Smoke on the Horizon

XXVI. Jason

XXVI. JASON

Jason lost track of time. And direction. And really everything.

They flew for several hours, hovering aimlessly over the spot they’d already explored so many times, checking and double and triple checking every wave or off course current they ran across that may have led them to Percy.

“He has be here somewhere.”

How many times had they said that? He’d lost track of that too.

Annabeth hovered next to him, pulling a bag of granola bars from her pack and tossing him one. It was getting late, and Jason began to think maybe they should head back.

He pulled back the wrapper and munched absentmindedly on the hard, gritty bar, swallowing a few mouthfuls of water and throwing the bottle back in his bag.

He looked back to Annabeth, wanting to suggest the obvious but unwilling to force her. She sat on her pegasus’ back, straight faced and difficult to read, and to Jason’s surprise, she spoke first.

“We should go,” she said.

“Yeah.”

Neither moved right away, making one last sweep of the ocean’s surface before motioning to Calypso and Nico that they were leaving.

They flew in silence, a straight line in the sky, as the clouds turned an ominous shade of yellow, bright with the setting sun.

Upon reaching their little island (Leo had dubbed it Cetus Outpost No. 1), they found the others waiting for them, marching up and down the beach close to the water’s edge, a considerable distance from their camp if Jason considered that the water still seemed to be receding.

“So, does the Island of Delos mean anything to anyone?” Leo said as they landed.

No one answered. Jason shook his head.

“Why do you ask?” Calypso said hesitantly.

“I met it - or, her,” Leo continued, explaining his dream of the white haired woman in full to the others.

“Delos was the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis,” Annabeth said. “It wasn’t bound to the earth in any way, floated freely, and was considered sacred to the gods. No mortal was ever allowed to be born or die there.”

“What fewer people know of the island is that it was once the goddess Asteria,” Calypso added. “She was daughter of the titan Koios, the same as whom we’re searching for. Zeus made a pass at her after the first Titan war and she transformed into a quail to escape. She fled into the sea and there became Delos.”

“So why would Leo have seen her in a dream?” Jason said. “If she is Koios’ daughter, it’s almost like the voice I heard. How can we trust it?”

Calypso sighed. “Asteria is the titan goddess of prophetic dreams. If we’re getting dreams from her now, it’s all too possible that was how the Oracle was getting hers as well. It is too likely they are true prophecies for us to ignore their messages.”

“Wait, Lelantos said something about not trusting the dreams. That they’d bring about our doom or whatever.”

“And Asteria said that he was working against us,” Leo added. “I say we go to Delos and ask her.”

Everyone looked at him as if to ask if he’d been drinking the sea water.

Finally, Hazel said, “It is plausible. I mean, I’ve had the dreams too, and it certainly felt rather prophetic. I’m not saying I want what I saw to happen, but I’d certainly like to know if it’s going to.”

“I agree,” Calypso said. “It can’t hurt to have some prior knowledge of your enemy, and traveling to Delos might provide us with more insight.”

“Alright! That’s settled then. One question though. You said the island moves. How do we go about finding it?” Leo said.

“It used to move,” Annabeth explained. “When Apollo and Artemis were born, Hera had ordered that their mother, Leto, and Asteria’s sister in this case, not be allowed refuge anywhere. The nymphs on Delos took pity on her however, and the island was cursed never to move again, rooted in place. It’s in a group of islands called the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. In Greece.”

“Right.” Jason was starting to wonder if this was going to work after all. How in Olympus could they possibly manage to get all the way to Greece and back before their deadline? It didn’t really seem pertinent to visit Delos, though he had to admit, the idea of having a little heads-up about what was to come did have its appeal.

“Why don’t we sleep on it?” Nico said quietly. “Eat something and sleep on it. Decide in the morning.”

The rest motioned their agreement. That sounded like a good plan, at least for the moment. They still had to find Percy after all, and, if what Asteria had told Leo was true, the hero was somewhere out there waiting.

In Jason’s dreams, he was alone. It was cold. He was in a cave. And someone was watching him.

Or, he was watching someone watching him, rather.

The titan towered above him, filling the cavernous space in his true, horrific form, arching his back as he hit the top of the cavern.

Koios, with his icy eyes and cruel, battle scarred face, his black armor glistening in torchlight. The blood red diamond set in the breastplate shone like a third eye, penetrating and inescapable. His sword hung by his side like an extra appendage, waiting to be called upon to do his bidding.

“The time is almost upon us, Brother,” he said, the razor-blade voice cutting through the cold damp air. “Soon, we shall drag Olympus down. Soon, we shall control all and our brothers shall be avenged. Our father shall be appeased.”

Ouranos, Jason thought. But he isn’t a part of this.

At least he hadn’t been.

Ouranos, the sky equivalent to Gaea. Primordial god of the heavens, the same “father” that Koios once assisted in killing so many centuries ago.

What could Koios possibly mean that Ouranos would be appeased? That certainly didn’t sound good.

“Oh, yes, Ouranos will finally be at peace for her betrayal, and he will reward us greatly for our success when it comes.”

Jason began to piece together the things Koios said, drawing to an early conclusion as to the titans’ plans.

Then the cavern shook, Koios moving forward along the wall, looking straight at him…

Bright light burst from the air, a firework at too close proximity, and burned Jason’s eyes.

And he snapped awake, cold sweat on his face, the image of Koios’ cold, unforgiving face seared into his mind’s eye.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.