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Tick Tock

Chapter 5

I closed my eyes at the last second as the Minotaur's arm swung in a downward arc, heading straight for me. It must seem weak of me to close my eyes when death is so close at hand, but I guess I'm just a coward that way. Time seemed to slow down... maybe it's because my eyes are closed that this moment filled with fear seemed to stretch on and on forever. Somewhere to my right, I heard a scream... it sounded like it came from Annabeth. She sounded terrified... oh god... I'm really going to die. Annabeth is never terrified... she's always confident and strong, and what the hell am I thinking? I'm going to die! I grit my teeth together and just prayed silently in my head that it'll be painless. Wind brushed against my face, ruffling my hair... and then all went still. I sat there, completely still, not knowing if the danger had passed. A minute trickled by... then two... finally I managed to gather enough courage to peek through my lids.

The Minotaur was laying at my feet in a crumpled heap, a golden arrow stuck out of the back of its skull. What the hell? My eyes opened fully and I glanced around, looking for the culprit who murdered the beast. Annabeth was standing there, terrified, her dagger limp at her side. Her gray irises had been nearly swallowed by her pupil out of her panic and fear. I don't get it, she doesn't even know me, and yet she felt such intense fear when I stared Death in the face... I don't get it.
"Looks like I got here just in time." A lilting voice spoke and I turned my head to the left. A girl stood there with a silver bow, a smirk curved one side of her pink lips upwards.

"Who are you?" I asked, my hand slowly grasped at the ground, searching for my blade.

"Looking for this?" The girl dangled the bronze blade in front of her, putting it up for display.
"You dropped it quite a ways back." She stepped forward,

"Stay back!" Annabeth barked, her stormy gray eyes gained their edge back and she held up her dagger defensively. I gave her an uneasy glance before returning my attention to the girl.

"Who are you?" I repeated myself, slowly standing up so that I may better defend myself should she attack.

"Well... My name is..." A bronze sword flew up from underneath the Minotaur and the girl held her bow out. Clang! The bronze sword dropped to the ground and laid there. My eyes went to the blade and I recognized it as Percy's. In that instant, a groan could be heard and the Minotaur's body shifted as the son of Poseidon emerged from underneath its furry hide.

"Percy!" Annabeth immediately went to help her boyfriend, but I kept my gaze upon the girl.

"My name is Alexia Kao. You three should be thankful that I happened by your little group." The girl crossed her arms and scoffed softly before approaching us again.

"Stay back!" I warned, though without a weapon I was harmless. She paid no heed to my warning and kept walking toward us. The prophecy did not mention a fifth person, extra people usually meant bad news in terms of quests and stuff... or so I assume. Alexia brushed past me and squatted down next to Percy and Annabeth. Annabeth gave the other girl a cold look, though it would appear she was in need of help. The other boy looked like he was out for a good while, his face was pale and a streak of blood flowed from his left temple. I watched as Alexia took an old water bottle out (it was really more deserving to be called a wineskin) and poured the liquid on Percy's face. If it were any other guy on the receiving end of the water, I would call Alexia stupid, but seeing as it was the son of the sea god there, I didn't say anything.

"There. He should be alright for now, but we have to leave. Monsters of Tartaurus don't die, they just go into a deep slumber when you mortally wound them." Alexia spoke swiftly and authoritatively as if she was used to giving out orders. Annabeth grudgingly nodded, and glanced at me then toward Percy. Oh okay. I hurriedly knelt down beside the collapsed beast and offered my back. They heaved Percy's limp body onto my back and I stood up.
"Which way?"

"This way." Annabeth held the ball of yarn out in front of her and the string seemed to stretch on endlessly into the darkness.

"Wait, the pearl." I reminded and Annabeth reached down to pluck the aqua green pearl from the Minotaur's collar before following the yarn into the darkness with me close behind.

"Grover... gotta get Grover..." Percy moaned in my ear, he seemed faint, but I suddenly realized we had left Grover behind.

"I'll go back and-" An anguished roar echoed through the labyrinth and I knew it was too late. I made a move to go back, but I felt a hand on my shoulder.

"We have to get moving now, Jackson. Grover can take care of himself!" Annabeth urged and pulled me along.


"Come on!" She tugged me, and I gave up trying to fight. We followed that stuipd thread for what felt like hours until we came upon a wooden door. I got an uneasy feeling from it, and the four of us lingered in front of it for a moment. Off in the distance, the sound of hooves clip clopping against the ground could be heard.

"Hurry!" Alexia hissed, throwing my blade at the door. When it bounced off harmlessly, she pulled the heavy door open and got us in before grabbing the blade and rushing in herself.

We found ourselves back at the entrance with workers and others peering at us curiously. By now, the sun was right overhead if not setting. It seems time passed quite quickly in labyrinths.
"Alexia, what happened?" A man came over.

"They just got trapped in there... I fear the monsters are awakening." I looked over at Alexia as she spoke. Somehow I had missed the volunteer t-shirt and the painting on her cheek when we were fighting the Minotaur. I guess it didn't seem relevant at the time and my body just automatically blocked it out. The man scowled and glanced in my direction. It must be strange seeing an unconscious boy, a frightened girl, and another battered boy.

"Come. You are ill-equipped for your quest. Come." The man started to walk, not even checking to see if we were following. I gave Annabeth a look and she returned it, though I could tell she seemed to trust these people if only a little. People looked our way out of curiosity... I wonder what they saw. Maybe Percy looked like he had suffered from shock... well, they aren't too far off.

