A/N: I am SO sorry for the delay. My stupid computer had problems with its keyboard. I could get it fixed till one of my computer savvy friends took the time to look it over. Hopefully all you readers haven't totally forgotten about this fic. Once again, sorry for the delay. Enjoy the finale and please review! Thanks!
Chapter 7: Life Threatening Wake up Call
The dull coldness of metal pressed against my forehead woke me up from a deep sleep. I moaned while opening my eyes to see what was disturbing me from getting my much needed eight hours. What I was met with sent me from a groggy fog state, to full blown heart attack awake.
"Forgot about me, kid?" Emerald's brother, Kevin, asked me with a cruel smile creeping across his features that were lit up only by a small flashlight. What really had freaked me out was that I was looking down the barrel of a pistol. How's that for a wake up call?
I was at a lost of words. My heart was slamming against my chest so hard; it could be part of the drums in a rock band. I bit my lower lip and only stared back up at the guy, trying not to yell in frustration. He was the thing I had feared I had overlooked before going to bed last night. I really needed to think these things through more often, before it turns around and bites me in the butt like what was happening now.
"What do you want?" I asked him quietly to hide my rising fear.
"You know what I want," he barked down at me. He pressed the barrel against my forehead again, sickly savoring the sight of me flinching. "I want that baby sphinx. I didn't spend a month looking for this dumb camp little Em here goes to for nothing. That magical fog stuff really hides this place."
I squinted into the dim light and saw Emerald standing next to her brother, bound by her wrists with some thick ropes. She looked scared, but functional. With a quick glance out the door, I noted it was early morning and just beginning to lighten up out there. The camp wouldn't awake for another hour or two. It was just fruit loop and us demigods till then.
"One shot will awaken the whole camp," I muttered up at Kevin, trying to sound bored with him.
"It only takes one shot to kill you," he spat back. Emerald gasped at this. Her brother glared at her and tightened his grip on her shoulder. "Shut up," he hissed at her. Then he turned his attention back on me and demanded, "Where is the baby sphinx? She says it's gone back to its mother, but I don't believe her. So you're going to tell me where it is."
I stared up at him, thinking deeply on my next move. I couldn't tell him the baby sphinx was gone like Emerald did. I would have to take him somewhere, but the problem was where. Taking him down to the ocean would be too suspicious. He already knew I was the sea king's kid and would have some control over the water. I would have to take him somewhere else.
"Okay, I'll take you to it," I said with a nod.
"Percy, what are you doing?" Emerald asked me, panic in her voice.
"Alright!" Kevin said with a smile. "I knew I would get more progress with you." He moved out of the way as I slipped out of bed and quickly pulled on some pants, sneakers, and my bright orange Camp Half-Blood T-shirt.
We left the cabin with me in the lead. Kevin kept his pistol trained at the back of my head as he dragged Emerald along next to him by her arm. The morning air was laden with a thick mist. Usually I loved these kinds of mornings. The constant feel of water around my body had always felt invigorating to all my senses. But I was having a hard time enjoying the feel of the swirling thin clouds as Kevin pushed me forward with his gun.
"We keep him in the forest so the other kids won't find him," I told Kevin behind my shoulder. I caught Emerald's confused expression, but had to ignore it. She was smart enough to catch onto my plan sooner or later.
"I don't want to know why you put it in the forest," Kevin said. "I just want the thing."
We entered the dense forest and were quickly put back into darkness. The rising sun couldn't penetrate the gathering of trunks, branches, and leaves. It was deathly quiet as we slowly made our ways through the woods. Every footstep could be heard. It creeped me out even more than the night I followed Emerald into the forest.
I was grateful when I heard the faint trickle of the creek coming up. I pushed through a few more branches and saw the small stream. I acted as casually as I could under the circumstances I was in as I walked through the creek. When I heard Kevin splash into the stream's waters, I commanded it to freeze.
"What is going on? I'm stuck!" I turned around with a smile to see Kevin caught in my trap with one foot enclosed in ice. No matter how much he kicked and wiggled, that foot wasn't coming out.
"The sphinx is gone, dude," I told him smugly. "You should have listened to your sister."
