May the Sea Be With You

The Battle of Manhattan

That summer, before everything crazy started, Hera granted another couple three children on June 30th. Jason Kunwar was a son of Zeus, just eight years old, and Emmanda Aarons, known as Emma around camp, was a daughter of Hades, also eight years old.

Not having had many interactions with any babies in their lives, they were very scared. They hadn’t even been dating. They had just been friends, but they had always flirted in the way that kids do. Suddenly, they were put in a relationship and given three children to raise.

It took them a week, but they agreed on names: Colton, Martin, and Kayla Kunwar, and they even tentatively started dating. Kit, Katie, Nyssa, and Griffin welcomed them into the Big House, where they were truly becoming like one big family, and helped them through those first few months.

Sounds nice and sweet, but as you know, that summer, our world nearly came crashing down. In August, Kit, Katie, Nyssa, Griffin, Emma, and Jason all had to join us in fighting the Titan War. They were forced to leave their children with their mortal parents or other family, some of whom hadn’t previously known that their grandchildren existed.

The Battle of Manhattan went down almost exactly as Rick Riordan told it. Clarisse and the Ares cabin really were holding a grudge about the chariot and Silena led them into battle and died. The things that weren’t in the book were that there were more children of the Big Three in play than just Percy, Nico Sr., and Thalia as a Hunter. Jason Kunwar, Emma, Nico Jr., and I all fought in the battle, assisting our older, more experienced cabin mates. Monsters laughed at Nico, Emma, Jason, and I for being young, and Nico’s and my battle cry became “Five and proud!”

It sounds heroic, but Nico Jr. nearly died because he couldn’t use his powers for everything, and his fighting skills as a five year-old were not as well rehearsed as someone who had been training for longer than he had been alive. The night before it all ended, as he lay across the room from Annabeth, who was still in recovery from her shoulder injury, I sat on Nico’s makeshift bed and tried to comfort him. He had been stabbed in the back, literally, while his dad had been busy being mobbed by monsters of his own, and for a couple hours, it had looked like he wasn’t going to make it.

“I think… I think I’m going to die,” Nico whispered. I had to lean close to hear him, ignoring the pain from my newly-relocated shoulder and the gash in my side.

“You’re not allowed to,” I said, crossing my arms.

“But what if I do?”

“You won’t,” I said.

“I’m scared, Katelyn.”

I uncrossed my arms, trying to keep a straight face. My heart raced and I blinked quickly to hold back the tears. “You’ll be okay.”

“I wish my dad would talk to me.” A tear traced a path in the dirt on his cheek.

“He did today, didn’t he?”

“Just about fighting.”

“Maybe he’ll come see you tonight.”

Nico shook his head, the tears coming faster. “He doesn’t love me.”

“I know he does,” I said, putting my hand on Nico’s hand.

“He doesn’t.”

“It’s okay,” I said, leaning down and laying my head on his chest tentatively. Nico didn’t gasp in pain, so I kept it there. “I know he loves you,” I whispered.

“Katelyn?” Nico whispered after a minute.

“Yeah?” I said, propping myself on my elbow so that I was still close enough to hear him.

He leaned over and kissed me on the lips. It was quick, and we both blushed afterwards.

“You’re not going to die,” I said. I wouldn’t allow it.

The next day, neither Nico nor I were allowed to fight because of the combination of our age and the severity of our injuries. We sat in the Empire State Building, wondering what was happening. We barely even noticed as Kronos crumbled Olympus above us. The Mist has a way of hiding things, even from kids like us.

When it was all over and the gods gathered us in the Hall of the Gods, (rather, what was left of it) Nico leaned against me as we listened to the gods decide our fate and Percy asked for the best thing to happen since the first half-blood was born: for the gods to care about us. Or at least try to care about us.

Back at Camp Half-Blood, as the cabins for children of minor gods were being built, Annabeth also designed a nursery for the new second-generation half-bloods. This allowed gods to send their younger children to camp, keeping them safe and allowing us to train more half-bloods earlier. Once the cabin was done, Griffin Finnighan and his son, Kade, were claimed by Boreas and became the first people to live in his cabin.

Even though we were still grieving our dead, rebuilding what we had lost, and dealing with crazy things in our personal lives, like my mom telling me that she was marrying her mortal boyfriend, Bob, the More-Or-Less Golden Age of Camp Half-Blood began.

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