Disclaimer : I do not own Percy Jackson. If I did, I would be rich as hell. And I’m not. So…
Chapter 12 : I Get Brainwashed by an Evil Crazy Sorceress
Chicago was not fun.
Not at all.
Chasing after wind spirits? That I could handle. I mean, it wasn’t that bad. Festus was comfortable, it wasn’t like I was doing any of the flying, and I actually really enjoyed the aerial view of Chicago. But of course, Jason, the almighty amnesiac with the worst ideas ever just had to suggest that we go “check it out on foot.” I knew what was going to happen and I was not happy about it. I wasn’t exactly eager to get turned into an order following brain dead zombie.
Which was why I strongly protested against going into the sewer. And yes, I knew we had to go in order to get the storm spirits for Aeolus, but I was feeling a little bit selfish.
Ok, maybe a lot.
But all my protests didn’t help at all since Jason of course, pulled his big shot leader cards and just ordered, “That’s it, no complaining, Alex. We’re going down there.” He gave me a glare.
Now, if I were somebody like Leo, I would have probably kept my mouth shut and my head down, but seriously. I was Alexis Forman. I was literally the master of the death glare. (except for Nico DIAngelo. It was impossible to beat that guy. I mean, he pretty much was death.) So, I gave Jason one of my ultimate evil eye stares.
He straightened up and cleared his throat. “Alex, please. We need to get the storm spirits. It’s an essential part of our quest.” I opened my mouth to suggest that I stay out of this part but Jason held up his hand. “And no, Alex, you cannot stay out here with Festus. You’re part of this quest and that means you help us. And anyway, who was it that wanted to hurry up and, I’m quoting you by the way, ‘hurry to Chicago and get those storm spirits back?’ So, let’s do this. Got it?”
He made good points and I knew I was just being a selfish brat. “Whatever,” I sighed, my shoulders slumped down. “Let’s get this over with.”
I had to admit, Rick Riordan totally nailed the description of the sewer. It was exactly as described as the book. Piper went straight to sleep and I laid down too. I was exhausted. Quests were not as fun as they seemed in the books. Reading about them, I always wanted to go on one and now that I was actually on one, it was just different.
I missed everyone; Percy, Robby, all my friends at camp. I knew that I was probably going to make it, but there was always the “what if?” question.
Shaking my head, I convinced myself, No, Alex. Bad thoughts. Don’t go there.
I closed my eyes, ready to get as much sleep as I could get. Plus, I had to give Leo and Jason’s bro-talk some privacy. I was thoughtful that way.
It seemed I had the worst luck in the world. All I wanted to do was have a good few hours of sleep. Was that too much to ask?
Apparently, when you’re a demigod, yes.
I ended up back in the Porta-Potties, which was not cool. Gaea was there, smiling like a creep, eyes closed, and just freaking me out. She started to talk. Hello, little hero.
“Really, Grams? Really? I was trying to have a good sleep here, but no of course you have to have something to say.” I mentally face palmed. I seemed to be doing that a lot lately. I guess I was a lot more like Percy than I thought I was. I just couldn’t resist sending a comment her way that was probably either going to get me killed or amuse her. I was hoping the latter.
Thankfully, it was the latter.
She laughed. You are different, Alexis Forman. You know much. You hide much. You are an interesting little pawn.
“Excuse me?!” I was enraged. I really didn’t like being called a pawn. I didn’t really like feeling used.
Oh, Alexis. You have much to learn. I look forward to meeting you again.
“Hopefully, that’s never gonna happen.” I muttered. “But knowing my luck…”
The dream faded and as I slowly started to take in reality, I felt Piper shaking me.
“Come on Alex. Wake up!”
I yawned. “Just 5 more minutes Perce please.”
As you could probably tell, I was not awake yet.
Piper groaned. “Alex!”
She slapped me.
That woke me up pretty quick.
She started laughing. “Oh, I’m sorry! Just, the look on your face…!”