Kevin looked at me in surprise then back at Emerald on the other side of the steam. He frowned deeply before aiming his pistol downward and shooting the ice around his leg, careful not to shoot his foot. I didn't think he would do that!
As three shots exploded noisily into the air, making Emerald jump and animals scatter from the loud disturbance, I launched myself at the man. I forced him to the ground on his back before realizing my momentum had been too much. He easily flung me over his head and soaring into a tree.
I screamed while flying through the air. The harsh impact wasn't the nicest to my head, but at least I didn't have any broken bones. Groaning, I got to my feet and raced toward the dropped gun the man was already heading to. I got there first and kicked it into the stream.
"I could really use some help," I told Emerald. She gave me an irritated look and held up her wrists that were bound. "You could have asked," I said with a grin, throwing her Riptide in pen form. She caught it with a nod and popped the cap. Right away she began to work on her binds.
"I don't believe you gave the sphinx away!" Kevin yelled as he flung himself at me. His hand was curled so tightly into a fist that his knuckles were white. The swing caught me in the shoulder. I went with the flow of the punch, rolled out of the way on that shoulder, and popped back to my feet in seconds.
I let out a battle yell as I whipped my leg around and roundhouse kicked the guy in the ribs. Now, I was told never to harm a human because it was a serious disadvantage on the human's part. Well trained demigods could kill a human in one blow if they wanted to. I was trained to help humans, not harm them.
But I saw this situation as an exception to the many rules I was to go by. This guy just screamed evil revenge type. Emerald and I could end up dead if I didn't do something to stop this guy. Of course I wouldn't kill him, but breaking a few bones wouldn't hurt him…much.
So when the guy coughed up a wad of blood, I put my demigod power strikes on pause. I thought for sure a broken rib would stop the guy, but he lunged for me through the pain of his internal wound.
He ran into me as if he was bull dozer, and we went rolling head over heels till my back stopped us by smacking right into a tree trunk. I hissed as a slow trickle of pain flowed down my spine. At least I knew at that moment that I wasn't paralyzed.
Loose leaves and twigs fell lightly around us as Kevin pushed me by my shoulders up against the tree. The coarse bark of the tree scratched my back as I was pushed upward. Jeez, this guy was stronger than I had thought! Thinking fast, I surged forward and shoved my heel into Kevin's exposed gut, forcing the air out of him in one exploding whoosh.
"Come on!" Emerald called to me. I looked up to see Emerald motioning for us to leave. I looked back and forth between Kevin and her, trying to make up my mind as to stay or flee. I didn't like just flat out skipping out of a fight, but it would be better if we ran toward the ocean. Things would be fine once I was in my own element.
"Head toward the beach!" I told her while dodging a lame attempt Kevin made to grab me. She nodded and ran into the woods before I rushed in after her. I had to keep a pretty quick pace to keep up with the fast girl. She leaped over logs and in and out of trees like she owned the place. Sometimes she looked over her shoulder to make sure I was staying with her.
A loud gun shot penetrated the silence again. To my dismay, the bullet had met its mark. An explosion of intense razor sharp and searing, hot pain consumed my calf right after I heard the shot. I let out a loud yell of pain and fell flat on my face in the moist grass and leaves. A dense wave of mist engulfed my body, and I quickly used it to help the agony happening in my leg.
Quick footsteps came close to me. I bit my lip and stayed perfectly still, hoping the mist would give me enough cover from Kevin, who was in search of me. The pain escalated in my leg. To keep myself quiet, I curled a fist around a clump of dirt and sunk my teeth into my tongue.
The light placement of a hand on my shoulder made me jump. I looked over my shoulder and gave a relieved sigh when seeing it was only Emerald. She had doubled back to help me. How she had found me and her brother hadn't, I would never know.
"Get on my back," she commanded in a soft whisper.
"Like a piggy back?" I asked her as she helped me into a weak standing position. I didn't dare put any pressure on the leg that had been shot. I guess she took the question as a joke rather than part of my confusion and shot me a harsh look.
"Of course, Percy!" she said. "I can carry you all the way to the ocean easily." There was no time for arguing. I managed to get on her back with a silent groan. If anyone found this out…I didn't even want to think about it.
