Children of the Gods

By: CombatTombat

READ THIS NOTE: This story was recovered by the legendary Curious Beats. For those who don't know, Children of the Gods was my sequel to Son of Neptune, published from January to February of 2018 before I deleted it because I was 18 and stupid. I am posting the entire story here for y'all to enjoy once more, but I will not be editing it or working on it any further, since I have other stories that I want to finish. This is for nostalgia purposes only, and for the people who sadly never got to read it. It is not a finish story, or even a polished one. The chapters are much shorter than what I currently write, as you'll find out. That said, I hope you enjoy this story, and what it could have been.

Chapter 1

Chapter One

January 1st, 2011


"Mortals are being hunted by the hundreds, Grace!" Clarisse spat at him. "And you're still advocating waiting for the Romans? We need to act, now!"

There were several murmurs of agreement from the assembled campers, and Jason sighed, dragging his hand down his face. Thankfully, it was Annabeth who responded for him. They listened to her more than him.

"Clarisse, there are maybe, maybe, two hundred of us, if we include those above twelve. There are literally thousands of monsters roaming throughout New York." The daughter of Athena had a way of speaking that just made people listen to her. Even Piper admitted falling under its thrall occasionally. "We're good. Some of us are very good, but we're not invincible. If we march two hundred demigods into New York, the scent will be so overwhelming that the monsters will be on us in a flash. Yes, we can fight. But we'd die. We're not waiting for the Romans so that they can save us, but so that we can pool our resources together, and successfully retake New York."

The daughter of Ares backed down, and Jason let out a breath he didn't realize he was holding. Like all the other immortals, Chiron had vanished, sucked into Gaea's vortex of doom, or whatever it was that she had expelled at the moment of her defeat. His eyes drifted shut, as he thought of Leo, and his sacrifice. Percy had been one of his first real friends, but Leo was the one who hadn't cared who his father was. The one who saw Jason as Jason, not the Son of Jupiter. Even Percy had struggled with that on occasion.

Jason felt a slender hand on his arm, and knew it was Piper at once. "Hey," she said softly, settling down at his side.

"Hey," he smiled back.

"Leo again?" She asked, earning a nod in response. Piper didn't reply, and instead leaned her head on his shoulder. Down the table, a buzzing began, and everyone turned to see Annabeth staring at her phone, before slowly answering it.

"Dad?" She asked quietly, disbelief clear in her voice. There was a response on the other side, and she lowered her phone, before pressing a button on it. "You're on speaker now."

"Good." Percy's voice drifted through. "You wouldn't believe how hard it was to track down your father. The man has a survival instinct, I'll tell you that."

"Percy?" Jason cut in, surprised to hear his cousins voice.

"Yeah, numb nuts, it's me." Percy bit back. "Listen, I don't have much time. The legion is on the move east, along with the survivors from New Rome. Hazel and Reyna are leading them. I'm in San Fran with the Praetorians that I have left. Things aren't looking too hot right now, but we'll be fine.

Listen carefully."

"Go." Was Jason's response.

"Your little elf-boy showed up in San Fran on the back of a dragon, of all things. Rescued a metric crap-ton of mortals, who tried to worship him as a god. That little cult is with my people, so they'll need a crash course.

Annabeth's family is there as well, but they adapted better than I expected." Percy shot off rapidly. "Atlas is still pinned under the sky but—"

Percy's voice was cut off by the sound of metal striking metal, before they heard him bellowing again.

"Shore up the right flank! Frank, take a squad! Go!" He was roaring out. When he spoke again, his voice was deceptively quiet. "Sorry about that.

Lots of monsters. Look, the Legion should arrive in a day or so, and we'll be a few days to a week behind them. Good luck!"

The call cut out, and silence filled the room again. "Little elf-boy?" Piper suddenly said aloud. "Leo?"

"Do we know any other little elf-boys?" Thalia asked with a frown.

"No, not that I can think of." Jake Mason, the interim head counsellor for the Hephaestus cabin said. "Leo was the elfiest of us all."

"So, just to confirm," Piper said slowly, "we are agreeing that Leo is probably alive?"

"I think so, yes." Annabeth replied. "But more importantly the majority of the Legion is arriving tomorrow. We can work with that."

"But Percy doesn't arrive for at most a week, and we all know that the Legion won't act without his say so." Jason pointed out. "Even Reyna, as Senior Consul, won't do anything unless she's certain Percy would approve of the action."

"So, they're useless?" Clarisse asked with a scoff.

"Not entirely, no." Jason said, an edge in his voice. "All legionaries are skilled engineers, as are the veterans. I'd recommend giving them the forest. They'll build a new city there, or at least a temporary one. The legion will request your permission to build a wall around the camp. I'd also suggest allowing them."

"The barrier's still up though." Katie Gardiner stated. "Why would we need a wall?"

This time, it was Lou Ellen who responded.

"The barrier is up because my cabin is working tirelessly to keep it up." She snapped, not that Jason blamed her. She looked exhausted. "We can't do

that indefinitely. I'm all for a physical wall."

"There are still some loose monsters in the forest." Thalia noted.

"The legion can handle those easily enough. All they need is building space, and the rest is easy." Jason replied off hand. "But we need to agree now if that's what we're doing."

"Athena is a yes." Annabeth stated firmly. "Yea from Hephaestus." Mason nodded.

"Ares is a nay." Clarisse said, and head whirled to her. "We don't owe them a thing."

"Aphrodite is a yes." Piper said with a glare pointed at Clarisse. "Demeter is a yes." Katie said, head held high.

The Stoll brothers whispered between each other for several moments. Since the disappearance of the gods, the two had become much more mature.

"Hermes is a yes." Travis stated after several moments of discussion.

"Of course." Will Solace said. "They're our half-siblings. Or cousins. Does it count if they come from different pantheons?"

"We need all the help we can get." Pollux stated. "Dionysus is a yes."

Aside from Ares, all the cabins affirmed letting the Romans in, including Thalia. The only two cabins that weren't represented were Hera and Artemis, though neither one had anyone in camp to do so. Hera wasn't really surprising, and the Hunters hadn't been seen since the loss of the gods, so they weren't quite sure if they had vanished with them or not.

"Then it's decided." Annabeth declared. "Nineteen for, one against. That's the overwhelming majority. The Romans will be given the forest to rebuild

New Rome. We can plan how to retake New York once Percy has arrived."


AN: Haha! I lied, suckers! I'm posting this story this week. To recap, it'sbeenalmostfivemonthssincethebattleagainstGaea.Inthattime,Percyand the Praetorians returned to New Rome to find it in ruins, and hedeclared they would go east to help the Greeks. Of the 1300 soldiers theyhad at the beginning of the Second Battle of New Rome, eight hundredremain,andthatincludesthoserecalledtoservice,andthePraetorians.

In San Francisco, Percy and the Praetorians, while checking to make surethat Atlas was still on his mountain, encountered Leo, who they sent tojoin the convoy of Romans heading to New York. Keep in mind, they'remostlytravellingonfoot,asidefromthosewhowillbeinwagonsandthesuch. It's taking them time to get from the west coast to the east,especially with the upsurge in monsters. Also, this isn't going to lead tothe Demigods becoming the 'New Gods.' They are going to remainmortal.I hope you enjoyed!


Chapter 2

Chapter Two


The Greeks welcomed them much nicer than Reyna expected. She was informed by Jason that the forest had been ceded to them to construct a temporary city in to house the residents of New Rome, but also informed her that there were a few stray monsters lurking in it. Her former Co- Praetor had then immediately gone and punched Leo Valdez in his face, drawing chuckles from the legion. Orders were quickly relayed, and while the Fourth and Fifth Cohort cleared out the forest, the First, Second, and Third began assembling their tools, so that construction could begin as soon as the woods were cleared.

While that was going on, Reyna, Nathan, and Dakota met with the Greek leaders. The meeting was tense, as neither side was sure how to talk with each other. Unsurprisingly, it was Annabeth Chase who broke the tension.

"Oh, for Zeus' sake!" She exclaimed, throwing her hands up. "Reyna, these are our cabin counsellors. Each counsellor represents the children of a specific god. Guys, this is Reyna, she's the Consul of Rome, Percy's right- hand woman. Stop snickering, Travis. I understand you can't make any big decisions without Percy, but lets talk about what you cando."

Nathan laughed. "I like her, boss. Who's your godly parent?" "Athena." She stated without hesitating. Her eyes narrowed slightly. "I

know that in your pantheon, she's only the goddess of arts and crafts, but in ours, she's a battle goddess, similar to Bellona. I trust you'll remember that."

"Sure." Nathan said. "That's no problem."

"Good." Annabeth said. "Now, what can we expect?"

"Once the legion has the essentials of a city built, we can get to work. We'll need to construct a temple to Jupiter first and foremost, so that we can consecrate gold, and turn it into Imperial Gold. That'll allow our forges to produce more weapons and armour. From there, well, anything goes, really. We'll do what we can to help."

"We have large stores of Celestial Bronze." A tall, burly boy stated. "If you want, we can collaborate with your smiths?"

Annabeth tipped her head to the boy.

"Jake Mason, interim head of the Hephaestus Cabin, though judging from Leo's shaky actions, I'm considering making it permanent." She introduced the boy, who waved.

"That's acceptable. Once we're established, you and your siblings can meet with our smiths, and work out a deal." Reyna declared. "I think this is a good start. We should go help the legion."

Annabeth nodded. "Of course. Good luck, Consul." xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

It took four days for construction to begin on New Rome. Large swathes of the forest were chopped down, and roads were built before anything else, leading towards the area that would be the forum. Nico di Angelo, who it turned out was a son of Hades, not Pluto, assisted them by summoning skeletons, though he was busy in the underworld, maintaining order amongst the dead. By the end of the week, the forum had been built, and insulae had been constructed for the citizens who couldn't work. It was Saturday the eighth when Percy arrived with the surviving Praetorian Guards.

They had been let through a gate in the temporary earthwork walls, many of them bruised and cut, with untreated wounds. They were also all on foot, which didn't bode well. Percy, Frank, and Michael led the column,

Percy's arm strapped to his chest, while Frank had a gash down his face that mirrored the scar Percy himself had.

Reyna decided that propriety should be damned, and rushed up to Percy, wrapping her arms around him, and pulling him close. He hissed in pain, but gave her a one-handed hug.

"Hey, Rey." He said softly. "I missed you." She laughed. "I missed you too, idiot."

The sound of a throat clearing behind her led to Reyna reluctantly releasing Percy. Jason was standing behind them awkwardly.

"Hey Jase!" Percy said cheerfully. "You wouldn't be any chance have a doctor here, would you? All my medics are dead."

"Gods, Percy, what happened?" Jason asked, two children of Apollo, the Greek one, rushing forward to support the Imperator.

Percy's eyes crinkled in the corners, shadows lining his face.

"It seems Tartarus was pissed that we defeated Terra. Monsters don't stay dead for long, and Titans are showing up around every corner. Krios attacked us three times while we rode east. We lost our horses in Pennsylvania. It was a hard march to get here." He revealed, as a piece of Ambrosia was forced down his throat, followed by a sip of Nectar. Reyna watched his fingers twitch as he regained feeling in them. "But considering I buried him in a cave, it should be some time before he manages to escape."

Reyna did a double take of the Praetorians. She had been so happy to see Percy that she didn't realize how few of them there were. Frank limped up next to her.

"Thirty-eight." He said, and she looked at him. "There are thirty-eight Praetorians. Michael and Leila are the only survivors from the Batavi.

Though Percy declared that the title will never be held by anyone again, in memory of the fallen."

The thought of all the dead terrified Reyna. The Praetorians had been the best of the best. Most would've—should've—become centurions in time, career soldiers. Three hundred cut down to thirty-eight. It was sobering.

"Where are the Greeks?" Percy asked, rolling his shoulder, elbows, and wrists in quick succession. "We have a lot to discuss."

"Which can wait." Jason said firmly, beating Reyna to it. "You're hurt, Percy, and as much as I'm sure you think you're needed right now, the world will survive another day. You need to rest, before you doburn yourself out."

Percy stared at Jason for a moment, face blank, and Reyna began to worry that Jason might have overstepped his boundaries. Finally, Percy sighed.

"I wouldn't be much of an Imperator if I only listened to oneof my consuls, would I?" He said, with a tired grin. "Fair enough. Where can I crash?"

"We've built a small domusfor you near the forum." Reyna said. "You can rest there."

"And the guard?" Percy asked, his eyes starting to droop.

"I'll handle it." Jason assured him. "Reyna will take you to your house now, alright Perce?"

"Yeah… sounds like a plan." Percy yawned. Reyna quickly began escorting him to his house, hopefully before he passed out. That wouldn't look good to the Greeks, and right now, Percy needed to be seen as a strong leader, not the tired general.



themeoftherestofthestory.Asalways,leaveareview,andletmeknowwhatyou think!


Chapter 3

Chapter Three

A day of rest did wonders for Percy, Jason decided. With his armour dented, and the casual air of the Greek camp, Jason had suggested wearing civilian clothes, and Percy took that to heart. He showed up to the meeting with the Greeks wearing shorts and a tank top, both of which showed off the mass of small scars along his arms and legs. He greeted the campers with a smile, shaking each of their hands. Then, like the flick of a switch, he became the Imperator, a battle-hardened ruler with immense political skill.

"What do we know about the immortals?" He asked. "When we met with Leo, he told me that Ogygia was deserted, and since Calypso had no means to escape, I'm taking it to mean that all immortals are gone, not just the gods."

"That's the assumption we're working on as well." Annabeth admitted. "Chiron vanished at the same time as the Olympians, as did Argus, one of our bodyguards. Peleus is still here, but we think that's because he's technically a monster, not an immortal."

"The Hesperides are gone as well." Frank mentioned from his spot two paces behind Percy to his left. Opposite of him was Reyna. "It's a fair assumption."

"And what's the situation in the city?" Percy pressed, instinctively looking towards the Stoll brothers, which led Jason to believe that either Percy knew more than he was letting on, or that Reyna had told him everything she had learned.

"Overrun." Travis replied. "Monster gangs rule large swathes of the city, enslaving mortals, building shrines to the Titans, and to Tartarus. Those who don't work are killed. Those who are unable to work are killed. It's brutal in there."

Percy grimaced. "That means we need to liberate the city sooner rather than later. What about Olympus itself?"

"Sealed off." Connor said this time. "From what we can tell, some verypowerful wards activated when the Gods vanished. Right now, the Empire State Building is the only one the monsters can't get into. There's a small group of survivors hiding inside, but they're running low on supplies."

"They can't enter the Empire State?" Percy confirmed. Connor nodded. "Can we?"

Another nod,

"Then that should be our first goal. I need two days to do an inventory of the Legion, and get what we need built. I'll lead the legion in, and we'll secure the Empire State. From there, we can plan to retake the city." Percy declared.

"And what about us?" Clarisse asked. "Do you think we're going to play second fiddle to you lot?"

Percy froze, and stiffened. Jason watched his eyes die, becoming impossible to read.

"No, but you have fewer campers than we do." He said. "You have younger campers than we do, and considering that this is your home, I assumed you'd want to defend it. Am I wrong?"

"We're fighters!" Clarisse yelled. "I'm a daughter of Ares, and I don't play defence! I fight, and I kill."

"That's a good way to die." Percy stated. "So, by all means, if you want to kill yourselves, go ahead."

Clarisse rose to her feet, and Frank got ready to pounce. Jason shot to his own feet, thunder booming loudly overhead.

"Enough!" He thundered. The others became silent and looked to him. Percy's face was still blank, but his eyes conveyed his amusement. "We are notenemies. Monsters, Titans, anyone who opposes usare our enemies.

"Yes, Clarisse, we expect you to play second fiddle to us, for now, because the Legion doesn't know you, or how you fight." He said, and she opened her mouth. "Donot—don't interrupt me. As of this moment, trying to fight with you would lead to needless deaths. Greeks don't fight in formation.

It's all very individual with you. That's a serious weakness for us. But you're not wrong. You deserve to be in this fight as much as anyone else, so let's compromise. If, if, you can drill your cabin, anyone over fifteen, to fight in a unit, working in tandem as opposed to killing everything. If you can controlyour bloodlust. If you can learn to obey Percy's orders, then you can come."

There was a moment of silence, and several people looked to Percy. He shrugged.

"My consul said it best. I admire your willingness to fight. Really, I do. I also know that you canfight. I was here when Terra, er, Gaea, attacked. I fought alongside you. Which was why I assumed you would want to remain here. You lost more people than I did. You have less people than I have. You can't afford to lose many more."

"And what if we're attacked by a large force?" Annabeth asked. "We'd be overrun before you could return."

"There's always a castra," Reyna pointed out, "we'll build one before we leave. If worst comes to worst, you can shelter in that. It'll be easier to defend."

"We can work with that." Annabeth stated, ignoring Clarisse indignant 'hey!' "Two days?"

"Two days." Percy affirmed. "We'll get started now, if you don't mind?"

"I'll leave you be, but tonight, we need to have a long talk about the future." Annabeth stated. "Specifically, ourfutures, Romans and Greeks."

"Agreed. Tonight, then." Percy said, before rising. Instinctively, Jason rose too, followed by several others. He didn't blame them, Percy exuded leadership, a sort of presence that made others want to follow him.

He left, and Jason followed. He wasn't stupid, he knew that from now on, he was the Roman in a Greek camp, and needed to act like it. He might not like being under someone else's authority, but neither was he selfish enough to jeopardize the alliance in the works. Once they were safely in Percy's domus, he whirled on his cousin.

"You agitated Clarisse." Jason declared. "Why?"

"Oh, you noticed that?" Percy asked with a grin. "Mostly, it was to get you to step up."

Jason stared at Percy, trying to figure out if he was still injured. His cousin laughed loudly.

"Jason, like it or not, the Greeks see you as a leader, despite the fact that you're a Roman." Percy told him. "You and Annabeth, they listen to. I just watched it happen. But the thing is, they didn't know it until now. I may of led things along so they realized it, but in the end, it wasn't anything new."

"You… picked a fight with a daughter of Ares to prove a point?" Jason asked slowly.

"More to make a point than to prove it, but yes, I did." Percy said, before leaning forward. "And I'd do it again, if I needed to. But enough of this. I need to prepare for a campaign. You wanna help?"

Jason grinned. "I'd love nothing more."




Chapter 4

Chapter Four


Once, Rebecca would've considered the sight of armoured troops using swords and shields marching down 6th Avenue some weird form of cosplay, but when the monsters from her nightmares began terrorising New York, all thoughts of what was normal and what wasn't normal went out the window.

She had been captured three weeks prior, trying to escape the city, and had been outfitted with an iron collar, chained to a large group of people, and forced to work on statues made from a myriad of materials, representing figures she didn't recognise. The monsters that had captured her began to roar out in a guttural language at the sight of the armoured people, who as they got closer, she realized were teens.

"Legio!" A tall man towards the front of the group bellowed. "Adaciem!AdPugna!"

Rebecca wanted to laugh. She recognised the Latin from two years of it in high-school, but these kids were taking things way too far, and they were going to die because of it. The police hadn't been able to stop these monsters. The National Guard had failed, and so had the military. What hope did these kids have?

"Pilaiace!" The boy at the lead yelled, and the 'legion' coiled back, before launching a bunch of sticks—spears, Rebecca noticed—at the monsters.

She sighed, ready to watch the weapons be ignored, only to gasp in shock, along with the others, when the monsters were impaled, dissolving into dust.

"Nate! Take the First to the Fourth onwards! I'll remain with the Fifth, the Praetorians, and the Greeks to secure these civilians!" The lead man ordered, another kid wearing a plumed helmet gave him a nod, before

signalling to a trumpeter beside him. A series of notes were blown, and the not-cosplayers marched on, shields overlapping and, leaving maybe two hundred people behind.

"Cohors!Defendiadparati!" A girl wearing armour called out, and Rebecca blinked, noticing for the first time that it was a mix of boys and girls.

Golden armoured soldiers wearing blank masks spread out, and began breaking the chains that bound them all together. The man who seemed to be leading them wore a screaming mask instead, though she couldn't see his eyes, or anything, really.

