"Relax Annabeth." I told myself. Yeah right, like that's ever going to happen. I'm on the trail on no one knows what kind of a monster that kidnapped Percy. There was a little voice inside of my head (okay, so it was a pretty loud little voice) that wondered why on Earth I was out looking for Percy when he wouldn't do the same.
Another little voice (not as loud as the first one) argued that Percy would do the same. I believed the loud voice. Percy doesn't care about me. Percy never cared about me. And, as of a week ago, I resolved not to care about him. So why the heck was I doing this?
You shouldn't be doing this. Turn around NOW! The loud little voice argued. It was so negative. My cartoon devil.
Don't you DARE turn around. If you were kidnapped Percy would come for you. In fact, once he did come for you. When you were captured by the Manticore, remember? The stupid soft positive voice asked. The stupid little angel and it's stupid golden halo.
Yeah, I remember, but that was before. I told it.
It shouldn't matter! My angel chided me.
It does though.
What could be so horrible that it could make you give up on him? My angel asked.
What could be so horrible? Well, my angel was right about one thing. It would take a lot for me to give up on him, to try to ignore the friendship we'd built. The friendship that I had hoped would blossom into more. What could he do that would wipe away that? See, I thought if it ever happened it would take him forever to do it. But it hadn't, he'd killed our friendship in less than three seconds.
I was walking down the street in New York. I was going to meet Percy in Central Park so his Mom could drive us to camp. I was headed toward a bench where I saw Percy but then I realized that there was someone with him. That someone was Rachel Dare. She was smiling and bouncing around in some bright pink outfit. The girl looked like a huge piece of bubble-gum.
I put on my hat and crept closer.
"Percy?" I heard her ask.
"Yes, Rachel?" He sounded tired, like he was sick of her.
"Why do you have to go to camp?" She sounded like a whiny little kid.
"So I can learn to stay alive." Percy answered.
"But you've been on a lot of quests! You know how to stay alive. Why won't you stay here with me?" Rachel asked. Oh my gods. Were they dating? I mean, I never asked Percy if he had a girlfriend and he had never volunteered the information. But Rachel's tone definatley implied something. Maybe she just liked him, maybe he didn't like her, maybe they were just friends.
"The monsters have been getting worse and worse. I have to go to camp to train. Half of these monsters . . . I have know idea what they are!" Percy exclaimed. I knew what he was talking about. I had been attacked by countless freaky monsters that I had never heard of, I had even tried to look them up, but nothing came up. I Iris-messaged Chiron. He had no idea what they could be either. They certainly hadn't been around in the time of the Titans that he knew of.
"But you know how to fight them." Rachel batted her eyelashes. Percy didn't notice. She was flirting with him and he didn't even notice! I wonder how long the whole flirt/ignore thing had been going on. By the look that crossed Rachel's face it had been going on a while.
"PERCY!" Rachel yelled.
"What are you looking for?"
"Annabeth." He answered simply, Rachel scowled. I heard her mutter under her breath something that sounded like, "It's always Annabeth."
"Why are you looking for Annabeth?" She asked.
"She was supposed to meet me here so me and my mom could drive her to camp." Percy scanned the park again.
"Oh." Rachel looked around and spotted a blonde kid, that could, from a long distance, pass for me and pointed. "I think she's over there."
Percy looked and he nodded. "She'll be over in a few minutes, it looks like she's helping that kid get his kite out of the tree."
Rachel turned so that she was facing him. He looked over at her. "Percy before you go . . . will you do something for me?"
He looked at her cautiously and finally nodded. "Sure, but, it really depends on what it is."
"It's not much." She assured him.
Then she leaned over and kissed him. Full on the mouth. That's when I decided that I didn't want anything more to do with Percy Jackson. I stood up, took off my hat and walked away. He didn't come after me and I got another way to camp. I hadn't spoken to him since.
Remembering that, I shuddered. Percy had tried to talk to me, but, I hadn't wanted to listen. Thinking on it, I'm kind of glad that I didn't listen, what if he had told me what I feared?What if he had told me that he and Rachel really were dating?
