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Ancient Wars

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Chapter 1

"Just one more song and we're done," said Will Solace, the counselor of the Apollo cabin. His team's victory at Capture the Flag left a contentment smile on his face as he and his half-siblings sang the same old campfire songs. Of course not all were pleased with them winning that night.

"I think we've sung enough for today," said Clarisse La Rue, the counselor of the Ares cabin and one of the scariest girls Camp Half-Blood had ever seen.

A boy from the Hermes cabin – that was on the winning side of the game – yelled, "You're just bitter 'cause your team lost!" He was then hit by an Ares boy's tennis shoe and quickly threw it back.

The Ares campers being the competitive fighters they were and the Hermes kids not far apart from behaving exactly the same, both cabins were at each other's throats less than a minute after the shoe was kindly returned.

"Enough! Enough!" Chiron yelled but they simply turned a deaf ear while the other campers observed the exhilarating circus their campfire had become, the majority actually enjoying watching the two cabins going at each other.

Mr. D who was just sipping on his Diet Coke while the chaos unleashed in front of his eyes groaned in annoyance after he was almost hit by a spear. "You better cut it out! Everybody to your cabins before I lose my temper!" he said.

Afraid of losing their sanity or being turned into dolphins, the campers began to disperse and leave the amphitheater.

"This ain't over yet." Will heard Clarisse say to Connor Stoll, one of the co-counselors of Hermes, as she guided her half-siblings back to their cabin. Chris Rodriguez, another son of Hermes, following behind as he tried (in vain) to soothe his angry girlfriend.

"I know you're still pissed, but I swear it wasn't my idea!" he said but Clarisse seemed to have none of it, choosing instead to ignore him.

Connor probably told her Chris was involved in their prank on her cabin last week, Will thought.

"She'll get over it. Eventually." Lacy, a daughter of Aphrodite, said as she approached him.

"No, she won't get over it until she gets her revenge." He smiled. "And by the way, good job today at the game. You guys are really putting some effort into winning."

She flushed.

"Thanks," she mumbled. "I think I'm finally being able to convince some of my siblings to really try. Things are still kind of weird in our cabin… People are afraid of Drew 'cause she can charmspeak."

Will felt sorry for her cabin. Silena was a great head counselor, but when Drew took over all Hades broke loose. He didn't know exactly what happened among the Aphrodite campers, but he had heard rumors enough to assume the unjust and horrid things that went on in that cabin. Besides Silena, Piper was one of the few known Aphrodite children to get along just fine with Drew – which came out as a surprise since both were the complete opposite of each other.

Unfortunately, Piper got herself into a giant mess and was sent to some type of special boarding school that also served as a sort of rehab for troubled teens at the beginning of the year. Something about stolen cars and a fancy hotel room in Manhattan, or so claimed the camp gossips.

"Good night," Lacy said and headed back to her cabin.

"Good night."

It had been six months since the Second Titan War had ended but the memories of war and ghosts of their fallen comrades still haunted the campers. Some took it harder than others, some hid it better than others.

Clarisse would never admit aloud that Silena accuses and blames the Ares' daughter for hear death in her dreams, while it was common knowledge that Austin from Apollo would wake his whole cabin with his screaming after he had a bad dream. His nightmares always involving Lee Fletcher and Michael Yew's corpses.

Some demigods didn't know how to handle the whole experience and aftermath of the war, but many were getting better, except for a minor group that chose dubious methods to cope with their pain.

The only good thing that came out of that war – besides the obvious – was the gods actually remembering which were their children and claiming them, or most of them.

The Hermes cabin was not as full as it once was and the empty bunks left by the dead demigods were being filled with newcomers the older campers hoped wouldn't have to ever experience war.

Clarisse wasn't in her best mood today.

Her team's loss the previous night was already embarrassing enough. They had the Athena Cabin in their team – the fricking Athena Cabin – and yet they had lost to some stupid plan by those equally stupid Hermes punks. Except for her boyfriend, Chris was a special case. He was still a stupid punk, but he was her stupid punk.

Clarisse noticed the way he looked at her from his table, giving her the 'puppy eyes' look he always used anytime she'd find out he did something wrong. More often than not it involved his half-siblings and some idiotic prank.

She didn't want him assuming that he could just do stuff and then try to charm her with his looks to make her forget whatever it was he did.

"Dude, you're so screwed," Connor said wrapping his arm around Chris' shoulders.

"And whose fault is that?" Chris quickly pushed Connor away. "If you hadn't opened your damn mouth Clarisse wouldn't be giving me the silent treatment."

Clarisse smirked. "Idiot," she mumbled.

"Attention, campers," Chiron said and all heads immediately turned his way. "Before you begin with your normal activities, all cabins must be at the amphitheater after breakfast. We've got an important announcement."

Mr. D stood beside him looking like somebody who did not wish to be there. Yes, Mr. D was just acting normal.

As Percy entered the amphitheater his eyes rapidly started to search for his girlfriend. They were at the end of February, only year rounders were at the camp, which was not Percy's case, at all.

A few days ago Percy had received an Iris message from Chiron summoning him to Camp Half-Blood. He'd mentioned Annabeth would also come, which worried Percy even more.

He spotted Annabeth sitting beside Malcolm, her half-sibling, and waved at her. Annabeth smiled and waved back.

"Good morning, Wise Girl."

"Morning." He sat down next to her. "So, what do you think?"

"I'd say the gods have another problem they want us to deal with."

Annabeth rolled her eyes. "Wouldn't that be shocking? I've been having these dreams–" She was interrupted by Malcolm's shush. He then pointed at Chiron and Mr. D.

"Now, there is no easy way to say this," Chiron began.

"The gods have decided to unite both camps," Mr. D said matter factly.

The campers gasped, and soon theories were thrown from one side to the other.

The gods have decided?

Both camps? What does he mean?

Hey, at least it's not a new prophecy.

"There is a Roman camp in California." Chiron continued. "Greeks and Romans have this ancient rivalry they've carried for centuries. During the Civil War, Romans and Greeks fought on opposite sides. A battle that lasted for three days happened in Camp Half-Blood's woods, and because of the losses, the gods decided to separate Greeks and Romans. With the help of the Mist, both sides were eventually able to forget each other."

The amphitheater fell into silence as the demigods still absorbed all the information that was thrown at them.

"After so many years, the gods came to the conclusion that perhaps Romans and Greeks could get along. The times have changed, the gods think that a peace treaty could be possible."

"Now here's the fun part," Mr. D said. "Somebody's gotta go to San Francisco to talk to those Romans and that's gonna be a few selected individuals as soon as you decide among yourselves who are going to be the vic– I mean, the diplomats."

Chiron cleared his throat. "We'll be accepting any interested candidate until the end of April. Feel free to contact me if you have any doubts. You're all dismissed."