AN: Hey everyone, so new story and all that. This fanfic is meant to be a sort of darker twist on the cliched betrayal stories that involve Percy being accused of treason and stuff like that. I'm planning on making this a Pertemis (Percy x Artemis) fanfic, so Percabeth shippers, I'm sorry about that but you won't see any Percabeth in this story. And no, you can't bribe me :) (nobody's tried yet, but anyways) I just don't really like reading or writing Percabeth fanfics for some reason.
Please give me feedback on this story so I can improve my writing! Reviews are always welcome, the longer the better.
(Oh, and insert obligatory "I don't own PJO or HOO or any of the characters found in the aforementioned stories because my name isn't Rick Riordan, etc., etc." statement here)
- Chapter I -
My name is Oblivion.
I am the creature that walks with the darkness. I am the fear that blows with the night wind. I am the terror that strikes your heart like a cold steel blade. I am one with the shadows, one with the darkness itself. I am a harbinger - a harbinger of death.
I walk the earth, hated by many, shunned by all. And wherever I set foot, darkness follows close behind. I leave trails of bloody carnage wherever I go. I do the action that my name itself reflects - the one I once claimed, and the one I hold now. I banish things to Oblivion. I spread indiscriminant destruction - monsters, half-bloods, entities of all types, all felled by my hand and the inevitable darkness I bring with me.
Perhaps I am a cold-blooded murderer. Perhaps I was fated to become the way I have become. It was an open secret that the Fates have always hated me. They probably see me as some sort of entertainment. They probably laugh at every torturous moment of pain and suffering I go through.
I never chose this existence. I never wanted to live a miserable half-life, forsaken by everyone who I once called a friend. I never wanted to be betrayed, to be left for dead and forgotten by history. I never wanted to have my hopes crushed time and time again.
What did I ever do to deserve this in my past life? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I was not always like this, a lost, wandering soul. Once, I was happy. Once, I had friends. Once, I truly held a place in the world.
Once, in a time long past, in memories long vanished, I was a hero. In an era long forgotten, buried deep within sad, hurtful memories. I have saved the world, not just once, but twice. I have battled countless evil foes and saved countless innocent lives. I have ensured to future generations safety and security that my predecessors could only have dreamed of having. I was offered the highest reward any mortal could receive - and rejected it for the greater good.
I have saved and protected them so many times over, coming to their aid as a pawn even when there was no true gain for me. And yet when I was in my darkest, direst hour, they turned on me.
They branded me a traitor. They labeled me a dangerous enemy. They scorned me when I was down. They threw me into the darkest, most evil place in the universe, deeper down even than Tartarus itself, to suffer a terrible punishment for a crime that I was innocent of.
They were the ones who betrayed me. And they have made a terrible mistake.
Lash out at the darkness. But the darkness will strike back.
They have committed injustice upon injustice to me. For that, they shall pay. For all the blood, sweat, and tears I have shed for them, for every cruel twist they have thrown into my life, they shall suffer. For all the grief, all the pain, all the despair I have faced in my life, they shall feel tenfold what they inflicted upon me.
Their blood will run through rivers and oceans. Their bones will rot into piling mountains. Their names shall be stricken forever from the world.
For I will sweep upon them, and destroy them. I will tear them down until there is nothing left of them. And they will know the power of darkness. With their last breaths, they will know that it was they who brought this fate unto themselves. And they will rue the day they committed a horrendous crime against the one they once called their Hero.
My name is Oblivion.
I am the creature that walks with the darkness. I am the fear that blows with the night wind. I am the terror that strikes your heart like a cold steel blade. I am one with the shadows, one with the darkness itself.
And I seek revenge.
The room went silent. Every eye was focused on me, glaring at me, boring through my skull and into my mind. I froze in shock and denial as the words sank in. No, I pleaded internally. This couldn't be happening, this wasn't real, this was just a dream...
