We were flying through the cold, icy clouds trying to keep up with the Camp Half-blood van. I was huddled up next to Percy on Blackjack's back.
"How much longer?" I said as my teeth chattered against each other. Percy shrugged but soon after I had asked he landed near the Chrysler Building. I looked at him with this look and he just shrugged giving me this smile. I rolled my eyes.
"You're cute." I muttered.
"I try." He smiled at me. Then he looked around and spotted the van and then watched as they went past the bus station.
"Where's Argus taking them?" He muttered.
"Zoe's driving." I said. Blackjack nodded and Percy glanced back at me and I shrugged at him.
Hey look there's a donut shop down there! Can we get something to go? Blackjack asked.
"Blackjack focus..." I muttered. I watched the van as Percy explained to Blackjack how we couldn't go down there with him without giving everyone a freaking heart attack. The mist would probably cover up his wings but I didn't want to say anything because then he wouldn't shut up about going down to get something to eat.
"Well, let's go!" I said. Percy nodded and right before we were to jump off the building Blackjack jerked back and I grabbed onto Percy trying to stay onto the horse. Percy went to grab Riptide and when he glanced down his eyes widened. I glanced down to see vines.
"Shit," I said realizing they were grape vines and we were in the company of Mr. D. The vines had grounded us for the moment and when I glanced up I saw Mr. D watching us.
"Going somewhere?" Mr. D asked. He was leaning against the building in a god awful leopard skin warm up suit which he so did not need to be wearing.
God alert! It's the wine dude Blackjack yelled. I rolled my eyes at Blackjack.
"The next person to call me the wine dude will up in a bottle of Merlot." Mr. D threatened. I thought about it for a moment and decided that wouldn't be such a bad thing to end up in a bottle of Merlot.
"Mr. D, what do you want?" Percy asked as the vines continued to wrap around his legs.
"What do I want? You thought, perhaps, that the immortal, all-powerful director of camp would not notice you two leaving without permission?" He asked looking at both of us. I just shrugged nonchalantly.
"Well...maybe." Percy said.
"Technically I'm going on my quest. I just didn't tell you I was going on it so therefore not in trouble." I said. Mr. D rolled his eyes at me.
"I should throw you both off the building without the flying horse and see how heroic you sound on the way down." Mr. D said. I gaped at him like he was insane. There was no way in Hades I was going to go back to camp or letting him throw me off this building.
"Why do you hate me so much? What did I ever do to you?" Percy snapped. I looked over at him with wide eyes. He was treading in dangerous water.
"You're a hero. I have no other reason." He said. I glared at him and Percy shook his head.
"I have to go on this quest! I've got to help my friends. That's something you wouldn't understand!" Percy said.
"And this is my quest so mine." I said crossing my arms over my chest. Mr. D's gaze flickered over to me and then looked back at Percy.
Boss, seeing as how we're wrapped in vines nine hundred feet in the air, you might wanna talk nice Blackjack reminded. I patted Blackjack on the side comfortingly, or what I hoped was comfortingly. I watched the van get smaller in the distance and I saw the vines tighten around Blackjack and Percy. I even started to feel one tugging on my shoes. Then Mr. D launched into this big story of Ariadne, his now immortal wife, Princess of Crete, had her heart broken by a son of Poseidon, Theseus. He said that she was waiting for him and that hero's wouldn't change anytime soon, because we just use people and whatever we want and then we betray everyone. He even brought up Zoe and I felt my heart give a loud thump in my chest as I thought of her and Luke. I shook my head as I felt the vines uncurl from around my legs.
"Go. Follow your silly friends." He said.
"You're letting us go?" I asked carefully.
"Well, the prophecy says at least two of you will die. Perhaps I'll get lucky and you'll be one of them. But mark my words, Son and Daughter of Poseidon, live or die, you will prove no better than the other heroes." Mr. D said. Then before I could come up with a retort he disappeared with a snap of his fingers.
"I will not be like those other heroes Mr. D. Mark my words on that you'll be eating yours." I muttered as Percy looked back at me. I glanced over at him before he looked back over at Blackjack.
