My day hath truly suckethed. Sorry about the bad Old English. I was trying to sound godly and everything. Don’t worry, it’ll get better.
Oh, right. I should probably introduce myself. I may not be as famous as my brother Percy (okay, yes, I’m adopted), but I’m still pretty important. I’m Saphira, an immortal daughter of Zeus. Well, not completely immortal; I’ll live forever as long as no one kills me, like Thalia, my half-sister.
My mother died right after I was born, so Zeus had the other Olympians bless me with a power or whatever. Hades gave me partial immortality, Athena gifted me with wisdom (which I sometimes doubt), Apollo gave me a singing voice and musical talent, et cetera. Hera excluded, of course; she’s never liked me very much. After all this, Sally Jackson adopted me.
It’s been about fifty years since Percy died. I know what you’re all thinking, but he died a peaceful death by the ocean after a long life with Annabeth.
Camp Half-blood is right where I left it. When I was about twenty, although I don’t really keep track of my age because I’m immortal, Chiron made me the camp director. He still ran the camp and all the technical stuff, but I was his second in command. Percy was about forty at the time.
After he died, I left the camp to Chiron. It was too painful being there without Percy. Zeus invited me to stay on Olympus to be his ambassador. I started dating Apollo, and life was pretty good. The only real work I did was sending a quick message to a minor deity (the Hermes Express only covers the gods who get big paychecks and visits at their shrines) or the occasional check on the mortal world.
Right, back to why my day was so terrible.
It started out like an ordinary day. Zeus asked, well, ordered is more like it, me to go down and check on the mortal world.
I flew down the Empire State Building on my pegasus Strike, and, for those of you who don’t know, Olympus is on the six hundredth floor of the Empire State Building. Strike landed on the crowded sidewalk and waited while I dismounted. The mortals walked all around the winged horse standing in the middle of their path. The Mist probably made him look like a beggar or a sick dog.
My pegasus flew back to Olympus as I headed down an alley that hid an entrance to the Labyrinth. I pressed my hand against a brick of one of the neighboring buildings and called to the Labyrinth with my mind. Since Percy’s death, I had learned to bend it to my will. It was still dangerous, but a little more predictable.
A hole opened in the ground of the alley, and I jumped in. The opening closed above me leaving me in total darkness. I drew my Celestial bronze sword from its scabbard on my back. The enchanted metal’s faint glow gave me enough light to see by.
The world hadn’t changed much. Sure, there were some advancements in technology and some cures for a couple previously uncurable diseases were discovered, thanks to a little divine help from Athena and Apollo, but for the most part, things were exactly the same. Mortals lived their lives ignorant of the monsters and gods that were hidden from them by the Mist.
I thought back to a conversation I’d had with Percy. He had been talking about other cultures and some other stuff I couldn’t remember. I hadn’t really been paying attention to my older brother; I was too busy stuffing my face with Sally’s freshly baked blue chocolate chip cookies. Now I wished I had listened, maybe taken notes or something.
As I trudged along the dark tunnel, a word rang out in my memories.
I wasn’t sure why. Annabeth, Percy’s wife, frequently made trips to Boston. I didn’t know if the information really mattered anymore considering it had been decades, but I was bored. It wasn’t like Zeus had told me to go anywhere specific.
Then I walked into a wall. I know what you’re thinking, it wasn’t the godliest thing to do, but, hey, I’m still learning.
I rubbed my forehead and cringed. I had exited the Labyrinth into what looked like the basement of some department store. I found the exit and walked up the stairs to the ground floor. The shop was empty. Racks of clothing were the only thing there.
I stopped to look at my reflection in a full-length mirror. My curly black hair fell around my shoulders. The reflection stared back at me with my bright blue eyes. Occasionally, they changed color to a stormy grey or black depending on my mood and the color of the sky.
I tried the front door, but it was locked. I found a window that opened into an alley. As soon as I slid open the window, an alarm blared through the shop. I dove out of the window and ran down the alley.
I entered a crowd of people walking down the sidewalk. The pedestrians didn’t even glance at my sword. The power of the Mist always amazed me. My sword most likely looked like a backpack. I pushed my way into the road maneuvering my way through the traffic as I walked.
I reached the other side of the street. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I saw a few people taking a picture at the foot of a Viking statue.
Screams echoed in the distance.
I drew my sword as I ran down the street following the noise. A mob of people was running away from a clothing store with a sign that read Blitzen’s Best hanging above the door.
At first, I was confused, that was until I saw it. I had never seen a Greek monster like it. It looked like a giant wolf, except for its glowing blue fur. Oh, and it breathed fire. Like I said, I had a really bad day.
Sure, it wasn’t the first monster I’ve encountered. They seemed to pop up everywhere. Monsters were apparently attracted to my powerful aura of demigod awesomeness. I wasn’t scared, at least not until the second wolf exited the store carrying a tiny unconscious man in its mouth.
“Great,” I muttered as I tightened my grip on my sword and began conjuring a small storm.
The first wolf leapt towards me. I summoned a bolt of lightning which struck the glowing creature in the back. The beast collapsed dead at my feet.
I would have done the same to the second wolf, but I was afraid of what the electricity would do to the little man. I leapt up into the air, over the wolf’s head, and onto its back. I embedded my sword to the hilt in the creature’s neck. As the wolf fell, I jumped off its back landing on the pavement. Once I had freed my sword from the animal’s hide, I went back to see if the tiny man was okay.
He had one of those, “Hello, my name is”, stickers on his shirt. The label read Blitzen. I figured he must be the owner of the shop. Blitzen was small for a human, and I could tell there was something different about him. His skin looked gray in the sunlight. He was still breathing, so I decided to go ahead and leave. I peered into the burned shop as I sheathed my sword.
Here’s where my bad day started.
“Stop! You there!” someone yelled.
I turned around. A boy of about sixteen with blond hair stood beside a girl. Something about him reminded me of Annabeth, but she had been dead for decades. There was no way she knew him.
The girl glared at me. She had green and black hair and was dressed completely in pink and green.
The boy stared directly at the wolf carcasses which had started turning to dust.
Few mortals could see past the Mist. These two seemed to be able to. If they could, I didn’t want to endanger them further. I also didn’t want to answer their questions. I turned and ran. Somehow the two teenagers were able to keep up with me.
Being a demigod and gifted with speed by Hermes, the messenger god, I was faster than any runner in the Olympics. So, I’m sure you can understand my confusion when they were able to match my speed.
I heard someone yell, “Jack!” Which honestly made no sense to me, unless they were yelling at each other.
A blade sliced across my thigh and then flew in front of me. Yeah, I’m being serious. I skidded to a stop. To make it weirder, the sword began to talk.
“I’m Jack. Senor wants me to stop you, so if you could just wait right here. By the way, do you think you could get me a date with your sword? Thanks. Senor!” he said. I ran off without giving him a chance to finish.
I’ll admit I was terrified. It’s not every day you meet a flying sword named Jack.
I vaulted up the fire escape of a nearby building. If only I could get closer to the sky, I’d have an easier time defeating whatever was chasing me. I made it to the roof and was about to jump from this rooftop to the next when Jack showed up again. I whipped out my own sword. Jack clearly wasn’t Celestial bronze or Imperial gold. I had no idea what he was.
Jack sighed as I swung my blade towards him. He parried my sword and advanced. I held my ground, but it was growing exceedingly difficult to predict what Jack was about to do next since he didn’t have a body.
I slowly retreated to the edge of the roof. By now, the boy and the girl with green hair had caught up and were watching me fight Jack. I ducked as Jack sliced through the air where I had been moments before.
I may have tripped and fallen off the side of the building. I sheathed my sword and flipped in midair. I summoned a gust of wind slowing my descent. I heard yelling above me.
I would have made it, but Jack cut across my back breaking my concentration. I to refocus as I tumbled through the air, but I panicked.
I crashed into the pavement below. My back erupted in pain, and my ribs shattered. I may not age, but I could still die. The world spun around me. I saw blood pooling on the cement. Golden ichor mixed with my mortal blood reminding me how easy it was for me to simply cease to exist.
As my eyes closed, I caught a glimpse of a large bird with something riding on its back diving towards me. With one last shaky breath, the world went black.
My day only got worse.
