did.
“Worst idea ever,” Percy groaned.
“We found donuts,” Tyson agreed. “They were not nice donuts.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” asked Chris.
“I might have an idea,” Clarisse said. “You better be grateful for that save Jackson.”
Percy just rolled his eyes.
Percy apologized about seeing Luke and noted they had been let go to easily. Annabeth agreed saying that Luke had said something about taking the bait. They discussed it a little more coming up with no real answer before Percy asked if Luke was right about Thalia being on his side.
“No,” almost everyone said together. Thalia nodded violently.
Annabeth said Luke was wrong which Percy questioned. Annabeth then pointed out that Percy reminded her a lot of Thalia and they would be best friends. If they didn’t kill each other.
“Both,” Percy and Thalia said together.
“What’s that mean?” Frank asked.
“It means we’re good friends now, and even better cousins,” Thalia said.
“But we’ve almost killed each other before too,” Percy agreed.
“They’ve calmed down a bit,” Nico said thankfully.
Annabeth continued explaining Thalia got upset at Zeus and Olympus sometimes. She asked Percy if that meant he would side against them. He disagreed so Annabeth said Thalia would too.
“True,” Jason and Thalia said.
Percy asked Annabeth about the real reason Thalia died. She was about to explain when Tyson walked in holding a box of donuts. He explained he got it from Monster Donuts.
“Those aren’t actually real monster shops though?” asked Hazel.
“I don’t think so,” Leo answered unsure. He looked to Percy, Annabeth and Tyson who didn’t say anything.
The scene changed. They sat in front of the monster donut shop. Annabeth said it was wrong. Percy asked her why because Tyson was okay. She explained it was because he was a monster. Franchise stores like monster donuts were tied to their life force.
“That’s scary,” Magnus said. “Does that mean half the food we eat is monster food?”
“I wouldn’t say half. And it’s not all franchise stores either,” Annabeth amended.
“Still a scary thought,” Sam said.
Suddenly Annabeth said to turn around. Percy turned to see a hydra with each neck wearing a monster donut bib. Percy pulled out his pen but Annabeth shook her head.
“Why’d you do that?” asked Carter. “He could have killed it.”
“It’s a hydra,” Reyna said. ‘Cutting off heads will not help.”
“Also the glow of the bronze might have attracted him. He hadn’t see us yet,” Annabeth explained.
Two of the Hydra’s heads ripped apart the yellow duffle bag. Then Tyson stepped on a twig and all the heads turned towards them. They all dove away from the monster just as one spat acid at Percy. It dissolved a tree which toppled toward a frozen Tyson. Percy tackled him just in time. Two hydra heads dove after him and were crushed instead.
The room cheered. Tyson gave Percy a bone crushing hug but Percy grimaced looking at the projection.
The hydra took it’s heads out and turned it’s attention on Percy when he uncapped his sword. One of the heads snapped at him and he swung his sword.
“No!” several people cried.
“I know. I’m an idiot,” Percy agreed.
“Cut off one head two heads grow back,” quoted Sadie. Everyone stared at her. She held up her hands in defense. “I happen to like marvel movies. Get over it.”
Two heads grow back. Annabeth explained he’d opened another monster donut shop. Percy glared and asked how to kill it. She told him they needed fire to kill it.
“You wish the super size mcshizzle was with you then,” Leo crowed flexing his arms. Calypso smacked his thigh.
“Zia works too,” Annabeth said. “Or anyone who can use fire.”
One of the heads knocked Annabeth to the ground angering Tyson. He charged and started to hit each of the heads with his fist. Slowly they moved backwards until a strange noise moved upriver. Annabeth asked what it could be to which Tyson responded it was a steam engine.
“Yeah!” Clarisse fist pumped. “The real hero comes to the rescue.”
“What?” asked a confused Piper.
“Did you forget that this was supposed to be my quest?” Clarisse demanded. “And I had to save Prissy and friends from that Hydra too.”
“Yes,” Percy said dryly. “Thank you Clarisse.”
Clarisse ordered for someone to shoot. Someone told her it would hurt Percy, Annabeth and Tyson to which she said to continue shooting. Annabeth yelled to hit the dirt. Then the Hydra vaporized leaving them covered in monster guts.
“That’s really gross,” Juniper squeaked. “Maybe even more than Medusa’s head.”
“Life of a demigod,” Percy shrugged.
“It’s horrible,” Annabeth said shivering in agreement with Juniper.
A steamship carrying Zombie sailors sailed towards them. On it’s side was painted CSS Birmingham. Clarisse stood at the head sneering at them calling them losers. She ordered them aboard after complaining about having to rescue them.
“For which we’ll always be grateful,” Annabeth said.
“You better be,” Clarisse spat.
“You saved us from a monster donut kid,” Percy said. “Just so we could board a ship with another.”
“Oooh,” several people said.
Percy rolled his eyes at that. Clarisse growled again until Chris calmed her down leaving everyone else staring to see what happened next.
Chapter 12: When Your Luck Can't Get Worse
“Are you actually going to get on the ship with her? And those things?” asked Leo.
“They’re undead confederates. Technically half the people in here including you are undead so that’s not the part I’d complain about,” Annabeth said. Hazel blushed. Magnus, Alex, Thalia, Leo and Walt scowled.
“Still,” Leo persisted.
“It was the only way we were going to get to the Sea of Monsters,” Percy shrugged. “No choice.”
The scene arose with Grover unweaving the wedding train again. Polyphemus entered and declared it was unraveling. Grover started to stutter in response. Polyphemus pulled him out of the room and opened another boulder. They could see the beautiful Island outside.
“Woah,” Magnus grinned. “That’s what nature is supposed to be.”
“If only people kept it that way,” Thalia grimaced. “Stupid mortals.”
“Agreed,” Grover said as Juniper nodded along beside him.
Polyphemus dragged him outside to where he could see an enormous tree with the fleece hanging on it in the center of the island. Sheep ate around it.
“The fleece,” breathed Jason looking at his sister. He knew all about the fleece and it’s history with his namesake. It had been something he had been told about over and over growing up.
Polyphemus announced how he stole the fleece and now it attracted Satyrs for him to eat. He picked up some bronze shears making Grover yelp.
“Run,” advised Blitz. “Don’t know how but he figured you out.”
“He’s too stupid,” Alex disagreed. “Maybe as much as Magnus.”
“Stop,” Annabeth groaned. “Let’s watch and see. Either way we know Grover turned out safe.”
Polyphemus picked up a sheep and cut the wool. He gave it to Grover saying it can’t be unraveled. Grover would finish the wedding train by tomorrow.
“That’s not good,” Jaz frowned.
“You won’t arrive in time. A magical ship can’t travel through the sea of monsters that fast.” Reyna looked somberly and curiously at Percy and Annabeth. They shrugged together with identical smirks.
Grover asked if someone was going to attack the island what would happen. Polyphemus just laughed saying they would have to get through his pets. Grover looked around uncertainly repeating the word. Polyphemus laughed saying they would have to get through him as well. Then Polyphemus dragged him back into the cave.
“What kind of pets did he mean? Are there monsters around the Island?” asked Frank.
“Dude,” Leo said. “It’s the sea of monsters. Trust me. I know.”
Hazel shook her head. “I think Frank meant are there any more on that exact Island.”
Calypso bit her lip. She’d lived on Ogygia in that sea for hundreds of years. Then traveled through it with Leo to escape her Island home. “Only what you see. But looks can be deceiving.”
“That’s so reassuring,” Rachel said slightly sarcastically. “No offense.”
Percy stood next to Annabeth and Tyson as the Clarisse came up the stairs on the deck beside them. Looking through binoculars she grinned in a crazy manner ordering they went full speed ahead. Then the engine groaned and Tyson muttered that the ship wasn’t meant for deep water and they were straining it.
“Leave that ship,” Leo’s eyes widened.
“As we were approaching the sea of monsters?” Clarisse scoffed. “No way.”
“Well then slow it down. Or you’re all going to get very hurt,” Leo insisted. “Tyson was right.”
“He usually is,” Percy agreed.
“Tyson is smart,” Ella cooed.
“Not as much as Ella,” Tyson blushed back.
In front of them came several cliffs very high up. They were misted with clouds. On the other side was a storm. There was a roaring noise and the water moved in a horrible manner. Annabeth asked if it was a hurricane but Clarrise shook her head saying it was Charybdis.
Nico looked at her. “You’re insane.”
“I had a plan,” Clarisse growled.
“To get everyone on that ship killed. Some again,” Will agreed with his boyfriend. “Charbydis will swallow you.”
“Um….What is Charbydis?” asked Carter.
Percy turned grim. “One of the worst sea monsters. She swallows up the sea and then spits it up again. Like a never ending whirlpool. Her sister Scylla guards the rocks. She plucks sailors and boats up with her long necks.”
“Definitley crazy,” Sadie declared looking at Clarisse.
“You haven’t heard her plan,” Chris tried weakly. “It could be good.”
Everyone gave him incredulous looks as he held tighter onto Clarisse’s hands. She glared at them stubbornly and they turned back to the projection.
Annabeth asked if Clarisse was insane. She was told the only way into the sea of monsters was between Scylla and Charbydis. Percy asked what that meant. The sea was wide open.
“He’s right,” Samira nodded. “It is a much safer path.”
“One that won’t work,” Annabeth told her.
Clarisse angrily explained Scylla and Charybdis would just appear in any path she took. There was no choice but to sail through. Then Annabeth suggested the clashing rocks which Jason had used.
Everyone looked at Jason. “Not me. The original.”
Clarisse scowled saying she couldn’t blow the rocks up like she could the monsters. Annabeth called her crazy and Clarisse commanded they go full speed ahead. Then Percy asked about the monsters and why they didn’t just go below deck to sail past Scylla. Clarisse explained she would just pick up the whole ship and was too high to shoot. But they could shoot Charybdis in the center of her whirlwind.
“That won’t work,” Thalia said. “At all. It’s actual insanity.”
“You have a better way?” Clarisse challenged. She received no answer and was left looking more smug than ever.
The scene skipped. Annabeth stood next to Percy at the railing. She asked if he still had the thermos. He nodded but said it was to dangerous. More wind would make it worse.
“That was smart,” Piper said surprised.
“Yeah?” Percy asked.
“You’re not exactly known for that,” Piper explained.
“But I am known for the ocean and sailing,” Percy told her. “That’s what the question was about.”
Annabeth asked if he could control the water. Percy closed his eyes and tried but it didn’t work. Tyson then came and told them the engine was no good.
“I’ve had enough exploding ships,” Percy muttered. “One was enough and now it’s been over three.”
Annabeth grimaced at the reminder and the friends they had either thought they lost or actually did because of it.
Then the ship rocked and Percy fell to the floor. Clarisse was screaming orders when a zombie sailor came up. He told her the ship was going to blow because the boiler room was over heating. She ordered him to fix it but he explained they were vaporizing in the heat.
“Send the cyclops,” Zia suggested. “Or learn some fire magic.”
“Only children of Hecate do magic for us,” Thalia explained. “Usually.”
Hazel waved meekly showing she was the exception.
Tyson volunteered to fix it. Clarisse seemed surprised but Annabeth agreed. Clarisse ordered him to go but Percy tried to hold him back from the danger. Tyson shook his head and patted Percy saying he needed too. He went below as the ship lurched again.
“I have a bad feeling about this,” Frank muttered.
“We all do,” Will agreed.
Charbydis showed her self then. An enormous mouth with mossy teeth covered in gross metal braces with things stuck in between. And they were heading right for it.
“Geez,” Carter said eyes wide. “The monster has braces.”
“Yeah. Never really thought about it. But I have to find out who made those. I mean who would be her orthodontist?” Percy asked. He received a bunch of stares but didn’t seem to notice.
Clarisse ordered to fire. Several hit but one hit her braces and shot back at the ship. None made any damage. They tried again but nothing worked.
“It never will work,” Sam said. “The monster is too strong.”
“Like Jorgummandr,” Magnus agreed slightly wondering if the two monsters knew each other.
Then the ship started to chug out of the whirlpool. Annabeth cheered that Tyson had did it. Clarisse said they needed to stay close but Percy argued they needed to move. Then the sea calmed.
“It’s over?” signed Hearth.
“Percy wouldn’t be that lucky,” Grover said sadly.
The mouth opened again and spit all the water out. The ship was sent back on a wave the opposite direction. Then a sailor announced the engine was going to blow.
“See? Bad luck,” Grover said again mournfully.
“Never mind that. I thought Tyson had fixed the ship,” Apollo demanded.
“It was probably too damaged. And that hit did more. Tyson did his best I’m sure,” Leo tried.
Tyson nodded. “Not safe to stay then.”
Percy asked where Tyson was and was told he was still holding things together in the boiler room. The captain declared they needed to abandon the ship. Clarisse refused. He tried to argue the hull was cracking but then was snatched a monsterous neck.
“Scylla,” Jason said. “You need to leave the ship. The larger one will keep her attention.”
“That’s hopeful. You need to fight,” Clarisse argued. No one even attempted to argue back.
Percy tried to hit the monster with Riptide as it struck again but proved too slow. He ordered everyone below deck. Clarisse shook her head saying it was on fire.
“Grover was totally right,” Sadie said eyes wider than ever. “You have horrible luck.”
“I thought that was long established,” Percy shrugged.
Annabeth suggested the lifeboats. Clarisse disagreed saying it wasn’t fast enough and they’d be eaten. Annabeth said they had to try. With the Thermos. Percy shook his head voice breaking. He refused to leave Tyson.
“Fatal flaw,” Thalia reminded.
“I know,” Percy sighed.
Annabeth ordered to get the boats ready and Clarisse and her soldiers started. Percy gave Annabeth the thermos and went to find Tyson telling her to go to the other boat. She told him he couldn’t because the heat would kill him.
“Heat resistant,” he said elbowing her.
“Not that much,” she scowled. “I’m not stupid.”
“No one could think that,” Percy said.
Percy ran towards the boiler room anyway. Then Scylla reached dwon and grabbed his backpack. He was lifted into the air.
“How does your luck even get this bad?” asked a really surprised Magnus. “I don’t think even I had it that bad.”
“We didn’t,” agreed Samira.
“It works out,” Percy told them confidently.
Percy swung his sword stabbing Scylla in the eye. He started to fall hundreds of feet as the ship exploded below. He flew back a little screaming for Tyson.
“Tyson is here. Tyson is here,” Ella reminded herself gripping onto him.
“We don’t need to be worried about that,” agreed Frank. “But Percy just stabbed Scylla in the eye. And though it was wickedly cool he’s also falling.”
“Towards the water,” Nico said suddenly. “He’s also Percy. He’ll survive.”
“What’s that supposed to mean? ‘He’s Percy?’” Percy asked.
No one replied.
The sound of the thermos opening below could be heard and you could see the life boats scatter. A piece of metal flew towards Percy and hit him in the head as he fell into the water hard. Percy’s eyes closed as he shut his mouth and seemed to go limp.
Percy went limp for a second. Then the projection collapsed and he sat up. Then stood up. Annabeth looked at him. “What’s wrong?”
“The feelings returning. Bad thoughts. And reminders,” Percy shuddered feeling as he had back then. Like he wished he could drown so he could be with Tyson.
Annabeth looked at him closer. The light in Percy’s eyes had gone out. It was a way she had only seen him a few times. After friends had died and down in Tartarus in the Cocytus.
“Like the Misery?” she asked.
“Except it was conscious,” he told her. “I wanted to give in.”
She frowned. “We’re talking about this later.”
Percy grimaced. “Fine.”
“Do we wanna know?” asked Piper.
Annabeth shook her head.
Piper nodded then continued to ask. “What’s next?”
Chapter 13: The Pressure of a Prophecy
Annabeth seemed to think for a moment about Piper’s question. “I doubt Percy remembers a lot about what happened next. I came back and fished him out of the water but had no sign of Tyson. We had only the empty Thermos, some ambrosia, some shirts, a little Dr. Pepper. Percy’s backpack had been destroyed but thank the gods we still had the multivitamins.”