"You have conspired against the gods!" Zeus bellowed. He stood up, towering over me at his full godly height. "You have become too powerful to be allowed to roam freely on this earth! You must be destroyed!" His eyes were blazing, his Master Bolt gripped tightly in his hand.
Tears rolled down my face as I desperately looked around the throne room, and my heart sank. Many, too many, of the gods were showing their agreement, glowering at me like I was the filth at the bottom of a sewer. Other gods just looked bored, probably about to vote for my death just so they could leave and go hook up with some mortal. A few of the gods looked shocked, but none of them were objecting. Some of them were slowly nodding their heads!
It was already obvious which way the vote would go.
"No!" I protested. "I'm innocent! I would never betray you! I saved all your lives twice! My fatal flaw is loyalty!" But even as the words left my mouth, they sounded weak and unsure.
"Look at him," Ares laughed. "He doesn't even believe himself!"
I was on my knees, begging now. "If you don't believe me, I'll swear on the River Styx that I'm innocent! I'll swear on the Styx that I'm not a traitor, that I've never helped Kronos and Gaea, and that I won't betray you!" Thunder boomed, and the other gods seemed to fall silent momentarily.
But Zeus looked furious. "Lies! Styx is the wife of a Titan! You must've struck a deal with her! We already have enough proof of your disloyalty!"
"I was framed! I'll say it again! My fatal flaw is loyalty!"
"Loyalty to our enemies!" Zeus thundered. "Seize him!"
Ares, Athena, and Hermes leaped out of their thrones and charged at me. I got up shakily. "No, wait -" I was thrown to the ground. I felt Riptide being wrenched away from me, my arms being forced behind my back, heavy bronze chains tied around me.
"Please!" I pleaded. "I'm not your enemy! Listen to me!"
Ares smashed me on the forehead with the hilt of his sword and forced a rag into my mouth. My vision grew fuzzy, and I felt something warm trickling down my cheek.
With effort, I raised my head and stared at Zeus. "Fine then," I managed to choke out. "If you refuse to believe me, go ahead! Throw me into Tartarus!"
Zeus glared down at me with contempt and hatred. Lightning flashed and danced in his eyes. "A very clever attempt, but you cannot fool me. I know everything about your escape from Tartarus, and I will not make that mistake! No, sea scum. Your punishment shall be much worse than that.
"A being of your power cannot be allowed to live, even in the depths of Tartarus! No, your punishment shall be greater than imprisonment. For daring to betray us, you shall be thrown into the eternal void of Chaos! Your soul shall be destroyed utterly, disposed of cleanly like the garbage that it is!"
I heard gasps from everyone in the room. Then I heard the voice of my father. "No! Brother, you are going too far!"
"Silence, Poseidon!" Zeus spat venomously. "I am the King, and I shall choose the punishment for his treachery. Unless you want to be deemed a traitor, too, alongside the result of your broken oath?"
My father became quiet.
Zeus looked around the room at every god and goddess. "Are there any more dissenters who disagree with the chosen punishment?" He demanded loudly, his gaze lingering on Poseidon.
My heart sank lower with every passing second. Tartarus would've literally been a living hell. But at least I would've been alive. Perhaps in a few centuries, the gods would've realized my innocence. Maybe I could've been saved...
But this was the final, worst punishment. The one that I had no hope of surviving at all.
"Very well," Zeus finally spoke, satisfied with the silence that he'd received as an answer. "Although I believe there is no question of his guilt, in accordance with tradition, we shall now take a vote. All who wish for punishment, raise your hands!"
Zeus's hand shot into the air, followed almost immediately by Ares's and Athena's hands. Apollo raised his hand tentatively a second afterwards. Four to ten, Hades and Hestia included.
A few seconds later, Aphrodite surprisingly raised her hand into the air, followed by Hephaestus. Dionysus raised his hand a couple moments after that.
I was shocked at how many gods and goddesses with seemingly no motives had so quickly voted against me. Apollo and Hephaestus had always been on pretty good terms with me; Aphrodite had idolized me as some sort of model. But now, as I stared at them, they were glaring at me with hatred that I never knew they had held towards me before.
