Thalia sat in the sand on the shores of Long Island Sound. Her mind was consumed with thoughts of everything that had happened over the past couple years. She drifted back to the quest to save Athena and Hermes; losing Luke in the junkyard of Hephaestus, Zoe and Phoebe revealing that they were loyal to Perseus and then finally to Athena driving her spear right through Annabeth's heart when she jumped between Zoe and her mother, saving Zoe's life.
The memory of losing her two best friends in a matter of days sent a sharp pain through her chest and made her visibly wince.
Next she remembered her journey through the labyrinth with Clarisse, Grover, the huntress Celyn, where they freed the God of the Wild, Pan. The revelation that her father, Zeus, had imprisoned him for thousands of years weighed heavily on her mind.
Despite how much she disliked Perseus, the thought of imprisoning anyone, let alone a god, to spend thousands of years bound to a bed seemed like an unnecessary cruelty. Especially for only supporting a challenge to his rule.
She thought about after leaving the cave of Pan, they found Daedalus and how easily Zoe and Phoebe had allowed them to escape with the ancient inventor. With the advantage of hindsight, she knew they had planned to let them take Daedalus from the start. It was obviously part of Perseus' plan for his assault on Camp Half Blood. Somehow he knew what Daedalus would do, sacrificing his life to destroy Perseus' army and saving the camp.
The more she thought about it, the more she realized that it hadn't been much of a sacrifice for Perseus. His army had consisted almost entirely of undead soldiers, who would simply return to the underworld if they were destroyed.
She clenched her fists in annoyance at how easily Perseus thought he could manipulate them.
Then she thought about the battle that followed soon after. She recoiled as she remembered the feeling of the goddesses Eris and Lyssa spreading their influence throughout the demigod army. The goddesses had been able to send the campers in utter chaos with nothing more than their presence. It was a sobering feeling knowing they were so susceptible to the powers of Perseus' allies.
Finally, she recalled the scene that had played out just the day before when Apollo and Artemis had apparently switched sides and attacked Dionysus as they rescued both Zoe and Phoebe, along with he rest of the hunters.
After everything she'd seen in her dreams of Perseus' life, she wasn't surprised by Apollo and Artemis' actions. They'd both been unwilling participants in his defeat at Zeus' hands.
No one in camp had spoken of the events of the day before. The truth was, no one had said much of anything in camp all day. Everyone seemed like they were walking on eggshells, the memory of Zeus blasting the camp director with no regard for the lives of the campers weighed heavily on everyone in camp.
The thought of their lives being so unimportant was not a surprise but to see the gods act upon their indifference towards their children was proving difficult to shake off for everyone who was hurt or witnessed what happened.
As she was enveloped in her thoughts, Thalia didn't notice when a presence materialized behind her.
"A lot on your mind?" A voice that sent a chill down her mind said casually. Perseus sat down in the sand beside her and Thalia had to fight the urge to plunge the dagger tucked into her waistband into his throat. She knew that would likely only end in her obliteration and despite how miserable she felt, she had no wish to die. Instead, she settled for glaring daggers at the god as he plopped down next to her like they were old friends.
"What do you want, Perseus?" She growled, forcing her voice to sound defiant.
The god held up his hands, "Why do I have to want anything?" He answered, trying to sound innocent.
Thalia intensified her glare and Perseus smiled in surrender, "Fair enough," he admitted. "I was just wondering if you've seen enough Olympian justice yet. Zeus would have killed you or any camper if it meant he could have punished the twins for defying him. Surely, you have to see how little your father cares about you of any of your friends."
She knew he was right but she still felt a wave of anger roll through her. She didn't deny that her father was a bastard but she saw no difference between Zeus and the god sitting next to her.
"And how are you any better? You killed four of my friends in your attack on camp! You killed Jackson, the son of Ares, in cold blood just because you were mad at me! You try to pretend you're better than the Olympians but you're not! You're don't care about demigods any more than the gods."
