Daddy Hades chapter 15
By ncalkins; ooc; Don't own Percy Jackson; found beta DarkLadyIreth! I own nothing!
It didn't take long to pack. Percy went to his cabin and found all of the thing he would need packed and ready to go. The camp store loaned Percy one hundred dollars in mortal money and twenty golden drachmas. Chiron gave Clarisse, Percy and Luke each a canteen of nectar and a Ziploc bag full of ambrosia squares, to be used only in emergencies, if they were seriously hurt. It was god food, Chiron reminded them. It would cure us of almost any injury, but it was lethal to mortals. Too much of it would make a half-blood very, very feverish. An overdose would burn them up, literally.
Luke was bringing his flying sneakers and his sword backbiter and a number of other things. Clarisse was bring her spear and armor, not to mention whatever else she felt she would need. As they waved goodbye to the campers, they took one last look at the strawberry fields, the ocean, and the Big House, then they hiked up Half-Blood hill to the tall pine tree that used to be Thalia, daughter of Zeus.
Chiron was waiting for them in his wheelchair. Next to him was the surfer dude with a thousand eyes, Argus. Chiron said he would be driving them out of the city. Clarisse began down the hill and Luke shouted, "Maia!"
His shoes sprouted wings and his flew down the hill. Percy smiled as Clarisse shouted, "Show off!"
Percy turned to Thalia's tree, rested a hand on it and whispered, "Bye Thalia, keep the camp safe for us while we are gone. Wish us luck on own quest." Percy didn't know why but it felt like Thalia was answering him as her leaves swayed back and forth, almost like a friend waving good bye.
Just as Percy was about to follow his quest mates, Chiron stopped him, "What am I thinking?" He cried. "I can't let you get away without this."
He pulled a pen out of his pocket and handed it to Percy, it looked like any other pen. Percy looked at it and Chiron said, "It's a sword."
Percy, despite his upbringing, said, "Go ahead pull the other one."
Chiron motioned for him to remove the cap, so Percy did. The pen grew longer and heavier in his hand. In half a second, he held a shimmering bronze sword with a double-edged blade, a leather-wrapped grip, and a flat hilt riveted with gold studs.
"The sword has a long and tragic history that we need not go into," Chiron told me. "Its name is Anaklusmos."
" 'Riptide,' " translated Percy as he admired the sword.
"I'm sure you know the basics, a hero must never attack a human. Demi-gods are twice as vulnerable."
Percy nodded as he caped the sword and said, "That's why papa never really liked me leaving his realm."
Chiron nodded and spoke once more, "You can't lose this pen it will reappear in your pocket."
Percy deciding to test that theory tossed the pen as far as he could. It took a few moments but when Percy checked his pocket there it was.
"Nice." Nodded Percy as he place the pen back into his pocket.
Percy turned to the car where the others were waiting.
"Relax," Chiron told him. "Keep a clear head. And remember, you may be about to prevent the biggest war in human history."
"Relax," said Percy. "I'm very relaxed."
When Percy got to the bottom of the hill, he looked back. Under the pine tree that used to be Thalia, daughter of Zeus, Chiron was now standing in full horse-man form, holding his bow high in salute. Just your typical summer-camp send-off by your typical centaur.
Argus drove them out of the countryside and into western Long Island. It felt weird to Percy to be on a highway again, Luke and Clarisse sitting next to him as if they were normal carpoolers. After how long the real world seemed like a fantasy to Luke, Clarisse and Percy who never got out that much in the first place, found themselves staring at every McDonald's, every kid in the back of his parents' car, every billboard and shopping mall.
"So far so good," Percy told Luke. "Ten miles and not a single monster."
Luke looked out of the corner of his eye and said, "Don't talk like that, it's bad luck."
Percy smiled playfully, " What Luke you don't want to tempt fate?"
Luke smiled and placed an arm around Percy, "Percy let me explain to you, that we will not have any trouble finding monsters. See Clarisse and I are like McDonald Happy meals, while you are a five star restaurant specialty meal."
Percy laughed as Clarisse placed her arm around Percy waist, "I like to see any monster try to take us down!" boasted Clarisse as her arm and Luke's arm tightened around Percy.
In the front seat, Argus smiled. He didn't say anything but one blue eye on the back of his neck winked at Percy.
