Disclaimer : I do not own Percy Jackson (unfortunately). That honor belongs solely to Rick Riordan.
Chapter 3 : Claimed
I needed a lot more eyes. Whipping my head back and forth would not be doing my neck any favors but I couldn’t help it. There was too much to see. Campers with orange t-shirts were everywhere and I even felt like I recognized a few. I saw the pegasi, the infamous climbing wall, and what I was really looking forward to; the cabins.. I just couldn’t get enough. I looked over at Robbie and was pleased to find out that I wasn’t the only one overwhelmed by this interesting turn of events. Realizing I wasn’t really listening to Percy and his orientation talk, I tuned my attention back toward him.
“...and you’ll probably get claimed pretty quickly; I mean the gods did promise a few weeks ago that they would claim their kids before they turned 13. But you look older than 13… Why is that?”
Wait what? My mind furiously backpedaled. I opened my mouth but Robbie beat me to it. “How old are you Percy?”
Robbie and I exchanged glances. “Can we talk for a while? In private? Just to sort things out?” I asked.
“Yeah sure.” Percy walked away.
Robbie turned toward me, his face looking a bit horrified. “This means that The Lost Hero hasn’t happened yet. So, we know what’s coming. What are we going to do, Alex? Should we try to change some things?”
“No, I don’t think so.” Robbie looked at me in shock and I hurried to explain. “I mean, everything that happened in that series happened for a reason. Plus, we don’t even know if those events will really play out like they did in the books.”
“It’s called an educated guess. If the Percy Jackson series is real, then why not the Heroes of Olympus?”
“Well we’re not involved in it so I don’t see what’s wrong. I mean it’s the prophecy of the seven. We know who the seven are. So there shouldn’t be any problem, right?” I pleaded.
“Yeah well in case you haven’t noticed things might change now that we’re here. I mean I’ve read enough fanfiction like this.” Robbie became increasingly worried.
“The difference is that we’re not going to change anything. We’re just going to go with the flow. Plus I really don’t think things are going to change. I hope.” With that happy note, I called Percy over.
“So, is there anything that’s going on recently? Anything special?’ Although I sounded like its normal inquisitive self, inside, I was begging. Please tell me about the prophecy. Please tell me nothing changed. Please.
Percy thought a bit. “Well, there is this prophecy…” Yes! “We call it the prophecy of the Nine.” No!
I heard Robbie’s voice in my ear. “I knew you’d jinx it.”
“Rachel, our oracle, gave it to us right after the Battle of Manhattan. Oh, I am so sorry. You probably have no idea what we’re talking about.” Percy took a deep breath. “I guess I’ll start from the beginning then.”
Robbie scoffed. “I don’t think you’ll need to. We know what we need to know. We know the Greek gods are real and that you’ve had a war recently. We know that after you guys won, you made the gods promise to claim their children before the age of 13. And we know that we’re demigods and that this camp is the only safe place for us.”
Percy looked at him in shock. “Wow. How’d you know all that?”
“About 90% of it, you told us, and the other 10% is called deductive reasoning. You did say the Battle of Manhattan.”
“I would think you’re a kid of Athena, but you don’t have the grey eyes so probably not.”
I looked at Robbie. He had blond hair and decidedly not grey eyes. His eyes were brown, a weird combo with blond hair, but he made it work somehow. You could read his face like an open book. And right now, he looked disappointed.
“I always thought Athena would be a cool mom. I guess you can’t have everything in life.” Cue dramatic sigh.
I jabbed him with my elbow. “Stop being sarcastic.” I hissed.
“Jeez, that hurt!” He rubbed his ribs. “You have sharp elbows Alex.”
Percy coughed. “Hate to interrupt this lover’s quarrel,” Listening to our protests, he put up his hands. “Believe me I know what they’re like. I’ve fought with Annabeth enough times but we really need to find out who your parents are. I’m pretty sure you’ll be claimed at the campfire, at the very latest, but it never hurts to guess.” He started walking toward the cabins. “I’ll get Annabeth and then we’ll talk.”