The chains holding her to her neighbours was shattered with a blow from a sword, and Rebecca almost collapsed from the feeling of the pressure leaving her body. A pair of strong, metallic arms wrapped around her.

"Easy." A voice said, helping her upright. "Take a breath, collect yourself."

All around, her fellow slaves were being helped up. Some were being looked over by the armoured teens, though she noticed that these ones had a rod with a single snake wrapped around it on their chests. Another group of teens wore bronze armour, this one based on the ancient Greeks, like she saw in the movies.

"What the hell?" Rebecca muttered to herself.

"Follow us!" The man with the screaming mask said. "We'll take you somewhere safe, and we'll have our doctors look over you more!"

Rebecca didn't know what to do, so she followed the cluster of people who were surrounded by the armoured troops. It was her best bet for survival, she decided.


Once she was inside the Empire State Building, Rebecca didn't know what would happen. The kids who had rescued her weren't all kids. Some were

young adults, some wereadults, but some looked like they were just barely out of middle school. The golden armoured soldiers looked to be older than the others, once they took their helmets off, but they were still in their mid-to-late teens.

A girl, maybe sixteen, was checking her over, treating her cuts and scrapes with skill children shouldn't have. She noticed a welt on her left arm, where she had been struck by one of the monsters with a rod. She began probing around it, digging her thumbs in around the tender flesh, but never touching it, before pulling a small bottle out, squeezing it onto her hands, and rubbing it in around and onto the wound.

"So, uh, where did you learn to do this?" Rebecca asked, cringing at the question. The girl looked up, and gave her a small smile.

"I didn't really learn, per se. It's more of an inherited skill." She replied, before wrapping a bandage around Rebecca's arm. "Try to lay off using the arm, if you can. I've massaged it and rubbed ointments in, so it should be good by tomorrow. Tribune Kahale will be here shortly to give you further instructions."

"Who?" Rebecca asked. The girl didn't respond. She had already moved to her next patient, repeating the process she had with her.

Almost thirty minutes later, a tall, broad boy with short cut hair came in, wearing the same gold armour as the others, He had a sword strapped to his waist, and his helmet tucked under his arm.

"I am Tribune Kahale." He said. "We've cleared rooms for you on the upper floors, but we're going to need some information before we send you off to these rooms. Are there any questions before we begin?"

Rebecca had many, many questions, but she knew now wasn't the time. No one else spoke, so the 'Tribune' waved his hands, and more people with clipboards came into the room. One stopped in front of her.

"Your name, ma'am?" The boy asked, pen at the ready.

"Rebecca—uh, Rebecca Rawlins." She replied, still shaken. "And your age?" He asked gently.

"I'm twenty-six. Twenty-seven tomorrow, I think. What day is it?" She asked.

"The eleventh, ma'am." The boy replied. "When were you captured?" "I think it was three weeks ago. I'm-I'm not quite sure." She admitted.

"That's alright, ma'am. Thank you." The boy said, before pointing to a tall girl. "Go line up by Leila. She'll take you to your room when there's a long enough line. We'll serve food in a few hours."

"Oh, okay." She didn't know what else to say, and did as instructed. As she stood in line, she watched the clock on the wall tick away. After twenty minutes, the girl, Leila, led Rebecca and a group of sixteen other women to the elevator, which went up twelve floors, before opening on a seemingly random floor. They were then led to rooms that had couches, cots, and sleeping bags set up for them.

"There are only women on this floor, and all the guards are women. If you need anything, please, don't hesitate to ask." Leila told them, a kind smile on her face. "Prefect Levesque will be here shortly. She's in charge of this floor. Food will be delivered in… two hours."

She then spun on a heel, and marched back to the elevator. When it opened, the man with the screaming mask was in it. The last sight Rebecca saw was his hands rising to the helmet. The door shut shortly after that.



AN: So, at this point, I should probably mention that I'm going to bedrawingheavilyfromthestory'LegendsoftheWest:FlamesofOlympus.'

It's only nine chapters, but it's a damn good nine chapters. I'd suggestreading it if you haven't. I haven't adopted the story, but since it's beeninactive for about four years, I figured it would be okay. I also PM'd theauthor,butnevergotaresponse. Pleasedon'tsueme.Amortal'spointof view of the Legion arriving into the city. She isn't a super importantcharacter,andweprobablywon'tseeheragain,butIdidn'twanttowriteitfromademigod'sperspective,becauseweallknowhowthatwouldgo.Asalways,leaveareview,andtellmewhatyouthink!


Chapter 5

Chapter Five


From the observatory on the 86th floor, Percy got a phenomenal view of the city. He could see the wrecked cars, the bullet ridden walls, and the large fires that filled the streets. It made him furious. Not because he was originally from New York, but because it had happened in the first place. Around him, soldiers cleared space, placing down maps, while children of Vulcan began laying down wiring and constructing the radios they needed. Frank stepped up beside him.

"Nate reports that the barricades have been built. We control the block from Sixth to Fifth Avenue, and from West Thirty-Third to West Thirty- Fourth. The Second and Third are clearing out the buildings on the block as we speak." He told him quietly. "We rescued maybe three dozen mortals in that first group, but more are pouring in from the other buildings. They'll ask questions, eventually."

"And we'll tell them the truth." Percy replied. "They don't deserve anything less."

"Yes sir." Frank replied. "Further orders?"

"None for now," he replied, "go get some food, or some rest. We won't strike out until the morning."

"Imperator." Frank bowed his head, and backed out of the room. The elevator dinged open shortly after, before closing again. Percy felt another presence step up beside him, and this one was as familiar to him as Frank's was, but for a different reason.

"I was born here, you know." He said off-hand. Reyna made a non- committal noise beside him. "Not that I remember much of it, of course. I was six when I was sent to Lupa. I can remember my mothers face. The

way her hair smelled. How she used to smile when I did something stupid. How she made cookies when I was upset. But for the life of me, I can't remember her name."

He hadn't talked to Reyna about his life before Lupa. He had told her it wasn't important, because Lupa was the one who raised him into who he was, but he had been lying. It was painful to think about his mother, because what he remembered the most about her was how much he had loved her, and how much she had loved him. He remembered the crushing sadness he felt the weeks after he was left with Lupa. He remembered the years it took to get over her, to learn to fully invest himself in Rome. And despite all of that, he couldn't remember her name. He didn't know if she was still alive, if she had moved on and remarried, or if she was dead. He just didn't know.

"What about the city?" Reyna asked, seemingly reading his mood, his body language. She knew to change the topic. "I heard you tell Frank we would be moving further in tomorrow, but what's the long-term plan?"

"Well, eight-hundred demigods can't retake the city. Not even with the Greeks will we be able to." Percy told her.

"You want to recruit mortals?" Reyna hissed, not wanting to draw attention.

"Follow me." He replied, leading her back to the elevator. They went down a floor, past all the guards, and into an office Percy had decided was to be his. Once they were alone, he nodded. "I do. We—demigods—don't have the manpower to fight this war. With the mortals, we do."

"That's risky, Percy. Sooner, rather than later, they'll outnumber us, if we go through with that." Reyna, quite wisely, pointed out.

"I know." He said softly, sighing. "Trust me, I know. I just can't think of another way to get the manpower we need."

"Hey." Reyna said softly. "It's all right. We'll endure. We always do."

"I know we will. But you know as well as I do that this situation isn't just limited to the legion. The Greeks are entirely different matter. They want somuch to survive this, to endure this, but they're not willing to compromise with me. To work with me." He groaned. "We conquered them once. They don't want a second time, and that's the problem. They still see us—me— as their enemy."

"You're Imperator, Percy." Reyna told him gently. "You've been treating it as a military title, and yourself as a military ruler. That's worked, for the most part, and it might continue to work. I think you know what you have to do, you're just too scared to admit why it frightens you."

"You know it frightens you as well, Rey," he muttered, "I know you as well as you know me."

"I'm not frightened of you, Percy," she replied, holding his hands in her own, "I worried for what this title would do to you. I'm not worried anymore. I know you. You're my boyfriend, my Imperator. But first and foremost, you're Percy Jackson. And you don't back down. You fight when you need to, and politic when you need to. Most importantly, you're notOctavian, and you never will be. It's not in your nature."

"What a way you have with words." He told her with a small smile. "You're right, of course, but that's a problem for another day. For now, let's go deal with the mortals. I'd rather it happened sooner rather than later."

"But we willdeal with it?" Reyna asked, and Percy almost laughed at her need to make sure he would keep his word.

"We will." He assured her.

"Then let's go," she said, rising from her seat, "best not to keep the mortals waiting."

Percy followed her out. Michael and Leila flanked their sides immediately. They took the elevator down to the lobby, where the restaurant was located. It was the only location with space enough to feed all the people

they had rescued. Percy moved forwards, the crowds instinctively parting before him. He was certain that the armour he and his companions wore. But Percy was also helmetless, and that drew almost as many looks as the armour did. He clambered up onto the bar, before turning to the crowd.

"You're all confused, and terrified, and you don't know what to believe." Percy said to them, not rising over a loud-talking voice. "I understand how you feel, and I'm sorry. Things are only going to get more confusing from here.

"My name is Percy Jackson. I was born here, in New York, to Neptune, the Roman God of Earthquakes and Horses, Hurricanes and Storms, and the Lord of the Sea. Some of you may roll your eyes to that, claim that I'm insane. I assure you, I wish I was insane, because that would mean that I haven't spent the last ten years of my life fighting a war that I was forced into because of who my father was. That is not the case." Percy took in a deep breath, and suddenly, all the water rose from the glasses and the bottle the mortals had been drinking from, circling around him. "About six months ago, we fought a war against Terra, the earth itself. We won, but at a great price. My father, and the other gods, vanished from the earth, stolen by Terra. In her final moments, she dispelled a burst of energy that destroyed the Mist, a magical substance that hid and protected you all from monsters. That's where they came from. That's why you've been attacked. But myself, my legion, and my cousins, the children of the Greek gods, are not going to let you be captured, killed, and enslaved by these monsters. We will fight them, we will kill them, and we will rescue you all. I can promise this, at the very least."

The water returned to their sources, and Percy remained where he was standing. There was a moment of silence before someone, an older man, pushed his way to the front of the group, before pointing at Percy.

"You can kill these bastards?" He asked. "You know how to?" "I do." Percy replied.

"Can you teach me how?" The man asked. "Those… things, killed my wife, my daughters, my sister and my nieces. I want them all dead. I was a marine for eight years. I can fight."

Percy kept his face blank, but on the inside, he was beaming. "I'm sure we can come to an arrangement," he said neutrally. It was a start.


AN: Right, so we're in New York now. I deadass looked up a map of NewYork on the off chance that someone from the city called me out on myknowledge of the streets. There is a restaurant in the lobby of the ESB,and there are two observation decks, one on the 86th floor, and one onthe 102nd. The next chapter will pick up a few months later, when a'tunnel' of sorts has been created to Camp Half-Blood, allowing suppliestoflowmoreeasily.Asalways,leaveareview,andletmeknowwhatyouthink.


Chapter 6

Chapter Six


Annabeth had to admit, the Romans were more efficient than she had expected. Percy had told her that he thought he could force a gap to Camp Half-Blood in a month. He did it three weeks. The legion cleared out the city from Sixth Avenue to FDR Drive, Thirtieth Street to Thirty-Fifth Street. The cordon was large enough that the legion was already stretched thin defending it, and Annabeth learned from Jason that the Praetorians were training mortals to join the legion, in order to bolster his forces. She wasn't quite sure how she felt about that. Already, massive amounts of weapons and armour forged by the Hephaestus ad Vulcan kids, lead by Leo, were being escorted to the city, while refugees were escorted out. Clarisse and her cabin did that job, relishing the fights they could indulge in during the almost day long hike. Two outposts had been set up, manned by Greeks, to serve as rest stations.


The Twelfth Legion was a common name in the boroughs of New York now. Those held under the cruel thumb of monster warlords whispered it amongst each other, hoping that they would be freed in the legions next raid. Those rescued by the legion talked of the unity showed amongst the Romans and their Greek cousins. They would've been shocked to know how wrong they were.

"Enough!" Percy thundered. His officers and the Greek demigods became silent. They were seated in a conference room, trying to decide the best way to work together. This way wasn't working, despite the best efforts of Percy, Jason, Annabeth, and Piper. "I have tried to do this calmly. I've let this debate continue on and on and on, but this, this isn't working."

Percy's voice was dangerously low, so much that Reyna struggled to hear him, and she was two seats down. He rose slowly, his knuckles turning

white as he clenched the table.

"This feud has dominated opinions for too long," he said. "traditions are dominating this negotiation. You Greeks want to retain your independence, your culture. That's fair enough, on the latter count, but to be unified against the monsters? There can only be one voice that people look to.

Privately, we can have as many debates as you want, but the Romans, who quite handily outnumber you, look to me. So, if you cannot settle on meas Imperator, I implore you, offer someone else. See how it turns out."

There was silence. Even Clarisse, who Reyna had learned was the most ill- tempered of the Greeks, was silent. Percy continued on, unperturbed.

"The legionary manner of fighting is the best one we have in this situation. You all need to learn to fight in armour, and in formation." Percy declared. "In return, we will begin issuing orders in English, as opposed to Latin."

"Well that's mighty generous of you." Clarisse muttered.

"Furthermore, you don't need to follow our gods. Worship Ares, Zeus, Athena, whoever you want. We will continue to follow our gods." Percy ignored the comment. "They are one and the same, they just have different names. No longer is Minerva justthe goddess of Arts and Crafts. Along with Bellona, and Mars, she is one of our war goddesses. But there needs to be unity. We do not have that right now. I am offeringit."

"What you're offering is a monarchy." Annabeth replied. "Don't try to hide it, because that's exactly what it is. The current Senate in New Rome is loaded with your stooges. You have the loyalty of the legion, and you have the Praetorian Guard. No one can move against you, Percy."

"The Senate is an issue." Percy agreed, much to Reyna's surprise. "In the past, it wasn't, because it suited my needs. It doesn't anymore. It's outdated, and inefficient. It needs to be reformed. But the first issue that needs to be handled is leadership. I nominate myself. Offer an alternative."

Clarisse shot to her feet in a flash. "I nominate myself, then!" She spat.

"So, you're willing to let go of your anger?" Jason asked. "To let go of all bias, the urge to constantly fight? To allow diplomacy to reign over war? To let insults go unheeded?"

Clarisse was defiant for a moment, before she begrudgingly settled back down. It was Thalia, of all people, who spoke next.

"Look, I'm a daughter of Zeus." She said. "My fatal flaw is ambition. I have an inborn desire to lead, to rule. But I'm also realistic. Percy here is our best chance at convincing the mortals to follow us. The man could charm the pants off a marble statue, and then proceed to beat it to dust with his own fists. He's a Roman, yes, but he's a leader, and a fighter. On top of that, he's powerful. Easily the most powerful demigod I've ever met. If Death Breath was here, I'm sure he'd agree with me."

"But where does that leave us?" Katie Gardiner, the Cere—Demeter head counsellor asked. "What happens when all positions of power are given to Romans? Do we become second class citizens? Do the mortals become third class?"

"Of course not." Percy said. "Look, I've already got plans in place. A government, in place, if we can come to an agreement. Offices, titles, jobs. I have it all. I—we—just need to come to a decision. That's all we need."

There was silence. The Greeks requested a recess, which was allowed. They all hustled over to the next room. Dakota opened his mouth to speak, but Percy rose a hand, cutting him off. Instead, he rolled his head back onto the headrest of his chair, screwing his eyes shut. After a moment, he leaned forward, eyes open.


"What if they decline?" Dakota asked. Percy stared at him for a moment. "Expand on that." He requested.

"If they say no to the deal. That leaves us with two distinct camps. The legion will, of course, back you, but that leaves the Greeks as potential enemies. If they won't work with us…" The son of Bacchus drifted off, leaving the rest to interpret what he meant. Reyna watched Percy closely.

"Then we let them be." He said. "We don't need any more enemies. We have enough as it is. Nathan, what was the most recent estimate for monsters in the city?"

"At least nineteen thousand." The Praetor reported. "Though because we don't know how quick they reform, that number could be lower or higher a few thousand."

"Assuming it takes a week?" Percy pressed. Nathan paused, mouthing the math to himself.

"Probably twenty-two thousand." "Assume a month."

"Fifteen thousand." Nate didn't hesitate this time.

"So, there's a crucial three-week period in there, from a week to a month, when we can strike the hardest." Percy stated. He opened his mouth to continue, but the door opened, and the Greeks filed back in. Instead, he closed his mouth, his face set in a neutral expression.

"We've reached a decision." Annabeth stated. There was a tense moment of silence, and then— "We've decided to accept your terms. We'll unite under your rule, Imperator."

Percy rose without flourish. "Thank you. Let's get started right away." "Imperator?" Dakota asked.

"I need officials to help me rule this fledgling nation we're going to form. It starts with New York." Percy announced, catching everyone of them by

surprise. "Annabeth Chase. You're renowned as one of the best tacticians the Greeks have. As a result, I'm granting you the title of Lady Strategist. You will be tasked with assisting myself and the Proconsuls with planning any major campaigns."

"Proconsul?" Jason asked. Percy grinned.

"Which leads me to my next set of promotions." He said. "I want somedemocracy in my territories. Senators, and consuls, will be elected by the people. I will have two Proconsuls, and a Censor, whom I appoint. Hazel Levesque will be my Senior Proconsul. Vanessa Hale, who is currently absent, will be the Junior Proconsul. Reyna will be the Censor."

"Shocking" Someone muttered. Percy didn't know who, but he didn't care either. He saw the look of confusion of Jason's face.

"To command my armies, I'm appointing Jason Grace as Lord Militant, second only to myself." Percy stated, and Jason's eyes widened comically. "Piper McLean will hold the title of Imperial Envoy. When we inevitably encounter those surviving humans who have banded together, she will negotiate with them. As with any nation, information is key. To that end, I am creating two separate organizations. The Speculatores, who will report to Nico di Angelo, will serve as spies, in both foreign and domestic situations. Exploratores, military intelligence units, will be led by the Stoll brothers."

That took more people by surprise. The two Stoll's looked to Percy.

"You'd be surprised how much stealing is involved in intelligence gathering. From what I understand, you two are the best at it." He said with a shrug. "Michelle Moore, current Augur of the Legion, will ascend to the post of PontifexMaximus. The title of Oracle will remain with Rachel Dare. Leo will become the Imperial Engineer. You are tasked with continuing the material production for both the military and the civilian populace. Malcolm Pace will become Chief Scientist of Research and Development, and the two will cooperate on many matters. That leaves my legates."

"Dakota, Nathan. When we have the manpower, you two will take command of your own legions. Thalia will command one as well." Percy continued on. "Clarisse, I have a rather… unique offer for you. You of all Greeks are similar to the ancient Spartans. I'd like to offer you the opportunity to rebuild that calibre of warriors. Take any Greeks you think meet your standards, and create an elite unit to fight as a phalanx. You'll be separate from the military, and instead will serve as the bodyguards for the Censor, and Proconsuls."

"Not that I'm against all of this." Jason pointed out. "But why do we need so many officials?"

"Oh, did I forget to mention?" Percy asked with a smirk. "We're going to form a new Rome. A new Olympus, even."


Chapter7Chapter Seven March23rd,2011

Already, there was a change in the legion. Jason could see it well enough. A thousand mortals had been rescued in the months since the legion arrived in New York, and of those, three hundred tried for the legion. Of those several hundred, three dozen of them made it into the legion after a brief introduction. The rest of them were being drilled, along with the Greeks.

The thirty-six mortals were all veterans, while the ones in training were simply civilians who wanted to fight back. Jason didn't blame them. They had lost so much.

It was a good start, it really was. While the mortals felt a little uncomfortable, being older than many of their comrades, some by a decade at least, they got along well enough with the Evocati, who were closer in age with them. Jason had taken a much more active role in the legion as Lord Militant. He began working first with the Praetors, relearning their mannerisms, their likes and dislikes. Once he had established a rapport with them, he moved onto the centurions. Some were the same as he remembered, some were different. Regardless, he repeated his technique.