Thou hath confused me, Magnus Chase.
Voices echoed around me. I kept my eyes closed as I focused on the noise.
“She’s dead, Magnus.”
“Shut up, Alex. You know that’s not true. I’ve already healed her. She’s still breathing.”
I figured this Magus must be a son of Apollo to have been able to heal me. He had done a good job too. The pain in my back and ribs had disappeared. That’s when I realized my sword wasn’t strapped onto my back anymore.
I opened my eyes. The boy I had seen in Boston was looking down at me. Of course, I did the most logical thing I could think of and slammed my fist into his nose.
He yelled in pain and fell back giving me a chance to jump to my feet. The floor of the atrium I stood in was covered in grass. A huge tree sprouted in the middle of the room. It reminded me of the Demeter Cabin back at camp.
“Alex!” the boy yelled.
I bolted out the door which led to a long hallway filled with doorways. It looked like a hotel.
Something behind me roared. A leopard jumped at me. I grabbed its front paws and wrestled it to the ground. The leopard shapeshifted into the green-haired girl I had seen earlier. Except she was a he. Obviously, a descendant of Poseidon to have been able to change form like that.
“Listen,” he said. “You need to calm down. I know-” Something almost like charmspeak echoed in his voice making me a little drowsy. I would have kept listening, but the boy was interrupted by screams from down the hall.
“Where’s my axe, woman?” a large man asked running out of his room. A woman with frizzy red hair barreled into the hallway carrying a large battle-axe. She cursed as she handed it to him.
To make my day stranger, a young man walked out of a room with the name Thomas Jefferson Jr. carved on the door. He looked like he’d been plucked right out of the Civil War. A gleaming bayonet stuck out of the front of the rifle he was holding.
The boy I had pinned down began struggling. I punched him in the jaw. He groaned as his eyes rolled back in his head, and he fell unconscious.
The other three rushed at me as the blond boy stumbled out of his room. His nose was healed, but his shirt was covered in blood.
I jumped to my feet to face my three attackers.
“She’s not an einhenjar! Don’t kill her!” the boy yelled. His voice cracked mid-sentence. Typical teen boy.
Apparently, the man holding the battle-axe hadn’t heard. I grabbed the shaft of the weapon as he swung it at me and stopped it mid swing. The man stared at me as I wrenched the axe from his hands and swung it towards his chest. Before I hit him, a blast of golden light knocked the axe out of my hands embedding it in the wall.
The golden light also knocked me back. My head slammed against the wall making me see stars. Everyone had been disarmed. The boy stood with a golden aura surrounding him. The light quickly faded leaving me even more confused than before.
I stayed where I was as everyone slowly retrieved their weapons. Golden Boy kneeled down beside the shapeshifter and laid a hand on his forehead.
The green-haired boy opened his eyes and sat up.
I closed my eyes and leaned back against the wall. Nothing made sense to me. Greeks didn’t normally fight with axes. Greeks also didn’t have undead Civil War veterans. Well, actually that’s not true. Uncle Hades has a couple battalions of them.
“I’m Magnus Chase.”
I opened my eyes. Golden Boy was standing above me. He held out his hand. I ignored it and got up on my own.
“Where’s my sword?” I asked. Leave it to me to keep my priorities straight.
“In my room,” he answered.
Chase. Wait a second, I thought. Annabeth Chase. What the Hades? And yes, I know, I’m a genius.
The shapeshifter came up to us. “Alex Fierro,” he said before walking off.
Magnus introduced me to each of the others. The Civil War dude was Thomas Jefferson Jr. or T.J. for short, the big guy was Halfborn Gunderson, and the woman was Mallory Keen. I remained silent throughout the introductions.
“And your name is?” Magnus prompted.
“You’re a daughter of Thor?” he asked.
“You know, with the lightning and stuff.” Alex popped up out of nowhere and rejoined the conversation.
“No, I… I’m a daughter of Zeus.”
“Greeks,” Alex growled.
“Annabeth,” Magnus mumbled under his breath barely loud enough for me to hear.
“You knew her?” I asked. If so, he must be almost a hundred years old by now. Let’s just say he was wearing his age very well for being a hundred years old. I mean, maybe not as good as me, but what can I say?
“She’s my cousin. How do you know her?”
I thought back to Percy and Annabeth’s wedding. I had only been four or five at the time, but I remembered most of it thanks to my immortal memory.
“You were there, both of you, at their wedding,” I said.
“Wait… You’re Percy’s little sister,” Alex chimed in. “You’ve got to be over a hundred years old.”
“Adopted and immortal,” I grumbled. I’m sure you all understand how annoying it can get when you’re the younger child and the only thing anyone remembers you as is so-and-so’s little sibling. I was about to add another nasty comment, when the building shook.
“Wolves,” Halfborn announced running off with Mallory and T.J. in tow. Alex pulled a garotte out from around her waist and followed them.
Magnus pulled the pendant off his necklace as the building shook again. The pendant transformed into Jack, which turned out to be the least surprising part of the day, considering Riptide, Percy’s sword, was a ballpoint pen most of the time.
“Stay here,” he ordered.
“We’re einhenji. As long as we die within the walls of Valhalla, we’ll resurrect before dinner,” Magnus said before leaving me alone and confused in the hallway.
Being a daughter of Zeus, I’m not overly fond of being told what to do. I ran into Magnus’ room and looked around. I found my sword, Thunderbolt, lying beside Magnus’ bed. I grabbed a random shield and left unsheathing my sword as I ran down the hallway.
I entered an elevator and pushed the button for the first floor. The music was worse than my day.
The elevator stopped halfway down to let more warriors on. Over a dozen armed einhenji piled in. A few gave me suspicious glances, but most of them were too busy fiddling with their armor to notice me.
Once we got off the elevator, I followed the crowd into the lobby of the hotel. Hundreds of warriors began joining our group.
We marched outside where dozens of wolves were fighting einhenji. I began battling
glowing blue wolves as soon as I got outside.
I killed two with bolts of lightning, another three with my sword, doing all this while distracting a few others with small tornadoes. I attacked another wolf, slicing my blade across its leg. It howled and tried to bite off my head. Thankfully, it didn’t. I ducked and struck it with an arc of electricity from my hand.
The einhenji quickly finished off the last wolf. I tried to disappear back into the hotel, but Golden Boy spotted me.
I grimaced as he started to walk over to me.
“I told you to stay in my room,” he said.
“I killed six. You’re welcome,” I answered sheathing my sword.
“And you’re hurt,” Magnus said gesturing towards my bleeding arm.
“No, really?” I said sarcastically.
Magnus rolled his eyes. “Alex, take miss high and mighty to floor nineteen. I need to speak to Helgi.”
“Yeah, you need a shower,” Alex said smirking once Magnus had walked off.
“You don’t smell great yourself, princess,” I muttered. Alex laughed.
After I had showered, I put on a fresh pair of jeans and a green t-shirt which read Hotel Valhalla in gold letters across the front. I pulled my tennis shoes back on and walked back out of the bathroom where Alex was waiting for me.
He had changed clothes into a pink t-shirt and green pants. Alex watched me as I strapped Thunderbolt onto my back. I had a feeling he was trying to make me uncomfortable. It was working.
“You can stop staring.”
Alex grinned and stood up. “C’mon,” he said. “It’s dinner time.”
We joined up with the others in the hallway. Magnus, Alex, T.J., Halfborn, Mallory, and I got into the elevator. The six of us entered a huge dining hall. A giant tree grew in the middle of the room. Women dressed in full battle armor flew around the room serving the warriors.
We sat down at a table. One of the flying women brought us cups of mead. I sipped the wine while I waited for the meal. Halfborn and Mallory flirted the entire time. Just to clarify, when I say flirted, I mean hurled insults, silverware, and plates at each other. T.J. joked around and chanted some songs with a couple Civil War veterans while Magnus, Alex, and I talked.
The food was great, so was the service. Safety… not so much. I almost died twice within the first twenty minutes of the meal. The first time a spear flew at my face, and the second time I was almost impaled by a meat skewer.
Magnus explained a little bit about the Norse deities, how he met Percy, and where we were. He was a son of Frey, Alex was Loki’s kid, T.J. was a son of Tyr, and Mallory was a daughter of Frigg. I remembered that Annabeth had once tried to tell me about her cousin, but I had never been a very good listener.
