AN: This is an F story, not an A story (this account is shared between F and A, so I have to specify). I don't own PJO or HoO. I got the idea for this story partially from Dark Matter, and partially from the episode of Doctor Who where he and Clara rob a bank. I think it's 'Time Heist' or something like that. Anyway, please review if you like it.
The first thing that he knew when he woke up was the cold. It wasn't biting cold, like ice, but a slow chill. The blankets that he sensed should be wrapped around him were gone. Had they fallen off the bed?
But when he opened his eyes, he realized he wasn't in a bed, and he couldn't remember why he had thought he should be. He was laying on a concrete floor, in a huge abandoned warehouse. The warehouse was falling down, and there was trash and debris in some of the corners. Early-morning light filtered through the grimy glass of the high windows, showing the dust in the air.
The third thing that he knew was that he didn't know how he'd gotten there. He didn't know where he was supposed to be and if this was it, and probably even more disturbing he didn't remember much of anything else. He knew there were gods. Greek and Roman. He knew… not much else. Nothing else. Not even who he was.
He sat upright, head spinning at this realization. There was a crinkle of paper, and he looked down at the piece of construction paper taped to his shirt. He pulled it off and stared at the single word written on it; Raiden.
Was that his name? It sounded like it was. Sort of familiar and warm, like a Christmas sweater you only wore once a year. He set the paper down and looked around again. He was alone, so he clambered to his feet. Raiden wore jeans, sneakers, and a purple longsleeve, and as soon as he was off the concrete he didn't feel cold anymore.
He ran to the door of the warehouse-like room. There were several doors, but the one he went to opened to a small office-like room. There was a dirty scuffed desk pushed against one wall, and several rock band posters on the walls, but Raiden immediately went to the girl passed out on the floor.
She was smaller then him but probably the same age. She was latina, with curly dark brown hair in two messy braids tied with rubber bands. She wore a bomber jacket and a Rolling Stones t-shirt and jeans, and she clutched a monkey wrench in one hand even though she was unconscious. Taped to the front of her shirt was another piece of paper, that read Esperanza. It wasn't exactly like his, though-the handwriting was scratchier and more slanted, and maybe more feminine. There was even a little smiley face drawn under the name.
Raiden kneeled next to this girl and shook her arm, hoping fervently that she would wake up.
She did, brown eyes flying open. Before Raiden could react, she smacked him in the nose with her wrench.
"Ow!" Raiden shouted, falling backward with his hands on his nose. It was bleeding, and Esperanza was scrambling to her feet and stumbling away from him, holding out the wrench like a sword. "What was that for?"
"Who are you?" She shouted, clenching her free hand into a fist threateningly. "Where are we? What's going on?"
"I don't know!" Raiden said, pressing his sleeve to his bloody nose. "I just woke up here, like you! I can't remember anything either!"
"Why should I believe you?"
"Because we're in the same boat, from what I can see." Raiden groaned, moving his sleeve away. It had blood on it, but not as much as he had thought.
The girl, Esperanza, hesitated and lowered the wrench, sticking it through her belt. She pulled off the paper attached to her front. "Is this my name?" She wondered, staring reverently at the paper. "Who left this?"
"I don't know." Raiden shrugged. He took his sleeve away from his nose. It was bloody, but not as much as he had thought. "Whoever left us here."
"C'mon," Esperanza said, pulling a rag out of one of her pockets and handing it to him. "Wipe off your nose. Um, sorry about that, by the way."
"S'okay." Raiden told her, and she pulled him to his feet. They both trudged out of the room, just in time to see a door across from them open and a smallish asian boy poke his head out. A pile of wood in one corner shifted, and a girl in a beanie climbed out from behind it. The front doors of the warehouse were shoved open, and another boy and girl came in with identical confused looks on their faces.
It took a while to sort things out. The asian boy had woken up with a paper telling him his name was August. The girl in the beanie was Bianca, and the twins (they had to be twins, since they were identical with messy black hair and blue-gray eyes) were Charles and Cassie. The handwriting on each paper was different.