“Oh gods yes,” Percy agreed.
Reyna frowned knowing it was good Percy had survived with the multivitamins but dreading seeing any sign of Blackbeard again. She turned back to face the seen arising.
Percy and Annabeth sat in the lifeboat together sailing through the middle of the ocean. Then suddenly Percy broke the silence and asked what Chiron’s prophecy was.
“Not something you wanna know,” Thalia told him.
“I know that now. Prophecies suck,” Percy agreed.
“Hey!” Rachel and Apollo protested.
“They kind of do,” Frank said meekly thinking about his stick and Leo.
Apollo and Rachel seemed to disagree but stayed quiet.
Annabeth protested saying she shouldn’t. Percy convinced her that she didn’t promise the gods not to tell, only Chiron did. She countered that knowledge wasn’t always good.
“See? I’ve been saying this for years. You can stop reading now Carter dear,” Sadie said pleasantly.
Carter ignored her and looked at Annabeth. “I thought your mom is the wisdom goddess.”
“And to be honest at that time she hadn’t really learnt that lesson completely either. Right?” Thalia asked.
Annabeth blushed and nodded.
Percy pointed out Annabeth’s mother was Athena.
Everyone looked at Carter. He sat up with the poise of a pharaoh and looked around. “Dare.”
Grins grew wide as Sadie cackled and Walt looked at him like he was insane. Zia frowned. “I might need a new boyfriend after this.”
“What?” Carter protested.
“If Sadie has her way,” Zia shrugged, “I’m not sure you’ll survive.”
Carter’s eyes popped in realization and fear.
Annabeth agreed but explained heroes learning the future means trying to change it. Which never works. Percy sighed then told Annabeth he realized the gods were worried about something he would do when he was sixteen.
“I can’t believe you figured that much out,” Jason said.
“Luke said something about sixteen. Wasn’t a far stretch,” Percy shrugged.
“But it’s also you who figured it out,” Thalia told him. “Jason is right. It’s hard to believe.”
Percy glared at both his cousins slightly playfully.
Annnabeth explained that a child of the big three that lived till sixteen would be a dangerous weapon. She lied and said she didn’t know the full prophecy but that’s why the gods made a pact after WWII.
Jason and Hazel looked up. Hazel squeaked, “Did that include Romans?”
“No clue,” Rachel said.
“If it did and life went a different way Hazel or I easily could have been the subjects of the prophecy,” Nico frowned.
“But it was Percy wasn’t it?” asked Magnus.
Percy nodded. “You’ll get the full explanation but yeah. It was me. Either way that’s why the gods always tried to kill children of the big three recently. Because of the prophecy. Not just our usual power.”
Thalia agreed. “I don’t think I could have been the subject of the prophecy anyway. Percy has always been more powerful. I think the prophecy was always meant to be about him.”
Percy frowned. “I could have died. It could have been Jason, then Nico.”
“But it wasn’t,” Jason pointed out.
Percy just sighed. “We can discuss this later.”
Percy asked why a child could be so dangerous. Annabeth told him that the subject of the prophecy would either save the gods and Olympus or destroy them.
Everyone looked at Percy. He looked down. “I was never the real hero.”
Annabeth frowned. “To me you were.”
He looked at her doubtfully. He’d seen the way she thought about Luke for so long. He just couldn’t live up to that all the time.
Percy frowned realizing that’s why Kronos didn’t kill him. Annabeth agreed saying it would be helpful to them if Percy switched sides.
“Which he would never do,” Grover said.
“I couldn’t even imagine it,” agreed Will.
Percy asked what would happen if it was him in the prophecy. Annabeth said they’d have to wait three years. They’d assumed it was Thalia before and then she became a pine tree. None of them had any clue what would happen until Percy came.
“So it could have been you,” Percy tried.
“Nope,” Thalia said popping the p.
Percy asked if it could be a Cyclops. Annabeth disagreed saying it was half-blood. Always a half-human. Percy asked why the gods let him live if it would be safer to kill him. Annabeth agreed then explained that they were all probably afraid of offending Poseidon. Meanwhile they would all be watching him for his decision.
“That’s no pressure,” Alex said sarcastically.
Percy asked if the prophecy hinted what he would do. Annabeth was quiet for a moment when a seagull swooped in front of them and she cried out that there was land nearby. Then the projection collapsed.
“Land?” asked Calypso. “You are not near enough to reach the Cyclops.”
“Not at all,” Percy agreed. “Still something dangerous.”
“Very,” Reyna said somberly. “Especially to you.”
Percy turned red suddenly. He cursed in greek, latin, Egyptian and English. “Man, is everyone going to see?”
“I hate my life.”
Chapter 14: Want Some Lettuce?
Everyone was laughing at Percy’s reaction to what might happen in the next scene. Reyna was a little pale and trying to move away as Nico looked at her worriedly. She smiled meekly and Annabeth got up moving over to her as well.
“Thank you,” Reyna said.
The scene rose with them arriving at a port. With multiple ships of all sorts from many periods of times. A lady with a clipboard greeted them smiling.
“Ships like that in the sea of monsters. And a weird smiling lady? What are you still doing there Prissy?” Clarisse yelled.
“There’s no right answer to that,” Percy said.
“And that is no monster,” Reyna said.
“No it’s not,” agreed Hazel. “That’s Hylla.”
“Hylla?” asked several of the Greek’s and Roman’s who didn’t know about Reyna’s past only of her relation.
“Who’s Hylla?” Jaz asked.
“Her sister,” Thalia said pointing to Reyna. “Now also an Amazon—“
Thalia tried to continue and found she couldn’t. It didn’t matter either because now everyone was looking at Reyna. She looked down. “You shall see and hear everything. I suggest we just watch.”
“That’s a good idea,” Percy sighed. “Let’s get this over with.”
Hylla asked if it was their first time at the spa and received no answer. She started to suggest herbal wraps for Annabeth and a complete makeover for Percy who yelped.
“Why would Percy, of all people, need a makeover?” asked Piper. “I mean he was a little scrawnier back then from what I can tell. But I don’t think that meant he needed one.”
“He didn’t,” Annabeth agreed.
“Either way it wouldn’t be as good as the one Thalia and I gave him,” Sadie smirked devilishly.
Percy flipped his blue streak of hair. “Yeah. This makeover is much better.”
Hylla kept walking and urged them to come along. They exchanged glances. Annabeth muttered it couldn’t hurt though they both looked skeptical as they went along.
“You guys really need me,” Grover said. “This is just like Medusa.”
“Hey,” Percy groaned. “Hungry, tired and injured makes traps easier to walk into. And we kind of had no choice but to go along here.”
“That’s not really true. I think,” Annabeth muttered.
“No. You would not have been able to leave,” Reyna told them.
“See?” Percy said arms raised. Grover rolled his eyes at the gesture, braying quietly.
The scene skipped until Percy and Annabeth entered a room with Hylla. In front of them was a lady weaving a loom and singing. She was kind of like Calypso with how enchanting she was. Her hair was dark and her eyes green.
Calypso paled and muttered in greek. “Run. Get away. Especially Percy. She will have you in her trap soon.”
“You know who it is? C’mon mamacita,” Leo urged. “Tell me.”
The woman asked if Annabeth liked weaving. Annabeth nodded excitedly starting to say her mother was goddess of the loom before she stopped midsentence. The woman smiled and introduced herself as CC.
Piper’s eyes widened. “Her?”
“Yep,” Percy agreed.
“Yeah. You should leave Percy,” Piper said.
“As you all keep saying. Now would you like to explain who this is?” groaned an annoyed Leo. He got no reply making him groan again.
Animals started to squeak in a cage nearby. CC looked at Percy and frowned saying she really did need his help.
Everyone scoffed and Percy blushed a little. CC was a little right in his opinion.
CC continued saying Hylla would take care of Annabeth and her hair first. Annabeth petted her head feeling hurt asking what was wrong with it.
“Nothing at all,” Percy told her. “Ever.”
She blushed a little. “You’re sweet seaweed brain but that’s not true.”
“Not really. There’s never anyone more beautiful than you.”
She blushed and Reyna pushed her back toward Percy. Nodding she sat back down next to him. After a quick peck on the cheek.
CC told her she was wasting her potential and at the spa they could show a person their true self and do lots of improvement’s. Annabeth seemed to look at the door for a long time curiously. Then she asked what about Percy.
“Not that he needs any improvements,” she said.
No one disagreed. A few girls looked at him quickly and blushed and he could hear Juniper and Jaz giggling. Grover was looking at him in a ‘really man?’ fashion. Percy shrugged.
CC told Annabeth that she would take care of Percy personally. He’d need a lot more work. Percy seemed to droop frowning slightly looking at CC upset.
“That’s wrong,” Frank said.
“Very,” agreed Nico. “Normally Percy would tear the place apart.”
“She’s an enchantress of some kind,” Hazel told them. “She has him under a spell.”
“Like Medea,” Jason shivered. “Bro you really need to leave.”
Percy rolled his eyes. “No one’s mentioned that yet.”
“Burn!” Leo yelled. Both guys looked at him unamused though others were laughing loudly.
Hylla led Annabeth out. CC pulled Percy towards a wall of mirrors. She told him the first step to unlocking his potential was admitting that he wasn’t happy as he was.
Alex scowled and Hearth looked down. Both of them had many issues with that. Then Hearth signed suddenly. “Never change for anyone but yourself.”
Percy nodded. “I won’t.”
Percy fidgeted. He stared at the mirror hard. CC stood behind him smiling. Guinea pigs squealed harder.
A note then fell down in front of Annabeth. She picked it up and scanned it quickly. “It’s from the fates. They’re giving us some of Percy’s point of view so we can understand this better.”
Percy sighed. “No choice but to read it I guess.”
Annabeth nodded. “Percy thought about the zit he had on his nose last month and how his hair was always messy. And that his teeth were never straight. And looking in the mirror made it worse.”
Piper looked at him. “Everyone has things they hate about their appearances. And no one else usually notices them as much as we do. You’re amazing Percy. Don’t be like majority of mortal teenage girls and get caught up in a perfect appearance.”
“Cause you are perfect anyway,” Annabeth muttered to him. He blushed and kissed her.
“I’ll try Piper. After I thank the fates for bringing all the issues and insecurities I’ve ever had forward.”
CC asked if they could try something else. She snapped her fingers and fabric shimmered in front of Percy. Suddenly there was another him on it looking a lot like he did now but even more perfect.
“She just made you look older,” frowned Chris. “That’s a cheap trick.”
“What? I don’t look like that,” Percy protested.
“You do,” Hazel told him squeaking as she spoke. “I kind of mistook you for a god when I first met you.”
She turned a furious red. Percy’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “How’s that even possible?”
“It’s very possible,” Sadie said. “Very.”
Walt looked surprised and growled. Annabeth rolled her eyes. “Can we stop all this appearance talk? Either way Sadie and Hazel are right. That’s pretty much what you look like now. Just that image is a little more perfect as nothing else should be. Not that the younger you could have known you would be that way anyway.”
Percy frowned but didn’t disagree.
CC promised a full makeover after Percy agreed that’s what he wanted. He asked what the trick was and she listed a few things. Along with giving him a smoothie with some mixture she added in. Then she told him he’d see results as soon as he drank it.
“Magic,” Zia scoffed. “And probably a cruel trick too.”
“I know who she is,” Hazel said eyes wide. Jason caught on not a second later looking at Percy who nodded.
Jason mouthed. “Dude, that’s harsh.”
“Very,” Percy mouthed back.
Then Percy asked here why there were no guys at this Spa.
Everyone looked at him surprised he caught on. Piper frowned though. “Now will you please realize who she is and leave?”
CC assured Percy he’d meet the other ‘guys’ soon. She continued asking who he’d rather trust her judgement or his own. He looked down at the cup and nodded he’d rather trust hers. Then he took the cup.
Everyone looked at him worriedly. Percy’s shoulders seemed to keep sinking further and further. He looked down. Annabeth wrapped an arm around him trying to add support as of her boyfriend’s insecurities started to come to light.
Percy drank the mixture and doubled over asking what was happening. CC smiled saying this was the immediate result she promised.
Percy gasped. He yowled in pain keeling over as he felt his insides burn up and turn smaller like the rest of him had back then. Will frowned wanting to help but knowing he could do nothing.
Percy started to shrink. His teeth started to grow and so did his fingernails. Fur erupted everywhere and suddenly he was gone into his own clothes.
“A transformation,” Carter frowned. “Those are painful when someone else does it to you. Lizard is not the funnest thing to be.”
“It’s only when someone else does it to you. Not when you transform yourself,” Sam said as Magnus opened his mouth to ask the next question. He closed his mouth.
Frank nodded in conformation.
Percy ran out of his clothes. CC picked up the guinea pig that was Percy in her hands telling him he’d unlocked his trued self.
Percy was trying to burrow into himself now, not a lot unlike a guinea pig as everyone stared at him. Then Thalia looked at him strangely. “Is that what you meant by your transformation? I got a tree, Nico got a dandelion and corn plant. And you got a guinea pig?”
“At least his is adorable and cuddly,” Nico said scowling. “I was made into part of a future flower crown.”
People were giggling all around the room now forgetting the tension.
CC held Percy and told him about how she used to make men into real pigs which were a lot bigger and smellier. These guinea pigs were a lot more convenient. She started to lower him into the cage to meet the other men. He tried to scratch her for her to squeeze harder telling him he could be fed to the owls or sent to a classroom.
Percy yelped again as he felt the squeeze. Then he scowled at the idea of being a classroom pet again.
CC told him that the other guinea pigs in the cage were discipline problems who had been there three hundred years, which he might be like. Then Annabeth’s voice arrived and CC ran to hide Percy’s clothes.
Everyone cheered and Percy looked up at Annabeth thankfully not able to say anything again.
Annabeth entered in a chiton wrap dress. Her hair was braided with gold and she was in makeup. Percy’s guinea pig eyes popped as he stopped squeaking for a second then shook it off squeaking again.
“Man, even as a guinea pig you’re totally in awe of her,” Walt muttered.
“Always has been,” Grover said. “Took too long for them both to realize that though.”
“I know the feeling,” Jason admitted. “I mean seeing a girl suddenly become an even more beautiful goddess.”
Piper blushed. Then she looked at Percy. “You got over that faster than I thought you would.”
He opened his mouth but couldn’t talk. Frowning Percy pointed to Annabeth then shook his head rapidly.
“No Annabeth?” guessed Juniper.
“Not Annabeth. Yeah, that wasn’t really me,” Annabeth smiled at her boyfriend. “Just like that cute guinea pig wasn’t really you.”
Annabeth asked where Percy was and CC told her he was getting a treatment before asking Annabeth about the tour. She brightened commenting on the library.
“Of course that’s what you would choose to talk about,” Magnus laughed.
“What’s that mean butthead?” Annabeth asked.
“Nothing poopface,” Magnus shot back.
“Do I wanna know?” asked Thalia loudly.
“Old childhood nicknames,” Annabeth shrugged. Thalia nodded remembering the adorable insults Annabeth used to use.
CC nodded saying Annabeth could study anything. Annabeth asked about architecture. CC frowned and disagreed saying Annabeth could be a sorceress like her.
“You did do pretty well with magic,” Sadie agreed.
“Not my thing,” Annabeth shook her head.
“I have to say yes to that. Annabeth’s to logical. Let’s leave the mist usage and magic to Hazel,” Piper said. “Though when did you use magic?”
Sadie and Annabeth exchanged glances. “Long story.”
Annabeth backed away. CC explained her mother was Hecate and she knew that Annabeth’s was Athena. That they were both similar. Annabeth mumbled that she didn’t understand.
“Princess doesn’t understand something?” Clarisse asked sarcastically.
“It’s the end of the world,” agreed Thalia.
Annabeth rolled her eyes.
