Chapter 1: Beginnings and Escape
Numb. After being thrown into a world everyone thought had ended long before it even began at the age of 12 and dealing with enough heartbreak to last 3 lifetimes, I didn't feel much of anything. My name is Perseus Achilles Jackson and I am the Demi-god son of Poseidon and Sally Jackson.
Most of you have probably heard my story: Retriever of both Zeus's Master Bolt and Hades' Helm of Darkness, Voyager of the Sea of Monsters, Rescuer of Lady Artemis and Bearer of the Sky. Navigator of The Labyrinth, Bane of Kronos, Retriever of the Twelfth's Eagle Standard and Honorary Praetor of The Twelfth Legion Fulminata. Bane of Monsters, Giants, and Gaea herself.
While I can't deny the feats I have accomplished from my adolescence in the mythological world, I also cannot admit that I achieved any of these without help and sacrifice from friends and family. In reality of it all, I'm still just a kid. But that's what the heroes don't let on - that at the end of it all they're still just kids. And now, I am alone.
At the end of the Second Giant War, we spent the following month grieving and recuperating from the success and albeit costly battles we fought for Olympus. Lives were lost both family and friends alike, but to preserve the world as we know it it was inevitable. But in that month I was lost to the services of war. After peace had finally settled in, I was forgotten. My friends at camp, with no further use of me other than a soldier, cast me aside like a blunted weapon. Slowly, one by one, they forgot about me. Katie Gardner, Daughter of Demeter, Travis and Connor Stoll, Sons of Hermes, and the Seven moved on without me. The only ones to stick with me were my cousins Nico and Thalia, Clarisse and Chris, and my mentor Chiron. Of course Annabeth, my Wise Girl was there, but even in time, she would leave me too. It hurt. Like Hades it hurt, but who was I to sour their peace.
In the Throne Room of the Gods the Seven of the Prophecy, Praetor Reyna and Nico Di'Angelo gathered to reap our rewards. Once everyone settled down (thanks to Zeus finally getting everyone's attention) they began. "JASON GRACE!" Zeus called with pride. Jason stepped forward and knelt at his father's throne. "For your bravery and contributions to the war effort, the gods have decided to offer you minor godhood as the Minor God of Lightning, Winds, and Heroes. Do you accept?" Jason went wide eyed at the offer and glanced back to his girlfriend and Daughter of Aphrodite Piper who nodded encouragingly. "I accept father." Zeus smiled as he emitted a sky-blue light that collided with Jason's chest causing him to glow and crackle with energy. After receiving his power and newfound immortality he returned to his place next to Piper and gave her a kiss. "Piper McLean!" Aphrodite squealed causing everyone else present to cover their ears. "For your efforts in the war and the unwavering compassion you displayed, the Gods would offer you minor godhood of Beauty, Compassion, and Heroes. Do you accept?" Piper didn't hesitate to accept and similar to Jason was hit with a beam of pink energy to claim her power. The rest of the Seven received similar rewards. Leo Valdez, after it was believed he blew up defeating Gaea, ended up crashing once again on Calypso's island keeping his promise to return to her and free her of her prison. He received minor godhood of Mechanics, Fire, and Heroes. Frank and Hazel both had their curses lifted from them allowing them to live as normal a life as you can when you're a demigod. Reyna became an immortal trainer for New Rome at Camp Jupiter. Nico became a minor god and Prince of Ghosts, heir to his father should he ever fade.
"Annabeth Chase." I gave her hand a squeeze as she approached and knelt at her mother's throne. "For the retrieval of my Parthenos and efforts in the war," Athena said with pride. "We offer you minor godhood of Strategy, Architecture, and Heroes as well as full control to design a city similar to New Rome for Camp Half-Blood." Annabeth looked back at me with a sad smile and my heart stopped. "I accept mother." And with those three words, my entire life came crashing down around me. First the camp. Then the one girl I had given everything but my last name to. She didn't even hesitate. Everything around me moved in slow motion as she was hit with grey energy and returned to her place next to me, suddenly finding the ground worth studying. I was so caught up in the, rather inadvertent and unexpected (boy that's an understatement) betrayal that I almost missed my turn.
