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The Lightning Thief

By Artie Gallezi

Adventure

What's In A Name?

Grover and Percy were sitting on the pier watching naiads weave baskets sat in silence until Percy asked about the four empty cabins.

Grover motioned to the first two,"Well cabin one belongs to Zeus,king of the gods."

"And cabin two?" asked Percy. "That belongs to one of the big three?"

"That belongs to Hera, Zeus' wife. It's honorary thing. She is the goddess of marriage, so she wouldn't have affairs with mortals. She leaves that to Zeus. When we say the big three, we mean the three sons of Kronos"

"Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades."

"Exactly"

"But in the stories, Zeus and Poseidon had a lot of kids. Why are their cabins empty?"

Grover told him about the pact between the big three. After world war II, the three brothers swore on the River Styx not to sire anymore heroes. Their children were just far too powerful and influential for their own good. He also told him how Zeus fell off the wagon once and had a daughter, Thalia. Grover continued the story of Thalia's pine and how Zeus turned her into a tree as she died.

Percy let that sink in for a few minutes and pointed to cabin eight, the cabin made of silver. "Who does that cabin belong to?"

Grover looked and spoke with a little longing in his voice, "That belongs to Artemis, maiden goddess of hunting and the moon."

"Did you say maiden?"

"Yeah."

"Guess that explains why the cabin is empty."

"Oh it's not empty."

"What?"

As if on cue, the door opened and someone stepped looked fourteen or fifteen, with wispy goatee starting to sprout. Dark sunglasses hid his eyes from sight. Percy didn't give it a second thought, after all it was really sunny that day. He was wearing a tooth necklace where his camp necklace should be, then Percy saw he was wearing it on his arm, like a tribal armband. This guy wasn't wearing a shirt, which showed off his sun tanned chest and a star shaped scar on his right shoulder the size of a half dollar. He wasn't overly muscular but he wasn't scrawny by any means. He was more like a long distance runner, thin and compact. Clearly this guy spent most of his time running rather than walking. He wore old looking denim shorts, a scar on his left knee matching the one on his shoulder, with a knife hanging off his belt and Greek sandals on his feet. Percy thought the camper had highlighted his hair different colors when he squinted and saw he was wearing bandanna over his hair with a ponytail sticking out the back.

"Okay, so who is that?" asked Percy.

"Depends on who you ask?"

"That clears that up."

"Sorry, but it really depends on who you ask."

"You guys mean Artie?" asked a familiar voice from behind.

Grover and Percy turned to see Annabeth, who sat down next to them.

Percy motioned to the shirtless camper who was leaning against the porch railing. "So his name is Artie?"

"Well, yes and no" said Annabeth.

"Can anyone give me a straight answer?"

"Well to be honest, Percy, he calls himself Artie but no one knows for sure if that's his real name. And since no one knows, everyone has their own name for him" explained Grover.

"The Ares cabin call him the Spartan of the Forest." added Annabeth.

"The Apollo kids call him Sonny." continued Grover.

"Sonny?"

She nodded, "Apollo likes to play the doting uncle and his kids are jealous. Its kinda play on words, expected since he is the god of the sun and poetry."

"It's better than what the Aphrodite cabin picked out, Jack."

"Jack?"

Grover chuckled,"Because he's cute as a jack rabbit."

"I guess." said Annabeth, shrugging.

Percy continued looking at Artie. He was leaning against the railing as other campers walked or ran past. Most ignored him, though several girls from the Aphrodite cabin called and winked at him. He yawned as if he hadn't gotten enough sleep or he was just bored. Then it hit Percy. He hadn't seen him in his entire time at Camp Half told Annabeth and Grover.

"Oh well you don't see him when we eat because his table is behind the Hermes table and when think how crowded that table, you can miss a lot." explained Annabeth.

"And since he is the only camper in cabin eight, it makes him senor counselor. That means he picks out when and what the rest of the cabin do, but since he's the only one..."

"He gets to decided how to spend his day." concluded Percy.

Grover nodded, "Exactly."

"He must get lonely," blurted out Percy, his ADHD acting up.

"You'd think so, but he's sort of a loner."Annabeth said. "He wasn't always that way . . ." Annabeth frowned. "He sort of has a problem trusting people or anyone for that matter."

Grover bleated, "Can you blame him? You should know how it is to be on the run for your life."

Percy turned to her, "What does that mean?"

She avoided the question, "Percy, some half bloods aren't spotted and brought to camp by satyrs. Lots run away from home and have to fend for themselves. Its not uncommon for them to find other half bloods and group up, though not all do."

Grover motioned to Artie, "He's one of those, although he is a rare case among a rare case. Most find this camp by accident or their Olympian parent guide them to camp, but he wasn't that lucky. He was eight years old when monsters finally attacked his home in Rio, killing his stepmother and brother."

"Stepmother?"

Annabeth nodded, "The gods don't raise their own children. They leave them to the child's mortal parent, but Artie was an orphan. He never met his father and especially his mother. He was somehow adopted and spent his whole life in Rio."

"Rio? As in Rio De Janerio the capital of Brazil?"

"The capital is Brasilia, but that's not the point," said Annabeth before continuing. "Monsters chased him all throughout Brazil and most of central and south America for nearly four years. He lived off the wild with nothing but a knife and the clothes he had on. He managed to stay alive and evade them until they forced him all the way to Cancun, Mexico."

"Whoa, he made it all the way to Mexico on foot?"

She nodded, "Yep. He ran the whole way, only stopping to sleep and eat."

