It's going on a week since the boys left on their quest but it feels like a month. I did what I could to help Annabeth out, Jason and I usually looked after Noah and Gracie while she was working on Elysium. Her goal was to at least finish the Jackson cabin before Percy got back. The whole thing was coming along nicely. The mixture of classic Greek buildings alongside modern New York architecture was a unlikely but beautiful match. Annabeth really did have an eye for this stuff. Just walking down the street brought on these emotions, I don't even know how to explain it. It's like my whole body just relaxed, the tension released, I felt completely at home.
Today I was watching the twins on the porch of the big house. They were so adorable, all curls, bright eyes, and chubby cheeks. Jason came by every half hour or so to check up on us but he's been pretty busy lately training some new campers in basic combat skills. It took him a while to ease up enough to deal with kids. The kids would tease him behind his back, calling him iceberg and captain stiff. But once he softened up a little he was great, the kids really were starting to take to him. It was actually pretty cute how worked up he would get sometimes, he'd come back to the cabin and boast about how well this kid was doing and how much that kid had improved.
I could see Annabeth's blonde hair rounding the corner, it must be time for her Lunch break. With her was Jason and Thalia. Thalia had Jason in a headlock while Annabeth tickled him. "Hey now, don't break him, I kind of like having him in one piece." The girls giggled as they let him go and bound up the steps. Jason kissed me on the forehead and sat down next to me. "You look so cute with them you know." I looked at him with a glare, "Don't be getting any ideas, as much as I love these kids I'm not going to be ready for my own for a long time." His ears turned scarlet, "Oh... I didn't mean I wanted to have kids with you. Wait that came out wrong. I do want to have kids with you. I mean not now, but you know some day." Thalia lightly punched him in the shoulder, "Real smooth bro, real smooth." He blushed even harder, "Oh shut up."
Annabeth was passing out blue cookies, which I could only assume Percy's mom sent. It seemed weird to eat them without him. But hopefully he'll be home soon. Thalia was reaching for another cookie when and arrow came out of nowhere and struck the plate right next to her hand. The arrow had barley grazed her hand, a line of blood trailed from just below her wrist to the knuckle of her thumb.
Annabeth had already picked up the twins and turned her back to the unseen danger, while Jason picked up one of the practice swords he had been using earlier. and pulled me behind him. Thalia, the one who was usually always ready for a fight, just stared at the arrow sticking out from the plate. Her eyes looked scared, almost sad. A single drop of blood crashed onto the floor, and the next thing I knew She was there. She was tall and glorious and terrifying.
Thalia crumbled to the ground, "Artemis." She clutched her bleeding hand to her chest and dropped her head. Artemis put the tip of her bow beneath Thalia's chin and jerked upward. "Thalia Grace, daughter of Zeus. You will look me in the eye." Thalia hesitantly raised her eyes to meet the goddesses. "Thalia Grace, you have betrayed me, and you have betrayed your sister huntresses. You have shared a bed with a man. You have turned your back on us. You must suffer the consequences."
Tears rolled from her eyes, although her composure still remained smooth. When she spoke I thought her words would crack and break, but instead they were clear and sure. "My lady, I do not deny these allegations, therefore I do not deny and punishment that you see fit." Artemis seemed amused by this."You are brave Thalia, your words do cause me so much pain. You see I do not wish to harm you, but I must. Therefore I will give you a choice. You may be stripped of your immortality and remain here, or you can erase your memory and come back with me. But before you answer, if you stay here without your immortality, your life will meet its end rather soon. But if you come with us you will never be able to return to this place for you will not remember."
Thalia looked at Jason, then at Annabeth, "There's no doubt in my mind, I choose to stay here without immortality." Artemis shook her head with a very somber look on her face. "My dear Thalia, you have chosen a most painful road. When an immortal becomes mortal they become more susceptible to any and all disease. You will become ill, and I am sad to say it is likely that you will not survive."
Jason grabbed Thalia's hand, "Please Thalia don't do this. Think about Luke, what would he do if he came back from his quest and found you on your deathbed, or even worse in your grave?" She shook her head, "He would understand, he would..." He cut her off, "Forget him, what about me, You're my sister, I can't sit here and watch you die. Please, just go with her." Tears were welling up in her eyes, "I've made my decision and nothing you say can change my mind. A short life with the ones I love by my side, it a thousand times better than a lonely life as an immortal amnesiac. You've lost your memories before Jason, I would think you would understand."
She let go of his hand and turned back to Artemis, "My decision is final" Artemis placed her hand on Thalia's shoulder, "As you wish."
A bright light flashed and she was gone and Thalia was on the ground. She moaned and she balled up hugging her knees. The color drained from her face, her hair slick with sweat. I sent a prayer to the gods that this be a side effect of losing her immortality and not the beginning to her end.