A/N-This will be getting stranger and stranger.
Percy looked around in horror. The huts were burning and his friends had gone….. He was alone.
A voice echoed around him. "You will see your little camp in flames!" and an evil cackle rent the air as a hand fell on Percy's shoulder.
He whirled around to meet the arms encircling him and pulling him away.
"Come on Percy. Calm Down. No one's hurt. A cooking experiment went wrong, that's all, lets go stand by everyone else."
And Sally Jackson gently but firmly pulled her eight-year old son from the carnage of his swimming camp.
Percy cried out as he awoke and sat up straight. That was a recurring dream with him-nothing new. He could remember now that it had been monsters attacking the Camp, and in his nightmares his swimming camp melded with Camp Half blood to give him nightly visualization of the prophecy's conclusion.
It was a recurring nightmare. He was used to it.
But this time, something was wrong.
A flickering light outside caught his attention. The camp-It was on fire!
He grabbed riptide and hurtled outside. He always slept wearing his clothes in case something like this would happen.
He stepped outside his cabin, wielding riptide.
Nothing was there except the campfire which was still burning.
Breathing heavily and leaning against the cabin wall, Percy recapped riptide. His thoughts went to his mother. He had sent her an Iris message after the phone disaster and explained to her in more detail. He was planning to visit her, but Annabeth wasn't meant to leave camp because of her weakened state.
Percy didn't hear them sneaking up on him until it was too late. A hand went over his mouth, riptide was taken from his pocket, and a hole opened up beneath him.
He fell, his scream muffled by the hand over his mouth. There had been something wrong after all.
I awoke and sat up. There was something going on outside. The cabin was empty and it sounded as if the whole camp was gathered somewhere.
I rushed outside to find exactly what I expected. A crowd of campers, all wearing mournful and grave expressions.
Chiron approached me.
"Annabeth. I am so, so sorry, but Percy has been…taken."
A million thoughts were pounding through my brain. No! Taken by who? Kronos? I had to save him!
Chiron must have read some of this in my face, because he put an arm around me. "We don't know what happened. Beckendorf heard a commotion and saw Percy being dragged underground. We don't know who it now, we think it best that all campers remain here."
My head was pounding. It felt as if something was kicking the inside of my brain. Which, when you think about it, my baby probably was.
"No. We need a Quest! We have to save Percy!" I cried. Chiron laid a hand on my shoulder but before he could speak another voice interrupted.
The Prophecy child has been stolen
One must leave the haunt of men
Go elsewhere to find his place
I choose one Annabeth Chase.
Protected from monsters she will be
For this Quest's eternity
The boy is not yet gone forever
Hasten now three friends together.
Chiron stared at the Oracle. I stepped up.
"I accept the Quest!" I cried weakly, my head full of pain.
There were no cheers. Only silence and anxious looks directed towards me.
I had tried to stay out of the public eye as much as possible since the headache pregnancy had started, and now I knew that they were thinking I was too weak to do the Quest. |Well, too bad. I was going to save Percy!
I had barely spoken to him properly since it happened. Neither of us seemed to know what to say to each other.
I had to save him and change that!
Chiron looked sad but he knew he couldn't dissuade me.
"then….good luck." He could see I was in pain. Several times they had wanted to give me nectar and ambrosia, to stop the pain, but we all worried about how it would affect the baby.
Chiron put his hand on me arm and I hugged him tight.
The Oracle had vanished, and we assumed returned to the attic. All that was left to do was choose my companions and I could leave to save Percy.
"Grover." I asked. "Can you come?" He nodded.
"And…" A thought struck me. "Wait-Dopes Tyson know?"
"No. No-one has told him yet and we thought it might be best to wait until we see if your Quest is successful." Chiron answered.
"Chiron, he was planning to visit us tomorrow because of...everything." I reminded him.
"I'm sure we'll think of something. Now, who will your other companion be?"
I would have tried to get Tyson to come, but I admit I didn't want to. I still didn't entirely like him and he and Grover had their differences. Instead I chose someone who could make up for the fact that I would probably be unable to fight.
"Clarisse. Will you come?"
Clarisse looked shocked and surprised.
"Yeah, sure. I suppose." She agreed.
"Good. Then we can set off once we've packed a few things. Umm, Chiron, Where do you think Percy will be?"
Nico suddenly raced towards us looking tired and worried. "Annabeth! One of the Kindly Ones has him! The maths teacher! I overheard. He's in the Underworld!