She expected Perseus to argue with her but instead he just shrugged, "Those are valid points," he conceded. "But I don't have a choice, I'm not just fighting the gods. When I launch my assault on Olympus, the gods will summon the entire camp to defend them. I have killed five campers, that's true. But my goal is and has always been to persuade you demigods to just step aside. Let us immortals have our battle. I don't want to, but yes, it is true that if I have to, I will destroy every demigod in this camp to get to Zeus."
Thalia glowered at him. She was about to speak when he held up his hand.
"Listen," He said in a deadly serious tone, " If I had wanted to, I would have already destroyed your little camp already. You know this is true. Your campers were in disarray in that last battle. Had I wanted to, the majority of the demigods would have been dead in a matter of hours. But I chose not to. Despite the wishes of some of my allies, I have done as much as I could to prevent unnecessary demigod deaths. I am hoping to dethrone the gods with as little collateral damage as possible."
Thalia scowled at him for calling the death of her and her friends collateral damage. At the same time, she knew he spoke the truth. If they'd kept up the assault, Camp Half Blood would have fallen easily. As much as she hated it, she knew he had shown them mercy in the battle. Despite this, she couldn't hold back to the feeling of loathing she felt towards him.
"You're still a murderer," she spat, "The gods might not be any better but if you expect me to thank you for not killing innocent heroes, then you're as delusional as I thought."
Perseus frowned but he didn't deny her accusation of being a murderer. Instead, he just sighed, "Perhaps," he said softly, "you're right. I have made mistakes. I've let my anger and hatred for Olympus make me commit unforgivable crimes. But if you think my crimes compare to the ones Zeus has or would commit to ensure his victory then I truly am wasting my time trying to explain myself to you. If our roles were switched, Zeus wouldn't have hesitated to destroy your camp in the last battle, as my allies urged me to. He also would have killed you long ago, as I have been urged to countless times. The next child in line for the prophecy is Bianca Di Angelo. She would make the outcome of the prophecy very easy for me to predict."
Thalia narrowed her eyes but she suddenly felt very vulnerable. She realized that Perseus would only need to snap his fingers and her life would end and the prophecy would fall to Bianca, his sworn ally.
She didn't allow her face give away her concerns though. She continued to look at the immortal beside her harshly.
"Well you must be quite pleased now," she sneered once she gathered her thoughts, trying to shift the direction of their conversation, "now that you've got two more Olympians on your side, you must think you'll have no problem taking Olympus."
She expected to see him smile at her admission but instead he looked a little confused. Then he seemed to realize what she was saying and his face darkened.
"You think I would let those two join me?" He sounded incredulous. "I would throw myself back into the pit before I ever allied myself to those two. You have no clue what they did to me."
Thalia studied his face for a minute, trying to find any sign of deception in his words. When she found none, she couldn't stop a laugh from escaping her lips.
Perseus glared at her but this only made Thalia laugh again.
"You are such a phony," she laughed mockingly, looking genuinely amused. For once, the god of night was taken aback by the mortal's words. He opened his mouth to tell her she had no idea what she was talking about but something in her face stopped him. He could see in her eyes that she truly thought he was a fool. He felt a wave of embarrassment and uncertainty pass through him and they did nothing to help him recover his composure.
"You don't know what you're talking about, mortal..." He tried to sound confident but even he didn't buy it.
Thalia stopped her taunting laughter and suddenly looked at him with a hint of sympathy.
"You really don't know, do you?" Thalia felt a sudden warmth course through her body. It both eased her nerves and steeled her resolve. Without realizing, she knew what to do.
Perseus narrowed his eyes but before he could respond, Thalia reached forward and pressed her thumb to his forehead. Before he could react, a torrent of images flashed through the god's mind.
When the onslaught of memories stopped surging through his mind, he blinked hard and found himself standing in a small clearing in the middle of the forest. He felt a wave of anger surge through him when he saw Apollo gesturing him towards a cloaked figure standing on the other side of a small campfire.
Without meaning to, he followed Apollo until he was a few feet from the fire.
His blood boiled when the figure spoke, he recognized the voice of his father, Zeus, instantly.