"Come on Blackjack, we'll get some donuts in New Jersey." Percy promised. He whinnied before leaping off the side of the building and diving down into the clouds again. We rode on Blackjack for a while following the van all the way down to Maryland where they stopped for a rest stop. Zoe was booking it down the highway and poor Blackjack hadn't gotten a rest yet so when we landed I took the opportunity to stretch my legs. Percy looked over at me and nodded.
"I'm going to go scout. Just stay here." He said. I nodded and Blackjack started to nibble at the grass. I sighed and went rummaging through my backpack. I saw the converse sneakers I had stuff at the bottom. They had wings on the side and Luke had given them to me a while ago. I hadn't been able to fit into them until a few years ago and had been waiting to use them and I felt as if I needed them for this quest. I pulled out a pack of teddy grahams, the ultimate travel food and started to eat them. I smiled as I put a few into my mouth. After about ten minutes Percy came back after taking Annabeth's hat off.
"They're heading to D.C. so let's go." He said. I nodded and stuffed my stuff back into my book-bag before climbing back onto Blackjack. We kept following them until we reached D.C., which was when Blackjack started to get closer to the ground.
"You okay?" Percy asked Blackjack.
Fine, boss. I could...I could take on an army Blackjack panted. I looked at Percy and then at Blackjack and shook my head. That sounded really bad honestly. We needed to land and let Blackjack a good while. He sounded he was running on his last life.
"You don't sound good though." I said.
Don't worry about me, shorty! I'm a tough one. Blackjack said. I glanced at Percy as he shook his head. Then he glanced down and I looked down and noticed the van started to slow down. Then he looked at the sky as we started to get closer to the center of the city.
"Set me down there. That's close enough." Percy told Blackjack. He dropped by the Washington Monument and let us down off him. I looked up at the monument and whistled. I had only been in Washington a few dozen times because of mom and business. I had always had fun running through the museums here on the Mall. I saw the van as Percy turned to Blackjack to tell him to go back to camp. I guess we were walking the rest of the way until we got up with the Hunters and then I was going to slip away silently. I quickly slipped off my vans and put on the converse before standing back up with Percy beside me. I glanced up to see everyone getting out of the van.
"Ready?" Percy asked. I nodded and went to step forward but Percy grabbed me. He pointed to a black van that had the door pushed open. I stood there for a moment pulling on a Yankees hat and saw someone I was hoping to never see again. Dr. Thorn. He glanced in a few directions before heading after our friends which had just walked down the Mall. I looked at Percy and then I flicked my Yankee's hat, which had been another gift from Luke, and it made my hair blonde.
"Where did you get that trick hat from?" Percy murmured as he pulled out Annabeth's hat.
"...Luke gave it to me. It has more tricks up my sleeve. It can make me invisible like Annabeth's hat. I don't know how but he managed to get it. I don't know how long it will hold out for though so hopefully we'll be quick" I murmured. He nodded and put Annabeth's hat on before disappearing. I flicked my hat again and I lifted my arm up to see that I wasn't visible but I felt something touch me. I jumped and I heard Percy laugh.
"Let me take your hand so we don't get separated." He said.
"Fine." I muttered. I let him take my hand and then we started to walk after him. He stayed behind everyone before they went into the National Air and Space Museum. I bit my lip and watched as they went inside but Dr. Thorn stopped before going across the street. Percy waited for a minute before tugging on my hand and we followed Dr. Thorn across the street to the Museum of Natural History. There was a huge sign saying that the museum was closed for a private thing but Percy and I snuck in after Thorn. We walked through a huge chamber that I recognized and then I saw Thorn stop in front of two guards. I let go Percy and quickly as I could run and jump up. I felt myself get up into the air and as soon as the door opened for Thorn to step through I carefully pushed my way into the room. I just had to find Percy now.