“So, how long have the attacks been happening?” I asked once I had finished eating.
“About a month,” he answered. “Fenris somehow escaped his island, and his children have been attacking Hotel Valhalla ever since. We’ve received word that Loki has been trying to escape his walnut, and Helheim has been restless.”
“I’m going to need you to repeat everything you just said,” I said after the massive headache Magnus had just given me. “Start with the walnut situation.”
Alex sighed. “Magnus beat Loki in a flyting and trapped him in a walnut. Keep up.”
“Sorry, did you say a walnut?”
“Anyway,” Magnus butted in. “We need to find Fenris and whoever freed him to prevent the end of the world. We’re putting together a quest.”
“Don’t you need a prophecy or something first?” I asked.
“It’s called Ragnarok,” Alex said twirling his fork around.
“I think your first problem is the walnut,” I said making Alex groan.
“By the nine realms, we need your help! The Norns-”
I interrupted Magnus. “Nope, sorry, I’m out.”
“Listen, I have no idea what the Hades is going on. I just want to get home to Olympus.”
Magnus stared at me. “Fine, we’ll take you back in the morning.”
“Some hero,” Alex muttered loud enough for me to hear as she walked off.
I slept in Mallory’s room that night.
Her walls were covered in weapons, mainly battleaxes.
I kept my sword within reach. I felt a little guilty about how I had treated Magnus and Alex, but I pushed the thoughts away.
I was too afraid to sleep peacefully. I really wished I had listened to Annabeth and taken notes at Athena’s monthly PowerPoint on other cultures.
I woke up ready to leave. I strapped on my scabbard and left Mallory’s room. I walked down the hall to Magnus’ room. I knocked on the door and waited.
Alex opened the door and scowled. “C’mon,” she said bitterly. “I’m taking you back.”
We took the elevator to the first floor and got out. Because of my dyslexia, I had to do a double take on a sign in the lobby that read:
Polo to the death 8:00 to 9:30
Dodgeball to the death 10:00 to 11:30
Lunch to the death 12:00 to 1:30
Capture the flag to the death 2:00 to 4:45
I found the sign strangely comforting. They played capture the flag just like camp. Except for the to the death part; I hoped that was a typo.
Alex and I left Hotel Valhalla’s courtyard and reentered Boston. I had never been happier to be in the mortal world.
“Magnus said I have to take you all the way to Olympus,” Alex complained.
“Lead the way,” she said spreading out her arms.
I muttered in Greek. Today wasn’t looking any better than yesterday.
I called out to the Labyrinth with my mind. A staircase appeared out of nowhere leading into the ground. Alex stepped back shocked. I unsheathed my sword and smirked.
“Follow me, princess,” I called back to Alex as I entered the tunnel.
We walked in the darkness until we came to a fork in the path. I picked the path to the left. I just hoped I didn’t end up in Hong Kong like the last time I got lost. Yeah, that was a little hard to explain.
Fortunately, I had picked the right tunnel. Alex and I surfaced in Manhattan in the same alley where I had entered the Labyrinth the day before. I whistled for Strike, my pegasus, and waited.
“That’s weird,” I mumbled.
We walked into the lobby of the Empire State Building. Surprisingly, it was empty. I checked my pockets for a golden drachma, but my emergency money was in my other pair of jeans somewhere in Valhalla.
I looked around the front desk and found one. I beckoned for Alex to enter the elevator. I pressed the button for the six hundredth floor after slipping the drachma into the slot.
“You’re kidding, right?” Alex asked. “The Empire State Building?”
“At least I don’t have a walnut god for a dad,” I retorted.
“Mother, actually, and he’s the god of evil, not walnuts.”
I rolled my eyes. “Cause that’s so much better.”
The elevator stopped and opened its doors. Alex and I stepped onto the floating path that led to Olympus. Something was wrong. I know it sounds weird, but the sky felt evil. Coming from a daughter of Zeus, let’s just say, that’s not a good sign.
I realized what was wrong as we neared Mt. Olympus. Everyone was gone.
I ran to the throne room with Alex on my heels. Not only was it empty, but my father’s throne had been smashed. It didn’t make sense. Once, when I was younger, I had hopped on Zeus’ throne as a joke and gotten banished for a month. He would incinerate anyone else who touched his Hephaestus Quality TM throne.
For those of you who are wondering about my banishment, yes, I’ve been homeless. And, no, I don’t bond with Magnus over it.
I turned and ran out of the throne room.
I broke down the door to my suite. It was empty as well.
I yelled in frustration and threw a chair against the nearest wall. It shattered upon impact. I was like ten percent sure that Hermes was playing a prank on me. I mean, come on, beside Kronos and Gaea, who’s powerful enough to drive the gods out of Olympus. The other ninety percent of me was afraid. Something about the sky feeling evil.
“Dad? Apollo? Hermes!” I yelled as Alex and I walked through the streets of Olympus heading back towards the Empire State Building.
“Is it always like this?” Alex asked.
“No, no, never. There are usually satyrs and dryads and music and…” my voice trailed off as I choked back a sob.
Alex glanced at me. I was sure she was about to make fun of me. I readied myself for some sarcastic comment, but Alex just nodded sympathetically.
“I know how you feel,” she said looking around.
“I… thought you were going to say… something else,” I admitted a little shamefully.
Alex’s mouth twitched. “Don’t tempt me.”
The sound of thunder rang out above us. I looked up. I could usually tell when a storm was coming, but this one had shown up out of nowhere.
“Dad?” I yelled at the sky as rain began to fall.
Just so you know, apologies to Alex for getting her killed.
A bolt of lightning lit up the top of Mt. Olympus. I scanned the sky for storm spirits, venti in Latin, but I couldn’t find any.
“Saphira, I think it’s time to go,” Alex said as the storm worsened.
I wasn’t listening. As a daughter of Zeus, the worst thing lightning could do to me was singe my hair.
“Saphira,” Alex repeated nervously as the lightning strikes began to move in.
“Give me a second,” I muttered. I still couldn’t figure out what was causing the storm.
Alex screamed as lightning struck the ground beside her. I caught her as she collapsed unconscious. The wind was picking up. I tried and failed to calm the storm. I half-dragged Alex to the elevator. The doors opened once we were back on the first floor. I got us outside and opened the Labyrinth with my mind taking us back to Boston.
I was worried that Alex wouldn’t make it. She was barely breathing, and I was having a hard time carrying her.
“C’mon, don’t die yet, just a few more blocks,” I said as dragged Alex’s limp form through the crowded sidewalk back towards Valhalla.
I made it to the hotel just as she stopped breathing.
“No, no, no,” I moaned. “Not yet, Alex, not yet.” I sent an electrical charge from my hands into Alex’s chest. Her heart started beating faintly.
I banged on the hotel gate, but no one answered. I gathered all my remaining strength and somehow managed to blow Alex over the wall with a strong gust of wind.
I breathed a sigh of relief. I just hoped when Magnus said einhenji had to be in the hotel, he hadn’t meant the hotel building. Someone began yelling on the other side of the wall. The gate opened letting T.J. out. He rushed over when he saw me slumped against the wall.
“Are you alright?” T.J. asked kneeling down beside me.
I nodded letting him help me up. I stumbled into the courtyard with his help and blinked trying to stay awake. After carrying Alex all the way from Manhattan and then blowing her over the wall, my strength was all but gone. I was tempted to pass out and just hope T.J. or someone carried me inside. If not, well, it could be worse.
T.J. and I entered the lobby. At this point, he was almost carrying me. He kept repeating some phrase, but the only word I could make out was Magnus. I started shaking. I shouldn’t have been so tired. I felt like something had been draining my energy ever since I had tried to stop the storm on Olympus. I have a vague memory of collapsing on the elevator.
The next thing I knew, Magnus was leaning over me. I’m not sure how I knew it was him because I still had my eyes closed, but I did.
“… not breathing,” he said. “She wasn’t injured. Why did she die?”
Crap, that’s not good, I thought starting to panic. I realized Magnus was right. I wasn’t breathing, but there was no way I was dead. I could feel my heart beating. Faintly, and a lot slower than it should, but it was beating.