"PERSEUS ACHILLES JACKSON!" My father boomed louder than Zeus himself. I numbly approached his throne and knelt. "Does anyone deny that MY SON is not worthy?!" Everyone smiled softly and nodded their heads. "We offer you godhood my son, God of Storms, Loyalty, Heroes, and minor godhood of water." I stood there dumbfounded. Not because I was offered godhood a second time, but because my girlfriend of two years could not jump at the opportunity fast enough. A minute must have gone by of me just standing there not moving, hardly breathing because my father spoke up again "Son?". I broke out of my self-pity and spoke up. "I am honored again Father, really. But I cannot accept." Silence hung in the air of the Throne Room. All the Gods present were shocked except my father, Hades, and Hestia. Beyond irritated that I would refuse Zeus's 'gracious' offer a second time he spoke up, "why do you refuse again my nephew? I would've thought that with Athena's child accepting you would have no reason not to?" I smiled softly at this to try and mask the pain, but Poseidon, Hades, and Hestia caught on to my ploy before I spoke up. "Again uncle, I am honored, but I have never wanted an immortal life. I have done what I believe is more than my due diligence for the Council and I want nothing more than to settle down, help assist the next generation and grow old starting my own family." Everyone seemed to understand. Annabeth teared up knowing that I wanted that with her and thought that we still could do all those things while being immortal, but even knowing I saw immortality as more of a curse than a blessing, she still couldn't see that I would not yield on this.
All of the heroes were offered godhood which was to be expected and I thought all of them would take it. Even Perseus who got offered a second time, I believed for certain would take this offer especially after the Daughter of Athena accepted. Yet, as I glanced around the Throne Room, I noticed Aunt Hestia was distraught and both my uncles seemed to know this would happen. After hearing his reasoning, I couldn't help but feel a bit sad for this boy, no this man who wanted nothing more than to be a kid and grow up into a world that had unnervingly ripped his childhood from him. Even I, as a maiden goddess who despised most men for the greedy pigs they are, I couldn't help but find a bit of understanding for the young demigod.
"Well son, is there something that we can grant you?" I sighed deeply before answering, "Yes Father, and it is well within your power to do so. I must ask that you promise on the River Styx to honor this gift of mine." Zeus begrudgingly nodded and replied "so long as it is within our power, the Council swears on the River Styx to honor your promise demigod." I looked up to Zeus and said "Thank you uncle. I would ask the Gods to return both Hades and Hestia's seats on the Olympic Council as they are the eldest children of Kronos and Lady Rhea and have been divided from their family for too long."
After all that had happened, I thought I had this man figured out. Here he is making me question my outlook of men again for turning down godhood again for the betterment of the Council by returning my Aunt and Uncle's thrones. He is selfless, unbearably so. Never taking full credit for his achievements, and helping to better the Council and life for the demigods. His bravery and loyalty (border lining stupidity) have shocked everyone, myself included. When I thought my respect for him after holding the weight of the sky for me at the age of 14 couldn't grow, here he is breaking down my impressions of him again. I couldn't help but offer a warm smile.
I noticed Artemis smile at me with her silver orbs gazing upon me with respect and dare I say admiration? I couldn't help but return the smile. I was determined to see more of that before I was broken out of my musings when two new thrones erected themselves upon the Council. One a stone and wood throne that seemed to crackle with fire and radiate warmth and hope for Hestia and another black obsidian decorated with skulls and jewels for Hades. I was suddenly crushed in a hug only to realize that a mass of brown hair and fiery tears had jumped on me and bombarded me with "thank you thank you thank you." I couldn't help but smile at my Aunt Hestia and she gave me a kiss on the cheek before returning to sit on her throne in all her godly form. Hades stared at me shocked before sheepishly rubbing the back of his neck and shaking my hand saying "thank you nephew. I am indebted to you." I shook his hand and clasped his shoulder replying "no need uncle. It's long overdue that you return to your rightful place here." He gave me one more swift nod and a smile before also rising to his godly height and sitting on his throne. I then bowed one last time before returning to my spot only to remember that Annabeth had left me for a higher status. But before I could return fully, I felt a hand on my shoulder.