I glanced around the room I had just gotten into after I set back down on the ground quietly to see a balcony wrapping around the room. I saw mortals standing guard along with two dracaenas. I knew if they were here Luke wasn't too far from this place. My stomach tightened slightly as my eyes landed on him standing between the two dracaenas. He looked slightly paler than the last time I had seen him and his hair had lost the shine that it had when I had been with him in my dream. A wave of sympathy went out to him. I pushed off the ground again and moved so that I was up in front of him but like ten feet away from him. I stared at him to see his blue eyes held the same angry look but there was something else there....then I noticed he had a necklace on with a dog tag on it. It was my sea princess dog tag.
I had lost it and I didn't know where it had gotten to. I guess I knew now that Luke had found it. I moved back slightly and noticed there was someone sitting beside Luke. He was huge and literally scared the shit out of me.
"Well?" the man asked next to Luke asked. I looked down to see Thorn taking off his sun glasses.
"They are here, General." He said. I looked at the man who was sitting beside Luke; so this was the general that Thorn was talking about before.
"I know that you fool, but where?" He demanded. I couldn't see his face because of the shadows but I carefully set down on the ground. I glanced around the room.
"In the rocket museum." Thorn said. I shook my head and then glanced down at myself.
"The Air and Space Museum." Luke said irritably. I glanced up at him as he talked. He looked like he was tired as hell. Thorn glared at Luke as he spoke.
"As you say, sir." Thorn sneered at Luke. I shook my head and then started to rock back and forth or my heels before stopping as I heard the wings flapping from the sides of the converse I had on. Thorn glanced back over his shoulder slightly before looking over at Luke again.
"How many?" Luke asked. Thorn didn't acknowledge that Luke had spoken to him.
"How many?" The general demanded. Okay so Thorn was still an ass, I could see.
"Four, General. The satyr, Grover Underwood. And the girl with the spiky black hair and the-how do you say- punk clothes and the horrible shield." Thorn said. I smirked slightly and shook my head. Oh Thalia you will be forever remembered for your shield.
"Thalia." Luke said. I nodded and looked over at Thorn.
"And two other girls- Hunters. One wears a silver circlet." Thorn said. I glanced over at the General who had growled at the name.
"That one I know." He growled. Oh so he knew Zoe, now all I wanted to know was how he knew this. Luke glanced over at the General before glancing down at Thorn again.
"Cassi?" Luke asked. Thorn sneered.
"No that little brat isn't with them. They probably won't let her leave knowing that you want her so bad." Thorn sneered. Luke looked ready to kill him but kept his cool and looked over to the General again.
"Don't call Cassandra a brat! But let me take them. We have more than enough-" Luke said.
"Patience, they'll have their hands full already. I've sent a little playmate to keep them occupied." The general said. I started to move back towards the door because I felt something bad coming.
"But-" Luke protested but the General waved him off.
"We cannot risk you, my boy." The General said. I narrowed my eyes at Luke and I swear he moved his gaze was looking directly at me.
How could you become so lost? I thought to myself as Thorn said something to Luke and the General. Then the General stood from his seat.
"You have already failed me, Thorn." He said.
"But General-!" Thorn protested.
"No excuses!" The general yelled. I flinched at the sound of his voice and then stared up at Luke. All I kept thinking was how we fit Taylor Swift's song 'You're Not Sorry' perfectly. I bit my lip and then glanced over at the General.
"I should throw you into the pits of Tartarus for your incompetence. I send you to capture the children of the three elder gods for both Lord Kronos and Luke and you bring me a scrawny daughter of Athena." The General said. My blood ran cold when he mentioned me. I glanced over at Luke who had his hand on the necklace spinning the dog tag around. He glanced down at it and I could swear I saw a look of longing in his eyes before the anger came back to them.
"But you promised me revenge! A command of my own!" Thorn said. I shook my head knowing that this General wasn't going to give him that just because he had failed him.
"I am Lord Kronos's senior commander, and I will choose lieutenants who get me results! It was only thanks to Luke that we salvaged our plan at all. Now get out of my sight, Thorn, until I find some other task for you." The General said. Thorn then turned and left the room after giving him a weird bow. I shook my head and then walked closer.
"Now, my boy, the first thing we must do is isolate the half-blood Thalia. The monster we seek will then come to her." The General said.
"The Hunters will be difficult to dispose of. Zoe Nightshade-" Luke said.