Percy squealed. Even louder as the other guinea pigs came out, each large, dirty, red eyed and yellow teethed. CC was still talking to Annabeth telling her she could become a sorceress and immortal. That this spa was better than camp for females. She challenged Annabeth to name female half-blood heroes.
“All the half-blood girls in this room, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth the First, Atalanta and Helen wasn’t a hero but she started the Trojan war—”
“That’s enough Wise girl,” Percy teased.
She shoved him.
CC started to complain men got all the fame. Sorcery was the way to power for a woman, like Calypso and Medea.
“Calypso is a whole different league then Medea and CC,” Percy said.
“A better one, prettier, braver, smarter and all that,” Leo declared.
Calypso blushed. “Both were much more powerful than I ever have been. My magic is much smaller.”
“But it’s used for better things, and you’re a better person,” Hazel said. “And a better sorceress.”
“I have heard of your sorcery,” Calypso said curiously. “Can I see?”
“Sure,” Hazel said brightly. “Later though.”
Annabeth finally figured out who Circe was. Circe laughed and told her she wouldn’t hurt her. Annabeth demanded to know what happened to Percy. CC told her she showed him his true form. Annabeth immediately started to look around and saw the guinea pig cage.
“Yes!” Grover cheered. “Guinea pigs are almost as bad as rabbits. I can’t have my best friend be one.”
Percy laughed but didn’t say anything again.
CC tried to get Annabeth to join her again saying that Percy would find a home in a kindergarten as Annabeth would get powerful having everything she ever wanted.
“Not Percy,” she said. Percy grinned goofily in reply and kissed her.
“Get a room,” Nico told them.
Percy stuck his tongue out.
Nico just stared at him as if he couldn’t understand the planet Percy came from.
Annabeth looked dreamy and asked to have a minute alone to think and said goodbye. CC agreed and placed iron bars on the windows. The door locked behind her.
“Now Annabeth is trapped too,” Rachel said. “How bad is Percy’s luck again?”
“Worse than before?” tried Apollo.
Will sighed at the teenage mortal version of his father.
Annabeth’s dreamy look melted away and she ran over to the cage looking in. She asked which one was Percy.
Everyone sighed. Alex nodded, “She at least has acting skills, and lying skills. Enough to trick the spa lady and save the day. You could all learn something.”
“Too true. Now she can free Percy, and turn him back somehow,” Chris said thankfully. His father was also the god of lies of course.
“Percy and Annabeth can do it,” Tyson said confidently. “She will save my brother and do something smart.”
“Isn’t that the way it always is?” asked Magnus.
“True,” Annabeth agreed as Percy nodded.
Percy and all the other guinea pigs squealed in response. She turned around and ran torward his jeans finding something in the pocket. She took out the vitamins from Hermes and ate a lemon one as CC entered.
“How will the vitamins help?” asked a confused Sadie. “Besides tasting really gross.”
“Hermes said to use them when we needed to feel ourselves again. He might have had a clue we’d run into CC,” Annabeth grinned. Everyone else brightened up as well.
CC asked for Annabeth’s answer and she drew a bronze knife. CC sneered and asked if the knife against magic was smart.
“Annabeth is always wise,” Piper said. “So your not the smart one CC.”
CC started to talk to herself about what Annabeth’s makeover would be. She smiled suggesting a shrew as blue curled around Annabeth from CC’s fingers. But Annabeth only stayed Annabeth now with a knife on CC’s neck saying she’d rather be a panther with claws at CCs throat.
“That’s a good one,” Alex nodded. “Big cats are fun too.”
Frank wrinkled his nose disagreeing.
Then Sadie looked at them both. “You guys are pretty much from Harry Potter with multiple Animagus’s. And mine would be a hawk sadly.”
“Please don’t say Percy’s a guinea pig then,” Thalia laughed. “Though it might be funny.”
“I don’t really know.”
CC yelped and Annabeth showed her the vitamins. Annabeth demanded she turn Percy back which CC said she couldn’t. Annabeth dragged her over to the cage and opened it pouring the vitamins inside.
Annabeth winced and looked at Reyna. “Sorry.”
“You needed to save Percy. It was part of my fate as well. Don’t apologize.”
“What is she apologizing for?” asked a confused Piper.
“You’ll see,” the other two girls said together.
Percy ran and got a Vitamin as CC screamed. The cage exploded as Percy now in clothes sat confused along with six other guys. CC screamed those men were the worst again. The man with a long black beard and black teeth and pirates clothes growled.
Percy sighed. “I can talk again.”
“Good thing too with what’s about to happen.”
Annabeth gasped recognizing he was Edward Teach the son of Ares. The man told her he was to be called Blackbeard and he meant to kill CC and find some celery.
The room erupted into a loud laughter. “Celery? Seriously? Please tell me you don’t crave Celery?” asked a laughing Rachel.
“It’s lettuce,” Percy said embarrassed.
Everyone erupted into new fits of laughter except Grover who was grumbling. “I’ll have you know that celery and lettuce are both very good.”
CC screamed as the pirates chased her and her helpers out. Pery thanked Annabeth who hugged him quickly saying she was happy he wasn’t a guinea pig. Percy turned red and said he was as well.
“You guys were oblivious for three or so more years how?” asked Piper.
“No clue,” Percy said.
“It’s his fault,” Annabeth said.
“You were the confusing one,” Percy argued.
“Yeah but you kept hanging out with other girls and never gave me a sign. What was I supposed to think?” Annabeth said.
Percy turned red again. Rachel looked down as did Calypso. Annabeth frowned in a slight apology to them both.
Annabeth pulled the braids out of her hair and told Percy they needed to leave while the Pirates were distracted. The pirates were ransacking the place. Annabeth asked which ship as they ran. Percy looked around and pointed at the pirate ship called the Queen Anne’s revenge saying he could make it work. Blackbeard screeched they were stealing his ship.
“That’s blackbeard’s ship,” said Sam dumbly.
“Yeah,” Percy agreed.
“You stole one of the most famous pirate’s ever ship,” breathed an impressed Sadie. “You just keep getting more awesome.”
“Thanks,” Percy grinned. “Though I could say the same about you.”
Percy closed his eyes and yelled suddenly. As he did the ropes around him tightened and the sails came out. Pulleys creaked as Percy flexed a little and the rudder turned.
“How are you even doing that?” asked Carter.
“Son of Poseidon.”
Carter’s look said that wasn’t answer but Percy didn’t seem to care.
Meanwhile Magnus was looking at Percy again and thinking about his future quest. Then about his own godly family. He muttered, “My grandfather is the god of boats and I can’t even do that.”
No one heard him because Leo was looking at Percy and yelling. “How come you never did that on the Argo II? It would have been helpful.”
“Dude, if I got anywhere near you when you held that Wii remote you heated up. How would you have liked it if I just stole the control of the ship you built?”
“Not much,” Leo conceded. “But it still would have been pretty awesome. And helpful!”
“It is,” Frank agreed. “At least it was on our quest.”
Hazel looked nauseous. “Can we stop talking about that trip? Being seasick wasn’t fun.”
That’s when Percy’s stomach growled and he looked up. “Anyone else craving some lettuce?”
Chapter 15: Being Brave
Lunch went pretty fast. Of course there was the usual loud conversations, arguments and other commotions. But everyone was too curious to see what would happen next not to be in a rush. With in twenty minutes everyone had eaten and was hurrying to sit back down. The projection rose again just as Blitz’s bottom hit his cushion.
Annabeth and Percy sat together on the ship. The sea was around them and every once in a while Percy would look at a part and raise a finger or arm, maybe even speak a command. The ship would come alive but Percy and Annabeth seemed too engrossed with each other. After some more silence he asked her to tell him why she hated Cyclopes so much.
“Finally,” an annoyed Piper said. “ADHD doesn’t make for long spans of patience.”
Across from her Annabeth aimed a small kick at Piper’s shin. Piper looked annoyed but didn’t do anything as Jason and Percy exchanged glances. Thalia in between Annabeth and Jason looked at her blonde friend. “You really did good that time. It’s definitely not the reason I died.”
“I know that now,” Annabeth said. “I’m sorry Tyson.”
“You are my friend. You do not need to say sorry when you are scared,” Tyson told her. She smiled at him sadly as the projection continued.
She explained that Grover got confused leading them to camp and took some wrong turns. Right into a Cyclopes in Brooklyn.
“There are Cyclops in Brooklyn?” all of the Egyptians said together.
Percy and Annabeth looked at each other and laughed. Carter frowned. This didn’t bode well.
Percy asked if there were really Cyclops in Brooklyn.
Sadie groaned loudly. “Come on. I choose Dare.”
“Truth,” Zia and Jaz said.
Walt contemplated for a second. “Dare.”
“And so Carter gets a double dare,” Percy said. Carter moaned sending Percy and Sadie into louder laughter.
Annabeth told him there were a lot. Anyway the Cyclops tricked them leading them into a maze and able to sound like anyone. Thalia thought she was saving Luke and Luke thought he was saving Annabeth. Annabeth herself was alone and scared.
Everyone looked at her sympathetically which she brushed off lost in thought. Zia however looked up, caramel eyes blazing. “Children should never have to be alone and scared. Especially worrying about those they love.”
A few people looked down suddenly including Leo, Nico and Jason. Annabeth just stayed grim.
She continued talking about finding Grover, Thalia and Luke tied up with bones on the floor below them. The Cyclops was starting a fire.
Jason and Piper shuddered.
Leo cringed. “Man, Ma Gasket and her kids sucked. I know how seeing that feels. And you were just seven.”
Annabeth nodded but now Percy, Hazel and Frank were looking at Leo. “Ma Gasket?”
“Man, that explains a lot,” Frank said leaving everyone confused.
Annabeth continued saying she drew her knife alerting the Cyclops who then used her dad’s voice. He tried to tell her that he loved her and that she could stay forever.
Everyone looked even more scared and upset for Annabeth now remembering the little they had heard about her history with her dad last time.
Percy asked what she did then. Annabeth’s face hardened with a cruel grin. She told Percy she stabbed him in the foot.
“No way. A full grown Cyclops is huge,” Will said wide-eyed.
“A small warrior, and a smart one could do it. Now we just understand how good Annabeth has always been,” Reyna mused.
“Better than any roman will ever be,” Annabeth said teasingly.
“And who dominated who’s empire?” asked Reyna.
Jason and Percy groaned. “Can we hold this for later?”
Percy’s eyes widened comically. He smiled a little as he seemed to become more impressed and awed by Annabeth. He asked if she was kidding to be doing that at seven. Annabeth shook her head saying she surprised the Cyclops enough to be able to cut Thalia out.
“You still saved us all,” Thalia told her. “I wouldn’t have even made that stand on Half-Blood Hill if it wasn’t for you.”
“I wasn’t fast enough though,” Annabeth told her. “The monsters caught up.”
“You were seven and beat a monster that had already captured three people older than you. Stop being so hard on yourself,” Grover told her. “That whole experience was frightening. If it’s anyone’s fault it’s mine.”
“Again Grover. Not. Your. Fault. I sacrificed myself and those monsters were sent after me by Hades, not you. You saved Annabeth and Luke, you almost got me there too,” Thalia said stubbornly.
“It’s no one’s fault then,” Percy nodded. “We can all agree on that. And the fact that Annabeth was super awesome and brave.”
Cheers sounded up around the room.
Percy told her it was brave. Annabeth shook her head saying she still had nightmares. She blamed the Cyclops for delaying them from getting to camp for so long and that was the reason for Thalia’s death.
“Maybe. But I was wrong to base my hate for all Cyclops on one,” Annabeth said.
“Not all Cyclops are mean,” Tyson said loudly.
“No. Especially not you bro,” Percy agreed.
“Tyson is not a mean Cyclops,” Ella agreed. “Polyphemus. The Odyssey. Legend’s of Hercules. Mean Cyclops. Stories of Creation from around the world. The three first Cyclops and Kronos’s army.”
Percy shivered again as the projection of him an Annabeth talking fell and another rose. Everyone seeing it looked at him questioningly. “Another dream.”
Percy was back in the Princess Andromeda. Spirits were warning him around Kronos’s sarcophagus. A voice laughed saying he couldn’t stop him and wasn’t brave enough.
“If I was brave enough to beat a Cyclops at seven,” Annabeth reasoned. “Then Percy would have been brave enough to face Kronos then too.”
“Not really,” Percy said thinking back to the shy, insecure kid he had been. Thinking about Gabe.
“Yeah. You would be,” Clarisse told him. “And I know about bravery.”
Percy sent her a silent thanks as the vision continued.
Percy uncapped riptide as more ghosts swirled with warning. Percy tried to move forward to open the coffin.
“Don’t open it,” shouted Sadie and Walt. Everyone stared at them.
Sadie frowned. “Sorry. Bad experience. With ghosts, coffins and mummies.”
“And I’m possessed by the god of most of those. Still not something I like thinking about or talking about. But never open a coffin,” Walt warned.
“Yeah,” Percy said. “I realized.”
A girl’s voice spoke asking what a seaweed brain like him planned to do next. Thalia appeared next to him.
“First I would never call you seaweed brain,” Thalia shivered. “That’s Annabeth’s pet name. You’re Kelp Head. Second why am I in all these dreams?”
“The prophecy,” Apollo said. “Why else? Also probably some prophetic nature of Percy’s warning him of a way the future could go.”
“But it didn’t,” Thalia said.
“I didn’t even remember this dream until now,” Percy said. “How could it have warned me?”
“Subconsciously,” Rachel answered. “This is almost the same thing as what happened in the Labryinth.”
Percy paled and grimaced. Thalia looked at him. “Again, the fates never meant it to be me. But still. Stop all the creepy dreams about me.”
Percy rolled his eyes. “I’ll try.”
Thalia glared at him asking if they were stopping Kronos or not. There was no answer from a frozen Percy. Thalia rolled her eyes saying to leave it to her and Aegis.
“That’s uncanny,” Annabeth said.
“Thalia would say that. And do that too,” Nico agreed. “Her and Percy dragging me along into it.”
“There’s been times you two dragged me along too,” Thalia protested. “But yeah. That is a lot like me. And half my quests/interactions with Percy.”
Percy shrugged. “No clue why I knew that.”
Thalia tapped her wrist and Aegis, a shield with Medusa’s head popped out of her chain bracelets. She picked up a sword and walked toward the sarcaphogus. The ghosts scattered from Aegis and Percy yelled no as she opened the lid.
Everyone in the room paled leaning forward a bit.
She stood there for a second before the coffin started to glow. Thalia seemed to protest in shock as Kronos laughed. Then Thalia was engulfed in golden light.
The projection collapsed. Everyone looked at Percy and Thalia. Percy shrugged. “That was it.”
“And I’m fine. This didn’t happen. At least not to me.”
“It didn’t happen at all,” Percy shook his head before lowering his voice so no one heard. “At least not completely like that.”
“Either way it was a dream. Which means something real is going to happen next,” Calypso said looking at Percy and Annabeth.
“Something I wish I had been stupid enough to only dream of,” Annabeth said as Percy wrapped around her.
“Stupid and you don’t belong in the same sentence,” Magnus told her.
“It does in this case,” she said. “I wanted to hear the Sirens.”
Chapter 16: Songs and Flaws
The room turned to sudden silence at Annabeth’s statement. She looked down as Percy glared at the whole room making them shudder. Placing a hand on his arm she nodded. “It’s okay. I’ll need to explain anyway. Look.”
The projection was starting to rise with the image of Annabeth tied up. Percy sighed and nodded.
Annabeth continued. “I woke Percy up so I could listen to the Sirens. We were approaching their Island. Their song makes you see your greatest desire. That drives many people to dive over the edge of the ship and towards the Island so the sirens could feast.”
“So go around,” suggested Alex. “I mean obviously you didn’t.”
“No. Percy suggested that, or stuffing our ears with candle wax. I wanted to hear the sirens so I could know about my greatest desire. It’s supposed to make you wiser.”
“Supposed to?” asked Rachel. “I can see some things but half of Percy’s story is still a mystery to me. Explain.”
