This is my brand new story. It should make for an interesting read. I am currently reworking Daughter of Lightning for those who care. I hope you all enjoy this story. It would have never happened without the help of Engineer4Ever who helped me develop this idea as well as coming up with the title and the name of the main character..
Figure on the Ice
Of Salty Sea Squirts
Evangeline mercilessly thrust aside her opponent's staff with her own.
"Weak thrust! An octogenarian has more muscle mass!" she taunted. Her opponent, an arrogant son of Apollo, panted. His energy was flagging. She knew he had no interest in learning how to use a staff; he was only here because one of the Hermes idiots had bet him he couldn't last ten minutes with her.
Being the finest staff user in camp, she was the one to be stuck teaching the unwashed nitwits, ahem, campers the art. Few could use a staff as anything more than a blunt instrument to knock each other on the head with but it was, as she often found herself pounding into the singleminded campers, a valid weapon.
She internally grimaced. The majority of these naive imbeciles thought that they could simply get themselves out of trouble with a thrust of a sword. But Evangeline knew better. She didn't discount other weapons, of course, but she felt more comfortable using her unconventional tactics. They had saved her life, after all.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Chiron passing the arena with a younger boy, likely no more than twelve. He was looking around and gawking none-too-subtly at all he was seeing. Such a sight wasn't exactly new to the camper. She had, after all, been at Camp Half-Blood longer than any other demigod. She wasn't the oldest but that mattered little. She had seen too many gawky campers coming through to be surprised.
She had heard about him, of course, though she didn't know his name. He'd defeated the Minotaur. Because of this fact, many campers looked at him with more than normal curiosity, even envy. Not Evangeline, though. This kid wasn't the only demigod to have killed a monster so young. There was Thalia Grace, for instance. And Evangeline herself had slain a drakon which had been hibernating beneath her school when she was twelve. Shrugging, she allowed Chiron and the boy to drift out of her field of vision.
"Keep at it, fumble fingers!" she remonstrated her opponent, "This isn't one of your video games. Put your whole body into it, damn it! Don't just stand there like a wind mill at mini golf!"
Later, after the big-headed Apollo boy had decided he had enough of her, Evangeline slowly walked back to the stifling, crowded, and altogether chaotic Hermes cabin. Most of the cabin members were already there either sitting on their bunks, standing, or sprawled out on the floor. Her eyes scanned warily over her possessions, checking to make sure nothing was out of place.
She'd cast anti-theft hexes on everything she owned, of course, but that didn't stop some of the idiots of cabin eleven from trying to snatch something or another. Her favorite of her little deterrents was the red-hand hex. Not only would it cause a thief's hand to turn bright red, it would make it swell over twice its size. With a self-satisfied smirk, she clambered up the ladder to the top bunk she'd been lucky enough to snag some time ago.
Fortunately, as a permanent resident of cabin eleven, she was able to snap up the bunk for the time being. All unclaimed demigods had to sleep on the floor, it was simply the way of things. She had done so even though she had been claimed upon her arrival to camp when she was six. She was first able to snatch up a free bunk a few years later. Being the child of a so-called minor goddess, she was in the running for any bunk that became available.
So long as there wasn't a child of Hermes or an older claimed child of a minor god or goddess waiting for a bed ahead of them, claimed non-Hermes kids whose parents had no cabin of their own could receive their own bed. Said child might have to give that bed up if another Hermes child was found and there were no more bunks. She didn't really care. Evangeline had grown too used to the camp's quirks to give a damn about sleeping arrangements. Sometimes she had a bunk, other times a bit of floor.
Figuring that the fresh meat would be making an appearance soon, she decided to stick around awhile. It would definitely be interesting to get the measure of the kid. Some new campers thought they were big shots just because they were demigods. Others were numb and shocked. Still others accepted it without much of a fuss and slotted into the camp lifestyle nicely. The remainder took denial to the extreme. Evangeline had seen it all before.
Sometimes, it depended on the age. Littler kids seemed to accept the facts more easily as they were still typically in a bit of a fairy tail mindset. Older kids tended to be less trusting unless they had knowingly encountered monsters or some other proof. As she waited for the day's entertainment, she thought back to her own introduction to camp.
A satyr gym teacher changed her life for the better. Though she didn't see much of him these days, she would always be grateful that he found her. Had he been assigned any other school in England to search, she would, at best, still be ignorant of her heritage. At worst, her uncontrolled powers would have made her monster chow years ago.
