Chapter One- Clarisse La Rues the day:
The landscape was dotted with buildings of Greek architecture, their white marble columns sparkling in the sun. In a nearby sandpit, a dozen Apollo campers and Satyrs played volleyball. Canoes glided across a small lake. Campers in bright orange T-shirts were chasing each other around a cluster of cabins nestled in the woods. Some shot targets at an archery range. Others rode pegasi down a wooded trail, the Golden Fleece hung on Thalia's tree even though it wasn’t Thalia anymore, and the tree was still the thing that kept the camp safe. A young Cyclops known as Tyson (Percy Jackson's brother…don’t ask) was sat reading with Ella the harpy. Connor remembered when they first turned up at camp, Camp Jupiter was under threat of a war in which Percy Jackson swooped in and saved the day - Gods that guy was a show off! Ella had somehow managed to memorize some special prophecies so she and Rachel Elizabeth Dare had been spending a lot of time together in Hera's cabin.
The weather was glorious, it always was since you can control the weather in the camp but today felt even more pleasant than normal. A perfect day for a prank! Connor was with his older brother Travis, they were both inseparable and often mistaken for twins, they were both sons of Hermes-Messenger of the gods and god of thieves and travellers, amongst other things- they used to stay in a crowded Hermes cabin, it was always full of demi-gods who hadn’t been claimed yet but thanks to Percy Jackson, the gods had sworn to claim their children by the age of 13 and all the minor gods had cabins now as well, but it wouldn't of happened if it wasn’t Ethan Nakamura's last dying wish. Ethan went over to Kronos side, he was the last half blood pledge they needed for Kronos to resurrect in full form, or more likely Luke Castellan's form, Hermes’ ex cabin counsellor, Luke sacrificed himself in the end to stop Kronos from rising fully, making Connor and Travis head counsellors of the Hermes Cabin. The perfect role models, Connor thought.
"Aw man I’m so excited to prank the Ares cabin tonight!" Connor squealed.
"Dude its Thursday, we’re pranking Apollo tonight." Travis replied.
"Oh right yeah, well I'm so excited to prank the Apollo cabin tonight!"
Travis let out a mischievous laugh.
"Come on let's get the cabin inspections over with otherwise Chiron might use us for one of his weird potions or even worse…search our cabin for our pranking supplies!"
Travis and Connor shivered in unison and headed to the cabins.
Their first stop was the Aphrodite cabin, as usual it was spotless, even the clothes were colour coordinated it was definitively worth a 5 but since Drew Tanaka (Head of Aphrodite in place of Piper McLean who was out on a big quest) was being an utter Apollo's cow Connor and Travis decided to give them a 4. They continued going from cabin to cabin, giving Ares a 1 since that place smelled of sweat and anger, Iris a 4 - it was worth a 3 but that Butch scared the freaky deakys out of Connor even if his mum was the Goddess of rainbows. They finally reached the Big Three cabins in which 2 were vacant; they headed for the Poseidon Cabin when they heard people arguing. Connor and Travis exchanged looks as if telepathically saying "dude, we should listen" they both smiled cheekily and headed to the door. When they slowly popped their head round the door they realised it was Clarisse La Rue and Rachel Dare.
"You little red headed nightmare! You're a fake!" Clarisse screamed.
"Clarisse I told you, prophecies don't work like that, please stop yelling!" Rachel pleaded.
"Chris is out there on a dangerous quest and he hasn't iris messaged me for 3 days! I need to know if he's okay! What if he's dead or gone insane again! You're meant to be the oracle! I thought you could tell the future!" She yelled.
"Clarisse I get you're upset! I know how you feel, I mean I have Annabeth out on the most dangerous quest ever looking for Percy but I can't even see their future! Like I said oracles don't work that way, I can't control it!"
"Oh please like you know what I'm going through! You were never in a relationship with Percy because he chose Annabeth over you!"
Rachel's face went as red as her hair.
"Now listen here you ugly, no good, daughter of a war God!"
At that moment Travis stumbled and fell into Connor, Connor tumbled forward bursting through the door and landing at the feet of the angry chicks. Clarisse drew her sword and put it under Connor's chin. Her breathe punched Connor in the face, her nostrils steaming like the Minotaur, her eyes filled with fire like her father's.
"What do you think you're doing, Stoll!"
"Uhh..." Connor swallowed and sweat dripped from his forehead. Rachel pushed the blade away in which Clarisse retaliated and cut Rachel's arm.
"Argh!" Rachel fell to the floor. Clarisse stopped for a moment, her face upset, she took a deep breath and stormed out the room pushing Travis over in the process. Connor ran to see if Rachel was okay.
"I'm fine." she winced. "Next time you decide to eavesdrop, don't." She got up and walked out the cabin.
Chapter Two- Will Solace needs to Apollogise:
Later that night all the cabins got together to eat dinner, they stood in lines and head counsellors lead their cabins to their tables, Connor and Travis would of skipped dinner if they didn’t have to lead the Hermes cabin to the tables. They got in line to give an offering to the gods, they both threw some pizza and a pack of M&M’s in the fire and together whispered "Dad, please help us pull off this amazing prank." They sat down at the tables and finished their food. Later while everyone else was still eating they got up and walked to the cabins. Chiron the centaur and camp’s activities director trotted up and stopped them in their path.
"Where do you think you're going boys?"
"To see Rachel sir, we, uh, got into a bit of trouble with her and we wanted to clear things up!" Travis replied so fast Connor was shocked how prepared he was, Connor would of just stumbled and made up some lie about wanting to go feed water nymphs. Chiron stared at Travis as if waiting for him to crack and then he smiled and replied,
"Well as long as you're back before the end of dinner then go ahead!" Travis and Connor smiled and walked off.
"Right, so you go to the cabin and get the snakes and I'll meet you at the Apollo cabin, alright?" Connor nodded and ran off towards his cabin. He collected the bags of snakes that were hard to keep hold of because of how much the snakes were wriggling about but he kept hold as he ran to meet his brother. He caught Travis at the door and at the same time they both sneaked in to the cupboard.
"Ready?" Travis asked. Connor nodded, they opened the cupboard and took out all the bows and arrows. Connor opened the bag and threw the snakes and slammed the door shut. Together they ran out the cabin.
"Stage one complete, Stage two? Plant them in the Ares cabin." Travis ran towards the cabin of the war god. As they walked towards the cabin they heard footsteps. It was Clarisse, she had red eyes, but not fire red, like I’ve-just-been-crying red. Before they could move she noticed them, instantly wiping her eyes and putting on a scary glare.
"What are you doing with those?" she asked.
"Uhh..." Connor stumbled. "Chiron sent us to fetch them; it's for the archery session next"
"Whatever." She walked off back to dinner.
"Dude we can't plant them here now, they'll find out." Connor said.
"We don't have time to plant them anywhere else, dinner is almost over, just hide them inside the cabin, maybe the Ares cabin won't notice."
They ran inside and planted the weapons, then ran out making it back to dinner just as the horn blew for the last session of the night. As the campers were getting ready for their last session Connor and Travis hid near the Apollo cabin waiting for their prank to happen. For a moment nothing happened and just as they were about to give up they heard screaming and things being broken.
"Alright!" Travis called, he fist-bumped Connor and waited for the next step. Out ran Will Solace with a snake in his hand.
"Alright, this isn’t funny, who did this?!" Will's voice was harsh and sharp, the Apollo kids were running around screaming and shouting. Travis and Connor remained hidden, trying hard not to laugh.
"Will, come look!" Kayla shouted. "Our bows were in the Ares cabin!"
"Do you think this is funny? These snakes are poisonous!" Will shouted at the cabin.
Mark from Ares stormed out his cabin. "Do you actually think we'd do that?"
"Well explain this!" Kayla shouted. The noise grew as Apollo and Ares argued and screamed and some fighting even broke out. Suddenly the crowd parted and Clarisse stormed through.
"What is going on here?!" she demanded.
"Like you don't know! Our bows and arrows were stolen and replaced with snakes!" Will stormed up to Clarisse and sized her up, which was pretty hard since Clarisse was the size of a whale, but he remained confident. Connor could only admire him for that. Clarisse's face turned red.