Before I realized what I was doing, I shrank to a human size and grabbed Perseus on the shoulder and gave him my blessing. Partial immortality like that of my hunters. Everyone in the Throne Room stared at the two of us in dead silence. I received a questioning look from my brother Apollo and the others before Zeus cleared his throat and asked "Daughter. What are you doing?" I was hoping they wouldn't ask, but I steeled myself and called out "I believe it is only right that this hero not leave without receiving some type of reward from us." I received nods and smiles from all of the Council before continuing. "I have given Perseus my blessing and partial immortality like that of my Hunters." Perseus just stared at me gaping like a fish (oh the irony). At that moment I couldn't help but be mesmerized by his sea green eyes that only contained a fraction of the mirth and carefree attitude they once held before he quickly knelt and said "T-Thank you Lady Artemis. You really didn't have to" but I cut him off and said "Rise Perseus. You need not bow after the service you have done to both me and Olympus." He stood and gave me a mischievous smirk I couldn't help but blush at and quickly pushed it down and returned to my throne.
I couldn't help but smile at the interaction between my favorite demigod and my niece knowing there was more there than just a favor. At that, Zeus boomed, "well with all the gifts being given out. Let us CELEBRATE!" And the Throne Room quickly shifted to an open plaza with food and drink around and the Muses singing.
I was swarmed by several gods, Major and Minor as the celebration ensued. All congratulating me for defeating Gaea and saving their asses. Naturally, I told them I didn't do it alone and ushered them quickly to the Seven who had earned just as much credit if not more than me. Through the hordes I was being greeted by, I kept my eye out for Annabeth who was talking to her mother, presumably about design ideas and the like for the new city she would undoubtedly get started on within a few days of the ceremony. We made eye-contact and she smiled softly before nodding to a balcony. I reluctantly agreed and excused myself to go talk to her. But I didn't know what I was going to say much less the two pairs of eyes that followed the interaction, one warm brown that gazed upon me with sympathy and the other a piercing silver that held mostly pity with a bit of curiosity.
I found myself on the balcony and took a deep breath before she turned around giving me a soft smile and saying "Seaweed Brain." I returned it with a sad smile though internally I was painfully grimacing at the childish nickname that once held so much love and playfulness.
"Hey Wise Girl." There was an awkward silence before she continued and said "Look Percy," before I stopped her. "Don't Annabeth. There's no need." She looked shocked and sad that I had opened with that, but I was hurting and kept going to vent out my frustration. "You don't need to explain. This is everything you could've wanted. You get to stand by your mom and design an immaculate city the likes no mortal or demigod has seen for all millennia." She started to tear up and I hated seeing her like that, but I needed to say what I was going to. "Are you happy?". She was confused by the question before answering softly "... yes." "Then I'm happy for you Wise Girl." Though internally I could feel my heart shattering into a million pieces.
"Percy, look, you have partial immortality. We can still do all those things, start a family, grow ol-" I cut her off with a bit of hostility in my voice. "Except we can't Annabeth!" Her eyes threatened to break the dam holding the tears back at any moment, but I didn't care about it right now. "Because you won't grow old. You're a goddess now. Yes, I have partial immortality, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm still just a demigod and even if we don't grow old, our children would and I don't want to outlive my children. I can't bear the idea of never aging a day past 18 while our children would continue to age and so would their children and their children's children. I-I can't do it." The tears began gathering in my eyes now threatening to make a mess of my face at the next utterance of a word. "So-so what happens now?" Her voice cracking the same way my heart did further with that question. "I don't know..." I whispered. Now it was her turn to get angry. "Well at least I'm trying to give this a chance! What, you're just ready to give this all up?! Give me up?!" I couldn't take that any more and as I snapped, so did the rest of my heart. "ME NOT GIVE THIS A CHANCE?! ANNABETH YOU DIDN'T EVEN FUCKING HESITATE AT THE OFFER!" I yelled. At this point the rest of the party was deathly silent hearing my outburst. Upon noticing this, I lowered my voice as to not draw further attention to us. "You didn't consider how I might feel about this. About how your gods damned pride would affect me and this relationship." It was cold. Emotionless. For I knew if I let my emotions get the better of me, I would regret it. I started walking away when I heard her call out to me and I stopped several meters away and without turning around I spoke softly, "It was beautiful for a time there. See ya around, Wise Girl." And I left toward the elevator, a single tear rolling down my cheek while she sobbed and cried out to me, but I didn't turn around, only to head back to camp.