Most demigods were at least born in North America and surrounding islands these days. But a minority, including herself, were born and raised away from the Olympians' seat of power. On occasion, perhaps a couple times in a five year period, a god or goddess would choose to start a relationship with a mortal from another part of the world. Typically, the god or goddess would go to countries they formerly resided in. Before their power base shifted to the United States, the gods spent centuries in England where Evangeline was born.
However, few satyrs were sent into the former countries of power such as England, Germany, and the like. It was thought more important to keep them local to pick up the demigods that were more accessible. But every few years their council would send a group out to probe around for possible demigods. Evangeline was one of only two she knew of from England.
She could still remember how she had first been made aware of the truth of so-called Greek mythology. There hadn't been any drama like running from a monster. There hadn't been any running away only to be sniffed out later. It had all started with that physical education teacher who supposedly had connections to a camp in the United States for troubled children. That was the c
over, anyway. And everybody and their flap-jawed mother in Little Whinging knew that Evangeline Potter was the poster girl for troubled. As he had told her so-called relatives that cool spring evening at parents' night, she would fit in perfectly. She had been six then.
Evangeline was brought out of her thoughts as a shadow blocked some sunlight from shining into the cabin through the doorway. Said shadow was cast by Chiron. In front of him stood Annabeth Chase and the new kid. At the sight of Chiron, everyone in the cabin, including her, either bowed or nodded in respect. Chiron said something to the new kid before galloping off.
The kid stood just outside the door shifting awkwardly. He looked totally out of his depth.. Evangeline figured she'd been right earlier, he couldn't be any older than twelve. His hair was somewhat messy, black like hers, and he had sea green eyes. A sparkle entered Evangeline's own hazel ones. Focusing on the air, the moisture, of water and water freezing, she allowed a tiny strip of ice to solidify on the threshold.
She'd been pulling this little trick for years with new campers. She had once explained it as a way of saying, "Welcome to camp. Constant vigilance and watch your step." No matter how much a hotshot a camper might become later, the older campers would always remember them tripping into the Hermes cabin for the first time. Some didn't, of course, but most did.
"Go on. What are you waiting for?" Annabeth prompted him. So he stepped over the threshold. As Evangeline expected, he tripped. She allowed herself the faintest hint of a grin. Annabeth looked towards her and rolled her eyes. Evangeline winked and allowed her hold over the ice to disappear. It melted and evaporated almost immediately. Many campers, particularly the Hermes kids, snickered. The boy regained his balance.
"Percy Jackson, meet cabin eleven." Annabeth announced.
"Regular or undetermined?" somebody asked.
"Undetermined." Annabeth shrugged. Many campers groaned and grumbled. From the jumble of campers, one person stepped forward with a friendly smile. Evangeline deliberately looked away. She alone knew how his smile had changed the last couple of years. She knew he wasn't the same, not since his failed quest.
"Now now, campers. That's what we're here for. Welcome, Percy. You can have that spot on the floor over there." he said jovially, pointing to one of the few unoccupied spots in the back right corner of the cabin between a bunk bed and the wall.
"This is Luke." Annabeth told Percy, her voice taking on a higher, squeakier sound and her cheeks flushing pink. Evangeline sighed. Ever since she had known the two, Annabeth had admired Luke. As they grew older, that admiration had turned into a crush. Everyone could see it except the daughter of Athena herself. Even when he and Evangeline had dated, Annabeth's crush lingered. She had never been able to understand why Evangeline had broken up with him.
"He'll be your cabin counselor for now." she explained, her voice and expression returning to normal at Percy's curious glance.
"For now?" he asked.
"You're undetermined." Luke said patiently. "That means we don't know what cabin to put you in yet. That's why you'll stay here. Cabin eleven takes all newcomers and visitors. Our patron, Hermes, is the god of travelers."
Percy looked around at all the campers. A range of expressions could be seen on their faces. Some were grinning, others were sullen and wary. Still others looked eager to pick his pockets. There were even a few who seemed completely unruffled and uncaring.
"How long will I be here?" he asked.
"Until you're determined." Luke answered simply.
"When will that be?" he enquired. Many in the cabin began to laugh. From her spot on her bunk, Evangeline rolled her eyes. Hadn't he been shown the orientation video? Or was he being willfully oblivious?
"A river in Egypt," she thought to herself.
"Come on, Percy. I'll show you the volleyball court." Annabeth said. He blinked.
"But I've already…"
"Come on!" Annabeth exclaimed, taking his arm and practically dragging him out of the cabin. The sound of laughter followed him outside. Though Evangeline didn't laugh, she allowed herself an amused smile. She knew Annabeth could be counted on to explain the facts of demigod life to the boy.