"And you're blaming MY cabin?!"
"Well why were our bows under your bunks?"
Clarisse remained silent for a second. Connor swallowed suddenly realising what would happen. They were busted.
"Well why don't you ask the Stoll’s." Everyone turned around and noticed Travis and Connor. They stood up slowly and smiled sheepishly. Will and Clarisse both stormed up to them.
"I should have known it was you two!" Will scolded.
"And you had the decency to blame us! Big mistake you imbeciles" Clarisse contributed.
"Ah come on Clarisse, it was only a joke." Connor squealed unexpectedly. She grabbed Connor by the shirt and pulled him close, her eyes flamed, man was that girl UGLY.
"I should have cut you, not Rachel." She pushed him back and Connor fell over. She stormed off.
"You'll pay for this." Will said as he turned around and walked off. All the other campers followed them mumbling insults as they headed to their session.
"Man, the gods were not on our sides tonight" said Connor. Travis helped him up. They both headed to bed.
Chapter Three - Someone Drew an Aphrodite Spell:
The next morning Travis and Connor tried to lighten their moods, by of course, pulling another prank. They stole a mango from one of the trees in the woods, the dryads weren't happy but the Stoll’s didn’t care. They spray painted it gold and wrote 'for the hottest' on it. They planted it at the Aphrodite cabin door. Instantly the cabin broke out in fighting, all arguing about who it was for. Gucci shoes were flying everywhere and clothes were being torn. Travis and Connor fell to the floor laughing, that's when Drew realised they had been pranked.
"You stupid gorgons!" she stormed up to them.
"hahaa-" Travis tried to stop laughing. "Calm down Drew don't get your designer underwear in a twist" he burst out laughing once more. Drew glared at them and then behind her approached the rest of the cabin.
"You enjoy pranks do you?" Drew said deviously. "Fine let’s see how much you like this prank!" in which she pulled out a big makeup sponge and powder and threw it over the Stolls. When the mist of make-up cleared, Connor burst out laughing at Travis.
"Dude, nice look!" Travis grabbed a mirror one of the Aphrodite campers were holding and gasped. He looked like a girl, literally. His face was a tinged orange; he had bright red lips and smoky eye shadow on. His cheeks turned red and it wasn't because of the blusher.
"Yeah well look at you, you look like an extra out of Grease!" Connor looked down and realised why he felt like he couldn't breathe, his clothes had shrunk, they were skin tight and clung to his body. The Aphrodite campers all burst out laughing and shouting insults. Travis and Connor ran back to their cabin, other campers laughing as they ran by. Connor took off his clothes and replaced them, well at least that was over. Well, until Connor went to walk out and his current clothes shrunk on his body too. Travis ran out the bathroom soaking wet.
"Dude it won't come off! Whenever I wash it off it just reapplies itself!" Travis panicked.
"No matter how many times I change, my clothes keep shrinking 2 sizes too small!" Connor sighed. "I look like a geek."
"You are a geek." Travis said. They both sighed at each other and Travis put his shoulder on Connor's, they accepted it wasn’t going to go away so they walked out the cabin. As everyone formed together to eat breakfast there was a lot of mutter and giggling. Travis and Connor stood in the line with their heads down as the other campers yelled stuff at them.
"Nice look boys!"
"Travis I love your lipstick! Really matches your eyes!"
The Stoll’s looked up and they noticed all the Aphrodite campers winking, giggling and waving at them. Drew had a smirk on her face. Damn that girl was pretty but she sure was a cow, Connor thought.
It was rather hard to do sword fighting when no one could take you seriously, also it's pretty hard when you can't move properly because your clothes are so small. After so long they decided to give up and go sit down on the bench. A few minutes later Nyssa, daughter of Hephaestus, sat down next to them.
"Well, well, well what happened here" she giggled. She wore dungarees that were splattered in oil and grease, her black hair took back in a red bandana, although she was more built and taller than Connor and Travis, there was some beauty to the girl, especially for a Hephaestus kid.
"It's an Aphrodite spell." Travis replied.
"Really? I just thought you were trying a new style" She said sarcastically. "If so I was going to say it's not working," They all sat there in silence for a good minute. "Well, maybe I could possibly throw a wrench at Drew, tell her it's a type of Hephaestus spell." They laughed. Nyssa stood up tall and glared at the boys before taking a sword from her back pocket and twirling it in her hand.
"So, fancy a sword fight?" she teased.
"Isn't 2 on 1 a bit unfair? Especially when the 1 is a girl?" Travis asked.
"Guys look at yourselves, if anything I look more manly then both of you, plus Connor can barely move in those tight jeans, so it makes it totally fair." She put her sword up at eye level of the boys and winked.
"Let's do this." Connor smiled. With struggle Connor turned around to get his sword and all together the 3 battled.
Chapter Four - Piper's saving Grace:
Within the first minute Connor was on the floor after trying to kick out at Nyssa but falling over due to the restrictive jeans and so it was just Travis and her battling but it looked like Travis was losing because mascara kept getting in his eyes. Nyssa hit Travis with the flat of her sword and Travis slid across the floor.
"I give up, you win Nyssa." Travis panted. "You don’t happen to have a make-up wipe do you?"
Nyssa gave him an incredulous look and all three of them started laughing.
Later in the evening Connor and Travis were leading the Hermes cabin to tea/dinner but on entering they could tell there was something wrong, well, more than normal...
Connor looked over to Jake Mason who was sat at his table without the cabin's head counsellor Nyssa, they caught each other’s eye and Jake gave a clueless shrug. Connor's eyes wandered around some more trying to work out what was going on and he even risked a glance to the Aphrodite cabin and he noticed Drew wasn't there because her siblings were all flustered, probably a makeup malfunction or something, he then looked towards the Athena cabin and noticed that Malcolm (temporary head counsellor in place of Annabeth who's on a super important, super dangerous quest) wasn't there. Just as Connor started to piece it together, Grover Underwood (a saytr and Percy's bestfriend) came stomping over, or as close as he could get to stomping with hooves, and demanded
"Why are you here, you and Travis are meant to be at the big house for the council meeting?!" Connor and Travis both stood there stunned, and then in synchronisation they said "What council meeting?" And the grumpy satyr replied
"The emergency one that was called an hour ago, you know the one Aphrodite girl was supposed to tell you about?"
The realisation that Drew was responsible hit Connor hard, he didn't care about many things, but one thing he did care about was his cabin and looking after them since their ex-head counsellor wasn't exactly reliable in that department when he left them for Kronos or whatever. Connor and his brother took off running, or some semblance of running with too tight clothes and eye lashes malting constantly between the two of them. But they reached the big house and stormed in a little dramatically, interrupting Drew mid-sentence, she gave them a venomous look. Connor wondered what was more dangerous, an angry Aphrodite kid or an irritable kitten, right now he'd take the kitten, but he was snapped out of that thought as a deep voice sounded.
"Ahhh, boys, thank you for joining us at this mandatory head-council meeting and taking your rolls as head counsellors seriously"
"B-b-but…" Connor stammered
"Be quiet boy, we don't have time for this" There was absolutely no arguing with Chiron so Connor and Travis sheepishly took their seats around the Ping-Pong table.
"Well there's some good news campers... someone wake up Clovis, and Drew put that mirror away you look fine, Lou Ellen stop messing with mist...EVERYONE STOP AND LISTEN!"
The room went silent and everyone locked eyes with Chiron.
"Now as I was saying, good news! I just got an iris message from Annabeth and we've found Percy Jackson!"
The room went up in hysterics, there was a lot of chatter and smiles all round. Percy seems like some god, well actually he could have been since the gods offered him immortality but he refused. Gods knows why. Connor always got on well with Percy, to be honest he didn't think there was one person who doesn't get on well with Percy, he’s too likable and most of them wouldn't even be here if it wasn’t for him. After a while the room settled down and everyone turned to Chiron again, he was staring at Travis and Connor with a quizzical look.
"What in Hades happened to you two?" he asked.
Travis and Connor looked down at themselves as if just remembering their embarrassing outfit choice. Drew smirked.