I finally noticed that it was getting dark out, I glanced around and found a place that looked like a nice place to set up camp. See, with Percy missing and his sixteenth birthday just around the corner Chiron had sent almost every camper and satyr off in all different directions. None of us were headed the same way, none of us had travelling companions to keep watch while we slept. It was scary. Chiron had only kept enough campers behind to defend the camp, though, if Kronos's entire army attacked we were burnt toast.
I set up camp but, I got scared. It was hard to sleep knowing that if something attacked, than, I wouldn't know about it until I was in the Underworld. Oh well, at least I'd get to see Cerberus again.
My angel told me not to think about that and concentrate on finding Percy. I knew that it was right, I had to find Percy because I couldn't let my brothers and sisters, the satyrs, Chiron, the other campers, Tyson and, yes, even, Clarrise, die.
I was still too nerved for sleep so I took down camp, put it all in my bag, slung my bag up in a tree, scaled the tree and slept there. With my hat on.
I was a little stiff in the morning but I was alive. I jumped down from the tree and re-examined the tracks. I hoped they all belonged to one monster, otherwise, I was following an entire army. I hoped that I was on the track of the right monster, there were tracks leading everywhere, that's why so many of us were sent out.
The tracks were so weird, it looked like there was over one hundred feet marching and they all hit the ground at the same time so no one foot behind the other and it looked like something was being dragged in the center of the footprint circle. That something looked like it had put up a fight, I was willing to bet that something was Percy.
Oh my gods, Percy, what was I going to say to him if I found him? Well, I don't think I'll have to say anything right away, we'll be too busy trying to get away from those creatures unnoticed, but after that . . . I really have no idea.
Maybe I should just go back to ignoring him, that plan works best, except for the fact that I've been missing his friendship. Maybe I should just tell him how I feel and if he doesn't feel the same way than go back to ignoring him.
Maybe . . . OUCH! Frig, I just ran into a tree. I have to concentrate on where I'm going and worry about Percy later. Yes, I could do that, if I wasn't there.
At least, I'm where the tracks ended, at a huge black castle set into the cliffs overlooking the sea. At least if we had to jump, Seaweed Brain could make sure we weren't going to die, that is, of course, assuming he's still alive when I find him. I really should stop all of my morbid thinking and stuff, it's depressing.
I shook my head and went to hide behind a tree, nothing gets you killed quicker than just standing out in front of a big, scary castle probably crawling with all of you enemies, staring blankly into space. Speaking of enemies, Luke was probably in there. Crap! I don't know if I can face him, even though I like Percy now, all of those years with Luke as one of my friends and running around with him and Thalia created a bond between that can't be duplicated or ignored, I know that Thalia feels it too.
I really have to stop thinking about stuff like that and concentrate on getting inside. Yes, one of the biggest dilemma of all time, sneaking in. Maybe I should sneak in a quick prayer to Mom, okay here it goes.
"Mom, I know that you're busy with the impending war and I know that you and Posiedon aren't on the best of terms but Percy could decide the fate of this war, please Mom, help me get in."
I stayed, crouched behind a tree, staring at a very scary castle and waiting for a magical gift from Athena to come and open the gates for me. I felt like an idiot, I could always use my hat, but, that wouldn't help me when it came to getting Percy. I needed to use my head and figure out a way to get in. I could probably do that through observation, but I didn't have the time. If I was right (which I always am), tomorrow was Percy's sixteenth birthday. And, I only had a few hours to get in and get back to camp, and it took me days to get here.
Well, I suppose I could put my hat on, creep in and figure something out from there. That seemed like my best option at the moment, so I took it.
I grabbed my hat, put it on, and disappeared. I crept toward the castle and saw a couple of somethings guarding the gate. I threw a rock over to one side and they both went over to investigate it. Idiots. Now I was free to enter.
For a moment I wonder if I really did want to go in. I decided I did.