She had been lucky, she supposed. As soon as she arrived at camp she had been claimed. However, seeing as her mother was a so-called minor goddess, she didn't have a cabin of her own. As much as such a thing might be nice, she supposed she didn't mind the cramped chaos of the Hermes cabin too much. It'd been her home for eleven years now. A camper was lucky if he or she was around long enough to get more than five or six summer completion beads. Evangeline had twelve. Her best friend, Luna, had nine. They weren't the only ones to have a lot of summers under their belts but they were two of only a small handful.
Since the entertainment for the moment was over, Evangeline climbed back down from her bunk. She figured she'd do a little magic practice. Strolling leisurely to the practice arena, she switched out the dummies used for weapon practice with the specially enchanted dueling dummies kept specifically for the use of the magical demigods.
All demigods could be said to be magical in some way, of course, but a small minority had something extra, the ability to use magic in a more traditional sense. Structured spells, transfigurations, enchantments, and the like were all possible for these few. . They weren't as powerful as Hecate or her children, naturally. But most were her descendants.
The magic typically came from their mortal parent as it was even more rare for there to be a demigod with magic who was not a child of Hecate, one of her descendants, or one she personally blessed with the gift. Evangeline was the more typical magical demigod with a goddess mother and a wizard father.
For the next half hour or so, she trained with the dummies. They didn't give her nearly as much of a challenge as a real opponent would have but they would have to do for now. Though there were a few other magical campers, they were all younger than she was. She would simply have to wait until Luna returned. She had decided to spend this summer with her father since the war had just ended. Wizard families all over England would be spending the following months to reconnect and mourn the lost. But Camp Half Blood was Evangeline's family. So she had decided to return.
Slowly, she headed towards the bathroom building with the intension to take an ice cold shower; she was far too hot for her liking. But as she approached the cinderblock building, she saw the new boy being dragged in through the girls' doorway by Clarisse LaRue of Ares cabin. She was followed by a few of her sisters and a nervous Annabeth.
Evangeline sighed and slowed to a stop several yards away from the facility. She knew that this was Clarisse's own way of initiating new campers. She didn't necessarily like it, being a bit too open and brutal for her tastes, but she and Clarisse had an understanding.
Both were friends of sorts who had grown closer because of similar ambitions and desires. Clarisse was hell-bent on showing that she wasn't weak just because she was female. Similarly, Evangeline had always done her best to make sure everyone knew she wasn't a demigod to be trifled with just because her mother wasn't one of the major goddesses.
Though she and Clarisse didn't always see eye to eye, they understood each others' motivations most of the time. When it came to their points of conflict, the two decided to take a policy of noninterference so long as the other wasn't about to do something monumentally stupid. Evangeline winced. Clarisse had kicked her ass when she'd heard about her playing at martyr in the final battle of the second blood war of wizarding England.
She thought about the present situation. The worst that would happen to the kid was he'd go around smelling like sewage. A monster wouldn't be so nice. Sighing, she leaned casually on a near-by tree. She would nab her shower as soon as the male interloper was out of the way.
Barely two minutes passed when Evangeline was jarred out of her idol thoughts by the happenings in the bathroom, or rather those spilling outside of it. Clarisse and her sisters were suddenly pushed out the open door by several large streams of murky water. A large mud puddle formed as liquids and solids mixed. Even from where she stood, Evangeline could hear Clarisse cursing, spitting, and howling in rage. Instead of joining the gaggle of campers circling the scene like a bunch of vultures, Evangeline decided to stay where she was.
"You're dead!" Clarisse's furious scream pierced the air.
"You wanna gargle with toilet water again, Clarisse? Close your mouth." Percy retorted. Evangeline frowned. Stupid boy, he ought to know better than to insult a child of Ares like that. She knew well that you had to be well acquainted with them before you could say something half as cheeky as that. The black haired teen watched on impassively as Clarisse was dragged away, kicking and screaming, by a few of her siblings. After they were far enough from the gawking campers, she followed discretely. Taking a circuitous rout, she casually intercepted Clarisse and her siblings at the entrance to their cabin.
"You look like a drowned alley cat." Evangeline said dryly. Clarisse shot her a fierce scowl.
"What do you want?" she barked.
"Seems like you could use some anger management. Since you can't exactly pound the squirt, how about some hand-to-hand? I can't have you smelling like that, though." Evangeline shrugged. With a flick of her wand, the dirty water was syphoned off the younger teen and the smell of fresh excrement disappeared.