"I think they look cute sir, nothing like a permanent Aphrodite beauty treatment to make you show off your best features!" Drew winked and started laughing, there were some other snickered from the rest of the group. Travis's face turned bright red, i thought it was of embarrassment until he stood up and yelled.
"YOU KNOW WHAT DREW, YOU THINK YOU'RE SO GREAT WITH YOUR SO CALLED PRETTY FACE AND FANCY CHARMSPEAK BUT YOU ARE NOTHING BUT AN UTTER APOLLO'S COW!" Everyone sat in shock, even Chiron had gone quiet. Travis was usually so quiet and Connor had never seen him with so much rage, he understood it though, he was completely right and he was sick of not being able to breathe in his tight clothes. Drew's eyes flared up and she stood up.
"I will not be spoken to like that in front of all the other cabin counsellors Stoll." she chimed.
Connor stood up beside Travis, determined to defend his brother and bestfriend.
"That's the thing Drew you're not even a counsellor, you're filling in since Piper has left on the quest, in which I need to remind you that she threatened you to a fight and you cowered out of it. Piper's a greater person than you any day and she's naturally beautiful!" Travis replied
"And what? Does that not make me unworthy to be here since I'm only a temp too?" Nyssa questioned with a harsh tone.
"She's right, am I not worthy for your little meetings Stoll’s?" Katie Gardner Agreed.
"Oh shut up Katie you've hated us ever since we put Easter bunnies on your cabin roof!" Connor answered.
"That's was stupid and disrespectful!" She shouted.
"Come on, everyone plays pranks on each other, it's all a bit of fun!" Malcolm from Athena defended.
"I don't think poisonous snakes are 'a bit of fun’” Will Solace answered.
"Oh get over it Will." Connor replied.
"He's right, I've seen worse pranks." Lou Ellen joined in.
"What like the time you used your stupid mist to make the Ares Cabin disappear? Yeah, great trick." Clarisse said.
"It's not stupid, the mist is the most powerful magic known to the gods, it can trick the entire mortal world into thinking that we don't exist, I think it can trick your sweaty, smelly cabin easy enough!" Lou Ellen argued.
"Listen here you tramp!" Clarisse screamed
"Wha...what are you yelling about? Stop it I’m trying to sleep.." Clovis mumbled but Connor didn’t think anyone heard him, the room was too loud.
"You Stoll twins are pathetic!" Drew yelled.
"Give the guys a break; I think you've tortured them enough!" Pollux answered.
The room was so loud with insults and tension. Suddenly Clarisse drew her sword (she's very dramatic like that) and that's when Chiron stepped out his wheelchair and turned into a half white stallion.
"That is enough for all of you! This behavior is disgraceful and for that you are all off to bed without dinner! If I catch any of you outside your cabins until breakfast tomorrow morning you'll be cleaning pegasi stables the lot of you. Now be gone!"
There was a lot of mumbling, cursing and shoving as everyone exited the big house. Everyone seemed to walk with everyone they had defended in the argument. Drew, Clarisse, Will, Katie and Nyssa in one cluster and Clovis, Pollux, Butch, Malcolm, Lou Ellen and the Stoll’s in another.
"Wow that went haywire pretty fast." Malcolm said. They all walked in silence for the rest of the way to the cabins, they exchanged nods as they each went inside.
"Dude, what happened to you tonight?" Connor asked Travis as they lay in their bunk beds. Travis lay on the top bunk with his hands behind his head.
"I don't know man, I was just pretty sick of looking in the mirror and reminding myself of how I'm permanently humiliated…" Travis sighed. Connor and Travis had pulled many pranks and stole a lot of stuff which ended up in being punished but for some reason being humiliated by Drew has struck something in Travis. He spoke about Piper Mclean earlier and said how she was beautiful and how she was better than Drew…maybe that had something to do with it. Connor decided to speak up.
"Travis…does you hating Drew have something to do with Piper?"
"What?" Travis stumbled. "What no! Why…why would you say that?"
"Dude, I'm your brother, I can see right through your lies."
Travis stayed quiet for a minute or so, Connor wondered if he had fell asleep, Connor decided to close his eyes when Travis answered.
"I don’t know man, she pretty…she's beautiful, but what does it matter? She's with Jason. Mr-I'm-the-son-of-Lord-Zeus-King-of-the-gods-I-can-fly-and-I-look-awesome-without-even-trying."
Connor was kind of surprised about how much he was going on about it, he knew he didn't really have anything against Jason, he was a nice guy but the guy was like a blonde superman, a born leader of New Rome, him and Travis weren't anything compared to him.
"Get some sleep dude." Connor replied and with that he closed his eyes and prepared for nightmares.
Chapter Five - Kronos Stoll Connor's friends:
Connor was woken up by a faint tapping on a window, at first he thought it was the rain but then he realised that the camp can control the weather so they could just make it stop. He lifted his head still half asleep to see a figure in the window. The hand gestured him to follow, Connor felt wary but his curiosity got the better of him. He quietly put on his jacket and headed out the door. He looked around and for a second the figure had gone. Maybe it was his imagination? Just then a hand grabbed him on the shoulder and he yelled.
"Shhh! You'll wake the campers!" The figure wore a dark red cloak and the voice was gentle and quiet. Connor stared at the person for a good minute in silence. That's when the figure raised their arms and took the hood off.
"Lou Ellen?" Connor asked.
"Yes dummy! Now shut up!" Lou Ellen grabbed his hand and dragged him down towards the beach. She placed her cloak on the sand and sat down; she patted the ground next to her gesturing for Connor to sit. Connor sat down, as he looked up the moonlight glared on Lou Ellen making her look like she had a glowing aura, her short, uneven hair blew gently in the breeze as the coloured streaks swayed on her head. Her eyes shone gold. Connor found himself staring at her and quickly snapped out of it before she looked at him.
"So…uhh, why did you drag me out in the middle of the night to the lake?" Connor asked.
"Shhh, the harpies will hear us…" She replied. Connor sat confused as he stared at Lou Ellen. Her eyes fixed on the horizon. She shivered and then shuffled closer to Connor. Connor shifted uneasily.
"Shh…" her fingers closed his lips. She pointed to the horizon. The water glimmered in the moonlight, the sky pitch black except for the stars. Connor tried to name some of the constellations he had learnt. One was "The Huntress", a girl with a bow and arrow, Zoe Nightshade. She was one of the hunters and during the long battle with Kronos, the hunters and campers joined together. Zoe died in one of many battles, but Artemis made her into a constellation to roam the skies. Connor was reminded of everyone who had been lost during the Battle of Manhattan.. Luke Castellan, Silena Beaureguard, Charles Beckendorf, Michael Yew, Lee Fletcher, Bianca Di Angelo, Castor and Ethan Nakamura, they had even lost Pan, God of the wild, Connor never really thought about him but his spirit had scared the enemy away saving the camp and making them win The Battle of The Labyrinth, he suddenly felt incredibly sad. Maybe Connor did joke about a lot but when it came down to it he'd do anything for his friends and help keep them safe. He looked down and in the dark a tear rolled down his face, he wiped it before Lou Ellen could see, well so he thought.
"I know, I feel the same…" She whispered "4 times a week I come down here and watch the stars as they replay stories in the skies, it's pretty magical."
"It's hardly magical to a daughter of Hecate, the goddess of magic." Connor answered.
"You'd think that." She looked up. "Yes my mother and I are able to use magic beyond compare but seeing the flowers bloom, the water shine, the birds sing, and the constellations dance, well that's more magical than any spell we can create." Lou Ellen stared at the horizon again and said no more. Connor believed she was right, sure they live in a world where mortals can believe that drakons are no more than large birds and that gods don't exist but the simple ways nature work can be pretty breath-taking. He stared out in the horizon and admired the moment. Lou Ellen shuffled closer to him and rested her head on Connor's shoulder. Connor felt his cheeks burning but he tried to focus on not shaking or sweating. He stared at Lou Ellen and she looked up. The golden eyes flickered as she stared at him. Her lips were rosy and delicate. Their faces edged closer together when they heard the sound of screaming harpies.