"Daughter," he said coldly.
"Father," he said back with a respectful tone that he would never use for Zeus.
Zeus removed his hood and his pulsing blue eyes seemed to bore right into him. Zeus' expression made his heart race despite his mind telling him to charge forward and attack the king of the gods.
"Apollo tells me you have something to tell me," his father said with an edge to his voice.
"I don't understand," his mouth spoke automatically, "What would I need to tell you that I couldn't tell say in front of the council?"
Perseus stiffened as he heard Zeus accuse him of knowing about a plan to remove him from his position as king of the gods.
Despite the fact that gods did not dream, Perseus realized he now found himself standing in the middle of one. He vaguely recalled Thalia pressing a finger to his forehead and came to the stunning realization she had done this to him. He had no idea how the demigod had the power to force him into this dream memory but was broken from those thoughts as Zeus snarled at him.
"Don't lie to me child! I know such a plan exists. Now tell me what you know!" Thunder boomed overhead as he spoke.
He listened to himself deny any knowledge of a coup. Perseus looked down at his trembling hands and was shocked when he found his fingers to be small and thin. He saw the obsidian black ring on his left ring finger and felt his heart stop. The realization of the situation hit him like one of Zeus' lightning bolts.
He was seeing this through the eyes of his estranged wife, Artemis.
He only distantly heard himself continue to deny the allegations over Zeus' multiple accusations. He didn't regain focus of the scene until he saw a face he hadn't seen in millennia appear about twenty feet to his left.
Althaia, a daughter of Hecate, looked around confused until she noticed him. She relaxed instantly until a massive bolt of lightning struck her in the back, her body disintegrating into dust.
Perseus felt his heart shatter. The girl had been so young, only joining the hunters a year earlier. He remembered Artemis promising her safety from the cruelty of men. She'd been the victimized by several men in her village. An attractive teenage orphan had made her an easy target for the primal urges of cruel men.
He ran towards the hunter but there were only ashes to grasp when he reached for the young girl.
Perseus heard himself cry out before turning as Zeus waved his hand again, another hunter appearing to his right.
"Iantha," Perseus managed to choke out. Before he could even protest, Zeus launched another bolt at the hunter.
The daughter of Hermes met the same fate as Althaia and Perseus felt his heart shatter again. This time, along with the heartbreak of losing another hunter, he felt something else begin to fill his heart.
He felt a deep hatred begin to grow inside him as the memory of the two hunters being killed replayed in his mind.
Without hesitation, Zeus summoned another hunter to their small clearing.
Perseus could barely croak a warning, "Leda! Run!"
It was pointless though. Zeus struck her down before she made it three steps. Perseus felt a wave of panic surge through him and he threw himself down at his father's feet.
He pleaded for him to stop. He confessed everything he knew. The desperation of protecting the hunters taking over his mind. His body and mind went numb as Zeus gloated over his trembling form. He barely heard himself plead for mercy for Perseus, which sounded odd. He still only distantly comprehended that he was seeing this through Artemis' eyes and it was her, not him, pleading for mercy towards him. He lost focus on the scene until Zeus issued his final warning, forcing him to swear on the lives of the hunters to stop Perseus if he were ever to come close to dethroning him, the promise of more vengeance against the hunters weighing heavily on his mind.
Without warning, Perseus sat bolt upright, looking around wildly until he remembered where he was. Thalia sat a few feet away, watching him curiously.
It took a moment for Perseus to collect himself, the memory of that dream replaying in the back of his mind over and over.
"How did you do that?" He demanded, "What kind of sorcery did you use on me?"
Thalia raised an eyebrow at him before she rolled her eyes, "I don't know sorcery. As for what I did, I just showed you what I saw in my dreams."
He had to take a moment to collect himself. Very rarely had another being been able to take control of his mind so forcefully.
Finally, he narrowed his eyes , "How did you know how to do that? A child of Zeus shouldn't know how to do that to anyone, let alone a god. Only a being a immense power would have the ability to do what you just did."
