It's been two weeks since the Second Titan War. It's been two weeks since my sixteenth birthday. And it's been two weeks since I began dating my best friend of four years. It's been two weeks and everything was just starting to go back to normal. Unfortunately that also means that school is starting up again. I am currently standing in my cabin throwing random clothes and objects into my suitcase and attempting to clean up my cabin. I was interrupted by a knock on my door. I walk over and open the door to find my best friend Grover behind it.
"Hey man," I greet him.
"Hi, Perce," he says. "You need to come to the Big House. Chiron wants to talk to you."
"Now?" I ask.
"Now," Grover confirms with a nod.
"Okay," I say.
I grab my sword Riptide off my nightstand and put it in my pants pocket then follow Grover to the Big House. As we walk through camp I am amazed by how fast the new cabins have been built. Only the Nike and Hades cabins are complete but the rest are coming along nicely. Annabeth hasn't stopped designing since she was given the assignment. I think she may be slightly obsessed. When Grover and I arrived at the Big House I was surprised to see that neither Chiron nor Mr. D were playing their usual game of Pinochle on the porch.
"It's too serious to talk about on the porch," Grover says. I begin to walk up the porch steps then suddenly realize that Grover's not following me.
"Aren't you coming?" I ask him.
He simply shakes my head and says, "Order is not to."
I released an anxious sigh before walking the rest of the way into the Big House.
"Hey, Chiron," I greet the old centaur. I found Chiron sitting in his wheelchair by the fireplace staring at the flames as if they'd tell him the future.
"Hello, Percy," Chiron says to me pulling out of his thoughts.
"So, what's up? If this is about the pictures of you in curlers I have no idea how those got out-"
"Actually this is about something el-There are pictures of me in curlers going around the camp?" Chiron s eyes showed a mixture of shock and anger.
"Um, no," I lied. "What are you talking about? I think you've been listening to too many Dean Martin CD's, Chiron. They seem to really be messing with your head." I chuckled nervously. Chiron just shook his head but thankfully moved on with the subject.
"I wanted you to come here because I have something that needs to be done and I feel you're the best person for the job," Chiron says.
"So what is it? Like a quest?" I ask, taking a seat across from him on the couch.
"Not exactly." Chiron pulled a beige folder out of a drawer in the coffee table and hands it to me. I open it up and there's a picture of two teenagers in there. I look up and give Chiron a confused glance. "Those demigods are Leo Valdez and Piper McLean. Gleeson Hedge is currently looking after them at The Wilderness School for Troubled Teens in the outskirts of Las Vegas, Nevada. They are powerful and have a very important future. Gleeson has called and needs help keeping an eye on them."
"So you want me to go to this Wilderness School and bring them here with Gleeson Hedge? Sounds easy enough. I'll get Annabeth to ask Will if we can borrow the flying chariot and we'll-"
"That's the thing," Chiron interrupts. "This is a top secret mission and you would not be there for a couple of days. You would have to go as a full-time student."
I stare at him like he is crazy. "But, Chiron it's my Sophomore year. I'm supposed to go to Goode High School. What about my mom? How do I tell her? And I can't tell Annabeth? She'll kill me," I ramble.
"Percy, I know this is a lot to process but Gleeson really needs help protecting these two," Chiron says. "He already suspects a monster hanging around them. You are experienced, you can easily befriend them and protect them, and I have already taught you how to control the Mist if anything goes wrong. You are perfect for the job."
"What do I tell my mom?" I wonder.
"Tell her that you have a secret quest and you will be gone for a while," Chiron tells me. "You will have to leave in the dead of night, that way no one will know."
"Chiron, Annabeth is going to kill me if she goes into my cabin and finds me missing," I tell hm.
"I will explain everything to her and the rest of the camp when the time is right," Chiron says.
Chiron reaches into the same drawer he pulled the last folder from and hands me another one only this one is black. "This has all the information you will need. It has your train ticket, instructions on what to do if you get into a bind, directions to the school, and a debit card with money automatically wired in. You are all set to go. Read over Piper and Leo's information tomorrow on the train. Your ticket time is for seven o' clock and you should be out of the camp a few hours before that-"
I just nod at everything Chiron is saying. Truthfully, I'm only half listening. The other half of my brain is too preoccupied with wondering how my friends and family will react to my sudden disappearance in the morning.