"You're on, witch girl." Clarisse nodded. Evangeline returned the gesture and headed off without another word. It'd been awhile since she'd gone all-out with just the one weapon anyone, mortal or not, was born with. Come to think about it, the last time had been when Clarisse had practically thrashed her for being so stupid as to let herself get hit by the killing curse again.
The two kept at it for a long while. Clarisse had a lot of pent-up frustration to burn off. Evangeline knew this, of course, which was why she offered to spar with her in the first place. She knew that Clarisse could be counted on to mellow out as much as she was capable after a good fight. In return, the Ares girl knew that Evangeline could handle what she threw at her. Though both had very different fighting styles, were three years apart in age, and had different levels of experience, they were well-matched as they fought. Finally, the two wound down and caught their breath.
"Did I ever tell you that you hit with the strength of a bludger?" Evangeline asked.
"You hit me smack in the gut. I guess you're not too bad for a witch girl." Clarisse responded. The two shared an easy grin with one another. Clarisse had a black eye and Evangeline's nose was bleeding. But that was the norm for their little spars. With a few spells, both were back to normal. Sighing, Evangeline cast aguamenti and allowed the water to splash onto herself. It wasn't as good as a shower but it would have to do for now. Magic could only do so much; even the spells she had cast on Clarisse were mostly temporary.
"Next time warn me before you decide to dunk a little squirt like that. Or at least do it in the boys' bathroom." Evangeline said calmly.
"Noted." Clarisse nodded. The two shared evil grins. With a few more sentences exchanged, they headed their separate ways back to their cabins.
Evangeline finally reached the Hermes cabin just as the conch horn blew for dinner.
"Cabin eleven, fall in!" Luke called. Everybody lined up single file. Reluctantly, she slotted in right behind him. She would, of course, be in the very front if she were camp counselor as she had the most camp seniority of anybody in the cabin. However, regardless of whether or not they were the most senior camper in the cabin, though they usually were, the counselors always led the line. Though Evangeline had been at camp more than twice as long as Luke, no child of a minor god or goddess had ever been the counselor of Hermes cabin. She figured it simply wasn't allowed, though she didn't really care to find out. She was perfectly fine being just a camper.
As she entered the pavilion, she sat down near the end of the Hermes table. To her irritation, Luke sat directly across from her. The table filled up fast and before long the new kid squeezed into the last spot which happened to be beside Evangeline herself. She turned to him, a sparkle of amusement in her eyes.
"Hello, Pissy Jackson." she said nonchalantly. Percy turned to her and blinked. She was one of the older campers, probably about seventeen. Her hair was black and very long. Tied up into a high ponytail, it had a windswept appearance. Her skin was quite fair and her features had a regal quality. Percy had never seen anybody like her. Her cheekbones were high, her face somewhat narrow. Her eyebrows had a slight natural arch, her lashes were full. She reminded Percy somewhat of a live Greek statue of a noble lady or even a princess like he'd seen at museums, sculpted with a careful hand and almost emotionless in its expression. It was only when he spotted the glint of humor in her eyes, which were hazel, that it registered what she had just called him.
"My name is…" he tried to correct before he was cut off.
"I do hope, Pissy Jackson, that you don't make a habit of causing all the toilets in the bathroom to back up again. If you must, at least do it in your own. It's enough to put a girl off her dinner." she told him. Percy stared at her. He dimly noticed in the back of his mind that her accent was a strange combination of British and American which gave her words a clipped, precise quality.
"I… um… sure?" he asked rather than stated. Evangeline almost laughed at the absolutely befuddled look on the kid's face. Satisfied with herself, she turned away. The silence was broken by Chiron pounding his hoof on the ground.
"To the gods!" he said, raising his glass.
"To the gods!" everybody responded. At that moment, a number of wood nymphs circulated through the pavilion, serving up all the dinner foods. Percy looked at his empty glass uncertainly. The nymphs weren't carrying any pitchers of juice or cartons of milk.
"You tell your glass what you want." Luke explained.
"Just don't go asking for Margaritas." Evangeline cut in. Percy blinked.
"Cherry coke." he told his glass. As it filled, he took it a step further. "Blue cherry coke."
"Strawberry milkshake." Evangeline said, not particularly bothered. She had seen stranger drinks requested by Luna, one of the tamest of which was a cup of coffee which she would later equate with one of Dolores Umbridge's infamous pink cardigans. From across the table, Luke passed Percy the platter of beef brisket.
