Acts Of Bravery

Percy finally understood the prophecy as he saw Jason getting struck down by Gaia along with Piper. He quickly sent in two discs of water to cushion their fall and bring them slowly to the ground. He could hear Gaia cackling overhead and Leo and Festus grappling with her, shooting stream after stream of fire which did nothing but slow her down.

She was a primordial goddess and her essence was not disintegrating. She was just weaker in the sky from her home domain but she was still stronger than every one of them. Percy looked to his side to see Annabeth slashing through any monster that stood in her path.

He'd do anything for her. His resolve strengthened. A storm had fallen, but they still had a backup. Percy remembered Chiron's words when he was claimed by Poseidon after Capture the Flag. "Hail, Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, God of the Seas, Earthshaker, Stormbringer, Father of horses."

Then he remembered how he had felt when he was getting away from Tartarus. "I'll kill Gaia. I will tear her apart with my bare hands." Gods he did not want to leave Annabeth or any of his friends behind, but he had to. To storm or fire the world must fall, An oath to keep with a final breath. These two lines of the prophecy haunted him every night.

Now his worst nightmare was coming true. His face hardened as he looked at the battle around him. He took a deep breath, sliced apart the monster now fighting with Annabeth and pulled her to him.

"I'm so sorry, but I have to do this," he whispered to her, hugging her tight. "Percy, what are you talking about?" Annabeth asked him. He smiled at her, but it was full of pain; his sea green eyes whirled with the storm inside.

"Annabeth, an oath to keep with a final breath, my oath to kill Gaia with my bare hands," he told her smiling wryly. "Percy that's impossible, you can't kill Gaia with you bare hands," she said.

"When I killed the gorgons as I was reaching the Roman camp, I used water to act as my hands and disintegrated them. I can help Leo do the same with Gaia," Percy answered. Realization dawned over Annabeth's features.

"No," she whispered, "I just got you back." She crumpled into his arms and he held her tight. Annabeth knew he was going to die, so she just had to say it one last time when he was alive and well. "I love you, Percy," she said. "I love you too, Annabeth, my Wise Girl," Percy replied.

They shared their last kiss together with as much passion as possible. Percy pulled back and inhaled and exhaled slowly, then smiled at Annabeth, "I'll try not to die," he told her, running off towards the direction of Leo, using water to propel him into a higher plane.

"Damn it, why won't you die, Dirt Face," Percy heard Leo yell as he landed on top of half blood hill's highest peak which gave him a good view of the war going on above. "Leo," Percy yelled, but Leo couldn't hear him, obviously. He whistled for Blackjack. Yo boss, sup? The pegasus asked. "How well do you understand mechanical dragon?" Percy asked.

Don't know boss, does it speak morse code?

"Yeah I think it does. Only way Leo can communicate with Festus."

Then I think I can do it boss.

"Perfect. Up you go Blackjack, and take Piper with you. She has to charmspeak Dirt Face," Percy said. Blackjack nodded, nudged Percy's face, giving him a wet lick and flew towards Piper.

She hopped onto the horse and the two flew towards Leo. Boss can you hear me? Blackjack asked. I can Blackjack, can you? Percy asked. Horses could read his mind too. Yup, we're set to go boss.

Good. Tell Leo that this is what he has to do. The goddess won't disintegrate, not airborne and with fire. As soon as she's weak enough, tell him to keep blasting her with fire. When I give the signal, he is to use his full power. I will use water to make sure that her essence cannot reform. Then I'll get rid of the water and she'll be spread thin like Kronos and Ouranos.

But boss, you'll die if you use that much power, Blackjack said. Do what I say, Blackjack, Percy reiterated. Yes boss. Percy could see Blackjack conveying the message to Festus who then conveyed it to Leo. Leo's eyes zeroed in on Percy and he nodded. Both of them, determined.

Piper's charmspeak in action? Percy asked. Yes boss, Leo's burning of Dirt Face, Blackjack updated. Percy had never been so glad that this camp was situated on an island. He yelled out defiantly and raised his hands. Gallons of water followed suit.

They took the shape of hands and flew towards Gaia. He could see Leo and Festus combining their fire power as they set Gaia ablaze. Pieces of her fell off of her which now floated on Percy's water hands.

