1: A Twisted Dawn
A Legacy Moulded to Darkness
Shall reach 16 against all weakness
And watch the world succumb and cease
A Twisted Soul shall reap with ease
A single choice shall end his days
The World to preserve or raze
As the 9 Circles take reign once more
Will the Hero fight or ignore...?
The Demon Rites
Pain. That is all she felt as she sat down next to the empty crib, surrounded by shattered glass from the window.
It was the middle of the night, and she believed that her child would have been safe. This close to the gods no monster would lurk, so she and her new-born child could live in peace. Especially after her son's father turned insane and topped himself, leaving her and her son with nothing. Burning everything they had owned down.
Only a month old, and already gone. Her little boy was most likely dead. His guts spilt as a group of Cyclops would tear the boy apart for a small snack, or throat slit for an empousa's midnight treat. She shook her head, and continued to sob.
Sirens wailed from below, but the grieving mother took no notice. She held her son's blanket close, never wanting to let her baby boy's most prized possession.
His bright sea-green eyes filled her heart with love, and even more when the twinkled as he laughed.
A knock came from the front door.
"Ma'am?" A female voice came from outside of her apartment building. "Ms Jackson, NYPD, can we come in and ask you some questions?"
The woman now known as Ms Jackson stood shakily and slowly made her way out of her son's bedroom and to the front door, her knees almost buckling a few times.
She opened the door slowly, and saw a woman dressed in a suit and man dressed in a simple NYPD police uniform. Both held up their police badges.
"May we come inside? We need to take your statement about this night, Ms." The detective said softly, and Ms Jackson nodded numbly, stepping back and widening the door so the two police officers could step inside. They did, and she closed the door behind them.
They walked into the kitchen, were the grieving mother offered the two NYPD officers a cup of coffee. They both accepted and she poured them both a mug, handing the hot beverage to the two of them. She still held the blanket tight, her knuckles white from gripping it so tightly, fearful that she would lose it along with her son.
"So, Ms Jackson, can you explain your activities of tonight? Everything that has happened during your day so far – include anything different or unusual, like someone following you or just a strange feeling? Remember, every detail is important." The detective asked Ms Jackson gently.
"Please, just call me Sally." She waved her hand dismissively, before she had to grab the kitchen countertop quickly to stop her from collapsing. The male officer instantly rushed over, along with the detective. The detective slung Sally's arm over her shoulder and turned to the male officer, obviously not sure what to do.
"Get her a glass of water, will you?" The detective told the officer before she carried Sally out of the kitchen and into the lounge, settling her on the sofa.
"Sally, are you okay?" She asked, pulling out her flashlight and shining it into Sally's eyes.
They had rolled back, and were completely unresponsive.
"Officer Knowles, call a ambulance! We're losing her!" The detective barked out at her partner, who came rushing in, calling it up on his radio.
"Come on Ms Jackson, don't you dare die. We're going to find your son, don't worry!" The detective cried out, forcing air into her lungs and giving Sally CPR.
Five minutes later, ambulance sirens screamed from down below the apartment block. The paramedics were running up the stairs two at a time, desperate to reach the woman. She was key to solving this crime, and they knew just that much.
Moments later, the mother was on the ambulance, barely stable. The detective sat next to the grieving mother, holding her hand tightly.
"Perseus... My baby Percy..." Sally managed, before her hand went limp.
"No!" The detective cried out.
The rest of the night was a blur.
It was a night the detective didn't particularly wish to remember. But this was the fourteenth case she had worked on – all exactly the same. The baby a month old before kidnapped, fathers died in house fires shortly after the birth of the child. And to make it worse, the mothers were all killed by venom – snake venom.
Sally, thankfully, was the only one to tell the tale. For now...
The Demon Rites
10 years later...
"Push harder! Take the pain, those filthy scumbags in heaven won't hesitate to smite you along with all of those wretched pagan gods!"A deep, sinister voice barked. The voice originated by a shady figure wrapped in darkness. He looked weak and frail, but that shouldn't allow you to underestimate this man. His face was just skin and bone, no hair what-so-ever. His eyes were blood red, and screamed his bloodlust to the world. His lips were thin and dark coloured, almost unnatural.
