Three half-bloods ran as if their very lives depended on it.
That's because, in reality, they kinda did.
They were slowed by a smaller, dark haired boy who seemed to have some kind of disability which hindered his movements. Every step he took was labored and difficult, like he was tripping over his own feet and carrying something more than just his feet.
"Grover!" A shrill female voice yelled. "Lose the shoes!"
The disabled child, a look of utter terror on his face, kicked off his Nikes, revealing not bare feet, but bare hooves. Hiding beneath his tightly tied pair of kicks, were what appeared to be the feet of a donkey… No, scratch that, the hooves of a goat.
If the trio was surprised by this, they didn't show it. If anything, they seemed relieved as the younger boy, top half human, bottom half goat, galloped right past them and up the hill they were scrambling up.
"Luke!" A young girl, the smallest in the trio, called out as she stumbled and fell face first on the hill.
Both of her companions; a boy around fourteen, with long sandy blonde hair and blue eyes and a girl a little younger with spiky black hair and electric blue eyes, stopped in their tracks.
The boy ran back and grabbed the smaller girl whose startling grey eyes were panicked and hoisted her up on his shoulder, turning only to find the wide eyes of the spiky haired girl looking past them and at the bottom of the hill.
The boy chanced a look behind him and his face paled at what he saw.
A pack of hounds the size of pickup trucks was bounding up the hill after them. In the air above them was a trio of the most horrifying figures he had ever laid eyes on. Leathery bat wings and bleeding eyes were all he needed to see to know what was after them.
"The Furies…." The spiky haired girl whimpered before he could even say it.
"Run!" The boy yelled and turned to make a break for the top of the hill. It was only another twenty yards to the top and if Grover had told them the truth, if they made it to the top of the hill, they would be safe.
He stopped, the greyed eyed girl still over his shoulder when he noticed his companion frozen in her tracks.
"Thalia run!" He screamed, panicked when she refused to move.
"Take Annabeth," Thalia said firmly. "Get her over the border. I'll hold them off."
Luke stared at her in disbelief. He would never leave her there but if they didn't move, their chances of surviving the next ten minutes would go from slim to none.
"They're after me, not you two. We'll never make it together." Thalia said, her voice was steely but Luke could see the tears streaming down her cheeks as she spoke.
"We'll fight them together." Luke announced, deciding right then and there that there was zero chance he would leave Thalia to fight alone.
"No Luke, it has to be this way. Not all of us need to die tonight. I brought this on us, I'll deal with it."
Even as she spoke, Thalia backtracked. Perhaps her subconscious was telling her that her only chance was to try to hold them off and slip across the border. Sadly, their time ran out with a long fifteen yards between them and border.
A lone Hellhound launched itself at Thalia. With a speed impossible for a child her age, she slapped the silver bracelet on her wrist and a bronze shield sprang to life, meeting the hellish dog on its descent and slamming into its head with such force, the sounds the vertebrae crunching sent a chill down all three half-bloods' spines.
The Hellhound crumpled to the ground and melted into shadows.
The rest of the pack seemed more patient. They formed a semi-circle around the demigods, seemingly awaiting further orders as the three demonic bat winged wenches landed on the ground between the demigods and monsters.
"Daughter of Zeus!" The middle demon cackled, a look of evil glee on her face as she stared hungrily at the three demigods. "Finally ready to accept your fate?"
Luke set Annabeth down and drew a rusted looking sword from the scabbard that hung loosely from his waist. The little girl Annabeth looked terrified but held a small celestial bronze knife in front of her, her eyes darting between the monsters.
Thalia stood with her shield in front of her. The celestial bronze defensive weapon sent a chill down even the monsters' spines; an incredibly lifelike image of the snake haired woman keeping even the most brazen monster at bay, for the moment at least.
"I…I…" Thalia tried to say but found her tongue betraying her before she took a deep breath and steeled herself, "Let my friends go and fight me! I'm your prize, they mean nothing to you!"
The demon in the middle cackled again, the sound resembling nails on a chalkboard more than actual laughter.
"Perhaps that is true, but how could we pass on such a tasty treat when we now have all three of you?"
Thalia opened her mouth to reply but stopped when the sight of the Fury in front of her blurred for a moment, like a shadow or a cloud had passed between them. She thought it was her imagination but the Fury looked a little confused herself. Her momentary confusion quickly passed though and she barred her fangs at Thalia.
Before she could speak, a voice, barely above a whisper, flooded the area, sounding as if it came from every direction.
"Playing with your food Alecto? Did your mother not tell you that isn't polite?"
Luke looked at Thalia, his face somehow managing to turn even paler.
"Hades?" He whispered, "We're dead."
Thalia was about to agree with him but the look on Alecto's face made her pause. It was hard to tell on that haggard face but she seemed to be confused…. Maybe even a little, scared?
Another Hellhound apparently lost patience and lunged directly at Luke. He stumbled back and tripped, landing on his butt. He tried to raise his sword but it was too late. He closed his eyes, waiting for the pain of those huge fangs ripping him apart.
But the pain didn't come.
After a second, he opened one eye before the other shot open in shock when he found the Hellhound suspended in the air by an invisible force. The hound's back legs moved frantically like it was trying to pull itself up on an invisible ledge.
Then, by the same invisible force, the Hellhound's neck turned at an unnatural angle, the sounds of its neck snapping making Luke flinch involuntarily before this monster too dissolved into the night.