We ended up in front of a small RV. I looked up at it... it wasn't very impressing. If this was supposed to be some magical place to equip us with swords and magical equipment, it surely did not look like it. The man held out a golden key embroidered with a crest, before I had a chance to get a good glimpse at it, it was inserted into the keyhole and turned. Nothing changed... well... clearly something did, but not anything I was aware of. The door opened with a creak... and it was just a normal van. Oh, he just unlocked it. I guess I was just expecting too much. Stepping into the van, I made my way to the back and set Percy down on one of the beds. Annabeth settled herself next to him and held his hand. The sight caused me to cringe a little bit... I realized no one would be doing that for me if I ever got hurt. With a soft sigh, I headed into the main area where Alexia and the other man was waiting.

Side by side, the two looked extremely alike. They had the same almond shaped eyes and slim face. I deduced that they must be siblings.
"So, want to tell me what you three were doing playing around with the Minotaur?" A slender eyebrow was arched on Alexia's face as she asked the question... almost accusingly.

"We came as four..." Grover's face flashed in my mind and I instantly felt guilty.

"Right. Well, what were you four doing there?" Alexia repeated herself, an annoyed expression marring her features.

"We needed the pearl..."


"I need to get to Greece and Rome." The man's eyes flashed for a moment,

"Why can't you just get there by airplane or ferry?" He questioned.

"I... Poseidon and Zeus want to kill me... and I don't know why." Alexia and the man exchanged glances, giving each other nods as if agreeing on something silently.

"It's far more serious than we imagined..." He mumbled,

"Yeah..." She agreed before resting her gaze back on me.
"We'll be escorting you around from now on... until you're able to get by on your own or until you've succeeded the mission."

"What? No!"

"That wasn't an offer, that was a command." The man barked before his expression softened,
"My name is Max Kao, Alexia's twin brother. We're the children of Apollo, and also graduates from Camp Half Blood." He offered his hand which I reluctantly shook. My dad always taught me it was bad manners to not shake an offered hand.
"You must be tired. Just head into the bedroom and get some rest. If you feel along the wall, you'll find a cabinet and if you pull that out, the bedroom will be magically enhanced to accomodate as many beds as you need. Get some rest, we'll travel at sundown."

"Thanks..." I grumbled before realizing just how tired I felt. My limbs felt heavy, and my head was starting to feel foggy. The caffeine must be wearing off. Stumbling into the bedroom, I felt along the wall before grabbing onto a small crevice and pulling at it. The ground shifted for a moment, and when my eyes adjusted, an unoccupied bed sat next to Percy.

"How did you do that?" Annabeth seemed curious... maybe this kind of stuff interested her. Architecture... yeah she seemed like the type to be into that stuff.

"Witchcraft." I mumble before flopping onto the bed and laid there on my stomach, hugging the pillow.

Annabeth rolled her eyes and sighed before changing her spot so that she rested between the two beds. Her hand was still entwined with Percy's, but she was looking at me. I looked back, curious as to why she was giving me that look.

"Is it strange that I felt a sense of deja vu when I first saw you?"

"I don't know, I guess I just have one of those faces."

"Yeah... maybe." She seemed lost in thought, but I closed my eyes as my fatigue became weights that dragged my eyelids down.


"You're real, aren't you?"

"Of course..." A soft sound that seemed to be a merge between a laugh and a sigh could be heard before I fell asleep.

I felt a lurch in my stomach and I was standing in a meadow somewhere. I was in the bushes, overlooking a flat field where a large telescope stood. It was perhaps afternoon, just getting close to sunset. This place felt familiar... The slam of a door could be heard and soft humming filled the air as a young girl skipped out from a house that was a little further off. Her blond hair was tied in a bouncy ponytail and a poppy red dress with matching shoes. She skipped to the telescope and hummed to herself as she fussed around with the metal components before settling down and reading a book on Greek mythology. There was something so vaguely familiar about her.

I shifted my position so that I wasn't so uncomfortable, but it rustled the bushes and caused the girl to look up and become alert.
"Who's there?!" She demanded, standing up and smoothing her dress out, ready to run if need be. Her stormy gray eyes were trained on my location, so there really was no point in hiding. I hesitantly parted the bushes and walked out in my dirty, orange Camp Half Blood t-shirt and black sweats.
"Who are you?!"

"Annabeth?" I ventured, taking a guess that turned out to be correct as a spark of recognition lit up in the girl's eyes though it quickly faded to suspicion.

"Who are you and what are you doing in the bushes?"

"I'm Jackson, and I honsetly have no clue what I'm doing here. I got lost on my way to camp, I guess." I laughed, pointing at my t-shirt. She glanced at the writing on my t-shirt before rolling her eyes as if thinking I'm an idiot before returning to tinkering with her telescope. Obviously, I wasn't a huge threat to her.
"So, what are you working on there?"

"There's a meteor shower tonight, and I don't want to miss it."

"Hmm... I wish I could stay long enough to watch it with you." Young Annabeth rolled her eyes and played with the dials on the large piece of equipment.

"Jackson... you look different now." What?

I woke up to the sound of gravel underneath tires and soft murmuring voices.
"So where to?"

"Louisiana." Replied Annabeth's voice and we were off.


Sorry, this chapter isn't very action-packed, but it will be in the next one.

Thanks to all the commetns and subscribes, guys (and girls), it really gives me the boost I need to continue writing.

And... yeah... comment, rate, subscribe, and continue being awesome. :)


Lol first story on the site!

Chelsea_Delos Chelsea_Delos
Really sorry about not updating the story. I've been really busy, but I'll try to get a new chapter up by the end of the week! I may not update as often after that since school starts in a week (ugh...) but be patient, I know how the chapter's gonna look, I just haven't gotten it down on digital paper yet!
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It varies. Sometimes I'll update a few times a week, sometimes I'll update once a month. It depends on when inspiration hits me. I'm going to try to update at least once a week though.
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Just wondering, but how often do you update?