In front of him, he pushed a cart covered in an elegant white cloth. But what was on the cart was the complete opposite of elegant. And nobody would wish to know what was hidden under the white cloth. On top of the cart, was an assortment of... tools? Scalpels of different sizes and shapes were lined up in an orderly fashion, along with screwdrivers, power drills, pliers and bolt cutters. An assortment of large flasks filled with acids and alkalis were also lined up, along with a blowtorch. Even a cherry can gasoline was hanging off the side from a few pieces of rope.
"Ah, Perseus, how nice of you to let your presence known to me" He turned to a young boy of ten years. A pair of fishhooks tore through the section between the collar bone and shoulder joint, causing him a great deal of pain. There was a ghastly figure in front of him, throwing fiery punches into his ribs. And all Perseus had done was grunt, but at the wrong time.
The man cheerfully skipped toward him through the assortment of children his age going through the same torture as Perseus. He could have sworn he could hear the demonic figure humming the theme tune to a nursery rhyme. It was haunting.
The man waved his hand, and the demonic, flaming creature collapsed into the dark marble flooring, the only noise the scream of the wheels from the torturer's cart, and all beatings towards the other children slowly stopped, the beaters caving in on themselves. Some screamed like tortured souls as they were dragged into the marble, probably to be placed back on "The Rack".
"Now, this is what happens when you show a sign of weakness in front of an angel – a sign of pleasure. Watch closely kiddies, because it shall be you next on The Rack for an hour." The man said quietly. His voice was so sinister it echoed off of the walls.
Perseus' darkened sea green eyes widened in pure fear when he heart that. No! Not again! He mentally screamed, swinging slightly which caused a cry of pain to rise up his throat as the barbed hooks in his shoulders moved.
The sadist picked up a scalpel and pressed it against Perseus' left side. In an agonizingly slow movement, he dragged the blade down the skin of the ten-year-old boy. The skin split open as the blade sliced through, thick crimson blood seeping through the skin and down his torso. Some of the blood ran onto the blade of the knife while the rest ran through the filthy, grey and yellow loincloth tied around his waist, adding a deep red colouring to the cloth.
After the man was satisfied, he sharply twisted the blade before removing the scalpel from Perseus' torso. A slight whimper of pain elected from Percy's throat as he felt the blood pouring from the wound stretching from his chest ad all the way down to his waist.
The man brought the blade and brought of a forked, snake-like tongue and licked the blood from the scalpel, before placing it back onto his cart.
All of a sudden, the demon swung around and dealt a sharp right hook to Perseus' jaw, filling the air with a sickening CRACK!
"Pain is for the weak-willed. I should kill you now, but I won't waste my time on a pitiful creature such as yourself. The other Princes will decide your fate." The man hissed, before spitting out a bit of Perseus' blood onto him. "Your blood is disgusting, Perseus. I actually know a task that will improve your capabilities."
The Demon Rites
"Milady, Artemis!" A dark-haired girl with coppery skin called out as she ran through an assortment of silver tents. A girl with long, waist length auburn hair and a rather pale complexion turned at the sound of her name being called. Her eyes glowed bright silver, the capability of captivating anyone of either gender to look into the deep pools of quicksilver for all eternity, power swirling inside of them like a whirlpool of endless beauty.
"Yes? What is it, Zoë?" Artemis asked, facing her lieutenant as she stopped in front of her.
"Phoebe and Atalanta noticed a group of strange monsters about half a mile from our camp –" An earth-shattering howl cut through the air, causing Artemis' head to snap in that direction. The sound sounded familiar – something she had wished she would never hear again.
An elegant silver long-bow shimmered into existence within the goddess' open palms. She pulled the string back, and an arrow of pure silver formed out of the air. It pulsed with energy as she raised it up into the sky and released the arrow. The arrow then exploded into a firework of silver.
