Now that both of my new stories are up to the same chapter count I will now continue updating Home Alone. Also, this one will be a bit longer than most.
Peter woke up early the next morning, and after having a quick talk with May, he left his apartment to find where Willow sent him.
Driving on the streets of New York, Peter received a phone call over his earpiece.
"Call from: Matt Murdock."
"Answer. Hey Matt, sorry I had to rain check last night."Peter answered on the phone.
"I assume you have a reason for not showing up last night? I was standing on that rooftop for almost an hour."Matt said with a little disdain.
"Some of those thugs from the other night found me, and started throwing flaming boulders."There was silence on the other end for a good minute.
"I'm not joking, look I think I have a lead and I'm taking it. I'll try and get back to you if I find out something more."Peter said as he started leaving the city limits.
"You do that, I have some work to do in Hell's Kitchen so keep me up to date."The call ended and Peter was left alone to drive to his destination.
Peter has never personally been to Montauk other than passing by. So noticing the thick forest on either side of him was a little disconcerting. It even gave him a sense of dread, like any second Bo and Burns allies could ambush him.
Peter tried to ignore that feeling, in the back seat compartment his suit sat in case he needed it. He hoped he wouldn't need it but a part of him felt like he would.
He kept driving down the road when he saw a peculiar sight. It was Willow, standing beside the road. Was she waiting for him?
Peter slowed his Vespa until he parked right in front of her, "You've been waiting for me?"Peter asked.
"Good you're alive, I didn't know if you'd survive. Come with me, you can bring the bike too."Willow waved to follow.
Peter got off his bike and walked behind her with it, "So, who were those men the other day?"
"First, they weren't people. They were Trolls, and they were there to eat you."Peter looked at Willow like she grew another head.
"Excuse me, did you say Troll?"Peter asked.
"Oh, here we go. Okay, in a few minutes everything you know is gonna be turned on its head. So hold off questions until after you see what I'm trying to show you."Willow continued to guide him up the dirt road to a wooden sign he couldn't read.
"What's that say?"Peter asked.
"You can't read that?"Willow asked.
"No, should I?"Willow looked at him questionably but continued walking on.
They continued to walk until they reached the tip of the road. In front of him was what Peter could only assume was a summer camp. Cabins were arranged in a horseshoe shape with more cabins off to the left. There was a bigger cabin to the far right side and a whole mess of other camp-like facilities. The only thing that caused some questions to arise was the number of swords in everyone's hands. If it wasn't swords it was bows, knives, maces, shields, and more medieval weaponry.
"Why'd you take me to a middle-age themed camp?"Peter asked.
"So you see this?"Willow asked.
"Yeah, what's this have to do with Bo and Burns?"Willow sighed and gave a small smile.
"Welcome to Camp Half-Blood, and all your questions will be answered.
As the two of them made their way down from the entrance he could see kids come and go. They went each which way and most of the time they wore armor to it. As he walked with the people he could see a rock-climbing course WITH LAVA! The heat resonated from the lava and somehow no one was freaking out. Further away he could see a field full of people practicing sword fighting; to his right, he could see another group of people practicing archery. A stray thought entered his mind as he spectated.
'Maybe this is where Clint learned how to use his bow.' Peter mused.
"Peter, come meet the camp activities director, Chiron."Willow introduced him to a man in a wheelchair.
Chiron was talking with another camper before directing his attention to him, the camper in question walked away seeing their conversation over.
"Ah, you must be the young man Willow talked about. Welcome to Camp Half-Blood Peter, I believe you have a few questions."Chiron put his hands on his lap like he had gone through this a dozen times before.
"Willow here says that the two men who attacked me were Trolls and that they were there to eat me. What is she talking about?"Peter asked.
"Ah. Tell me, Peter, what do you know of Greek mythology?"Chiron asked.
"No more than the next person."Percy shrugged.
"But I feel like the next person does know more than me."He said looking to Willow.
"Peter, those myths aren't just stories, they're real. The men that attacked you were indeed Trolls, and monsters-literally-like them feed on people like you a half-blood. When Willow killed those men, they didn't die; their souls were sent to the Underworld. Soon they will return, monsters like they don't die as most people do."Peter stared at him like he too had grown another head.