My lungs burned. I needed to breathe, but I was paralyzed.
“She saved me,” I heard Alex whisper.
Electricity coursed through my body. Alex and Magnus screamed as I gasped and sat up.
I coughed. My body was numb and shaking. Electricity arced between my fingers. My Tourette’s Syndrome started acting up making my face twitch, like it had before I had learned to control my powers.
I balled my hands up into fists and slowed my breathing. I remembered when I was around twelve and had been staying over at Percy and Annabeth’s apartment. I had woken up in the middle of the night with electricity sparking all over me. Miniature bolts of lightning shot from my hands hitting the walls of my room, and a storm was raging outside.
Percy had come crashing into my room with Riptide drawn. He had managed to calm me down enough to stop the electricity. The next day, Percy had called Thalia and Zeus to help me.
I tried to remember what Percy had said to me. I couldn’t think of it, but the memory seemed to calm me down.
Once the electricity had stopped, I opened my eyes and looked around. Magnus and Alex were huddled behind a shield in the corner of the room.
“She’s not dead,” Alex whispered.
“Yeah, I didn’t know,” Magnus answered. Alex glared at him.
“What happened?” I groaned.
“You died,” Magnus said.
“Uh-huh. Anything else I should know?”
Alex and Magnus just stared. I looked away.
I remembered Zeus complaining to Hera one afternoon around a month ago after a few freak storms had popped up in Kansas, and he hadn’t been able to stop them.
“I think I know who freed Fenris,” I said.
“Who?” Magnus and Alex asked in unison.
“Someone with a major grudge against his kids.”
This tis very bad. Oh, wait, it hath become worse.
After explaining my theory to Magnus and Alex, I felt so discouraged that even the buffet lunch to the death didn’t cheer me up.
Magnus had me explain everything a second time to Helgi, Hotel Valhalla’s manager. He seemed concerned and issued a quest immediately. At dinner that night, Magnus, Alex, and I discussed the details.
“We’re supposed to fight what?” Alex asked for the millionth time that evening.
“It sounds crazy, but Percy had to fight the earth one time, so let’s just count our blessings,” I said exasperated.
“Yeah, that shouldn’t take too long,” Magnus muttered fingering the pendant of his necklace which had a weird-looking F carved into it.
I sighed. I’d never led a quest for Vikings.
“First, we have to warn camp,” I said.
“What camp?” Alex asked.
“Camp Half-Blood.” You mean, the camp you abandoned? the voice in my head thought. I pushed my thoughts to the side. “I’ll iris message Camp Jupiter too.”
Magnus looked at me confused.
I sighed again. “Greek and Roman.”
“Right, I knew that,” he said.
“Silence!” a voice bellowed.
The dining hall grew quiet. A man with a long white beard stood next to Helgi.
“I have some unfortunate news,” the man continued. “Loki has escaped his walnut.”
Silence. No one moved. Well, except me.
“Who’s he?” I whispered in Magnus’ ear.
“Odin, the king of Asgard. Now, shut up.”
“It’s alright, we have everything under control. Tyr and Thor are searching for him as we speak, but be on your guard. If any of you are interested, I have an audiobook on correctly trap a god in a walnut in the giftshop. There-”
“How did he escape?” Everyone turned to me. I stood up. “How did Loki escape his, um… walnut?”
Odin stared at me for a moment before answering. “We… don’t know.”
A spark of electricity arced between my fingers as I balled my hands into fists. “I need better than, ‘we don’t know’.” Okay, this is where you apologize and sit down, common sense said. As usual, I ignored common sense.
A few einhenji gasped, but I couldn’t stop now. If I was right, the force we were about to face was much more ancient and powerful than the titans themselves.
“You’re not Asgardian, are you, child?” Odin asked.
“No, I’m the daughter of Zeus, and I’m not a child.”
Odin looked surprised. “You are brave to address the king of Asgard in such a manner.”
“I’m not brave; I’m mad.” And stupid, common sense added. “The Olympian gods are missing. Mt. Olympus has been destroyed, and Fenris and Loki have escaped.” I was shouting by now. “I need better than ‘we don’t know’!”
I was so angry, that electricity was sparking all over my body, making me glow. The entire room was silent, including Odin.
He took a slow deep breath. “Last night, the guards posted to guard Loki were found dead. Electric shock seemed to be the cause of death. A storm was raging around the time the walnut disappeared. Of course, we checked with Thor, but he and his goats had been inside all day. The storms stopped after the walnut disappeared.”
The color drained from my face. I sat down, certain now who was behind it all. Ouranos.
Odin continued with his speech, but the only thing I could hear was the blood roaring in my ears. I needed help; I needed Percy.
I looked up. Magnus and Alex were looking down at me worried. The empty dining hall was silent.
“Are you alright?” Alex asked.
I groaned. “It’s worse than I thought.”
“So, it’s not Ouranos?” Magnus said confused.
“Now, I know it is. The thing is, I thought he just wanted to destroy the Olympian gods, but Ouranos is trying to start Ragnarok. He wants to destroy everything.”
I put my face in my hands. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I had no idea what to do. The three of us sat in silence for a few moments.
“I think the first thing we need to do is warn Camp Half-Blood,” Magnus said breaking the silence.
I nodded wiping the tears from my face.
“We can go through the tunnel again and be there in no time,” Alex said standing up.
“No, the Labyrinth gets harder and harder to control the more people you have,” I explained.
“What’s the worst that could happen?”
“The last time I got lost in the Labyrinth, I ended up in Hong Kong. I have a better idea.”
We stood outside Hotel Valhalla’s wall the next morning. Magnus and Alex each had a green backpack slung over their shoulders. I just had my sword.
“Are you sure it’ll work?” Magnus asked.
“Not really,” I admitted fingering the golden drachmas in my hand. “We’re probably out of their territory, but I’m thinking if I pay extra-”
“So, you don’t even know if this’ll work?” Alex glared at me.
I wisely ignored her. I threw the drachmas on the asphalt and said, “Stethi, o harma diaboles!”
“What did you say?” Magnus asked.
“Stop, o chariot of hell.”
I ignored him too.
“It’s not working.” Alex said staring at the golden coins.
I groaned. “Give it a second.”
“Still not working.”
“I can see that, Alex.”
I bent down to pick up the drachmas just as the pavement started bubbling. I jumped back to the sidewalk. A gray taxi with the name GRAY SISTERS written on the side of the car appeared where the coins had been.
I opened the door and motioned for Magnus and Alex to get in. They reluctantly slid into the backseat with me.
“Lady Saphira,” one of the three old hags sitting in the front seat said.
“Passage?” the other two croaked.
“Camp Half-Blood,” I relied.
The driver nodded before flooring the gas pedal. A prerecorded voice came on the speakers, but I couldn’t make out what it was saying over Magnus and Alex’s screams. The scenery zipped by as we flew down the road faster than humanly possible. I hated using the Gray Sister’s taxi service, but sometimes it couldn’t be helped.
“Left turn, Wasp!” an old lady yelled.
“If you gave me the eye, I would see that!” Wasp screamed back.
“Give me the tooth!”
“It’s my turn to have the eye!” the third screeched.
“You had it yesterday, Tempest!”
“I did not, Anger, you had it!” Tempest screamed grabbing at Anger’s face.
“We’re going to die,” Alex moaned from her place in the middle seat.
“We’ll be fine,” I said. “They almost never wreck.” For some reason, this didn’t seem to make Alex feel better.
By now, we were speeding through the streets of Manhattan towards Long Island Sound. Alex was deathly pale, and Magnus looked extremely carsick.
“I want the tooth!” Tempest yelled.
“It’s my turn!” Wasp screamed making a sharp turn onto a different street.
That last one might have been me. Maybe.
The taxi stopped abruptly slamming my head into the back of the driver’s seat.
“Out of metro bonus fare!” the old ladies yelled at me as I stumbled out of the taxi.
I dug the last couple drachmas out of my pocket and handed them to Wasp. Immediately, the other two started arguing about who got to bite the coins.
“See, that wasn’t so bad,” I said after the car dissolved into smoke.
“Lady Saphira?” Magnus asked once the color had returned to his face.
I scowled and didn’t answer his question.
“What now?” Alex asked.
“Follow me, camp is just over this hill.”