Percy thought how a kid could live like that. Being chased like an animal for four years. Never letting down his guard, constantly looking over his shoulder, and never knowing he'd see the next day. It wouldn't have made his top ten list of things to change in his life. He motioned for Grover and Annabeth to continue.

"Along the way," continued Grover. "He ran into all kinds of monsters. Cyclopes, giants, and few other things you don't want to meet in a dark alley by yourself."

"Eventually he reached Cancun." said Annabeth taking over. "He delayed whatever was chasing him and with them only a day behind he stowed away aboard a cruise ship and hopped off as it made port in Florida."

"But that's not the end of it, is it?"

Grover bleated as he shook his head, "Something, somehow, managed to arrive ahead of him and ambushed him in the everglades."

"After being chased for months, hardly sleeping and eating, he finally snapped." continued Annabeth. "It had him against the bottom of cliff with the only way out was through him. The way he talks about it, he just saw red and blacked out. He remembers flashes of him punching kicking, even biting the monster, but he just became an animal."

"Not literally, right?"

Annabeth laughed but Grover looked uneasy, "Tell me if you can still laugh after you've seen it happen."

"It can't be that bad," said Percy.

"You've met Clarisse and how she is right?" asked Annabeth.

"Well, during his first capture the flag game," started Grover as chewed on his shirt as if remembering made him nervous, "Clarisse and her friends made the mistake of backing him into a corner and he snapped. He went pure feral and nearly killed them. Only Mr.D could stop him and that was because he is a god, He eventually calmed down and saw what had happened. He felt really guilty about it and banned himself from capture the flag, saying he didn't want to risk it happening again."

Percy whistled as he continued watching Artie who was now sitting on the railing, running his knife against whetstone methodically. "So what happened?"

Annabeth started this time, "He couldn't kill the monster without the right weapons, but he did managed to chase it off."

"But not in one piece." added Grover. "Whatever it was, managed to poison him during the fight. Luckily for him the venom didn't work very fast. He managed to stay alive before collapsing right in the middle of a Party Pony camp that night."

"Party Pony?" asked Percy,not sure he had heard right.

Annabeth nodded, "Chiron mentioned why he is the only centaur? His kinfolk are more wild than him and like to party. The Party Ponies are just group dedicated to that. They have chapters all over the country. Artie happened to run into the Florida chapter."

Grover continued, "Fortunately centaurs tend be good healers. They treated him and cared for him until he fully recovered. While he rested, a friend of Chiron sent word to camp about him. Since all the satyrs were busy, the party ponies offered to personally escort Artie to New York."

Annabeth smiled as she remembered, "Now that was an entrance. Forty or so rowdy centaurs galloping and cheering as they rode into camp with Artie running alongside with them."

"Running with them? He can run as fast as a horse?"

"He's faster actually." Grover corrected. "But no one knows how much faster he's gotten since he returned from his quest last year."

"Now that's story I'd like hear." wished Annabeth.

"You and me both." agreed Grover.

"Wait! What happened?" asked Percy, sure he missed something. "What do you mean a quest?"

"The only way you can leave camp is to relieve a quest." explained Grover. "Only Chiron and Artie know what happened. All anyone knows he left and came back after a month with a magic bow and quiver."

Annabeth watched Artie as she spoke, "And was claimed the next morning in front everyone during breakfast."

"By who?"

Grover bleated as Annabeth laughed to herself, "Percy, don't tell me you forgot who that cabin belongs to?"

He hesitated, he had forgotten. Then remembered what Grover said about Apollo playing the doting uncle and what the Aries campers called him, the Spartan of the Forest. Then he looked at the cabin and saw it was silver, like the full moon.

Then it hit him, "Moon."

"What?" Both Grover and Annabeth asked together.

"His mother is the goddess of the moon, right? So that makes him the son of Artemis."

"Bingo." said a friendly voice

Luke sat down next to Annabeth, "Nice to know Mr.E is still something to gossip about."

"Mr.E?" Percy asked.

"My name for him." explained Luke. "Think about it."

"Mr.E . . . mister E . . . oh, Mystery." said Percy as he understood.

"Yeah, we were friends when he was in the Hermes cabin, but once he was claimed . . . "

He trailed off not sure how to finish his sentence. Percy wondered if Luke was jealous of how Artie had an entire cabin to himself while he was stuck in the Hermes cabin, becoming more and more crowded as more half bloods arrived. Or maybe he was jealous of all the attention Artie got without trying, whatever the reason Percy wasn't sure.

Luke continued to stare at Artie and sighed, "Looks like the great Huntsman is about summon every monster in the forest again."

Percy looked and saw he was putting on earphones. Earphones connected to an like that was forbidden at Camp Half Blood. Not because it was a camp,but it was a serious risk for half bloods to use them. It was equivalent to sending a flare and message of Here I turn me inside out as slow as you can. Judging from Luke's tone, Artie had done this before.

Annabeth stood up,"I got it."

"I'm coming too." said Grover standing helped Percy up, "Come on, you might as well meet the guy."

"Are you sure?"

"Don't worry about it." encouraged Luke. "Just don't back him against a wall unless you think the minotaur wasn't a big enough challenge."

Percy gulped and jogged to catch up with Grover and Annabeth who were grumbling to themselves as if this was the most annoying part of the day for them and they wanted out

A/N - It seems the reviews have pointed out a fair point. Artie is too powerful, so I'll just have to fix that. But rather than rewrite the whole thing, I have a simple solution. If you want to see how, read on. I'd suggest chapter seven and eleven if you're really want to know, but I doubt it'll make much sense if you skip straight to it.

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