"Di Immortals!" Lou Ellen said. She grabbed Connor's hand and pushed him into the trees. Wings swatted around them and alarms sounded. Lou Ellen put on her cloak.
"Stay down." She told Connor and she ran into the open. "Well, well, well harpies! We meet again!" She called.
"Lou Ellen." the harpies echoed some cowered in response. Lou Ellen raised her hands and a red mist swirled around her, it rose above everything and then as it vanished the harpies were lying flat on the floor.
"Oh my gods, have you killed them?!" Connor yelled.
"Calm down dummy, they're only asleep." Lou Ellen gestured Connor to follow and they ran back through the woods until they got back to the cabins. They stopped outside Hecate’s cabin and Lou Ellen winked at him and waved.
"This was fun." She smiled and disappeared into the cabin. Connor quietly walked to his and when he closed the door he was startled by Travis sitting on the end of his bed.
"Dude, where have you been?" Travis whispered. Connor sat down on the bed next to his brother.
"Dude, I'm your brother, I can see right through your lies" Travis winked.
"Uhh…fine I was with Lou Ellen.."
"Lou Ellen!" Travis nudged his brother playfully. Connor couldn't help but smile, as well as be embarrassed.
"Nothing happened; we walked down the beach and sat there until we got caught by the harpies."
"But you wanted something to happen?" Travis elbowed Connor and winked. Connor pushed him back.
"Come on, man!" They both smiled. "I don't know, she's nice" Connor shrugged. They both went back to bed.
Chapter Six - Loving Nemesis:
The Stoll’s lead the Hermes cabin into breakfast the next morning, thankfully the Aphrodite spell had worn off so Travis was back to his man-ish self, well as man-ish as Travis could get. While Connor felt like he could breathe again in an orange t-shirt and shorts that actually fit him. At the table as they ate toast and fresh orange juice, Connor caught site of Lou Ellen on the Hecate table, she smiled and he smiled back nervously. He turned to see Travis raising his eyebrows.
"Shut up Travis."
Chiron came up behind Connor in wheelchair form.
"May I speak with you Connor?" he said. Travis and Connor exchanged looks and Connor sheepishly got up and walked with Chiron.
"Do you remember what I told you yesterday Mr Stoll?" He asked in a calm tone.
"Uhh…" Connor replied. Smart comment.
"After the outburst that occurred last night I specifically told everyone to remain in their cabins until tomorrow morning, do you remember now?"
"And it seems you are not capable of following simple rules. The harpies reported that you were wandering around near the beach late last night." Chiron remained to look forward.
"Oh, really?" Connor tried to remain calm.
"And you know what that means Mr Stoll?"
"Cleaning the stables..." Connor realised.
"Exactly, the tools are in the shed next to the big house, I'll come back at lunch to see how you're doing."
"Right sir" Connor said ashamed.
"Oh, and Mr Stoll? Try to stop breaking the rules." Chiron then wheeled off in direction of the big house and Connor headed to the shed. After he dragged everything to the stables Connor noticed what a state that place was. This was disgusting, although it did spark up some ideas for a new prank. He needed to remember to tell Travis later on. But first? Cleaning this horse sty. As Connor approached the stables he noticed Blackjack, Percy Jackson's Pegasus. Percy had the power to speak to Blackjack since his dad created horses out of sea foam, Connor wished he could speak to horses but all Connor was able to do was steal things. He was incredibly good at it though. He covered his nose as he cleaned up the rancid horse mess until Lou Ellen materialized next to him with a smug look on her face.
"About time you got here! Chiron got you too?" Connor asked as he scooped up the horse's left-behinds.
"Oh no, I just came to see how you were doing!" She laughed.
"What do you mean? You didn't get caught but I did?"
"That's exactly what I mean!" She laughed harder.
"What? How?" Connor said shocked.
"Centaurs are easily manipulated by the mist!" Connor face went a tinge red, he felt angry, how was this fair?
"So you could make him believe that neither of us was there but you made him believe it was just me?" Connor's voice rose. Lou Ellen looked rather shocked. That's when Chiron came up to them still in wheelchair form.
"Mr Stoll, you've only got half of it done! You're a slow worker." He noted. Connor's anger suddenly washed away from him and a grin spread over his face.
"Actually Chiron, I've done my bit, I was going to let Lou Ellen do the rest, since she was out her cabin as well last night!"
"What?" Chiron questioned.
"That's right! She used the mist to make you believe it was just me, but don't worry because you know now!" Chiron's face became angry.
"Well Miss Lou Ellen, I believe you have work to do!" That's when Chiron got out of his wheelchair and turned into half a stallion and galloped off. Connor looked at Lou Ellen and gave her a cheeky wink.
"See you later babe!" He smirked and ran off back to the cabins.
"CONNOR!" Lou Ellen shouted but Connor was already too far ahead.
When Connor got back to cabins he got a shower and headed to his lesson. He met up with Travis at the pegasi wooden trail.
"Oh gods man, please no more pegasi.." He groaned.
"Dude what happened to you?" Travis asked.
"Oh, got caught for sneaking out, had to clean the stables."
"Bummer, anyway I can't be bothered pegasi riding either, wanna go steal stuff from the camp store?" And they both walked off to raid the shop.
Chapter Seven - Something smells funny around here:
On the way there Connor decided to voice his idea about the prank he was plotting while in the stables.
"Dude, I was thinking, what if we were to you know, cause a stinking havoc?"
Travis raised his eyebrows looking intrigued. "Go on.."
"Well, while I was surrounded by horse dung all morning all I could think about was how much it frickin’ stinks, like worse than Clarisse’s breath." At this they both let out a little snigger. "And I was thinking that it sucks that I had to endure it, so I was thinking that we let everyone else know just how awful it smells!"
Travis was smiling now clearly on board with the idea, "I'm listening…"
"Kay, so what I say we do is make little stink bombs but disguise them in a parcel and offer them as a sort of truce to the likes of Drew, Clarisse and Will. And when they open them they'll explode and we can get Lou Ellen to enchant them or something so no amount of perfume can cover it up!"
Travis had a mischievous look on his face, like he was just imagining the possibility of the uproar it'll create.
"I love it!" he snickered, but then his face grew more serious and thoughtful "but how are we going to get the parcels to work because we're not exactly good at that stuff, and we could of gone to Nyssa but she's on the dark side now, so, dude, what do we do?" Connor thought about this for a moment before replying
"Well what about Malcolm? Sure it might take a little longer but he's clever and good with his hands so I reckon he could do it!"
Travis seemed to accept this, and at this point they were at the shop and instead of looting it randomly, they got everything they thought they'd need.
Once clear of the shop and back in the safety of their own cabin, they put their newly acquired stuff down and began to plan how to get Malcolm and Lou Ellen on board.
"How're we going to get them to help?" Travis asked.
"Well I was thinking that you could talk to Malcolm, whilst I go to the stables and talk to Lou Ellen, and I'll also get the horse dung, but we're not keeping that in here because it stinks." Connor said. Travis nodded throughout it. And Connor seemed especially eager about the talking to Lou Ellen part.
"I think we should hide the bag of horse poop in the Ares cabin, I mean it'd be hard to tell the difference anyway." Travis said and Connor couldn't agree more.
So off they set Travis in the direction of the Athena cabin and Connor in the direction of the stables. Still being quite far away he could smell it and could only imagine how much worse it would be for Lou Ellen as he watched her scurry around, her fluorescent hair bobbing around everywhere. As he approached she turned and glared at him "Thanks for getting me into this, it stinks!!" she exclaimed.
"You started it, but anyway that's not why I'm here..."
"What? Have you come to apologise?" she interrupted.
"Nope, although I've got something that'll make it worth your while," she rolled her eyes in response but Connor could see he had piqued her curiosity.
"Go on" she sighed.
"Okay, so me and Travis are planning a prank…"
"Of course you are..." she muttered, but Connor carried on regardless
"And we need your help; we're pranking all those who crossed into the dark side last night." At this Lou Ellen smiled and Connor's heart skipped a beat, even here surrounded in horse dung he could see how pretty she was.