None of them remembered where they were, where they were from, how they had gotten there. They didn't know if they were enemies or friends, who their families were, or even their last names. Cassie and Charles, the twins, knew they must be related, but didn't remember each other. Bianca guessed that they had all been criminals who had escaped Tartarus and had some memory loss as a result, but she seemed to only say it to worry August.
After a few minutes of talking, something else was established. Charles couldn't speak. They had him try to scream and swear and sing, but no noise came out. He looked worried.
Finally, the sun started to set. None of them had tried to leave the warehouse (except Cassie and Charles who had woken up outside and come in). They probably should, but nobody wanted to see what was out there, beyond the tall stone wall that the twins said surrounded them. Honestly, they were a little scared to.
The sun sank fully below the horizon.
The moment before the first star should've come out, there was a bang like somebody had set of a firecracker. The entire east wall (the only one without windows) was lit up with a huge square of white light that took the entire wall.
Esperanza stepped back, Bianca swore, Charles and Cassie grabbed each other, Raiden stared, and August turned into a dog.
Wait, did August just turn into a dog?
"How did you do that?" Bianca demanded as the dog turned into a sheepish-looking August.
"I don't know." August said, staring at his hands. "I can't remember."
"So what else is knew?" Bianca muttered.
"Is that a projection screen?" Esperanza asked, frowning at the motionless white square of light on the wall. "Are we supposed to watch something?"
"If it's something set up by whoever or whatever took our memories, I don't think we should do it." Bianca said immediately.
Cassie shoot her a glare. "Of course you don't."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
Esperanza and Raiden exchanged a glance. "What do you think?" Raiden asked her worriedly. He liked Esperanza more then he did the others. Not that there was anything wrong with them, just that she seemed more… familiar. Maybe they really had been friends before they lost their memories.
"I think we watch it." Esperanza said. "It's probably important."
"I agree." August said softly. Raiden tried not to jump-he had forgotten August was right next to him. Cassie and Bianca had stopped arguing, and Charles nodded in agreement with August.
"Alright," Raiden said nervously. "Let's do it."
"The projector must be up in the rafters," Esperanza scowled up at the darkness overhead. "To watch it, we'll have to climb up there and turn it-"
"My name is Esperanza." We jumped again as the video started to play on it's own. It showed Esperanza sitting behind the dirty desk in the room she had woken in. She wore the same clothes she did now, looking tired and worried. She was tracing lines through the dust on the desk. "I am fifteen, and a legacy on both sides. I agree to this memory wipe of my own free will."
Esperanza stared at the version of herself who had her face stretched over the wall. "I told someone to take my memories?" She murmured. "Why…?"
The image changed to show Bianca sitting on the desk instead of behind it. "I'm Bianca." She announced to the group and a very surprised-looking real-life Bianca. "I'm fourteen. I'm a demigod who was adopted by demigods, so a legacy as well. August's cousin, so keep an eye on him, future me. I agree to this memory wipe of my own free will." She shot a glare at whoever was holding the camera. "I also declare that you are all assholes."
The rest of them were cycled through. "I am Cassie, twin sister of Charles. I'm thirteen, and a legacy. I agree to this memory wipe of my own free will." She motioned to Charles, who was sitting next to her on screen. "He's Charles. Thirteen, also, and a legacy, kind of obviously since we're twins. He agrees as well."
"I am August, a legacy, and I'm thirteen. I agree to this memory wipe of my own free will."
And then, the moment Raiden had been dreading. His own face appeared on the screen. "I'm Raiden, a legacy like most of the others. I'm fifteen, sixteen in a few weeks. And I agree to this memory wipe of my own free will."
The image turned black. The video turned itself off. They stood in silence for a few moments.
"What do we do?" Cassie asked finally, her voice echoing in the warehouse.
"I guess we find a place to sleep for the night," Raiden said. They turned to him with respect, even Bianca. He wished he hadn't said anything, but he could feel deep inside him that leading them was supposed to be his job. He didn't seem to like it very much, though.