“I’m sure the projection will,” Annabeth told her. “All you need to know is Percy helped tie me up as we approached.”
Leo looked at Percy and cackled. Calypso hit him. He stopped and pouted as Annabeth rolled her eyes. Percy was blushing madly.
“Just watch and see what happened,” Annabeth told them.
Annabeth was being tied up by ropes Percy was ordering around. They moved quickly and he double checked to secure them all. Looking at him she said not to untie her no matter what she said or asked. She would drown herself. Grimacing Percy looked at her asking if she was tempting him. Annabeth laughed sarcastically.
“That wasn’t funny,” Grover said to them both. “You two are going to make me an old satyr before my time.”
Percy rolled his eyes as Annabeth looked at Grover apologetically.
Percy sighed and promised not to untie her before taking some wax and stuffing it in his ears. Annabeth made a face nodding to say it looked good. Percy stuck his tongue out at her.
“Oh my gods,” Piper said. “You two were such flirts.”
“What?” Percy asked. “I can’t hear you.”
Piper sighed and mouthed it.
Annabeth rolled her eyes. “That was just teasing.”
“We didn’t flirt,” Percy argued at the same time.”
“This not hearing thing because of that wax is going to get old fast,” Chris muttered as Percy yelled. Everyone nodded in agreement except for a confused Percy.
They approached the Isalnd Percy steering them around the jagged rocks. He looked back her every once in a while. Slowly her eyes were widening with a puzzled and curious look. Then she started to scream Percy’s name. Percy looked hurt like he wanted to help her. She was squirming and crying miserably and he forced himself to look away.
“What could they make you see that you would want so badly?” asked Sam mystified.
Annabeth didn’t answer as it was rushing back to her. Percy who had read Sam’s lips did. Shouting he explained. “The sirens can entrance you. They make you see everything you’ve ever wanted or desired. They read your past, your emotions, your futures and put it all together into a song. One that makes you feel as if you will never be happy until you reach it.”
Sam nodded paling a bit.
Percy made the ship go faster. The ship was no so covered in mist it was hard to see anything. But Percy was starting to look a bit dazed.
“Is the wax not working?” Jason asked exaggeratedly mouthing the words.
Percy shook his head. “I can feel it. Now. Through vibrations. Annabeth, I understand.”
Everyone’s eyes widened and Annabeth looked up. “But you’re not like me. You fought the urge to hear it. You were smart.”
“I was doing it so I could save my friends,” Percy told her looking at her and Grover.
Annabeth was crying still trying to break free. Percy fingered his sword looking at the Island instead of Annabeth for a few minutes.
“Turn around,” yelled a few people who were focused on Annabeth’s image instead of Percy. Percy himself suddenly paled again tightening his grip on a pained Annabeth. Everyone else paled as they saw the projection.
Annabeth was cutting herself out. Percy turned around right as she had leaped overboard. Her knife was on the deck with the ropes.
“I’m so stupid,” Percy said loudly. “I forgot and almost killed you.”
“You could never do anything to hurt me. It was my own stupidity and flaw,” said Annabeth writing it down in Greek. Percy nodded but didn’t seem to completely agree.
Percy ran to the side of the boat where Annabeth was swimming hard. The waves were carrying her to the rocks as Percy screamed devastatingly her name.
Annabeth seemed torn apart tears streaming down her eyes as she gripped Percy’s hand. He was getting paler, more afraid, angrier and determined. As he had when this had all happened.
He looked at the steering wheel and yelled for it to stay before jumping over the side. In the water the currents changed to surround him and push him forward, back to the surface and Annabeth.
Everyone sighed in relief. Several people cheered.
Annabeth’s blonde head popped above the water to be swept toward some more jagged rocks. Percy dove back into the water under some wrecked ships, mines and water. He was now above the water searching the jagged rocks, ship wreck and black sand for Annabeth.
“That’s a terrifying sight,” Frank shivered.
“I don’t even remember any of that,” Annabeth said. Everyone looked at her sending her looking down again. Her and Percy were huddled together closer now.
Annabeth was swimming strongly as the mist cleared. Closer toward the sirens. They were vulture like with dirty black feathers and pink necks. Human heads were on the top of the necks were human heads, all singing.
Suddenly everyone could hear the beautiful song except the still deaf Percy. It’s power wasn’t on them but it was still haunting them with desires. They suddenly understood especially as they were able to perceive the sirens like Percy had.
Poseidon, Grover, Tyson, Chiron and Sally’s faces appeared on the sirens. All smiled at him with blood on their mouths. Annabeth was swimming closer and Percy’s face hardened.
Everyone else was cringing disgusted, now shocked out of the slight trance the song still had from the projection. Annabeth was holding back tears. She buried her face in Percy’s shoulder and he glared at everyone daring them to judge her.
Percy shot forward under the water again. He grabbed Annabeth’s ankle and the whole scene changed. They were holding hands walking in Central Park toward three people on a picnic blanket. Annabeth’s dad, who must have been her mother and Annabeth. Then all three looked at them and gestured for them to come over holding their arms out. Manhattan was glittering white and beautiful with new architecture.
“That’s how you saw it,” Thalia said suddenly understanding. “Your mom with your dad. Luke was there, happy. And you designed that city. I recognize your style. That’s what you wanted.”
Annabeth nodded. “And I almost died because of it. Learning my fatal flaw when I should have recognized it long ago.”
“What is it?” asked Sadie curiously. Everyone looked at her. “Sorry. Shouldn’t have asked.”
“You’ll see anyway.”
Percy however was looking confused. He pointed to the projection. “Why are we holding hands?”
“I knew you were back on the ship. But that’s how I saw it Seaweed Brain.”
Percy’s eyes widened in surprise. “Me? Not Luke?”
“Not after the previous summer.”
Percy seemed to be in a bit of shock but Annabeth hugged his side as he kissed her hair. She whispered knowing he couldn’t hear her. “Thanks for saving me.”
Percy blinked a few times and the image changed back to the normal sirens. He pulled down on Annabeth’s ankle back into the ocean. She was still screaming in the water kicking hard. She hit Percy in the face but he gripped tighter having the currents take them away.
Percy winced. Annnabeth frowned. “Oh gods. Percy, I’m so sorry.”
He waved his hand at her passing it by.
Annabeth continued thrashing that the currents were rockier, a little out of control. They almost hit a underwater bomb/mine.
Annabeth paled dramatically. “I almost killed us.”
“That’s not you,” Piper told her with an arm on her leg. “It’s not.”
Annabeth frowned in disagreement. Thalia looked at Percy for permission and he nodded. Scootching away from her made more room for Thalia to get closer. “None of that was your fault. Not now. Not ever.”
Their heads went under and Annabeth became dazed, no longer struggling. Then they rose again as she kicked again.
Carter grinned. “Simple laws of science. No sound under water.”
“No breathing either,” frowned Magnus.
Jason brightened. His little underwater adventure, with Percy and Kym had taught him a few things. Clarisse snickered as well. Chris just snorted. “The two of them don’t really have a problem with that. Though none of us are sure how it works.”
“What?” Annabeth asked surprised.
“You think no one notices when the two of you sneak off to go to the lake? For a few hours? I mean are you breathing through his lips or something?” asked Will.
Annabeth blushed. “No!”
“Well you are somehow,” Nico told her.
She rolled her eyes. “You guys are upset because we have the only private spot in camp.”
Nico blushed a little and Will chuckled. “So you think.”
Hazel was redder than all of them fanning herself. Frank looked at their friends. “Please stop.”
Percy dragged her down. Bubbles rose around them and Percy’s eyes widened as they got deeper. Slowly the bubbles moved together. Soon they were in a giant bubble together only their legs out in the water. Annabeth retched, coughing and gasping. She looked at Percy and sobbed.
Percy looked at her. “Okay?”
“I’ll be fine,” she said shortly just a bit upset what everyone was seeing. This moment had been private for her and Percy.
Percy nodded and let her cuddle into him.
In the projection Annabeth was crying into his shoulder. He looked awkward for a second then hugged her tight. Fish surrounded them. He glared at them yelling.
“What did they want?” asked a curious Juniper.
Percy took a second to understand. “To tell the whole ocean I was with a girl at Siren bay. Fish are big gossips. Maybe bigger than Aphrodite’s kids.”
Annabeth frowned. He’d never told her that before.
Piper scowled too. “Hey!”
“Bigger than most of Aphrodite’s kids,” Percy said not even needing to read her lips just seeing her expression.
Percy told her that he’d get them back. Annabeth nodded. The current shot them forward.
“That it?” asked Blitz yawning a little. It was daytime. Not a good time for a tired dwarf.
“Almost,” Annabeth replied.
The scene changed. They surfaced and the air bubble popped. They climbed onto the ship after Percy ordered a rope. Percy sailed a little more before Annabeth tapped him from the floor and mouthed it was safe. Percy took out the earplugs. He asked if she was okay then turned red.
“Stupid question,” he said.
“A sweet one,” she told him. “But no. I wasn’t.”
Meaning she also wasn’t now Percy thought. He held her tighter and closer and Annabeth let out a large breath in comfort and relief.
Annabeth replied she didn’t realize how powerful the temptation was. Percy frowned as they sat in silence for a second. He blurted out how he saw her vision, her dream. Annabeth blushed. Percy nodded explaining a little more what he saw. She told him it was her fatal flaw. Hubris.
“That’s not helpful,” Sadie frowned. “Just sounds like Hummus is your kryptonite.”
“I really do swear you and Percy are related sometimes,” Annabeth murmured.
Percy asked if she meant that brown spread. She snorted saying it was Hubris, not Hummus. Percy asked how anything could be worse than the latter.
Everyone laughed the tension dissolving a little.
Annabeth explained Hubris was pride so strong you though you could be better than the gods.
Those who didn’t understand before brightened with realization now looking at Annabeth in a different way.
Percy asked her if she felt like that. She looked down saying she thought she could do the world over from scratch, erase things like summer reading homework. Percy focused a little more.
“And of course that’s what got you to focus,” Grover said.
Percy smiled mischievously. “Not like you don’t agree. Everyone does.”
Grover bleated a little rolling his eyes.
Annabeth said the west was good, but sometimes just seeing the bad made you feel like Luke. Thinking you could tear it down and do it better. Percy said he didn’t feel that way. He would be a nightmare running the world.
Everyone laughed nodding in agreement.
“That would be the death of us all. You can do many things. But you are not meant to be that,” Reyna said. She’d been able to see that with his one day as Praetor.
“I’m not arguing,” Percy told her.
Annabeth told him he was lucky Hubris wasn’t his flaw. He asked her what was. She replied she didn’t know but everyone had one that they needed to control, it was fatal for a reason.
Everyone thought about that. Percy had already admitted his Fatal flaw. Could he control it? What was their own. Silence reigned for a moment until the projection made more noise.
Percy spoke up after some silence asking if she felt wiser. She said she dind’t know, they only needed to save the camp. Percy nodded spacing off again.
“What’s with the spacing off?” asked Jaz.
The ship was slowing. Annabeth called his name and he turned to see and island. Standing up he froze.
“That’s Polyphemus’ Island,” Calypso said. “You’ve reached it.”
Chapter 17: Baby Blue Tuxes and Wedding Dresses
“Just in time,” Grover said. “Or I would have died.”
Clarisse snorted. “Not really. I could have saved you.”
“No. You were the reason he almost died,” Percy explained. “But I think it’s better to watch it.”
Standing at the shore Annabeth breathed saying the Fleece was there. Percy nodded asking if the Island would die if they took it. Annabeth shook her head saying island would return to normal. Percy looked at the Fleece and said it was too easy if they just hiked up there and took it.
“It’s way too easy,” Walt agreed. “Which is usually a trap.”
Sadie blushed. “It’s always a trap dear.”
Carter snorted making his sister blush harder. Everyone else got the feeling Sadie had gone ahead and triggered a lot of traps.
Annabeth said there was supposed to be a guardian of some sort.
“There is,” Leo said. “And it’s not a dragon. Luckily Festus is.”
“They are very deceiving,” Calypso agreed.
A deer jumped out of the trees. The sheep rushed toward it. A minute later they left leaving a pile of white bones. Annabeth and Percy paled saying they were like Piranhas.
“There’s definitely a guardian,” Hearth signed. “Scary ones.”
“Those things had some wicked teeth,” agreed Percy. “I am so happy I never have to see them again.”
“You just jinxed yourself,” Will told him.
Percy groaned knowing Will might be right.
Annabeth pointed to the beach where a lifeboat sat. It was from the CSS Birmingham.
“So Clarisse is there,” Jason said. “But we already knew that.”
The scene skipped. Annabeth and Percy were climbing up the side of a mountain when Annabeth’s foot slipped. She kicked Percy in the face.
Percy made a quick high pitched noise. Annabeth blushed. “Sorry. That’s the second time.”
“You already apologized. No need too,” he told her.
Annabeth apologized. Then they hauled themselves on top of the cliff. Both groaned. Then a large voice roared. Annabeth put her hand of Percy’s mouth.
“Polyphemus,” said Tyson.
The ledge they were on dropped. Percy and Annabeth were on the top of the cave’s gaping entrance.The Cyclops was saying Clarisse was feisty. Clarisse yelled and told him to challenge her, give her back her sword so she could fight him.
Frank looked at her. “Are you insane?”
“You’ll get yourself killed,” he told her.
“No,” Grover corrected. “She’ll get me killed.”
Percy and Annabeth crawled forward looking down. Clarisse was hanging over a pot of water upside down. Grover sat next to the Cyclops in his wedding dress. Polyphemus asked him if they should eat Clarisse now or at the wedding.
“Thanks,” said Chris realizing what the Satyr would do. He nudged Clarisse who rolled her eyes reluctantly thanking Grover as well. Grover bleated at her angrily.
Grover backed up saying he wasn’t hungry now. Clarisse interrupted suddenly though saying Grover? Annabeth pleaded for her to shut up.
Everyone groaned and glared at Clarisse. She growled back at them all. “Not my fault the Cyclops was stupid.”
“You were stupider. Going ahead and almost getting you both killed,” Thalia snarled.
Clarisse curled her fists but Chris held her back.
Polyphemus asked what Grover is. Clarisse said the satyr. Grover yelped trying to cover by saying Clarisse’s brain was boiling from the water and she should be pulled down.
Everyone snickered the tension now relieved a little.
Polyphemus looked at her asking what Satyr, had she brought him one. Clarisse yelled he was an idiot and the Satyr was Grover, next to him in a wedding dress.
The tension rose back up again as Juniper screamed. “You’re horrible! You’ll get him killed.”
Grover though upset stopped his girlfriend. “This already happed June. You can attack Clarisse after we watch.”
Polyphemus tore off Grover’s veil showing him for what he was. The Cyclops growled saying he hasn’t seen well since he was stabbed in the eye but Grover was not a lady Cyclops.
Alex rolled her eyes. “No duh.”
Polyphemus swiped for Grover who ducked yelping he shouldn’t be eaten raw. He had a good recipe. Percy brought out riptide but Annabeth lowered his hand. Polyphemus asked about the recipe.
“Really?” asked Rachel incredulously. “He fell for that.”
“He was not a smart Cyclops. Not like Tyson,” said Ella. Tyson beamed holding her talons.
Grover nodded saying the Cyclops would get diseases if he ate him raw. Grilling him and having Mango chutney with mangos from the woods would be better. Polyphemus looked at Clarisse asking if she was a satyr too.
Everyone started to laugh as Clarisse kept turning redder.
She yelled at him throwing insults and threatening to take his arms off as the daughter of Ares. Polyphemus repeated the threat slightly dazed and impressed. She continued yelling she would stuff them down his throat. Polyphemus laughed she had spunk then snatched Grover. He said the wedding was postponed with Satyr as the main course until he grazed the sheep.
“What?’ asked a confused Piper. “Who’s the bride now?”
Chris looked at Clarisse who was growling harder and bit his lip to hold back his laughter. She hadn’t told him about this but he could guess.
