Disclaimer: I do not own Rick Riordan, the Percy Jackson books, characters, series, movies, or anything else you may recognize.

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Well, That Escalated Quickly


"It's Percy," I interrupted.

This was my great, crazy plan. To sit on my father's throne to get his attention. Grover even explained how gods didn't like people sitting on their thrones in the turn-you-into-a-pile-of-ashes kind of way. Obviously I didn't listen because I really needed to get my dad's attention.

What – exactly – are you doing sitting on my throne?

"I'm sorry, dad," I said, "but I really needed to get your attention."

Even for you, this was a dangerous stunt. If I hadn't looked before blasting, you'd be a puddle of seawater right now.

I apologized again before telling him everything that had happened and what my plan was. He was silent for a while before telling me that it was impossible. I argued that the only reason Kronos sent an army to him was because he knew that it could tip the scales. My dad tried to argue that Kronos was attacking his home until I mentioned that I was at his home, in Olympus.

That didn't do much to stop his anger, but I could hear the battle back on his end. I asked if Tyson was okay, and apparently he was doing better than anyone expected. I asked my dad to let Tyson fight and my dad demanded I stop changing the subject.

"Dad, I realize what I'm asking you to do," I said.

My palace will be destroyed!

"And Olympus will be saved," I finished for him. He was quiet for a moment.

You had better pray this works, dad said.

"I am – I'm talking to you, aren't I?"

Point taken, my dad said before there was a loud explosion and our connection was cut off.

My vision refocused and the others were looking at me weirdly. I slid off the throne and said, "You guys are looking at me like I'm about to explode."

"Pretty sure that's because you were about to," Andee pointed out. I looked down and saw that I was actually smoking. "A few more minutes and you'd be up in flames. Definitely not one of your smartest moves."

"It got his attention and he's agreed to my plan," I said.

"What's your –"

"The enemy is advancing with Kronos in the lead!" Thalia shouted as she burst into the throne room. "We need every able-bodied person on the ground fighting right now."

No one needed to be told twice. We all raced down to the street and were once again in shock by what we saw. Hunters and campers alike were already injured. Clarisse must have lost in a fight against a Hyperborean because she was frozen inside her chariot in a block of ice. The centaurs were nowhere to be seen.

The most shocking thing was Chiron standing right in the enemy vanguard's way, his arrow pointed right at Kronos. "Step aside, son," Kronos said. It felt so strange to hear Luke calling Chiron 'son'.

"I'm afraid I can't do that."

Andee's hand slipped into mine, squeezing it for a moment. "Are you okay to fight?" I asked her quietly, my eyes never leaving Chiron.

"Always," Andee said, removing her hand from mine and taking her bow off her back. "How about you?"

"As I'll ever be."

A dracaenae got impatient and surged forward. Chiron didn't hesitate for a second when he shot an arrow through her forehead. The dracaenae disintegrated on the spot. Unfortunately, Chiron reached for another arrow only to find he had none left in his quiver. I knew Chiron didn't like to use his sword, but he unsheathed it anyways, ready to fight.

"You're a teacher, not a hero," Kronos laughed condescendingly.

"Luke was a hero – a great hero – until you corrupted him," Chiron informed him.

Kronos laughed. "Fool! You filled his head with empty promises. You said the gods cared about me!"

"Me. You said 'me'."

Luke was still in there. He was getting deeper and deeper but Luke was still in there somewhere.

Kronos looked at Chiron in confusion for a moment but that was all Chiron needed. He pulled a feint followed by a strike to the face. Unfortunately Kronos was quicker and knocked Chiron aside, yelling "BACK!" A blinding white light exploded between the centaur and the titan and Chiron was sent flying into the side of a building with so much force that the entire side of the building crumbled and collapsed on top of him.

"NO!" Annabeth screamed. The freezing spell that seemed to be on all of us broke, and Annabeth turned on Luke. "To think that I…that I thought –"

"Annabeth, stop!" Andee said through gritted teeth, trying to hold her determined friend back as she tried to attack Kronos. She tried to plunge her dagger into him and it bounced off uselessly. Her dagger arm dangled lifelessly at her side.

Andee yanked her back forcefully, her arms wrapped tightly around Annabeth's midsection as Annabeth fought with all she had to get to Kronos. "I HATE YOU!"