Percy captured Gaia in his bare hands and proceeded to through all the pressure of water on to her while Piper charmspoke and Leo blasted whatever part of the goddess was sticking out. Percy felt as if the weight of the world was on his shoulders all over again.

The stress crushed him. Blood flowed out of his nose in a steady stream as he upheld his water hands. He could see another pegasus flying toward him with someone on its back through blurred eyes.

He kept his focus unswervingly on Gaia and the killer hands of water. He coughed up blood as he got down to his knees. The tugging in his gut now felt like someone was jamming a rusted sword into him repeatedly.

He couldn't remember why he wanted to live. Just that he had to . . . for a while, at least. "Percy," he heard a ragged voice come to his side. He remembered that voice. He remembered why he had to live.

He had to protect her, his Annabeth. "No, Percy." She was crying as he knelt down next to him. He strained his neck to see what was happening. Gaia was crumbling, slowly, but surely, under the water pressure, Leo's flames and Piper's words.

'Time to die,' he thought, grimly. Blackjack, now! Percy thought to his pegasus. Percy shaped the water into an airborne deadly twister which spun dangerously and viciously. The twister spit Gaia out.

Leo and Festus blasted the much weakened goddess with fire. Percy saw a missile hurtling towards Gaia, slamming into her and breaking her up. Percy caught the falling Gaia back in the twister and tried to disintegrate her essence.

Need more power, Percy thought grimly as he coughed up more blood. The pressure in his head and gut were maddening. Fortunately Blackjack heard Percy's thoughts. Guido, Porkpie, which ever pegasus is near Reyna, the roman praetor, is to quickly transport the demigod to the son of Poseidon, stat! Blackjack issued orders to his fellow pegasi.

Percy soon saw another pegasus on half blood hill. Reyna got down from it. The pegasus nudged her towards Percy, neighing softly. Reyna seeing Percy's straining body understood what the pegasus wanted her to do.

Without hesitation, Reyna wrapped her arms around Percy from behind, giving him the much needed ounce of strength. Annabeth gasped from watching that and was about to try pry Reyna off Percy, but then the pegasus, Porkpie, nudged her back and shook his head.

So Annabeth stood helpless after defeating another monster that had come to distract Percy. She looked at Percy. His face was bloodied with his steady bloodstream from his nose and him coughing up blood frequently.

His hair had started to grey on the edge again due to the stress, but Annabeth could see that Reyna was giving him more power. Enough for him to defeat Gaia and live long enough for him to be taken to the infirmary and get treated.

There was hope after all. All these thoughts took less than five seconds for Annabeth before another monster attacked her. Percy could feel the extra push of power that Reyna gave him and almost had hope that he'd live.

The twister he was controlling spun dangerously as Gaia's essence slowly but surely came apart. Percy coughed up more blood as his nose bled. He increased his focus and channeled his life force. The twister turned into hands with Gaia's remains.

The hands crushed what remained of Gaia that was trying to get back together. Percy yelled causing blood to flow out of his ears too. "Argh" Percy roared as he evaporated the hands of water and spread Gaia's remains atom thin all over the sky.

It also helped that Leo and Festus blasted the water with all the fire power they had. Percy saw Leo slope on Festus. Festus swooped down to the ground and so did Blackjack as Percy panted.

Reyna and Annabeth helped Percy on Blackjack. Annabeth got in behind Percy, holding him tightly to her body, tears streaming down her face, happy tears, as they descended on the ground, Porkpie landed beside them with Reyna on his back.

Percy saw the destruction around him, his campers, both Roman and Greek, fighting monsters. Guess he would die after all, he thought wryly, prophecies are never half-assed. "Annabeth, ask all the campers to crouch on the ground, when I signal them! Don't question me," He had never ordered Annabeth till now.

And it would be the last time he ever did. Annabeth didn't question him. With seconds each camper was on his feet, waiting for Percy's signal. Percy kneeled down and touched the ground. "Now," he yelled and every camper got to the ground.

A huge earthquake shook the camp and a fissure appeared on the ground, pulling in every monster. Percy closed the fissure with a painful roar before the monsters could completely fall in, causing them to disintegrate.

The few monsters left were quickly defeated by the demigods. Percy spit out more blood and fell to the ground, his vision landing on the only beautiful being on the planet, Annabeth.



JEN :)