"Do not speak her name!" The General yelled making me flinch again. God he was really touchy with Zoe's name.
"S-sorry, General. I just-" Luke said but he was waved off again. I knew that if this was just waving Luke's apology away what he had just said was nothing meant that Luke was high in the ranks and had a specific purpose.
"Let me show you my boy how we will bring the Hunters down." The General said. He then pointed to a mortal guard on the ground which shocked me. I didn't think Luke like mortals. I don't know why he was working with them.
"Do you have the teeth?" The General asked as a guard stumbled forward with a pot in his hands.
"Yes, General!" He said formally.
"Plant them." The General said. I looked at the guard as he went to the center of the room where a big circle of dirt was and took the teeth out of the pot and carefully pushed them into the soil before covering them with the dirt. I glanced back at Luke who was just staring at it.
"Ready General!" The guard said as he stepped away from the dirt.
"Excellent, water them and we will let them scent their prey!" The general said. I watched the guard pick up a watering can and started to pour a red liquid out of it which I was guessing was blood. Of course these people would be that gross. That's when I saw the soil begin to bubble.
"Soon, I will show you Luke soldiers that will make your army from that little boat look insignificant." The General said. I saw Luke get angry and I knew he was trying to control himself.
"I've spent a year training my forces! When the Princess Andromeda arrives at the mountain, they'll be the best-" Luke started to rant.
"Ha! I don't deny your troops will make a fine honor guard for Lord Kronos. And you, of course will have a role to play-" He said. I looked at Luke to see him get paler if that was even possible. Oh Luke what the hell had you gotten yourself into?
"-but under my leadership the forces of Lord Kronos will increase a hundredfold. We will be unstoppable and when you convince your girlfriend to join the cause and you take her as your bride things will be even more unstoppable. Behold my ultimate killing machines." The General said. The soil erupted and when I saw something struggling to get out of the dirt I saw kittens. They were orange and tiny and if I wasn't invisible I would've awed.
"What is this? Cute cuddly kittens! Where did you find those teeth?" The General roared. I watched the kittens play with each other and meowing softly. Honestly I wanted to pick one up and take it with me on the way out they were that cute. I turned back to look at Luke.
"This is why I don't use mortals. They are unreliable." Luke said.
"They are weak-minded, easily bought, and violent. I love them." The General said. I had to give him all those. They were just that but not weak-minded. They just didn't know everything going on around them. A few minutes later a guard came back in with his hands full of pointy teeth. I watched as the General got onto the railing of the balcony before jumping down. It was good twenty feet jump and when he landed he cracked the floor. I pushed off the ground again and moved so that I was sitting on the balcony railing right by Luke. He never even felt me. I saw the General walk to the circle of dirt and then plant twelve in. He pushed his arm out.
"Rise." He commanded. I bit my lip as a skeletal hand shot out of the dirt. I watched to my right as a dracaenae pulled out a silver scarf. I noticed it from being with the Hunters. Oh shit they were going to track the Hunters.
"Excellent, once my warriors catch its scent, they will pursue its owner relentlessly. Nothing can stop them, no weapons known to half-blood or Hunter. They will tear the hunters and their allies to shreds. Toss it here!" The General said as skeletons erupted from the ground behind him. I watched in horror as they grew skin but if you looked at them a certain way you could see under the skin, like a translucent skin. I noticed they had clothing on that resembled army clothes, even with camo pants. I saw look directly at one spot and I knew Percy was there but one also looked at me and Luke looked at it carefully.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw the scarf be released and it fluttered down towards the General. I grabbed it before they could do anything and I was slammed into by an invisible force. I slammed into the ground losing my hat in the process and I saw the scarf flutter by itself.
"What's this?!" The General yelled. I grabbed my hat off the ground and looked back at Luke for a split second who had a shocked look on his face. I gave him a cheeky wink. I ran between the warriors and went to push off the ground and when I did one of them grabbed onto my jeans and I heard ripping.
"Intruders! One is cloaked in darkness! Seal the doors we can't let the Sea Princess leave!" The General yelled referring to me. I swallowed afraid of what would happen if I got stuck here.