I glanced around the throne room. Seven to seven. Hades, Hera, Hestia, Demeter, Poseidon, Artemis, and Hermes hadn't raised their hands. I felt relief slowly flowing back into my heart. I'd reclaimed Hades's and Hestia's thrones. Poseidon was my father. I'd been Hera's pawn. Demeter had never had a quarrel with me. I'd rescued Artemis from being stuck under the sky. And I'd managed to redeem Hermes's son, Luke. None of them had any reason to vote against me.
I was safe. I didn't allow myself to believe it at first. But when five seconds ticked by and none of them had made a move, I let myself breathe out in relief.
I was safe.
Zeus looked around in disappointment. "Anyone else? Are you sure you don't want to convict this traitor of his crimes?" Nobody moved, and a flood of relief coursed through my body. I was free!
I should've known.
The Fates are so cruel. Every day, they kill thousands of people. They knit terror and hardship into the lives of innocents, watching from afar with apathy as they suffer the torments they are put through. They have forced me through ten lifetimes of trial and tribulation, never even giving me a tiny break to recover from one event before throwing another one at me.
Why? What did I ever do to deserve any of this?
Artemis seemed to be fighting an internal struggle with herself. Her face was contorting as emotions flashed across it. She hesitated for an imperceptibly short moment.
She raised her hand.
I don't know what made me do it. I'd always thought that Perseus was the only good male in the world, the exception in a sea of Orions and Herculeses. Ever since he'd been on the quest to rescue me, I'd always held him in higher esteem, treating him differently from the pigs that most males are.
So why did I raise my hand?
My heart thudded to the bottom of my chest like a stone. As I watched the deciding vote being cast, emotions raced through my mind: shock, disbelief, fear, anger. But most of all, I felt bitterness.
Bitterness at the verdict. Bitterness at the fact that I'd saved the gods not once, but twice, only for them to toss me out like a used garbage bag. Bitterness at the harshness of reality, at the fact that I'd never be able to live a long, happy life, that I'd never be able to spend my future with Annabeth the way I'd dreamed, that I'd never have a future at all.
Several things happened at once.
Poseidon jumped up out of his throne. "No!" he shouted. "I won't! I won't sit and let this injustice happen! I won't let you kill my son!" He pulled out his trident and charged at his brother. Even now, a spark of hope and gratitude towards my father lit up my heart.
Zeus wore a triumphant, smug smirk on his face. With one hand, he gestured towards Poseidon. "Restrain him," he ordered. Ares and Athena leaped out of their thrones. They intercepted my father and threw him to the ground, chaining him up even as he struggled and cursed bitterly at them.
The rest of the gods who had stayed by me did nothing but sit in shock. Hestia met my gaze and gave me a sad smile.
And Artemis... the one goddess who had completely ruined my life with one movement of her arm. She looked conflicted, still battling with herself despite the irrevocable choice she had just made.
Zeus turned to me, the ugly, smug smirk still plastered to his disgusting face. "The council has spoken! Anything you want to say, traitor?" he sneered.
I took a deep breath and looked him straight in the eye.
"Yes, the council has spoken, and not in my favor." I said, as calmly as I could. "Throw me into the depths of the void if you so wish to! There's nothing stopping you now. Go ahead! Do whatever you want with me! But this I swear."
My voice slowly rose and grew louder. "This I swear. Some day, be it tomorrow or a hundred years from now. Some day, you will regret this choice you have made. Some day, you will realize how wrong you were to convict me, and you will rue this day for the rest of your immortal lives. Go ahead, laugh at me, call me insane for saying this! But one day, you will realize the truth of what I say now. Because the day when you need me the most, the day that an enemy appears that you cannot defeat, I will not be there to fight your battles. You will fight in vain, knowing that you could've prevented your own destruction today. This is the curse that I lay upon you, and this I swear on the waters of the Styx. This I swear on the unending power of the universe, on Chaos himself!"
