Minos looked like he was at a loss for words.
Fortunately for him, Percy was there, and he rarely found himself in such a predicament.
"Right on schedule," he looked down at a watch he wasn't wearing. "Now that you've told me your flawed plan, it's time for it to be foiled, followed shortly by your death and the death of these monsters. And we'll cap the evening off with my stroll out of the maze in victory. I think that's it, did I miss anything?"
The former King of Crete's face turned an ugly shade of red, "It doesn't matter! Gaea will replenish the Earthborn ranks until you're both dead!"
Achilles raised his hand, waving it around like an impatient child. The strange action made Minos' face go blank as he just stared at the legendary hero, obviously confused about what he was doing.
"Yes," Percy said trying to sound formal. "Very good, Achilles. Minos, please raise your hand if you'd like to speak. It's not polite to speak out of turn."
Mino's opened his mouth but Percy held up his hand angrily.
"Excuse me, Minos! Achilles raised his hand, it's his turn to speak. Yes, Achilles?"
Achilles nodded, "Well, I just thought Minos should know, there's only about four feet of earthen ground under our feet. Below that, the ground is almost solid rock and it's filled with huge deposits of silver, gold and copper." He puffed out his chest, trying to make it look like he was proud of himself for knowing that.
Percy didn't miss a beat and clapped his hands together approvingly, "Well done, Achilles! Gold star for you today!"
Minos shook his head, clearing confused and annoyed at whatever foolish games they were trying to play.
"I don't care about that! You'll..." He was cut off by Achilles who tutted his finger at him admonishingly.
"Well, you should..."
"Wha..." Minos was cut off by Percy this time who had quickly gone from defeated to almost gleeful, enjoying the playful banter with Achilles.
"Gaea is the Earth," he conceded. "But as a demigod yourself, Minos, you should know that Hades controls the precious metals under the earth. And while Gaea might be much stronger, in her little slumber, my father is going to make it quite difficult for her to keep summoning her little monsters."
MInos narrowed his eyes but they briefly flitted towards the floor like he was suddenly questioning whether he had the backup he thought he did.
"Kill them!" He snarled at the Earthborn, who had been listening quietly while the mortals spoke.
Percy had to admit, for evil monsters, they had surprisingly good manners.
Then the compliment was forgotten as their hands sprouted a mix and match of sharp rocks and stalked towards them, totally ruining the thought of their politeness.
"Huh," Percy said glancing at Achilles and pulling out Anaklumos, which had returned to his pocket. "While that was fun for a minute, I'm missing the part where you joining me here makes me any less screwed."
Achilles laughed and pulled the shield from his back, crouching down as the monsters approached.
"You've gotten so soft! There's only like forty of them. There's two of us, we can take em!" Achilles grinned, looking excitedly at the monsters. His sword arm twitched to attack but froze when a shadow passed over his head, making him straighten up and step back in surprise.
Bob came down between him and the closest Earthborn, the claws on his front legs sank into the clay like flesh of the monster and shredded its torso. The Earthborn barely had time to howl in pain before it started to melt back into the ground. Before it could though, a strong wind swept through the room.
Well, it wasn't so much of a wind, as a strong pull, coming from the chasm from which Achilles had risen. The partially dissolved monster was sucked towards it and down into the abyss before it could even fully melt into a puddle of clay.
"Actually," Percy spun Anaklusmos in his hand suddenly liking their chances. "There are three of us."
Both Percy and Achilles charged forward and the room erupted into utter chaos.
You'd think being dead for a couple thousand years would make even the great Achilles a little rusty.
Well, if you'd thought that, you'd thought wrong.
Achilles moved just as he had on the battlefield in Troy. At least the Trojans had been somewhat skilled warriors; the Earthborn tried to make up for their lack of skill with size and strength. And with so many trying to get at the same two targets, they were clumsy and awkward: a bunch of pushing neanderthals with too many arms and not enough brain cells.
Achilles easily avoided their swatting arms, picking the right moment and jumping forward, cutting a pair of left arms off before jumping back when the monster bellowed in pain.
Achilles frowned as he watched the monster stare at the stubs where his arms had been before he ran forward, slicing his blade across it's stomach and opening up a fatal wound. Achilles raised his shield, wincing when an Earthborn slammed its rock filled hand into his shield so hard his whole body vibrated. He would have attacked but had to brace himself as the pull from the crevice overwhelmed the monster he'd just killed and pulled him down to Tartarus.
Two Earthborn ran at Percy, trying to take him from opposite sides but before the one flanking him could get within seven feet, he was dragged to the ground, a mammoth tiger pouncing on it from behind. Once on the ground, Bob slashed wildly, ripping the monster to pieces in a matter of seconds.
With Bob watching his back, Percy waited until the other one got close. When it reared its arms back, he sprang forward, stabbing Anaklusmos through its chest and leaving it there as he jumped back to avoid another Earthborn.