"Lord Militant, sir!" One of the mortal recruits called out. Jason stopped pacing along the ramparts to turn to the man. "Do you know when we'll be moving out?"

He smiled. It was a frequent question from the mortals. They wanted to act, to fight. He gave them the same response every time.

"You'll know when you know, probatio."

He moved on, leaving the ramparts to re-enter the Empire State Building, which had been reclassified as the Praetorium. He took the elevator up to the Eighty-Sixth Floor, where the command centre had been established.

Annabeth was already present, as was Percy. The two were deep in discussion, going over maps, logistics, anything to help them. He picked up the tail-end of the conversation.

"… if we focus on Manhattan, we'll be right in between the two most populated boroughs." Percy was stating. "It'll be easier to draw recruits from that lot than the lesser populated ones."

"Aside from Staten Island, all the boroughs have population above a million, Percy." Annabeth replied. "Manpower isn't an issue. Logistics is. We should take Manhattan, then focus on protecting and expanding the corridor to Camp Half-Blood."

Percy was silent for a moment. "You're right. But before we're able to do that, we need manpower. So, taking Manhattan isthe first step."

"Of that, we agree, Imperator." Annabeth said with a grin.

"Percy, Annabeth." Jason greeted. The two looked up from their maps, nodding in return. "The reconquest?"

"Mhm." Annabeth muttered. "Percy thinks we should retake Manhattan and then the Bronx. Brooklyn would be better, since it's on Long Island."

"She's right, Perce." Jason told his cousin. "It also gives us a fall-back point if monsters from the west threaten to overwhelm us."

"There's that too!" Annabeth exclaimed smugly. Percy just nodded.

"Someone get me Tribune Greene." He ordered. A radio was handed to him. Leila's voice crackled over the radio.

"Imperator?" She sounded tired. Jason couldn't blame her. She was tasked with training the new troops in Camp Half-Blood. Around two hundred Greeks, and another hundred mortals. It had to be tough work.

"What's the situation?" Percy asked. There was a moment of static.

"Full, or just on the recruits?" She asked.

"Recruits. Hazel can tell me about the rest." He assured her.

"The Greeks are almost ready to deploy. The mortals… well, they need some more time." She stated. "They're not adapting to the rigours of warfare like the others had, but they've got enough spirit in them to stick it out. What're things like on your end?"

"Calm, mostly. The monsters have realized that they can't take on the Legion while it's fortified. The Celestial Bronze and Imperial Gold barricades do wonders as well." Jason reported for Percy. "The men are itching to fight, but only the mortals are voicing it."

"Don't worry, Leila." Percy said. "I'm heading to New Rome tomorrow. I just need to tie up some loose ends here."

"You're coming to camp?" Leila's voice picked up. "With Frank and Michael?"

"They'll take over training." Percy said. "You'll get a few days of rest, I promise."

"Oh, thank Mars." Leila sighed in relief. "Thank you, sir."

"It's not a problem, keep up the good work, soldier. Percy out." He handed the radio back to the aide in charge of it. Younger demigods were stationed in the command centre. Old enough to do the work that was required, but still too young to fight.

"I'm taking the next batch of potentials back with me when I leave." Percy informed him and Annabeth. "We'll try to get the Greeks to you in about three days. We'll need to mix cohorts. I want Greeks, Romans, and mortals working together. Try to get an even spread."

"Of course." Jason said. "What about raids?"

"Until Travis or Connor returns, I want to hold off." Percy informed him, rubbing his temple. "They'll give us a clearer image."

"Understood." Jason replied. "Anything you need me to do?"

"What you're doing now is enough, Jase." Percy said. "You too, Annabeth. I'm going to go crash now. Have someone wake me up in an hour."

Jason saluted, fist-to-heart, watching the Imperator leave. One of the Praetorians made to set his watch. Frank put a burly hand on it. "Two hours."

"But, sir!" The Praetorian tried to protest.

"Two hours, Publius. Not a moment sooner." Frank repeated. The Praetorian, Publius, acceded.

It was an interesting development. Several of the Praetorians, those who had survived the brutal march from San Francisco to New York, began adopting Latin names, in the manner of their forefathers. It was spreading to legion as well. It had started among the demigods, but the mortals were quick to join the bandwagon. Most of them carried Latin names now.

"He's tired." Annabeth stated from beside him. "I don't think he sleeps more than two hours each night, and he works himself to the ground. I'm fairly certain Reyna called him back."

"That wouldn't surprise me." Jason replied. "She's the only one who can make him do anything."

"It wasn't Reyna." Frank suddenly stated. The duo turned to him. "Hazel found something. We're not quite sure exactly whatshe found, because she refuses to tell us unless it's in person. It's got Percy extra stressed."

Chapter 8

Chapter Eight

Percy's convoy arrived without fanfare. He marched right to the Senate house, where Hazel was waiting for him, along with Reyna and Vanessa. The daughter of Venus was a good counter to Hazel. Where the daughter of Pluto was cautious, careful in her planning, methodical to the point of iciness, the daughter of Venus was more emotional, manipulative, and verygood at her job. Reyna, as always, excelled at her duties.

Her brow furrowed as she took in Percy, but she didn't say anything, something he was grateful for. Hazel gave him a small curtsey, while Vanessa, like Reyna, simply bowed her head.

"What did you find?" He asked immediately. Hazel's smile tightened.

"I was in Bunker Nine with Leo, when I felt an extensive tunnel system. It was hidden behind a thick brick wall that had to be torn down." Hazel explained. "It criss-crosses the camp, and leads into at least ten other bunkers. I'm thinking one for each god, minus Juno."

"Have we explored these tunnels? Mapped them?" Frank asked instantly. He took his duty of protecting Percy very seriously, and Percy knew that he wouldn't allow him to enter if it wasn't secured beforehand.

"Done and done." Reyna stated. "Leo and his siblings have already inventoried everything. The most impressive part of it was Bunker Three. Neptune's bunker."

Percy felt his curiosity peak instantly. Reyna smirked at him, and he knew that she had told him that on purpose, to try and draw some scene of excitement from him. Two could play that game.

"That's not important." He replied flippantly. "Tell me what we recovered." Hazel blinked, but nodded, holding up a clipboard.

"About twenty tonnes—that's two 'N's—of Celestial Bronze." She declared. "All of it in ingot form. A banner from the legion, dated to the Civil War. It's in your domus, until you decide what to do with it. One hundred and sixteen sets of Imperial Gold Armour, also dated to the war, with an equal number of gladii. It seems we lost a major battle here. There's approximately eight tonnes—again, two 'N's—of Imperial Gold ingots. The Vulcan campers are already using the materials to produce more weapons and armour."

"Anything else?" He pressed.

"Nothing of note. Schematics, battle plans, old books. The last thing of note is in Bunker Three." Hazel told him.

"Very well." He sighed dramatically. "Let's go see this bunker."

Percy and Frank, along with two more Praetorians, followed Reyna and Hazel into Bunker Nine. That led to a big hole in the wall towards the back. Which led to immaculately carved tunnels lined with large stone-bricks.

After fifteen minutes, they approached a doorway, made of Celestial Bronze, which had a large trident carved into it.

Reyna pushed the door open, and led Percy in. His heart almost stopped. They were in a large natural cave. The ground slowly sloped downwards, towards a pool. It led to the ocean. He could feel it. But that wasn't what drew his attention. Laid down in a drydock carved into the cave was the remains of an Ironclad. What drew Percy's attention was the material it was made of. It had several plates of Celestial Bronze still bolted into place, and two large gun batteries, one at fore and one at aft.

"Okay." Percy drawled. "This might be somewhatinteresting. What do we know?"

"Well, the plans for it were still in here. Leo's in his cabin right now, going over them, modifying to get with the times, the whole Leo experience." Hazel explained. "But we're going to build it. We figured you would want to know beforehand."

"Neptune's Beard!" Percy exclaimed. "Of course, I want to know about this! Send Leo to me as soon as possible. We have a lot to talk about."

Reyna grabbed his arm.

"Percy, I know that this is probably in your top five fantasies, but please, remember that you're the Imperator. You can't run off to sea and become a pirate." She told him sternly.

"Not that it isn't a good idea." A new voice interjected. The Praetorians whirled around, almost running Nico di Angelo through. He melted into the shadows, reappearing next to Hazel. "Good reaction time."

He nodded and Reyna, before shaking Percy's hand. "I heard you gave me a title?"

"A job, more accurately." Percy corrected. "How does being the Chief of Intelligence sound?"

"Just intelligence?" Nico asked with a quirked lip.

"Maybe a few sanctioned assassinations and coups." Percy shrugged. "I haven't decided yet."

"Because I'm the Son of Pluto?" Nico pressed.

"Well, yeah." Percy replied. "But mostly because from what I've heard, you're very good at being sneaky. That's always a plus in my books."

"So, I'm a spy?"

"Sure, let's go with that." Percy told him. "We can discuss it more in the following weeks. Considering I can feel Reyna's eyes boring into the back of my head, I'm going to assume she has something she wants to discuss with me. Ladies, gentlemen, I'll be in my house with the Censor. Frank, have you written my eulogy yet?"

The burly son of Mars shrugged. "It just says 'He was a right royal prick.'"

"Good enough." He declared, holding his arm out for Reyna. "Shall we?"

"Damn right we shall," she growled at him, tugging him along, through the maze of tunnels, out of Bunker Nine, and towards his home. Once the door had been slammed shut behind them, she spun on him, a finger extended right into his face.

"When was the last time you slept more than two hours?" She demanded. "When did I arrive in New York?" He asked, and Reyna let out a deep sigh.

"You can't do this to yourself Percy." She told him. "You need to sleep. Even I'm getting at least five hours."

Percy opened his mouth to speak, but Reyna covered it with her hand. "Nope. No excuses." She told him firmly. "C'mon, you need to sleep, idiot."

"Yeah, but I get nightmares when I sleep alone, Rey." Percy told her, pouting heavily. She scoffed at him.

"Percy, we've been dating for almost two years now. You don't need to put on the seal face." She said. "Get into bed. I'll be there soon, you moron."

"This is an abusive relationship, you know." Percy muttered, collapsing into his bed. Reyna laughed out in the hallway, before the front door opened. It was shut a minute later, and shortly after that, Percy felt her body nestle next to him.

He wrapped his arm around her waist, and pulled her close to him. It had been so long since he had last held her. It felt good to do so again. The steady rhythm of her breathing lulled him into a deep sleep, his first in months.


AN: More bunkers! I always found it weird how the campers didn't lookformorebunkersaftertheyfoundBunkerNine,sousingHazel,whohasa

knack for finding tunnels, to find the rest of them made sense to me. Inthe First Demigod Civil War, there was a battle in the woods of CampHalf-Bloodthatlastedforthreedays,andwaswhatledtothetwocampsbeing separated. It makes sense that the Greeks would have kept somespoils of war. It also helps explain why the Romans have some CelestialBronzeaswell.Asalways,leaveareview.


Chapter 9

Chapter Nine

Frank learned on the march east that life was not a fairy tale. The Praetorians, the one group in New Rome that had been considered almost immortal, had been massacred trying to protect their Imperator. Thirty- eight remained. All of them followed Percy, except for ten, who remained to train the new recruits. That was not the case when he was in camp. For the most part, they alltrained those who wanted to learn to fight.

Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. More people were rescued, and somehow, demigods were turning up in those groups.

Roman, Greek, it didn't matter to them. Every demigod was a gift. By the time (American) Independence Day rolled around, there was almost fifteen hundred in the legion. Frank wasn't sure how he felt about the increase in mortals yet. They were determined, and they were angry, but they weren't like he was. They didn't have the same drive that demigods did. To them, this apocalypse was the end of the world. For Frank and the others, it was just another Tuesday.

Percy was… changing, for the lack of a better word. Less and less did he see his friend, the one who had taken the chubby, anxious probatio into his cohort, who had taught him how to lead, and how to fight. Now, he saw the man who watched stoically as twelve senators were hung, after they had plotted to kill him. The man who found a mortal almost bisected by a monster, and leaned down by his side, before snapping his neck. He saw Perseus, the Imperator. The man who would lead them to victory.

"Jupiter's balls! You call that a stab!" Michael Kahale bellowed at a recruit. "The only thing you're going to do with that is tickle a monster! Ram it in, twist it out. Maximum damage, minimum effort. Do it again!"

And the mortal did. He attacked the dummy again, and again, and again. Frank sighed. There was only so much that could be taught. The rest had to be learned in the field.

"Praefect Zhang!" A son of Vulcan called out. Frank turned.

"The Imperator wishes to see you in the cove, sir." The teen told him. Frank nodded mutely, before trudging down the path towards Bunker Three.

They had finally found the entrance to it. Well, the one that wasn'tunder water. He took the winding stairs down to the cave, where Leo and his team of smiths had been working on the Ironclad for Percy. It was much more impressive than the gutted frame that had been there originally.

Percy and Leo had taken one look at the old ship and decided it wasn't good enough. The drydock had been expanded almost another fifty yards, burrowed deep into the rock, and widened another twelve on each side. Then, the work had begun. Using the original plans, modified by both Percy and Leo, the frame had been drawn out longer, and rounded out, resembling a submarine more than an Ironclad. That was the plan, he later learned from Hazel. Percy didn't want an Ironclad. He wanted a stealth vessel, one that could sneak out of camp, land troops along the city, and take on refugees, before returning to camp. It was ingenious, really, and a prime example of Percy's foresight.

It would be another three weeks before the submarine, which was still unnamed, could be launched. But Percy spent all of his time down in the bunker. The way he had explained it, the proximity to the ocean prevented him from going crazy.

Frank found him huddled over a desk with Reyna, Clarisse, and Thalia. The two Greeks were fully armoured, while Percy and Reyna wore the standard robes of their office, with Percy wearing a purple toga, while Reyna wore a pure white toga, with no adornments on it. Percy looked up at Frank's arrival, and nodded at him. Nearby, a radio was crackling, and Frank had the suspicion that Jason and Annabeth were on the other side of it.

"Frank, we're discussing potentially expanding the Green Zone." Percy informed him.

Ah, that made sense. The Green Zone was the area inside the barricades erected by the legion that were considered safe from any raids. In order to

expand the Green Zone, an intense operation would be required, and the more land that Percy wanted secured, the longer it would take to plan and execute.

"Are you participating?" Frank asked. Percy shook his head, but it was the radio who responded.

"No, he isn't." Jason's voice came over, confirming Frank's suspicions. "I'll oversee the operation. We're just deciding what should be included into the Green Zone. Percy wanted your opinion."

Frank looked over the map. Red lines indicated areas that were unsafe, green indicated safe, and yellow meant potentially safe. One specific area drew his attention.

"Madison Square Garden." He said confidently. The others looked at him. "It's a large arena, which means that properly managed, it can support a decent group of people. It's also got thick walls, which makes it easily defendable. I think it's the best bet we have right now."

"That also puts us within, what? Three blocks of the Midtown Precinct." Annabeth added. "That'd be another useful building to hold."

"Which additionally gets us closer to the Lincoln Tunnel." Jason informed them, "That's a damn good position to hold."

"So, move to add Madison Square Garden to the Green Zone." Percy stated. "We're in agreement. We'll get this next batch of tiro'strained and sent to you, Jason. That should give you three full cohorts of five hundred men each. Sound good?"

"Yeah, perfect. I'm also working with Nathan to get the next group of recruits to you as well. Only one hundred, this time, but they're willing and able." Jason replied. "We'll send some legionaries with them to fill the officer ranks of the new centuries."

"Understood. Good luck, Jason." Reyna told him.

"And to you all as well." The line cut out shortly after.

"Thank you all for your input." Percy said. "Clarisse, you may return to your duties, as may you Thalia. Frank, stay a moment, would you?"

The two Greeks saluted, fist-to-heart, and left, leaving Frank with Reyna and Percy.

"That was good spotting on your part, Frank." Percy told him. "I didn't even consider moving west. I've just been thinking of the east."

"What he means to say, Frank," Reyna interceded, "is that he's considering transferring you back to legion. It's not a demotion, keep in mind. Michael already does most of your duties, and we need every competent officer we can get."

Frank nodded mutely, not sure how to respond. Percy sighed.

"Frank, trust me, it's not a demotion." He repeated. "I need good officers, and more importantly, I need them to be demigods. You're a fighter, Frank, a son of Mars. You need to fight as much as I do, and since I can't always be fighting, I want you to do it on my behalf."

"What do you mean?" Frank asked, frowning in confusion.

"We'll raise more legions, eventually." Percy stated. "But the Twelfth will always be thelegion. They need a legate. I'm appointing you to that role."

"But Jason—" Frank began.

"Is Lord Militant." Percy cut him off. "He looks at the bigger picture. The legions, not the legion. So while you may report to him, on occasion, you command the Twelfth the way you see fit. Clear?"

"Clear, sir." Frank responded with an additional salute.

"Good. You'll return to New York with the recruits." Reyna took over, handing him a scroll, sealed with an eagle clasping a trident, Percy's

personal seal. "Give that to Jason. It'll explain everything."

"So he's not commanding the operation?" Frank asked with another frown.

"No, he's overseeing it, as he said he would." Reyna countered smoothly. "He'll operate from the Praetorium. You'll command on the ground."

"Sounds like fun, doesn't it?" Percy asked with a grin. Frank couldn't help but agree.


AN:LegateZhang!IwantedFranktoreturntoaroleinthelegion,soherehe is, commander of the Twelfth. If it doesn't make sense to you, Jason istheequivalenttolike,afive-starGeneral.Frankismorelikeacolonel,butwith the authority of a Major-General. He commands from the front, butwhen the legion is at full strength, he'll control five thousand men. Forthe submarine, I took inspiration from Amphibious Assault Submarines, aconcept from WWII that never came around to fruition, but is entirelysomething that Leo would be able to design, with the help of the Athenacabin,ofcourse.Asalways,leavea review.


Chapter 10

Chapter Ten

Frank's transfer back to the legion had surprised Annabeth. She had assumed that Percy would want to keep him close, one of the veteran Praetorians. It wasn't until the Green Zone campaign that she understood why he had been transferred back. Like Jason, she had remained in the Praetorium, overseeing the operation from a strategic standpoint, not a tactical one. Frank, on the other hand, from his position on the ground, had been able to make minute shifts and changes in the marching order and the plans that had led to a quicker, more efficient mission.

She supposed it made sense. Frank was a son of Mars, and the one big thing she had learned about the Roman god of war was that he wasn't into needless violence like Ares was. Frank embodied those best traits, having no issue crushing his enemies under his boots, but also valuing life, freedom, and happiness. She had asked him about it when he returned, and he had given her a soft smile.

"Before we went to Alaska, my father came to issue the quest." Frank told her. "And I remember asking him about what it meant to be Mars Ultor, the Avenger. What it meant to be a god of war, and death, and destruction. Do you know what he told me?"

She had shaken her head, eager to hear the word of a Roman deity.

"He said, 'I'm the god of Rome, child. I am the god of military might usedforarighteouscause.Iprotectthelegions.Iamhappytocrushmyenemiesunderfoot, but I don't fight without reason. I don't want war without end.'" Frank had quoted. "It's a prime example of Mars, rather than Ares.

Discipline, and a respect for life. That is Mars at his finest."

Annabeth had taken the words in, and pondered them deeply. When planning the reconstruction of Olympus after the Second Titan War, she had talked with each of the gods, learning what they wanted to be represented. Ares had, almost exclusively, wanted images of death, and

battle, violence and war. Annabeth hadn't implemented any of his ideas. But Mars? Mars sounded like a god worthy of Athena.

The Praetorium was buzzing with more activity than usual. Annabeth held in a smile at the excitement in the air. For the first time in almost four months, Percy would be back in New York, bringing two more cohorts of reinforcements with him. The legion was officially at half strength, with five cohorts of five hundred legionaries each. Sprinkled throughout the cohorts were Roman officers, Greek demigods, and mortals. From the reports she had read, it was working. While there were some altercations between the groups, they were shut down hard and fast. Some violently.