"You don't believe me," Chiron stated.
"I have a hard time believing most things these days," Peter said.
"Well, let me show you proof."Chiron put his arms on his wheelchair handles like he was prepared to stand up.
Behind him, Willow put her arm on his shoulder, but he turned back to Chiron to see that he did, in fact, stand up. Except instead of regular human legs, they were replaced with the body of a horse.
"Yes Peter, I am a Centaur, specifically I am the immortal teacher of many classic heroes. Achilles, Hercules, Atalanta, and Jason of the Argonauts…these people I have trained when they were young and since then I've trained many more heroes. This camp is a place for people like you Peter, a safe-haven to learn how to defend yourself and learn the dangers of this world."
"People like me?"Peter asked.
"Peter, at the top of the road there was a sign before you entered this camp. Unseen by you or anyone is a magical barrier that stops any that doesn't meet the qualifications from entering."Chiron pointed to the sign at the top of the hill.
"What qualifications?"Peter asked hesitantly.
"To enter you must have a connection to the Greek Pantheon, for people like me and Willow it is because of our race."Chiron motioned to the two people in front of him.
"Your race, what does that meeeeea…"He turned to Willow who had thrown off her pants to reveal goat legs.
"I'm a Satyr; I go to schools like yours and find people like you. When I find them I bring them here or the closest equivalent."Willow explained.
"Peter, Satyrs all across America look for special people like you. You, Peter, are a child of a god."
Peter turned back to Chiron, "What?"
"One of your parents is a god, Peter. Immortal being who is a part of the Greek Pan-"
"I know what a god is," Peter has met one in fact.
"You're saying one of my parents was a god?"Peter asked.
"Is a god."The word change didn't fall on deaf ears for Peter.
God, when was the last time Peter had ever thought of Richard and Mary Parker? It had to be years at this point. Probably not since Uncle Ben died had he even gave them a passing thought. How could he? He was too young to remember them, and when he heard the news of their passing he couldn't seem to care, he didn't even have enough time to know them. Ben and May had been his parents, but hearing that one of his parents was not only alive but an immortal being…
"I don't believe you," Peter said.
"I can see your hesitation, but have you ever talked with…"
"Both my parents died in a plane crash. The police found their bodies, I can't believe it."He refused to believe it. His parents died more than a decade ago.
"I'm sorry for your loss but there is no other way you can be allowed in this camp, Peter."
"What about you, you said races that have a connection to Greek myth can enter. Maybe I'm some race?"Peter argued.
"Not possible, we'd know, and if we didn't you'd know. Also, not every race is allowed, some of the others are alive simply to kill half-bloods."Peter frowned.
"Okay well then tell me who my godly parent is," Peter said.
"It's not so simple; the gods have their own lives and work to fulfill. We can't take you to them unless you go to Mount Olympus, and even then the gods don't simply allow walk-ins. Tonight, you will learn your godly heritage, after dinner, all the new campers will be introduced and they will be claimed."Chiron explained.
"A symbol of the god will appear over your head, depending on the symbol it will tell us who your parent is," Willow told him.
"Peter, tell me. Have you ever been on a plane?"Peter reminisced of all the times he's been on a plane.
"Yeah."No need to tell of his fight with The Vulture over New York.
"Has your plane rides ever felt like they didn't go well?"Again he remembered his joyride of the alien ship that he hung onto when Thanos' generals came to earth.
"Maybe a few times," Peter said.
"Hm, do you like swimming?"
"Not more than the next person…that is to say not much," Peter said.
"When he came up to the entrance he couldn't read the welcome sign," Willow mentioned.
"Did he now? Tell me, Peter, do you have A.D.D. or A.D.H.D.? Do you often find it hard to read?"
"No, not really," Peter answered honestly.
"Strange, almost every child that comes through here has those."Chiron stroked his beard.
"Is that a bad thing?"Peter asked.
"Not particularly, see they aren't hindrances they are a part of your heritage. The A.D.D. is to help you focus on life or death situation and dyslexia helps you read ancient Greek. So either there is a change coming in demi-gods such as yourself, or you are the luckiest demi-god to not have to grow up with them in the mortal world."Chiron said.