Andee dragged her back over and shoved Annabeth's arm back into its socket. Annabeth screamed in pain but it didn't faze Andee. Andee quickly hummed a soft melody and Annabeth's pained face lessened.

"Such spirit! I understand now why Luke wanted to spare you, but unfortunately, that won't be possible," Kronos said.

A loud dog howl pierced the air. It sounded like Mrs. O'Leary and could only hope that it was. I whistled and something forced the enemy to create a path. Sure enough, it was Mrs. O'Leary with Nico riding on top in pure black armor.

My chest swelled with happiness at the sight of him. The monsters all avoided him like he radiated with death (which I guess he did, now that I thought of it). Nico slid off Mrs. O'Leary and walked towards our group. He looked at us through the faceguard of his skull-shaped helmet and said, "Got the message and I'm here to join the party."

"Son of death," Kronos said, spitting on the ground. "You must love death so much that you wish to experience it."

"Actually, I would like to experience death – your death," Nico said wittily.

"You're a fool. I'm an immortal! I escaped Tartarus! You have no business here, son of death, and no chance to live," Kronos said, watching Nico intently.

Nico pulled out his Stygian iron sword. "I'm going to have to disagree with you." The ground started to rumble and thousands of skeletons started crawling out of the ground, armed and ready to fight.

The monsters started freaking out when they saw the skeletons. "HOLD YOUR GROUND!" Kronos roared at his troops. "The dead are no match for us!"

Horses began to form from the shadows, pulling out a chariot inlaid with obsidian and gold and decorated with scenes of painful death. Hades was riding inside, wearing black armor and a cloak the color of fresh blood. He had the Helm of Darkness on his head. Demeter and Persephone sat in the chariot with him.

"Hello father, you're looking extraordinarily young for your age," Hades said. Andee grinned. Apparently she got along with the god of death a lot better than I did. Probably because she died more often than most. I wondered if she actually went to the Underworld during that time. I'd have to find a moment to ask her.

"Hades, I hope you and the ladies have come to pledge your allegiance."

"I'm afraid not, father. My son has convinced me that I need to prioritize my list of enemies," Hades said, sending a glare of distaste my way. "As much as I dislike certain demigods, it really wouldn't be good for me if Olympus fell. I'd miss bickering with my siblings, although, if there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that you were a terrible father."

Yeah, swallowing your children whole…really not good parenting. Just saying.

"True," Demeter agreed. "He has no appreciation for agriculture."

"Mother," Persephone said in annoyance, like a teenager that still had to be dropped off by her parents.

"The House of Hades shall be called the saviors of Olympus from this day forward!" Hades said as he unsheathed his blade.

"I don't have time for this," Kronos said bluntly before striking the ground with his scythe. A huge fissure appeared in the ground, separating Kronos' vanguard, my friends and me from the rest of the two armies.

"He's sealing us in," Grover said. "He's collapsed all of the magic barriers around Manhattan to cut off just the building and us."

Well that wasn't good news.

All around us, people were starting to wake up and engines were revving to life. Down the block, mom and Paul got out of the Prius. I tried to signal for them to stay away but they started right towards us.

Hades blasted the wall with black energy before yelling "ATTACK!" The dead started attacking the monsters as the mortals ran for cover. I had no idea what they must be seeing through the Mist right now, but it was probably still pretty messed up.

Demeter waved her hand and an entire column of giants turned into a wheat field, and her daughter turned all of the dracaenae's swords into sunflowers. Nico slashed and hacked his way through the vanguard, trying to protect as many pedestrians as he could. My parents were still running towards me, dodging monsters and zombies.

"Nakamura, attend me," Kronos ordered. "Giants, get rid of them." Without a glance behind him, Kronos ducked into the lobby with Ethan.

I was a little stunned. I had been expecting him to fight me right here, but instead we were going to be stuck fighting the giants.

Nico started heading towards my parents, but the monsters were closing in on them. Paul picked up a fallen camper's sword and kept on the dracaena busy for a few seconds before stabbing her in the stomach.

I was amazed.

"I sure hope that was a monster I just killed! I was a Shakespearean actor in college! Picked up a little swordplay!" Paul shouted to me, smiling a little.