Grover repeated the question. Polyphemus looked at Clarisse. She yelled saying you couldn’t be serious. Polyphemus put her down and with Grover in the cave saying that he’d be back at sunset for the wedding.
“That’s not enough time for Clarisse to get ready,” Percy said sarcastically. “She has to have a dress to look as awesome as that baby blue suit he’s wearing.”
Annabeth elbowed him and he stopped as Clarisse turned redder with anger and embarrassment. Everyone else was holding back laughter but Percy frowned and stopped.
Polyphemus rolled a boulder over the entrance and left with his sheep.
“How are you going to get in there?” asked Hazel as she watched them try to move the boulder in vain at the projection.
Annabeth grinned. “Like the greats. Taking a little advice from history is helpful for anybody.”
Percy laughed. “And to nobody.”
Grover chuckled with Tyson and even Clarisse grinned as everyone else frowned. Zia looked at them all. “That makes no sense.”
Chapter 18: Not All Nice Cyclops
Percy, Annabeth, Tyson, Grover and Clarisse stopped laughing as the projection’s scene changed. Everyone stared at it. Then at Percy.
He was hanging from a sheep’s belly. His hands were hooked in the wool and it hid him well. Annabeth put on her hat and whispered for him not to let go.
“That’s actually really smart,” Jaz said eyes widening. “Where did you get that idea?”
“Like I said. From the greatest.”
All the sheep started to walk to the cave. Percy’s sheep reached it and the Cyclops greeted him saying Widget had put on some weight. Then they were in the cave. Polyphemus turned to put the stone back. Annabeth was outside and yelled an insulting greeting.
“He won’t like that,” Juniper squeaked.
“Maybe he will,” Thalia told her. “He seemed to like Clarisse calling him things.”
Clarisse snarled. “You’re lucky for now, but I could come over and pummel you any second.”
“You won’t,” Thalia snorted under her breath.
Polyphemus yelled asking who said that. Annabeth screamed Nobody did.
“If you say Nobody he’s going to know it’s somebody,” reasoned Carter.
“Annabeth explained she was taking her plan from the past. Odysseus used that tactic in the Odyssey,” Reyna explained. “When he blinded Polyphemus he told the Cyclops he was nobody. Whenever Polyphemus was asked who hurt him he would answer Nobody and be forever ridiculed.”
The Egyptians and Norse smiled now understanding. Nico frowned though. “Doesn’t he notice that Annabeth is a girl?”
Annabeth shrugged. “Like we said. He’s dumb.”
Polyphemus screamed he remembered Nobody. Annabeth taunted he couldn’t remember Anybody, not even Nobody. Polyphemus threw a boulder which smashed into pieces. Then Annabeth shouted he couldn’t throw better either.
Everyone sighed in relief she was still alive.
Polyphemus yelled for her to come so he could kill her. She laughed saying you couldn’t kill nobody and he had to come find her. Polyphemus ran out towards Annabeth. Percy then jumped off widget and took off in a run.
Juniper and Chris looked at him thankfully. Clarisse groaned. “I didn’t need your help Prissy.”
The scene changed when Percy reached the spinning room where Grover was trying to cut the rope on Clarisse with safety scissors. It wasn’t working. Clarisse noticed Percy first saying he should be blown up.
“You actually care,” Percy cooed jokingly.
“That you weren’t around to cause me trouble anymore,” Clarisse said.
Percy put a hand to his chest. “That hurts.”
Clarisse growled more.
Percy said it was good to see her sarcastically then was tackled by Grover who quickly asked where Annabeth was. Percy explained she was outside then sliced off Clarisse’s ropes. She thanked him.
Chris grinned and gripped her hand tighter as everyone stared at her. She turned on them demanding, “What?”
Leo broke the awkward silence. “You actually know that word?”
“I know it to use it whenever someone shuts you up Valdez,” Clarisse snarled. Of course Leo then shut up.
Percy quickly asked if she’d been the only survivor from the Birmingham. She confirmed it saying she hadn’t been sure he and Annabeth survived. They turned towards the entrance when there was an explosion. Annabeth screamed. Polyphemus held up air and shook it. Annabeth’s baseball cap fell.
“No,” Magnus said quietly seeing the image.
Annabeth was dazed and her head was bleeding. The Cyclops said she was going to be grilled with Chutney. Percy told Clarisse he’d rush the Cyclops so she and Grover could escape. Both disagreed.
“No more self sacrificing,” Nico agreed.
“No way. I stay. If I let other’s do it they get hurt,” Percy said sadly. “I won’t lose another friend or family member. I won’t break anymore promises.”
Nico paled sitting up a little. “You’ve always kept your promises.”
“Really?” Percy asked thinking of the ten-year-old who wanted his older sister to be safe.
Nico nodded. “I’m older than she was then now. I’ve seen more and understand more. Bianca was a lot like you and Thalia. She wanted to save her friends. You let her because you understood and now so do I. You couldn’t have stopped her. Or saved her. You didn’t break your promise.”
Percy smiled sadly. “You’re a lot like her too. She’d be really proud of you. As for my promise, I shouldn’t have made it in the first place. But I did, so I broke it. I’m just happy you’re not mad at me anymore, no matter how right you are to be.”
Nico nodded as everyone stared at the somber air between the two cousin’s with just a small understanding of what was happening.
Clarisse grabbed a sper and Grover a sheep bone which he looked at regrettably. Clarisse suggested they do it together which Grover agreed to surprised. Percy nodded saying they do Attack Macedonia.
“What’s that?” Hazel asked.
“Greek attack plan,” Annabeth explained. “You’ll see.”
The scene changed with Percy charging in with his sword. He held up the sword shouting an insult. Polyphemus asked who he was. Percy told him to put down Annabeth he was nobody and he would stab out the Cyclops eyes again. The Cyclops charged toward Percy dropping Annabeth headfirst. She hit the rocks.
“Odin’s Eyepatch. How are you okay?” Sam asked as Magnus froze.
“Luck. And Percy.”
“Luck. And Annabeth.”
Thalia mimed barfing behind them.
Grover rushed in yelling for Pan throwing the bone at the Monster’s head. It didn’t work. Clarisse placed her spear under the Cyclops foot. She dove out of the way as he wailed in pain.
Everyone cheered making Clarisse beam.
Then he plucked it off and threw the spear aside going toward Percy. Percy ran from the Cyclops reaching hands. Rolling he stabbed the monster’s thigh. Polyphemus yowled.
More cheers came.
Percy yelled for Grover to get Annabeth. He picked her up with her cap as Clarisse kept charging at the Cyclops. Percy stabbed him several more times in the foot, toe, ankle or hand. Grover started to carry Annabeth at the rope bridge and Percy yelled for them to fall back.
“Good plan,” Jason said.
Annabeth nodded watching wide eyed at what she hadn’t seen before.
Polyphemus limped toward them slowed by his injuries. He cursed Nobody a thousand times.
Percy and Annabeth both winced thinking about Tartarus and that exact curse. Everyone looked at them curiously but both were too lost but all except each other right then.
Grover and Annabeth were at the other side of the bridge as Percy and Clarisse started across. Percy yelled for him to use Annabeth’s knife. He began to saw the ropes.
Everyone sat forward hoping Clarisse and Percy would make it across and the Cyclops wouldn’t.
Clarisse and Percy dove forward. Then Percy scrambled up to cut the remaining ropes. The bridge fell as Polyphemus cackled happily that Nobody had failed. Grover and Clarisse charged as the monster swatted them aside.
“How did you win?” asked Piper.
“My friends,” Percy said. Everyone ignored that answer and looked at Grover and Clarisse.
Grover smirked. “The son of Poseidon.”
Everyone looked back at Percy who smiled discreetly at Tyson.
Percy turned red. He raised riptide and jumped hitting Polyphemus in the stomach. The Cyclops bent over letting Percy hit his nose. He cut up more of his arms and legs even near his eye. The Cyclops was in a lot of pain now and ended up on the floor fast with Percy standing above him aiming Riptide at his eye.
“No way,” breathed Carter.
“How did you even…..” Leo began breathlessly. It had taken Festus for him and Calypso to get away.
Even Annabeth was looking at Percy surprised.
“That was amazing. You were just thirteen and you took out one of the most famous Cyclopses in history,” Will gaped.
“With my friends help,” Percy said.
“Not really,” Clarisse admitted.
“You weakened him a lot.”
“Not enough to get him down. You were the one who did the damage that mattered,” Clarisse said surprising everyone.
“Thanks. But it was only because I was trying to save all of you,” Percy told her.
Annabeth looked at him and scribbled something down.
Polyphemus begged he was trying to protect his sheep and started to sob. Percy hesitated and Clarisse yelled for Percy to kill him. Grover nodded that he was a Cyclops and not to trust him. Percy’s sword shook.
Everyone looked at Percy then at Tyson. Tyson looked at Percy. “You are too nice brother. Not all Sons of Poseidon are.”
“That’s why you’re my favorite brother,” Percy told Tyson who beamed widely.
“Polyphemus is not a good brother.”
“Not at all.”
Percy said they only wanted the Fleece and asked if he would let them take it. Clarisse shouted not to do it. The monster agreed saying it was the prize of his collection but he would let them take it.
“I wouldn’t trust him,” advised Blitz.
Hearth signed at him quickly.
“Hey!” Blitz scowled as Magnus and Hearth laughed.
Percy said he was going to step back slowly and if the Cyclops moved he’d hurt him. Polyphemus nodded. Percy stepped back and immediately he was knocked off the cliff. Polyphemus gloated he would eat Percy opening his mouth wide.
“You’re dead,” said a certain Apollo.
“This already happened so thankfully we’re still alive,” Grover sighed. “Somehow.”
Then a rock sailed into the Cyclops’ mouth. He choked staggering back to the back of the cliff. Percy turned. Standing with the sheep was Tyson who said Polyphemus was bad and not all Cyclopes were as nice as they looked.
The room erupted into laughter and cheers. Ella squawked and flapped her wings. “Tyson is amazing. He is smart and brave. He is a hero Cyclops.”
Tyson blushed under all the praise. Percy looked at him clapping him on the back. Tyson gave him a bear hug make Percy groan for a breath as Annabeth laughed. She looked at the Cyclops. “Thank you Tyson.”
Chapter 19: Lucky Hits
“Wait,” asked Hazel suddenly. “How’d Tyson even get to you guys?”
“Rainbow,” Tyson answered.
“The Rainbow Bridge is our section of Mythology,” Alex said. “Try again.”
“He means the Hippocampus,” Percy explained. “He’d been following Tyson waiting to play and saved him after the explosion. They’d been searching for us since.”
“Oh,” Alex said.
Percy yelled to Tyson that he was thankful the Cyclops was there. Annabeth was hurt. Tyson asked why Percy thanked the gods she was hurt.
A few people laughed, awkwardly.
Percy yelled no and knelt next to her. He looked at Tyson and asked for the Fleece. Tyson asked which looking at the sheep around him.
More awkward laughter.
Percy pointed to the tree and explained he needed the gold one. Tyson nodded saying it was pretty.
Several girls cooed.
Tyson reached the tree and took the fleece starting to come back through the sheep. Percy told him there was no time and to throw it. Catching it Percy fell back, it was heavy. He spread it over Annabeth and started mumbling to several gods.
“Thanks seaweed brain,” Annabeth told him giving him a kiss on the cheek.
“I was really scared.”
“You were really oblivious. It was sickening,” Clarisse said.
Annabeth started to heal and opened her eyes. She looked around and saw Grover. She asked if he was married.
The tension dissolved as laughter erupted. Zia looked at Annabeth. “Really? This is the first thing you ask?”
“It was a valid one,” Annabeth grinned.
“Thankfully the answer was no,” Grover said.
Grover replied he’d been talked out of it. Percy begged Annabeth to stay still but she sat up looking almost completely healed.
“That fleece is amazing,” Jaz said. “It’s like three thousand healing spells.”
“Or a secret name,” Sadie muttered.
“It could do so much good,” agreed Magnus. “I’d ask for it if you guys didn’t need it.”
Percy asked Tyson to lead the Sheep as far away as possible. He replied the sheep want food. Percy explained they wanted to eat people and they needed time to get to the beach. Tyson started to lead the sheep away.
Again several of the girls cooed at the sight as everyone else laughed at Tyson and his adorable antics. Tyson was starting to look a little confused from it.
Percy ordered Annabeth to keep the fleece on her and asked if she could stand. She tried but turned pale saying she wasn’t fully healed. Clarisse said her ribs were broken which Percy demanded to know how she could tell. Clarisse replied she’d broken a few and then started to carry Annabeth.
People laughed a little on the sight. Percy sighed. He could have done it easily as well. Annabeth looked at Clarisse. “Thanks.”
Clarisse looked surprised. “No problem princess. I’m not doing it again though.”
“I’m not expecting you too,” Annabeth told her.
The scene changed to show them at the edge of the beach. Percy raised an arm and a few minutes after the ship could be seen sailing towards them.
“That’s still so cool,” Leo said.
Several others nodded.
Tyson ran towards them being chased by sheep. Percy turned to his other friends saying they’d have to swim toward the ship because the sheep wouldn’t come into the water. Clarisse pointed out Annabeth couldn’t. Percy argued they could do it and would soon be home.
“This is still way too easy,” frowned Jason. “Not enough has gone wrong.”
“Especially with Percy’s luck,” agreed Nico.
“Hey!” Percy said to both his cousins. “We could’ve done it.”
“But you didn’t,” pointed out Thalia.
Percy didn’t argue.
They were knee deep in the ocean when Polyphemus appeared splashing toward them with rocks in hand. Percy asked if he’d ever run out of rocks. Meanwhile Grover yelled to swim for it. He and Clarisse plunged into the water, Annabeth and the fleece pulled along. They were getting away.
“Thank Thor,” Magnus prayed.
“I wouldn’t yet,” Alex told him.
Polyphemus was going towards Tyson calling him a traitor to his kind. Tyson stopped as Percy begged him not to listen and tried to pull him along. Tyson looked at Polyphemus saying he wasn’t a traitor.
“No,” agreed Frank. “You’re not.”
“You tell him Tyson,” cheered Leo. “That butt ugly monster who’s-“
Calypso elbowed him.
Leo stopped midsentence. “Why all the pain mamacita?”
“I’ll bring more if you continue to call me that.”
Polyphemus shouted Tyson helped mortals and stealing humans he threw a boulder. Tyson hit it away saying Polyphemus is not his kind.
“No. He is not,” Tyson said vehemently. “There are nice Cyclops. And my brothers.”
He hugged Percy and Frank. Percy rolled his eyes. “Tyson he’s not really our brother more like…”
Tyson looked sad and confused so Percy sighed. “Yeah, he’s our brother.”
Polyphemus charged towards them but still hurt he stumbled.
Everyone laughed but abruptly stopped seeing what was happening.
Polyphemus got up as Clarisse yelled for them to hurry. Tyson told Percy go while he fought Polyphemus. Percy protested saying they would do it together. Tyson agreed.
The brothers looked at each other and smiled. Percy held out a fist which Tyson fist pounded. A little hard, as he did everything leaving Percy smiling but wincing.
Polyphemus walked forward and threw the second boulder. Percy dove aside as Tyson smashed it to pieces. The sea rose around them as Percy was in intense concentration. He stood on a tall wave towards the Cyclops kicking him in the eye. The Cyclops fell back on the beach. Percy landed behind him.
People cheered again. Annabeth frowned. “Is it just me or is this a lot like him fighting Ares?”
“It’s the wave,” Grover said.
“Yeah. He used it again. Both times it was really awesome,” Will said.
“I wish I could do that,” Sadie said. “It would be amazing.”
“It would be disastrous,” Carter paled.
Sadie scowled at him. “You think I’ll destroy everything.”
“Need I remind you your favorite spell?”
Polyphemus yelled he’d destroy Percy for stealing the fleece. Percy yelled back that Polyphemus had stolen it and used it to make satyrs come to their deaths. Polyphemus yowled that Satyrs were good food.