“Hey, Peleus,” I greeted the camp’s pet dragon guarding the golden fleece at the top of the hill. “Miss me?”
Peleus purred as I scratched his neck.
“Whoa,” Magnus and Alex gasped.
I looked over the valley for the first time in fifty years. Besides a few new cabins, it hadn’t changed.
Magnus, Alex, and I walked down the hill towards the Big House. I opened the door and walked inside. Chiron was discussing something with Argus in Ancient Greek. Alex muffled a scream when she saw Argus, our security guard, followed by Magnus making a sound like a strangled satyr.
I probably should’ve mentioned that Argus has one hundred eyes all over his body, which I guess, is pretty strange.
Chiron turned his magical wheelchair to face us. A smile lit up his face when he saw me. I would’ve smiled back, but I wasn’t exactly in the mood with the world ending and all.
His smile faded as he realized something was wrong. He motioned for us to go outside.
Magnus, Alex, and I walked outside to wait on the porch. I looked down at the table where Chiron used to play cards with Mr. D, a.k.a. Dionysus. I leaned against the porch rail and took a shaky breath.
“So, what’s up with, um, you know?” Magnus asked.
“Argus is our security guard,” I answered watching a group of campers playing a game in the volleyball pit.
Magnus opened his mouth as if he was about to say something else but thought better of it when Chiron came out onto the porch.
“It’s good to see you again, Saphira. I see, you’ve found a couple of stray half-bloods,” he said motioning to Magnus and Alex.
I sat down at the table across from Chiron. “Not half-bloods, they’re from Valhalla.”
Chiron looked up at me. “You should not have brought them here.”
“Ouranos is trying to start Ragnarok.”
After a long period of stunned silence, Chiron finally spoke. “Do explain.”
So, I did. I told him how I met Magnus and Alex, went to Valhalla, found Olympus in ruins, and everything Odin had told us.
“This is not good,” Chiron said summing up the entire situation in four words.
“What do we do?”
Chiron thought for a moment. Then, he took the blanket off his lap, uncovering the fake legs attached to the front of his wheelchair. It opened allowing Chiron to climb out revealing himself as a full-sized centaur. I think Magnus and Alex had another heart attack.
“It’s time you spoke with the Oracle.”
I doth not understandeth thy mystic prophecies.
I stood with Magnus, Alex, and Chiron in front of the Oracle of Delphi's cave. I took a deep breath before parting the thick velvet curtain and walking into the cave.
The Oracle sat on her tripod stool in the center of the chamber. Her blonde hair hung over her face, as green mist covered the floor of the cave.
The girl looked up. I stepped back terrified, my hands trembling. Her glowing green eyes studied me for a while.
"Approach, seeker, and ask," she hissed. It sounded as if three voices spoke at once, intertwining with one another.
I gulped. "What... what do I need to do?"
The Oracle stared at me before answering, "Go west."
"That's it?" I asked confused.
The green smoke curled around the edge of the cave. A scent very much like that of reptiles reached my nose.
The Oracle remained silent. I turned to leave when I heard the Oracle speak again.
"Different," it said in Greek. "This one's special."
I looked directly at the girl.
"Approach, seeker, and asked."
Okay, I thought. Let's try this again.
"What should I do?" I repeated.
"Go west..." it said. The Oracle thought for a moment before adding to the prophecy. "Listen to what the sky has said. Find the one who was lost in the land of the dead. Learn from the stars what he is to gain, and be prepared in the end to lose the one who was slain."
The girl collapsed leaving the green mist to wrap around my legs. I began hearing whispers.
"Saphira, help us, Saphira..."
And then, it was over. The smoke disappeared, and the voices went silent.
"Tell me what the Oracle said again," Chiron ordered me for the third time.
"Um, it said 'approach, seeker, and ask' and then 'go west', and it told me to go west again," I explained.
"Well," I looked away from Chiron and down at the camp. We were sitting on the porch of the Big House. I sighed before repeating the prophecy for Chiron. "That's it."
I glanced over at Magnus and Alex leaning against the porch talking with each other. "They shouldn't come. The last line-"
Chiron held up his hand for silence. "It's their choice."
"What does the rest of the prophecy mean?"
He shook his head. "I don't know. However, I do believe the best thing for you to do would be to travel to the... Underworld."
I frowned. The Underworld wasn't exactly the place I wanted to spend my summer, or any time of the year really.
I really wouldn't recommend a trip if:
a) you're afraid of the dark
b) you're afraid of dead people
c) you're afraid of creepy underground places
d) you're not dead
As you can tell, I wasn't very thrilled about the trip.
"Alright, when do we leave?"
Chiron wheeled his chair around to talk to Magnus and Alex about the quest. I wished Apollo was here. He would be able to explain the prophecy, and I secretly missed him.
I shivered. The gods had disappeared. Any one of them could have been the one who signaled me through the Oracle, but holding the most influence over it, I had a feeling Apollo was behind the message.
Alex and Magnus were sent to the Hermes cabin since they were visitors. I was certain either Alex and Magnus or the Hermes kids were about to get pranked... hard.
I sat down at the foot of the Athena Parthenos. I knew there were two kids of Jupiter out in California, but besides me and Thalia, the leader of Artemis' hunters, there weren't any other children of Zeus.
I didn't want to see what Cabin One looked like after fifty years of me being gone. I knew it would be just like I left it, but something about that seemed wrong, as if it should be different.
All of my old friends would be in their late sixties, which was definitely weird, considering I still felt like a teenager. Even the Athena Parthenos felt evil.
Eventually, I got tired of the statue glaring at me. I walked down the hill towards the cabins.
There was a whole lot of noise coming from the Hermes cabin, but I didn't feel like getting pranked just because I wanted to know what was going on.
For the most part, Cabin One had stayed the same. Sure, the cleaning harpies had moved my stuff around, but all my old photos were still taped onto the walls.
Most of them were pictures of Percy and Mom. Paul and my big sister were in a lot of them too. A couple of them were of Apollo and Dad.
Seeing Percy and Mom again just made me depressed. I looked around and found my old surfboard that a few of the Hepheastus campers had made for me back when I lived back at camp.
I snuck down to the beach with my surfboard and swam out towards the open ocean.
Once the shore was barely visible from my place on the water, I laid down on the surfboard and looked up to admire the stars.
Doth thou knowest I hate blue wolves.
About half an hour later, I heard a conch shell blow. I paddled back to the beach and put my shoes back on. I stuffed my surfboard behind some bushes in case the Hermes kids decided to have a beach party.
I entered the dining pavilion and saw Magnus and Alex sitting as far away from the Hermes campers as possible. Or really, it was the other way around. The Hermes kids kept their distance while casting suspicious glances at Alex and Magnus. Alex couldn't seem to wipe that stupid grin off her face.
I sat down at the empty cabin one table with my food after scraping part of it into the fire. A little girl sat alone at the Hades table, but the Poseidon table was vacant giving me another painful reminder of Percy.
After the meal, Chiron sent us all to bed.
I laid awake long after midnight afraid of what I might find in my dreams. Eventually, I fell into a fitful sleep.
And I had good reason to be afraid of my dreams. Screams echoed all around me, but the world remained black. I couldn't make sense of what they were saying. The noise slowing faded into dark maniacal laughter before disappearing altogether.
Alex, Magnus, and I stood at the train station with Chiron who had come to see us off. He sat in his wheelchair to hide his centaur body from the mortals. All of us except Chiron were armed.
"I believe this is where I say goodbye," Chiron said as our train pulled into the station.
"Yeah," I mumbled not exactly sure what to say.
"Best of luck to you all," he responded turning around and wheeling himself back to the van where Argus was waiting for him.
"Better get going," Magnus said. I wasn't thrilled to get going.
"Where are we going anyway?" Alex asked.
"The D.O.A. Records Company in L.A.," I said looking after Chiron wishing I had been able to say a proper goodbye.
We got on the train and picked some seats. I leaned against the window waiting for the train to leave.
"So, does this train go all the way to L.A.?" Alex said propping her feet up on the seats in front of her.
"I think so."
We sat in silence watching the landscape pass by.
I was so exhausted after my terrible night's sleep, that I dozed off after a few minutes.
I woke up to chaos and Magnus shaking me awake.
"What?" I asked sitting up.