Hearing that conversation broke something in me. My favorite demigod. Ever the hero awaiting his happy ending after so many quests and wars. The hearth dimmed as a result as people went about the rest of the party.
I couldn't help but feel my heart break a little for Perseus. There he was just a kid wanting his happy ending after so much violence and suffering, only to have the spawn of Athena take it away from him. Wait why am I feeling like this?! He is a male and I am the Maiden Goddess of the Moon and the Hunt. I shouldn't pity him. It must be the drinks getting to me. Right? I was left to my thoughts as I watched our hero – begrudgingly MY hero - turn his back on the party and leave. I think I might've even frowned a little.
I got back to camp and went straight to my cabin slammed the door, flopped on the bed and cried for the rest of the night. Finally drifting off into a dreamless sleep. Hoping the Fates finally took pity on me after a year of royally fucking with my life. How wrong could I be?
~The next morning~
I awoke, still in my clothes from last night, thinking – no praying it was a dream. It was 11AM when I finally got up and showered. The water reinvigorated me slightly due to my heritage. I brushed my teeth and got dressed ready to visit my mother Sally Blofis and my step-dad Paul. They have had their hands full with my new baby sister Estelle who is barely 14 months old and as cute as a button. I also haven't seen much of them due to the last war and everything so I needed to let them know that I'm still alive at least. I abruptly went to the Big House to let Chiron know I was headed out and made my way to the street to summon the Grey Sisters taxi and headed to Manhattan.
I stepped out onto the street and immediately knew something was wrong. After years of being a demigod, a sixth sense of sorts developed and let me know when danger is near. Knowing this, I pulled out my sword, Anaklusmos, in its pen form and crept up to my mom's apartment. The door was slightly open and my heart was hammering in my chest. I opened it cautiously and what I saw made my blood freeze. There on the floor of the living room was my step-dad Paul, with a spear in his gut and his neck snapped. I bit back a sob and crept closer to see an empousai rising up from my mother's limp form. She turned to see me and smirked victoriously. "Ahh Percy Jackson. So nice of you to come by after my lovely snack. No wonder Poseidon couldn't resist this mortal." I lost it and saw red. The water pipes erupted and lashed out to her, restraining her and her smug look shifted quickly to fear. "Who sent you." I demanded in the same cold, monotone voice as last night. She started cackling at this and I swiftly sliced off one of her legs causing her to scream in pain and panic. "WHO?!" I roared and she quickly complied. "It was Gaea! She had a contingency plan to ruin you if she was defeated!" Un-fucking-believable. After she tried to destroy the world. After all the suffering I was forced to endure. After losing 8 fucking months of my life and memories. AFTER FUCKING TARTARUS. I quickly dispatched the empousai by lopping off her head and knelt at my mother's side. "P-Percy," she cried weakly. "Mom" I sobbed. "It's gonna be o-okay mom I'll call the paramedics a-and-" she put her cold hand on my cheek. "We both know… they can't.. Can't help now." I bit my lip as the tears flowed endlessly. "It's my time Percy." I wailed. "I-I'm so proud of you my boy. My baby boy. T-This isn't your… Your fault. I love you my baby boy." I choked out another sob. "I-I love y-you too Mom." "Y-you're g-gonna be fine. I-I know you w-will over-overcome this. I love you. T-take care of y-your sis-sister." And with those last words, her hand fell as a smile graced her lifeless face.
I snapped. Rage, anger, despair, sadness, and finally guilt overcame me as I screamed, causing a hurricane to form over the building and a magnitude 10.0 earthquake started violently jostling the apartment. As I was about to lose myself, I heard an infant cry from the bedroom and just as quickly as the storm formed, it disappeared. I numbly got up and shuffled to my parent's bedroom. There, in the crib in the corner was Estelle. Crying her little heart out. I felt brief relief wash over me before the guilt settled back in as I picked up my baby sister, cooing at her to calm her down. The tears never stopped flowing as both Hestia and Hera flashed in to see what had unfolded.
