The Son of Neptune
Disclaimer. The Heroes of Olympus series belongs to Rick Riordan.
Chapter 1 – Waking up.
Even before Percy jumped two hundred feet into the ocean, his day had been absolutely rotten.
He had woken up in the middle of a classroom, without knowing who he was, with an African American girl shaking him awake and a middle aged teacher that looked like a woodpecker glaring at him.
The man had a disproportionately huge head, small black eyes, short hair, and a nose so long and pointed he could have hunted small birds and rodents with it. Worst of all, he looked utterly furious. "Now that you've seen fit to join us, Percy" the man grumbled furiously, "would you be so kind as to explain what would be the product of an electrolysis reaction in a sodium chloride solution?"
"Uh-… uh…" Percy stammered. He tried to remember what on earth electrolysis was supposed to be or anything that might pass for an answer and found… nothing. Surprised, and a little ashamed that he didn't know anything about chemistry, he tried to remember if he had goofed off every single lesson in this class. Nothing came to him. A solid white wall came up in his mind as he tried to remember, leaving him in a blank. There was no science class, no knowledge on any of the kids around him and certainly nothing about the woodpecker teacher glaring at him. With a flare of panic, he realized he didn't even know where he came from, or who his family and friends were.
Laughter broke out around him and the guy sitting in the seat behind coughed and said quite understandably "stu (cough)-pid (cough)". Anger flooded him and he turned to snap at the guy when his move was blocked off by the girl sitting next to him. She dropped her bag, books and pencil case to the floor with a resounding crash and then quickly stood to pick her things, completely blocking his view of the back row. As she bent to pick her stuff up, she murmured "sodium metal and chlorine gas, dummy. Mr. Milkgoat's gonna kill you".
Percy stared at her. She was the African-American girl who woke him up. She was rather pretty, with braided brown hair and huge black eyes. She was dressed simply, with jeans, a blue T-Shirt and sneakers. She picked up her stuff and sat back down, looking intently at him and nudging her head towards the teacher.
"Mr. Jackson" Mr. Milkgoat spoke again, saying his name very slowly. "You have been studying electrolysis for a month. If you do not want a week's worth of detention you will answer my question. What is the product in an electrolysis reaction in a sodium chloride solution?"
"Sodium metal and chlorine gas, sir". Percy answered promptly.
Mr. Milkgoat paused for a second, obviously surprised. His face started to get red as he got angry for losing his prey and Percy could have sworn his eyes turned red for a second, too. He looked at Percy, then at the girl and then back at Percy and smiled. There was some form of evil pleasure in his eyes as he said "Miss Bell seems to think she can cheat and feed you answers without me noticing, so I think it appropriate that both of you come to my office after class for detention. Be there at three".
"Yes, sir" they both answered in resignation. The bell rang then and noise broke out as students packed their things. Suddenly, a scruffy little kid broke into a run and headed for the door like his life depended on it. Mr. Milkgoat saw him and immediately shouted over the hustle "Mr. Price! You forgot to hand in your paper on mitosis today so I also expect to see you at three in my office!"
The kid stopped in his tracks. He turned around and slouched over to where Percy and the African-American girl were. "Hey Perce, hey Jamie" he muttered in a British accent "damn, I almost made it, and I could've avoided detention with you two. Again. I swear, if this keeps up, I'm gonna sue him for harassment".
Jamie laughed at that but just said "don't be an idiot, Liam, he just picks on us cause we make trouble for him. I mean, three ADHD kids in a single class? We must drive him nuts, what with you throwing darts at the board from the other side of the room and Perce here blowing up every single water pipe in the classroom with a single experiment".
"So what do you think he'll make us do this time, eh Perce?" Jamie interrupted "clean bathroom stalls again? That was seriously disgusting man, I don't know how you took it so easily".
Percy stared at both of them. They seemed to know him and they took him for granted as if he were a part of the group, just like the whole class and the teacher seemed to think he belonged there. But he had no idea who they were or what they were talking about and he had a feeling that made him sure, absolutely certain, that he wasn't supposed to be there.
"Um, I don't…" he started to say when "Hide!" Jamie screamed suddenly. They had walked out of the classroom and into the hallway as they spoke and just as they had reached the corner she shoved Percy and Liam around into the closest empty classroom and closed the door.
"What's going on?" Percy asked quickly. For some reason, his hand shot into his pocket and brought out… a pen. Liam saw his less than heroic motion and snickered a bit, but didn't say anything.
"Garret was coming over" Jamie answered. "I don't want to talk to him, he makes me nervous".
"Garret?" Percy asked.
"You're kidding, right? Liam asked. "You know, the obsessive kid that follows us around everywhere we go? Seems to think we're in mortal danger every time we sneeze, look sad or trip going up the stairs? The guy who's mortally afraid of Mr. Milkgoat? We've hid from him like a million times, mate. I personally think he's Jamie's stalker and the weirdest kid in school".
"What? No. I don't remember him, I can't remember being here at all, I…"
The door suddenly opened and another kid came in. He was rather short, and he walked funny, like he's legs bent too wide and his feet were too small for his shoes. He had long brown hair that fell over his eyes, a small nose and he was growing a goatee. He was wearing khaki pants, a striped shirt and, bizarrely, a wide brimmed Mexican sombrero. Something sparked in Percy's memory, a faint tug, a familiar feeling at the kids' weird appearance, but just like that, it was gone and he had to wonder if he actually knew Garret or if he just reminded him of someone, else.
"Hi, Garret" Jamie and Liam chanted.
"Jamie! Liam!" the guy answered "I've been looking all over for you! You know you shouldn't go off alone with students you don't know, it's dangerous!"
"Garret, I swear to God, you're worse than my dad" Jamie answered. "It's just Percy, not some weird stranger who's gonna kidnap us. He's been here for two months, just like us".
Garret's eyes opened wide for a second and he looked intently from Percy to the other kids. Strangely, he gave out a very noticeable sniff towards Percy, like he smelled bad. "Right", he then muttered slowly, "of course he's been here… I forgot, silly me. Sorry Percy".
This kid was lying. He knew he didn't belong there, and Percy had to get some answers. "No. I haven't been here for two months" Percy answered. "I've got no idea who any of you are. I shouldn't be here, it's wrong, I should be somewhere else". He could tell his voice was coming out kind of high pitched and distressed but he went on. "You know this, Garret, tell me, do you know who I am? Where I come from?"
"Whoa, there cowboy" Jamie cut in. "Amnesia went out of fashion ages ago, you know, ever since the Bourne Supremacy fiasco. Cut it out, it's creepy".
"No! You don't get it, this is the first I've seen you, I don't remember, I don't…
"Calm down Perce" Jamie cut in. "You've been here for two months just like Liam and me. You were kicked out of some juvie program or school and were transferred to the worst centre for "troubled" (she made air quotes) kids in San Francisco. I transferred here from L.A. and Liam was thrown out of Eton just about the same time. We've been hanging out almost from day one, and hiding from Garret since then. You've got to remember this, we hung out just yesterday afternoon, at the beach…
None of this made any sense to Percy, it didn't spark any feelings or memories. "I don't remember any of that" he answered. "Are you sure that…
With a bang, the classroom door opened again. Garret paled to the color of paper as Mr. Milkgoat walked in and loomed over him. "I've been looking for you three. You are LATE for your detention! Come on".
He stood by the door and waited for them to leave. Garret looked absolutely panicked and started fidgeting with something in his pocket looking as though he were to do something rash. But he just looked at them as they silently followed Mr. Milkgoat down the hallway and then up the stairs.