"-I have given the Harpies strict orders not to attack you if they catch you walking around camp in the middle of the night, so you do not have to worry about that. When I tell everyone I will make sure to let them know not to contact you. We don't want a chance of Piper or Leo seeing the IM. If something happens you will have to contact me when the time is right. Okay?" I give him an understanding nod. "And Percy, remember. You must tell no one."
"Thanks Chiron," I say before standing up and making my way out.
"Percy!" Chiron stops me. I turn around to see him looking at me with a smile. "I am glad you lived long enough to be the hero I hoped you would be. Good luck." I return the smile before walking down the porch steps. Grover is still there waiting for me.
"What's that?" Grover nods at the folders in my hand.
"Oh, uh just some documents that Chiron needed looking over," I lie.
"Documents," Grover's tone is disbelieving.
I nod. "They're just notes from satyrs or gods that need rewriting and he wants me to do it. So I better go do it." I try to move away from my friend but he steps in front of me, blocking my path.
"Percy, you were in there a long time. It would not have taken that long if you were just getting documents. Besides I can read your emotions. You're nervous and guilty and scared. Something's up with you," Grover analyzes. My heart is beating as fast as I hummingbird's on steroids. "But I won't ask. I'll just wait for you to tell me."
"Deal," I say knowing that won't be for a long, long time.
Throughout the rest of the day, I seemed nervous and jumpier than usual. I was constantly fiddling with my hands and twitching my knee. I had hid the folders at the bottom of my suitcase and stashed it under my bed. Unfortunately everyone seemed to notice my nervousness, especially Grover and Annabeth. I hate lying to them but I could under no circumstance tell them what I would be doing in a couple of hours so I just told them some lame lie about being nervous for school.
By the time dinner rolled around I was ready for the night to be here so I could stop lying to them. I had already Iris-Messaged my mom and Paul and told them that I wouldn't be coming back to school. They were slightly confused by my last minute decision but I lied and said that I'd be staying at camp for a while longer because Chiron needs help with the new campers. They looked uneasy but believed me.
I feel bad about the frantic messages they would be getting in the morning but I knew that it was for the best. After the Sing-A-Long at the camp fire, I walked Annabeth back to her cabin and gave her a loving hug and kiss. She seemed slightly confused about why I was being so serious with the goodbyes but what she doesn't know is that I won't be able to see her in who-knows-how-long. Luckily, though she didn't ask.
I am currently pacing around my cabin, trying to get up the courage to do this. I don't want to do this. I can't do this. But I have to do this. Two lives depend on my ability to keep them safe and I can't let them down. I won't let them down.
I grab my suitcase and my backpack before checking the time on my clock. The bold red letters read, 5:00 AM. I take a deep breath before walking out of my cabin. As quietly as possible I trudge through camp and up Half-Blood Hill. Chiron is waiting for me at the top in horse form.
"Do you have everything?" he asks.
"I think so," I nod.
"Good." He hands me a cell phone. "Here, this is so you can look more normal, I guess. Just be careful. The camp number is already programed in just in case you can't get to a rainbow. And this." He hands me a set of car keys. "Those are the keys for one of the camp vans." He points below and I see one of them parked at the bottom of the hill. "Argus will pick it up from Penn Station in the morning."
"Thanks Chiron," I tell him.
"No problem, Percy," he says. "Just be careful and make sure to call when you arrive there."
I send him one last nod then walk down the hill. I open the back of the van and place my suitcase and backpack there before climbing in the front and placing the keys into the ignition. I pull out and turn onto the old country road.
As I drive away I can't help but stare at Half-Blood Hill in my rearview mirror. I hate leaving but as I drive down the road I know I have to. It's time to start the assignment.
It's been two weeks and I'm already on another quest.
A/N: I hope you all liked the chapter. The next one will be up on a couple of days. Let me know what you think.