Thalia just shrugged, her face looking genuinely confused as she thought about it.
"Honestly," she said, "I don't know. Somehow, I just knew I could. I don't know why but I knew I could because I wanted to show you. I wanted you to see you that despite what you say, you don't know as much as you claim about the past or what should happen to the future. You're just as unsure as I am when it comes to what will come in the next few months."
Perseus glared at her for a minute but when he realized she was telling the truth, another barrage of thoughts assaulted his mind. Without warning, his body began to glow. Thalia barely had time to avert her eyes before he assumed his true form and vanished from the beach.
Thalia was a little taken aback from what had happened. She had no idea how or why she had done that. Something in her mind told her to do it though and the thought made her shiver.
"Do not despair," a gentle voice said behind her. "You have done exactly what you needed to."
Thalia turned and her eyes widened.
Line Break (Three months later)
In the city of New York, the several million inhabitants were blind to the being that hovered above them.
A man floated with ease above the skyscrapers. His face seemed out of focus. If someone were to try to look at him, his face could only be seen a shimmering image of faces, changing at a speed that was too fast for any mortal to comprehend.
He pressed his hands to his chest, his head lowered as he focused as hard as he could on the massive city below him. After several minutes, the man thrust his hands out, an almost imperceivable wave of power spreading out from his hands and spreading over the city. The majority of his power hovered over Manhattan but the other boroughs were not spared as the energy passed over each of them.
On the streets below, the people walking through the streets suddenly stopped. For no known reason, they laid on the ground and curled up, falling into deep slumbers in the middle of the day.
Taxis and cars slowed before coming to stops in the streets, dozens bumping into the fenders of the vehicles in front of them. The drivers all managed to shut off their vehicles before they tilted their heads' back and closed their eyes before falling into deep slumbers.
The man floating above the city let an almost painful sigh. He had exerted more power than he ever had in his millennia long existence. He felt his body relax before dropping into a free fall into the city below.
When he was less than one hundred feet from the ground, a figure materialized out of shadow and caught him. They both vanished before reappearing in a partially reformed room on the other side of the country.
Perseus laid the man down in the center of the room.
"What happened?" A gruff voice said from behind him.
Perseus turned and saw Hades looking at the sleeping god with curiosity.
"He overextended himself," Perseus replied standing back up, "Almost nine million people is an incredible feat."
Hades slowly nodded, "He succeeded then?"
"Yes," Perseus agreed, "Morpheus has done his part. The entire city is asleep. Now it is on us to finish it."
Hades took a step closer to Perseus, the two gods now stood just a few feet away, dark eyes meeting dark eyes.
"And what of the half-bloods?" Hades asked.
Perseus paused for a second, remembering the dream vision Thalia had somehow managed to force him into. When he didn't respond, Hades raised an eyebrow.
Perseus forced himself to focus on the moment and shook his head, "I don't know. I'm guessing they will rally to defend Olympus."
Hades gave him a questioning look and Perseus steeled his face.
"We will continue as planned. If we can, we will persuade them to step aside. If they refuse, then they are on their own. The final assault begins now." He said firmly. "Gather your army, Uncle. At sunset, they will join the rest of our forces and march on Manhattan. The sixteenth birthday of Thalia is only three days away. We will be ready to dethrone the Olympians by that time."
Hades nodded but seemed less confident than his young nephew. They had an impressive army but defeating the remaining Olympian would still be a challenge with the immortals they'd assembled for the war on Olympus.
Perseus noticed Hades' look of concern and smiled.
"Don't worry Uncle," he said reassuringly, "I haven't told you everything yet."
Hades opened his mouth to ask what he meant when Perseus waved his hand. An image appeared in the mist in the air above them showing a mountain covered in snow. Before Hades could even question the scene, the image zeroed in on the mountain, passing right through the snow covered slopes and zeroing in on the inside of the mountain.
The image blurred until it focused on the image of a monstrous slumbering giant bound in hundreds of chains.
"You can't be serious!" Hades gasped as he realized he was looking at the slumbering form of Typhon.