Zoë understood this instantly. "HUNTERS! RETURN TO CAMP CENTRE!" Artemis hollered, pulling the string back and running to where the howls had originated from. Atalanta and Phoebe along with three younger Hunters darted from the trees. Both of the elder Hunters were firing arrows behind them to protect the newest generation of Hunters, who would hopefully one day replace them and then be greater than they were.
Artemis shot an arrow over their heads, and it exploded into shrapnel upon hitting a monster.
"APOLLO!" Artemis screamed, and a golden flash appeared behind her.
A man in his mid twenties stood there, a golden bow in hand with an arrow already pulled back on the string. He looked a lot like Artemis, just more masculine, and he had bright blonde hair that was jelled upwards and had a pair of startling blue eyes that glowed in the sunset.
He fired an arrow over Artemis, hitting its target.
Apollo's sun chariot in the form of a bus skidded to a halt in the middle of the Hunter's camp.
"Abandon camp!" Artemis ordered, leaping backwards as a smoky form of a hound snapped its powerful jaws where she once was. "Go to Camp Half-Blood; tell Chiron of what has happened here!"
Zoë, Phoebe and Atalanta ensured that every last Hunter of Artemis was on board of the bus before they also hopped on, and the doors slammed shut. The Lieutenant of the Hunt instantly knew what needed to be done. Once everyone was seated, she took the driver's seat and punched down on the gas pedal, causing them to leave the two Twin Archers to defend for themselves against the unknown threat.
"Where is Father and the other Olympians?!" Artemis yelled over the ear-shattering howl from the devilish hounds that prowled towards them, ten more replacing every single one that was cut down by their arrows.
"I don't have a clue! I swear; I'll wring his neck out if he is with another mortal!" Apollo shouted back, letting loose five arrows at once.
They now had a clear sight of the monstrous hounds that flooded out of the woods like a broken dam. They were black in colour, their fur sharp needles like that of a porcupine, and a dark red and blue smoke enveloped them in a strong aura of death and raw energy, probably from all of the souls they had harvested. Their eyes were bright yellow, glowing violently and promised pain and suffering to both of the Twin Archers. Their teeth were endless as they snarled, each sharper than Death's Scythe and the size of daggers. The claws dug into the ground, tearing up the rapidly dying grass and dry soil. An aura of dread washed over the twin archers, and suddenly both seemed to look at each other, with a nod of agreement. Both snapped their bows in half, and from the two halves formed a pair of hunting knives in Artemis's hands while a pair of swords in Apollo's hands. Both traded one of the weapons, and they got into fighting stances. A few minutes were all they needed.
A hound leapt through the air, and Apollo hooked his arm through Artemis' and she sliced through the hound with her golden sword from Apollo. They continued to cut down as many of the endless horde of beasts, before a voice came from above:
"Party!" Hermes cheered, his caduceus switching to "laser mode", unleashing a barrage of red-hot beams of energy at the horde. A spear was also thrust through the head of another beast along with a trident, a wave crashing upon many of the monsters, signalling that both Poseidon and Athena had arrived. A warrior clad in Spartan armour then brought down an enormous sword of 6 feet upon the necks of two hounds, batting another away with his shield with a human skull moulded on the face of it. Ares had also decided to turn up.
The six gods then stood back to back, slashing fighting against the horde of endless monsters.
"TAKE COVER!" Apollo bellowed as he and Artemis began to glow golden and silver respectfully. Raw energy began to roll off of them as they entered their true forms, and with a extremely large blast of energy, all of the hounds were disintegrated into smouldering ash.
All six gods had also vanished from the clearing in the woods, only leaving a massive patch of death behind due to the hounds.
But all of the gods knew what they were, and not even Ares would want to go head to head with the council who commanded those beasts around.
A Council made up of the most evil of beings in the entire Universe, so evil that they dwell below the Pit of Tartarus, the Void and Chaos itself.
The 9 Circles of Hell was stirring after 5 Millennia, which was bad – very bad. This would be a war they would not help to win.