Smoke on the Horizon

VI. Percy

VI. PERCY

In Percy’s dreams, he found himself on a ridge at the bottom of the ocean.

The chasm below him sprawled out into a darkness reminiscent of falling through Tartarus. It was unnerving, and Percy had the eerie understanding that there was something alive on the other side.

Something urged him forward and he propelled himself through the murk.

A massive piece of rock - no, a column - rose beneath him, leveling out to reveal the entire blueprint for a massive palace.

The place was in ruins and Percy knew that this was the same as the palace Rachel described in her own dream.

Even worse, Percy recognized it.

He saw the massive command center he had visited just before the battle against Kronos in Manhattan where his father had fought the sea titan, Oceanus. Parts of the building had been torn down then, but now the whole area was demolished.

Percy worked his way around the rubble that once was a Greek temple and the collapsing pillars of the once magnificent underwater grounds.

It was Poseidon’s palace, or what was left of it, but the voice that Percy heard next was not his father’s.

The rasping sound that seemed to erupt from the depths of the ocean itself hardly passed for a voice, but it was as if the sea were talking. It shifted the silt below Percy’s feet, echoing off the chasm like a steel drum.

It was an ancient power that made Percy want to turn and swim away as fast as he could.

But he also knew that this was the voice heard by Rachel Elizabeth Dare that had threatened to destroy the human race.

Percy had heard that one before and it was not something he appreciated. He made the decision that he would never hear it again.

“Yes, brother, we shall pull Olympus out of the sky and drown all of humanity in our storms. Nothing will survive our wake and the seas shall rule the world once more!”

Percy edged closer to the voice. He clung close to the rock, not desiring to be spotted by an angry ocean seeking to destroy him.

He supposedly couldn’t be seen as he was dreaming, but for some reason he knew that whatever was talking wouldn’t follow that rule.

“But how can we be sure our plan won’t fail?” another voice said. “If we are not victorious, the Olympians will surely cast us both down to Tartarus.”

The first voice growled. “Silence! I told you never to speak of that place! It was miraculous that I found the Doors of Death a second time and made it through - I shall not be thrown back to that pit again! We shall reign victorious and cast the Olympians down to Tartarus!”

“As you say, brother.” The second voice didn’t sound as convinced as submissive.

Suddenly, the cavern was filled with a deafening hiss like a massive vacuum cleaner and shuddered as if the whole cavern was collapsing on itself from above.

Light burst from the chasm, so bright it transformed the ocean bottom into a sunny tide pool.

Percy slammed his eyes shut against the shock and had to will himself to open them again.

He jumped when he noticed that just a short distance away stood two figures. They both wore Greek chitons that billowed out behind them in the current. Both were about as tall as the typical giant and just as huge.

The being on the left was just slightly taller than his brother, with skin the color of the sea after a storm.

An impressive set of horns protruded from his hair, the same shade of black as the ocean depths. In place of legs he had a long, muscular tail that shimmered blue and gold in the artificial light.

The second being turned to the massive merman. “You will see, Oceanus. All will end in our favor. The titans will rule again and, unless you’ve forgotten how often the gods have undermined your power, all of Olympus shall get what they deserve.”

Titans, Percy thought. He’d dealt with them plenty of times and wasn’t eager to do it yet again. To make it worse, these two looked awfully familiar.

Percy recalled the name Oceanus from two years prior when he’d visited his father, Poseidon, in the midst of an undersea battle with the ocean titan.

Oceanus had then been convinced by his brother, Kronos, to join the fight against the Olympians and take up the battle with Poseidon. But he had retreated back to his deepwater abyss when Kronos was defeated. What would’ve brought him out again?

The second titan had eyes the color of ice and every bit as cold. His blue-white hair was cut short and he wore a thick set of Stygian iron armor, elaborately decorated with a single brilliant diamond set in his breastplate.

His face was scarred from centuries of battles, and a titanic sword was sheathed at his side.

“No, Koios. I have not forgotten.”

Koios. Percy remembered now. Koios was one of the original titans, like Oceanus, son of Ouranos and Gaea, and titan of the North.

He had guarded the Doors of Death with his brother, Krios, and been trapped in Tartarus when Percy and Annabeth escaped and sealed the Doors from both sides.

He had initially been thrown into Tartarus when he and the rest of the titans were defeated in the first Titan War. Now, he sought revenge, and was using Oceanus to get it.

“Good, brother. I knew you would not disappoint. Now, I believe we are being watched.”

The icy eyes flashed to the rock that Percy had pressed himself up against and stared straight at the son of Poseidon.

“No, Perseus Jackson. You cannot hide from me. We will destroy everything, and all of you, all of the gods. There is nothing you can do to stop us.”

Another beam of light broke out of the chasm and Percy found himself back in his cabin, gasping for breath.

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