Disclaimer: I do not own Percy Jackson and the Olympians or anything pertaining to it.
Here's chapter three. If any of you are wondering where this story is going, then I'll give you a brief glimpse into the future. This Prologue, which seems very long because of the amount of time it takes me to update (sorry but I like to procrastinate), ends on this chapter. The next chapter marks the beginning of the story (where the plot starts). Without further ado… the story.
Gone and Forgotten
"How much further is Olympus from here?" Percy asked Artemis. It's been three days since he shot the buck, and they've been trekking back to Olympus at a relentless pace.
"We're getting close," was her only response. They walked a bit more until Percy perked up at the sight of Mount Olympus' summit, just over the horizon."Come on, we're almost there!" Artemis said excitedly before accelerating with another burst of speed, further increasing the gap between her and Percy.
"Can you wait up? I'm not sure what you eat that keeps you this energetic, but I'm done the day." To prove his point, Percy sat down tiredly, his breathing was short and shallow. Artemis sighed before jogging back to where he was. She didn't know what was up, but she felt that Percy was acting strangely ever since they left their camp a few days ago.
"Hey," she said with a smile as she sat down with him.
"Hey," he responded. He didn't look at her, but instead, drew mindless shapes in the dirt with his finger. He sighed again before looking at her. "Is something wrong?" he asked as he caught her staring.
"No. It's just…" she didn't know how to put it without Percy getting offended, "you've been acting kind of strange lately.
"Really? No I haven't. I've been acting completely normal." Percy said defensively.
There he goes. Putting up his barriers, she thought. For almost the entire journey back, Percy only said a few words, and they were mostly things like "How far away are we?" or, "Who's hunting for food today?"
"Percy, what's wrong? You can tell me," Artemis asked in a quiet voice, determined to break Percy's quiet demeanor.
"It's nothing, I've just been thinking…" Percy said before trailing off.
"What have you been thinking about?" Artemis pressed. She was getting tired of Percy's behavior.
"I don't know," Percy said exasperated. "It's hard to put into words. It's more of a feeling than a thought. I'm thinking about that feeling, and - I don't know." He ran his hand through his hair.
Artemis could tell he was stressed. It was a habit of his to play with his hair whenever he felt uncomfortable. She also felt hurt that he didn't trust her enough with what was on his mind. She didn't press him on the topic anymore.
"If you want, we can stop here for the day and be at Olympus by early morning tomorrow," Artemis suggested, wanting to change the subject.
Percy smiled gratefully, "That would be nice." They both found sound spots to summon their tents for the night.
Right before they got into their tents, Percy sighed before saying, "Hey Artemis, I'm sorry for treating you badly earlier. I'm not sure what I was thinking, and there's no excuse for how I acted. You were just trying to help, an-"
Artemis cut him off, "It's fine, Percy." She was happy that his behavior was returning to how it normally was.
"What I'm trying to say is… thanks for being a good friend." Percy's face was a bright shade of red, and he quickly retreated into his tent before she could respond.
They both got up early the next day, and they soon found themselves at the gates of Olympus.
"Home sweet home," Percy said. He pushed open the towering fence to reveal the majestic city on the other side. "I'm going to sleep for a year now that we're back."
"I'm sorry to say, but you'll have to wait a little longer for your beauty sleep," someone said behind them.
They both whirled around to find Hermes, the messenger god floating a few feet above the ground. His helmet's wings were frantically flapping to keep him suspended in the air.
"Zeus said he wanted to see you," he said seriously, but not in an unfriendly manner. Before Percy could ask why, the god disappeared to deliver his next message.
"Usually my father only asks to see people if it's important," Artemis said nervously. The fact that it was on such short of notice made Artemis even more anxious for Percy.
"I'm sure it's nothing," Percy said, his eyes giving away how he truly felt. They both stopped outside of the throne room. "I'm not sure if you want to wait for me… meetings like this can be just a few minutes or a few hours long."
Artemis responded, "I can wait." Percy nodded before slowly ascending the steps to the throne room. He paused at the doors before turning around and flashing her an nervous attempt at an encouraging smile. She smiled back and gave him a thumbs up before he went in.
Percy stood in the middle of the throne room. The throne room had a massive interior decorated with beautiful tapestries and ionic marble pillars. The ceiling of the throne room was a dome, and in the middle of it there was a wide aperture to let in the natural light. A ray of sunlight found its way through the opening, illuminating the center of the large room. Twelve thrones rimmed the room, surrounding a small hearth. Zeus was perched in his, the largest and most decorated one. He was sifting through an assortment of scrolls.
Percy stood there silently, waiting for Zeus to speak. Every second felt like a lifetime as the suspense built. The sound of the parchment to his ears adopted a distinct rhythm. Crackle, … … …, crackle crackle. Percy focused on the sound until Zeus voice snapped him out of his trance.
"You aren't in trouble," Zeus said to him. "You aren't, but someone is. Someone is in very big trouble. You know what humans are, don't you? Those frail mortal beings that tremble in fear and scatter at the sight of us."
"Yes my Lord, I do know," Percy said. "If I remember correctly they were made through Prometheus' tamperings?"