Traffic slowed them down in Queens. By the time they got into Manhattan it was sunset and starting to rain. Argus dropped them at the Greyhound Station on the Upper East Side, Percy didn't know why but the place gave him a eerie feeling. As they waited for the bus to show up they failed to notice the shadow creeping up on them.
"Percy is that you?" Asked a kindly voice.
Percy turned around sharply with the others reaching for their weapons. When Percy saw who it was his hand froze and his eyes widened, "Stay away." He whispered.
Luke and Clarisse looked at them in confusion. "Percy do you know her?" asked Luke as he stepped protectively in front of Percy, Clarisse stepped forward too.
"Percy baby, I'm so sorry for what I let happen all those years ago." The woman sobbed shoulders hunched and shaking. "I divorced Gabe, you can come home! We can start over and be a family."
She stepped forward only for Percy to take a step back crying out in fear. Luke pulled out backbiter and slashed it in the air with a warning intent.
"Stay back." Warned Luke with a hard voice. "Or I'll cut you were you stand."
Sally straitened up and said, "You can't hurt me a hero can not hurt a human."
Luke snarled, "Maybe not with a regular sword! But mine has steel in it, it kills monsters and humans that are hurting my friends…Now get out of here!"
Luke slashed in front of Sally. Sally back away and turned to leave, "Just think of what I said Percy."
Luke turned to Percy once he was sure Sally was gone, only to find him shaking in Clarisse's arms.
"Percy who was that?" Clarisse asked gently as she rubbed circles in his back.
Percy gave a shuddering gasp and said, "That was my mother."
Luke and Clarisse stayed silent feeling that Percy would continue when he was ready.
"She got married to this guy called Gabe. They got drunk one night and Gabe said some things. He beat me and she just stood by, watching. I called for her help, she didn't help. So I ran, my papa found me and that's the end of that story." Said Percy as he pulled himself from Clarisse's grasp.
Luke looked into Percy's eyes and said, "It sounds like she want's you to go back."
Percy stared back as the bus came rolling up and said, "I'm not sure if I want too. I'm scared even if that sounds stupid."
"It's not stupid," said Clarisse. "What they did probably messed with your mind."
They got on board and found seats together in the back of the bus. They stowed their backpacks. Luke kept fidgeting nervously. As the last passengers go on, Luke grabbed Percy's arm, "Percy."
Percy looked up to see three old ladies: one in a green hat, one in a purple hat and one in a orange-knit hat. They look exactly like each other same gnarled hands, paisley handbags, wrinkled velvet dresses. Triplet demon grandmothers.
They sat in the front row, right behind the driver. The two on the aisle crossed their legs over the walkway, making an X. It was casual enough, but it sent a clear message: nobody leaves.
The bus pulled out of the station, and it headed through the slick streets of Manhattan. "The windows won't open." Said Luke as he tried one, he looked at the back of the bus. "No back exit either."
Clarisse narrowed her eyes and hissed, "We can take them."
Percy leaned back in his chair and said, "Calm down guys, I know them."
The other two looked at him, they were on Ninth Avenue, heading for the Lincoln Tunnel now. The demon grandmothers got up and began to walk down the isle, Luke and Clarisse began to get nervous and reached for their bags and their weapons. The old ladies sat down right in front of them.
"Percy, do you know where the lighting bolt is or where you father's helm is?" asked one of them kindly.
Percy opened his eyes and looked at them, "No I don't know were either of them are." He paused, "My daddy's helm is missing?"
Everything went dark as they passed through the tunnel as the grandmother in a green hat said, "Yes Percy, he needs you to find it."
The bus was now on a rural road, there were woods to their left, the Hudson River to their right. Percy was about to reply when one of the Furies screeched, "Get off the bus!"
The bus driver stopped wondering what all the commotion was about, when three old ladies and three kids shot passed him and out the door. "Keep running!" Screeched Alecto as she flew in front of them.
Clarisse was about to ask why when a giant boom sounded behind them. She twisted her head to see lighting had hit the bus, it was cracked open like an egg. As they ran into the forest she muttered, "Those poor people."
They slowed down and Percy told the Furies that he would get the helm back. The Furies disappeared, the heroes plunged deeper into the woods as the rain poured down, the bus in flames behind them, and nothing but darkness ahead.