"Okay, what do you need to me to do?" she said with a mischievous twinkle in her eye and Connor knew she was on board. Just as he was about to start explaining, the pair heard footsteps behind then, or rather hoof steps and turned around to see Chiron coming back towards them, he looked around the stables and said nothing except "it's campfire time, you should probably go and get cleaned up." and he turned and galloped off.
"I'll tell you all of it later but it involves enchanting a parcel." Connor whispered as they watched Chiron go. Lou Ellen just nodded in response.
Just before Lou Ellen and Connor departed, he remembered the bag in his back pocket he took it out but realised he had no gloves and he was not picking up horse poop without gloves.
"Hey, can I borrow your gloves a second?"
Lou Ellen looked at him strangely but took her gloves off and then started waving them in Connors face trying to playfully slap him with them. Connor grabbed her hand to stop her and before either of them knew what happened they were in each other’s embrace, the gloves completely forgotten, Connor hesitantly leaned down, whilst Lou Ellen shyly leaned up, and their lips met. Connor's heart was doing somersaults in his chest. Despite where they were, and the gods-awful smell around them, he was happy. But then he felt something weird on the back of his neck, like rubber and he broke off the kiss, reaching around his neck he found it was Lou Ellen with the gloves, okay so the gloves weren't entirely forgotten, he looked back at her and she grinning mischievously and he couldn't help but grin back.
Chapter Eight - Payback Plan 1.0:
He couldn't stop smiling even as he walked back to his cabin with a bag of horse dung in his hand, Travis was waiting for him and on seeing Connor's face Travis started to grin "Dude, you got it bad!" and Connor grinned in response, infact his cheeks were beginning to hurt from smiling so much. To change the subject Connor waved the bag of horse poop which was enough to make Travis gag and stop him from grinning goofily
"So, what did Malcolm say?" Connor asked his brother.
"He said he's in and that it should be quite easy, what about Lou Ellen?" He asked with a smirk.
"She's in too!" Connor returned the smirk.
"Well then, I think we have some horse poop to place!" Travis said, and they both made their way to the Ares cabin.
In the Hermes cabin ,just before dinner when everyone had some free time, Connor, Travis, Lou Ellen, Malcolm, Pollux, Butch and Clovis (who was half asleep) were all gathered togther around the Stolls bunk beds. Connor started to talk.
"Right, welcome ladies and gentlemen..and Butch. This is a prank that we like to call 'The Payback Plan 1.0' On the night of the riot, we were humiliated!."
"YEAH!" The campers chanted.
"We were insulted!"
"And baby is the revenge going to be sweet." Everyone cheered. Travis continued.
"So currently as we speak, there are bags of horse dung hiding in the Ares cabin. This is where you come in Butch. You're going to go speak to one of them and get yourself inside to get the parcels and return back without being found out. Then when we come back our fantastic Mr Malcolm will wrap up the parcels with our help and create a trigger inside that will make it explode when the timer is up which is hopefully when the parcels are in each cabin. Then the lovely Lou Ellen here will use her magic to enchant the parcels one by one and make sure that the smell is permanant. She'll also transport them because if we pick them up then its sure to explode up infront of us and that would be a nasty backfire."
"Tonight will be a messy messy night!" Pollux chimed. Everyones cheered once more and set up for positions.
Chapter Nine - Lou Ellen La Rues the day:
After dinner the campfire was in half an hour so last session wasn't on tonight, everyone was back in the Hermes cabin as Lou Ellen was transporting the parcels.
"When it's done, everyone split up and run to your cabins. Watch out the window and when the prank is over we act like it never happened. Then at the campfire we will celebrate our sweet revenge!" Travis confirmed. The last parcel disappeared and the group dispersed.
Aphrodite was the first to notice the parcel. Drew looked at the note which read:
‘Let's make a truce’.
She leant down and picked up the parcel, her face confused she walked into the cabin and then a high pitch scream came from everyone inside, even the boys. The parcel exploded. One by one the screams increased in the cabins and out ran the Aphrodite's, Hepheastus's, Demeter's, Ares's and Apollo's. They ran up to each other disgusted and screaming, the rancid smell of horse waste attacked their nostrils and poisoned the camp. Just then the horn blew for the campfire, everyone showered and the camp all met in the amphitheatre.
Chiron stood in front of the fire when he looked puzzled.
"What in the gods name is that smell?!" He shouted covering his nose. Half the campers whimpered in response when someone in the Hermes cabin shouted.
"It's half the camper’s sir!"
"We got pranked!" Kayla from Apollo shouted. Chiron rolled his eyes and put his hands on his hips.
"Alright...who was it?" Everyone was silent until Travis stood up.
"Chiron sir, I would just like to say... how beautifully sweet revenge is!" Travis laughed. Connor stood up as well.
"Thank Nemesis!" He roared.
"You did this?!" Drew screamed.
"I'll slice you two to pieces!" Clarisse threatened. Pollux stood up behind the Stoll’s.
"Oh but why would you give credit to just the Stoll’s? If it wasn't for my buddy Butch here!" He patted Butch and the bulky teen stood up. "We wouldn't have gotten the horse waste out of the Ares cabin!" The Ares cabin looked horrified and some of them gagged.
"Oh but if it wasn't for my main man Malcolm here…" Butch picked Malcolm up like a tooth pick and plonked him on his feet. "We wouldn't have manufactured those awesome bombs that made each parcel explode all over you!" Connor took Lou Ellen's hand and held it up in the air.
"But most of all…if it wasn't for the wonderful Lou Ellen we couldn't of been able to enchant those parcels to make the smell permanent for at least a month!!" All the participants roared and chanted.
The other cabins went mental. They screamed and used some language that Connor's mother would have washed his mouth out with soap if she ever heard him say such words. Clarisse once again grabbed her sword and ran at the Stoll’s, Lou Ellen jumped out in front of them and counteracted Clarisse's swing, the two of them started a sword fight, twisting and jabbing at each other, Chiron galloped over to break up the fight but not before Lou Ellen missed a blow and Clarisse slashed her across the face. She fell and Connor caught her.
"Clarisse you utter gorgon!" Travis jabbed.
"She shouldn't have got in the way!" Clarisse and the rest of the campers followed her away leaving their new horse perfume. Lou Ellen remained motionless in Connor's arms. Connor started to tear up and pleaded.
"GET HER SOME NECTER OR AMBROSIA!" he caressed her hair and rocked her, Butch returned with ambrosia and Connor force fed it her. She weakly chewed on it, her eyes fluttered open and she winced. Malcolm examined her and she sat up.
"That cut is awfully deep, I think it's going to scar" he said regretfully. Connor helped her back to her cabin, he would of carried her like a princess in a film but he wasn't that strong. He helped her on her bed and she smiled at Connor.
"Thank you" She managed now the ambrosia had worked and made her feel strong again.
"No thank you, you took a stab for me." Connor looked down embarrassed.
"I'm happy to fight for you Connor, always have." They stared at each other. Connor cupped Lou Ellen's face with his hand, stroking her new scar.
"Clarisse will pay for doing this"
"No it's okay. Besides, it makes me look tough." they gently laughed. In no time Connor and Lou Ellen were kissing once again, holding each other in their embrace.
"Alright, get a room guys." Lou Ellen's brother shouted. Connor kissed Lou Ellen on the cheek and said goodbye.
Chapter Ten - Someone stole the Stolls:
A couple of nights later, no pranks had been played anywhere, there was an awful air tension and uncertainty all over the camp, as well as pegasi manure, Travis could barely get sleep certain that someone is about to strike, but still nothing. Even at meal times everyone was cautious on what they were eating or constantly looking round. Back in the cabins midnight crept into the rooms and danced around, Connor and Travis were so incredibly tired from staying up on what they call 'After Prank Watch', both their eyelids grew heavy and they dozed off. Everything seemed well until screaming was heard. Connor bolted up to see Travis being dragged off by Will Solace. Connor jumped up to get him until big meaty hands grabbed him from behind. Clarisse La Rue. Connor and Travis struggled and forced against them, in the corner of Connor's eye he noticed other campers being dragged off as well. Malcolm was grabbed by Nyssa; Butch was grabbed by several campers since he put up such a strong fight. Lou Ellen was grabbed by Drew and Pollux was unconscious being dragged along the floor by Miranda and Katie Gardener. Everything went black for a good 5 minutes. When Connor's vision cleared he was upside down, roped up by his feet against a giant wall, he looked next to him and found everyone else tied up as well. The Dark Side were laughing and pointing as Connor and his friends hung upside down. To make it even more embarrassing Connor slept in his underwear.