With surprising strength and agility, Emerald rushed forward with me on her back through the thick forest. The constant up and down motion was killing my leg, but I pushed through the pain and focused only on what laid ahead.
"Finally!" I breathed as we shot out of the forest and into clear morning air. The sun was painting a soft picture of bright colors on the horizon. We rushed down a grassy knoll to get to the sandy beach. Emerald slipped a few times in the shifty sand, but she made it to the surf and eased me off her back.
It was then that I had the time to examine my bullet wound. If there hadn't been a mist back in the forest, I would have screamed my head off. The bullet had gone straight through the side of my left calf. Blood gushed out of my wound. It was a sickening sight to see.
Quickly, I sat down and let the salty waves heal my leg. Gradually, the pain started to fade and the bloody hole worked its way to being filled. I closed my eyes to focus on healing myself faster. The whole healing process was going extremely slow. We didn't have ten minutes to sit around to wait for me to walk again.
"Percy!" Emerald's frightened voice cut through the soothing rhythm of the waves. I snapped my eyes open and looked to where she was pointing with dread. Just as I thought, Kevin was coming out of the woods and down the knoll. A dark and threatening expression consumed his features as he came toward us.
"What did you do with my sphinx, Emerald?" he growled at his sister. His foreboding tone of voice sent a cold shiver down my spine. I glanced up at Emerald and saw that she was crying, but still holding firm.
"I gave him back to his mother, Kevin," she told him firmly.
"Why?!" he bellowed at her. She cringed, but stood her ground with bold defiance. He shoved his face into hers and yelled insanely at her, "That thing was my only revenge on that sphinx, Emerald!" As he said this he slapped her across the cheek. "That dumb monster killed Jessica! Why would you give it back?" He slapped her again.
Hot red hand marks plastered Emerald's pale face from where he had slapped her. I didn't care if my leg was still healing; no one treated a girl like that! I moved to get to my feet, but was forced to stay where I was when Kevin aimed his pistol at me again. River water was still dripping off its slick metal barrel.
"Answer me!" Kevin screamed at Emerald after a short pause. He raised a hand to slap her again, but she grabbed his wrist before he could make contact with her face. Emerald narrowed her eyes into thin slits as she squeezed the life out of her brother's hand. "Let go!" he said in a panic. She released her grip and watched as he recoiled with a deep frown.
"I returned the sphinx to his mom because I believed it was the right thing to do," she told him emotionlessly. "A mother's love can be stronger than anything. Daring to break it will only result in death."
"What are you talking about?" Kevin yelled in confusion. "It was a monster! It killed Jessica! Doesn't that matter to you?"
"Kevin, it does matter to me," she said with her tone becoming soft and weak. Sobs racked her body as she said, "She was my friend too. And I miss her, but revenge is only fueled by hatred and despair. Please stop this before someone gets hurt! Staying with your mom is only hurting you. Take your medication and come back home to dad and I. We miss you so much!"
Kevin shook his head as he thought it over. Rage overtook his features as he said, "You don't know the pain I'm going through! Maybe I should take the thing you love out of your life so you can feel what I feel!"
"Kevin, no!" Emerald screamed in panic as her brother cocked his gun aimed at my head. She tried to stop him, but was too late. He pulled the trigger.
For a second there was confusion on both Emerald and Kevin's faces. A hollow clicking sound was the only noise that came from his gun as he kept pulling the trigger. I got to my feet with a satisfied smile. I had made the water in the gun somehow ruin the insides of his gun while he was arguing intently with his sister. At that second, it was good to be sea god's son.
I raised a hand in the air and commanded the waters to hold back to build a giant wave. Before Kevin knew what I was doing, (he was still reeling from my trick with his weapon) I let my wave go with a grin. The wave roared over Emerald's and mine heads, hitting Kevin full force.
The power of the wave sent the guy to his butt in one sputtering mess. He choked on salt water as I lead Emerald away. "You won't get anywhere with him, Em," I told her solemnly. She nodded with sadness on her face. She had tried to reach out to her brother, but he had refused her help.