I felt a huge diminish of hope and home just below Olympus and flashed to it immediately to see my favorite demigod openly crying with a baby in his arms. He turned around to look at me and my heart shattered. His sea green eyes that once held endless joy and happiness were now dulled and empty. So much pain and sorrow filled them that I couldn't help but cry as I shifted into my 30 year old form and pulled the two of them into a hug.
I felt a similar diminish in my domain of family as Hestia and flashed with her to see our once unbreakable hero completely shattered and devoid of any hope and happiness. I quickly joined Hestia in hugging him. Both of us drawing soothing circles into his back and whispering comforting nothings into his ear as he stood there. He was rigid as a board, carefully cradling his sister in his arms.
Hestia and surprisingly Hera flashed in to comfort me with Estelle in my arms. After about 30 minutes of sobbing and rocking Estelle back to sleep. I spoke up. My voice hoarse and barely audible. "Hestia, Hera. Can I ask a favor?" Both looked at each other, nodded then looked back to me. "What is it my nephew?" Hera asked sympathetically. "Could you take Estelle with you to Olympus and watch over her for a little? And Hestia, could you help transport them and me to Montauk? I know that's where they would want their last rights." Both looked at each other grimly and nodded again as Hera took Estelle and flashed to her temple on Olympus, Hestia summoned white linens over the corpses and flashed us to Montauk.
I quickly dug two graves, the tears never stopping as I did and placed a drachma over each of their eyes to pay their ferry. After an hour of giving them their last rights and promising to take care of Estelle, Hestia flashed us to Hera's temple where she was sitting on the couch and Estelle was in a crib in the room asleep. "What are you going to do now Perseus?" Hera asked caringly which would have surprised me if I wasn't already so distraught. I sat in silence as Hestia placed a hand on my shoulder. After a couple minutes of silence. I spoke again, my voice still hoarse from crying, "Hera," I said as I knelt, "Could you please look after Estelle for me? I need to get away from the Greek world for a while and figure some things out for myself. I need to get stronger so this doesn't happen again." Hera was taken aback and looked uneasily at Hestia. Hestia nodded encouragingly and Hera finally spoke up "Rise nephew. You need not bow to me." As I rose Hera kept talking "I would be honored to do so but I have a condition." I sucked a breath through my teeth and whispered, "Anything." Hera looked at me and Estelle and smiled softly. "I know in hindsight of what has happened, I can't hope to repair the damage done to you and your family, but… would you mind if I… adopted you and your sister?"
I stood there dumbfounded. The goddess who has hated demigods for millennia just asked to adopt me and my sister. "But my sister is a mortal." She smiled at me and told me "Yes, while she is a mortal, I can sense that she is clear-sighted like your late mother and as a result she would only obtain a mere fraction of my abilities compared to you as a demigod." I gaped for a moment and said something intelligent along the lines of "Oh." Hestia giggled at me and shook her head. Then a genuine smile graced my lips for the first time since what had unfolded. Albeit a small one, but genuine nonetheless. "I would be honored if you did that for us… Mom." She smiled widely and pulled me into a hug, enveloping my sister and I in a soft olive green light that dissipated shortly after. "Now," she began. "As your sister is still so young I cannot say for certain what powers she will develop nor to the scale, but as for you. You can peer into people's minds and memories and replace them if you so desire. You can also share yours with others and finally with my domain of family you can sense familial love and one's true family and that doesn't mean just by blood." I smiled once more and hugged her again. Then Hestia spoke up. "Percy, I would like to make you my champion and give you my full blessing." I didn't think it would be possible to smile even bigger and here I am with a big shit-eating grin on my face. "I would be honored Aunt Hestia," to which she smiled and enveloped me into a warm orange light and I instantly felt hopeful. "The hearth has the power to hurt as well as heal as you know. You can expect to have fire control that feeds on your emotions much like your water control. You can invigorate hope in people and also take it away. You can also fire travel and summon home cooked meals." I was beside myself with my new abilities and hugged her again. "Now, say goodbye to your sister and start your journey. Stay in touch with both of us and come visit your sister whenever you can." I gave both my patron and my new mother one last hug and my sister a kiss before Hestia flashed me to JFK to catch a flight. I decided to head to Australia first. One, to get away from the gods. Two it seemed like as good a place as any to start training my new abilities. And three, I've always wanted to visit. I took one more look at the New York skyline as the plane climbed to cruising altitude for I didn't know how long it would be until I returned.