"Your stepdad is so cool," Andee said, grinning at me as she kicked a monster in the shin and stabbed her dagger into its neck.

A giant started sneaking up on my mother, who was leaning into a police car. "MOM!" She whipped around and shot the giant with a shotgun from the police car.

"Good shot, Sally!" Andee said, shooting an arrow at a monster that was getting a little too close to Paul.

"Thanks Andee! So happy that you're back!" she replied. "I love your haircut!" Andee smiled appreciatively.

"When did you learn how to fire a shotgun?" I demanded.

"About two seconds ago. Percy, we will be fine. Go!" she told me.

"Yeah, we can handle the army," Nico agreed. "You have to get Kronos!"

Here was my moment to do something right. I turned to my girlfriend, taking in how gorgeous she was, even in the middle of a battle. Her skin was slightly flushed and her hair was a little messy, but the spark in her bright green eyes showed just how unstoppable she was. "Andee, you don't have to come with me. You can stay down here and get to safety for all I care. Actually, I'd prefer if you did that. No one really knows how your abilities work after everything that's happened and I want you to be safe."

Andee wrapped her arms around me and pressed her lips to mine. I couldn't help but get a little distracted, pulling her closer and savoring the taste of her. She pulled away just a few inches. "I will stand by your side until the very end, Percy, whenever that may be. No matter what happens today, we stick together."

I hugged her tightly for a few seconds before glancing over at the rubble pile at the side of the building. "Mrs. O'Leary! Get Chiron out of there!" I yelled at the hellhound. She leapt over the pile and immediately started digging.

We grabbed Annabeth, Thalia and Grover from the fight and raced into the elevator. When we reached the six hundredth floor, Olympus looked even worse than before. The bridge was dissolving and as soon as we stepped out of the elevator, cracks began to form in the walkway.

Grover jumped across, quickly followed by Thalia and myself. "Go!" Andee said to Annabeth, practically shoving her. Annabeth barely made it and the path was disintegrating even quicker. Andee took a deep breath before leaping over.

She didn't make the jump.

But she didn't fall.

She stayed mid-air for a few moments, hovering in the space between the two sides, before landing on the path with the rest of us. We all stared at her for a moment. "What?"

"You just flew," Thalia said in shock. I don't think even Thalia knew how to do that.

Andee looked behind her. "No I didn't. You guys must be imagining things – I made the jump, easily. I can't fly."

"I think you can," Annabeth said, but Andee just shrugged. When I looked back at the area, the elevator doors were hanging on their own in space. "The connection between Olympus and America is dissolving and if it fails, the gods won't move onto another country this time. This will be the end of Olympus forever," Annabeth pointed out.

We ran through the streets and Olympus was going to hell. Mansions were burning, statues had been hacked down and trees in the parks had been blasted to splinters. We continued on the path to the palace, noting that everything was gone and destroyed. A few of the minor gods and nature spirits must have tried to stop Kronos because all that was left of them were their armor, clothing, swords and spears.

"Brick by brick! That was my promise. Tear it down BRICK BY BRICK!" Kronos yelled in the distance, sounding like an insane politician.

A white marble temple with a gold dome exploded. "That was a shrine to Artemis," Thalia muttered angrily as we ran under a marble archway with huge statues of Zeus and Hera. "Look out!"

I looked up just in time to see the twenty-ton scowling statue of Hera toppling over. Andee and I would have been crushed under it if Thalia hadn't pushed us just out of the danger zone.

"Thalia!" Grover shouted, sprinting to check on her. She was alive but pinned under the statue. We all tried to move it but it was too heavy.

"I've survived all these battles and I'm brought down by a chunk of rock?" Thalia grumbled. "This sucks."

"You should have let me be pinned!" Andee practically shouted at Thalia. "I can regenerate! Hera wanted me to get pinned under it because I probably would've died and had a really bad regeneration. She hates me because Zeus loves me so much!"

"Well, you're one of the best fights I've seen. They need you," Thalia said. "Now leave me and go. There are more important things happening right now."

"We're going to come back for you," Annabeth promised.

"I'll be waiting," Thalia said, indicating the statue lying on top of her. "And I expect top of the line healing from you, cousin-niece-whatever!"