"Let us down!" Lou Ellen screamed.
"Oh, but why would we do that? You look so funny up there!" Drew yelled up. All of them struggled in their rope even though if they got loose they would fall head first into Mother Earth. The laughter and screaming managed to wake up the rest of the camp in which all of the victims’ brothers and sisters came running out.
"What are you doing?! Pollux is unconscious!" a daughter of Iris screamed. Then all the other campers ran out then.
"Oh my gods! Well done guys!" Kayla from Apollo laughed, high-fiving her brother Will. Next thing they knew the whole camp had divided into two, screaming and fights broke out, Connor observing it all with his sword boxers on. Over ran Chiron and Dionysus. Dionysus tied up all the campers in grape vines to stop the fighting while Chiron galloped over to untie everyone that was still dangling.
"EVERYONE AT THE CAMPFIRE RIGHT THIS INSTANT." Dionysus boomed as he was unravelling the vines.
All the camp gathered round the campfire taking their seats, all in their pyjamas, Connor shivering in his underwear. Chiron paced back and to on his hooves.
"What in Hades were you thinking?" Chiron scolded. Clarisse stood up.
"It's payback sir for making us smell like this!" Some people started gagging, a lot covering their noses.
"It's 2 in the morning and I'm woken up to the camp beginning a civil war! It's unacceptable, if anyone is caught outside their cabins before breakfast ever again you'll be severally punished! I want everyone to make a truce right now, stop the stupid pranks and get to bed all of you!" He instructed. Everyone got up and went to bed.
Chapter Eleven- Austin's Powers:
"Connor?" It was Lou Ellen. Connor turned around to see his girlfriend (they were official now), her pastel hair stuck up and blowing in the night air and her rainbow pyjamas wrapped over her delicate frame. She smiled at him rubbing her wrists from the rope burns. She laughed seeing Connor strolling in his underwear.
"Looking good babe," she laughed slapping his behind. Connor jolted and Travis muffled a laugh beside him.
"Shut up." He replied wrapping his arm over her shoulder. They both stopped outside the Hecate cabin and Lou Ellen looked up at Connor, their eyes glaring into each other’s as their hands intertwined. Lou Ellen lifted herself on her tiptoes as her lips met Connor's. Travis scoffed and rolled his eye, his arms crossed and tapping his foot impatiently. Connor and Lou Ellen parted but didn’t lose eye contact. Connor's eyes crinkled at the edges.
"Well goodnight" Lou Ellen said delicately.
"What? You're not gonna invite me inside? I'm already in my nightwear." He replied lightly curling her hair in his fingers.
"Don't be daft we wouldn't all fit in her bed." Travis spoke, making Lou Ellen and Connor break apart, both suddenly aware of Travis, their faces blushing. They both awkwardly smiled at each other and left. Connor kept looking back as Lou Ellen leaned against the door smiling.
"Stop it dude, you're making me want to be sick." Travis complained. It took a second for Connor to turn back towards Travis.
"Oh shut up Travis." Connor meant it to be playful but the look on Travis's face made him realise it must have come out differently.
"Unbelievable." Travis scoffed, storming off. Connor ran after him forgetting the cold he felt being in his boxers.
"What is your problem Travis? Do you not like Lou Ellen?" Connor questioned harshly.
"Don't be stupid, of course I like her, she’s a fricking dream, a true delight to have around, only the fact that you're never around when she’s not." Connor looked at his brother stunned.
"Travis, are you jealous?" Connor smirked nudging his brother. Travis didn't take it so kindly.
"Get away Connor." He pushed his brother and walked faster. Connor trailed back a bit, still puzzled on his brother's behaviour. Anger rose into his voice.
"You are jealous! Just because the girl you like doesn't like you back!" He yelled. Travis stopped dead in his tracks. He turned to his brother and walked over. He got right into Connor's face he stared him dead in the eye.
"Never say that again." He pushed his brother back and walked off. Connor let his brother leave. He stood there for a moment incredibly shocked, in all the time they've spent together, which is pretty much every day of their lives; Travis had never acted like that to him. Connor suddenly felt a knot in his stomach. A massive amount of guilt began to build in his bones, no longer aware he was freezing and half naked.
"Who does he like?" asked a voice. It was Jake Mason of Hephaestus cabin. Connor shot him a dirty look, shook his head and walked off ignoring him.
Walking back to his cabin another camper stopped him.
"I'm not happy with you." It was Apollo's son Austin.
"You need to be more specific on why." He replied half-heartened.
"I've just had to beg Chiron to let me stay in the guest room in the Big House since I can't stand the smell of my fellow brethren, luckily I wasn't in the cabin when the explosion happened, but it's still been a curse to me!" jabbing Connor in his bare chest.
"I would maybe have a shred of guilt but sadly after being tied upside down in your underwear for the whole camp to see? Yeah suddenly I don't feel so apologetic." He said. Both of them eyed each other up.
"You know, I have a few tricks up my sleeve as well." Austin said finally.
"Oh, really? Gee I'd love to see your magic act, but I'm not in the mood."
"Oh you don't have a choice." Austin stepped back staring at Connor. Connor remained bored and motionless. "You probably know my father is the God of music right?" Connor nodded. "Have you ever been a fan of heavy metal Connor?" Connor went to reply with no but Austin interrupted him. "Well get used to it." And with that Austin raised his hands and Connor kneeled over clasping his ears as the sound of drums and screaming vocalist filled his ear drums drowning out the rest of the world. He couldn't hear Austin but he noticed him laughing as he strolled off into the night.
Chapter Twelve - Zeus is electro-cute:
Connor couldn't sleep the whole night. The screaming only got louder and the drums only boomed more, his brain pumping making him groan but he couldn't hear himself. He tossed and turned in his bed. You think music would be a pleasure to listen to, but not heavy metal, not at 4am in the morning when you're trying to sleep. Connor couldn't hear the alarm go for breakfast but he noticed all his cabin mates waking up since his eyes never closed the whole night. The heavy music still bounded in his ears and he noticed a few scoffs and dirty looks from his half brothers and sisters because they thought they were being ignored, when in reality Connor seriously couldn't hear them. He did also note that Travis hadn't bothered to speak to him at all. They sat down for breakfast when Connor noticed Apollo's cabin all snickering in his direction, Austin smiling deviously. It seemed to be that when he looked at Austin the music only got louder, Connor stood up grabbing his ears.
"DI IMMORTALES, STOP IT!" His voice swallowed up in the music. He felt all the tables look up at him wondering why he was screaming. He couldn't hear Travis's talking to him but he felt his hand on his shoulder, his concerned look on his face. Connor swatted it aside and fell over the bench, the music rising in his ears now becoming a brain aching screech. Connor wailed out in pain. The Apollo cabin laughing and Lou Ellen ran up to him, shouting his name, Travis on the other side shaking him. The whole world drowned out, Connor started to feel light headed as the noise crushed his brain. Everything went black.
Connor woke up in the infirmary, his head banging but no more heavy music bursting his ear drums. He could hear pegasi wings flapping around in the fields and campers’ sword-fighting, the sound of celestial bronze touching made Connor grateful he was a demigod for the first time ever. When his vision cleared he noticed two figures peering over him.
"Hey" Lou Ellen said delicately. "How you doing..?" Connor sat up.
"Better, I can hear now, although I do have a ringing in my ears."
"We were worried" She said.
"Yeah it's not every day your brother keels over grabbing his ears after I told him a funny story, I didn't think you would react like that to it anyway." Travis contributed. Connor smiled
"I didn't hear you sorry, tell me again."
"I tried a new pick up line on another camper, you know the tall girl with pink hair? Yeah well I walked up to her and said 'Are you a daughter of Zeus? Because girl you're electro-cute' She just stared at me disgusted, said she was a daughter of Hypnos. I don't think she got it." Connor laughed gently. Travis smiled.