I called an emergency meeting of the Council and soon everyone flashed in. "What is the meaning of this meeting brother?" Hades asked, seeming rather annoyed. "A couple of hours ago, Zeus and I felt a tremendous power within both our domains, but it vanished just as quickly. Chattering amongst the Council broke out between everyone before Zeus could reign it in.
Everyone was arguing with one another and truth be told, I couldn't have been more bored having to leave the Hunt so abruptly, but then I noticed Hades turn a shade whiter which I didn't think possible. "SILENCE!" Zeus thundered causing everyone to quiet down. "Where was this power surge located?" Athena asked as I saw the gears turning in her head. "Right in Manhattan not too far from here why?" Poseidon replied oblivious to the reason for the question. Hades closed his eyes as if he was sensing something which caused me to narrow mine. "Ahem." Hades cleared his throat and everyone turned to him. "I believe that was Percy brothers." Everyone's eyes went wide with shock. "Why do you think that?" Poseidon narrowed his eyes and gripped his trident ever so slightly. "Two souls have just entered my domain… Paul and Sally Blofis. They're dead, brother."
Poseidon snapped and rushed Hades, gripping his shoulders. "Tell me you're lying brother." Hades couldn't meet his eyes and just nodded his head. Poseidon collapsed back into his throne. Defeat clearly visible on his face as he began to sob. I was taken aback. First Perseus loses his love because of her selfishness and pride, and now his parents have died. My heart hurt for him for some reason but I quickly pushed it aside. "Summon Chiron, tell him to bring Perseus." Zeus ordered and Hermes immediately flashed out to grab him.
Upon his return, Chiron knelt. "What may I do for you Lord Zeus?" "We have heard of Perseus's parents' deaths and we demand to see him. Where is he?". Chiron shuffled his hooves uneasily. "Erm. My Lord. Perseus went to see them, but never returned." As Poseidon snapped "WHERE IS MY SON?!" I noticed that Hera and Hestia glanced at each other uneasily making me believe they knew something of this. Before I could address them about this Zeus spoke up , "Hermes, alert the roman camps of this. Hera, the Amazons. Chiron you inform Camp Half-Blood. And daughter," Zeus turned to me. "Get the hunt and track him down. We must find him as he is vulnerable right now." I was a little surprised to see my father so adamantly searching for one of his brother's children, but knew that Perseus was not like other men and he inspired these behavioral changes within the Council. I quickly nodded and flashed out to inform the Hunt.
As I flashed back in, Thalia was the first to greet me. "Is everything okay Milady?" I nodded briefly and told her to gather the girls. Once they appeared and sat down. "Girls. The Council has been informed that Perseus Jackson, Hero of Olympus is missing and Zeus has tasked us to find him." Thalia gave me a look of disbelief and I shot one back that said 'I will talk to you later'. She begrudgingly nodded and the rest of the Hunt seemed less than thrilled to be searching for a male. "I understand you are not happy with this decision, but it is a direct order from Zeus himself. The sooner we find him, the sooner we can get back to our duties." They quickly nodded and left to pack up camp. I dare say part of me was worried for Perseus. This boy, no again man, this man had just lost his love that he wanted to spend the rest of his days with, and now his parents in less than 24 hours. Either way this insolent male will be found quickly. No one escapes the hunt.
AN: The first chapter I have come up with. Reviews more than welcome. This is gonna be a Guardian of the Hunt story, pulling inspiration from others I have read from Hans50 or Hans51 whatever it is and Elveril. Please review! I'm writing this as I think it'll be somewhat interesting but all thoughts and opinions are welcome.