One of the emerging problems were mortals who had decided to side with the monsters, which led to the legions Imperial Gold weapons being ineffective against those specific assaults. Percy's solution was a harsh one. Swords now had an edge of steel, allowing them to cut down the dissident mortals as easily as monsters. Mixed with the magically infused Imperial Gold, well, the steel was even more effective than it normally would have been. It worked, however, and the raids were becoming less and less frequent as time went on.

Jason burst through the door, aides cluttering on either side of him. One was reading out reports, others waiting patiently for their turn. He caught her eyes, a pleading look sent to invoke pity. She stifled a laugh at the thought, instead turning to one of her own aides, a daughter of Hermes.

"What was Legate Zhang's message from earlier?" She asked. The girl rifled though a stack of papers, before pulling one out.

"Vanguards from the Praetorian Guard have arrived, Lady Strategist," She reported, "Tribune Greene is part of the group. She wishes to see you at your earliest convenience."

"How long ago was this?" Annabeth demanded. "Twenty minutes ago, ma'am." Her aide responded.

Annabeth cursed under her breath. "Tell her I'm in my office."

Technically, she outranked Tribune Greene—Leila—but when it came to the Imperator's safety, they had a law called the breve de praesidium, the Writ of Protection, which gave them authority over anybody and everybody. Leila was there as a courtesy, but keeping her waiting, even for twenty minutes, would be considered suspect at best. At worst, it could lead to an inquiry. Percy had only had sole command of the demigods for five months, but already six demigods, both Greek and Roman, had been quietly removed by the Praetorians and Nico's Speculatores. No one knew where they were taken. No one wanted to know, either.

Speaking of the Son of Hades, Annabeth was impressed with the way he had stepped up. He had spent the early part of the year negotiating with the spirits in the Underworld, ensuring that the cycle continued. Somehow, he had succeeded, and Annabeth had yet to see someone she had killed before coming back to haunt her, which was a good sign, in her opinion.

The door to her office opened and shut, Leila sliding in, before leaning against the wall. As usual, she wore the armour of the Praetorians, but Annabeth noticed an addition to it. Previously, the chest-plates, while sculpted, were blank. Now, however, there was a large eagle, designed with sharp, rigid lines, clutching a trident, with lightning bolts emerging from behind it's wings, going down to the waist at a steep angle. It was, quite simply, incredibly intimidating. Even Annabeth could admit that.

"The Imperator has granted the surviving Praetorians the right to bear the Imperial Standard on their armour." Leila informed her, clearly figuring out what Annabeth was thinking. "We're the only ones to be allowed to bear this sign on our armour."

"It's certainly something." Annabeth conceded. "I apologise for the wait. I wasn't aware you had arrived. None of my aides deemed it important enough to inform me."

Leila arched an eyebrow at her.

"It'll be rectified as soon as we're done here." Annabeth assured her.

"Good. We're done, then." Leila declared. "Everything's already in place. Frank made sure of that. Go rectify that mistake."

Annabeth opened her mouth, and then closed it. In this situation, it was better to listen to the Praetorian Tribune than to argue against her


AN: If you want a better image of the eagle I described, google 'palatineaquila'itshouldbethefirstimagethere.It'sadamnnicesymboltobeonarmour.Anyway,Percy'sperspectivewillbeinthenextchapter.


Chapter 11

Chapter Eleven

New York had changed immensely in the months that Percy had been gone. Under Jason, Frank, and Annabeth's guidance, the territory owned by the legion had expanded from the Hudson Yards to FDR Drive, cutting off southern Manhattan from the northern portion of the island. Percy could use that to his advantage.

The Empire State Building, long since designated as the Praetorium, served as the command centre of the city. Children of Trivia, who had been given leave to study the wards around the building, bustled around him, trying to track down the various sources of power they had discovered. Children of Vulcan, long having since designated themselves as the engineers of the legion, marked walls with chalk, ran wires and cables through holes, or were in the process of creating aforementioned holes.

He strode past them all, nodding in return to several greetings, before entering the elevator, which had been held open for him. Leila was waiting inside, fully armoured, helmet on. Once the door was closed, she began to update him on the status of the city.

"The refugee camp in Madison Square Garden has been expanded. Our engineers cleared out more rows in the stands." She told him, a hint of amusement in her voice. "It's beginning to look like a terraced garden, only with tents. There have been some complaints about space, but not enough to concern us."

"Have them addressed regardless." Percy ordered. "Explain to them the necessity of the space, and if they continue to argue, have them kicked out."

"That's a bit extreme." Leila commented.

"These are extreme times." He replied with a shrug. "If these people aren't grateful enough that we're keeping them safe, they can do it on their


The elevator door dinged open, and he marched out, greeted by a chaotic command centre. Messengers ran back and forth, while children of Athena, Mars, and Bellona looked over maps and charts. In the middle of it all were Jason and Annabeth, both of whom were deep in discussion. Percy didn't know who was the first to snap to attention, nor the first to call out 'Ave Imperator!' but the reaction was instant. Conversations stopped instantly, and to a man, spines stiffened out.

"At ease." Percy told them all. "Keep up your work, ladies and gentlemen. It's much too important to be stopped for me."

He tipped his head towards Jason's office, the two getting his message. Once they were in the relative quiet of the study, he dropped the persona, reverting to simply being Percy, the tired leader of a small city-state.

"What's new?" He sighed out, crumpling backwards into his chair. If he looked as tired as he felt, Jason must've felt as worse, if not more, than Percy did.

"Four Cohorts at full strength now." Jason informed him. "As always, demigods are holding officer positions, though like we discussed, Greeks now hold senior positions as well as Romans. We're working with our centuries now, however, and utilizing our cohorts on the smaller unit scale, rather than deploying them all in one location. Frank's coined the term 'demi-cohort.' Not quite a full cohort, but not a single century either. It's been superbly effective."

"The Stoll's have given us an accurate report for downtown Manhattan." Annabeth continued for Jason. "If we can secure the Brooklyn Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge, then we can stop the monsters from fleeing, and getting reinforcements."

"What about the Manhattan Bridge?" Percy asked with a frown. It wasn't in Annabeth's nature to forget a detail like that.

"It doesn't exist anymore. It seems that an I.E.D made by some disgruntled slave or the other took it out." Annabeth replied. "Though how an I.E.D does that…"

"Wasn't an I.E.D." Nico's voice suddenly cut in. No one reacted. It had become semi-frequent for The Ghost King to arrive mid-conversation. "Two of my agents destroyed it in preparation for the upcoming campaign."

"We decided two days ago on that campaign." Jason noted. "The bridge was destroyed a week ago."

Nico shrugged. "All intelligence and troop build up led me to believe Downtown was next. I acted on it."

"And what if we had wanted to use Manhattan Bridge?" Annabeth pressed. Another shrug.

"Like I said. Intelligence and troop build-up. Nothing indicated the bridge." Nico's response was cool and measured, giving Percy another reason to admire the Son of Pluto—er, Hades.

"That's fair enough." Percy said, ending that part of the conversation. "Let's talk about taking these bridges. I have an idea for that portion."

"Does it involve your newest toy?" Leila asked with a sly grin. Jason and Annabeth frowned. Percy forgot that they hadn't been informed of his submarine. Or the discovery of the other bunkers. He needed to rectify that.

"When I returned to Camp Half-Blood four months ago, it was because Hazel and Leo had discovered tunnels leading to eleven other bunkers spread all throughout the camp." Percy said, and both demigod's eyes widened comically. "In Bunker Three, Neptune's bunker, we found the shell of an Ironclad. Working together, Leo and I used the frame to instead build a submarine. Specifically, and Amphibious Assault Submarine."

"Those are only theoretical." Annabeth stated. Percy grinned.

"Weretheoretical." He told her. "I assure you, it is entirely practical now. I have one."

"So, what, pick up troops from Manhattan, and covertly ship them to landing zones?" Annabeth guessed. Percy smiled at her.

"That's right." He told her with a nod. "The sub can carry fifty, not including the crew, so I'm thinking four runs, two to each disembarkment zone. A century can hold the bridges with ease. Especially skilled ones."

"Second Cohort." Jason said immediately. "They've seen heavier combat that usual lately, but they've been in defensive positions the entire time. Two centuries from the Second are our best bet."

"Organize it." Percy said. "What are the estimates for civilians Downtown?"

"Around ninety thousand." Annabeth said. "From what we understand, whichever monster commands the hordes down here is clever. It doesn't allow needless slaughter. Mortals are kept in certain zones, and are mostly left alone when they're in those zones. Outside of them, however, it's open season. It keeps them fairly isolated, but also docile."

"Tell me the estimates for this campaign." Percy asked. He noticed the flicker of a glance between Jason and Annabeth. He made sure to remember it.

"Right now, we're estimating at least forty days for the operation." Jason said. "Clarisse and her Spartans, along with the Fourth, will hold the northern front. The First through the Third will conduct the cleansing operations. Lower Manhattan has been divided into three sectors. Central, West, and East. Anything east of Park Avenue will be secured by the Second Cohort. All land west of Ninth Avenue will be taken by the Third.

The area in between will be tackled by the first. That's where the heaviest concentrations of monsters are located."

"Casualty estimates are relatively low. In the entirety of the forty days, we only expect for maybe one hundred to be killed. Twice that in wounded,

but no one should be injured beyond healing." Annabeth read off. "Furthermore, we expect the recruitment yields from taking Lower Manhattan to bring us to the point where we'll have a full legion's worth of troops."

Percy was silent, his hands clasped tightly with each other. The risk was moderate, and the reward was decent. Having control of the entirety of Lower Manhattan would also give him a tremendous point to retake the rest of the city. He could train the rest of the recruits in any of the many parks in the area. It was worth the risk.

"All right." He finally said. "Tomorrow, we'll have a meeting with the senior officers of the legion. We'll get their input as well before we truly commit to any assault. However, I still want preparations to be conducted. If they think the plan is good, I want it launched sooner than later."

Jason nodded at him, while Annabeth merely hummed in acknowledgement. He dismissed the duo, allowing them to return to their duties. Nico sat still in the corner, while Leila leaned against the wall.

Neither said anything, but both had something on the tip of their tongues. He could tell.

"Nico?" He prompted.

"I don't like the reports of an organized horde." The Son of Hades told him. "With your permission, I'd like to eliminate whoever it is at the head of the snake."

"Granted, on the condition that I'm informed of the target beforehand." Percy agreed at once. He trusted Nico to do his job. The Son of Hades nodded in thanks, before melting into the shadows. "Leila?"

"You plan to fight." It wasn't a question.

"I do. Why do you think I brought the entirety of the Guard with me?" He challenged.

"Thirty-eight guardsmen are frankly to few, and we both know it. You haveto bring them everywhere, because Reyna won't allow you not to." Leila dismissed. "This is for the legion."

"Good spotting." He praised. "It's true, many of the recruits, mortal or otherwise, have only seen me on the bureaucratic ends of things. They've seen the politician, not the general. It's time they saw me in entirety."

"So, it's to secure support?" Leila asked.

"You know it is. Don't insult either of our intelligences by implying otherwise."

"I just wanted to confirm, Percy." Leila replied, face unreadable. "You know I'll back you either way."

"But you'll always challenge me first, Leila." Percy reminded her. "More so than Michael, that's why I keep you around. I can always trust you to remind me to do the right thing, even if I don't listen to you."

His old comrade was silent. Lately, Percy had begun having the Guard eschew their armour, and mingle with the people, learning about his subjects beyond them just being potential threats. Since the identities of all Praetorians was secret, they were able to move around New Rome and Camp Half-Blood without incident, no one being any the wiser as to who they were. Yes, they needed to be able to fight, but not all threats were physical. Having them understand the people was the first step in understanding politics. By the time he was finished, the Praetorian Guard would be masters of not only war, but peace.


AN:Abitofalongerchapter,butit'sgoingtobemygoaltowritearound1500 words each chapter, only because I've realised how much I'mcheating you guys out by writing less. As always, leave a review, and letmeknow what youthink.



Chapter Twelve

Never once in his life had Percy expected to command a quarter of a full legion. Bringing the legion to almost a thousand soldiers had been the high point of his life, before the Mist was burned away. Now here he was, thirteen hundred men under his command, preparing to take back part of the city he was born in. His eighteenth birthday was in two days, and by the time it rolled around, he would be in the beginning phases of a reclamation campaign. He would celebrate it later, when he had the time, the ability, and the will to do so.

Around him, soldiers prepared for war. Swords were sharpened, armour and shields were repaired, and prayers were sent to any god out there. Messengers ran back and forth, delivering orders and inquiries to the officers of the legion. Percy was impressed with the efficiency being displayed. Jason and Annabeth had outdone themselves. From his position on the back of Blackjack, his Pegasus, he could see Frank, Dakota, and Nathan holding court with the centurions of the legion, discussing the upcoming campaign.

Flanking his sides, also mounted on Pegasi, were Michael and Leila. The son of Venus had replaced his gladius for a spatha, a cavalry sword, but had also had a glaive made for him. It was in no way standard gear, and Percy had been hesitant to let him use it. Then he fought him while he was wielding it.

Percy had trained under Lupa, and the wolf-goddess had made sure that Percy was capable of fighting any opponent, even those using firearms. Glaives, while rare, weren't an unfamiliar weapon to him. Michael had shown him quite efficiently why he should be able to carry one. Percy's back still ached when he shifted a certain way. The bonus to the glaive was

that it made a very powerful lance, capable of shearing monsters in half on impact.

Leila, on the other hand, only used a spatha, and a parma, similar to a buckler. It was useful for deflecting blows, but not so much taking them head on like a scutumwas designed for. Her Pegasus was also lither than the others, and she used the advantage in speed to zip throughout gaps, striking monsters from the side.

After he finished with his officers, Frank made his way over to Percy. In recognition for his service in the Praetorian Guard, Percy allowed Frank to retain his armour, and the right to wear the Imperatoria Aquilae, the Imperial Eagle. In addition, Frank had the sigil of the Twelfth Legion, Jupiter's bolt, on his shield, a masterfully crafted scutum of pure Imperial Gold, designed and assembled by Leo Valdez himself.

"We're just getting the last of the supplies loaded up, but we're good to go, sir." Frank reported. "The centuries from the Second are in position as well, and dug in deep. We await your command, Imperator."

Percy nodded silently, eyes drifting over the assembled men. Many were shuffling idly, having quiet conversations with each other. Most of the legion was mortals now, but the veterans were the younger members, those demigods who had fought three major battles, from his first command as a centurion, to the Second Battle for New Rome. His hand rose, and after a moment, fell. Trumpets sounded, and the uniform thundering of a marching cohort began. From the third floor of the Praetorium, Jason and Annabeth saluted the troops, and Percy, before returning to the command centre.

"And so, it begins…" Frank murmured beside him. Percy hummed in agreement.

And so, it began.


Jacob Pierce, Primus Pilus of the Legio XII Fulminata was a veteran. He had been in the legion for six years when the Mist burned out, and had fought with Percy Jackson in most of the legions engagements. He was a Son of Bellona, and he was damn proud of it. There were very few who could, and would, question his loyalty to Rome. He was also seventeen. Before, seventeen-year-olds would have been worrying about school, girls, and college. Not him. He was worried about getting the five hundred men under his command home safely. As safe as anyone could be in these times, at least.

The First Cohort had been tasked with securing Lower Manhattan in between Ninth and Park Avenue. That included Broadway, where the heaviest concentrations of monsters were gathered. Legate Zhang—Frank

—believed that the head honcho would be there as well. In addition, the Imperator would be travelling with them, which meant the Praetorian Guard would be travelling with them. Jacob was excited to see the elites of Rome in combat.

Marching down the broad street, Jacob couldn't help but be reminded of the story of Teutoburg Forest, and the ambush that took three legions from Rome. He prayed to Mars that they wouldn't be led into a similar situation. The street his century walked down was deserted, but that didn't meant it would be for much longer. He had a feeling that they were being watched, and the hairs on his arm were rising. He raised a fist, and the unit came to an abrupt halt.

"Testudo," Jacob whispered to the man to his left, "spread the word— quietly."

The legionary nodded, before twisting his head. The word spread quickly, and century shifted into the testudo formation. There was brief shuffling behind them, before Legate Zhang jogged over. Jacob trusted the legate. Like the Imperator, he had proven himself in the field of battle, many times over.

"What's the hold up, Jacob?" He asked.

"Someone's watching us, sir," he replied, eyes still scanning his surroundings, "I just don't know whether they're mortal or monster. It's putting me on edge."

To some, it would've been a ridiculous statement, but the Legate, like Jacob, was the son of a war god, specifically, thewar god of Rome, Mars. He knew exactly what Jacob was referring to. He nodded slowly, before pulling out a radio.

"Send out the teams." The legate ordered. There was a moment of silence, and then—

"Understood,legate.Teamsarebeingsentout." The radio squawked back.

Jacob watched in interest as the legate waited patiently, not understanding why for a few moments. He found his answer shortly after, when a squad of legionaries, accompanied by a faun, hustled past them into a building to his right. Jacob witnessed the same scene seven more times, each squad going into a different building. Sometimes, the emerged after several minutes, before moving onto the next building. Other times, the sound of fighting would break out, before reappearing again, covered in a thin film of monster dust.

"Impressive, isn't it?" Legate Zhang asked, leaning on his scutum. "It is, sir," Jacob agreed, "if I may ask, sir, who exactly are they?"

"An idea of Lady Strategist Chase," the legate explained, "Faun's have an acute sense of smell. The Greeks used them to find demigods, but they can also track monsters down. We've been pulling select recruits from each training group, assigning them to a tent group, along with a faun, and we've begun drilling them in working together with said faun to clear buildings."

"Are they part of any cohort?" Jacob asked. The legate shook his head.

"No, they belong to a separate group. Venators, hunters. They report to the Lady Strategist and Lord Militant, or if we're in the field, me." Zhang told him, before looking over his shoulder. "Keep up the good work, PrimusPilus. Continue your advance."

Jacob saluted, and the legate strolled back to the middle of the column, where the Imperator was seated on his Pegasus, an impassive look on his face. Even from a distance, Jacob could just make out the golden wreath atop the Imperator's galea. It was a truly impressive sight. But he was getting off track.

"Century, advance!" Jacob ordered, beginning the march once more.


"Third Cohort has encountered resistance, Lord Militant," An aide informed Jason. "situation is under control, but Praetor Nathan wishes to report that it is lighter than expected."

"That matches with my report from the Second, sir," Another chipped in, "Praetor Dakota reports heavier resistance than expected."

Jason nodded to himself. "Send two more teams of Venatorsto assist the Second Cohort, from the reserve, not the Third."

"Understood, sir."

Once the cadre surrounding him had backed off, Jason took the chance to examine the map. Models representing the cohorts showed the position of each unit. After the first skirmishes began several hour priors, the advance had slowed down, but they had reached two of five checkpoints ahead of schedule. Both he and Annabeth had shared their concerns with Percy, who had promised to handle the situation carefully. Thus far, he had done so, and there had been no fatalities yet. Yet.

"Lord Militant, Legate Zhang is on the line," another aide hurried over frantically, "the First has engaged a massive horde!"

Jason snatched the radio from the demigods hands in a flash. Annabeth rushed to his side.

"Frank?" Jason asked.

"Yeah, I'm here," the son of Mars replied with a grunt, "We found themonsterleader.AmanticorewitharidiculousFrenchaccent.PercyandtheGuard are dealing with him now. The first and the Venators are dealingwiththerest,butthey'veluredus indeep.We'recutoff."

Annabeth swore beside him, but Jason remained silent as he thought.

"How long can you hold?" He asked after a moment. Jason could hear fighting on the other end of the line, and Frank bellowing orders to centurions.

"Theyluredusintoafairlynarrowarea.Ifwesecurethebuildingsaroundus, an hour, maybe?" Frank offered, "we've pretty much got the entiremonsterpopulationof LowerManhattanwith us."

"I can try to get reinforcements to you in forty minutes." Jason told him. More silence.


"The Fourth." Another heartbeat, and then—


There was a gasp from behind them. Jason knew why. He was Lord Militant, and to tell him no was insubordination. Unfortunately for Jason, Percy had indeed made that exact order. Now, Jason did swear, trying to come up with a solution.