"So how did you manage to get Austin put a spell on you?" Lou Ellen asked.
"Said he had to stay in the Big House because he couldn't stand the smell of his cabin" All three of them smiled mischievously. "He stood there and put a music spell on me, all I could hear for 12 hours was screaming metal songs, I tell you if I hear one more Blood on The Dancefloor song, I'm going to kill myself." He finished. Lou Ellen stood up and smiled,
"Anyone want a coffee or something?"
"I'm alright." Connor replied.
"I'll take one Lou," Travis said happily. They both smiled at each other.
"Coming right up, back in a flash." She winked kindly at Travis, and beamed a smile at Connor. Connor noticed them being so friendly to each other and decided to mention it,
"You and Lou Ellen are getting along well"
"Hmm? Oh yeah, Well we've been here all morning by your side, we just started talking." Travis paused, his smile fading. "Connor, about the last night…"
"Look, Travis you don't-"
"No listen, I'm sorry I shouted at you, it's not that I'm jealous, I don’t know I just felt like third wheel, but after I walked off I felt so bad having lashed out at you because that's not us, from now on I'll never complain or shout at you again okay.." Connor started laughing straight away and Travis stared at him, a frown on his face.
"What's so funny?" He questioned.
"Dude," Connor laughed. "You have no idea how much of a girl you sound right now." Travis laughed and punched him playfully in the arm.
"Shut up you idiot," He replied smirking.
Chapter Thirteen - Stoll-less:
A few hours later after numerous shots of nectar, Connor left the infirmary feeling perfectly well. He left just in time for dinner so he ran to his cabin and met up with Travis and together they led their cabin to eat. Whilst they were sat at the tables, Connor looked over to the Apollo table and saw Will, Kayla and Austin in a conversation, each one of them glancing at Connor in turn. Connor felt the tops of his elfish ears, inherited from his father, flame red with rage but he managed to keep a cool face and even smile at Austin. Once the Apollo’s went off to shoot arrows, Connor turned to Travis and demanded “I want revenge and I want it now!”
Travis grinned at his brother and said “I wondered when you were going to say that.” but Connor barely heard what he said, he was consumed with an uncharacteristic rage. How dare those good for nothing Apollo’s do that, it wasn’t even what they did to him personally, but the fact that their “pranks” were more bordering on physical abuse. Lou Ellen’s face was scarred because of their stupid pride or whatever it is that they’re so godsdamn upset about. Connor didn’t know how, but he would make the whole Dark Side pay for it. The ultimate revenge.
Except neither he, nor Travis had any ideas how to pull it off. They decided to involve as least people as possible considering the consequences of last time, but that did limit them. Connor didn’t care. He’d make Will, Austin, Kayla, Clarisse and all her pig-head siblings pay. He went to sleep that night deep in thought.
The following afternoon, the Stoll’s monster fighting class were on a practical which means venturing into the woods to defeat some of the nasty things that live there. With his sword in his hand and Travis by his side holding only his shield as he lost his sword somewhere, Connor felt pretty confident, he slew a few monsters and felt invincible. It made him feel even better knowing that Clarisse’s magic spear number 2 was malfunctioning so she wouldn’t be top of the class again, and that Will and Kayla were having trouble shooting their arrows as their stench was rather distracting.
Connor was stood in a small clearing with Travis both on the lookout for any monsters that dare mess with the Stoll’s when he caught a glimpse of a shiny, silky package. Now given his past history with objects he knows nothing about, Connor thought he should be more cautious but what more did he have to lose? He went racing over leaving Travis to trail behind after him. They dived through the bushes and looked at the parcel, it seemed familiar. Travis was the one to name it
“Dude, isn’t that the package we were meant to find when Annabeth and Percy found the labyrinth? And Quintus strapped it to one of them massive scorpion things?”
“Who’s Quintus?” Connor asked with his eyebrows raised in a quizzical look.
“Daedalus, same person, whatever.”
“Oh, sorry I guess I forgot about that with everything else that happened, I just remember the Battle of the Labyrinth and the rest of it’s a blur..” Connor said looking slightly ashamed of himself. A thought suddenly occurred to Connor. “Wait, if this is the monster’s package then where is the monster?”
They both started looking around their immediate area which was mainly trees. After assessing the coast as clear they turned to each other
“So what do we do with this?” Travis asked pointing to the silk package.
“Do you think the scorpion is still guarding this?”
“Erm, maybe, in fact it probably is because if anyone killed it, they’d of taken the package wouldn’t they?”
“Probably,” Connor was in deep thought when an idea struck him. “Maybe we could use this to our advantage, we could use it to get our revenge.” Connor barely registered the worried look Travis shot his brother.
“Bro, don’t you think it’s a bit extreme getting monsters involved?” asked Travis in a wary voice.
“Well they boast about being the best all the time so why shouldn’t they get the chance to prove it?”
Travis had to admit that the Ares’ and Apollo’s bigheadedness was really annoying. Connor continued on before Travis had a chance to think any of it through “What I think we should do is gather the Dark Side in the amphitheatre or somewhere close to the edge of the forest and hide the package so the scorpion can come and look for it and give our buddies a surprise!”
“Connor, are you sure about this?” Travis asked with concern.
“Yes, now you can hide the package and stay with it to make sure we get no-one ruining our revenge and I’ll gather them round in the amphitheatre, okay?” Connor asked, Travis could see how much this meant to him and so he agreed, besides a little revenge would be sweet. Travis nodded at his brother and picked up the silky package and together they headed back towards the camp.
Connor didn’t realise how late it was as the sun was setting casting a lovely deep orange glow over the camp, Connor couldn’t help but think of how much Lou Ellen would love this. If he moved quick enough he could catch her after her Pegasus riding lesson and they could miss the evening meal and just sit together on the beach looking at the beauty of it.
“Yo man, I’m going to go and find Lou, that okay?” Connor asked almost cautiously.
Travis raised his eyebrows and replied “You better go now because this pretty sunset you’ve been staring at isn’t going to last forever,” he smirked just for effect “I’ll just go wait near the ampithreatre with the parcel.”
“Alright bro, won’t be long, don’t miss me too much!” Connor added with a wink. Travis blew him a kiss and they both walked in separate directions laughing to themselves.
Connor caught Lou Ellen and wrapped his arms around her waist whilst kissing her hair, “Hey my enchanting enchantress, how would you care to watch the sunset on the beach with me?” Lou spun around in his arms to face him and gave a shy giggle and replied,
“Whisk me away my troublesome trouble maker!”
They sat together on the sandy shores of the beach with his arm around her shoulders and her head nestled into his chest until the last of the sun disappeared over the horizon “It never gets any less beautiful no matter how many times you see it.” Lou Ellen speculated. Connor pulled away and looked into her face and said from the bottom of his heart,
“That’s how I feel every time I see you.” They stared at each other for a moment, but then each gradually started to smile and then giggle, and then ended up rolling around in hysterics.
Connor didn’t realise just how late it was getting and Travis would be waiting with a potentially dangerous monster on his trail. Then Connor remembered that Travis had no weapon other than a shield, he had to go and check if everything was okay. So he got up and ran off towards the amphitheatre leaving Lou Ellen shouting after him.
Travis reached the structure and found a nice comfy spot in the shadows just in front of a large column of the ampithreatre while he waited for Connor and the others, if he got spotted he might even be mistaken for Nico Di Angelo, not that they looked anything alike, merely their fondness for shadows. Thinking about it, Travis might like the shadows because he’s always in them, he found himself thinking that if maybe he stepped out of the shadow and at least spoke to Piper then they could be friends, nothing more of course because anyone can see that Piper is completely smitten with Jason. For some reason he was having all these deep thoughts, thoughts he wasn’t even aware he had, especially not shared. Maybe it was time to move out of the shadows Travis thought. He looked to his right where his shiny shield was, except it had a bit of dirt on it so he reached to his left to use a bit of the silk from the package to clean it but realised it had some black fluid on it that wasn’t there before. Travis put together the pieces just as the tail of the scorpion came swooping down, he had just enough time to grab his shield and the piercer impaled the shield instead of him. He quickly scrambled up and ran to grab the nearest weapon he could, he dived for a sword when he heard a screeching noise of something flying through the air at high speeds, he thought ‘this is it, I’m going to die without even saying goodbye to Connor..’ but instead of pain, he didn’t feel anything so he turned around and saw that the monstrous scorpion had an arrow in his side and was flapping desperately at it. Travis looked around and saw Will Solace with a grim smile, never before had he been so grateful for an Apollo camper.