After everyone had enough time to serve themselves, they stood up and started heading towards the large fire in the center of the pavilion. Evangeline noted that Luke was explaining the mechanics of dinner sacrifices to Percy who seemed, understandably of course, quite out of his depth. Everyone ate their dinner at their own pace. Once everybody was done, Chiron pounded his hoof again to get their attention. Mr. D addressed everybody.
"I suppose I should say hello to all you brats. Hello, brats. There, I said it. Our activities director, Chiron, has scheduled the next game of capture the flag for Friday evening. Cabin five currently holds the laurels." he said in the most apathetic voice he could project. The Ares kids broke out in wild, rowdy cheers.
"Personally, I couldn't care less. But congratulations are in order, I suppose. I should also tell you that we have a new camper. Say hello to Peter Johnson." he continued blandly. Chiron whispered something in his ear. "Ah, Percy Jackson. Right. Welcome, hurray, and all that. Well, that's it. Now go on to your silly little campfire thing."
The campers all got up and spilled out of the pavilion. From his place in the group near Evangeline, Percy looked irritated. She decided, out of the goodness of her heart of course, to throw the kid a bone.
"Don't worry, Pissy Jackson." Percy jumped and turned his head to see the girl who had talked to him at dinner. She was tall, he noticed, certainly taller than a lot of girls. And she had a narrow, graceful build.
"Mr. D always gets everybody's names wrong. That's just how he is. He still calls me Evelyn Porter." she explained. Percy didn't react. He was still stuck on the fact that she had called him "Pissy Jackson" again. Was he ever going to live that down? From far in front of him, some of the Ares kids burst into mocking laughter. He wasn't too sure he liked this girl.
The next few days, the new kid seemed to be settling in well. Evangeline observed that Annabeth Chase had taken on the responsibility of teaching him Ancient Greek. Evangeline could have, being fluent and in his same cabin, but she was glad Annabeth had decided to do so instead. Though she could teach just fine in a combat setting, Evangeline knew that she was rubbish at teaching academic things. She didn't have the patience for it.
It was Wednesday morning. Rubbing his eyes, Percy stumbled away from his Greek lesson with Annabeth. Though it was, to his surprise, easier for him to pick up than English had been, he would never be a fan of the written word. Blinking in the bright summer sunlight, he decided to head down to the canoe lake. He enjoyed the spot, finding it quite peaceful.
As he neared the shore, he spotted someone sprawled out in the grass. As he came closer, he noticed it was the strange camper from his first dinner. He hadn't talked to her since. She was wearing a pair of short, dark blue jogging shorts and a light blue tank top. Like Luke had that first day, she wore a pair of sandals. Right off, he spotted something strange. She wasn't sprawled out in the grass as he first thought. She was hovering roughly three inches above it. She was reading a large book which nearly obscured her face. But she must have seen him out of the corner of her eye as she lowered it.
"Hello, Percy." she greeted, using his actual name for the first time. Percy blinked; he seemed to be doing a lot of that lately. There was something else different about her today. Perched on her nose were a delicate pair of spectacles. Their lenses were thin and shaped as small ovals. Though they looked to be metal, they were an unnatural shade of it, ice blue. On the earpieces, there could be seen tiny, delicate vine designs in platinum.
"What? Never seen a girl with reading glasses?" Evangeline asked. She was enjoying this, she always did.
"I didn't think…" Percy trailed off, perplexed. Wouldn't having a god for a parent stop something like nearsightedness? The enigmatic teen allowed herself a grin.
"A remnant of my dad, the mortal. He had to ware glasses all the time." she shrugged. "I can see through the mist quite well. The written word, however, not so much."
"The mist?" Percy asked.
"The magic that hides god-related things from mortals." she explained. Percy glanced down at the cover of her book. The title was written in a loopy cursive that was hell on his dyslexic eyes.
"Your book's English." he observed.
"It is." she nodded, not giving anything away.
"But aren't you…?" Percy asked, trying to be careful with his words.
"I'm dyslexic, as are all campers. These glasses are special, though. They really are prescription lenses but they're also enchanted. Everything I read is Greek." she explained.
"Really? I didn't know that was possible." Percy said skeptically.
"Sure. I'd let you try for yourself. But if I did you'd look idiotic. Plus, the prescription would probably give you a headache." Evangeline's eyes glinted wickedly. "You're welcome to try if you insist, though."
"No thanks." Percy shuddered, having no desire to put on a pair of glasses in the extra-feminine variety.. "I believe you. So you said your mortal parent is your dad? Like Annabeth?"
"Yes." Evangeline nodded.
"So you're not a child of Hermes." Percy thought aloud.