"Spartans," Annabeth declared suddenly, "Clarisse and her Spartan's left twenty minutes ago with a convoy. I'll order them back and send them to assist you."

"Muchobliged." Frank replied, before the sound of thunder boomed not just across the radio, but the city. "Uhoh,something'spissedPercyoff.


Jason and Annabeth exchanged glances, before the daughter of Athena rushed to call Clarisse back. Jason stared at the map again, before turning to the group responsible for it.

"Update the map." He ordered.


AN: So, up until now, I've pretty much had the chapters for Children ofthe Gods already written. Now I do not. On top of that, school is pickingup in intensity, so I have that to focus on as well. So instead of gettingtwo chapters per day every second day or so, I'm probably going to godown to one per week. However comma, I'll try to get to the 2000-2500wordrangeontheseupcomingchapters,ifonlytomakeupforthelossofspeedy updates. Again, as always, leave a review, and let me know whatyouthink.Also,feelfreetoPMmewithquestions,ideas,orforadvice.


Chapter 13

Chapter Thirteen

To say Percy was unimpressed with the Manticore would've been an understatement. The monster was a lot of talk, but no bite. Percy had thought dealing with him would've been easier, considering the reputation it held, but it had retreated behind rows and rows of monsters, as well as mortals. Some of them had clearly been pressed into the fighting, being prodded along by other monsters, while some had clearly volunteered to fight. The conscripted fighters were incapacitated. The ones who were in it for the fight were put down.

Percy leaned to the right, avoiding the downward strike of a sword, before lashing out with his fist, shattering the jaw of the mortal who had attacked him. Leila rammed her sword through his gut, finishing him off. The two of them had been separated from Michael, who was cleaving his way to them using his massive glaive. The path was cleared soon enough, and a squad of Praetorians filled the gap before it could be closed off again.

Percy grit his teeth. This was starting to annoy him, and he knew that if it bubbled up, he would do something stupid. The fight needed to be ended, sooner rather than later. So, Percy did what he did best. He turned everything but the need to fight off. Most times, when he fought, he would multitask, issuing commands, plan ahead, anything needed to win a battle. Lupa had taught him that. She had also taught him that sometimes, the best way to win a battle was to kill anythingthat tried to stop you.

Jason had been the only one to ever see what he was like when that happened. Even fighting Krios, he had kept an eye on the legion, mentally keeping track of what was going on. Not today. Not now. His sword lashed out to his right, opening the throat of a mortal, while he kicked out to his left, breaking the knee of another. He pushed forward, a whirlwind of death, obliterating anything that got in his path. He heard someone call his name, but ignored it, cutting down a Telekhine, then a skeleton, and then a dracaena wielding a spear.

More and more monsters fell before him, and soon, he found himself in front of the Manticore, who called himself Thorne. The monster was holding a mortal woman up in front of him. There was a man and a child collared at his feet.

"Perseus Jackson." Thorne drawled out. "Ze son of Neptune. You vouldn't believe how hard it was to find your mother."

Percy stiffened, and stared at the mortal woman. His heart stopped beating for a moment. He recognized that face. It was older, worn, but it was the same face that had used to sing songs to him when he couldn't sleep. The same face that used to kiss him when he was sad. Months ago, he had wondered what had happened to her. Now he knew.

"She seemed to have moved on without you, Perseus." Thorne mocked. "A mortal husband. A mortal child. She didn't need you, not after you were gone."

And just like that, Percy knew he had failed. The anger, the rage that had been boiling up in him exploded. Likewise, so did the sky. Lightning dropped down in precision strikes on clusters of monsters. Winds ripped them from their battle lines, sending them flying into buildings. A horn, sounding a retreat, echoes behind him. Good. That meant there wouldn't be any legionaries around him.

"Your first mistake, Thorne," Percy told the monster, "was believing you could lure me into a trap. I fought Krios! Polybotes! I've fought monsters far older and far more dangerous than you. Your second mistake was bringing my mother into this. Normally, I would've just killed you, and let you reform, to have you killed later. I am going to shatteryour soul, beast. There will be nothing of you to return by the time I'm finished."

Thorne flinched, and Percy gave him a sadistic grin. There was a tug in his gut, and the pipes carrying water below the streets burst open, the liquid rushing upwards, pulverizing the monsters that had begun to circle him. A large portion of it began swirling around him, creating a miniature hurricane, while some of it formed on his left arm as a scutum, the water

molecules pushed together so tight that it mimicked concrete rather than a fluid. Thorne dropped his mother, and she rolled to the side, limp.

Percy, however, shut everything down. There was only one thing on his mind, and it was standing right in front of him. Thorne's tail whipped forwards, and a series of spikes were launched at him. They didn't make it very far, becoming caught in the whirlwind around him. He let them fly off into another group of monsters, and continued stalking forward, doing small circles with the tip of his sword.

That was when Thorne tried to run. Percy's arm thrust out, and the water that had been his shield lashed outwards in the form of a chain, wrapping around the Manticore's tail. He yanked his arm back, and Thorne collapsed flat on his face. The water dissipated, and Percy lunged forward, ramming his gladius downwards, impaling the monster to the ground. He then rammed his fist into it's chest, and began sucking the moisture out of Thorne's body, watching as it shrivelled into nothingness. Only when all that remained was a wrinkled husk did the body dissolve into dust, blowing away in the force of the storm surrounding Percy.

That was when he remembered his mother. The storm died down, before vanishing entirely, and he turned. She was being cradled by the mortal and the young girl. He rushed over, and the mortal man looked up at him, eyes wide.

He ignored him, and reached down, placing a hand on her neck. There was a faint pule.

"Medic!" He bellowed out. Nothing. Thunder crackled overhead. "Medic!"

This time, there was a response. A legionary, whose shield was marked with Asclepius Rod instead of the Eagle, rushed over, dropping to a knee next to his mother, looking her over. Her face was grim, and she turned to look at him.

"It's not looking good, Imperator, but the faster I can get her to the Praetorium, the higher chance she has of survival." The medic informed

him. Percy nodded, and whistled loudly. Blackjack, who had been circling the scene, rushed down.

"This is my mother." He told the Pegasus. "Get her and this legionary to the Empire State as fast as you can."

You've got it bossman. The Pegasus replied, and Percy helped put his mother and the medic on Blackjack's back. They took off as rapidly as he had landed.

Percy collapsed backwards into the rubble, letting out a deep sigh. Leila was by his side faster than he could blink, followed by Michael and Frank. They began fussing over him, but he batted their hands away.

"'m fine," he muttered, wiping his hand against his mouth. It came back bloody, "'mkay, maybe not fine."

He promptly passed out.


The thunder was the loudest Reyna had ever heard. She had meeting with the Senate, now comprised of Romans and Greeks when it boomed overhead. She didn't stop to adjourn it, instead rushing out to the hill. Over Manhattan, large storm clouds were forming, slowly circling, but beginning to pick up speed. Lightning began falling from the sky, seemingly in random places. Reyna had the feeling it wasn't. Around Manhattan, waves started rising higher and higher, till they almost reached three stories high, yet they didn't crash against the city, pulling back at the last minute.

"Oh, no," Hazel muttered beside her.

"What the Hades is happening?" Leo exclaimed, before looking over to New York, "DiImmortales, it would take an immortal to create that kind of storm!"

"No, not an immortal," Reyna said softly, "just an incredibly angry Percy Jackson."

"Percy'scausing that?" Vanessa Hale choked out, "I knew he was powerful, but that's…"

"Percy's like the sea," Hazel explained, having to yell over the loud winds, "I used to think that he represented the best parts of Neptune, the calmer seas, the safer seas. I know now that I'm wrong. Percy represents the sea, in all it's beauty, and in all its rage."

"But the power required for that—" Vanessa began again, only for Reyna to interrupt her.

"Percy's easily the most powerful Demigod alive. Maybe even ever, Proconsul. This? This is him at his best, and his worst. Something's gone wrong in the city." Reyna explained, eyes never leaving Manhattan.

They watched for twenty more minutes, and water rose and fell, lightning dropped from the sky, and thunder boomed. And then, it suddenly stopped, everything returning to calm, the sun shining once more, as if nothing had ever happened. Reyna's heart clenched for a moment, but she knew, felt, that Percy was alright. She pivoted on her heel and began marching down to the Big House. The others followed close behind, but when she reached the door, she stopped short.

"Don't let anyone else through." She told the guards, who nodded, before she pushed past the door, making her way to the centaur's old office, which had all the communication devices she needed. It was also lined with Celestial Bronze, which prevented monsters from being able to track them.

She thumbed the radio, which crackled to life.

"Jason, tell me what in the name of Jupiter is going on?" She demanded. There was the sound of papers flying on the other side of the radio.

"Honestly,Reyna,Ihavenoidea." Jason's voice came over. "AllIknowisthat something—someone—pissed Percy off beyond belief. We haven'theardanything from the First yet."

"What about the other cohorts?" She asked.

"Theexactsamereport.Whenthestormstarted,themonster'shauledassout of the city. Some tried to cross the bridge, some tried to fly out, andsometried toswim." Jason reported. "None escaped."

"Thank you, Jason. Have Frank contact me as soon as possible." She replied, sighing deeply.

"Understood. Jason, out." The radio clicked and went blank. Reyna sat down in the chair behind the desk, placing the radio in front of her, before leaning her head back, and closing her eyes.

For all his intimidating presence, Percy was very slow to anger. He was calm and collected at the worst of times. He could be downright cold and manipulative at the best. But to draw this kind of reaction from him, this kind of rage, it must've been something truly damning, truly frightening to elicit this response.

"Reyna?" Frank's voice came over the radio, raspier than she recalled. "I'm here, Frank. What happened?"

"I'mstilltryingtoworkoutthedetailsmyself,tobehonest.Themonsterincharge was a Manticore. Percy went on a killing spree to reach it, but itconfrontedhimwithsomething.Amortalfamily,fromwhatIcangather.


"The storms, yes."

"He killed a dozen of our own before we managed to pull out. ThreePraetorians,therestlegionaries."Frank reported, sounding tired beyond

belief. "Butheeradicatedthemonsters,andfromwhatIunderstand,hediditcompletely.TherearenoneleftinLowerManhattan."

"How is he?" She asked quietly.

"Burnt out. The amount of power he used… well, it was probably theclosest to godly strength I've ever seen. He's unconscious right now, andhe'sbeingtakentothePraetoriumtorecover."The son of Mars informed her. "Once we're sure he's stable, he'll be shipped to you. He'll need youmorethanever,Ithink.WhenIknowmore,I'llletyouknow."

"Understood. Thank you, Frank." Reyna said. There was a moment of silence.

"We'redistantlyrelated,youknow."Frank's voice was low, but she heard it clearly. "Through Shen Lun. He told me he was proud that we were family.I'm proud to be his family too, Reyna, and you're such an important part ofhislife.That makesyou family as well."

Reyna wasn't sure how to reply to that, but she didn't have to. The line clicked shut again, leaving her alone in the large office. She laid her head down on the table and focused on her breathing. And then, she remembered what day it was. The eighteenth. Percy's eighteenth birthday, of all days. She groaned. He would hate himself for this. She had to be ready to help him.


AN: The first of the longer chapters! I'm going to try and post on everySaturday, Sunday, or Monday. So, I wanted to clarify that Percy isntalways able to execute immense control of his powers. When he formedthe lightning strikes, a dozen were killed from his own side, as you read.ThisisgoingtofactorintoPercy'spersonalityoverthenextfewchapters.Also, Sally! I was looking for a way to reunite Percy and Sally, and whatbetterwaythaninthemidstofabattle,withhismotherusedasbait.

This also gave me an opportunity to display Percy's dark side, with howhefinishedoffThorne.Ifitseemedone-sided,it'sbecauseitcompletely

was.TheManticorestoodnochanceagainsthim.Letmeknowwhatyouthoughtin areview or PM!


Chapter 14

Chapter Fourteen

Sally had told him about Percy when they first started seeing each other. Her son, born out of wedlock, who was taken by his father's family when he was six. The way she had explained it, he had felt that while she understood why her son was gone, she hadn't quite gotten over it. They had been married for three years when Estelle was born, and he saw a flicker of life in his wife that had never been there before.

Then the monsters attacked, and Sally had acted with extreme efficiency. The apartment had been lined with an odd metal, and she had gathered several knives that looked more dangerous than anything else they had. He hadn't expected the weapons to work against the monsters. Nor had he expected his neighbours to storm their apartment, capturing them for the monsters.

His family had been held for three days when the confrontation occurred. The lead monster, something straight out of his Greek mythology textbook, had dragged them out, holding Sally up as an armoured teen slaughtered his way to them. Paul hadn't understood why, until the monster, a Manticore, he later learned, had confronted the teen, calling him PerseusJackson, mocking him for capturing his mother. Paul had blinked, watching as the realisation struck the teen in front of him.

He was armoured in gold, a sculpted breastplate, and layered pauldrons. His helmet was open faced, forged in the style of a galea, but had a wreath of silver circling the top. The boy's eyes darkened, and then he completely obliterated the Manticore, in one of the most ruthless displays of power that Paul had ever seen. A hurricane formed around them, somehow avoiding himself and Estelle, yet destroying any other monster in the vicinity. And just as quickly as it had formed, the storm vanished, the monsters gone. Paul crawled to Sally's side, and cradled her, Estelle next to him. The teen rushed over, and stood over them for a moment, before dropping to a knee, and placing a finger on her pulse point.

He was silent for a moment, and then bellowed out for help. At first, there was nothing. Then he cried out again, thunder cracking as he did so, voice amplified beyond anything Paul had suspected to be possible. His wife was checked over by a soldier, before being loaded onto a Pegasusof all things, and flown away. The teen, Percy, Paul had finally realised, collapsed backwards into some rubble, two golden-armoured soldiers rushing past him and Estelle to his side.

"'m fine," Percy muttered, before wiping his hand across his mouth. Paul saw blood, "'mkay, maybe not fine."

That was when his eyes rolled backwards, and he passed out. A tall, burly Asian looking boy bellowed out for a medic, and about twelve rushed over, each pressing to check out Percy. Finally, a golden armoured medic pushed her way through, shoving the others aside, before kneeling at Percy's side.

"He's fine," she announced, sighs of relief escaping those present, "he's just unconscious. I don't think he's used this much power before."

Then, the burly teen looked at Paul, and Estelle. His little girl reached out and grabbed his hand, gripping it tightly. The teen's face softened at the sight, and he sheathed the sword he had been holding out, holding his hand out to the others. They repeated the action.

"My name is Frank, sir," the teen said softly, "you were witness to what just happened. Could you explain it to me, please?"

Paul opened his mouth, but nothing came out. Frank barked something in Latin, and a canteen was instantly passed into his hands, which he held out to Paul.

"Thank you," he said, taking a sip of the water.

"Of course," Frank replied, "let's get somewhere more secure. You can tell me what happened once we're safe." He looked around at the ruined city. "Well, as safe as we can be here."


Paul and Estelle were escorted by a troop of golden clad soldiers all the way to the Empire State building. When they reached Thirtieth Street, the atmosphere changed completely. The streets were clear of any debris and repaired in several places. People milled around, quickly clearing a path when they approached. A group of soldiers were placed in front of the Empire State Building, leaning on tall tower shields, but snapped up when the group approached.

Percy was carried in on a stretcher but was surrounded on all sides so that it was impossible to see him. As soon as they entered, a young man approached Frank, whispering something into his ear urgently. He nodded at the man and turned to them.

"I have to go speak to the Censor," he announced, "get this man and his daughter some fresh clothes and food. I'll talk to them when I get back."

He was saluted, and then Paul and Estelle were hustled off by a large Hawaiian man, who didn't seem too pleased with the job. Twelve floors up, and they were led to a room with a large bed in it. The Hawaiian teen vanished, before reappearing a few moments later with a set of clothes that somehow fit them both perfectly. Bowls of soup were bought by others, while their golden-armoured escort stood watch outside. After an hour, Frank returned, this time with two blondes in tow.

"Sir, this is Lord Militant Grace, and Lady Strategist Chase," he introduced the two others, teens who looked like they had no right to be holding titles such as those, "they wanted to hear what happened. The Imperator pushed too far ahead of us, so we weren't witness to what occurred."

"Imperator?" Paul asked, "do you mean Percy?"

"You know his name?" The blonde girl asked, "have you met before?"

"Uhm, no," Paul said slowly, "Sally talks about him a lot. With Estelle, mostly, but she told me about him when we first started seeing each


"Sally?" The other blonde, the 'Lord Militant' questioned.

"My wife," Paul said, "and from what I've gathered, Percy's mother."

There was a moment of silence. Estelle gripped his hand tightly again. Frank's mouth opened, closed, opened, and then closed again. The Lord Militant looked at him closely.

"Tell me everything that happened." He demanded. Paul told him.


"Hismother?" Reyna's voice crackled over the radio, but the surprise was clear.

"His mother," Frank affirmed, "He sent her back with a medic. She's been in surgery for the past hour, but from what the Apollo kids have told me, she should make it."

"We talked about his mother a few months ago," Reyna sighed, "when wefirstoccupiedthePraetorium.Hetoldmehecouldn'trememberhername,buthecouldrememberalmostanythingelseabouther."

"Sally," Frank said suddenly, the urge to tell Reyna stronger than he had expected, "her name is Sally. She married a mortal man, Paul Blofis, and they have a five-year-old daughter, Estelle."

"Percyhasasister?" Reyna's voice was far too amused, something Frank could tell, even over the radio. "Oh,thisisgoingtoendwell."

"He's still out," Frank informed her, "but he's stable, and we've given him some Nectar. When his conscious, and if he's lucid, we'll bring him back to camp. If not… well, it might be better for you to come. We'll see how he is."

"Thankyou,Frank,"Reyna said, "you'veoutdoneyourself."

"Likewise, ma'am. Frank, out." He thumbed the radio, turning it off, before leaning back in the chair in his office, exhaling deeply. He missed Hazel. It had been several months since they had last seen each other, aside from that brief visit to Camp Half-Blood, when Bunker Three was revealed. His duties normally kept him busy enough that he didn't have too much time to think about it, but it always nagged him in the back of his mind, a constant reminder of the life he should've been having. Damn Terra for what she did.


When Percy was fifteen, and Jason was fourteen, they had decided to get drunk. They were demigods, after all. They didn't know how long they would live, and if they were going to die, they wanted to have gotten drunk at least once before they did so. The morning after, Lupa had found them passed out in the Wolf House. He had felt like dying, but surprisingly, instead of scolding them, punishing them, Lupa spent the day helping them recover, and then told the Senate, and the Praetor's, that the two of them had been doing a task for her.

All that said, that feeling the morning after felt nothinglike what Percy was feeling at the moment. Everything ached, and he didn't want to try and open his eyes, out of the fear of what the light would do to him. After what felt like an hour, he slowly cracked his left eye open. When the flood of light didn't burn like he had expected it to, he opened his right. Frank was passed out on a couch on the other side of the room, and Jason had his head tilted back as he slept on a chair next to him. He could see Michael's back, as the large son of Venus blocked the door. Leila caught his gaze, before coughing loudly. Jason jerked upright, but Frank snored lightly away, only waking when Leila kicked his couch.

"Jase?" Percy croaked, causing the son of Jupiter to lean in close. "Remember when we got blackout drunk?"

Jason grinned, and nodded.

"This feels muchworse." Percy finished. Jason let out a snort, before his face sobered up.

"You scared us good, Percy," he said, resting his chin in his hand, "we weren't sure what would happen if you didn't last the night."

"Not true," Percy countered, "you knew exactly what you'd have to do if I didn't make it. Just like Reyna knows, just like Frank knows, and thought I'm sure they deny it to themselves, just like Michael and Leila know. A son of Jupiter is worth just as much as a son of Neptune. Especially as an Imperator."

"It didn't come to that, though."

"No, it didn't," Percy acceded, "but if it had, if it does, you'll need to step up, and quickly."

"I'm going to change the topic now," Jason said, very clearly uncomfortable, "We've secured Lower Manhattan, and in fact, your display of power was so impressive I'm getting reports it drove the monsters out of Upper Manhattan as well. As of this moment, we control all the way to the Bronx."

