The Alternate Ending

A/N: This takes place in Chapter 19, where Percy is prompted with the decision whether to save Luke by giving him Annabeth's knife.

We Trash an Eternal City

"Please," Luke groaned. "No time."

If Kronos evolved into his true form, there would be no stopping him. He would make Typhon look like a playground bully.

The line from the great prophecy echoed in my head: A hero's soul, cursed blade shall reap. My whole world tipped upside down, and Igave the knife to Luke.

For a moment, everything went silent. I knew that Grover was surprised. Maybe he is thinking that all of these battles made me out of my mind. But I wasn't. I did that for the best.

Unexpectedly, Luke, or should I say Kronos, burst into fits of laughter, his head looking upward at the constellations looming overhead. He began to speak with his scraping voice, "Good job, Son of Poseidon. I knew it all the time. You will be my weapon. That's the reason why I hadn't killed you before."

"What are you saying? I'm not your wea-", I was confused. But then, Kronos interrupted me.

"A single choice shall end his days, Olympus to preserve or raze"

Kronos spoke of the last two lines of the Great Prophecy with his steely tone. I didn't understand what he meant until he continued speaking. "Have you lost track of the date, dear Perseus? It's August 18th, and at this moment, you're already sixteen"

"I-I'm sixteen?" It dawned to me. The prophecy was to be fulfilled today, at this very moment. But I made up my mind years ago that I'll be the one who will save Olympus. Yes, that's my decision. I can't turn that over.

Kronos studied me as if he knew what was boggling my mind. "You had definitely made your choice a few seconds ago", Kronos had confidence in his voice, "You gave me this knife"

He raised the knife – the cursed blade – that Luke gave Annabeth. "But that was to save Luke!" I shouted. My mind wasn't working properly.

"I told you before. Luke is gone!" Kronos bellowed in return, "Only his body has remained, his soul is nowhere to be found"

"You're lying! We just talked to him seconds ago"

"FOOL! Now, have a peek of Olympus' downfall, young demigods and satyr"

Kronos spread his arms wide. He was glowing brighter and brighter. I didn't know what to do. Rachel told me that I wasn't the hero. If it's true, then who? Is it Luke? No, he has been completely taken over by the evil Titan now. Only Kronos is here, not Luke. So whose soul shall be reaped? I don't know. I'm going mad.

"Percy!" Annabeth yelled, "It's Kronos! He is now turning into his true form!"

I turned to look at Annabeth. There was Grover by her side, feeding her ambrosia and nectar. I ran to them. I hugged them tightly, as if this'll be my last hug with them. "Annabeth, Grover..." my eyes watered with tears, "I-I'm sorry. We failed. I failed you. Go straight to the elevator. Save yourselves"

"H-How about you, Percy?" Grover had tears in his eyes too.

"I'm staying. I'll do anything to stop him"

"There's nothing you can do now, Percy!" Annabeth's tears flowed down her cheeks, "We'll all die here. We'll never leave you alone, right Grover?"

Grover made a nod and proceeded into sobbing. "Annabeth..." I gave her a kiss on the cheek, "Remember, I love you"

Annabeth's eyes welled with more tears. He cried on my shirt which was now drenched with tears. I turned to Grover. "Follow me"

I carried Annabeth on my arms and began to run. Grover stumbled as he stood and chased after me. Annabeth was slapping me randomly while muttering, "Hey! What are you doing! Let go of me!"

Behind us, Kronos, who was still transforming, laughed hysterically at us, "Stupid demigods! As if you could escape!"

As we reached the outside, I sounded a whistle. I don't know if it'll work, but that was the only thing I can do. We wouldn't make it on time if we run towards the elevator. Plus, there's the problem of the vanished stepping stones that formed a bridge between Olympus and the mortal world.

Two shadows covered us. I looked up. It worked. Blackjack was there, and Porkpie. Yo, boss, the Pegasus landed beside us.

"Bring them to the ground as fast as you can", I began laying Annabeth on Blackjack.

Grover understood what I was doing though his face looks disapproving of this. He climbed onto Porkpie. Annabeth was trying to come down from Blackjack but the Pegasus wouldn't let her. Boss, aren't you coming? my Blackjack asked.

"I'm afraid not. I'm staying", I answered, looking away from Annabeth, "Bring them to the ground, NOW!"

The two Pegasi took flight. I heard Annabeth screaming as they disappeared from my sight, "PERCY! Don't do this! Bring us back! We shall all die together!"

Tears trickled down my face. I started running back to the Council.

Kronos was still there. He hasn't turned into his Titan form yet. He was still laughing triumphantly, when he saw me, he spoke as if victory was already with him, "So you had returned? Why? You really want to see how will I destroy the gods?"

"I'm not here for that! I'm here to save Luke", I despised Kronos in my tone.

From our conversation a while ago, I know that Luke isn't evil. Kronos brainwashed him, so that he could fulfill his own dreams, emphasis on own.

"Why do you even care for that stupid guy? Why don't you care for yourself? You're probably the greatest hero for years. Join forces with me, and I'll make you my right hand"

"I refuse! I'll never serve you, Your Selfishness. And why do I care for Luke? It's because he's my friend"

"I thought you understood before. Loyalty to friends is your greatest flaw. Look where it will bring you"

Kronos went brighter, as if he radiated the sun. I turned my back. I was about to cover my eyes when I saw someone enter the Council. "Luke!" the girl yelled.

It was the lieutenant of Artemis – Thalia.

I forgot that she was still here in Olympus. She was supposed to be under the weight of a collapsed statue of Hera. I wondered how she managed to get out. The broken statue was too heavy. Only a Cyclops can lift it.

She ran towards the now transforming Kronos. She hugged him. If I was Thalia, I would rather slay that monster than hug him.

Kronos threw her to the ground. Thalia fell to the marble floor, crying. She looked up.

All of a sudden, Kronos' atmosphere of triumph faded. It was replaced with longing. I felt that he wasn't Kronos. He was Luke for now. "T-Thalia"

"L-Luke", Thalia mumbled, "D-don't let K-Kronos take o-over you!"

"It's too late now. There's no-"

"Nonsense! I know there's still a way that you could do to stop Kronos. Take a look at your right hand"

Luke lifted his right fist. He was still holding the knife I gave him. The hero's soul, cursed blade shall reap. It was really Luke after all? Are the Fates playing toying on me now? I was going into a mental breakdown already!

"But before that, I want to say something, Thalia", Luke spoke with his fragile voice, "I want you to know that I love you"

Thalia was sort of surprised after hearing Luke's confession. Of all the times, this isn't the time that you would expect a boy to confess to you, is it? The world's already in chaos. I thought that Thalia would be angered by that, but I was wrong. "Luke", Thalia's voice was still fumbled because of her sobbing, "I... I love you too"

Luke made a weak smile at Thalia. He turned his gaze to me and gave another smile. "It is finished"

Luke raised the blade and slashed it into his left forearm. As he did it, I knew that that was his weak spot, his Achilles' heel. That was the only point in his body where he is vulnerable. But by doing that, he would also kill himself! "LUKE! You'll be killed" I shouted and tried to run towards him as blood rushed out of his veins.

But before I could reach him, he glowed more than ever. It blinded me. Imagine yourself looking at the sun at midday. Now, multiply that by a gazillion times. That's how it felt. There's nothing I can do but to leap on Thalia. I hugged and covered her. I turned my back as the light engulfed everything.

Then, it was dark, very dark.

To be continued...