Grover turned red and started murmuring under his breath as Juniper slowly tried to calm him.
Percy argued that the fleece belonged to the children of the gods and should be used to heal. Polyphemus tried to grab Percy who dodged saying he was a child of the gods. He begged Poseidon to curse Percy. Percy said that he was Poseidon’s son too and wouldn’t be cursed because the god wouldn’t play favorites.
“Especially because the fleece you’re arguing about was once his son too,” Thalia snickered.
Percy glared at her. “Was that necessary?”
He groaned as everyone chuckled.
Polyphemus threw a tree which smashed were Percy had stood moments ago. He said humans weren’t the same because they tricked people. Meanwhile Grover was getting Annabeth on board as Clarisse waved them over.
“Go!” urged Jason thinking about the time Thalia’s tree had left.
“Trying,” Percy told him.
Polyphemus begged Tyson for help. Tyson froze again as Polyphemus continued Tyson had been orphaned and raised wrong. It was silent for a second.
Hazel saw it coming before everyone else. “No Tyson. Don’t!”
Tyson stepped forward begging not to fight. Polyphemus hit him sending him back as Percy called out no. He jumped up with Riptide and hit Polyphemus where the sun don’t shine.
All the boys winced but smiled at the same time. The girls laughed loudly as cheering broke out over Percy’s awesome hit.
Polyphemus swung toward Percy with the tree. Percy dove but the large branches hit his back scratching him up and making him bleed.
Percy winced loudly as he felt his back being scratched up.
Polyphemus swung again and Percy grabbed on the tree. He was brought into the air letting go at the right time to fly through the air and kick the Cyclops’ eye.
“Anyone else reminded of the whomping willow?” Carter asked.
“A lot,” Magnus agreed.
“All these Percy and Harry similarities,” Annabeth smiled to herself. Percy winked at her and she nudged him though she wasn’t really upset.
“That kick was awesome though,” Jason said. “I don’t think I could’ve done it better and I can actually fly.”
“It was lucky,” Percy said but the scoffs around him said no one believed it.
Tyson tackled Polyphemus. Percy landed nearby holding his sword ready to kill Polyphemus. But them he lowered it a little. He looked at Tyson and told him to run. Tyson pushed the Cyclops away and they ran into the ocean.
“You still didn’t kill him?” Alex asked incredulously.
“He’s blind, old, defenseless and injured,” Percy said. “He might deserve it but it wasn’t fair.”
“You’re too good,” Alex scoffed.
Polyphemus stood groaning throwing the tree close by the water. Percy and Tyson were being carried by a current when Clarisse shouted cheering for that and insulting Polyphemus.
“It was nice of you to cheer Percy on for once,” Piper groaned. “But gods Clarisse next time just stay quiet.”
Clarisse sneered at her.
Percy sighed. “It’s fine Piper. Clarisse wasn’t at fault. We got home anyway and it all turned out okay.”
Polyphemus threw a rock which almost hit Tyson and Percy. Clarisse continued insulting the Cyclops saying that would teach him for trying to marry her. That’s when Percy yelled at her to shut up.
“Too late,” groaned Frank as the rock hit the ship.
The ship started to go under. Percy commanded Tyson to dive. Clarisse, Annabeth and Grover were struggling to swim as the ship sunk.
“Shipwreck,” Magnus scowled. “This I know. They pull people in as they sink.”
Everyone paled at that fact but then Clarisse yelled at them. “Stop being sad punks. We’re not dead yet. Luckily Prissy and One-Eye were there.”
Percy swam towards his friends. Though his mouth didn’t open they could hear his voice say they needed help. And Tyson’s respond yes.
“You have telepathy?” asked a shocked Rachel.
“Kind of,” Percy explained. “It’s like with the fish or horses. In the water we can understand each other like that.”
“That’s really cool,” Thalia muttered. “Why can’t we have that?”
Jason shrugged. “It’d be useful.”
“Sons of Poseidon,” she scowled. “They have all the cool powers. Not the coolest though.”
She didn’t seem so confident as she said that and Percy was openly laughing at her now.
Tyson suggested Rainbow. Together in their minds they yelled for Rainbow. Three hippocampi appeared and grabbed their friends. They broke the surface with Tyson and Clarisse on Rainbow, Percy and Annabeth on another and Grover on a third. On the Island Polyphemus was cheering he had sank nobody.
Will looked at Clarisse. “Don’t speak. Please.”
“I’m not that stupid Solace.”
Annabeth smiled tiredly saying they did it. Then she fell asleep. Percy covered her in the fleece and whispered she was a genius. Then he leaned against the fleece and fell asleep too.
“You guys are adorable,” Juniper squealed.
“He is pretty cute,” agreed Annabeth as Percy grinned mischievously. “What was the compliment for?”
“I kind of swore if we survived I’d tell you that. Never said you had to be awake.”
“Luckily I’ve heard you say it other times.”
“All the time,” Percy agreed. “Annabeth, you’re a genius.”
Chapter 20: Percy Has A Plan
Slightly exhausted from such a thrilling scene, hungry, tired and a little hyperactive they decided to take a bit of a break. According to Annabeth though they should still be able to finish this part by dinner. Magnus, starved had asked the Fates for falafel. Samira took the time to pray but joined Zia afterward conversing in Arabic about the food and some other things.
Percy and Sadie though eating were whispering mischievously looking at Carter and Annabeth. They were obviously planning Carter’s double dare but it seemed Annabeth and Carter might be planning Sadie’s normal one. Once everyone had enough time and falafel on their plates they sat down to finish.
They stood together on the beach. Annabeth held a newspaper called the Miami herald and turned pale saying they’d been gone ten days from camp.
“What?” broke out.
“How?” Frank asked a little behind everyone else.
“We were in a magical/monsterous area. Time is always a little strange there,” Annabeth explained.
Grover declared they had to get the Fleece back soon or the tree would die.
“No!” Jason whispered.
“Don’t worry,” Thalia told him. “This is Percy. His luck keeps getting worse, remember? That’s when it gets a lot better.”
Clarisse sat down on the sidewalk asking how they could get back. They had no money or ride. She complained it was Percy’s fault it had happened like the Oracle said.
“What did the oracle say?” asked Apollo.
Everyone looked at him surprised.
“What? I can’t be expected to know all the prophecies.”
“I just want to know how she thinks that is Percy’s fault,” asked Rachel.
“It’s not,” Grover bleated.
“Of course it’s not,” Rachel said. “Which is why Clarisse makes no sense.”
Annabeth started yelling Clarisse shouldn’t say that and started to insult her when Percy stopped her. Annabeth stomped her foot and Clarisse put her head down.
“That’s a twist,” Piper said eyebrow raised. “Usually Annabeth is the one holding Percy back.”
“Not always,” Annabeth said. “Especially when we were younger.”
Percy asked what the Oracle had told Clarisse. She looked up and took a breath repeating the prophecy. They would sail in an iron ship with warriors of bone. She would find what she was looking for and get it. But she’d be upset trapped in stone and fail to fly home alone without friends.
“That’s confusing,” Hearth signed.
“Yeah. Odin’s power points are much clearer,” Magnus agreed.
“It’s actually pretty simple,” Rachel smiled. “She sails on the CSS Birmingham. She gets the fleece only after being trapped in the cave scared for her life. And she’ll fly home alone only with help from friends. Not sure how that works though.”
Grover winced. Percy shook his head and asked if anyone had money. Everyone shook their heads but Tyson asked if he meant green paper. Percy nodded confused. Tyson continued asking if it was the kind in the bags from Hermes. Percy agreed saying they had lost those a long time ago. Tyson pulled the bags out making Percy stop midsentence.
“Tyson saves the day once again!” Chris applauded. More whistles and shouts came as Tyson blushed.
“Tyson is a hero,” Ella agreed. “My hero.”
Hazel cooed silently at the two as Percy grinned goofily at them.
Percy asked how he had found it. Tyson said he though it was food for Rainbow but it was only paper. Quickly they all counted it to find 300 dollars at least. Percy hailed a taxi and called Clarisse over. He told her she was going to the airport and she needed the fleece.
“What?” asked Jason. “You saved them and you’re letting her go back.”
“It was the right thing,” Percy told him.
“You wouldn’t be a good roman bro,” Jason said.
“Tell that to the people who made me praetor,” Percy grinned.
Jason rolled his eyes but agreed. Percy was a lot like a Roman sometimes. And a lot like a greek at others.
Clarisse and Annabeth looked confused. Clarisse walked toward the taxi and Percy asking why he’d let her do this. He explained it was her quest and there was enough money for one flight. Plus he couldn’t take a plane because of Zeus. That’s what the prophecy meant. Clarisse would get the Fleece home safe.
Apollo looked at Percy stunned. “You worked out the line of a prophecy.”
“That’s almost impossible for most people,” Rachel explained.
“It was a pretty simple prophecy. And it was only the last verse,” Percy said confused.
“That’s still pretty impossible,” Will agreed with Rachel and his dad. Percy was left looking stunned as everyone else stared in silence.
Clarisse nodded saying she wouldn’t fail. The cab left and Percy walked back to the rest of his friends were Annabeth told him that was insane. Percy told her it was Clarisse’s quest. Tyson said Percy was nice. Too nice, Annabeth grumbled.
“Which is a good thing,” Annabeth said. “A really good and awesome thing.”
Percy then said they needed to find another way home. He turned to find a sword at his throat and Luke welcoming him back to the states. Grover and Annabeth were grabbed by the bear twins but they couldn’t get Tyson. Luke said he’d have Annabeth and Grover killed if Tyson didn’t cooperate.
“He wouldn’t do it,” Thalia said wanting to believe it.
Percy asked what he wanted and Luke gestured to the Princess Andromeda right in front of them. The scene rippled and soon they were near the pool with all the monster as Luke asked where the fleece was.
“Not there,” Clarisse grinned smugly.
Jason looked at Percy stunned. “I take it back. That was a really good plan. How did you even know?”
“The quest wasn’t hard enough yet. And Kronos usually has tricks up his sleeve,” Percy shrugged. “Planning was smart.”
“It’s not a normal thing he does,” Annabeth said. “Don’t’ get used to it.”
Percy told him they’d sent it ahead. Luke turned red as he realized Percy had sent it with Clarisse.
“Good,” Thalia said. “The ***(#(Y#(U%#( deserves the shock from that.” Then she frowned. No, that had been Luke’s back up plan all along.
Luke stuttered they had trusted her. Percy grinned confirming it. Luke scowled and yelled for the smarter bear twin to get his Pegasus to fly to the Miami airport. Agrius asked why and was yelled at before walking down.
“He’s actually insane,” Reyna muttered. The scarred son of Hermes reminded her a lot of their old augur as he started to unhinge.
Thalia shook her head. “Luke was never insane. Confused, stressed, angry, upset and sometimes short tempered. But never insane.”
“He’s probably just fed up. He was usually pretty good at staying calm. Sometimes though the stress would get to him, as the counselor and as Kronos’s army leader,” Chris admitted.
“See?” Thalia said.
Reyna nodded but she like many others didn’t seem to agree.
Percy was looking around now. Then his eyes twinkled. He looked back at Luke and told him he’d been planning on them getting him the fleece the whole time. Luke agreed saying Percy had messed it up though. Percy yelled he was a traitor throwing a drachma at Luke. He dodged it and it splashed through the mist above the pool.
“You actually thought of that?” Jason asked surprised.
“Wasn’t that hard,” Percy said.
“No,” Jason said surprised. “It was just a really good plan. Not always your thing.”
“But then he always manages to surprise us,” Thalia points out.
Percy muttered something before yelling at Luke he tricked them all, even Dionysus at Camp. The mist began shimmering and Percy’s eyes widened so he uncapped riptide.
“Good. Distract them so they don’t notice your message,” Zia said approvingly.
“That was the plan,” Percy nodded.
Luke sneered and told him to drop the sword. Percy yelled at him asking if he poisoned Thalia’s tree. Luke paused before saying he did and had already admitted this.
“You actually got him to admit it,” Nico asked. “Are you sure this was your plan?”
“Yes Nico,” Percy rolled his eyes but smiled a little. His cousin had loosened up a lot since the Giant war becoming more like his old self. If only he, Jason and Thalia would stop insisting Percy was not smart enough to make good plans. Stupid cousins.
Percy raised an eyebrow and Nico let it down.
Percy asked if Chiron had anything to do with it and Luke laughed. He said the that Chiron would never, he didn’t have the guts.
“Poisoning the tree isn’t guts,” snarled Clarisse. “It’s cowardice.”
“And cruel,” Annabeth agreed. “Chiron isn’t a coward like you Luke.”
“You know he can’t hear you right?” asked Leo.
Annabeth glared at him as others laughed and Leo paled trying to hid behind Calypso.
Percy snarled saying that betraying his friends and putting the camp in danger wasn’t guts. Luke took out his sword and explained he was going to let Percy have the fleece once he finished with it.
“It would have been too late! And it’s not like that matters, he still poisoned the tree,” Jason scowled.
“He did,” Thalia said slowly. “And he might have lied about giving Percy the fleece but maybe he was telling the truth.”
“It’s not like it matters now,” pointed out Sadie. “Clarisse is already gone with it. Luke doesn’t have it and Percy’s plan is working.”
“But what will happen once Luke realizes?” Will asked suddenly. Everyone looked at Percy who grinned.
Percy paused seeming conflicted and confused. It was just for a second before his face turned angry again. He said Luke was going to use the Fleece on Kronos. Luke nodded saying it would have sped up Kronos’s rebirth but Percy didn’t stop them only slowed them down. Percy ignored the last part saying that Luke poisoned the tree and betrayed Thalia. All to help Kronos destroy the gods.
Everyone scowled more and more at that. Thalia turned red and Jason turned very very pale. Thalia calmed seeing her brother’s distress and grabbed his hand. “I’m okay Jase. I’m here.”
He nodded calming a little. Percy looked at them both worriedly but Thalia nodded to reassure him all was fine.
Luke bit at Percy angrily that he already knew that and asked why he kept asking. Percy smirked saying he wanted the audience to hear. Luke scowled confusedly asking what audience. Then he turned and gasped and so did his goons to see a frowning Dionysus and Tantalus.
“You actually did it,” Magnus said wide-eyed.
Percy threw up his hands. “Why is everyone surprised by that?”
“Because you usually seem very oblivious. I would know Seaweed Brain,” Annabeth teased.
“I can be observant.”
“Yeah, but you don’t usually show it. You also happen to say a lot of stupid things and less smart ones.”
Annabeth giggled and he stopped scowling. She kissed his cheek as he wrapped an arm around her and they settled in.
Dionysus said that was very unplanned entertainment as they ate.
Percy reaffirmed that Mr. D heard Luke and it wasn’t Chiron’s fault. Mr. D agreed but Tantalus tried to persuade him this was a trick. Mr. D disagreed saying Chiron had to come back. Just then Tantalus got the cheeseburger and cackled as he held it.
“He’s been back in the mortal world too long,” Nico said. “His curse of eternal punishment and hunger is starting to break. It’ll be permanent unless he returns to the underworld soon.”
“He’s there now so he must have gone back,” Hazel said.
“Just as he got to eat. The pig deserves it,” said a grinning Piper.
Mr. D told him they didn’t need him anymore. Tantalus was surprised and Mr. D continued that he was dismissed to the underworld. Tantalus yelled in protest trying to raise the food to his mouth. He started to disappear into mist and just as he got it to his face he dissolved and the cheeseburger dropped onto the plate. The whole camp cheered.
The room echoed the cheering with grins and laughter.
Chapter 21: Prophecies and Percy
As the scene continued the mood quickly changed as they remembered what was happening outside the Iris Message.
Luke growled and slashed backbiter through the mist. The Iris-message faded and Luke turned on Percy furious. He said Kronos had been right and Percy was a weapon that couldn’t be used and needed to be replaced.
“And that’s where I come in,” Thalia said in sarcastic joy.
“Pretty much. But I don’t think he planned to use you the same way as he did Percy,” Annabeth said.