Upon that last word, I surged forwards and spat on Zeus's face, a glob of spit landing squarely in between his eyes. Ares, Athena, and Apollo leaped at me and dashed me to the ground. I coughed up blood.
Zeus wasn't smirking now. Growling, the god forcefully wiped the spit off his face. If he wasn't already ticked off, now he was furious. He stepped forwards, gripping his master bolt so tightly his knuckles were white, until he was looming over where I lay on the ground.
"You. Insolent. TRAITOR!" He spat. With each word, he zapped me with a small charge from his master bolt, flooding my nerves with pain, but not enough to kill me. "You have tested my patience enough! For this, you shall not only be forever destroyed, but your name shall be erased completely from history! Your friends and fellow campers will never remember you as their hero! You shall never be spoken of, you shall never hold a place in posterity! That is the curse that I place upon you!"
He raised his master bolt, pointed it at me, and fired. I screamed as my body arched as millions of volts of electricity flowed through me. My vision shattered and went black.
(Unknown time skip)
I was dimly aware of being carried. All around me, I could hear whispering, the chattering of lost souls. The air was cold and damp, and dark. "Where am I?" I wondered aloud.
I was smashed on the head with the hilt of a sword. "Shut up," Hephaestus hissed at me. "Traitors like you aren't supposed to speak. And to answer your question, we are in the darkest corner of Hades. Soon, you shall receive your punishment."
"Why did you vote for my death? We were on good terms before this," I asked.
In reply, I received another smash on the head. I stumbled a bit, but straightened up after getting kicked. My skull was ringing, and I was beginning to feel dizzy.
We marched in silence for awhile, a silent gallows procession.
Then I heard Hades announce with a hint of regret, "We're here."
The gods fanned out in a semicircle, surrounding me, preventing my escape. Not that I even wanted to, anyways. I'd already resigned myself to my fate.
I was standing on the edge of a cliff that dropped straight down into pure darkness. Even from where I was, fifty feet from the edge, I could feel something tugging on my, urging me to run towards the cliff and jump off the edge.
Yield, a voice whispered. Give in to the darkness. Submit your soul to me. It would be better that way.
With the little strength I had, I fought the voice as best I could, although I knew that it was pointless; soon, I'd be joining it in the void.
Zeus emerged from among the other gods, holding his master bolt at the ready. "Your death approaches, traitor!" he said with a hint of smug satisfaction. Someone kicked me forward to the edge of the cliff. I looked down into an endless sea of pitch black.
"Any final words?" Zeus sneered.
Ignoring the pain that shot up my nerves, I stood up and faced the semicircle of gods. I spoke calmly. "Hades, Hera, Hestia, Demeter, dad, and Hermes, thank you for standing by me. Even if your action was futile, it still means a lot to me." Then, I turned to the other seven, the ones who had condemned me. "For the rest of you, I only have one thing to ask you. Why? I saved you and your stupid mountain not once, but twice. I've never done anything but help you, and for no gain of my own. So why did you turn on me?"
My voice became hard. "Why did you turn on me when I've never done anything bad to you? You call me a traitor. Well, what proof do you have? Remember my words. The next war that you fight, you will lose, and you will know that it was because you cast your hero away like a piece of used-up trash." I looked towards the goddess whose arm movement had destroyed my life. "And you. I saved your life not just twice, but three times. If it weren't for me, you'd still be stuck under the sky. And how do you treat me? Like this. Maybe I should've left you there. Maybe if I hadn't saved you, my life wouldn't be like this!"
I paused for a moment. Silence.
Finally, I turned to Zeus. "Oh, and Zeus? Some advice. Find some better insults. Using the word 'traitor' over and over again gets boring fast."
I turned to face the entire group, one last time. "Goodbye everyone."
Then before the stunned gods could react, I backflipped into the void.
Some free advice for whoever's reading this: don't backflip into the void. It's really not as great as it sounds.
At first, it was barely noticeable. A sort of chill in the back of my head, clouding my thoughts, obscuring my memories. I easily repelled the weak force.