"Well that was unexpected," he muttered, trying to sit up. A bolt of pain shot through his body, but he pushed through it, clenching his jaw tightly, "what else?"

The others shared furtive glances with each other, but Percy hadn't spent seven years with Lupa and not picked up the ability to spot these things.

"What else?" He repeated. It was Leila who answered, sitting at the edge of the bed, and grasping his hand.

"During your… confrontation with the manticore, you killed twelve of our own," she said softly, and Percy felt somethingleave him, "nine members of the legion, and three Praetorians. We've recovered their bodies and prepared them for proper burial."

"Was—was anyone else hurt?" He asked. Leila shook her head, and he let out a sigh of relief. Then he remembered his mother.

"My—Sally, the mortal I rescued," he trailed off, not sure how to continue. Frank wasn't having any of it.

"Your mother, you mean?" He said, crossing his arm. "She's fine. The Apollo kids healed her up, and she's currently under their supervision. Her husband and daughter are with her."

"Daught—I have a sister?" Percy felt several emotions flood through his body. Joy, that his mother was alive, excitement, that he had a sister, but also jealousy, that ugly gnawing in his gut that his mother had moved on past him.

"You do," Frank confirmed, "Estelle Blofis. She's cute."

"Blowfish?" Percy asked, incredulous. "My mother married a man named Blowfish?"

"Blowfis, without the 'h'," Frank corrected with a chuckle, "he was a high school teacher, before the Mist burned out."

"I want to see them," he demanded. Jason laughed loudly, "what?"

"Oh, Perce, I'm sorry, but you've been overruled," he said with a chuckle. Percy frowned, trying to think who could have—

"Oh, Pluto's Balls."


AN:Hmmmnowwhocouldhebeworriedabout¯\_()_/¯. Anyway,PercyliterallyshatsohardontheManticorethattheothersranaway

with their tails between their legs. The legion now controls Manhattan,and a chunk of Long Island. The next three-four chapters are going to befocusedmoredomesticallythanmilitarily,butwhilethedomesticfluffis

happening, Jason, Annabeth, and Frank will be taking back the rest of thecity, as well as expanding the 12th Legion. Also, anytime I seem to decideonapostingschedule,Igetreallyexcitedandwritethenextchapter,andproceed to sit on it for a few days before deciding that you guys reallydeserveit.So,ineffect,I'llprobablyjustposteachchaptereithertheday,the day after, or two days after I finish it. It will not be regular, but it willbefrequent.


Chapter15Chapter Fifteen September1st,2011

The month started with funerals for those lost in the Battle for Manhattan, which the Greeks referred to as the Second Battle for Manhattan, a subtle reminder, and snub, that they had defended Olympus while Percy, Reyna, and the Romans were fighting at Mount Tam. He didn't mind. Let them have their pride. He had arrived at Camp Half-Blood at almost two in the morning, but Reyna was waiting for him, clearly tired, but not willing to let him arrive alone.

They hadn't spoken, and instead, she had just held him while he tried to sleep. He didn't, not the first night. Or the second, or the third. Finally, once he had worn himself completely out, he collapsed in his bed, and slept for a full day, the first time he had done so in years, probably since before he left his training with Lupa. When he woke up, Reyna informed him that absolutely nothing had occurred while he was asleep, and even if something had happened, she would have managed it.

Percy had decided to accept his losses, and simply murmured in agreement. His girlfriend narrowed her eyes at him.

"You're not planning anything?" She asked, "you're not going to circumvent me, try to find out if anything important happened?"

"Why would I?" He asked with a grin, "I trust you more than anyone else in the entire world. If you say nothing's happened, then nothing's happened."

"But say, theoretically, I just discovered my father was still alive," Reyna said softly, "and that he had a new family, do you think I would've talked to you about it?"

Ah. There it was. He had known that was coming since he had arrived at camp.

"To be fair, I haven't really wanted to think too much into it," he replied, pulling her into the bed with him, and then holding her close, his head tucked in her shoulder, "you know how possessive I can get. I didn't want that to happen with my mother and her family. If I don't think about it, I won't do anything."

"She's been asking for you since she recovered, two days ago," Reyna pointed out, "but Leila came straight to me with the news, and told me that you had already made it known you didn't want word of her. I've been liaising with your mother, and she doesn't even know that I'm your girlfriend."

"Only for a few more months," he murmured.

"What?" Reyna asked in surprise, a moment of panic creeping into her voice.

"I turned eighteen a while ago, you'll turn eighteen soon. Then we can get married," he answered, not really paying attention to what he was saying. And then he didrealise what he had said, "uh, only if you want to."

Reyna wriggled so that she was turning to face him, their noses touching from the close proximity.

"Gods of Olympus, I hope that wasn't your proposal, Percy," Reyna laughed quietly, "because if it was, I may just sic Piper on you, after telling her how you did it."

"Oh, please no," he chuckled, "we'd be down an imperator."

"What does that make me? Imperatrix?" Reyna asked, her nose scrunching up, "sounds more like a bondage thing than a royal title."

Percy burst out laughing, and it took him a few moments to clam himself.

"We'll figure something out. Regina, maybe? But that's where your name comes from, so maybe not," now he was frowning, deep in thought, "eh,

we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."

"Good," Reyna said, kissing the tip of his nose, "now, let's talk about your mother."

Percy groaned, but Reyna just poked him in the stomach.

"None of that," she said, "you're a big boy, we can have a grown-up discussion about this."

"Fine," he pouted. Reyna poked him again.

"What's bothering you?" She asked, "and don't try to give me a half-assed answer, Perseus, you know better."

"Oooh, busting out the Perseus," he sang, "am I in trouble?" "You will be if you don't answer my question."


"I think I'm jealous," Percy told her. Stupidly, the only thing she said was "Oh."

"Yeah, 'oh'," Percy replied, "it's not an emotion I'm used to. Not for some time, at least. I used to get jealous when Lupa would talk about Romulus, but I eventually realised she was doing it to inspire me. It's an odd feeling to have."

"I used to be jealous of you and Jason," she admitted, "I heard stories that you two didn't get along at first, but by the time I arrived at camp, you two were as close as two people could get, well, platonically at least. I used to watch how Jason would lead his cohort, and how people from not only the Fourth, but the others would come to you for advice. It was why I wanted to become Praetor. I wanted to show that I could be equal to you two."

Percy laughed, his actual laugh, too, a sound Reyna hadn't heard in almost a year. It was nice, and she melted into his embrace, tucking her head under his chin.

"Next time you see Jason, ask him about the conversation we had when you first showed up," Percy told her, his body vibrating as he spoke, the feeling making her feel safer than she had in a while, "it'll give you a laugh."

"Why can't I ask you?" She asked, muffled by his chest.

"Because then the story won't be as funny," Percy told her, "besides, Jason's got an annoying skill to be able to remember everysmall detail about the conversations we had about you."

"Oh, you talked about me?" She grinned into his chest. That was news to her.

"All the time. First, it started as a bet to see who could seduce you, but then I got to know you, and I really liked you, so I told Jason the bet was off. I think that was when the tension started, to be honest. It was probably close to a month before the Battle at Mount Tam," Percy told her, and the grin morphed into a frown.

"Wait, is that why the two of you got friendly with me?"

"Well, yeah, at first it was," Percy admitted unapologetically, "but you were actually pretty cool, and intimidating as hell, so we decided to tone back.

And then you started talking to me more and more, and I realised how pretty you were, and how smart, and then I knew that I really liked you, and that I didn't want to risk Jason getting you, so I—"

Reyna cut him off by kissing him, wrapping her arms around his neck. He was everything to her, and she knew she was everything to him. It was why she loved him so much. After a moment, they broke apart, panting slightly.

"You massive dork," she told him lovingly, "we can finish this conversation later, but right now, I've missed you. You need to make up for lost time.

Percy grinned at her, his eyes darkening.

"I guess it's a good thing I slept all day then, isn't it?"


Leila was glad that her helmet kept her face covered. The mask hid her amused expression as the Greeks, Romans, and others made a wide berth around Percy's house. When he and Reyna really wanted to, they could be loud. She also knew that half the time, they did it for the shock value.

People saw Percy and Reyna as leaders, dignified and composed at all times. One time, she had barged in, having to demand they become quiet because there were children coming down the street. They had laughed, agreed, and then went back at it. Someone had asked Percy about it rather boldly after a session of the Senate, and he had broken the man's jaw in response.

So, when Leila saw Percy's mother making a bee-line for his house, she panicked, and went to cut her off. Michael was escorting her, and Leila assumed he didn't know what was going on.

"Mrs. Blofis," Leila greeted as she cut off their path. Michael's head tilted slightly to the side, but he remained quiet, "The Imperator is currently in a very serious meeting with the Censor, and as such, cannot be disturbed now, but I'd be glad to take you on a tour of the rest of the city."

"The censor is that tall, dark haired girl, yes?" Mrs. Blofis. Leila nodded slowly, "so what you really mean to tell me is that my son is getting it on with his girlfriend?"

Michael choked behind Mrs. Blofis, who had an evil grin on her face, and by Juno, Leila had thought that Percy had gotten it from Neptune, or Lupa, but it was very clearly from his mother. She'd like to say that she had a quick-witted response that averted any suspicion, but in reality, she just let

out a little bit of a mix between a squeak and a hiccup. Mrs. Blofis patted her cheek, though Leila couldn't feel it through her mask.

"I'd love a tour of the city," she told her, "and please, call me Sally."

Sally linked her arms through Leila's, and yanked Michael, bringing the large son of Venus with them.

"Now, how long has my boy been dating the Censor, what was her name? Regina? Reyna?" Sally asked.

"Reyna," Leila supplied, "and about two years now. He was still a centurion when their relationship started."

"And how long have the two of you know him?" Sally pressed.

"I met Percy about four years ago now, when he first joined the Fourth Cohort," Leila explained, "he helped us win a game of Capture the Flag. Humiliated a few centurions in the process too."

"And what of you, Michael?" Sally asked, after he had explained the importance of the Senate house, even under Percy's rule.

"I met the Imperator a few weeks after he joined," Michael told the older woman, "I was taken into the First Cohort, but due to my mother being Venus, I wasn't treated very well by my comrades. I was fatter then, too. Percy encountered a few of my cohort bullying me, and after scaring them off, spent the next four months working with me after hours. He trained me to that point that I became the best legionary in my cohort."

"He never did like bullies," Sally said fondly, "do you know, he once chased away a group of teenagers with a stick when they began throwing rocks at a squirrel? I don't know what it was about a four-year-old that terrified them so much, but they sprinted out of there."

Leila stared at Percy's mother for a second before bursting out in laughter, Michael joining in shortly after. She could see the looks of confusion on the

faces of the people around them. Sally was an unknown, and clearly not Roman, so seeing her reduce two Praetorians to laughter must have been a shock to them.

"When did this whole Imperator business start, then?" Sally questioned quietly, once she and Michael had composed themselves once more. Leila sighed, and led Sally back to the Senate house, kicking out the citizens hanging around. They scattered quickly.

Once they were in the safety of the Senate House, Leila told Sally Percy's journey in the legion, from his first quest, to the Battle at Mount Tam, to becoming Praetor, recovering the eagle, and being proclaimed Imperator. But she didn't stop there, she went on, explaining the Giant War, the march back to New Rome, and then the Exodus east, including the decimation of most of the Praetorian Guard. Sally had taken her hand when she finished that particular story.

"Oh, my dear," Sally told her, "I'm so sorry. No one should have to go through that."

"Percy survived," Leila said automatically, "that's what matters."

"As his mother, I can't helo but agree," Sally said quietly, "but I'm also a person. Those would have been your friends, people who you trusted and who trusted you. Have you had time to mourn them properly?"

"No one has, really," a new, deeper voice cut in. Percy was standing at the door to the senate floor, his face guarded. Reyna was standing at his side, their hands intertwined, "I've had all the names inscribed into my armour, but it isn't enough. They need to be remembered for what they did. They were heroes, every one of them."

"Percy…" Sally trailed off, rising to her feet, but not moving. In the end, she didn't have to. Percy strode across the room in three long steps, and wrapped his arms around her, pulling Sally in close.

"Hi, mama," he said, his voice breaking, "let me introduce you to Reyna, properly. I'm going to marry her."

Leila wasn't as surprised by that declaration as she thought she would be. But the fact that Percy was willing to admit it in front of anyone, really, was a big sign.

"Oh, my brave boy," Sally whispered in his chest, "I am so proud of you."


ThePercyandSallyreunion!Irewrotethischapterfive(5!)timesbeforethis final version. We'll have Percy introduced to Paul and Estelle inbetween chapters, because I'm going to jump forward in time a bit. Notlong, just a month or two, but we're about to shift to the moredomestic/politicalpartofthisstory,wherePercyisnowincontrolofthecityofNewYork(yes,allofit)andLongIsland.Asalways,leaveareviewor send me a PM, I'm always happy to answer any questions withinreason!


Chapter 16

Chapter Sixteen

To say that Paul was impressed with Sally's son would be an understatement. He was… awed, in wonder, felt the need to venerate the powerful demigod. It was still odd, saying the word demigod aloud and meaning it. Once, he would've used it to describes the heroes of his novels, the stories his students read. Now he was meeting these people, actual demigods, actual heroes. Percy was the tip of the iceberg, in a way.

Everyone told him over and over that there was no one like Percy, but Paul saw the truth. No one held the power, both physical and political, like Percy did.

There were close contenders, of course. The son of Jupiter (or was itZeus?), was almost as powerful as Percy was, which was why he commanded the army, and the girl, Reyna, Percy's girlfriend, commanded as close to equal political power as one can in an empire. But it went so much further than that. There was no one who could match the daughter of Athena in strategy, while the children of Demeter and Dionysus worked harder than ever to produce enough food to feed the legion, and the now millions of surviving humans in the city. Children of Vulcan, or Hephaestus, or whoever they were worshiping, hammered out weapons and armour on the daily, but they also forged beautiful works of arts, statues, sculptures, even silverware.

So, yes, Paul could understand why people saw Percy as themost powerful demigod, but each was invaluable in their own right. He also understood that his fellow mortals wouldn't be as understanding and accepting as he was. Most of them didn't have the ties to the world that Paul had learnt he had. He wasn't a part of the government, so he didn't know much, but he found that if he asked, Percy would usually give him a straightforward answer. That was how he knew that close to three hundred rioting people had been exiled from the city, essentially exiled to death.

His new step-son was nothing if not pragmatic. When Paul had asked why exile, he said that it would take too long to simply cut them down and would be bad for morale. That was his logic behind it. Paul thought that once, he would've been horrified by it, but after all he had seen, he was only glad that it was three hundred less people who could harm Estelle or Sally. Maybe his sense of morality had vanished the day the monsters appeared, or maybe he was adapting to the knew world, but all he cared about was that his family was safe.

Speaking of Estelle, Percy had taken to her immediately, and she to him. Paul and Sally had left them alone in a room for an hour, and when they returned, she had braided Percy's hair, which he had proudly wore for the rest of the day. Later, during dinner, Reyna told him that the looks on the faces of the Senators when he strolled into the House wearing his armour, with his hair braided all over was almost worth the breach in protocol.

Paul often found his six-year-old in Percy's office, colouring on something or the other as the young man did his paperwork, Reyna often nearby, at her own desk, doing her own work. If not for Estelle's age, he would've thought them to be a family. He had to hide away when, in the middle of a meeting with some senators, Estelle stumbled into the office, only for Reyna to scoop her up and deposit her on Percy's lap, who continued to talk as if nothing had happened. He had been chasing her to make sure that exact thing didn't happen, but the Praetorians hadn't even blinked when the younger girl pushed her way through the big door.

Sally had burst out laughing when the tale was recounted to her by an incredibly amused Leila Greene, and showered Estelle in kisses, making her burst out giggling.

It wasn't always like that, however. Once, Paul had walked by as Percy and Reyna were having a quiet discussion in a corner, which immediately stopped when they noticed his presence. He had apologised and left and heard the whispering resume once he was out of sight. Other times, he and Sally had to keep Estelle distracted while Percy dealt with some of the more serious issues.

So, when Percy returned from the Senate House, Reyna in tow, Estelle was ecstatic. She rushed to greet Percy, who smiled, but didn't say much at first, drawing the ire of the six-year-old.

"Hey!" She barked at him, "I'm talking to you!"

"I know, Stella," Percy said, kneeling in front of her, "I've had a long day, and really need to have a nap. After that, you can tell me all about your day, okay?"

"Can I nap with you?" She asked, and not for the first time, Paul remembered how grateful he was that Estelle loved Percy so much. Even if she didn't want to nap, she would if he was.

Percy and Reyna exchanged glances, having a silent conversation. It still amazed Paul how in love the two of them were. Sometimes, he would find them just sitting, either on the same couch, or on different ones, holding hands, talking about anything and everything. They just felt soat ease with each other. Reyna nodded at Percy slightly, and he turned back to Stella, a broad smile on his face.

"If mom says it's okay for you to have a nap, then for sure," he told her, "but you have to ask first. She might want you to stay awake."

Estelle nodded furiously and rushed off to the kitchen, where Sally was singing away as she prepared dinner. For the past month, she had been cooking dinner for Percy and Reyna every night, especially after she found out that they often just ate Ramen Noodles because they were quick and easy. The singing paused, and was followed by a squeal of joy, before Estelle came sliding back into the room.

"She said yes!" She exclaimed, missing the way that Percy flinched.

"Stella, love, you know you have to sleep, then?" Paul interjected, "you can't spend the time talking to Percy, or Reyna."

Her face fell for a moment, but she gave a solemn nod.

"I can do that," she declared, her face furrowed in focus. Percy snatched her up and slung her over his shoulder.

"Well, come on then," he said, beginning to walk to his bedroom, "I need a good, long nap."

Paul watched them go, a small smile on his face when Estelle reached out to grab Reyna's hair, catching the girl off guard for a moment, before she let her keep doing it. They had been gone for about three minutes when Sally came into the room.

"How was he?" She asked, "normally he comes and talks to me, even if only for a minute."

"He seems… tired," Paul settled on, "which makes sense, but it's beginning to really weigh down on him, I think. Whatever he's working on is taking a lot of time and energy out of him."

"That's because he's working on everything, dear," Sally told him with a smile, "do you remember when I was working on my book? I tried to write it, edit it, and plan my sequel all at once."

"That was an interesting period of time," Paul acknowledged.

"Oh, honey, I was horrible, and you know it," Sally laughed, "he didn't get it from his father. Percy's always taken after me when it came to doing too much. Even when he was young."

"Well, he's getting some rest now, at least," Paul said with a sigh, "he's a wonderful young man, Sally."

"From what I understand, that's due to Lupa," Sally replied, bitterness tinging her voice. Paul just wrapped an arm around her and pulled her close. She let him hold her for a moment, before straightening up, "I have to go keep making food. What'll you do?"

"Percy wanted me to check this document for him," he replied, holding up the stack of papers on the table, "he told me that normally it's all in Latin, but since he's been using English lately, he wasn't sure if his grammar was up to par."


"And I think he just wanted to give me something to do, honestly," Paul admitted, "because the grammar is flawless."

"Maybe he's working you up to something?" Sally suggested, "or maybe not. I don't know much about what he thinks."

Sally then sidled into the kitchen, leaving Paul on his own once more. After twenty minutes, Estelle padded out from Percy's room, making sure to be quiet.

"Hey, star," Paul murmured as she climbed up next to him on the couch, "didn't want to sleep?"

She shook her head silently, curling into his side. He stroked his hair idly as he read over the proposal Percy had asked him to check once more. It was a proposal for a new education system, one that taught the truth of the world, including the part that the godly world had in it, starting from pre- history to the present day. He personally found the idea to be interesting, and important. There were a few suggestions he had, because as Percy had quietly admitted to him, he had never been to an actual school, first training with Lupa, then with the Legion. It wasn't that Percy's proposal was riddled with flaws, because it wasn't, but instead, it could use some gentle refinement. He would talk with him about it later.