"Wait," August called as they all started for the door. He had his eyebrows scrunched together over gold-specked eyes, which were the first thing Raiden had noticed about the younger boy. "I have a feeling…." He turned and ran to the pile of wood Bianca had been behind when she had woken up. He started to pull it aside.
The rest of them trailed after him as he shoved the last plank aside to uncover a trapdoor. Bianca whistled appreciatively. "Way to go, cuz." She said, ruffling his hair. He swatted her hand away, but still looked pleased with himself.
For two people who were supposed to be cousins, Bianca and August looked nothing alike. Of course they didn't, Raiden realized as they pulled open the trapdoor, Bianca said she's adopted. But still, they were almost total opposites.
August was shorter and stockier, with black hair that stuck up at the back and golden eyes. He wore a panda bear hoodie and purple t-shirt and cargo pants. Bianca was taller and willowier, with spiky blond hair streaked with blue, a freckled heart-shaped face and dark brown eyes, a camo bomber jacket and dark jeans and her black-and-white striped beanie. They couldn't have looked more different, not like it mattered.
They yanked the trapdoor open, and a light flickered on below them automatically. Bianca climbed down the ladder first, into the basement. August followed, then Esperanza and the twins, with Raiden bringing up the rear. He closed the trapdoor behind them.
The room below wasn't what he had expected at all. It looked a lot like a studio apartment, but a really nice one. The floor and walls were hardwood, with sections of brick, and a ceiling of metal sheeting that somehow made it seem more rustic and warm. It was two stories tall, easily, and the ladder touched the floor in the middle of the huge room. One corner was a spacious kitchen with stainless steel appliances, and cupboards stuffed with food. For some reason, there was three boxes of blue food coloring on the counter. In another corner was a flat screen TV and plush couches covered in pillows and blankets. The fourth wall of the room was all bookshelves, with one of those old-fashioned ladders that rolls along against the wall. A fireplace crackled merrily, with two armchairs in front of it for reading. A round wooden table by another wall was flanked by two cupboards of board games.
Two sets of metal spiral stairs on either side of the ladder but away from it by almost ten feet, wound up to metal catwalks that connected to two wooden doors set in the walls. A chalkboard hung on each, one marked girls and one marked boys.
"Bedrooms?" Cassie guessed, pointing at the doors. Charles nodded.
They moved together in a clump to the girl's staircase, glancing around mistrustful at the room. Actually, Bianca and the twins didn't look very mistrustful, more like they wanted to raid the kitchen and collapse in front of the TV to binge netflix, but they all stuck together.
The girls door led to a short rosewood hallway with bright paintings on the walls. Three doors opened into three more rooms, each with a chalkboard with one of the girl's names on it. They went into Esperanza's room first, and were met with a blast of hot steam.
It was huge workshop with different platforms holding different types of machinery and equipment. There was also a laptop set on one workbench, and a queen-sized four-poster bed against the opposite wall. The bed was partially made of metal, and was wired into the walls. The comforter was bright red, and a dark brown beanbag was next to it.
Esperanza flopped down on the bed. "This is definitely my room. This just feels so right, especially all the machines and stuff."
"I want to go see my room!" Bianca insisted.
"Alright, but I'm coming back here later for sure." Esperanza said reluctantly.
Bianca's room was next. It wasn't as big as Esperanza's, but it was cozier and friendlier. The walls were blue, the carpet black, and the one large window flanked by dark purple curtains. The window opened onto what looked like a sixth-floor fire escape over a NYC alley, but when Bianca tried to climb out she found she met an invisible barrier. There was a twin bed, rock band posters on the walls, and a cherrywood desk.
Cassie's room was the best out of the three, especially in the twin's opinion. They opened the door and stepped onto a tropical beach. That's really what it was, like they'd just stepped through a portal. They found that there was an invisible barrier around them in all directions, but that went out far enough for Cassie to have a large swimming area, lots of sand, and an ice-cream truck parked on the top of a small grassy hill. A four-poster bed covered in fluffy white blankets sat serenely on the sand, and the water was the perfect temperature.