“All right guys, let’s move out. Break down camp and let’s go.” Jason, the annoying amnesiac (which was totally going to be my nickname for him throughout this quest) said in his best commander voice.
“Yes sir, General Grace!” I saluted. “Your wish is my command.”
Jason tried to look annoyed and frustrated but he couldn’t hide the smile. “Let’s just go, all right Alex?”
Wonderful. I thought. I’m about to be brainwashed soon and there’s nothing I can do about it. Absolutely wonderful.
We entered Medea’s lair. Finding Coach Hedge, all four of us were ready to run, grab him and the storm spirits, and get out of here.
And then, evil creepy sorceress came.
“Hello dears.” Her voice washed over my head. Even though I tried to pull my head out of the fog that her voice created, it was just too hard. “May I help you find something?”
It was terrible. I was in a daze and I remembered shopping and being played with like a toy. I remembered almost snapping out of it sometimes when Piper tried but always getting sucked back in again. I remembered the fountain and the goading that Medea did to make us want to fight each other. I remembered taking my knives out and feeling so angry, like I wanted to gut the annoying amnesiac. And then Piper worked her magic.
After I shook out of my Medea induced stupor, my mind went into overdrive. “What? What the hell happened? What the hell are those?!” I pointed at the worst things that I had ever seen in my life. Golden dragons. I knew what they were, I mean how many times had I read The Lost Hero, for gods’ sakes? But my mind drew a blank. Was this supposed to be a side effect of charmspeaking?
Jason yelled, “Don’t look at the eyes! They’ll paralyze you!”
“Good to know,” I grumbled. “What happened, Jason? I remember…”
“Really?” Jason ducked as the dragons came toward him. “Let’s not do this right now. WE were charmspoken and you tried to kill me. Remember that?”
“Excellent. Just go follow Piper. Help her!”
“Where’s Piper?” I yelled.
“Escalator!” Leo screamed back.
When I looked up the escalator, I saw Medea running up the second floor escalator with Piper behind her.
“Screw that, I’m not running.” Trying to look for something I could use as a shortcut, my eyes searched the area only to stop at a certain fountain.
A few seconds later, I was riding up those escalator steps standing on a colossal wave of water. In a pretty short time, I caught up to Medea who was then already at her potion floor. She turned around with a triumphant look on her face as she held up a blue bottle. The potion for a painful death. I remembered wanting to buy that. Why, I really don’t know. If she used that, things would get bad. Jumping off my wave, I sent a huge amount of water aimed directly at her face. It knocked her over into the whole potions counter.
Uh oh. I had some grasps of magic and sorcery from the Hecate kids and the one thing they always said was, “NO mixing potions together. Otherwise you get a huge explosion in less than 30 seconds.”
Idiot! Idiot! Idiot! Of course you do the one thing that could actually kill us all. Wasn’t Piper supposed to be the one to do this? Piper stood beside me. “That was some pretty impressive surfing back there Alex. Nice!”
“This is not the time Piper.” I took a panicked look at the carpet around Medea. It was smoking. “We need to get out of here!”
At the sound of Leo’s voice, I turned around. Come on! Festus, hurry up! Leo was about to die and we couldn’t do anything about it. It was all up to the dragon now.
Thankfully, Festus came crashing down in a moment of glory. Stained glass rained to the floor as Happy the Dragon scooped up those paralyzing weirdo dragons and threw them down to their cages. Leo and Jason were already on Festus’s back and I made to join them. Medea was trying to convince Piper to take her with her (as if she would) but I wasn’t paying much attention since I was hurtling down the escalator at the time. I was not going to be stuck in a soon to be destroyed mall with a crazy sorceress. I did not have a death wish, even though everybody seemed to think that in camp. I climbed aboard Festus and we started to ascend.
As Piper leaped down, Jason and I caught her and pulled her up on the dragon.
We soared away from the evil department store as it exploded into flames.
I half expected action movie music to play. It seemed like the perfect time for it. Leo apparently thought so too as he started humming the theme to Mission Impossible. He stopped after Jason glared at him though.
“So, off to find Aeolus.”