“I hope not,” Thalia grimaced.
“Why did he call Percy a weapon though?” asked a curious Jaz. “I mean Percy is powerful and he might be part of this prophecy thing. But he’s not a weapon.”
“To Kronos he is,” Apollo replied. “And to Gaea and many others. Percy’s power means people would like to use it. They want him to help them and that makes him a weapon.”
“Geez, I’ve always wanted to be used to hurt and destroy people,” Percy said.
Annabeth whacked him. “Not now.”
Percy rubbed his head.
A whistle blew and more warriors arrived. Luke smiled saying they wouldn’t leave alive.
“Obviously that didn’t work,” Alex grinned.
Percy challenged Luke asking what he was afraid of. The soldiers hesitated and Luke opened his mouth as Agrius appeared. The bear man had a familiar pure-black Pegasus which tried to fight.
“Blackjack,” said almost all of the Greeks and Romans along with Carter to everyone’s surprise.
“Why is your Pegasus there?” asked Reyna.
“He wasn’t my Pegasus then. Man, I forgot how much Blackjack can curse. It’s been too long since I stopped and brought him some doughnuts,” Percy shook his head.
“We’re due to visit camp after this is all over anyway,” Annabeth said. “We probably need to talk to Chiron and plan for whatever is coming.
Percy nodded then scowled again. “That horse needs a mouthwash.”
“Is it even worse than Arion?” asked Frank.
Percy shook his head. “No. Blackjack is a bit nicer. I haven’t heard him call anyone a babyman in a racist manner yet.”
Frank scowled as Hazel giggled making everyone else confused.
Agrius told him that the Pegasus was ready to go. Luke ignored him focusing on Percy saying he couldn’t be made to fight. Percy said Luke was avoiding him scared of being seen get beaten. Luke looked around conflicted.
Clarisse looked at him. “Thanks for the time you gave me but you won’t win if you fight him.”
“Are you kidding?” Carter asked. “Percy’s amazing with a sword. Even Horus was impressed.”
“He’s good, but at that point Luke was a lot better,” Annabeth said.
“Now though,” Chris said. “Percy could beat him easily.”
“You’re exaggerating,” Percy protested. “Luke was much better than I’ll ever be.”
Everyone looked at him like he was insane.
Luke said he’d kill Percy fast raising Backbiter. Someone threw him a shield and Annabeth asked for him to give Percy one as well. Luke refused saying you brought your own weapons.
“Meaning he doesn’t want to take you in a fair fight,” Jason pointed out.
“It was never fair,” Percy said.
Luke lunged and Percy’s shirt tore leaving a little blood.
Percy winced clutching his ribs. “Why do they always scratch me up there?”
“You don’t even have scars,” Annabeth said. “No one could tell.”
“Water healing,” Will said enviously. “Even better than ambrosia.”
Percy jumped away and tried to get a hit in to have his sword slammed away by Luke’s shield. Luke taunted Percy was out of practice. He swiped at Percy’s head which Percy blocked before stabbing. Luke moved out of the way and lunged. Percy jumped back again into the swimming pool.
“Bad move Luke,” Carter grinned which turned into a scowl of remembrance. “Don’t ever face Percy in the water.”
Percy laughed. “Sorry dude.”
Carter waved him off.
Percy spun and a whirlwind of water blasted him toward Luke’s face. Luke fell to the floor and Percy moved to strike.
Everyone cheered. Jason looked at Percy in analyzation. “Bro, you’ve been holding back on me.”
Percy nodded sheepishly.
Jason shook his head. “You’ll make it up to me by teaching me some of those moves.”
Luke rolled out of the way standing back up making Percy attack again. Luke jabbed at Percy’s leg stabbing him in the thigh.
Percy growled in pain and discomfort. He tightened his grip on Annabeth’s hand and she winced. He smiled a little apologetically letting it go.
Luke slashed down and Percy rolled behind a chair trying to stand up but couldn’t. Grover yelled his name as Luke cut the chair in half. Percy crawled toward the pool.
Percy started to collapse back on Annabeth still wincing.
Luke came forward smiling. He told Percy he wanted him to see the bearman eat his friends before he died. The bear man laughed and raised his open mouth to Annabeth’s neck.
“How did you even get out of something like that?” asked Blitz wide-eyed.
“My luck tends to work like that as Thalia pointed out,” Percy replied. “It gets really bad before it can get better.”
To prove Percy’s point an arrow shot forward hitting the bear man Oreius in the mouth. He fell to the floor. His twin wailed and the Pegasus kicked him in the head and flew off.
“And this is why he is so loyal to you,” Reyna said looking at Percy. “You helped free him from captivity.”
Both bear twins dissolved into sand and smoke. Then war cries erupted as centaurs charged forward. Tyson cheered like a five year old. All the ponies were much different than chiron with pain guns, bows, baseball bats and styrafoam hands.
“More centaurs?” asked Walt. “They don’t seem like Chiron.”
“No. Chiron is a lot different than most of his relatives,” Apollo agreed. “The Party ponies are like most centaurs in the myths. Partying, wild and a little insane.”
“But they seem helpful and nice,” Hazel said surprised.
“They can be unless you make them upset. They’ve helped us out before which is why I was surprised when—” Percy said then found himself unable to speak anymore.
Hazel nodded. “Don’t worry. I know what you mean.”
“We don’t,” Leo protested. He was ignored.
Luke raised his sword and pointed to the ponies. That’s when an arrow with a boxing glove on it hit him in the face. He fell back into the swimming pool and his warriors scattered.
Laughter erupted and more cheers. Frank was looking at the arrow interestingly. “You think I can learn to make some like that?”
“Chiron should know how. Next time the two camps meet up he’d be happy to show you,” Annabeth said then pausing. “Or I actually might have some plans for it. I found a new laptop recently a lot like Dedalus’s.”
She glared toward Leo and Calypso’s direction.
Leo grinned. “Guilty.”
Chiron galloped forward and picked up Annabeth and Grove putting them on his back. Percy tried to get up again and failed.
Percy winced loudly and everyone looked at him worried. He shook his head pointing toward the projection.
Luke crawled out of the fool as the bell rung for reinforcements. Tyson knocked several attackers into the bay.
“Go Tyson!” cheered Leo. Tyson blushed as everyone applauded him again.
Chiron called for a retreat. Luke shouted they wouldn’t get away with this but got smacked with another boxing glove arrow. He fell into a chair hard.
Laughter erupted even louder again.
A centaur picked Percy up and put him on his back telling him to call Tyson. Percy called Tyson who dropped two monsters and jumped on the centaurs back. The centaur groaned asking if he ever thought of a diet.
Several people frowned but others continued to laugh good naturedly along with Tyson who was grinning. “Sorry Pony.”
The warriors started to chase the centaurs but were too late as they jumped off the boat and onto the street galloping into Miami.
The scene collapsed. “Is that it?” asked Sadie.
“There should be a little more,” Percy told her as a new scene arose.
Chiron was bandaging Percy’s leg as Annabeth and Grover tried to split up Tyson and some of the party ponies. Chiron said that he’d talked to Annabeth about the prophecy. Percy quickly said it was his fault and not hers.
“That’s sweet seaweed brain but I was the one that told you,” Annabeth said. “So no. It’s not your fault.”
Percy didn’t protest. “Fine. But it’s not yours either.”
Annabeth smiled which he took as agreement leaning back to relax.
Chiron sighed saying it wasn’t going to stay hidden forever. Percy asked if he was the one in the prophecy. Chiron replied he didn’t know and wouldn’t until Percy was sixteen and it was up to the fates which made Percy frown.
“Everything is up to them,” Hearth signed. “No real choice in destiny.”
“There’s always more than you think,” Rachel disagreed. “But yes, Percy’s fate was decided then.”
“Since they cut that string,” Thalia scowled suddenly making everyone remember looking at Percy worriedly again.
“I’m not dead!” he told them. “Stop staring. I’ll be fine.”
All of them turned back to the projection reluctantly.
Percy gasped that’s what it meant. Chiron asked what he meant. Percy explained that he saw the fates cut the string. It didn’t mean he was going to die right away but it was a death that was going to happen when he was sixteen.
“You were right,” Apollo said wide-eyed.
Annabeth nodded jotting it down. “You figured the future out again.”
“It’s not even that hard,” Percy said. “Stop making a big deal out it.”
“Every thing is kind of a big deal with you, isn’t it?” asked Nico.
Percy scowled harder.
“Now at least we don’t need to worry about Percy dying,” Sadie said relieved. “Do we?”
“No. If the death was supposed to happen when he was sixteen then it already has,” agreed Rachel.
“See?” Percy said. “I told you not to worry.”
Chiron told him Percy couldn’t be sure about that, or if the prophecy was about him. Percy protested he was the only child of the big three. Chiron told him that was only what they knew of.
Everyone looked at Hazel, Jason, Nico and Thalia who were sitting along with their signifigant others very close to Percy and Annabeth.
Percy protested Kronos was rising. Chiron agreed but said they would stop him, and Percy wouldn’t be alone. Percy looked upset as if he didn’t believe that. He explained he was just a kid, how could he do something against something like Kronos?
Everyone looked at Percy in an awed silence still shocked he felt that way. Percy was looking down. Nico was first to break the silence. “You’re kidding right?”
“What?” Percy asked. “No. Of course not.”
“You’ve never been just a kid,” Nico said vehemently. “This whole thing we’re sitting here for right now is proving that. I saw that when I met you. You were terrifying and you just kept getting better. Honestly, you really underestimate yourself. You’ve always been a hero.”
“Thanks Nico,” Percy said. “But that’s not true. And even if it was it doesn’t mean I can take things like Kronos on by myself.”
Several people scoffed. Grover looked at Percy strangely. “You don’t need to do it by yourself. You just need to make the biggest impact and give everyone else the help they need. Which is pretty much all you’ve ever done Percy.”
“Maybe,” Percy agreed. “But I’m done being the hero. There’s others who can do it, probably much better. And if I never was just a kid I’d like the chance to be one now. To have a little normalcy, a break for college,” Percy said.
Annabeth nodded. “That would have been nice. But it was never really our destiny. The fates have had other plans.”
Apollo looked thoughtful as everyone else fell silent.
Chiron explained that one person could change the course of the world. He held up an arrow and asked what would happen if he shot the celestial bronze at a mortal.
“It might really scare them,” Rachel said. “I’d know. But it would still pass through.”
Percy groaned. “You better get over that.”
“Maybe. Only when we actually see it though,” Rachel said.
Percy said it would pass through. Chiron agreed then said Percy wasn’t like the humans, he was part god and part human. He lived in two worlds and could be hurt by both and change them the same. That’s why he was so special, like all heroes, he fought humanities struggles.
“Man that’s deep,” the no-nonsense dwarf in the room said.
Percy said he didn’t understand. Chiron told him he had to try because though he might not be the subject of the prophecy Kronos thought he was. He would stop trying to persuade Percy to help him. And because Percy might no longer be of use he will kill him.
“Sounds like the normal evil villain and their plans,” Magnus scoffed thinking of Loki.
Percy said Chrion talked like he knew him. Chiron agreed he did. Percy asked if that was why Mr. D blamed him for the tree being poisoned. Chiron agreed.
“Even if he knew him it doesn’t mean he’d betray the camp for him,” Piper said. “Especially not after so long.”
“That whole idea is stupid,” agreed Leo.
Percy asked why they thought Chiron would ever betray camp. Chiron looked at Percy and asked him to remember how he was connected to Kronos. Percy guessed hoplessly. Chiron shook his head lowering his voice a lot. He explained that Kronos was his father.
“What?” half the room exploded.
“Mythology is weird like that. Kronos had an affair with a nymph,” Annabeth said. “Chiron was the product.”
“But Chiron never worked for him. Saying he did because Kronos was his father is like saying Zeus and the other older gods did too,” Hazel said wide-eyed.
“Exactly,” Calypso said suddenly surprising everyone. “People judge others based on their relations, no matter what theirs might be. It is never fair to do so, no matter how right it might be sometimes.”
Percy nodded. “Chiron has never and will never be on Kronos’s side.”
Sadie looked back at the projection as it collapsed. “That can’t be it. Especially ending on Chiron revealing that.”
“No,” Thalia said. “There’s definitely a little more.”
Jason looked at her curiously as did the other but she stayed silent.
Chapter 22: Brace Yourself For A New Face
The new scene arose and started to play before Annabeth spoke up. “We should probably recap what they missed first.”
“Is it far ahead?” asked Reyna.
“A few weeks but you didn’t miss much important things,” Percy said. “We arrived back at the same time as Clarisse because the centaurs were so fast. Clarisse put the fleece on the tree and it started to heal. We had guards on it for then until we got a permanent one. Clarisse got her laurel wreath and burnt her shroud. Then we heard Chariot races were back on so Annabeth and I teamed up again. This is the night before the race. I was working with the horses.”
Everyone nodded. Then Will looked at Percy and Annabeth. “It’s really not fair when you two are a team. You always win.”
Both grinned. Annabeth laughed, “Teamwork helps.”
Percy was brushing the horses when someone complimented the horses. Percy turned to see Hermes who greeted him. Percy paused stuttering then said he had something to say about Luke.
Everyone frowned. Chris shook his head. “Dad is going to be so upset. He really loved Luke.”
Percy said they saw him then paused. Hermes finished saying they weren’t able to make him see sense. Percy nodded saying they had kind of tried to kill each other. Hermes laughed saying Percy used the diplomatic approach.
There were a few snickers and grins but mostly the air was upset and a little melancholy.
Percy apologized profusely saying that they’d gotten cool gifts and he knew Hermes wanted Luke back but Luke was bad now and felt abandoned.
“Did you really just say that to a god?” asked Zia.
“Percy is infamous for telling us exactly what we don’t want to hear,” Apollo explained. “In the bluntest and sometimes meanest way.”
“It’s what you need to hear though,” Percy said.
“Good thing he does that too,” Frank mumbled.
Hermes sighed and asked if Percy ever felt abandoned. Percy looked down. Hermes noticed. He said that the hardest part of being a god is that they had to be indirect, especially with their own kids. But he knew Poseidon was paying attention to Percy. He answered his prayers and Hermes just hoped Luke might realize that Hermes cared too.
“I doubt it,” Reyna said. “Lord Hermes must realize his son is gone.”
“Good parents don’t give up on their children that easily,” Percy said. “Lord Hermes cares a lot about his children. He wasn’t going to stop hoping.”
Hermes continued saying Percy might not have succeeded but he reminded Luke who he was. Percy argued he tried to kill Luke. Hermes shrugged and explained families were hard and they just had to do their best. Percy seemed to think as the conch horn sounded and Hermes told him to get to bed, he’d helped enough and only came to make a delivery.
“From who?” asked Jaz nervously.
Percy just pointed to the shimmering image.
Percy repeated that questioningly. Hermes said he was a messenger and asked Percy to sign for it. He did but dropped the pen. George and Martha greeted him. Percy picked them back up when George asked if he brought him a rat. Percy shook his head and was asked about a guinea pig.
The whole room erupted into laughter as Percy blushed. He scowled as he turned red at the giggling Annabeth. “It wasn’t that funny.”
“It kind of is,” she teased.
Martha yelled at George. Percy finished signing and was handed an envelope the color of the sea. Hermes wished him good luck but said he’d be cheering for the Hermes cabin. Then Hermes left in his divine form as Percy looked away.
“It’s from your dad isn’t it?” Jason said enviously looking at the envelope.
Percy looked at the handwriting and held the letter in silence. Then slowly he opened the envelope and unfolded the letter. Two small words were printed on tem. Percy read them to himself out loud. Brace yourself.
“That’s it?” asked Carter in disbelief.
“Yep,” Percy nodded. “It was hard for me to believe too.”
“At least your dad contacted you,” Thalia said. “Not all of us are that lucky.”
“Yeah,” Percy agreed. “I know. But it was hard to think like that.”
“Understandable,” Thalia said. “But still. You’re lucky.”