“TRAVIS BEHIND YOU!” He heard Connor shout although he couldn’t see him yet, and he turned just in time to see the scorpion’s tail come flying down straight towards his chest, he moved his sword hand but too little too late. A searing pain entered his chest just underneath his lung, or maybe in his lung, there was too much pain to specify. He vaguely heard a battle cry from two sides, his brother and Will, Travis guessed. Within a minute the two were leaning over his face meaning that the monster had been quickly disposed of and Will was trying to assess Travis’ injuries while Connor was staring at Travis with love, worry and a desperate look on his face, each time Travis winced in pain Connor glared daggers at Will.
Travis couldn’t help but feel strangely guilty for that, it wasn’t his fault that all this had started, sure, he played a part in it, a pretty big part but he didn’t start it. No-one did. All’s he wanted was for Connor to live a long, fun, happy life surrounded by amazing people. The people at this camp were amazing, Will was amazing, that’s pretty evident in the fact he’s working away over him after everything that’s happened, Travis thought. They all need to just get over it, it was his dying wish. He’d never felt more sure of it in his entire life, sure it wouldn’t be as influential as Ethan Nakamura’s , but as long as it helped Connor, that was all he could ever ask for because he was sure that Connor would do the same in his position. He found a sudden burst of strength and gripped his brother’s hand whilst he fought for breaths and rasped out “forgive and forget Connor, okay, promise me?” Connor nodded vigorously as if to shake the tears from his eyes. Travis smiled, and then everything went black.
Chapter Fourteen- The Romans Are Coming:
Connor kneeled over his brother, Travis's name tearing from his throat, tears streaming down his face, he shook his brother viciously, he turned to Will.
"DO SOMETHING, YOU'RE SUPPOSE TO BE A HEALER!" He screamed. Will turned to him with sad eyes, he put a hand on his shoulder and looked at him sympathetically.
"I'm sorry Connor..it's too late, Travis is gone.." Up came Lou Ellen running to the scene.
"What happened to Travi-" She stared down at his lifeless body. "Oh my gods...Connor.." She struggled, a lump in her throat, her hand covering her mouth. Connor gently touched Travis's pale face.
"You can't leave me Travis..I'm nothing without you.." He whispered, his head down. "This is my fault.."
"Connor don't you dare think that, I saw it all, it was the monster.." Will interjected.
"No you don't understand, that monster was meant to be a prank for almost crushing my brain, It was stupid revenge on you lot and it killed my brother!!" His voice raised.
"Connor.." Lou Ellen said gently, taking hold of his hand. Connor's voice died. He turned to Lou Ellen, who was now on her knees next to Connor, and he shrank into her frame, bursting into tears, he grabbed her screaming into her orange t-shirt. She rocked him and stroked his hair, a tear rolling down her light face. Other campers started to gather round, some of the Hermes campers whimpered and stood in shock, teary eyed. Even the dark side had come and all the rage of the camp died down, Clarisse stood and patted Connor on the shoulder. Out came Chiron and Dionysus. They observed Travis, blood surrounding him from his wound. Chiron stood still shaken by the scene.
"Oh my..." Dionysus spoke. Connor looked up hopelessly at the wine god.
"Get a shroud for Mr Travis Stoll.." Chiron said gently, and he trotted off.
Even after Travis had be taken Connor remained knelt in the same position for another hour. Lou Ellen embracing him from behind, her eyes blood shot from crying. Connor hardly spoke, except for the quiet repetition of Travis's name. Footsteps were heard behind him, he didn't move. A skinny frame knelt down next to him, the smell or grapes brushed Connor's nose.
'Connor?' It was Pollux. Dionysus's son.
'I don't really want to talk right now.' Connor replied miserably.
'Connor I know how you feel..' Connor forgot that Pollux was actually a twin and his brother Castor had died in The Battle of The Labyrinth. Connor lifted up his head to stare at the boy.
'When I lost Castor, I thought my life was over, I felt like I'd lost a limb, when infact I'd lost my other half. I don't want to sit here and tell you everything's going to be okay because I'm not entirely sure it will. All I'm saying is Travis would be proud of you, as Castor would be of me.' He paused, tears in his eyes. 'If you ever need to talk, you know where to find me.'
'Thanks Pollux..' was all Connor could manage. Pollux patted Connor on the back and stood up. He stood there for a moment staring at him, as if Connor reminded him of his past. He faintly smiled and walked off.
At the campfire the fire always changed colour to accomodate the mood of the camp. Today it was black. Connor stood by his brother's body and threw an orange shroud of it, golden wings embroided in the centre. He took the torch and faced the campers.
"Travis.." he choked. "Travis was my favourite person in the world, we never spent a day apart, it was his positivity and humour that kept us both going through the hardest times.." He paused taking a deep breath. "Travis's last request was to forgive and forget, to forget this stupid feud and make a truce..and that's what we will do.." His body shivered. "And therefore...i-i- i shall never play another prank again." The crowd gently gasped. Connor turned around and lit the shroud. He watched as his brother's remains burn in the flames. He stared at the dancing colours, hardly aware of his surroundings, Travis spiralling in the sky and fading into the stars, something in Connor died that day..along with his brother and best friend.
Connor sat at the Hermes cabin for dinner the next day. His face pale, his cheeks caved in and hollow dark circles under his eyes, his expression broken. He had barely touched his food. His brothers and sisters tried to comfort him but Connor acted like he wasn't all there.
He sat by the lake a few nights later, staring at the stars and the constellations played out stories in the sky. Connor couldn't help thinking why Travis didn't deserve some sort of recognition, how come Travis wasn't a constellation, pulling pranks and stealing things from the other stars. Sure Travis wasn't any well known hero like Percy Jackson, but he sure was Connor's hero, and that counted for something didn't it?
Lou Ellen walked over and gently sat down next to him, even with the painful grief he was feeling, Connor couldn't help noticing how beautiful his girlfriend was, her wavy short hair pulled back with a heart clip, a flowery top underneath light dungarees.
"You look beautiful.." He managed quietly. She smiled and Connor's heart did a little summersault.
"And you look awful." She said blankly, she sat down next to Connor and rested her head on his shoulder. "Do you remember when I first brought you down here?"
"What, when you made those harpies unconscious, and disguised yourself so only I had to clean the stables?"
"But you told on me and i had to clean them anyway?" She laughed gently. Connor half smiled, it was the first time she had seen him slightly happy in a week.
"Yeah well you deserved it." he said. He looked at Lou Ellen and smiled. He cupped her face and lightly kissed her on the lips.
"Thank you.." He said, his hand touching her face and curling her hair around his finger.
"For what exactly?"
"For being here.." He rested his head on hers so their noses were touching. He held that position for a while, enjoying each other's embrace. They broke apart but then Connor sat against a tree, cradling Lou Ellen in his arms. She put her head in Connor's chest.
"Connor?" She said.
"Did you really mean it when you said you'd never play another prank again?" She asked.
"What's a prank without Travis.." he pointed out.
"He's proud of you Connor.."
"I know." he simply said.
Suddenly a loud horn sounded, it wasn't meal time and it wasn't session time either. Lou Ellen and Connor looked at each other confused. They got up and noticed the whole camp running to Thalia's tree, the camp borders. They joined the crowd of muttering demi-gods, all looking just as confused. Chiron and Dionysus parted through the crowd to the front. His face calm, Dionysus looking uninterested and bored. He stood staring at the horizon of the camp, his eyes squinting. The crowd went quiet.
"Whats happening Chiron?" Will Solace asked. Chiron turned around, with a hard expression on his face, a mask of stone. He took a deep breath.
"The romans are upon us." He said. "Prepare for war."