Reyna had felt Estelle slip out of the bed, and the room. Percy had been asleep the moment his head hit the pillow, and the younger girl had clearly hoped that he would stay awake and talk with her. Reyna had let the six-

year-old play with her hair, pretending to be asleep, but once she was gone, she shifted, taking in her boyfriend.

The rings under his eyes were darker than ever, and his face was gaunt, as if he wasn't eating, which she knew for a fact to be untrue, because Percy ate more than anyone had a right to. He mumbled in his sleep, before instinctively reaching out for her, pulling her body to his own. Reyna let out a sigh of contentment, letting her body mould to his, like pieces of a puzzle. It didn't matter how he held her, she always slotted right in, like she belonged.

Beside her, Percy snored softly, a sign that he was having a deep sleep, instead of the barely-napping sleep he usually had throughout the day. She idly stroked his arm, thinking of the past two years with him. When she had met Percy, he had still been a legionary, though he was considered one of the veterans in the legion, due to his time with Lupa. But she had seen the way he held power without being given any, and that was when she decided she would command the same respect that he did, hold the same authority.

She never got close. Percy was a league of his own, someone that legionaries would go to if they needed advice, or a problem that had to be solved. He was universally trusted by the rank and file, and exclusively hated by most officers, save for a few. Reyna's old centurion had forbid any of them from associating with him, and she knew that the officers of the First and Second punished any soldier seen with him, even off duty.

That had all changed after Mount Tam. Even with Jason being proclaimed Praetor, Percy had turned the table by defeating Krios. The monster army had broken and fled shortly after, leading to a three-week campaign while Percy was recovering that not only cemented Jason's place as Praetor, but also helped build unity within the legion, as he was never seen favouring a single cohort, even when he was within his rights to do so. Percy had been very much the same, though his was more utilitarian than out of a desire to promote inter-cohort bonds.

"You think to loudly," Percy muttered into her hair, pressing a kiss to the crown of her head, "go to sleep."

Wrapped up in the warmth of his arms, Reyna couldn't help but do as he said, slowly drifting off, her previous thoughts forgotten.


Hope you enjoyed! I've been listening to a TON of Hamilton lately, so Istarted writing a story set during the American Revolution for the PJOseries. It probably won't be published any time soon, maybe in summer,or whenever I finish this story. As always, leave a review, and feel free tosend me a PM. Also, I've had several people say that they don'tunderstand the story because they haven't read The Son of Neptune andasking me to make it simpler. Here's my answer: No. This story ispurposely complex and refers to events that happened in The Son ofNeptune.I'mnotgoingtoskimpoutonstorytellingbecausesomeofyouare too lazy to read the first one. It's unfair to the people who have beenwiththissetofstoriessinceIstartedpublishingthem.That'sall,folks.


Chapter 17

Chapter Seventeen

"I'm sorry," Percy said frowning, "but it sounds like you want to sueme for damages to the city?"

The trio of mortals in front of him nodded, the lead one affirming with a vocal 'yes', and Percy stared at them in disbelief. He turned to Senator Daniel Moreau, who shrugged with a perplexed expression. Percy had placed Senator Moreau in charge of Lower Manhattan, giving him the title of Aedile. These were his constituents, so when they had requested a meeting with the Imperator, he had requested it. Percy had accepted out of curiosity. Now he was really regretting that decision.

"And how do think that's going to work?" He asked, leaning forward in his seat.

"We take you to court," the lead woman told him primly, "and then, I assume we send you back to whatever asylum you escaped from, until the government restores control."

Percy stiffened instantly, his eyes narrowing. Around him, the Praetorians shifted, hands moving to their weapons. Percy didn't bother stopping them. He rose slowly from his seat, hands still gripping the arms. Daniel had taken a few steps away from the trio of mortals.

"You come into my home, after I saved your lives, making demands, threatening me?" He asked, voice low, but it carried to the mortals, who seemed to recoil in fear, "You mock me, you mock the lives that were lost clearing this city for you, and you have the audacity to come here and threaten me?"

Thunder cracked overhead, and storm clouds began to gather over the magical barrier at Camp Half-Blood, but Percy didn't care.

"Let me tell you what is going to happen," Percy growled, "you are going to apologise to me for the insult, and then you are going to apologise to Senator Moreau for wasting his time. You will return to the city, and you will be grateful that you don't have to deal with the hordes of monsters any more, because the Twelfth Legion eliminated them all. Am I understood?"

The mortals were quivering in fear, and they all nodded silently. Percy motioned to a squad of guards, who instead of weapons, had ceremonial fasces, an axe wrapped in a bundle of rods. They escorted the mortals out, and Daniel went to join them.

"Wait," he said simply, and the man stopped immediately, pivoting on his heel to look at Percy. He had a look of sad understanding on his face, "they won't survive the day, you know that, yes?"

"I wouldn't have brought them here if I had known what they were going to demand," Daniel said softly, "I very much understand the fate they brought upon themselves, Imperator."

"You're a good man, Daniel," Percy told him, "it's why you could never rule. But you are an administrator, a representative. Wipe your hands of this and move on."

"Yes sir," Daniel replied with a bow before leaving. Once the room was cleared, save his guards, Percy spoke to a shadow.

"You know what you have to do?"

There was no response, just a slight whoosh, and Percy knew that Nico had heard him. The first time he had addressed the corner of the room, Leila had asked if he was okay. Percy had smiled and called Nico out. The Ghost King emerged from the shadows, causing one of the Praetorians to almost have a heart attack. The son of Hades had been standing right next to him, and he hadn't even been aware that Nico was there.

When he was later asked about it, Percy had just laughed, before sliding a glass of water to the guard, who stared at it in confusion. It was Michael who answered, catching on quicker than the others.

"Water," he said in amazement, "you can sense the water?"

"I can," Percy nodded, "it's why I generally have a decent idea of how many people are in a room. Also means you can't throw me surprise parties anymore."

"That's amazing," Leila said, "why are we just now finding out about this?" "I have to keep somesecrets, don't I?" he asked with a teasing grin.

He cleared his mind, looking to the large room where he held his assemblies. The Praetorians were still standing still, spread throughout the room. Well, almost all of them there were four others who were above him, armed with rifles. Two teams of two scanned the large hall, ready to drop anything, or anyone, that made the wrong move. They were given bullets of both normal metal and Imperial Gold, which allowed them to alternate between mortals and monsters in a flash. Even if one didn't do any damage, the next one would.

"Who's next on the list?" he called out.

"Well, it was supposed to be some senators, but everyone cleared out of the hall real quick when the thunder started," Reyna called out, standing at the doorway with her hand cocked on her hip. Percy couldn't help but trace the curves on her body, before he composed himself. Sometimes, being a teenager sucked.

"Ah, so, yeah," Percy stated eloquently, "does that mean I'm done for the day?"

"Not even close," Reyna replied, "we have reports and proposals to go over. Though, that doesn't have to happen here. We can go over most of

them at your office, if you want. Or I can put the word out that you're available, and we'll see who comes back."

"Neither," Percy decided, "someone find Paul Blofis for me. I want to talk to him."

"Officially, or…" Reyna drifted off.

"Officially," Percy affirmed, "I have a proposal I want to float to him, before I put it before the Senate."

Reyna nodded, and backed out of the room, leaving Percy alone with his guards once more. He closed his eyes, letting the silence wash over, calming him after his previous rant. He couldn't believe that the mortals would try this. After everything the demigods had done. He even let them continue to worship whatever religion they had followed. Of course, within the legion, even within New Rome, mortals tended to follow the Greco- Roman pantheon, simply because they believed it to be true, after any multitude of signs. That didn't mean that he pushed religious equality. As buildings were demolished, as new buildings better suited to the Roman's needs were constructed, temples to their gods were raised.

Two temples to Neptune had been raised near the docks of New York Harbour. Well, technically only one of them was to Neptune. The other was to Poseidon, but Percy had studied the Greek interpretation of his father, and aside from the name, couldn't find much of a difference. Three new Barracks had been constructed on the sites of former parks, the largest being the compound on Central Park, now officially designated as the Field of Mars. Each Barracks, as befitting the legion, had a small shrine to Mars, and another for Ares. On Long Island, woodlands were cleared and replaced with large fields, which had shrines to as many deities related to crops as possible.

Any building, or location, that would benefit from having shrines received them. Percy had granted Michelle, the Augur, the additional title of Pontifex Maximus, and tasked her with recruiting priests and priestesses for the other gods and spirits. He wanted equal representation amongst his

own gods, for the most part. The Greeks, surprisingly, venerated the sons of Kronos above all other gods, something Percy could get behind. He had ordered the construction of temples for Pluto and Neptune in New Rome, on either side of the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus.

"Imperator?" Leila called out gently.

Percy opened his eyes. Paul was waiting patiently in front of him, and Percy couldn't help but be impressed that his step-father had managed to enter without him realising it.

"Paul, thank you for coming on such short notice," Percy told the older man, who smiled at him.

"Of course, Imperator," he replied with a bow of his head, showing the proper etiquette.

"None of that," Percy said with a frown, waving his hand, "you're family, Paul. But onto why I asked you here. You were a high school teacher, correct?"

"I was," Paul answered, uncertainty in his voice.

"I want to create a school," Percy explained, "a proper school, one that will teach the full history of the world, godly or otherwise, to the youths of New York. You know that, I asked you to go over the proposal I prepared.

More importantly, I want you in charge of it. I know that you weren't an administrator, but I managed to find some of your old students, believe it or not. They loved you."

"I was a good teacher," Paul stated softly, "but I was a teacher. I taught, I didn't control the school."

"And you can still do that," Percy answered, "but I can't put a demigod or a legacy in control of this school, or the mortals will complain that we're just teaching propaganda. If a mortal were to be the lead instructor…"

"There would be less complaints," Paul finished for him, "when they find out that I'm your step-father?"

"We've known each other for a grand total of two months, Paul," Percy answered with a laugh, "no one's going to think much of anything. You don't have to accept right now. Go home, talk with Mom about it. Sit on the offer for a few days, think it over."

Paul nodded silently, and Percy let him leave. Once he was alone again, he rose from his seat, stretching his body out. A ripple moved up his spine, relieving the pressure after being seated for hours. He strode down the steps, before making his way down the hall, before returning to his throne. Raised on a dais, the throne was made of Imperial Gold and Celestial Bronze and was ornately decorated. Eagles, tridents, and a rather large lightning bolt could be found on it. Percy had been told that it was supposed to represent his authority, but he rather suspected that Leo had just wanted to make something that looked really cool.

"Percy?" Leila said again, drawing his attention, "there's no one left. Do you want to go home?"

He sat in his throne for a moment, thinking.

"No," he declared, "there's one more thing we need to discuss." "With who?"

"All of you," he stated, causing shifts in the stances of his men, "sooner of later, the guard will need to be expanded again. Thirty-Eight Praetorians, no matter how skilled, how determined, aren't enough to protect me. I'm not suggesting a mass recruitment. Contact Frank, and ask him to look around the legion for demigods who show potential for the guard."

"Is it going to be an all demigod force?" Michael asked, and although his face was covered, Percy could tell he was frowning.

"No, it will not," Percy answered, "that would send the wrong message. But for now, until we build the force up enough, I want it to be only demigods. Maybe the first cohort of the guard will be all demigods?"

"Greeks as well?" One of his other guards called out.

"I don't see why not," Leila murmured, "they can fight damn well, and many of them have showed exceptional loyalty to the new regime."

There was a murmur of agreement from the others, all of them except Michael, who was oddly silent. Percy cocked his head to the side, watching the Tribune closely.

"We'd need to establish a training school," he finally said, "and that would mean some of us would have to be away from you, evening if it's here in New Rome."

"Michael," Percy told him with amusement, "this may come as a surprise to you, but I can protect myself with only twenty guards. I can protect myself with ten. Neptune's beard, I can even protect myself if it was only Leila, and even then, I doubt I'd have to get out of my seat before she'd eliminated whatever threat it was. While I'm in camp, in New Rome, I'm safer than anywhere outside of the Praetorium."

"I know that, sir," Michael countered, "but if we aren't protecting you, we aren't doing our jobs properly."

"Training new guards isprotecting me," Percy shot back, "it closes gaps in our security."

Michael made to argue again, but Leila placed a hand on his arm. Percy noticed with interest that he stopped himself at her touch. He would look into that later. Instead, Michael bowed his head.

"By your will, Imperator," he replied, before stepping back to his post.

Percy frowned. He would talk to Michael later, find out what was bothering him.


I hope you enjoyed some of the domestic fluff. More where that camefromfolks!ThenextchapterwillpickupinJanuaryof2012,sowe'llseeabigger Praetorian Guard, and a radically different New York. RomanLegions were freaking machines when it came to building shit. Manycities in Europe got their starts as Roman war camps. Almost all themajor roads in France would've been constructed by legionaries. NewYork ain't nothing to them, so they'll slowly be tearing down the tall,vulnerable buildings, and replacing them with solidly constructed Romanengineering.


Chapter 18

Chapter Eighteen

Hazel hadn't been into the city once since the Twelfth Legion arrived, but she had seen the changes from a distance. As the surviving mortals were escorted out of Manhattan to Long Island, tall skyscrapers were knocked down, replaced by shorter, fortified buildings. While the mortals had first complained about being forced out of their homes, learning the island was to become the headquarters of the Legion, a massive fortress protecting Long Island from monsters' hordes that were swarming over the United States.

The worst part was the death count. Early estimates had assumed that the monsters would've left most of the population alone, only hunting when necessary. That wasn't the case anymore. Percy had ordered a census to be taken at the beginning of November. From a population of almost eight million two years prior, only two hundred thousand survived the monster purges. No one knew, or wanted to know, what happened with the bodies.

A carriage led by two horses pulled Hazel and her fellow Pro-Consul, Vanessa Hale, up Fifth Avenue, two Praetorians with them. They were from the newer group of recruits, and both were Greek. Vanessa had privately expressed her nervousness about having Greeks protecting her, but after Hazel had assured her that Frank had picked all the new recruits, and they were vetted and approved by Michael Kahale and Leila Greene, she had accepted them without complaint.

All around the city, new buildings were being erected on the sites of the old ones. Forges, hospitals, barracks, cafeterias, assembly grounds, all were being created. Tentatively titled the Castris Imperialibus, or the Imperial Camp, when it was completed, it would be able to hold twenty legions, or one hundred thousand men, not including the staff permanently on duty there. A wall was being constructed that protected Manhattan not only from the sea, but from the north as well.

Of course, they only had one properly trained legion, the Twelfth, but there were two more in training, which would bring their armed forces up to fifteen thousand strong, less than ten percent of their total population.

Fauns, whom Percy had sent out to search for demigods, returned almost on the daily, often with small groups of them. Hazel had asked one of them, who quickly directed her towards The Lord of the Wild, a Faun named Grover Underwood. He had greeted her by name without even turning around from where he had been talking with some other Fauns.

"Um, hi?" She had replied, "I don't think we've met, sir." Grover had laughed at that.

"I'm sorry," he apologised, "we haven't, no, but your scent was overwhelmingly powerful. I'd heard about the Roman daughter of Hades, so I knew it had to be you."

"I wasn't aware my scent was that powerful," Hazel had replied with a frown. Hecate had briefly taught her how to hide it when she was travelling with the Seven.

"Ah, it wasn't, before at least," Grover replied, "since the mist fell, demigod's scents have gotten much stronger. We're pretty much all working overtime to prevent monsters from getting to them before we do."

"Oh, well that answered my question," Hazel said to him, "thank you for your time, Mister Underwood, I won't disturb you anymore."

He had smiled warmly at her, and then gotten back to talking with the other Fauns, as Hazel beat a hasty retreat. Her respect for the Fauns had increased immensely after that. It took incredible courage to go out into a world that was dominated by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of monsters.

Finally, her carriage reached the Praetorium, now the tallest building in New York. The runes and wards protecting emitted a strong magical presence, one Hazel could feel even from outside it. A squad of legionaries

from the Twelfth stood on guard outside it, their shields showing that they were from the First Cohort. They saluted sharply as Hazel and Vanessa entered the building, which, like the rest of the city, had undergone a major overhaul.

Now the dedicated command centre for all operations in New York—the state, not the city—and eventually for the entire east coast, it had been modified to show it. Wires ran from floor to roof, weaved through the walls, vanishing out of sight, spiralling all the way to the top floor. The first thirty floors were occupied by offices, where all manners of logistics were handled, from food, to clothes, to weapons, to manpower. The thirty-first to seventieth floor had been converted to barracks, a central location where all could rest, no matter the time of day. The seventy-first to eightieth floor were for recreational use, and the eighty-first to ninety- eighth floors were control floors, where children of Athena, Mars, Bellona, and other war deities cooperated to plan campaigns and the like. The ninety-ninth to one-hundred-and-first floors were the officers' barracks, where the high-ranking officer, like Frank, Annabeth, Jason, the Praetors, all slept. The one-hundred-and-second floor was Percy's personal suite, holding a bedroom, living room, office, and meeting room, as well as a fully stocked kitchen, for when he was in the area, which was about to become more frequent.

The elevator played a terrible Rick Astley song the entire way up, until they finally got off on the eighty-sixth floor, where there used to be an observation deck. Now, it was the unofficial 'node' of the Praetorium, where all major decisions were made. That was where they found Percy, who was talking with Annabeth and Frank.

"Imperator," a guard called out, and Percy turned, a smile gracing his face when he saw the two of them.

"Pro-Consuls!" He exclaimed, "wonderful, just who I wanted to see." "You summoned us, Percy," Hazel reminded him gently. He laughed. "I know that," he replied, "I was trying to make you feel better."

"Clear the floor," Frank ordered in a deep voice, and aides and strategists instantly made their way either to the stair case, or one of the four elevators. Judging from the efficiency of their exit, they had been drilled in this before.

"Thank you, Frank," Percy said with a tip of his head, before turning back to Hazel and Vanessa, "as we reclaim more land, there's going to be shifts in power, and land control. Under Reyna, you two are my highest-ranking officials, and as such, you'll be holding quite a fair bit of control. We'll start with our immediate area of control. Vanessa, I'm making you the governor of Long Island."

Vanessa gave a curtsey, a small smile gracing her face.

"Hazel, for the moment, you'll be in charge of the Castris Imperialibus, responsible for the training of legions, and allowing citizens through to Long Island," Percy continued, "both of you have free reign to run this as you please, within reason. There will be no private military units, no secret police. You're allowed to create a retinue to help with your stewardship of these areas. Any questions?"


"Any questions?" Percy finished with, watching their expressions.

"Does that mean that Frumentariusdi Angelo will be in charge of watching for treasonous behaviour?" Vanessa asked.

"No, you have the right to create a police force, but it would be one under Senatorial jurisdiction," Percy explained, "with the recent shift in population centres, I've already appointed twelve aediles to serve as mayors, of sorts, to the people. The aediles will report to you, Vanessa. If any of them become lacking in the execution of their duty, you have my permission and blessing to remove them from power. Don't abuse your own, however."

Vanessa nodded, and Percy dismissed her, leaving him with Hazel.

"You've gotten the military aspect of this, Haze," he told her, "you're able to call a dilectus when we have enough recruits. Anyone who's of military age will be called to serve during a dilectus. You'll be responsible for overseeing the training of these tirones, and literally in the broadest sense. You'll be naming the legions and assigning them where they're needed.

The training will be handled by our corps of instructors. Make sense?" "Absolutely," Hazel beamed at him, "I won't let you down, Percy."

"I know you won't," he replied with a smile, "now, we're a bit tight on space, so I'm afraid you'll have to bunk with Frank."

The duo flushed at his insinuation, but he laughed.

"Go show Hazel where she'll be staying, Legate Zhang," Percy teased, "that's an order from your Imperator."

Frank glared at him, but bowed his head as he led Hazel away, the Pro- Consul sliding her hand into his. Once they were gone, Annabeth punched his arm softly.

"That was mean," she said. Percy shrugged.

"Not really," he replied, "that's my stamp of approval. They both recognised it for what it was."

"How was that approval?" Annabeth asked him incredulously.