With his weapon stuck in the dissolving other monster, Percy had to backtrack quickly. The monster tried to close in when it was hit so hard in the chest with a shield that it imbedded about eight inches into its flesh and stopped it in its tracks.
The monster was pulled towards the fissure in the ground and Percy barely managed to snatch Achilles' shield from its chest before it disappeared into the abyss.
"Someone's lost a step," Achilles laughed as he sliced off the arm of an Earthborn. He spun around, dropping into a crouch and lopped off the monster's leg. It fell to the ground and was sucked down into the pit before it could even start to dissolve.
Bob looked rabid, launching from Earthborn to Earthborn, slicing them to shreds into seconds before moving to the next.
As they cut down the Earthborn, their numbers began to shrink. Less and less sprang out of the earth as the two demigods and Bob were too skilled for the clumsy monsters to to match up with.
Minos was staring out at his shrinking army in silence. He watched Achilles slice a deep gash in the stomach of one before Bob lunged into its legs, causing it to crumble and vanish into the crevice.
Percy ducked under a pair of arms and then jumped past the monster just as Bob pounced and dragged it the ground.
Percy pointed his blade right at Minos, "Give me the Pylosian Mint and I promise to make this nice and easy for you!"
Minos stared at him for a moment before a cruel smile stretched across his face. His smile only grew as he watched Bob pin the last Earthborn under his paws before ripping out its throat with his fangs.
"You think that I brought you here and expected a bunch of mindless clay monsters to defeat you?" Minos looked downright gleeful as the confidence evaporated from Percy's face.
"Oh, ha!" Minos laughed. "You did! That is perfect! But no, Percy Jackson. The earth mother values your capture far to0 much to entrust her Earthborn to capture you."
Achilles stepped up beside Percy, Bob stalking closer to Minos as he spoke.
"Let's kill him quickly," Achilles muttered. "He's stalling for time."
Bob seemed to take this as a direct order. He sprang out of his crouch and lunged at Minos. Minos turned away but he didn't need to. Out of the shadows of the room, a huge hand reached out and swatted Bob away. Percy's monstrous pet flew into the wall of the room and crumpled to the ground unmoving.
"I'll kill you!" Percy tried to charge forward but Achilles yanked him back and held tight as the owner of the huge hand stepped into view.
It was like the air had been sucked right out of the room.
Percy's didn't know the name but it wasn't hard to figure out how screwed they were. The green scaly dragon legs and upper body of a human was all he needed to see to know that they were up against a giant. While this wasn't the first time he'd fought a giant, the scarcity of gods or goddesses in the area made this very likely to be the last one he fought.
His bronze skin was covered in bronze armor that was inlaid with a flame design; though being almost thirty feet tall made the armor seem a little unnecessary considering neither Percy or Achilles was even a third as tall. His dreadlocks were woven with bones but that wasn't even the most unsettling part.
His eyes were marble white. They had no visible irises, just a solid milky white that made Percy think he was blind, until he remembered he had never been that lucky before and knew better than to hope for it now.
In his hand was a spear was the size of a flag pole, but again, it was overkill, the weapon was too big to properly impale a mortal. Maybe he used to to squash demigods but a weapon that size made it impossible that neither he or Achilles would be able to spar with a being so large.
"Well, well, well!" The giant boomed. "The great Perseus Jackson, at last!"
Percy took a deep breath like he was about to yell back but then just exhaled loudly, his shoulders slumping and body seeming to deflate as the air left him.
"The one and only," Percy spread his arms, a look of resignation on his face. "How can I be of service to you, oh mighty Milky Eyed One?"
The giant's lips pursed into a scowl, obviously not pleased with that name.
"I am Enceladus!" The giant boomed. "Born to oppose Athena and..."
"I'm sure the rest is quite remarkable," Percy cut him off. "But, I've gotta level with you here," he stared into the giant's haunting white eyes, "there is literally nothing in this world I could give less fucks about. So please, let's get to the killing or whatnot and save ourselves the drawn out introductions."
The sound of Enceladus grinding his teeth made even Minos shiver, though he quickly recovered his smile, looking like a kid of Christmas.
"When Mother Gaea is done with you, I'm going to make sure you suffer for this insult!" Enceladus growled.
Percy looked at Achilles who seemed almost paler than Minos.
"No gods hidden up your sleeve?"
Achilles smiled but it didn't reach his eyes, "Sorry, my friend. Fresh out of those."
Percy nodded, "Figured but I had to ask. So, we're screwed. We can't kill him but we can certainly make him hurt. You up for that?"
Achilles' smile was a sad one. He was already dead so his only fear was for his young friend but he also felt a surge of pride for his former pupil.
"There is nothing I would enjoy more; nothing in this world."
Percy took a breath and turned towards the curious looking giant, "Here goes nothing." He took two steps towards the giant then had to dive to the side as a column of purple flames erupted from the giant's mouth, nearly incinerating him on the spot. He rolled away and saw Achilles had done the same.