"I rarely kid," Perseus smiled darkly.
"He will destroy the Olympians along with all of us!" Hades protested but Perseus just continued to smile.
"Uncle," he said calmly, "How many foolish decisions have you seen me make?"
Hades opened his mouth but then closed it, unable to think of a single example since Perseus rose from Tartarus.
Perseus nodded, having expected Hades to be speechless, "Trust me," he smiled darkly, "I know what I'm doing. Typhon will play his part but Olympus will be spared. Our new thrones will rise from the ashes of the Olympians' seats of power. Typhon will draw out the gods and leave Olympus open for the taking."
Hades said nothing for a minute as he thought about everything Perseus had said. Then he bowed his head, a rare show of submission to the younger god. Perseus stood tall and smiled down at his uncle, "Gather your army. The days of your exile from Olympus are coming to an end. You will soon rise to your rightful place as my right hand as he take over rule of the cosmos."
Hades' couldn't help but smile darkly before his body was enveloped by shadows.
Line Break (Three months earlier)
Thalia stared wide eyed at the eight year old girl who plopped down beside her in the sand. She tensed, unsure if this was some kind of monster who would try to kill her any second. But then her shoulders relaxed, something about the girl made her feel at ease as she sat in the sand.
"You showed him your dream?" The girl asked.
Thalia finally had a chance to really eye the child next to her. She had stringy brown hair and wore a simple looking brown greek chiton. But what drew Thalia's attention was her eyes. They were like the gently burning embers of a fire. They didn't scare her. Instead, they made her relax as she felt calm for the first time in weeks.
"You did that, didn't you?" Thalia asked without meaning to speak. "You made me show Perseus what I saw in my dream."
The young girl smiled gently at her, "He needed to see it. Zeus has hidden the truth for millennia. I thought it was only fair that he get to see the truth before he begins his assault on Olympus."
"Will it stop him?" Thalia asked hopefully.
"No," the girl frowned," but it might help to heal a little bit that was broken inside him."
The girl reached her hands forward and held them over a fire that appeared in the sand in front of them. It was barely going but the glowing embers spread warmth that made Thalia sigh, enjoying the warmth during the chilly summer night.
"You're Hestia, aren't you?" Thalia asked, the realization coming to her as she spoke the words.
The little girl smiled warmly at her, "Yes, Thalia Grace."
Thalia instinctively bowed to the girl, knowing it was the smartest thing she could do in the presence of a goddess.
She kept her head bowed for a long moment but she felt the warm eyes of the goddess on her. When she raised her head and met Hestia' eyes, she let out a small gasp.
"It was you!" She said in shock. "You are the one who has been showing me the scenes of Perseus' life in my dreams over the past few years!"
Hestia's warm smile didn't waver, "I have shown you what you needed to see, when you needed to see it."
Thalia processed her words slowly then took a cautious step back, "Are you allied with him?"
Hestia just titled her head to the side, giving her a quizzical look. "Allied?" She asked curiously, then answered before Thalia could respond. "I am not allied with anyone. I simply tend the hearth of the gods. For millennia, my family has been splintered and my hearth has not burned as warmly as it did since the day my family was broken. I take no sides. I simply hope to see Olympus reunited at last. You needed to see all sides of the story before you faced your final decision."
Thalia chewed her inner cheek, unsure how to take the goddess' words.
"What am I supposed to do? Neither side seems like the right choice." She said miserably.
Hestia turned and took Thalia' hands in her own, a feeling of warmth and content enveloping the demigod's body.
"When the moment arrives, you will know. You have a good heart, Thalia Grace. Block out the distractions and listen it. It will not fail you."
Thalia wanted to protest that it wasn't that simple but in the blink of the eye, the goddess was gone, along with her comforting warmth. Thalia stood alone on the cool sands of the beach with a million thoughts coursing through her mind.
A.N: Thoughts? I don't want to comment, I want to hear what you guys think so far and what you think and want to happen in the coming final chapters. Thanks for sticking with me over the past few years, I know its been a intermittent journey but I'm here til the end.