"It's Percy Jackson! It has to be if he's with Cassi...CASSI!" Luke yelled. I pulled my hat on while flying in the air. I disappeared in front of everyone and flew out the doors as they were being closed. When they closed I touched back down onto the ground and found Percy who had taken his hat off. I pulled my own off.
"Let's go to the others." Percy said. I nodded as we sprinted across the street. When we got to admission we had to put the hats back on to sneak on through but after that we took them. We were running up to the third floor balcony as Percy slammed literally into Thalia sending all three of us sprawling. I groaned and pulled myself up and noticed two arrows aimed at Percy and I.
"It's us. Put them down!" I said quickly. Zoe saw me and the anger went off in her face like a time bomb.
"You two! How dare you show thy faces here?" She snapped.
"Percy! Cassi! Thank goodness." Grover said. I looked over at him and then looked down at Percy shaking my head. I saw Zoe glare at him and before she could say anything I looked at them holding up the scarf. Her glare softened and it went to confusion.
"Luke is here with the General." I said. Thalia looked at me and she noticed the look on my face.
"Where?" She murmured.
"National History and Museum. Long story short they have skeletons that want to kill all of us!" I said quickly. Zoe's eyes bugged out of her head as Percy told them the full story.
"The General is here? That is impossible! You lie!" She said. I stared at her with my mouth opened.
"Zoe! He's here! Why would we both lie to you!? There are Skeletons things after us!" I said quickly.
"How many?" Thalia asked.
"Twelve and that's not all. That guy, the General, he said he was sending something, a 'playmate' to distract you over here. A monster." Percy added. I nodded and handed Zoe the scarf. I saw Grover and Thalia look at each other.
"We were following Artemis's trail. I was pretty sure it led here. Some powerful monster scent...She must've stopped here looking for the mystery monster. But we haven't found anything yet." Grover said. I nodded and then pulled the pen out of my pocket.
"Zoe, if it is the General-" Bianca said.
"It cannot be! Percy and Cassi must have seen an Iris-message or some other illusion." Zoe snapped. She was really tense about this guy.
"Illusions don't crack marble floors." Percy said. I nodded and then started to tug at the cap of my sword.
"If Percy and Cassi are telling the truth about the skeletons warriors, we have no time to argue. They are the worst; most horrible....we must leave now." She said.
"For once me and you are in complete agreement." I muttered as Percy nodded his head.
"I was not including you two; you are not a part of this quest." Zoe said. I gaped at her and shook my head as I slapped my hand to my forehead.
"Hey, I'm trying to save your lives!" Percy argued.
"You two shouldn't have come. But you're here now. Come on. Let's get back to the van." Thalia said.
"I'm on my own quest so I'll split with y'all if you want me to just keep Percy safe." I said.
"That is not thy decision!" Zoe snapped looking at Thalia. I took this opportunity to start moving away from the group but Percy latched onto my shirt sleeve tightly giving me this look.
"You're not the boss here, Zoe. I don't care how old you are! You're still a conceited little brat!" Thalia snapped at her. I took a step towards Grover away from the pair.
"You never had any wisdom when it came to boys. You never could leave them behind! You and Cassandra both!" Zoe snapped. I was about to open my mouth but stopped when we heard a growl. Percy looked over at me and I turned around to see the Nemean Lion.
"Well hell." I muttered.
"The Nemean Lion. Don't move." Thalia advised. The lion roared, which I'm pretty sure reverberated all the way down to my bone marrow.
"Separate on my mark. Try to keep it distracted." Zoe ordered. I glanced over at her.
"Until?" I asked.
"Until I think of a way to kill it. Go!" Zoe said. I jumped to the side and uncapped my pen and watched it grow to my sword length. I smiled at the bronze glow it gave off before started to attack the lion. Zoe and Bianca kept the steady flow of arrows but they kept bouncing off the hide like it was nothing. I pulled my shield up as it clawed at it. I groaned and swiped at it but it clawed my shield throwing me backwards. I watched as Percy ran at the lion which swatted him away and then when it got ready to pounce at him but Percy jumped and landed on a wing of an airplane. The lion then jumped onto the plane which made Percy land on the next exhibit.