"Wow, Sherlock. Where did you pull that brilliant deduction." Evangeline said sarcastically. Percy flushed.
"So you're unclaimed then, like me." he stated. Evangeline huffed.
"Not all campers in our cabin are either unclaimed or children of Hermes." she said testily. It was a point of pride for her that she had been immediately claimed.
"I didn't know." Percy said simply.
"Obviously." she said with a roll of her eyes.
"But why are you still in Hermes cabin?" Percy asked. Evangeline sighed.
"Did you really think there were only twelve gods, Pissy Jackson? Did you think the others were simply flights of fancy dreamed up by some great epic writer in old times?" she asked him. Percy's face grew hot.
"I… of course not." he sputtered.
"Glad to hear it." Evangeline said sarcastically. With little effort, she raised herself further in the air. Gracefully, she unfolded her legs and landed perfectly on the ground.
"So who's your mom?" Percy asked curiously. Of all the Greek goddesses he knew of that didn't have a cabin at camp, which were admittedly few, he couldn't place her. Her eyes showed a flicker of mirth as she stepped to the very edge of the shore. With no hesitation, she glided onto the water as if it were solid and not liquid. Percy noted with shock that it really was solid after her feet touched it. Behind her, she left a thin, narrow bridge of ice. It should have evaporated in the summer heat but it stayed in place. In fact, Percy noticed as he rubbed his arms, the entire area seemed colder somehow. As he backed up, it felt more like summer. But as he approached the shore he felt cold again.
"Because of my mother, I am the only demigod who can ice skate in summer. I can freeze what I please and control the cool breeze. Those are your hints. You're going to need to brush up on all the Greek stories you thought were myths, Percy Jackson. I suggest you start now." she told him. Before Percy could get another word in, she glided further out onto the lake before turning right and skating back to another part of the shore. Percy looked down and saw a few of the brown-haired naiads shaking their fists in irritation as she came ashore. He turned from the water and slowly walked away with rhythmic beats of confusion pounding against his temples. She hadn't even told him her name.
Before the campers knew it, Friday's game of capture the flag was upon them. Evangeline always enjoyed herself, it was a nice way to cut loose a bit. To her delight, the Hermes and Athena cabins would be on the same team as well as Apollo. Athena was leading this time around. Despite the fact that she was friends with Clarisse, she was looking forward to snatching the win away from the other team.
After dinner was eaten, Chiron went over the rules of the game. Boundary line at the creek, only two guards per flag, no maiming or killing, the basic stuff. Looking over the supplies spread out on the table in front of her, Evangeline picked a helmet she figured would fit well enough. She also fastened some light armor onto herself.
Looking down the table, she spotted Percy Jackson. She actually had to hold back a snort of laughter; he looked ridiculous. His helmet was a tad on the large side, his sword looked too heavy for him, and his shield was absurdly large for a twelve-year-old. It looked more like a bronze toboggan than anything.
Once everyone was kitted out, their team poured out of the pavilion cheering and shaking their weapons. Evangeline could see team Ares heading north. Spotting Annabeth in front of the pack, she jogged up to her.
"Hello, owlet!" she said cheerfully. Annabeth sighed resignedly. Evangeline had called her owlet from the first time they met five years ago. At first, she had tried to get her to stop it. But she had eventually given up. If there was one thing she had learned about the teen it was that she would call you whatever she liked and you'd better get used to it. Truth be told, Annabeth had grown a tad fond of the name, though she'd never tell Evangeline in a million years.
"You'll be a scout, of course. Just deliver your information to the Stole brothers and they'll spread the word. You'll find them in a tree south of the creek." Annabeth told her. Evangeline nodded. With no further delay, she launched herself into the air with a strong kick and sped off.
Evangeline had loved flying ever since she had discovered she could do so. The flight was just about her favorite thing about having wind gods in her blood. Though her mother wasn't just a wind goddess like her grandfather, Evangeline had inherited the talent to manipulate the air quite well. It also helped that, though her father had to use a wizard broom to get around in the air, he had loved it nearly as much as she did.
Little time had passed before she spotted the flag. It was in a clearing surrounded by a thick circle of trees. It was being guarded by a son of Hephaestus and a daughter of Demeter. She figured that the Hephaestus guy had already laid some trap or another for whoever came sniffing around. If all else failed, the Demeter girl could always trip the invaders up with roots or something of the sort.
She flew around the outskirts of the clearing a few times to see if there was anything she should warn her teammates about. Between two trees, she spotted a glint out of the corner of her eye, a thin silver trip wire. She shook her head at the sloppy rush job. Usually the children of Hephaestus were better at hiding their traps. Ah well, better for her team! That in mind, she flew off in the opposite direction.