"You remember correctly," Zeus said. "In fact, that is why I brought you here. I was very disappointed when Prometheus created these… humans without my consent. He was punished justly for doing so. But he has not learned his lesson it seems. He has stolen fire from Olympus and has given it to these irresponsible mortals. I fear what they will do with such a power. I too, fear how much stronger these humans could get. Already the smoke from their forges fill the sky. In a group, humans are a formidable force. Their technology is getting more sophisticated by the year, and more gods are growing sympathetic to them.
"What does this have anything to do with me?" Percy asked. He understood all of what Zeus was saying about humans, but what he didn't understand is what all of that had to do with him, a minor god.
"I want you to apprehend Prometheus and bring him back to Olympus for judgement." Zeus said darkly. This is the second time he has done something without telling me, and this time I will not be so merciful with his punishment. A reliable source said he was spotted across the great sea in a heavily wooded area. I'll have you delivered there immediately."
"But why me?" Percy asked. He didn't want anything to do with this, and wanted nothing more than to forget about this entire topic. "Why not some other god who is stronger and more capable? They would be able to do the job faster and more efficiently."
"That is true," Zeus said, "but they are all busy with their own things."
"What if Prometheus didn't mean to worry you. Maybe he just wants to care for his creations?" Percy said hesitantly. He knew he was treading on thin ice, but he really did not want to try to arrest a Titan. "I don't think that he deserves punishment if he is just contributing to a cause he believes in."
"Are you questioning my authority, Perseus? Zeus said, standing up a bit. Percy felt insignificant compared to his uncle right now, and he immediately regretted what he said earlier. "You will apprehend this outlaw, and you will not question me again. Is that understood?" Percy mumbled a feeble yes, not able to meet his uncle's eyes. "Good. You may leave now." Percy nodded numbly before bowing and hurrying out of the throne room. He was not looking forward to this.
Artemis waited impatiently outside of the throne room as the seconds ticked by. "It's been almost 20 minutes, what are you guys doing?" she said to herself. She paced around on the marble path, trying to calm her nerves. When that didn't work, she decided to sit down on one of the steps and close her eyes. She didn't know why she felt so worried for Percy. He was important to her, but she didn't know or understand why she was willing to endure so much stress for him. "I cant take it anymore!" she groaned. "Oh, father is not going to be happy if he finds out…"
Artemis silently slipped in through the doors to find Zeus reading a scroll and Percy standing awkwardly in the middle of the room. She crept behind one of the thrones and started to listen in. She nodded in agreement when she heard Percy speak about why he disagreed with Zeus, and she looked down in shame as her father brushed away Percy's reasoning and commanded him with harsh words like a he was a child.
"You may leave now,"
She saw from her hiding place as Percy hurried out of the throne room, before she slipped out before the doors closed.
"What was the wait all about?" She said, startling Percy.
"Zeus just wanted me to run an errand for him really quickly, it won't take long." She didn't like how he lied to her, but she also knew it was for her protection. That she also didn't like. Being a strong and independent female was something she was proud of.
Even though Prometheus was no Atlas, he was still a Titan, and Percy was still only a minor god. He was at a major disadvantage, she thought. "Okay, well try not to get hurt," she said. Percy flashed on his armor and his sword. He was about to leave before Artemis grabbed his hand. Every part of her body was screaming for Percy to stay. Artemis pulled him into a long hug. She didn't want this moment to end.
If only time would stop so this could last forever, she thought. Artemis wanted to tell him how much he meant to her, how much she loved him. Instead, she gave him a quick peck on the cheek before turning away. She didn't want him to see her red face. He squeezed her hand, not wanting to go. With a final squeeze, he let go of her hand. When Artemis turned around, there was no sign of Percy.
Her voice came out in a whisper, "Be careful, Percy,"
Percy found himself in the middle of a dense forest with a few large boulders around. He slowly looked around, memorizing his surroundings, trying to find a tactile spot to hide and ambush his target. Unluckily for him, his target was already there.
"I knew it! I knew they would send some minor godling to do their dirty work for them. They never do it themselves. A servant you are! Nothing more than a tool that will be thrown away once broken! Percy whipped around to find a crazed and gaunt looking man. He had nothing but a tattered shirt and a loincloth, complemented by a long, scraggy beard. "You don't know how long I have been hiding from you gods," he said wildy, "constantly in fear of being found. Well that time has finally come, and I'm prepared." The man pulled out a long spear, about eight feet long. It had a menacing celestial bronze head colored a pinkish fade that was burned onto it. The spear tip was honed down to a point.
"I'm assuming you're Prometheus," Percy said calmly even though his insides were buzzing with excitement and nervousness. "I have orders from Zeus to apprehend you."
"Whoever I am matters not! What matters is who is coming out of this forest alive!" With that, the Titan stepped forward, his spear ready. His eyes were hard, fixed on Percy. He stared back, neither blinking or the other would gain the upper hand. Suddenly, as fast as lightning, the Titan launched himself at Percy, closing almost half the distance between the two.
Percy braced himself, then charged.
This chapter is more than double that of past chapters. You guys asked for longer chapters; I hope this is good enough for now. I stayed up till 1 AM tonight with my beta to make final touches. Hopefully there aren't too many errors. Enjoy :).