"Zoe! Target the mouth!" Percy yelled. I saw an arrow go flying missing completely as the lion lunged for Percy. Percy dropped onto another exhibit which was a huge model of earth.
"Grover! Cassi! Clear the area!" Percy yelled. I nodded and as kids ran by me I grabbed them by the shirts and told them to link hands and we quickly ran away from where the lion was now crashing to the floor from having too much weight on the cables of an exhibit. After Grover and I got all the kids out of the way we turned back to the action just in time for me to see Thalia get knocked out. I watched as Percy started to throw silver packets into the mouth of the lion every time it opened its mouth up.
"Now!" Percy yelled. I saw Bianca and Zoe shot arrows into the mouth of the lion as it reared back and roared trying to get away from Percy and the stuff he was throwing into the mouth of the lion. I watched the lion thrash for a few moments before going still. I heard the alarms going off and security was running around in panic. Grover went over to Thalia and helped her up, seeming a little dazed from hit. Zoe and Bianca dropped down next to Percy.
"That was...an interesting strategy." Zoe commented looking at Percy.
"Hey it worked." He said. I nodded and then looked at the lion that was melting away. The only thing it left behind was the fur coat. It shrunk down to the size of a coat.
"Take it." Zoe said.
"What, the lion's fur? Isn't that, like, an animal rights violation or something?" Percy asked. I shook my head.
"It is a spoil of war. It is rightly thine." She said. I nodded and then picked it up and handed it to Percy. He shook his head.
"She killed it though." Percy said. I was about to say shut up but Zoe beat me to the punch.
"I think thy ice-cream sandwich did that. Fair is Fair, Percy Jackson. Take the fur." Zoe said. Wow, well, that was slightly shocking coming from Zoe Nightshade. Percy took it from my hands and it changed into a golden-brown duster.
"Alright let's get out of here. They won't stay confused for long." Grover said.
"You did that?" Percy asked looking at Grover. He nodded.
"A minor confusion song. I played some Barry Manilow. It works every time. But it'll only last a few seconds." Grover said. I glanced at the exit and squinted my eyes and saw the lovely guys that had been in the other museum coming straight for us.
"Um guys that's not our biggest worry right now." I said pointing at the windows. They looked over and saw who was coming for us across the grass.
"Go, they'll be hunting Cassi and me. We'll distract them." Percy said.
"No, we go together." Zoe said. I glanced back at her and then Percy.
"But you said-." Percy said.
"You are part of this quest now. I do not like it, but there is no changing fate. You are the fifth quest member. And we are not leaving anyone behind." Zoe said. She looked at me and I nodded in understanding as I looked down at my sword. I put it away and pulled off the one Blake got me.
"Go I'll hold them off while I can. I'll be fine Percy." I murmured.
"But I promised Blake." He said. I turned and looked back at him.
"Go I'll get up with you guys later!" I yelled. Zoe and Thalia pulled Percy away as I ran out the doors of the front looking at the monsters.
"Yo guys! Sea Princess over here!" I yelled. Some noticed me and started to run while I ran down the mall. Some were chasing me while others were still going after Percy and everyone. I turned on them once I knew that I was out of the eye of people and started to fight. I swiped at the first one only to have the blade bounce off them. I swallowed and then jumped back getting out of the way of a blade. I blocked blow but one managed to cut me in the arm. I hissed and started to fight them with new energy. I managed to more damage on me then to them. I blocked again and someone hit me from the back with a hilt of a sword. I fell to the ground and coughed up a puff of dirt.
"Stop!" The voice commanded the soldiers. They did what they were told and I glanced up at them.
"Go find the others and hunt Percy Jackson. I have this one." Luke commanded. They bowed and then walked away. I flipped over to see Luke standing over me with Backbiter in his hands.
And here we go! My next one is out and I'm writing the next. I'll put one more chapter out to satisfy you guys for being so patient with me, before I start writing and updating my other stories!
Love you guys!!