But as time passed, it grew stronger. With each passing second, it took more effort and concentration to think, to call up memories. It was like trying to see through a descending fog, fighting an uphill battle.
I could feel my memories beginning to drain away. I could feel them slipping through my fingers. I struggled to clutch them to me, to keep my memories, to remember. But the dark voice in the back of my head was gaining strength, like a parasite infecting my healthy mind, pushing other things out.
I ducked underneath a hellhound, slashing at its underbelly as it leaped over me. As it exploded in a shower of dust, I rolled to the side and jumped to my feet, narrowly missing being trampled by another one.
An empousa ran at me, but I stabbed Riptide through its chest, yanking it out only to parry the spear of a dracaena and slash through it while it was distracted.
Through the haze of war, I could see Annabeth on the other side of the battlefield. I fought my way through the crowd of monsters, stabbing and hacking left and right. A hellhound jumped in my way, baring its fangs. I stabbed my blade between its eyes and tore it out, continuing to make my way towards her. An empousai charged in at me, yelling "Put down your weapon!" My arm twitched, but I resisted the charmspeak and thrust my blade into its stomach.
Finally, I made it to Annabeth's side. She turned to face me. "Hey, Seaweed Brain."
"Hey, Wise Girl," I replied.
She turned back to the fighting. "Let's kill some monsters, shall we?"
I grinned. "Just like always."
Together, we charged back into the fray.
Then a fireball lit up the sky.
At first, they were small memories. Bits and pieces of random battle scenes. Things I ate on particular days.
Everything was pitch black. Behind us, we could still hear the sounds of Nyx and her children fighting. Before us, we could now hear a faint booming sound, like a heartbeat. As we ran through the pitch darkness with out eyes closed, I sensed the walls becoming less confined, more open. We were getting close to the Heart of Tartarus.
Suddenly, I sensed a river ahead of us. I pulled Annabeth back from the drop just in time.
There was something wrong with the river. It was as if I could hear tormented voices coming from just below the water's surface, crying out for help, accusing us of being murderers.
Join us! The river seemed to urge. You're no better than we are!
Behind us were evil children of Nyx. Before us, a black river that spoke of murder and called to our hidden guilts and sorrows. The river called up images of all the deaths I could've prevented. Zoe. Bianca. Luke. All the sadness I'd caused. All the death I'd caused. Maybe I deserved to suffer for eternity in the Acheron. Maybe...
I forced the thoughts out of my mind. The throbbing sound had grown to an all-encompassing boom. The Heart was just ahead. All we needed to do was jump.
"There! Kill the ungrateful tourists!"
I grabbed Annabeth by the waist. We jumped...
Bigger memories were vanishing now, leaving behind every-growing black holes.
Standing on the sheet of ice, my friends behind me, I charged into battle. As the shades closed in on me, I yelled in defiance and swung my sword.
I fought like a whirlwind, slicing through ghost after ghost. It was only later that Frank told me that I'd actually been surrounded by a miniature hurricane of ice and water.
I came up with a plan. Plowing through the line of spirits, I knocked down the standard bearer and grabbed the eagle. "You want it back?" I shouted. "Come get it!" The plan worked. The legion of angry ghosts forgot about Frank and Hazel and charged at me.
I was at the end of the Via Principalis, holding off a horde of rampaging shades. I slashed and hacked, but every time I killed one, it instantly reformed. I was losing ground fast.
Then, as I saw Hazel and Frank take down Alcyoneus, I had a brilliant, incredibly stupid idea.
I motioned at them. Go! Then I slammed Riptide into the ice. A wave surged up, carrying everything, me along with, over the edge.
(AN: I took about 99% of that from The Son of Neptune ... just saying. I claim no ownership over anything that Rick Riordan wrote.)
Memories were whipping through my mind, faster than ever now. Beckendorf ... the battle of the Labyrinth ... Mt. Tamalpais ... Bianca's death ... fighting Polyphemus ... first meeting Tyson ... recovering the Master Bolt ... defeating the minotaur ...