The scene changed to Percy sitting up on his bed as Grover barged in yelling.
“It skipped again,” Annabeth frowned.
“What did we miss then?” asked Jason.
“We won the chariot race thanks to Tyson and the shield wristwatch he built me. It had scenes from our whole quest. Grover stayed the rest of the summer before going back to search for Pan. Tyson was summoned by Poseidon to go work in the Cyclopes’ underwater forges as an internship. And then after that this happened.”
“What is this?” asked a confused Zia.
“Something big,” Grover replied to all their anticipation.
Grover spoke in broken sentences about Annabeth on the hill. Percy sat up immediately and threw on clothes. Grover was still muttering that she was just lying there.
“Annabeth?” asked Magnus worriedly. “Why were you even awake?”
“I was on Fleece Guard duty,” Annabeth answered. “Good thing I was too or something bad would have happened.”
“What does that mean?” Jason asked.
“Nothing too bad,” Thalia assured him. “Don’t worry.”
“Was Annabeth hurt or not?” Sadie asked.
“I thought she was,” Percy admitted. “Which is probably why I was so fast. But it wasn’t Annabeth lying there.”
“Who was then?” asked Frank but he got no reply.
Percy ran outside toward the hill. Campers were walking as Percy and Grover pushed past them. Chiron then galloped by and looked at Grover asking if it was true. Grover nodded.
“Is what true?” demanded Alex.
“You’ll see,” Grover said cryptically.
Percy stuttered asking what was going on. Chiron grabbed him and put him on his back and galloped up the hill. Percy looked surprise to see the fleece. Then Chiron muttered that Kronos had tricked them and got another chance to control the prophecy.
“What? How?” asked Piper surprised. “Percy can’t be persuaded.”
“Kronos is hoping Thalia might though,” Jason said realizing. “This is it. You’re back.”
Thalia nodded in a daze. “It was so strange.”
No one heard them besides Percy as they spoke in whispers and murmurs. The others were to concentrated on what was happening in the vision before them.
Percy asked what that meant. Chiron explained the Fleece worked too well. Suddenly they could see a girl lying unconscious at the ground beneath the tree. Another girl in armor was next to her. They were unable to tell who either was it was so dark.
“Is that you?” Carter asked Annabeth.
“I was there,” Annabeth replied.
Chiron explained it healed the tree, but not just the poison. Then they got closer and it was clear Annabeth was the one in the armor kneeling beside the other girl.
“Wait, if Annabeth’s okay who is that?” asked Frank suddenly confused.
Several people’s eyes widened looking at Thalia. She was looking at the projection and didn’t give any confirmation. Now at least half the room had realized.
Annabeth ran up to them crying. She muttered that the other girl was just suddenly there. Percy didn’t wait any longer beside Chiron yelling for him too as he ran up to the unconscious girl and knelt beside her taking the spot Annabeth had been in. She was recognizable from her blue eyes and black hair. And Percy’s dreams.
“It’s you,” Hazel said turning to her cousin. “The fleece is what healed you and brought you back.”
Thalia nodded. “It was. I’m glad Percy didn’t wait like Chiron ordered either. I was so confused and disoriented. Seeing Grover or Annabeth then older than I thought they should be wouldn’t have helped. Percy got me through everything.”
Jason looked at Percy thankfully. Percy looked at Thalia though. “You don’t need to thank me. Honestly I might’ve been just as confused and scared as you. Suddenly Annabeth and Grover were freaking out, I had a cousin I’d never met who was a legend and you were alive and scared. Helping you was the only reason I didn’t completely freak.”
Grover ran up and said it was true and he wasn’t able to believe it. Percy put his hand on her head and frowned. He called for nectar and ambrosia but no one moved. He frowned and lifted her up letting her head rest onto his shoulders. He yelled at everyone to help him get her to the big house.
“Thanks man,” Jason said suddenly. “For helping my sister when I couldn’t and no one else did.”
“Don’t be mad at them,” Thalia chided her brother. “They were in shock.”
“Still,” Will agreed. “We should have helped. Especially the healers. Percy was the only one to take initiative.”
Thalia coughed a little and opened her eyes looking confused at Percy. She shook as she asked who he was. He quickly told her his name and that she was safe.
“Thank you,” Thalia said.
Percy looked confused. “What for?”
“For being there. For keeping me from becoming even more confused or hurt and for getting me settled in.”
Percy still looked confused but gave her a wry grin. “I’m your cousin. Isn’t that what I’m here for?”
Thalia muttered she had the strangest dream. He assured her it was okay as she continued to mutter she had been dying. Percy shook his head and told her she was fine. Then he asked her name. His eyes widened as he did.
“You had all those dreams about me and didn’t even recognize me?” Thalia asked offended.
“I never really thought it possible I would ever meet you. And I didn’t really remember those dreams.”
Thalia scoffed. “Your head is still filled with kelp.”
“Says the girl who’s only brain power is a little static shock.”
“Stop!” Annabeth yelled at them both. “We’re almost finished with this. You two can exchange stupid insults later.”
Annabeth, Grover and Chiron’s eyes were widening as they looked at Percy and Thalia. Thalia looked at Percy her eyes flashing as his widened in awe, confusion, fear and shock. She explained she was Thalia the daughter of Zeus. Then the projection collapsed.
Chapter 23: Do the Dare Dude
“That’s it?” Leo asked startled. “We don’t hear what happened next?”
“No,” Annabeth said. “I don’t really think it’s important to the plot.”
“What is important is that Thalia woke,” Reyna agreed. “Kronos has another chance to persuade a child of the Big three to his side, one who is older and could bring destruction faster.”
“So even if the fleece wasn’t used to wake him it could be used to help him,” realized a wide eyed Samira. “He is a tricky as Loki.”
Magnus and Alex scowled at that statement.
“It’s a smart strategy,” Carter agreed. “One that obviously didn’t work seeing that Thalia’s here right now.”
“We’ll get to see how that worked out later,” Percy said. “The next thing should start off a few months from when this happened.”
“Oooh,” Apollo grinned. “Finally everyone will get to see what I’m really like in my full glory.”
Will held back a groan at his father as Nico snickered at his face. Will looked at him too. “I wouldn’t be laughing.”
Nico paled suddenly as Will continued. “We all get to see what ten-year-old you was really like.”
Hazel looked at Percy and Annabeth the obvious leaders there. “Do we start it now?”
“No,” pleaded Grover. “Dinner first. I hear Enchiladas calling.”
Percy laughed. “Sounds good G-man. Dinner then those dares we’ve been waiting to do.”
“Tomorrow morning then?” asked Rachel. “I’m excited to see this one too.”
“Right,” Annabeth agreed. “You ready for me to see Seaweed Brain?”
“No,” Percy said. “Honestly this whole thing has been damn awful.”
Thalia and Grover cackled. Percy erupted into laughter suddenly as well. Thalia smirked. “It’s been dam amazing.”
“Full of dam amazing jokes,” Thalia suggested. That sent all three of them into more laughter.
“This is that private joke thing?” Piper asked. “I’ve heard Percy say something like that before.”
“It’s the best dam private joke around,” Percy agreed.
Annabeth groaned. “Will I finally understand this stupid joke now?”
Thalia frowned. “I guess. It won’t be as funny anymore if all of you do.”
“Nah,” Grover chuckled. “It’ll still be dam hilarious.”
Annabeth rolled her eyes. “You can decide if that’s true while we eat.”
“We can vote on the dares then too,” Sadie’s eyes glimmered. “You ready Carter brother dear? Percy and I have already come up with something I’m sure you’ll enjoy.”
Carter groaned. “Can I just put money in instead?”
Thalia and Sadie exchanged glances. Thalia nodded. “I guess. That was part of the deal. But only for one of the dares. You still have to do the other.”
Carter nodded and summoned some money out of the duat. He put it in the blue cookie jar that appeared on the table as well. As it clattered in he rose. “Well? Stop staring and let’s go eat.”
Dinner went fast. As they voted on the dares, or truths, those who would be subject to the torture of doing them were sent out one at a time. Then they came back in to the viewing room sitting together. Percy especially was grinning madly as he realized he would never have to take a dare. Because he knew exactly what he would say in the vision. Others weren’t so lucky.
“Truths first,” Thalia declared once they were all there. “Then we can take more time for the dares.”
“Carter last,” Sadie interrupted.
“For sure,” Percy agreed sharing a devilish look with her. “Gotta keep him nervous for a bit, right?”
“It’s not a double dare though,” Carter said nervously proving Percy’s point.
Alex shook her head. “Sadly no. Not anymore. But it’s still the best. Your sister is a genius.”
“So are you my friend,” Sadie told her. They exchanged grins to everyone else’s fear and discomfort. There was obviously a lot more going on there.
Zia stood up from beside Carter. She walked into the center of the room and stood looking at them all imperiously. Her amber eyes flashed as she straightened arms crossed. “I will go first. What is this truth I need to share?”
Rachel nudged Piper who sighed. She looked at Zia with a little pity. “They decided to make sure everyone is telling the truth I need to use my charmspeak. Tell the truth. So Zia, we want to know which of your magician friends you would trust least to cast spells on you.”
“Carter,” Zia said immediately then blushed. Her boyfriend pouted looking very upset as everyone else erupted into laughter.
“Your boyfriend?” Samira smirked out of the side of her mouth. “Of all of your friends?”
“He is the least skilled with spells not involving combat,” Zia said shrugging apologetically. Carter sputtered indignantly as she continued. “Therefore I would be scared that I’d be sliced up instead of anything else if he cast a spell on me.”
“Or left smelling like a cloud of sulfur,” Sadie nodded.
Carter glared at her. “I thought the point of you daring me was to embarrass me. Isn’t that enough?”
“Never,” Sadie shook her head giggling. She looked around the room as Zia sat back down. “Don’t let him try to turn you invisible.”
Carter leaned back in his bean bag throwing up his arms. “It works now! Why won’t you let that go?”
All he got in reply was more laughter at his distress from everyone around the circle. Zia sat down beside him and looked at him questioningly. He sighed and nodded in reply to show she was forgiven. She leant against him as Jaz walked up. “Let’s get this over with.”
Piper stayed silent for a moment looking at the southern blonde intently. Then she spoke up. “Fine. Truth please. Jaz if you could take the powers of any person in this room who would it be and why?”
Jaz looked around the circle turning on her feet slowly as she contemplated the options. Some people passed right under her gaze, like Hearth and Hazel. Others, like Percy, Frank and Magnus stayed under it a little longer.
“That’s a hard one,” she said after a few minutes.
“Answer it,” Piper said sweetly with a little extra suggestion. Her voice made everyone lean forward and Jaz straighten up. It carried a little extra push and seemed to pry open Jaz’s mouth.
Jaz started to babble. “Okay, so I narrowed it down between a few people. Magnus, because the healing powers, light and all that cool stuff. Then Percy because he’s super powerful and he can heal himself and still save everyone. Then I thought of Reyna who I heard has really cool powers but I’m not really sure what they are so I couldn’t choose her.”
Jaz took a large breath and slowed down as the first part of the charmspeak wore off. “So I chose Rachel. I mean seeing the future is a good tool. Diviner is the rarest of the paths in the studies of Egyptian magic. And to be so important like to guide everyone’s adventures means a lot. Plus Rachel is really awesome. The aura of mystery and everything would just add to that. That’s an important thing.”
Rachel’s eyes flickered as she grinned and nodded. “I’m not really sure I have a real power but thanks.”
Everyone else looked at her and Jaz. There were a few whispers and groans of disappointment but not intense laughter. Jaz looked at Piper. “I’m done right?”
“Go ahead. The next one is for Walt,” replied the charmspeaker.
Walt raised an eyebrow. He unfurled his large, muscled arms and his sau necklaces clanged as he got up and stepped forward. He looked down at Piper in a slightly imposing way waiting for his dare.
“Actually Dares are everyone dude,” Jason told him. Walt’s glare moved a centimeter to the left where Jason sat one arm around Piper. The roman son of Jupiter was grinning up at him brightly. His teeth sparkled and so did his golden glasses. Sun seemed to reflect on the glass lenses into Walt’s eyes.
“So what am I doing?” Walt asked. His muscles rippled a little.
Leo squeaked and the large fifteen-year-old turned on him. Leo looked up and cringed. “Yeah, so I know the death god inside you might not be so happy with this. Nico sure didn’t find it funny. But I don’t think he finds anything funny.”
Nico frowned even deeper sending everyone into laughter.
Leo continued, “But you need to wear a toilet paper turban at every meal for the next day. And right now till we go to sleep.”
“A toilet paper turban?” Walt repeated.
“Yep,” Chris said throwing him a roll of toilet paper. It rolled through the air and a little trialed on the ground as Walt caught it. He looked at it and frowned with a worried and confused look.
“Because mummies,” Leo said as if that explained everything.
Walt ignored all the yelling and protesting from Anubis and raised the toilet paper. Holding one end to his forehead he slowly wrapped the rest around it and into a turban before ripping another end off the roll and tucking it inside making it complete.
More applause and laughter followed as Walt rolled his eyes and sighed sitting back down. He reached to put his arm around Sadie but she shook her head pushing his arm off her. “Not yet. I’ve still got to do mine and rock it.”
Walt knowing slightly what was coming stifled a grin doubting that but watched his girlfriend get up and take the center of the room. She looked around. “So what do you pansies have prepared for me? Something at least a little challenging I hope?”
Percy grinned. “Actually Sadie part of your dare goes with Carter’s.”
“What?” Sadie said blanching. She looked around nervously as Carter looked a little green and sick. He rubbed his arms nervously as everyone looked at him. Zia pushed him up and he sighed standing beside Sadie.
“What do we need to do?”
“Switch clothes for the next twenty four hours,” Percy said simply.
Both siblings protests brought everyone into laughter. Percy looked at Alex and winked commending the girl for her help in this genius idea. He looked back at Carter and Sadie who were slowly starting to close their gaping mouths.
“Sadie’s clothes are all ripped, and those boots won’t fit. Or work for magic! Plus all those bright colors hurt my eyes. I won’t be able to concentrate on anything,” Carter yelped.
Sadie glared at him. Then at Percy. “He won’t have it bad. I’ll be the one stuck looking like a child professor. Khakis, a button down shirt and sweater. Then those loafers? Do you have no pity?”
“Nope not really,” Apollo said laughing.
“It won’t be that bad,” Annabeth tried.
“Not that bad?” both Kane siblings yelled at once. You could tell they were related now with the same furious and upset expressions. Laughing got louder and it went on for a while as Carter and Sadie yelled at each other.
Then Hearth threw a runestone and signed something. Everyone fell quiet. Blitz elbowed him and Hearth signed back. Blitz nodded sighing. “I agree.”
“With what?” asked Will getting over the silence.
“That we all needed to be quiet and get some sleep. You kids can complain and think about these dares in bed,” Blitz said adopting the role of the adult as he was again. “But Hearth is exhausted and so am I.”
“They’re right,” Grover agreed getting up. “We have a lot more to do and read before we are done. And the next quest is worse than any of the ones that happened yet.”
“Worse?” Calypso asked unbelieving.
Percy looked at her remembering who her father was. “Worse. You won’t like this one. And after that for me, well as with Percy luck it just keeps getting worse. Even now when I finally thought I had my break it just kept happening.”
Annabeth got up tugging him with her. “Come on Seaweed Brain. Why don’t I help you get a little SAT and DSTOMP studying in before we crash?”
Percy’s eyes turned clearer and his face lit up. “Do I get rewards for right answers?”
Annabeth looked at him and started walking out. Percy stayed frozen until her voice came again. “Aren’t you going to come and see?”
He got up and left the room. Everyone else stayed in silence for a moment, a little amused and a little concerned. But all of them were curious and trying to figure out the enigma that was still the personality of Percy Jackson. Slowly, little by little they started to rise and head out all stumbling away with those heavy thoughts still on their minds waiting for the next morning to come. With all the amusement, fear, anger, laughter and other things it would bring.