By the time they had thoroughly explored each room, they were all exhausted. They made spaghetti in the kitchen, watched Doctor Who, and went to their rooms. Charles took a few books from the shelves before climbing the stairs.
Raiden went into his own room, rubbing his eyes and yawning. It was just as odd as Cassie's bedroom, he found. A large round marble platform in the middle of the clouds overlooking what was probably New York City, as a storm raged around it. A glass dome covered the marble platform, keeping it from getting wet. It had beanbags, a comfy bed, and shelves of games and books. Ignoring his strange surroundings (which for some reason seemed comforting, the raging storm especially), Raiden fell into the bed fully-dressed and immediately fell asleep.
Valdez Family Villa, New Rome, CA
Leo woke up that morning with the feeling that something was wrong. He couldn't have explained it had somebody asked him to-it was just there, a voice nagging at his mind telling him something important.
He sat up in bed, the early-morning light coming through the window practically blinding him. He glanced next to him automatically, but the empty place in the bed next to him was still there the way he knew it would be. Calypso had been dead for almost two years, and still it surprised him every morning to find himself alone. He sank back against the pillows, hoping that Calypso was the only thing bothering him today. But there was still that urgent tapping in his skull, telling him something.
Without another look at Calypso's empty side of the bed, Leo softly left the room and went down the hallway in his pajamas. The feeling of dread hadn't lessened, but actually grew worse as he knocked softly on his daughter's bedroom door. It creaked open, and Leo leaned around it with a hand over his eyes.
"Esperanza? You awake, carina?"
Leo looked into the messy bedroom, clothes and books and pieces of metal strewn across the floor like landmines to keep out unwanted visitors. Leo carefully stepped in, nearly putting his foot on a scrap of metal. "Esperanza?"
He crossed to the bed, reaching out to wake up his daughter. But the bed was empty, didn't even look slept in. Leo tried not to panic as he left the bedroom, calling Esperanza louder with every step. Leo flew through the house, searching every room twice. Esperanza wasn't there.
Leo was alone in the villa. He stood in the middle of the living room and turned all the way around twice, as if hoping Esperanza would appear if he blinked. He couldn't lose his daughter, too. They needed each other. Leo tried not to think the worst, but he couldn't help it. She would've have left on her own without at least telling him. Something was so very wrong.
"Okay," Leo told himself, talking out loud. "Find her. I need help to find her. And maybe if Esperanza is gone, then everyone else's kids are as well. Raiden, August, Bianca, the twins-" Leo nodded decisively. Even if Esperanza had been the only one taken, he would still need the help of his friends to get her back.
Leo hurried into the bathroom and turned the shower on. "Piper Grace," He told the shower, tossing in a drachma from the bowl kept on the windowsill for this reason. His friend's face filled the image, and from the look on it Leo knew Piper's son was gone as well. Raiden Grace was a good kid, except when he spent too much time with Esperanza or Bianca. Now Leo was sure something was wrong. Maybe Esperanza might've snuck out, there was a very small chance of it, but Raiden? Never. He was his father's son in most ways.
"I was just about to call you." Piper said. Her eyes were red-tinged, like she had just stopped crying, but her voice was strong. "Raiden's gone. Jason is checking the garage."
"So is Esperanza." Leo told her, and she looked pale. "I think all our kids are gone, the rest of the seven. Probably Bianca di Angelo-Solace, too. They've been taken." Leo insisted. "Get everyone together. I think it's time for Rachel's next prophecy."
AN: thanks for reading! If you read all six pages of this then you must like it, so you have no excuse not to favorite/follow and review. So do! (please and thankyou). Sorry that Calypso's dead. I just edited this chapter, so if you've already read it and you saw that Calypso is now dead when she wasn't before, I apologize. It's important. Otherwise I wouldn't have, because I love Caleo. Author out.