The battle of Manhattan ... Luke's sacrifice ...
"Family, Luke," Annabeth whispered, struggling to speak. "You promised."
Kronos's form flickered. His eyes turned from gold to blue. "Annabeth..." Luke gasped. "You're bleeding..." I could move again.
Annabeth raised her knife, but it fell from her grasp. I grabbed it where it lay on the floor of the throne room and planted myself between Kronos and Annabeth.
Kronos growled. "Jackson..." His form seemed to be flickering golden.
Then Luke regained control for a moment. "He's changing. Help. He's ... he's almost ready. He won't need my body anymore. Please -" His sentence was cut off as Kronos fought back. His sword lay in the embers of the hearth.
Luke turned to me again. "Please, Percy..."
I knew I could do it. I could kill him now, save the world.
"You can't ... can't do it yourself. He'll break my control. He'll defend himself. Only my hand. I know where. I can ... can keep him controlled."
I raised the knife, preparing to strike. Then I remembered Rachel's words. You are not the hero. It will affect what you do.
In that instant, I knew what I had to do.
"Please," Luke begged. "No time..."
I handed him the knife.
He exposed a spot under his left arm, his Achilles heel. Then he stabbed upwards. He howled in agony.
The throne room shook as a blast of energy engulfed us. Then it was over.
(AN: almost all of that ^^^ was directly taken from The Last Olympian. Once again, I claim no ownership over anything that Rick Riordan wrote. The above memory that is italicized belongs entirely to him.)
Names flashed through my mind, allowing only a glimpse before they were left behind in a whirlwind of thoughts.
Jason. Piper. Hazel. Frank. Leo.
I gasped as memories of all my friends slowly leached from my mind, leaving blankness in their wakes.
Thalia. Nico. Grover. Juniper. Clarisse. Chris. Travis. Connor. Katie. Rachel. Zoe. Bianca. Luke.
I squeezed my eyes shut, clamped my hands over my ears, futile defiance against an unstoppable foe.
Tyson. Chiron. Poseidon. Sally Jackson.
I tried everything, anything to stop the inexorable march towards the dark abyss of oblivion.
I clutched at my last memories with all my might, fighting hopelessly against the inexorable power of the darkness.
With the last vestiges of my strength, I let out a feral, primal scream, embodying all the pain I'd ever endured, all the sadness I'd ever felt, all the anger, all the fear, all the despair. A sudden surge of pure emotions, flooding every hidden niche of my body. Then it ended.
I'm sorry, my friends. I failed you all. A last thought before it was all gone.
Replaced by hollow emptiness.
The emptiness of the void.
AN: So what do you think so far? Good? Great? Horrible? And yes, a huge chunk of the memories were taken almost directly from the books. I own none of them. Only the plot of this story.
To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure where I want this story to go. As of now, I have plans for Percy to somehow have survived the fall into the Void and return, but succumb to the darkness of the Void and the bitterness and resentment that he holds to the gods, and become evil. But after that, I have no idea. I hope all my future chapters can be 5K ones, though, like this one.
Should I redeem Percy and have him save the world for the third time at the end? Or do you think I should permanently make Percy evil and turn this story into a dark, bitter story of heartbreak with no happy ending? Please tell me in the reviews :) I look forwards to your feedback! Right now I'm leaning more towards redeeming Percy because I tend to like happier endings better, but I'll see what my readers want :)
(Also, if I decide to make this story have a happy ending, it won't be as sudden as it is in many other betrayal stories. Percy's been betrayed by people he's saved many times and condemned to a horrible punishment he never deserved, he's going to hold lots of resentment towards them. Nobody in their right mind would go "You know what, I'm just gonna forgive you for betraying me because this story just has to be so sickeningly full of forgiveness and we're all gonna ride off into the sunset with huge smiles plastered on our faces.")
I have another story besides this one, Shadows of the Lost World, please remember to check it out and give feedback!