"There are rules in place that prevent fraternisation between civilians and military officials," Percy explained to her, "by having me order them to bunk together, I've practically thrown away the rules, telling anyone who might complain that I'm one hundred percent behind their relationship."

"Wait," Annabeth frowned, "is that why you sent Jason back to Camp? So that he could spend time with Piper?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Percy said with a smirk, "that doesn't seem like a responsible thing to do. No, I sent to Lord Militant back to ensure that the city had the proper fortifications, and that the guard was up to scratch."

Annabeth examined him for a moment.

"Was matchmaking one of the ancient roles of an Imperator?" She finally settled on. Leila snorted from behind her, and Percy let out a laugh again.

"No, but I'm damn good at it, so why not?" He argued, laughing again when she shrugged, "you've been up for two days now, Annabeth. Go get some rest."

"I'm fine," she declared, but Percy wouldn't let her wear herself down like he had.

"Listen, take it from someone who's literally worked so hard that I had to sleep for a full twenty-four hours," he told her, "get some rest. Sleep, read, just stop working. Even in these times, you need a break."

"I—fine, I'll go sleep," she pouted, "but I won't be happy about it!"

"I would never dream otherwise, Lady Strategist," Percy replied with a grin, before pushing her lightly towards the elevator. She glared at him until the door closed. Percy didn't watch, instead looking out the window.

"She likes you," Leila stated from behind him, "and she doesn't care that you're with Reyna."

"Leila, since when have I ever not noticed something like that?" He asked her, "just because I don't address it doesn't mean I'm unaware. As long as her feelings don't interfere with her job, I have no issues with her feelings. She wouldn't be the first, and she won't be the last."

"I just thought I should mention it, you jerk," Leila grumbled. Percy patted her shoulder.

"You wanted to talk to me about something earlier?" He asked, her, remembering how she had tried to grab his attention before they left for the Praesidium.

"Ah, yes," Leila shifted on her feet nervously, "it's about your mother." Percy stiffened instantly.

"Is something wrong with her?" He asked instantly, "is she okay?"

"No, no, she's fine!" Leila assured him, "that's not the problem. It's the senate as well."

"I—I really don't see how the two are connected," Percy admitted with a frown.

"They're not, well, not officially," Leila told him, "there have been mumblings in the Senate about how your mother seems to be directing your focus towards mortals."

"What?" Percy asked, "that's insane!"

"The thing is, we've seen an increase in mortal influence in not only the legion, but the senate as well," Leila told him, raising a hand when he went to argue, "I understand it, and I support you. I think what you're doing is smart. But this is a senate that has been historically dominated by demigods and legacies. They're worried that they'll lose all their power."

Percy growled under his breath, causing a nervous shuffle from his guards.

"I'll address it later," he said slowly, "I have more important issues to deal with than jealous politicians."

"Like the reconquest of New York?" Michael asked, leaning against the wall.

"Like the reconquest of New York," Percy affirmed.



Chapter 19

AN:Ifyou'regoingtoleaveareview,pleasereaditfirst.Igetatonthatdon't make sense, and I just stare at them, before giving up. Correctgrammarsaves lives, y'all.

Chapter Nineteen


Thomas had joined the Legion because it seemed like the best way to strike back against the monsters who had killed his parents. They hadn't done anything, either. They had been minding their business when one of the vampire-donkey-things decided to use them for a snack. That had left him to care for his two younger sisters, and a brother who was barely a toddler. He had been struggling, that was true, but he had managed.

Then that freak storm had driven the monsters away, and the New Empire moved in, quickly and efficiently occupying the rest of Manhattan. Thomas and his siblings had been quickly escorted out of the city to Long Island, and when he told the lady who had been processing them what happened to their parents, he was instantly sent to a different room, where he was met by another lady, this one who gave him the keys to a home, the address for said home, and her contact information. She told him that if he needed anything at all, she would help.

That had led to his eventual inquiry into the legion. While living without having to pay for anything was nice, he was also smart enough to know it couldn't, and wouldn't, last forever. His… he still wasn't quite sure what to call her. Liaison? Advisor? Whatever she was, she told him that his family could be looked over if he joined, and that there were groups of people whose sole task was taking care of the dependents of legionaries. That was good. There were people who loved doing what he was terrible at.

Boot camp had been… different. He remembered stories he heard from veterans, before the end of the world, about how boot camp tore you down and rebuilt you up as a soldier, an efficient killing machine. That

wasn't what he experienced. Sure, it was tough, and sometimes, he regretted his decision, but there wasn't any screaming, no beatings in the middle of the knight with socks filled with soap. The men and women he trained with were the ones he would fight with.

Most of his training was just marching. Marching in formation, turning in formation, stopping on a dime. He didn't even hold a real weapon until his second week of training, and even then, it was just so he could compare how much his training sword weighed compared to the real deal. He didn't touch a real weapon for another six weeks. Then, his wicker shield and lead-cored rudii were exchanged for a Kevlar and wood shield, and a gold and steel sword. Apparently, the gold that lined the sword was what could kill monsters. He had asked what the steel was for. He still didn't like the answer.

Then came the news that his century, his entire cohort, wouldn't be joining the Twelfth Legion, the legion that had secured New York for Imperator Jackson. No, his cohort would be part of an entire new chapter, the Legio INova Eboracum, the First Legion of New York. He didn't understand why they were given a name in both Latin and English, but he wouldn't question it. He had learned quickly that most demigods didn't like him, as a 'mortal.' He had yet to earn their respect. Then there was the Legio IIAugusta, the Second Augustan Legion, giving their epithet by the Imperator himself, because they were composed of military and police veterans, and as such, had earned a higher degree of respect than the 'lesser' mortals had. It irked him, but there was nothing he could do.

Like many of the others, he hadn't believed the claim of the teens to be the children of gods. It went against everything he had learned growing up. But then, during his training, he saw footage, grainy as it was, of a man he later learned to be the Imperator creating a hurricane around himself. That freak storm hadn'tbeen a freak storm. He was a believer now.

At first, he was excited to be part of a new legion. He had thought it meant he would go out and fight. After all, why else would they need another two legions? That wasn't the case. It was for building. At least, it was for now.

Thomas, along with every other legionary, spent their days either on guard duty, or assisting in the demolition of Manhattan. They built walls, barracks, forges, mess halls, docks, anything and everything. He watched as the city he had grown up in was demolished, replaced by a fortress the likes of which he had never seen before. Thomas was certain he wouldn't have even been able to imaginethis.

By the time he had been in the legion for six months, Manhattan Island was completely fortified. The walls and towers were complete, manned by additional troops raised for the express purpose of manning the defences. Large guns were mounted on each tower, able to track both aircraft and anything on the rivers, and ocean. Machine gun emplacements were spaced every forty feet, creating a devastating killing area. From what the guards had told him, each machine gun alternated bullets made of Imperial Gold and regular lead. The fire rate was high enough that it didn't matter.

Whoever was shot would be dead faster than they could blink.

Then there was the growing navy. The Intrepid, formerly a museum, had been taking to a drydock, dismantled, and rebuilt as a flying ship, of all things. Thomas didn't know what made it fly, but at this point, he was too scared to ask as well. There was the submarine, but Thomas didn't know the story behind that. Two more ships were being built, triremes, for some reason, but he wouldn't question it. One of them was getting close to completion, and Thomas couldn't say he wasn't impressed by the ship.

Almost three hundred yards long, and fifty wide, it didn't seem like it should be able to float. The deck bristled with guns, cannons, and massive crossbows, though he didn't understand why. The ship had five decks and carried six demigod-made landing craft. It was an impressive warship, and Thomas was eager to see it in action.


Naturally, Thomas didn't get what he wanted. His day started as it always did, at dawn, with Centurion Jamison waking them up for morning drills. The drills were done on a cohort level, five hundred soldiers learning to

move as one. It didn't just stop at marching, however. One of the key aspects of the legion's manner of fighting was the ability to constantly replace legionaries with fresh soldiers. That was the focus of today's drill.

Thomas wasn't the worst legionary, but he wasn't the best either. He met the standards, as they all had to, and he did slightly better than most. That placed him in the third row, three men in. His sword was sheathed on his right hip, and his right hand was gripping the harness of the woman in front of him. Centurion Jamison blew her brass whistle, and the legionary in front of him shifted, allowing the one in the first row to step back as she moved forward to plug the gap, Thomas never letting go of the harness until she was in place. That was when he released her, hand dropping to his gladius, loosely gripping it.

Jamison's whistle blew sharply three times, forcing Thomas to heft his shield overhead, resting the centre of it on his helmet, while the front laid on the tip of the helmet of the legionary in front of him. The shield from the man behind him overlapped his own, adding a little weight to the back, but not enough to trouble him. The shields weren't overly heavy, made of a light-weight Kevlar that had been modified by some of the smartest demigods around, but as with anything, the longer he held it overhead, the more tired his arms would become.

After close to half an hour marching in testudo, a loud trumpet sounded, the signal that drills were over for the morning. Thomas carefully lowered his shield and slid his sword back into its sheath. Since Jamison hadn't dismissed them yet, Thomas carefully leaned on the large tower shield, resting his arms. Circling in the sky above them were five Pegasi. The winged horses had terrified Thomas the first time he saw them, but over time, he became used to the sight of them. More often than not, a small group of them would circle over Central Par—the Field of Mars, watching the drills in process.

He didn't know who the riders were, but they had to be important. Every so often, a completely black Pegasus would join the flyers, sometimes mounted, sometimes not, and fly around. Thomas was fairly certain he had

seen the black Pegasus do a loop in the air, despite not having a rider. He still wondered who it belonged to. Today, however, the Pegasus was mounted, a figure in gold armour watching as the horse hovered several dozen yards above the surface.


Percy was impressed with the two new legions. Despite being mostly comprised of mortals, they showed a tenacity to fight that matched most demigods. They took orders well, and they were adapting to weapons and armour they once considered archaic. They would serve well. Dakota and Nathan watched from beside him, as Michael cursed silently, his Pegasus not enjoying the bulky son of Venus riding him.

Percy snapped a command to the horse, which settled. Jason, the last of their group, let out a chuckle, before nudging his mount, a storm spirt, to Percy's side. Blackjack mumbled complaints about the smell but didn't move a muscle.

"Is there a particular reason we're watching the training of our two combat ready legions?" He asked, leaning forward to pet the storm spirit's mane.

"Maybe I got bored," Percy replied with a grin, before turning Blackjack and guiding him back to the Praetorium. The others followed, joining him on the roof, dismounting and entering the building.

"We both know well enough that you don't just get bored, Percy," Jason countered, leaning against the wall, "you're planning something."

Percy just hummed, waiting for the others, before continuing on into the Praetorium, heading down to one of the conference rooms, where Annabeth, Reyna, Leila and the Praetors of each legion were waiting. Jason coughed in surprise, but otherwise kept his cool.

"Thank you all for coming," Percy said, before sitting down in his seat, the others following suit, "as you know, I want to retake more land. Until now, we haven't had the manpower, nor a suitable base to do so. Now we do,

and I plan to act on that. Annabeth and I have planned a three-pronged assault."

"Why wasn't I informed?" Jason asked, clearly upset at having been excluded.

"Mostly because we planned this assault at three in the morning," Annabeth explained, "and you were sleeping too deeply for either of us to bother waking you up. Reyna helped, too."

Jason blinked twice, before nodding slowly. Percy refrained from chuckling.

"The First Legion will go through the Lincoln Tunnel to Union City," Annabeth continued, pointing at a map that appeared from seemingly nowhere. Percy didn't want to guess how she did it, "The Second will go through the Holland Tunnel into Jersey City, and the Twelfth will be transported via the Intrepid, MotherLupa,MareNostrum,and Maleusinto Newark. Three cities in a day, if we strike hard and fast enough."

"And where will you be, Imperator?" Nathan asked, leaning forward in his seat.

"New Rome," Percy answered, to the shock of the others, "I have several meetings with the Senate, in order to prepare for the influx in territory. I have full faith in all of you to successfully conclude this operation without me. Overall leadership falls to Lord Militant Grace. Each Legate, of course, has operational and tactical flexibility, so long as it is communicated. This is the beginning of a new era, ladies and gentlemen. I won't be leading every campaign, nor will I be involved in each one. Learn to trust one another.

The Lady Strategist will continue this briefing. Good luck."

With that, Percy rose, Reyna and the Praetorians following him out.

An hour later, he was back in New Rome, in the safety of his domus. Now he had to fight an entirely different kind of war. A political one.



I wanted to start by thanking you all for understanding why I neededsome time. I know it's only been three days, but trust me, they wereemotionallydraining.Istilldon'treallyfeellikeIhavetheenergynorthewilltowritemuch,somyupdateswillprobablyslowdownsome.

Anyway,Ihopeyouenjoyedthischapter,andfeelfreetoleaveareview,or a PM.


Chapter20Chapter Twenty August18th,2012

The day Percy turned nineteen, the forward scouts of the Twelfth Legion reached Albany. In three months, four more legions had been raised, and forces had pushed into New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as mainland New York. Frank had pulled off a blitzkrieg from Newark, pushing up the highways, sending refugees and material towards Manhattan as he went, which in turn fuelled the manpower requirements for the legions, and workers for farms, schools, forges, and more.

So, while Frank, Jason, and the others fought and reclaimed land, Percy sat in the Senate house, watching as mortals and demigods butted heads over issues relating to literally anything. He could see the back of Reyna's head below him, as she sat tall and proud, much like he was. Image was everything, and many of the new mortal representatives in the Senate were former politicians, far older than he was, and far more condescending then they had any right to be. That was part of the issue. The demigod and legacy Senators couldn't believe the disrespect that Percy had to deal with from the mortals, and demanded they be reprimanded publicly.

He wanted to, desperately, but he wasn't stupid. He knew that would just ferment more talk and plotting against him. Already there were three different plots to overthrow him, all separate of each other, and all unaware of the other plots. Nico and his Speculatoreswere doing their job extremely well. Even he didn't know how many of them there were, or where they were operating from. He didn't have the urge to find out, either, because Nico was loyal, and he was damn good at what he was doing.

"And what is the Imperator's opinion on the issue of the taxes?" One of the mortals, and older woman in her fifties, and a die-hard Catholic, asked, clearly intending to catch him off guard.

"If you have to resort to asking for my opinion each time you reach an impasse, Senator Rawlings," Percy drawled, "then there is no point in having these debates. The purpose isn't for a decision to be made by my beliefs, but yours. As I've already said several times today, the Senate is here for the people, represented by you, to have a voice."

Rawlings backed down, again, and Percy settled back into his seat. There were only two visible Praetorians, Michael and Layla, but there were sixteen others dispersed throughout the Senate House, some in the floor, some hidden out of sight. He had the urge to just have them arrest all the mortals and get it over with. He stomped that urge down, and instead watched patiently. There was a squad of Praetorians that protected his home, even when he wasn't there, and he had plainclothes following his mother, Paul, and Estelle. The latter two were easier, because they both went to the same school, and so both the Praetorians had jobs as teachers, in addition to protecting his family.

His mother, on the other hand, and quickly sought out her follower, revealed she knew exactly who she was and why she was there, and promptly invited her in for coffee and snacks. Percy had come home to find the poor girl terrified out of her wits that he was going to sack her. The memory almost made him smile, but her remembered where he was, and refrained.

"Senator Moreau, representing the Queens district, has the floor," the herald announced, and Percy began paying more attention. Daniel Moreau had never been his biggest supporter, but he loved New Rome more than anything. It was why Percy enjoyed his company. He could give him a completely unbiased opinion on many issues.

"The debate thus far hasn't been on taxes," Daniel said, causing a hushed murmur of surprise to spread across the Floor, "it has been a dick- measuring contest to see who will be able to pass their motion. Demigods and legacies, or mortals. That isn't why the Senate exists. As per Imperator Caesar Perseus Jackson's decree, the Senate is to rule on matters of

domestic issue, and New Rome's Senate represents allthe districts and provinces of New Rome."

"I was a senator before the mist fell, and I will be a senator as long as I ably serve my people," Daniel continued, allowing the other senators a moment of fluster. Percy was watching with an increasing amount of amusement, "I'm not sure what politics was like for you mortals before, but here, we tryto resolve issues, not accrue power. Taxes are simple. The people work, they make money. We decide on a tax on that money to pay for the Legions, which in turn protect the people, allowing them to work without the threat of monsters. Taxes pay for infrastructure, which allows our people to move goods and people rapidly, as well as allowing the legions quick access across our rapidly expanding territory.

"In the end, taxes come down to two things," Daniel began wrapping up his speech, "the legions, and the government, which, in case you're confused, is us. So, the issue of taxes comes down to two questions. How important is the safety of your people to you, and how important is maintaining order amongst those people?"

Percy was impressed, though not surprised. He had told Daniel that he was a good administrator, and a good representative. It was true, he was probably the best that Percy had met, and that said as much as it needed to. Daniel returned to his seat, amidst mutterings amongst the various factions of the Senate. Of a group that originally was ten strong, Percy had expanded it to almost fifty upon becoming Imperator. That had expanded to one hundred when the Greeks and the Romans unified, and now, it was comprised of almost three hundred senators, with an almost even split between mortals and those of the godly world.

"Let's take a recess," Percy announced, "return to your homes, spend the night discussing the proposal at hand, and how to best proceed with it.

Ponder on what Senator Moreau has said."

He tipped his head towards Michael, who slammed the butt of his pilainto the ground, indicating that the session was over. Senators rose, and gave

him slight bows, some more respectful than others. He waited a moment, and then—

"Senator Rawlings!" He called out, and the woman paused, turning to him, "Senator Moreau put my thoughts into words far better than I could have. I'd advise you listen to them."

Her eyes widened a fraction before narrowing, and she continued out. Leila scoffed under her helmet, but it didn't travel very far. The last person to leave was Daniel himself, who gave him a proper bow, and a nod of gratitude, before exiting. The doors were closed behind them, leaving Percy alone with Reyna, Michael and Leila, and the other guards.

"That was childish," Reyna said from her throne, shifting to look up at him, "Rawlings has control of a sizeable faction."

"That she does." Percy agreed, rising from his own throne, and walking down, offering a hand to her. Reyna took it suspiciously but intertwined her fingers with his own. "She also moves to undermine me. She'll come back with a proposition that opposes whatever Daniel plans to place forward, and it'll make her look like a fool."

"How do you know that Daniel has a plan?" Reyna asked him, before pausing. "That was a stupid question, of course you know he has one. Let me rephrase it, what makes you think his plan is good?"

"Because I wrote it." Percy grinned, relishing to brief look of surprise that crossed Reyna's face. Her mouth opened in a silent 'oh' that made him want to kiss her there and then. He controlled himself. Barely. "Daniel doesn't know that, of course. I had an agent of mine 'find' the plans in an old dossier from back in the Civil War, when New Rome was planning on revealing ourselves of the godly world. The plan was scrapped, of course, but it's convenient for me to utilise."

"You're diabolical," Reyna told him with a smile, "more so than usual. What's going on?"

"Later," he murmured in her ear as several citizens called out to him. Percy paused as he recognised them. They had been his neighbours when he first arrived at camp, moving into a small apartment in New Rome.

He called back in greeting and engaged the couple in conversation. A son of Mercury and a daughter of Mars, both in their mid-thirties, with a small, excitable girl with them, who was blown away by Reyna and Leila. His girlfriend removed one of her rings, one that he had given her that had the Eagle stamped on it and placed it in the little girl hands. She squealed in joy, before rushing over to show her mother, who smiled broadly in thanks at Reyna.

Moving on, Percy and his troop finally made it to his house, where he greeted his guards. One of them informed him that his mother and Estelle had dropped by earlier but had left soon after. He nodded in thanks, and quickly made his way to his room, throwing his toga off, changing into sweatpants and a sleeveless shirt. Likewise, Reyna was wearing an old shirt of his over yoga pants and had her hair up in a messy bun. Neither of them would be leaving the house for the weekend if they could help it, and that was fine with the both of them.


Ashorterchapter,butlikeIsaid,Icantreallyfinditinmetowriteverymuch at the moment. When I'm out of this groove, I definitely will, Ipromise.Asalways,leaveareviewandtellmewhatyouthink.