"Wolves," is all he said before running towards the noise.
I ran after him drawing my sword. In the next train carriage over, three glowing blue wolves were snarling and fighting Alex the only person keeping the monsters from the panicked humans. Or should I say wolf. Alex had shapeshifted into a huge wolf to fight the monsters.
"Hey! Over here!" I yelled trying to get their attention... like an idiot.
Two of the wolves turned to face me and let out a low menacing growl before pouncing at me with its teeth barred.
There are some graphic injuries in this chapter.
Forgeteth the Old English. AAHHH!
I heroically slashed my sword across the first wolf’s face sending it away howling in pain, but while I was distracted, the other monster clamped its jaws onto my sword arm. I felt the bones crunch, and the pain increase so much my mind went blank.
Magnus and Alex were busy with the other wolves, so it looked like I was going to have to save myself.
I dropped my blade and grabbed it with my free hand all while the wolf was using my arm as a chew toy.
“Use your lightning stuff!” Alex yelled at me after I had swung my sword at the monster and missed, which was a little embarrassing considering it was right there.
“Small space, I don’t want to hit any of you guys!” I lied. My aim was perfect; I was afraid of Ouranos draining me again.
I struck out at the wolf, this time hitting my mark. My sword embedded itself all the to the hilt in the creature’s eye spraying me with blood. As it died, the wolf tightened its grip on my arm until I thought for sure it was about to fall off. My vision went black for a few seconds leaving me screaming in pain. The wolf collapsed and began slowly turning to dust… just not fast enough.
I tried to wrench my arm free, but it only made the pain worse. Alex rushed over to me having finished off her wolf and tried to pry the creature’s jaw open while Magnus battled the last wolf.
Desperately clinging to consciousness, I kept telling myself the wolf would disintegrate soon. Unfortunately, that’s when another wolf came barreling into the train carriage from the next one over forcing Alex to leave me by myself again.
I steeled my nerves for the coming pain. I twisted my body yanking my blade out of the creature’s eye socket and bloody face. My vision went red for a moment from the force it took to extract my sword. With that, the monster’s corpse turned to dust setting my arm free.
I forced myself to look at my mangled arm. Bone was almost piercing the skin just above my wrist, and bloody teeth marks covered my entire arm allowing me to see all the way through the torn layers of muscle to the splintered bone underneath.
Guess the modeling career I never had was over. Great.
Clutching my arm to my side and pushing the intense pain out of my thoughts, I ran at the newest wolf which was distracted by Alex. I slid under it and sliced through its torso. Blood and guts gushed out on top of me, but at least I had killed it.
The monster turned into dust immediately, the exact opposite of what the wolf that attacked me had done. Life is just so unfair.
Not that I had much time to create a philosophical argument or anything about the unfairness of my crappy life, because Magnus’ wolf chose that moment to blow up the train with a giant blast of fire.
I was thrown from the blast into the surrounding forest. Naturally, I landed on my injured arm.
Tears streamed down my face blurring my vision. I had dropped my sword in the explosion, not that I needed it at the moment since the last wolf had blown itself up in the explosion it had caused.
“Magnus? Alex?” I called out, but my voice came out as more of a croak.
I saw thee wreckage shift and Magnus and Alex crawl out of the debris. I let out a sob of relief falling to my knees too weak to stand anymore.
They slowly walked over to me, Alex holding what my clouded mind slowly realized was Thunderbolt, my sword.
Both of them were bleeding pretty badly and covered in soot from the blast, just like me.
I gingerly sheathed my sword doing my best not to move my injured arm.
“Let me heal that,” Magnus said. Strain echoed in his voice.
“No, you’ll pass out. Wait till you’ve gotten your strength back.” I winced as I stood up, bracing myself against a tree with my good arm to keep from falling.
Magnus didn’t protest. The three of us looked back at the smoking wreckage as screams erupted from the train. No doubt, the panicked mortals trying to figure out what was going on.
“We need to get out of here,” I said.
“What about that?” Alex asked giving a worried glance at the derailed train.
I sighed. “That’s why we need to go. It’s not like it’s going anywhere. Other monsters will be showing up to investigate soon.” And I can’t use my powers, I thought.
Magnus and Alex reluctantly agreed. We hiked into the woods loosely following the train tracks.
“I need to stop,” I said after a few minutes. My entire body was racked with pain; my damaged arm definitely being the worst part.
Magnus walked over to me and laid a hand on my arm sending a spark of pain through me. I gritted my teeth barely able to hold back a snarky comment.
“I’m just going to heal it a little,” he mumbled.
Immediately, a warmth spread throughout my arm as the deep bloody gashes began to close up. That wasn’t too bad, I said to myself.
Boy, was I wrong.
I screamed in pain so loudly that every monster within a hundred-mile radius probably heard me as my bones popped back into place. Magnus pulled away not wanting to waste his energy on my minor cuts and bruises.
After a few seconds, the pain had reduced itself to a dull throbbing and I was able to move my arm again.
“Thanks,” I said to Magnus getting a nod in response.
Not long after we had set off, I heard a low rumble in the distance. I stopped and looked around. I decided it was nothing and hurried after the others.
I was wrong… again.
A large beast charged out of the trees headed directly at us. I recognized it almost instantly. The minotaur.
The monster lowered its massive horned head and ran at me. I drew my sword trying to remember what Percy had told me about his fights with the minotaur. I sidestepped the beast as it rushed at me. Then, I whipped around and stabbed it in the back. Literally, I mean.
It exploded into dust with one last roar. I sheathed my sword after wiping the monster’s dust off it.
“That was easy,” Magnus said grinning.
“You didn’t do anything,” I muttered.
Alex snickered receiving the death glare from Magnus who broke down into giggles a few seconds later.
I couldn’t help but smile at the two jokesters.
So sorry about the long wait. Expect slow updates. I know where I want to go with this and have the plot and everything, but the hardest part is always the actual writing.
Enjoy! (Love you guys ;P)
What the Hades? I tis very lost.
We sat in the dark forest sharing a little food we had brought with us from camp. Alex had built a fire, but we kept it small so the light didn’t attract monsters.
The pain in my arm had worsened. It was most likely infected. I just hoped my accelerated healing would take care of it.
Magnus groaned as a howl echoed somewhere in the woods. He was almost as sick of these wolves as I was. Thankfully, it sounded far away.
I offered to keep first watch and regretted it as soon as I saw Magnus and Alex getting comfortable and going to sleep. Well, as comfortable as they could in the middle of the forest.
After a few minutes, my eyes began to close. I shook myself awake and sat up as some creepy noise rang out. Groaning, I decided I must have fallen asleep and imagined it. I stood up stretching thinking it would be harder for me to fall asleep while pacing around the camp.
I froze hearing the same noise getting closer.
I ignored it, and like an idiot, I didn’t even look around for the source. That is, I didn’t look until I heard Percy.
The woods fell silent before I could tell where the noise was coming from.
I stood there listening.
“Saphira?” Percy’s voice asked from somewhere in the trees. Definitely Percy. I would recognize his voice anywhere.
“Where are you?” I said taking a wary step towards the voice.
“I’m right here,” the voice said growing fainter.
I ran after the voice. The light of the campfire had quickly disappeared, and I realized I was lost in the middle of the woods… without my powers… and my sword was still lying by the fire. Ugh.
No one answered… but laughter, a menacing evil laughter, echoed somewhere far back in the woods.
I followed the noise and began seeing a flicker of light in the trees ahead of me.
I ducked behind a clump of bushes as Magnus’ muffled voice rang out. I stayed silent and hidden.
“Your friend was easy to lure away,” a deep voice said.
I slowly crept forward making sure to stay out of sight. Peeking around the base of a thick pine tree, I saw two Cyclopes sitting by the campfire with an unconscious Alex and Magnus who had been securely tied to a tree.
The two Cyclopes were talking to each other in Greek and wearing nothing but loincloths…gross. Terrible fashion statement according to Aphrodite.
That’s when it hit me like the Erymanthian Boar. I hadn’t heard Percy. Cyclopes have the unique ability to mimic voices, although how they figured out I knew Percy was beyond me.