"Thanks?"Peter took the compliment.
"Anyway, you should talk with Willow to see what you can do here. She told me you to have a knack for hand-to-hand combat so you can start with wrestling with the Ares cabin. For now, I must go, I believe I have a meeting with the camp councilors. Have a good day Mr. Parker."Chiron took Peter's hand and shook it before leaving.
"C' mon, let me show you around.
Peter sat on a nearby bench on his phone trying to find any reception. Unfortunately, it seemed that nothing was available to Peter.
"You shouldn't bother with phones; they telegraph your position to monsters. They also don't get any reception with the magic barrier in the way."Peter looked up from his phone to spot a boy about 18 years old.
"Uh, hey," Peter said.
"Hey to yourself, my name is Connor Stoll."Conner stuck his hand out.
Peter took his hand as Conner hoisted him up, "I'd welcome you to our little land of crazy but it seems that Willow got to you first. So how you holding up, I know for first timers like yourself it can be a little too much."
Honestly, aside from the possibility of one of his parents being alive, Peter was doing okay. Wrestling with the Ares cabin wasn't as bad as Willow made it out to be. Sure the kids over there looked like they had been bodybuilding since they were 10 but when he met them he knew they weren't as strong as him. Sure they were strong, abnormally so, but Peter could stop a bus of people going 50 miles per hour down the highway. Like most parts of his regular life Peter didn't show off, he didn't expose his abilities. Why should he? He didn't know these people, Chiron claimed that in some weird way they were all cousins twice removed or something like that. But to Peter, they were all strangers.
"I'm a bit overwhelmed."Peter lied.
"Well you won't be for long, c' mon food is being prepped soon you don't want to miss it."Like the rest of his day, Peter followed Connor.
"So I imagine you got some questions Chiron didn't have the time to answer for you," Connor said.
"A few, there's a lot to take in but, how does nobody know about this place?"Peter gestured to their surroundings.
"That's a good question, with a good answer. See, mortals can't quite comprehend what they see all the time. It's why they can't see monsters; they can only see what they comprehend. If a satyr goes strutting across New York without a disguise they won't see their fuzzy rears. It's what we call the mist. It's an abstract force that separates both our worlds. The gods, us, and all sort of mystical shenanigans get caught up in it."Connor explained.
"What about Thor, he goes around parading in armor and a big axe but people seem to see him well enough?"Peter asked.
"Ah, yeah Thor. The Norse gods are a bit different. But I don't want to overburden you with even more crazy."Connor scratched the back of his head.
"Also, why are there kids at a camp during the school year? Don't they need to go to school?"Peter asked.
"Oh definitely, you've come when most campers are off doing their regular lives. Some of us, however, stay here year-round, not all but a few here and there. Others just help when they don't have anything going on."As Connor finished his explanation the two of them made it to the dining hall.
Well, it wasn't necessarily a hall; it was out in the open with lines of tables stretching across a small field no bigger than half a gymnasium. People ate in groups, with each table designed in its own way.
"At Camp Half-Blood, everyone is divided on who their godly parent is. Now, most of the times you get to hang out with your cabin except for the odd occasion. For one, if the person's godly parent hasn't claimed them yet, or two, if you're a kid of the big three but we haven't had one of those in decades. You'll be sitting with the Hermes cabin since it's been the traditional cabin most newbies stay with until they're claimed."Connor pointed to his table, a lively one full of laughter.
"Who are the big three?"Peter asked.
"It's Poseidon, Hades, and Zeus. They don't have many kids, mostly because they signed a pact to never have another kid. Although that pact was broken a few times."Connor said.
The two of them sat down, and in front of Peter was a plate. It was filled with food, he picked at it for a second just to make sure it wasn't somehow fake or magical.
"So, why'd they make the pact?"Peter asked as he chomped down on food.
"Well kids of the big three are often super strong, stronger than most average demi-gods. One thing leads to another and eventually, things start to break out."Connor said.
"Well, World War 2 wasn't totally of human design."Peter looked at him in disbelief.
"World War 2?!"