She supposed she could take the flag then and there. However, she knew that doing so wouldn't do her teammates any good. They weren't always going to have the novelty of a flying demigod. After she passed the news on, she would play the game like anyone else who was bound to the earth.
She finally spotted Connor and Travis Stole perched up in a tree where Anabeth said they would be. Before she could let one or the other get a word in edgewise, she relayed the info.
"The flag's in a clearing in the northeast quadrant of the woods. It's guarded by a Hephaestus and a Demeter. I wouldn't recommend coming at it from the southeast as there's a trip wire. I couldn't see any visible traps other than that, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. I'd recommend entering the clearing from the east. The trees are thicker and denser there." she said concisely. The brothers exchanged grins.
"If you omit any information, dearest roomies, I'll freeze your balls to your sheets in the dead of night. Understood?" she added frostily, allowing the air to grow colder around her and frost to cover a few nearby leaves. The brothers nodded frantically.
"Good. Now I want to see that flag crossing the creek. What are you waiting for? Scram!" she exclaimed. The two grinned and saluted before zipping off in different directions.
Evangeline, good sport she was in controlled situations, waited a few minutes for the word to spread. After those minutes were up, though, she darted off to the north. Along the way, she ran into a few enemies, of course. But they weren't that much of a challenge to her. She was older and more experienced than most of the campers. Before she knew it, she had veered east towards the clearing. When she was several yards out, she saw somebody running alongside her a few feet away. It was Luke.
Evangeline scowled. Even on the ground, her speed was nothing to sneeze at. However, she was more of a sprinter as opposed to Luke who could run at a steady pace for long distances. At first, she had the upper hand. However, as they neared the clearing, Luke overtook her.
Spotting an odd lump in his path, Luke leaped over it like a gazelle. A split second later, a root appeared in front of Evangeline. A blast of ice and a quick hop took care of that problem. Luke had already taken down the Hephaestus guy when Evangeline entered the clearing. The Demeter girl was the only guard left. Smiling, Evangeline sent a concentrated blast of ice to cover the girl's shoes just as Luke was about to bring his sword down on her helmet.
Thinking she had the upper hand, Evangeline raced to the flag. But Luke wasn't distracted for long. Being closer and faster, he snagged the flag just as she made a grab for it. Before she could do anything, he ran off at his top speed. Cursing, Evangeline followed him.
This chase reminded her of the first time they had reached the flag together after they had broken up. Luke had offered to let her carry it with him as they had done when they were together. Evangeline had glared coldly at him then.
"We are no longer together, Luke. Why should we give the illusion that we are?" she had said.
He never asked her to share the victory again. Capture the flag games had been this way ever since. Evangeline would try to get the flag but, most of the time, Luke would snag it before she could. On most of the occasions Luke didn't get the flag, either the other team won or somebody from their own team got to it first. Evangeline had managed to nab the flag just a couple times.
Following the flag which billowed out behind Luke, she ran full-speed through the forest. A few of Luke's siblings joined up as they neared the creek. When the flowing water was visible, Evangeline allowed herself to take flight and speed over the aquatic boundary. Landing, she faced the creek to enact her plan.
Most people on their team were cheering as Luke splashed into the creek. However, those laughs turned into snickers as Luke suddenly stumbled, a weak shackle of ice enclosing his left foot. He flailed a moment before falling forward. His right foot hit the opposite shore and he tumbled onto the ground. As he fell, the flag changed from red with a bloody boar's head to silver with the caduceus in the middle. Evangeline allowed a sweet little smile to make its way onto her face. Without a word, she turned and walked away.
From several feet away, Percy watched the events curiously. He never would have imagined Luke tripping up like that. Then, he remembered his conversation with the strange flying camper the other day. She had been able to turn water into ice. Luke had stumbled when one of his feet was still in the creek. When Percy caught sight of the small, sweet smile on the girl's face as she turned away from Luke, he shivered slightly. That little smile erased any doubt in his head that she had made a fool of the older teen. But why?
Luke stumbled onto his feet and forced a smile. The snickers turned back into cheers as he was raised up into the air by his teammates. Chiron cantered out of the woods and blew the conch horn.
Evangeline watched as Annabeth appeared seemingly from thin air, holding a Yankees baseball cap. She casually observed as the daughter of Athena and the new camper talked. By the look on his face, she supposed he just realized that he had been planted as bate. Evangeline's eyes scanned the area and landed on a sopping wet Clarisse holding the broken halves of her spear. She shook her head, now Percy had really pissed the daughter of Ares off.