After he walked a safe distance away, I exploded. “The Prophecy of the Nine?! Robbie, the extra two people, it has to be us. There’s no other explanation. We’re screwed! I didn’t actually think that we would be in the prophecy! I mean, what’s the chance of that? But…”
“You’re rambling.” Robbie interrupted. “And we should do just like you said. Go with the flow. I think that’s the best option we have right now. Annabeth’s coming now so shut up.”
I quickly smoothed my face into what I hoped was an innocent look and turned around to see Annabeth walking toward us. She looked just like her description in the books; blond hair, stormy grey eyes, and an unreadable expression. “So, do you guys know if you have either a stepmom or a stepdad?” Her voice sounded brisk and even if I didn’t know a thing about Annabeth Chase I would have known that she was a no-nonsense person.
Robbie shook his head. “I was adopted so I don’t really know much about my birth parents.” I stared at him with a surprised look on my face. He never told that to anybody; even I had to wait until 6th grade until he told me. He raised his head and looked at me. He probably saw my expression because his face positively screamed, Hey, anything as long as I find out who my godly parent is.
Annabeth nodded. “That makes things a bit harder but you’ll get claimed. What about you Alex?” She turned to me.
“I don’t know. If either of my parents aren’t my real parents then they haven’t bothered to tell me.”
Annabeth took out her phone. “Then I suppose you’ll have to ask. Just don’t tell anyone I have a phone okay? The signals are really bad for us demigods.”
“All right.” I took the phone and dialed my mom’s number. To be honest, I was excited and a little bit scared. I always thought that I had the perfect family. I knew that my parents loved me but this phone call would destroy everything I thought I knew about them. I put the phone to my ear, trying to calm down.
“Hello?” My mom’s voice sounded frantic.
“Hi Mom. It’s me, Alex.” I got that far before my mom started screaming in my ear.
“Alex! Where are you? I got a phone call from your school saying that you ran away with Robbie and an unknown boy in a cab! Is that true? Whose phone are you using? Do you know how worried I was? Are you all right?”
I smiled. And Robbie wonders where I got the rambling gene. “Mom, I’m fine. I called because I have an important question.”
“What is it, sweetheart?”
“Are you my real mom? Or is Dad my real dad?” Silence on the other end. “Mom I need to know.”
When she finally spoke, she seemed to have aged a hundred years. “It was a mistake dearie. I was infatuated with your father and I thought that he felt the same with me. I guess I was wrong. He left us. He knew I was pregnant and he left us with a note saying ‘I’m sorry. Please forgive me. You wouldn’t understand.’ That’s when I married Rick. I was going to tell you Alex just I couldn’t find the right time.”
“Yeah okay. I got it. And I’m somewhere safe so you don’t need to worry. I’ll come back home soon; I just need some time to think.” I hung up and handed the phone back to Annabeth who was watching me with sympathetic eyes. “It’s my dad who’s the god. And by the looks of it, he never told my mom the truth.” My voice sounded bitter, which surprised even me. I thought I would be happy when I knew the truth but in reality, I felt a bit annoyed at my dad, whoever he was.
“Most of the gods don’t tell, Alex. Whoever your dad is, he probably wanted to protect your mom. The women who know that they were with gods don’t really end up well.” Annabeth’s sounded like she was trying to be comforting but she didn’t really know what to say. After a pause, she asked, “Do you guys have any special talents? Like plants or archery or stealing?”
Both of us started thinking. “Not really,” I start saying. “Wait, Robby you’re in the varsity basketball team right?”
“You can’t seriously be thinking…” Robbie trailed off. “Well then, what about you? Captain of the varsity swimming team, hello?”
“Well that’s impossible. I’m just good at swimming. I think I would know if I was a kid of Poseidon, thank you very…” I trailed off. Everybody was staring at me. Well staring above my head. I looked up, already knowing what I would see. A sea green trident was winking above my head.
I saw Chiron walking slowly up to me. I knew what he was going to say. I had read this part often enough in the book. “It has been determined. Hail, Alexis Forman, daughter of the sea god.”
As for me? I fainted.