Alecto looked at the spot the monster had been, a low growl emanating from deep within.
"What is this? Who is there?" She screeched, a whip appearing in her hand as she looked frantically in the spot between the monsters and the demigods. The whip caught fire and she reared back, ready to strike at a moment's notice, her sisters following her lead with their own fiery whips.
"Do you think that wise?" The whisper returned, sounding like a low hiss, like air escaping from a propane tank and making both monster and demigod alike shiver from the coldness of tone.
"Show yourself!" Alecto roared, trying to cover her nervousness with anger. Her sister, Tisiphone turned and lashed her whip where she saw a shadow move. The fiery whip snapped and wrapped around an invisible force. She wrenched, trying to reel whatever she had in closer only to find it unmoving.
"You dare?" The voice hissed. The flames of the whip suddenly erupted and shot down the whip, engulfing the Erinye in fire. She howled in agony before dissolving into dust, leaving her two sisters staring in disbelief.
The three demigods who were rooted in their spots just stared in shock. They had no idea what was going on. They certainly weren't complaining but in the back of their heads, they knew they should run for it before whatever this was, turned its attention to them.
"Run!" A voice called from behind them. Luke turned and saw their satyr escort standing at the top of the hill, frantically waving them over. Every instinct in his body told him to do as Grover said, but there was another voice, somewhere deep in his mind, telling him the best thing he could do was not to move.
Alecto stared at the ashes of her sister in disbelief before a look of fury passed over her face.
"Direct interference is forbidden! Zeus will have your head for this! Hades shall throw you into the depths of Tartarus!"
It looked to Grover like she was yelling at the demigods. There was no one else there. He had run into camp and summoned help and could hear a small army of demigods charging up the other side of the hill to come fight the monsters. He hadn't expected to see some kind of weird standoff between the Furies and his three demigods.
A shadow slowly solidified behind Alecto, the form moving towards her, looking at a blur as it moved closer until it was right behind her, whispering in her ear.
"Is that a promise, little daughter of Night?"
A man formed behind the minion of Hades, so close she could feel his breath on the back of her neck.
Alecto whirled around, her whip raised to strike whatever immortal was interfering with her mission. When she laid eyes on the face behind her, she stumbled back frantically, tripping and falling on her butt, much like Luke had done when the Hellhound attacked him.
"No! No! This isn't possible!" Alecto screamed.
Thalia was in utter disbelief. A stunningly handsome man had appeared and almost literally had a torturer of Hades wetting herself. She had no idea who this was, but she had a feeling in her gut that Alecto had reason to be terrified.
"Di Immortales…" She heard a deep voice behind her. She turned and saw what took her a moment to recognize as a centaur staring open mouthed at the man.
Suddenly, the man vanished. In the blink of an eye, the other Fury, Megaera screeched out in agony, the man appearing behind her with a sword that looked darker than the night in her back. Megaera dissolved into dust and the man vanished. Quicker than her eyes could follow, Hellhounds let loose roars of pain before they dissolved into shadows. In a matter of seconds, the entire army of monsters was gone, leaving only Alecto who was still stuck of her butt, a look of terror on her face.
The man appeared in front of her and reached down, grabbing her around the neck and lifting her off the ground, holding her in the air right in front of his face.
"If Zeus wishes for my head, he need only come and get it." His voice was a low growl and it held so much anger, it was almost palpable, and Thalia could feel it, like the very night itself was heavy, reflecting the man's mood.
Before she had a chance to respond, the man dropped Alecto from his grasp. Before she could catch herself with her bat wings, the man spun around, the sword appearing in his hand and slicing the final servant of Hades clean in half.
Alecto was a pile of dust before she even knew what happened.
The sword vanished from the man's hand and he turned to the three demigods in front of him. He took a step towards them when an arrow whizzed over their heads and would have caught him in the forehead… If he hadn't caught it.
In the blink of an eye, a bow appeared in his hands and he fired the arrow back in the direction it had come in. Thalia heard a cry of pain and turned to find the centaur toppled over, an arrow sticking out of his front leg as the demigods around him jumped back in shock.
"This is a private matter." The man muttered and waved his hand, sending the demigods and injured centaur flying backwards, landing roughly twenty feet from where they had been standing.
Luke held up his sword in a trembling hand as the man took another step towards them.
"S…St..Stop right there!" Luke stuttered out.
The man stopped and raised an eyebrow. Finally closer, Thalia got a chance to get a better look at the man. He was incredibly handsome, his face looking like it was carved from stone. His black hair was long and a neatly trimmed beard were barely noticeable past his eyes which were the blackest black Thalia had ever seen. Like his sword, they somehow managed to appear darker than night, like two small blackholes in the middle of his head. Despite their peculiar appearance, they were breathtaking, only adding to what seemed like a flawless face.
He held up his hands in front of him, in a peacemaking gesture. His eyes turned to Thalia and his features seemed to soften just a little.
"Watch your back child, this will not be the last time they try to kill you."
"W..Who are you?" Thalia choked out… The guy seemed to radiate power and she had no doubt if he had wanted to, they would already be dead.
He seemed a little amused by the question, which she didn't really get. Then he looked thoughtful, like the question required some thought.
He seemed to settle on an answer and winked at her, "Name's Perseus, little sis."
A.N: I haven't touched a story in months… I needed a warmup… This is a twist on that God of Night story I used to have, if anyone around still remembers that. I'll get back to others very soon, I feel like writing again.