"Okay, okay. You always have a plan." Percy grumbled to Annabeth. "I get it. What I don't get, though, is why that girl tripped Luke up like that."
"Evangeline?" Annabeth asked.
"If that's her name." Percy shrugged.
"They had a really bad break-up about a year and a half ago. Before that, if one of them got to the flag first, they would let the other carry it with them. But ever since she broke up with him, they haven't worked together like they used to. I don't get why Evangeline dumped Luke like she did. It really hurt him." Annabeth exclaimed, her voice pitching indignantly as she did.
Percy shook his head. He didn't know anything about dating or break-ups. Luke seemed like a pretty nice guy. But Evangeline appeared rather cold. He guessed they just hadn't clicked. He'd heard from older guys about crazy ex-girlfriends, true, but he'd never heard of something quite like this. Then again, they were demigods. Maybe relationships and breakups were different somehow.
Evangeline watched as they continued to converse. Percy shot a look in her direction and asked Annabeth something, likely about Evangeline making an idiot out of Luke. Annabeth gave a long answer. The hazel-eyed teen sighed. Annabeth was so blindly infatuated with Luke that she wasn't willing to see both sides of an issue. Maybe, when she was a little older, she would understand.
Annabeth's eyes landed on a rapidly healing cut on Percy's arm. Even from where Evangeline was standing she could see how rapidly it was healing. She figured Annabeth had told Percy to step out of the creek because, a split second later, shaking his head in befuddlement, he did so. He immediately slumped in exhaustion. Evangeline raised an eyebrow. Something was going on with this kid. First the toilets going kaboom, now this? Annabeth must have had the same idea by the look on her face. Evangeline knew that the girl had been waiting for years for "the one," another child of the big three who was the result of a broken oath. Annabeth had been dying to go on a quest for ages.
Before she could follow that train of thought further, Evangeline heard a canine growl from somewhere in the forest nearby. Immediately afterwords, a howl tore through the forest. The campers who were previously cheering quieted down.
"Stand ready!" Chiron shouted in ancient Greek. There, standing on a large pile of rocks just above Annabeth and Percy, was a canine figure. But it wasn't any old stray dog or wolf. It was huge, perhaps the size of a rhino, with red eyes that glowed like lava, dagger-sized teeth, and fur that seemed to be made up of the shadows themselves. A hellhound.
Annabeth drew her sword and Chiron readied his bow. Evangeline prepared herself, allowing her power to pool just under the surface of her skin. The hellhound jumped off the rocks, launching itself at Percy. Just as the creature was about to slam into Percy, its claws extended, Evangeline flicked her right hand. A whirling miniature blizzard exploded forward, engulfing the creature. As it cleared, the campers saw it as a perfect ice statue, though not for long. With a snap of her fingers, the hellhound shattered into millions of tiny ice shards which then melted into the earth.
Percy stared in mute shock. That thing was about to turn him into so much ground human. But the mysterious ice girl had saved him. He'd never seen a thing like it. Suppressing a shudder, Percy promised himself he'd try not to get on her bad side.
"Di immortales!" Annabeth breathed, breaking the silence. "That was a hellhound from the Fields of Punishment. They don't… they're not supposed to…"
"Somebody summoned it. Someone inside the camp," Chiron said gravely. Luke, still damp and dirt-stained, walked over with the forgotten banner clutched in one hand.
"It's all Percy's fault. Percy summoned it!" Clarisse yelled furiously. Evangeline rolled her eyes. Obviously her Ares pride had taken over her mouth before her brain could stop it.
"And it was so angry at being torn away from damned souls that it just had to attack its summoner." Evangeline said dryly. "Come on, Clarisse."
"But…" Clarisse scowled, glaring at Percy then Evangeline.
"Be quiet, child." said Chiron sternly. Suddenly, all attention was taken away from a glowering Clarisse. A glowing something could be seen over Percy's head. As Evangeline's eyes settled on it, she saw that it was a green, holographic trident.
"Your father… this is really not good." Annabeth said faintly. Evangeline internally agreed. Zeus was going to be furious.
It is determined!" Chiron's booming voice cut through the silence like a launched grenade. All around, campers began to kneel. Evangeline, of course, did so as well.
"My father?" Percy asked, stunned.
"Poseidon. Earth shaker, storm bringer, father of horses. Hail Perseus Jackson, son of the sea god!" Chiron exclaimed. Evangeline allowed herself a tiny grin.
Things were about to get interesting.