My blade was lying kind of close to the trees where I was hidden. I was considering rushing out to grab it when the largest Cyclops beat me to it. He walked back over to his spot by the campfire and sat down. I silently cursed in Greek for not having grabbed my sword when I had the chance.
Magnus scanned the woods, no doubt looking for me. His eyes landed on me and widened. He glanced down at his neck and then back up at me. I shook my head confused. Magnus repeated his gesture. This time, I followed his gaze. Jack.
Careful not to make any noise, I circled the camp slowly making my way over to him. Sadly, Alex was still unconscious, otherwise she would have already destroyed the enemy.
I reached around the tree trunk while doing my best to stay out of the Cyclopes’ line of sight, not that they were paying much attention to me anyway. Ha, they can’t get rid of me that easily…
Jack the necklace brushed against my fingers. I grasped the pendant and yanked downward. The monsters still hadn’t noticed me.
Jack immediately transformed into the sword of summer attracting the Cyclopes’ attention. I jumped back into my hiding spot behind Magnus’ tree, listening to the Cyclopes curse and scream in Ancient Greek, and prayed to whoever happens to be the god of luck that they hadn’t seen me.
Magnus must’ve given Jack an order because I heard the sword yell (Is yell the right word though? I mean, he has no mouth.) “I’m on it, senor!” followed by a lot of angry yelling from the Cyclopes.
I took all the chaos as my cue. I charged into the camp and grabbed my sword narrowly avoiding a beheading courtesy of Jack. You’d be surprised, but near decapitations get really annoying after oh, I don’t know, the first time.
I sliced through Magnus’ ropes. He ran over to help Jack without even giving me a thank you. Talk about ungrateful.
All the noise woke Alex. She sat up looking confused. After a few seconds of taking in the situation, she shapeshifted into a large wolf and launched herself at a Cyclops leaving Magnus, Jack, and I to fight the other one.
I circled around the Cyclops while Jack acted as the distraction. Honestly, the creature looked ridiculous waving its club around trying to hit a flying sword that kept throwing out insults that weren’t even that good. Although, so did Magnus. He was trying to grab hold of Jack, but his sword kept insisting he could do it himself.
I jumped up burying my blade in the Cyclops’ back and releasing a spray of blood.
The monster exploded into a cloud of dust, and the one fighting Alex followed soon after.
The three of us stood there panting. Alex still hadn’t shifted back yet. She stood beside us as a large black timber wolf.
“Hey, Alex, why don’t you go ahead and turn back?” Magnus asked making Jack into a necklace again.
Alex wasn’t listening. Her ears twitched forward just before she bounded off into the woods. Magnus and I panicked for a second and then ran after her completely forgetting to put out the campfire, which is bad, because, you know… forests.
Alex froze as we exited the tree line. I stood bent over, hands on my knees, and clutching the stitch in my side. Magnus wasn’t any better. It’s hard sprinting through the woods alongside a wolf.
I looked up when I heard Magnus cheer. I immediately felt like joining him.
In front of us, was a road winding through the forest, and better yet, a bus with the destination L.A. displayed in glowing orange letters across the top of the windshield.
Sleep. I doth like sleep.
Magnus dozed off after fully healing my arm. He and Alex sat beside each other with Magnus’ head resting on Alex’s shoulder as they slept. I was just the awkward third wheel. Oh well, at least I had the window seat.
I had used the Mist to convince the bus driver to let us on. It was a little tricky considering I hadn’t done it in a while and all the other passengers had been watching, but it worked out okay.
I fell asleep not long after.
I was back on Olympus. Or rather, I was in my dream. Someone was screaming, and I was pretty sure it wasn’t me.
No stars were visible in the inky black sky. I glanced down at the white chiffon I was wearing before looking back at the ruins around me. I took a step towards the noise and hesitated.
“This is what Olympus will be like when I’m through.”
I turned around looking for the person who had spoken, but I was alone. The screams grew louder. Then, they went silent making Olympus feel even more deserted and evil, like it had when I had returned the first time with Alex.
“I hope it pleases you… you were right,” the voice continued. “And I intend to make the gods pay for what my children did to me.”
A dark storm cloud descended on Olympus blinding me in the thick fog. When it finally lifted, the clouds revealed an old man wearing a toga standing in front of me. No, forget old, more like ancient, but not feeble. His white beard hung all the way down to his waist, and his face was covered in wrinkles. He was easily seven feet tall. His midnight blue eyes glinted with anger and power.
“Why don’t you punish the titans instead?” My voice shook with fear despite me wishing it wouldn’t.
Ouranos smiled sending chills and prickles of fear up my spine. Warning bells in my head were screaming, Danger! Get out of there! I ignored them.
“The gods destroyed the titans and took my revenge,” he snarled. I took a step back instinctively reaching for my sword, but of course it wasn’t there. Ouranos took a deep breath and forced calm into his voice. “But I will avenge myself all the same.”
I remained silent waiting for more, but Ouranos didn’t elaborate.
“Well… what are you going to do?” I asked expecting the typical “evil plan PowerPoint presentation”.
He gave me another cold smile. “You’ll find out soon enough, though by then, it will be too late for you to stop anything.”
I clenched my fists and considered fighting Ouranos when the dreamscape began to spin. I fell to my knees, and when I opened my eyes, I was back on the bus.
I woke up feeling dizzy. Magnus and Alex were still asleep.
The passing scenery was bathed in the early morning light. I relaxed back into my seat trying to remember my dream. Something bad, a nightmare… I think. I usually remembered bad dreams.
No, I told myself. It must have been a good one; it had to have been.
My eyes slowly closed as I drifted back to sleep
Just five more minutes…
Sorry this was such a short chapter. The next one should be a lot longer. Life's been a little crazy, but I'll do my best to get the next chapter up soon.
Thanks for reading! ;-)
Hey, guys! Sorry it's been too long. The good news is that I got the other big writing project I had been working on done. I'm hoping to be able to update more regularly now that it's done. Thanks, love y'all!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The itsy bitsy spider shouldst go die.
I woke up a couple hours later. The bus was still moving, so Magnus and Alex had let me sleep.
I kept trying to remember what I had been dreaming about but with no success. I kept telling myself it wasn’t important, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was very wrong.
The bus lurched to a stop, and the driver got out.
We were still in the middle of nowhere as far as I could tell. The only thing here was a lonely gas station.
Magnus, Alex, and I got up to stretch our legs along with a few other passengers. I was a little wary of the run-down shop behind the gas station. I may not have a satyrs monster sense, but something wasn’t right. Plus, you should always be cautious of a run-down gas station; The bathrooms are disgusting.
An hour later, everyone began heading back to the bus.
I froze when a flicker of movement in the trees caught my eye. I grabbed Magnus and Alex and pointed to the woods. With one last glance at the bus, we hurried over to the tree line.
I could tell by the overdramatic squeals that Magnus had found something. I just didn’t know who had squealed: Magnus or the kid huddled at the base of a tree.
The small kid glanced over at me with his big brown eyes full of fear. His curly hair was dripping sweat onto his dark skin. He clutched an open switch blade and looked ready to use it. The boy couldn’t have been older than seven or eight.
“Hey,” I said in the gentlest tone I could muster. “What’s your name?”
The boy just shook his head and gripped the knife tighter.
I knelt down beside him, while Magnus and Alex kept their distance.
“We’re not going to hurt you.”
A single tear rolled down his cheek in response.
I looked back at the others expecting some help but didn’t receive any. Sighing, I stood up and decided I would have to tell the employee at the gas station that there was a kid hiding in the woods.
“Wait,” a tiny voice called after me.
I turned around. Tears were now pouring down the little boy’s face in torrents; he couldn’t seem to hide them anymore.
“It’s okay, what’s wrong?”
“They… they took… my, my-” The kid got choked up again and let loose another sob.
“Saphira, the bus’s leaving,” Magnus murmured.
I realized that the four of us had left our backpacks and supplies on the bus, but it was too late now. I made a mental note to tell the bus driver off for not taking a head count before leaving, if I ever saw him again that is.
“What’s your name?” I asked again hoping for a real answer this time.
The little boy took a deep breath as if steeling himself against something horrible and then said, “Kassian. My name’s Kassian.”
“Why are you out here all alone?”
“I wasn’t alone. My brother… my brother was with me.” Kassian promptly started crying again.
