Chapter Seventeen: Next Stop? Doom! Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors
A/N: Feel free to yell at me and whatnot in your comments. I realize I deserve it after being inactive for almost a year. Despite your anger and resentment towards me, enjoy!
After Clarisse discovered Sam and Melanie's little stunt things got completely out of hand. Clarisse knew who'd been responsible without any doubt, I mean duh, of course it had been Sam. Clarisse had to be restrained by several campers including Percy Jackson. Her face had turned as red as the boar that hung over her cabin's door and she began to yell profanity that not even Sam's mother would've used. Meanwhile, Sam just laughed. If she feared the much older, much stronger, much scarier looking girl, she hid it well. Melanie on the other hand just sunk a little in her seat although I don't think Clarisse suspected her. I wouldn't have suspected Melanie if she and Sam hadn't told me after the whole ordeal had ended.
"You what!?" Freddie shouted as we exited the dining pavillion.
"I filled her mattress with wasps" Sam shrugged as if it were no big deal, which of course it wasn't, at least to her it wasn't. "Melanie helped."
"No way. Melanie would never do such a thing!" Freddie protested. Melanie made a small girly sound in her throat. We all turned to face her.
"But I did," she said finally, "and you know what? I'm ok. There's no one who deserved that more than Clarisse." Despite this, Melanie looked like she was about to be sick. She was turning slightly green in the face.
"You don't look half as confident as your words," Sam pointed out. "You don't have to take the blame with me if you don't want to. That pig has no idea you had any part in it. Besides, the plan didn't even work. She was supposed to get stung. I don't understand why the hell she's so angry."
"The beds here at camp are magical. They are made with fibers that rejuvenate demigods as they sleep. That's why we wake up well rested no matter how rigorous the previous day of training was. I should've remembered." Melanie looked genuinely upset.
"She still deserved it," Sam said dismissively, obviously trying to rid her sister of her guilt. "If we hadn't done it, no one would've. I'll bet Chiron will have a new bed in no time anyway."
We spent the next few hours enjoying the little remaining time we had at camp. None of us said a single word about the quest but I could tell from the troubled look on my friends' faces that I wasn't the only one stressing about it. This is my quest. They're going because they're my friends. Do I really want to put their lives at risk for my own? I tried to brush these thoughts out of my head, but it wasn't easy. My best friends were putting their lives in danger to save mine. I don't think I would be able to live with myself if anything happened to any one of them during the quest.
"The first quest is always scary." It was dark now and all of camp was sitting beside the fire just enjoying themselves before curfew. I didn't notice when Percy crept up beside me.
"You can say that again," I said.
"Ok, the first quest is always sary." He laughed and I couldn't help but laugh with him, despite my jitters. "The first quest is always scary, but if you let your fear overwhelm you, you'll never succeed. Trust me." It was hard not to trust him. The way he said everything so confidently made you want to believe every single word he said.
"Where you scared on your first quest?" I asked. He scratched his chin in an overly dramatic fashion.
"Hmmm, was I scared? Well, let's see; I was eleven years old and Zeus had accused my father of stealing his master lightning bolt. I had to travel across the country and into the Underworld to retrieve it. Not to mention I had to fight Medusa, Echidna and her pet Chimera, and Ares along the way. When you add it all up, yes, I was scared shitless." I shuddered a little. Percy had survived all of that?
"How'd you do it?" I asked.
"I wasn't easy. But then again, no quest is ever easy. It takes a lot of cunning and determination and a lot of risks. But the main reason why I succeeded was because I had my friends. I don't know much about Sam or Freddie, and I barely know Melanie, but I can tell they're great friends and trust me, you're gonna need them." With that, Percy took his leave. I sat there and watched him leave for a while. He left me feeling a mixture of emotions. On one hand, his pep talk had made me feel slightly better; like maybe 2%. But on the other hand, he had said it takes a lot to succeed in these quests and I don't know if I had what it takes. Whether I did or didn't it mattered little, for on the morrow I would be leaving no matter what.
It's hard to understand either of the Stoll brothers when they're talking fast. It's even harder to understand them when they're talking fast and at the same time.
"When you come back, you gotta tell us all about it, man, you promise?"
"I'm kinda jealous. We've hardly been on any quest!"
"I wonder what kind of challenge lies in Brooklyn. I wish I could go."
"Send us pictures! Oh no, wait, demigods can't have cell phones."
"You have to bring some glory back to Cabin 11! Do it for Hermes!"
"Yeah man, do it for Hermes!"
My ear was long past hurting. I had my backpack on my bunk and was just finishing packing a few last things inside it. Travis and Connor and pretty much all the other Hermes kids had crowded around me wishing me luck and whatnot. I kind of wished they would stop. I did not need the extra pressure from Travis and Connor.
"Guys relax! You're making me a little nervous," I said as I shoved a couple of socks inside my backpack.
"Aw man, don't be nervous! You got this! If you fail you'll shame us all, but don't think about that ok?" I would've been upset at this but based on the few days I'd known Connor, I knew he really thought he was motivating me and not bringing me down.
"Uh, thanks Connor."
"No problem bro."
After I had finished my bag, Travis, despite me telling him several times that it wasn't necessary, carried my bag for me all the way to the Big House where Carly, Sam, and Melanie were waiting along with Chiron and Argus, the hundred-eyed head of security who would drive us into the city. The looks on the faces of my friends were all pretty similar, except for Sam, who had a smile on her face for some reason.
"Good morning, Freddie," Chiron greeted me. I politely returned the greeting and joined my friends. Argus took the backpack from Travis and loaded into the back of a white van which had "DELPHI STRAWBERRY SERVICE" written on the side. I guessed that that was some sort of cover name for Camp Half-Blood.
"I wish you four the best of luck on this quest," Chiron said as we all got into the van.
"Thanks Chiron," Carly managed. Melanie and I nodded and Sam only grunted. Argus got into the driver's seat and fastened his seatbelt but didn't start the van. He glared at us through his passenger mirror. It took us awhile to realize that he was mad that we didn't have our seatbelts we were all "safe" he started the van and we were off.
A/N: Please review!