"Yeah, a lot of world history could somehow be linked to the gods, of any pantheon. Many of its greatest people have a godly heritage. Politicians, pop stars, war generals, peacemakers, there probably aren't an aspect of life that doesn't somehow come from a god."Peter let that sink in for a moment.
"Like Tony Stark?"Peter blurted out.
"Ah, well not everything. Humanity doesn't change at the whim of the gods, we're quite independent. As far as anyone could tell, Tony Stark was as human as they come. If he was the child of a god we wouldn't hear the end of it from their parent."Peter felt a little better, Tony Stark didn't get his genius and his bravery from a god it was entirely him.
For the rest of dinner, Peter and Connor ate and talked. Connor told him facts about life as a demi-god and Peter listened. It has half fascinating and half terrifying, but so was being Spider-Man. Eventually, dinner passed and all the campers that were there met in front of all the cabins to roast marshmallows and welcome the new campers.
"The summer may have passed, but each day we find more and more brothers and sisters new to their heritage. And with each day we open our doors open for them, to learn and to grow and to become heroes. Let us all welcome them to Camp Half-Blood."A cheer rung through the crowd, Peter himself got a bit carried away as well.
One by one the new campers were introduced, and each was claimed by their respective parent. An Aphrodite son here, an Ares daughter there, the list went on. No kid was not claimed, and the idea that he'd soon learn the identity of his parent started to fully manifest in Peter.
He tapped his feet in anticipation he didn't even realize Chiron had called him until Connor had nudged him.
"Oh, sorry. Um, hi I'm Peter Parker."He waved shyly.
"Welcome Peter Parker, son of…"The moment of anticipation had come, and Peter braced for it.
And braced for it, and continued to brace for it. He looked at Chiron, whose smile had turned into a frown.
"Uh, Chiron?"Peter asked the Centaur.
Peter looked up to his head; his eyes focused what was above his head to see what symbol claimed him.
But there was no symbol. Nothing floated over his head to indicate who his parent was, no animal, no weapon, not even a word.
Silence filled the camp, not a single word was uttered.
"Mr. Parker, you don't have to go," Chiron said as he followed Peter to his bike.
"I have a home to go to Chiron, I can't just stay here," Peter said.
"I know tonight hasn't been what you wanted, I feel for you. Many years ago this was a common occurrence, there is no need to lose…"Peter cut him off.
"Look, I appreciate what you've shown me Chiron. I really do, but if they can't claim me I'll come to them. I heard from Connor that they're held up in the Chrysler building, I'll head there."Peter said.
Chiron fidgeted, his hands rubbing each other, "Mr. Parker, can you hold a secret?"
Peter stopped and turned to Chiron.
"What is it?"Peter said.
Chiron looked around before he approached Peter, so as to not let his words reach any unnecessary ears.
"The truth is Peter the gods aren't available. Not all of them came back."
Peter looked at Chiron. Oh, he knew that not everyone came back, he dealt with that as Spider-Man, but to hear that even gods were not exempt from Thanos' snap…it sent a chill down his spine.
"Most of the gods are all across the world, reassembling, but few haven't returned at all. We've been making by with a spell but even that isn't correct 100% of the time. The fact is that if you go to Olympus you'll find it empty. This problem is not unique to us, this problem is occurring is many pantheons as we speak and it's all that we can do until a solution is found. Only the most veteran councilors and the people I trust the most know about it, please, do not let anyone know."
Peter stared at Chiron, he who asked him to keep a secret. Peter thought for a moment-it usually only took that long-he didn't owe the man a thing. Everything he promised him never came to pass; his godly parent was either missing or reconstructing themselves.
"I won't tell any of the campers," Peter said.
"That's all I ask of you. If you plan to confront your godly parent still, I wish you the best of luck."Chiron said as he walked away.
Peter hopped on his ride and left the camp. After sending a quick text to May telling her he'd be back after sundown he made a call. It rang three times before it picked up.
"You calling for a reason pipsqueak?"Bucky Barnes answered on the other end.
"Bucky, are the Guardians there?"Peter asked.
"Yeah, why?"Bucky asked.
"I need to talk to Thor," Peter said.
As he turned onto the road, Peter made his way to the Avengers base. If anyone knew more about the gods, it would be the God of Thunder himself.
The plot progresses.