Magnus, Alex, and I glanced at each other unsure of what to do, but this time Kassian stopped crying without my help.
“A big monster took him,” he said.
I thought for a moment. It didn’t take long for me to form suspicions about the brothers being demigods.
“What did the monster look like?” Alex chimed in.
Kassian scrunched up his face trying to think. His expression would’ve been funny if not for the given circumstances.
“Lots of eyes,” he started. “Looked like a spider.”
I groaned knowing exactly which monster Kassian was talking about.
“Stay here with the kid,” I said to Magnus and Alex before turning back to Kassian. “Which way did it go?”
He pointed into the woods, tears beginning to brim up in his eyes again. I sprinted off not giving Magnus and Alex time to argue with me. After a few minutes of running, I froze and dived into a clump of bushes.
Loud clicking noises began coming from the forest in front of my hiding spot. I peeked through the leaves and glimpsed a huge spider-like creature that I had only heard about in Annabeth’s stories. Arachne. I found myself wishing she had taken an extra hundred years to respawn in Tartarus because… well, she sucks.
Arachne scuttled around stringing her web from the treetops. My eyes landed on a large bundle wrapped up in her webbing near the center of the web; I assumed this was Kassian’s brother. I prayed he hadn’t suffocated yet.
I quietly drew my sword grimacing at the metallic sound it made coming out of its sheath.
Arachne stopped for a split second and then continued to spin her web.
I stood up adjusting my grip on my sword and advanced while Arachne had her back turned to me. I brought up my sword to kill the creature.
As my blade fell, Arachne whipped around pushing me down with one leg and spitting venom. This kind of ticked me off. A drop of acid landed on my Hotel Valhalla t-shirt burning a hole straight through it.
I whipped my sword back around cutting off one of Arachne’s front legs. Unfortunately, she still had seven more. She tried impaling me with another leg. As I swung my blade at it, something sharp stuck me in the side. Immediately, I felt my limbs grow heavy, and my mind fuzzy. Arachne had struck me with some kind of poisonous barb. My stroke stopped short. Swinging my sword again, something sticky latched onto my leg. I cut off another one of Arachne’s limbs and looked down horrified. She was trying to wrap me in her silly string of death… I mean her web.
Only six more to go, I thought quickly counting Arachne’s remaining legs as I hacked away at them.
By now, the spider silk had wrapped itself around my legs growing tighter the more I struggled and as the venom drained my strength beginning to paralyze me.
Desperate, I sliced my sword across the silk realizing my mistake too late. My blade was stuck to the webbing.
I opened my mouth to scream just as Arachne’s web covered my head cutting off my air.
I just want to make a quick note dedicating this chapter to Stan Lee (1922-2018). He died this day last week (on November 12). Stan Lee helped me expand my imagination, and I know the world won't be the same without him. R.I.P. Stan Lee
Hope y'all have been liking the story so far. I've had fun writing it. The plot is about to get a little crazy in the upcoming chapters so hang on!
Some of your favorites from the original series are about to show up in the next updates!
Love you guys!
We hath been given assistance…yay. *cue the confetti*
I vaguely remember the feeling of being lifted into the air. My mind was quickly becoming clouded from lack of oxygen, but the only thing that would save me, my kid of Zeus powers, would probably also kill me. However, I was desperate enough to try (partly because I was going to suffocate if I didn’t do something fast, but mostly because I would never hear the end of it if Magnus and Alex had to save me).
Closing my eyes, I reached into the back of my mind like I always did when using my powers and waited.
Nothing happened. Gods, I hated being me.
Trying again and failing while also wasting what precious little time I had left, I pulled my signature move… panicking.
Surprise! It didn’t help.
I was in the middle of passing out when my cocoon was ripped open from the outside. I sat up gasping for air and blinking in the blinding sunlight.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, Magnus, I’m… wait…”
My eyes finally adjusted to the bright light. This boy was definitely not Magnus. In fact, he was an older version of Kassian sporting the same dark skin and curly hair. The only difference was this boy had golden eyes unlike Kassian and spiderwebs hanging off him.
I tried sitting up, but the venom Arachne had injected me with had made me sluggish.
“Whoareyou?” I murmured; my word slurring together. I groaned feeling blood trickle down my side.
“I’m Thayer,” he said continuing to cut me free with a small bronze knife.
“Ok,” I muttered as my eyelids drifted shut.
Thayer shook me awake again. “We have to go,” he said nodding towards Arachne’s scorched carcass lying on the ground below us.
“It’ll take an hour or two for the venom to wear off,” Thayer continued helping me down from the web as he talked. “I can get you to the edge of the woods, but first I have to find my brother. We-”
“Kassian’s fine,” I interrupted. “I was actually supposed to be rescuing you, but it looks like you had everything under control.” I sheathed my sword after picking some of the spiderwebs off the blade.
“Yeah, well, uh… child of Hephaestus, you know?” Thayer said sheepishly. “So, my brother, Kassian? He’s okay?”
I nodded. “He’s with some of my friends.”
“Um, vikings… it’s complicated.”
Thayer pursed his lips. “What about you?”
“Zeus.” I felt the venom working its way through me making it hard to think again; I forced myself to stay awake.
Thayer’s expression brightened. “Can you fly us out of here?”
“Not at the moment,” I muttered. “Just follow me.”
We jogged through the woods towards where I had left Magnus and Alex. I was exhausted but did my best not to show it; I just continued to pray there was a nap in my near future.
After a while, Thayer and I came to where I had left the others, but they weren’t there. I looked around and then back to Thayer.
“They must have gone over to the gas station,” I said. Thayer agreed and we headed over to the store. Opening the shop door, Thayer and I found Kassian curled up in Alex’s lap stuffing himself on Little Debbie snack cakes while Magnus talked to the store employee.
Kassian looked up from his food, his eyes widening at the sight of his older brother. He started to say something, but his mouth was so full of, all he did was spit out crumbs. Kassian threw himself out of Alex’s lap and at Thayer. Thayer picked up his little brother and spun him around. I smiled watching them. It reminded me of Percy and I.
“Hey, you’re actually decent at rescuing people, I guess,” Alex teased lightly punching me in the arm.
“Right,” I muttered swaying on my feet as I felt the lingering effects of Arachne’s venom taking hold of me again.
“Thank you,” Kassian said hugging me.
“No problem.” I looked up at Thayer. “But I’m pretty sure your brother had it covered.”
“We can’t exactly take you guys with us,” Magnus said.
“But would they take me?” Thayer asked concerned. “I mean, I’m almost seventeen.”
“I didn’t go to camp till I was seventeen,” the store employee said interrupting us. He smirked at our confused expressions. “Child of Hermes.”
I should’ve known. Of course, I’m pretty clueless to most things, so I wasn’t surprised. The man had obviously taken after his dad. With the same playful grin and unruly hair, he bore a striking resemblance to Hermes. I suddenly felt the urge to make sure I still had all my valuables, the same feeling I got whenever I was hanging out with Hermes, the god of thieves.
“Do you think you could help us?” Magnus asked.
The man casually leaned forward onto his desk. “Depends on what you need help with.”
“We need to get to L.A. and find them somewhere to stay,” I said.
The employee nodded. “They can stay with me while I Iris Message Chiron. As for you three,” he pointed at Alex, Magnus, and I, “Come with me.”
The employee grabbed a worn backpack from behind his desk and threw it to me. Slinging it over my shoulder, I followed the others out of the shop leaving the two Hephaestus kids alone.
Our new friend led us to the edge of the woods and whistled. We waited, but nothing happened.
“Give it a second,” he said putting his hands on his hips and gazing out into the trees.
“They like to take their time.”
Some more nothing.
The man sighed. “Just wait here.”
“What are we supposed to be waiting for?” I asked.
“You’ll know it when you see it!” he yelled over his shoulder as he reentered the store.
“Okay,” Magnus muttered.
Again nothing, nothing, and nothing.
The thundering of hooves interrupted me. A herd of centaurs galloped out of the woods. They were all wearing “party pony” t-shirts and carrying loaded paintball guns.
“Odin’s eye, what’s going on?” Alex said watching the centaurs charge out of the woods.
“These are Chiron’s relatives,” I answered beaming. I had a feeling we would be at D.O.A. Records in no time.