Chiron and the rest of the camp had showed up just in time to see me plow the guy into the sand with my awesome water moving abilities. Of course they hadn't gotten there till the very end…like always. They rushed forward to see if we were okay and to make sure Kevin wouldn't go anywhere. Oh, explaining this would be a ton of fun!
After a week filled with days of dish and bathroom duty, I finally got a break from the strenuous work. I had three hours of free time all to myself. My friends were busy doing some other activities, so I was left to do whatever I wanted. I decided to spend it on the lake.
The day was warm but with a wispy light breeze. Marshmallowy clouds lazily hung in the sky. I laid down face up in a row boat moored to the wooden dock. I took off my shoes and let my feet hang out over the edge and into the cool, murky waters. It was a perfect day.
Soon I got bored of making figures out of the clouds above me. They perpetually morphed into different shapes. I got tired of using my imagination to make them out into real objects. Instead, I closed my eyes and let myself just relax. I hadn't had one of these moments in months.
Something suddenly obstructed the sun from shining down on my face. For a second I thought it was a big cloud, but it didn't move. I frowned and opened my eyes, expecting to see a young camper demanding for me to get out of the boat I wasn't exactly using. Instead I was met with a great surprise.
"Miss me, kid?" Hermes asked with a sly smile.
A broad grin broke across my face as I sat up. "Hermes! What are you doing here?" I asked before I knew what I was saying. He was in his post man outfit. It was obvious he was here to give me a message.
Why else would he be here? George asked. I couldn't see the tiny snake, but his voice was clear in my head. To give you a birthday present from your mom?
Why are you always sarcastic? Martha's voice asked George. Seriously, it gets annoying!
I smiled at this before asking Hermes, "Did I get something from Poseidon?" I couldn't keep the excitement out of my voice. I hadn't heard anything from my father in a whole year!
"Not this time," Hermes answered. He saw my disappointment and added cheerfully, "But this is just as great." He rummaged around in a bag around his shoulder till he pulled out a large pink envelope. I caught a whiff of what I thought was roses. I leaned forward with curiousness as he handed me the letter addressed to me.
Lucky dog. George muttered. He's only 14 and he's gotten a letter from Aphrodite herself.
"Aphrodite!" I said in surprise. "Why would she send anything to me?"
You tell me! Martha said.
"Well," Hermes said in a rush, "Business these days is booming. I got to run. Persephone is waiting for a message from her husband. Hades is always sending her stuff in the summer! Why can't they just figure out how to use a cell phone? I hope the message is a good one, Percy." I nodded before looking away as he turned into his true god form. And like that, he was gone.
I carefully opened the rosy pink envelope and took out a light pink letter. It was written in beautiful white cursive letters, which did some damage on my dyslexia. Somehow I got through my impairment and managed to read the letter. It was short but sweet.
Thank you for helping my Emerald, Percy.
I wish for you to come with us on our next shopping spree this fall.
I read and reread the letter a few times to get it right. Finally I sat back and laughed at it all. Aphrodite had just personally asked me to come shopping with her and Emerald. The thought of it blew my mind away. A demigod life sure was an amusing one.
I sat back down in the boat and closed my eyes again, savoring my peaceful moment. Man, the past two weeks had been hectic ones! Actually, my life for the past three years was one giant whirlwind of chaos. But for once everything seemed like it was going in the right direction. I had made a new friend, earned a place on Aphrodite's nice list, and I was still alive after two sphinx attacks along with Emerald's insane brother kidnapping me and trying to shoot me. Being alive was a great bonus!
As I sat there, soaking in the wonderful sunshine, I realized how much I truly loved being a demigod. Sure, I rarely saw my father and monsters were infatuated with attacking me at the random, but where would I be without some action in my life? I'd be stuck at home this summer, watching TV like a true couch potato, and being bored out of my mind!
This life, I thought to myself with a faint smile, is not as bad as I thought it would be. I paused in my thinking before laughing at myself. I must have looked like some insane guy, sitting in a boat laughing at nothing. I sighed and thought, The sun is frying my brain.
A/N: Well, guys, that's it for this fic. I'm thinking about writing another fic for this series, but I'm not sure. Ideas aren't coming to me yet. But I'm glad you readers liked the fic even though it was my first time writing one in this category. Thanks for reading and reviewing! I'm finished here!