It's been said that hate is not the opposite of love; indifference is. Therefore, hate is less dire than indifference, because it shows that the one who hates is still connected in some way to the one they hate. Indifference simply erases all connections.
By that logic, I would still be connected to the gods.
The thought revolts me. I have broken every tie I could and destroyed every vestige of my obeisance to them! How, then, could I be accused of remaining one of their chosen? How could I possibly be still, in some form, what I was before reality set in and froze the bud of my childish innocence?
But if the saying is true…
what then would be the most appropriate response? To leave the world of the gods behind me—to just forget? Abandon the reason for my existence and live like a normal person with no regrets, no anger, and no thirst for the revenge that consumes like flame?
Impossible. I am the fallen one, the one chosen by my lord Kronos to overthrow his arrogant, irresponsible children with their own powers! I cannot simply pretend none of the betrayal ever happened. Neither can I let it go unpunished. Wanting to right their wrongs, erase their mistakes-- it doesn't mean I still care about them.
The children don't matter all that much either, to be honest. They can be swayed, after all, and their powers won't mean that much when their parents are crumbling in the dust. It's just unfortunate that so many of them choose to blindly follow their fools of progenitors. They could be put to such good use instead, and their idiotic loyalty makes them useless to the cause.
He's one of them.
I'm not uneasy because I'm uncomfortable with the thought of destroying him. It would just be a waste of all that talent he's got. I remember his eyes unconsciously lighting up when I told him what a gift he had. It might have been the only time I told him the truth.
I'm not uneasy when I think about that smile, either. It's just that the pure innocence of it all makes me sick.
I don't regret anything I've done to him. I've never wasted nights suffering insomnia just because his face flashed without reason into my mind. I've never spent those nights wondering what would have happened if none of this had ever happened. I've never had a single doubt about the path I stride, and certainly none of them were connected to the kid. Because they never happened.
I've never wished I'd had more patience for Hermes. There hasn't been a single time when I've slipped up and called him Father since I began on this crusade. After all, my lord Kronos is more of a protector and figure than that god ever was. And besides, I no longer consider myself a child of the gods.
Do I avenge myself and all my abandoned blood kin and show that the gods are still under my skin, or sever all connection, possibly with them the threads of Fate, and allow the tattered masquerade they call Western civilization to continue as it is?
I may have no choice between the two, for even as I write my lord and master prepares the first direct attack on Olympus. I will be in the front line, at his right hand—yes, for Kronos himself is finally free and able to exact his revenge—and there is every chance that I will fall. I realize this, for last night I did not sleep and the clarity of mind that can only come in the midnight hour of the soul visited me.
I see that I have been as arrogant as the gods themselves. Not that it helps me now.
I also see that even if I had any regrets whatsoever—not that I'm saying I do—it would be far too late to ask forgiveness.
And I see clearest of all that the dream I had once, long ago when I was surer of my role in the world's tale, can never come true.
I never told anyone about this dream, because the dreams of a demigod have a nasty habit of turning out to be more than simple regurgitations of pictures and words. But I'm telling you now, because this may be my last chance. It won't take long.
In this dream, I was back at Camp Half-Blood. Everything was the way it was before my quest went sour. Most of all, I was happy.
I was sitting by the stream, in the same spot I unleashed the pit scorpion all those fateful eons—or so it seems—ago. I was waiting for someone; half excited and breathless in a way I hadn't been for years, half resigned that the person wouldn't show, listlessly drawing patterns in the patch of bare dirt with a stick.
The waiting seemed to have gone on forever. The sun began to set. I was about to get up and leave, disappointed and oddly depressed, when a rustling sounded behind me.
"Hi, Luke! Sorry I'm so late. Annabeth was kinda delaying me, and I didn't want to tell her who I was meeting because then she'd want to come."
My head jerked up despite my efforts to hide surprise. I didn't turn around yet.
"And this is our time to ourselves, right? Thanks for sticking around, 'cause…" The too-familiar voice sounded a little shy. "…I wanted to tell you something important."
I finished my aimless doodling and stood up. "So what are we waiting for?"
"I figured you'd say that!" The smile was audible. "Come on, let's go sit on the roof or something and watch the rest of the sunset, okay? It's nice tonight."
Finally I turned. You stood there, smiling and holding out your hand. Next thing I knew I was staring at the ceiling above my bed.
Maybe you know what the dream meant. Maybe you don't. Come to think of it, maybe I know what the dream meant. Then again, maybe I don't. Maybe it doesn't matter. Make of it what you will.
Remember what talented liars Hermes' children are? Of course you do, and you're probably frowning and wondering what percentage of this letter is made up of those world-class lies. I'll make it easy and tell you: Everything except the last 587 words, and the ones after them.
This document was never meant to be read by anyone. However, you always said you were a nobody. Not that it was true. But then, Odysseus got far being Nobody. (I know, levity, shocking.)
What you think of me after reading this is up to you. Since I have no business hoping anything, that means I have no business telling you that I hope it'll change the way you feel about me, and in which ways I hope you'll reconsider me. Definitely no business praying that you'll forgive me when you don't even know why, especially when I'm not praying to any of the gods anymore. Well, not much. I should keep this bit as truthful as possible, I suppose.
Kronos beckons his lieutenant. I have to stop writing, but before I go onto the battlefield and see a multitude of familiar faces watching me from what I now feel is the wrong side, I'll finish with the most truthful words in this entire journal… I guess it's a letter now. Anyway.
Percy—I'm sorry, and I l
Here the original writing ends. The source material (notebook) was retrieved from the body of Luke Castellan, son of Hermes, killed by an ambush strike by Perseus Jackson, son of Poseidon. This action was the first blow struck in the Turncoat's War, which took place in the beginning of the 21st century.
Annotated by Chiron, master healer in the Turncoat's War and head historian at the Crimean University.
Excerpted from Western Civilization: Its Genesis, Its Fall, Its Resurrection?