Disclaimer : I do not own Percy Jackson.
Chapter 17 : Snow Queen Strikes Again
The ride to the Wolf House was tense. Jason had this look on his face that told everyone to stay away. Finally, (I supposed Leo couldn’t take the silence anymore) Leo spoke up. “So what’s the Wolf House?”
“It’s a mansion in California. A demigod built it. Jack London.”
“The Call of the Wild guy right?” Piper asked.
“Yeah.” Jason answered.
“So, he went to Camp Half Blood?”
Stop with your one-word answers, Jason. They do not make the situation better. I internally screamed at him.
He must have heard me because he started elaborating. After he told us the fascinating story of how the Wolf House was this sacred place to demigods and how it was cursed and all that stuff.
All good things, all good things.
Leo then fiddled with the controls. “We’re thirty minutes out.” He turned back. “Get some rest if you can.”
Jason fell asleep immediately.
The rest of us sat there awkwardly. I had to say something. “So, we’re just going in there, improvising, and hopefully getting out of there alive, yes?”
Piper grumbled. “That’s a way to put it.”
Leo laughed. “Is that how you do your inspirational speeches, Ariel?”
I walked over to him. “Don’t call me Ariel.” I said in a deadly voice. “And yes,” I added as an afterthought. “That is my idea of an inspirational speech.”
He smiled. “I like it!”
Piper groaned. “Leo… Focus on flying, will you?”
“Hey, beauty queen. Just trust me. I’ve got this under control.”
And we took a nose dive.
He hurriedly brought us back up. Piper and I looked at each other and started laughing hysterically.
“Hey, ladies, ladies. Don’t laugh. I seriously got this under control.”
I smacked him on the head.
“Ow! What was that for?”
“For jinxing us, you idiot.” I pointed out the window. “Look.”
Hail started pelting the window and ice quickly formed, blocking the view. Jason woke up, rubbing his eyes. “Why is it snowing?”
“Is it supposed to be this cold in California?” Piper looked worried.
No, but it can be if you have a psychopathic snow goddess who wants to kill you. Just saying, Piper.
We landed on the ground and Leo suddenly yelled, “Out!”
A huge ball of snow and ice destroyed the helicopter and we all looked at it in horror. Leo whistled. “We owe that ranger a new helicopter.”
“Not the place or the time, Leo.” Piper warned him. “The fighting’s over there.” She pointed. “No it’s over there.” She swiveled around. “It’s everywhere.”
Truer words had never been spoken. It was chaos. There was a circle surrounding the house and although I couldn’t see much, I knew that we weren’t winning.
Thalia ran up to us. “Thank the gods, you’re here! We’re trying to hold them back, but there’s too many. We’ll be overrun any minute.”
“Who are we fighting?” Jason squared his shoulders, acting really brave for something who didn’t even have a weapon.
“The Earthborn storm spirits, wolves, almost everyone.” She sighed. “It’s bad news.”
I stepped to the front. “Where’s Hera?”
“Inside the mansion.” Her face twisted distastefully at the mention of the goddess of jealous wives. “We’ve been trying to get her out, but we have no idea how. There’s only a few more minutes until sundown. We should go.”
We hurried after Thalia and as soon as we entered the house, Jason collapsed.
Piper hurried to his aid. “You OK?”
“Yeah, it’s just the memories.” He grimaced. “It was a bit much.”
“So, you’ve been here before?”
Thalia cleared her throat. “This is the place where my mom left Jason.”
“Where she gave me to Lupa.”
Not right now, Jason. Don’t.
“I don’t know that part.” Thalia’s eyebrows drew together in confusion. “Who’s Lupa?”
Leo tapped his foot. “Guys, sibling bonding time later. Save a goddess from Mother Nature’s son now.”
Hera looked just like I expected her to look. Like an old, depressed, slightly annoying woman. And right now, she looked pretty exasperated.
Leo was having fun. “Hola Tia.” He walked around the cage. “Need some help?”
As much as I tried to stop, the laughter bubbled out of my mouth. I quickly tried to cover it up but apparently I wasn’t so great at that. Hera turned to me with a stink eye that made me freeze.
“Get me out of here! Stop looking at me like that, Leo Valdez!”
Thalia frowned. “We should just leave her here. She’s been a curse to all children of Zeus since the beginning of time. She sent cows after Annabeth and she dropped a statue on my legs and…”
“Hey,” I interrupted. “I get it. You don’t like her. Hell, I don’t like her. But we need to get her out of here, otherwise the world ends. That put things in perspective for you?”
Thalia’s mouth turned down even more. I didn’t even think that was possible. “Fine.” She stormed out.
Leo looked at me in awe. “She listened to you.”
“Every time I say something, she looks at me like she wants to bash my head in. Or she ignores me. But she listened to you.” He cocked his head. “How’d you do it?”
“Leo, just hurry up and try to break the cage, got it?”
“Well, I have an idea. Piper, you need to help me.” He knelt down. “We’re going to need some time.”
Venti rushed in with wolves following them.
Cue frozen Thalia.
A wolf padded forward with Thalia in its jaws and laid her down on the ground. Jason looked devastated. “Who did this?! I’ll kill you myself!”
Cue dramatic entrance.
And Khione arrived, right on schedule. “Ah, son on Hephaestus. You said you needed time? Well, time is one tool you do not have.”
When I read this part of the book, I was surprised. So surprised, I actually threw my book across my room. Which, now that I thought about it, was pretty stupid, since there were plenty of clues across the book that pointed to Khione. I deserved to be called a Seaweed Brain.
But now, surprise was the last thing from my mind. I readied my knife. Jason still looked horrified. Which was understandable. I mean, he saw his sister for the first time in his life a few days ago, lost her in 5 minutes, saw her again today, then lost her in 5 minutes again. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought this was a recurring theme in the Grace family.
Jason started talking and I nodded. Distract the enemy. It was a good tactic. Annabeth would have approved. And what else happened but Khione giving us all her plans. Seriously, ice lady. Arrogance is not cool. Just because you think we’re going to die today…
And then Khione, being the idiotic over-confident goddess that she was, said, “Join me Leo Valdez. I know you find me beautiful. Get away from this wretched destiny that the Fates have ordained.”
Leo didn’t say anything for a bit and Jason looked worried. Then he smiled. “You’re kidding, right? I can’t believe I ever thought you were hot.”
“Hot?” Khione snarled. “I am cold, Leo Valdez. Very cold.” A sheet of ice made its way to Leo but he held up his hand and a wall of fire materialized.
“See that’s happens when it snows in Texas. It melts.”
I groaned. “That was terrible.”
“It sounded better in my head.”
We looked over at Jason, who had gotten a wooden plank, which I hadn’t noticed until now. The monsters charged and we ran out to meet them.