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Only Human

By suzubells

Humor / Adventure

Chapter 1

Hiya! I'm SuzuBells, here to tell you all that this is a PJO fanfiction. It takes place a year after TLO but HOO never happens. It's OC-centric, and will focus on the lives of more "normal" campers compared to, say, Percy or Annabeth. Thank you, and enjoy the story!


Of course, it all ended up in a bang. Everything was on fire now, and clearly something had gone horribly wrong. I cursed myself, because I had obviously made the mistake of my li—

Wait. Backtrack. What exactly is going on here? I'm very sorry for not introducing myself here. Mariana Callahan, at your service. Just your average (or not so average) teenage girl in her first year in high school. Fourteen years old, brown hair, brown eyes, medium skin tone. Nothing notable. 

The previous summer, I moved from Washington (NOT D.C.) to New York, New York. What a fun thing to say. It just rolls off the tongue. New York. New York. New Yooooork. New Yoooo-AS I was saying (and I'll be saying that a lot, let me tell you), I had been there for an entire year. It was early June. My mother, my half-brother, and I were living in an apartment building (my father passed away before I was born. I can't say I'm sorry. Wow, I feel heartless), and school was about to end for the year. YES! 

Now, I feel like this is the part where I tell you something important: I have seen strange things all my life that no one else can see. Although, obviously, I'm used to them so they're not strange to me. I used to call them the Beings (no one ever pointed one out to me when I was young and said "That's a cat. That's a tree. That's an Ancient Greek horror from the depths of Tartarus that will rip you to pieces and eat you if you aren't careful"), but now I know better. 

The things I've seen have ranged from crazy teenagers with swords to giant black dogs to winged horses. Lots of winged horses, in fact. Most of them come to and from Seattle, but that's not important. What's important is that that was the summer that changed my life forever. And not in a good way. 

Now, it all began then, way back when I was still young and innocent, still able to ignore all that went on around me. The first time I noticed something was wrong, oh, probably when I saw a group of kids waving weapons at some kind of snake lady on the street. And one of them was my baby brother.


My brother Hayden had finished school the week before (lucky kid!) and I was walking home from Goode High School. I still can't believe that's its name, by the way. I know my mom was looking for a "good school" but really? Really? Not to mention, everything is ridiculously cheesy. They milk that name for all it's worth. Wait a second. Milk? Cheese? Oh no, what am I thinking? 

But back to the story. I was waiting to cross a busy intersection, staring at the ground (my thousand-ton backpack makes it hard to stand up straight), when a flicker of movement caught my eye. I glanced up, and lo and behold! A monster! Well, this one was more on the humanoid side, but the bottom half of her body was reptilian. 

A group of five teenagers around my age brandished swords, daggers, bows, and all manner of dangerously sharp, definitely not allowed in school weapons. Eh, nothing special. I turned my head to look away. Then I saw something that made my heart stop. Well, almost. Not really. But I was pretty shocked when I saw my one and only little brother amongst the group of fighters.


Allow me to stop time and introduce Hayden Callahan. He's my twelve year old baby brother, and he's just adorable. I mean, he tries to act all serious and mature. I just want to ruffle his hair all day! In fact, he's actually my half-brother, but I never knew his dad. After all, I was, what, two when he was born? But Hayden's father left shortly before he was born, so I'm told. My mother wasn't married to him, after all. 

I feel bad for my mom, having to cope with two losses and two kids at the same time, without anybody to rely on. Ever since I was young, I had to help out with taking care of my brother while my mom worked. But we managed. In fact, we even moved because of her job. Which brings us to the very moment you've all been waiting for.


In that instant, I threw caution (and my backpack) to the wind. "HAYDEN!" I screamed, sprinting across the street just as the light turned red. Hayden turned to look at me, and the monster took the opportunity to attack. But one of the others sliced her in half before she could do anything and she disintegrated into golden dust (ouch!). 

Meanwhile I, still shouting like a maniac, tackled my brother to the ground, huffing and puffing (there were no houses to blow down). "What was that? What happened? Are you alright?" are all the things that I managed to get out before I noticed he was saying "Mariana. Mariana. Sis! Get off of me!" I realized I was crushing him and stood up, taking deep breaths and dusting myself off. I offered him my hand, pulling him up, and then I realized that people were staring at us. 

The five teens looked at me disbelievingly, clearly wondering if I was sane. Then one of the boy's eyes widened, like he suddenly realized something. He had blond hair and stormy gray eyes, looked to be about sixteen, and carried a sword. He whispered something to the others, and they all started nodding. The boy stepped up, handed Hayden something that looked like a business card, and said "Hayden, we've got to go now. Remember what we said, okay?" Hayden nodded putting the thing into his pocket, and then the group blended into the crowd before I knew it. 

"Mariana, let's go home" he said. I frowned and began drilling him with questions. I asked him if he knew what had just happened, who those people were, if he could see the monster, why it attacked him, and more questions of the sort as we walked to the apartment. Hayden just shook his head and didn't speak. I had a feeling that he wasn't denying anything, though.


Later that night, once I had fixed dinner for Hayden, I snuck into his room (I care about him, okay? I might be just a…little…bit…overprotective, but it's normal, alright?) to see any clues as to what had transpired that day. His bed was made, his backpack on the floor. There was nothing on his bedside table, or on the shelves. I even opened some of his books and shook them, but stopped when a bookmark fell out of one. That made me feel guilty, so I tried to put it back in. 

Wait a second. Wasn't Hayden ADHD and dyslexic? What was he doing reading books? Well, there would be time to think about that later. I looked at his jacket, draped over his chair. The pockets were empty, except for some change which I quickly put back in. And then I saw it. On his desk.

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