"Fire breathing giant," Percy shook his head climbing back to his feet. "Why not? Wouldn't want this to be too easy!" He charged again, Achilles right behind him as Enceladus reared back to blast them with fire again. Before he could, they turned in opposite directions, making the giant pause briefly as he tried to decide which one to kill first.
He turned towards Achilles and his neck glowed purple then cried out in pain. Percy hung by his sword about eight feet up the giant's leg. His feet kicked as he tried to pull his blade free but found it stuck in the thick reptilian flesh.
He gave up and dropped to his feet but couldn't jump away fast enough before the giant kicked him and sent him flying across the room, crashing into the wall not far from where Bob had crashed into.
He hit the wall and then the ground and felt like he was suffocating, unable to breath as the wind was knocked out of him hard. He looked up and saw Bob in his small cat form, his front left paw was bent in an unnatural angle and he was on his side, meowing softly in pain.
"ARGHHHHHHHHH!" The giant roared making Percy turn to where he found Achilles moving with the speed and agility that made him a Greek legend, darting in and out of the the giant's legs and slicing and dicing, opening up small wounds in the thick scaly flesh that sadly closed up almost faster than he could open them.
Percy forced himself to his feet and felt in his pocket for Anaklusmos. He knew they couldn't defeat the giant and they couldn't escape but that didn't mean he had any intention of just laying down and accepting his capture or death. He would force the giant to kill him; better that than being used for whatever purposes Gaea wanted him.
He reached for his trusty sword and then froze in his tracks. Enceladus had gotten lucky and smacked Achilles with the side of his foot, knocking the son of Thetis off his feet.
"No!" Percy bellowed and drew his sword but he was too far away. Enceladus raised his foot and slammed it down on his friend's body. When he raised it again, their was no sign Achilles had even been there.
"I'll kill you!" Percy ran forward and just as the giant reared back to blow fire at him, Percy was engulfed by a shadow. He reappeared between Enceladus' legs and jumped up, stabbing it into the softer skin of his inner thigh. The giant roared in pain and stumbled back while Percy fell back down, his blade still in his hand. Before he could be squashed, he ran into the giant's shadow and vanished again, this time reappearing to his left. He sprinted forward and stabbed Anaklusmos right into the giant's clawed foot, the celestial bronze piercing right through the tough dragon hide and going clear through into the ground.
"AGHHHHHH!" Enceladus bellowed in pain. He tried to spin around but the celestial bronze sword through his foot was like a spike and tripped him up. Percy had to dive into another shadow to avoid being crushed underneath his monstrous body.
The cavern shook slightly from the impact of Enceladus falling. Minos lost his balance and stumbled right onto his face. He got up, spitting out pieces of dirt and cursing Percy.
Enceladus reached down and yanked the sword out of his foot, throwing it across the room angrily. Percy reappeared by his head, his shield springing out of his bracelet and into his waiting hands before he slammed the giant so hard in the forehead he swore he heard Enceladus' brain rattling around inside. He slammed it again and again, not stopping even when the giant stopped moving.
Percy would have kept going until he'd smashed his head into an immortal pulp but was speared hard from behind.
Minos and Percy crashed to the ground and the former King of Crete wrapped his arms around his neck, squeezing with every ounce of strength he had, intent of killing the demigod who was trying to thwart his plans yet again.
Percy tried to roll away but Minos' grip was iron tight. Percy thrashed, unable to breath as he felt the sour breath of his least favorite resurrected demigod on his neck as he tried to kill him.
He threw his head back as hard as he could, the back of his head smashing Minos in the nose and causing it to erupt in blood. The second Minos' grip loosened, Percy grabbed his arm and flung him over him and onto the ground again. He reared back to punch Minos when Percy felt like he'd be hit by a freight train. He slammed into the wall again and felt a couple of his ribs crack from the impact.
He crashed to the ground for the second time in minutes, wheezing to suck in painful breaths. Before he could even look up, he felt the large form of Enceladus looming over him.
"Impressive, boy." He growled. "This is why I usually prefer to let others do the dirty work for me. But for you, it's quite worth getting my hands dirty." He stepped forward and onto Percy's legs, making the son of Hades grunt in pain as he was pinned under the heavy weight.
"Get me some chains!" Enceladus snapped, glancing at Minos who immediately got back to his feet. "Mother has waited long enough for her prize!"
Percy tried to slither out from his foot but Enceladus just increased the pressure making Percy groan as he felt like he was being broken in two.
Minos came running towards them with a pair of thick golden chains, his evil smile returning as he looked down at the defeated hero. He leaned down to reach for Percy's hands...
"AHHH!" Enceladus growled, staggering forward and off of Percy, a golden shaft sticking out of the back of his knee. Before Minos could even turn he was belted across the face with a right hook that would have made Mike Tyson jealous.
Percy looked up in shock and wasn't sure if he was saved or if things had just gotten a whole lot worse.
A.N: Sorry, I struggled writing this... I started a new story, a HP/PJO crossover but I don't know when or if I'll publish it. Hopefully I can get this next chapter out much quicker. Let me know what you thought.