Note – I updated and re-uploaded Chapter 2 – I didn't make any major changes. It was just messing with my OCD that I still had Reyna as a daughter of Apollo even though we now know that she's a daughter of Bellona.
I do not own Percy Jackson and the Olympians or Heroes of Olympus – Rick Riordan does.
When I work up the next morning, I found another note by my bedside.
Congratulations on passing your first test, Percy! (and Jason… Jupiter would kill me if I didn't include that, so, yeah…) Go ahead and enjoy your breakfast. You have the day off until after lunch, when you should go to the arena for your next challenge.
Best of luck!
Well, I thought, since I have the day off, maybe I could just… wait. What time is it?
I looked at the clock. It read 10:09. So I had missed breakfast, and Jason was probably already up and wandering about. Just the thought of food made me hungry, and I had the sudden urge to go search around the palace. I soon found the kitchen and made myself a peanut butter sandwich. I chuckled at the thought of Tyson's battle cry during the last war while spreading the creamy peanut butter on my bread.
After finishing my breakfast, I went to see if I could find Jason. No doubt today's challenge would be harder than merely cooperating, despite the fact that he's Roman and I'm Greek. It seems like we have some stuff in common, especially our desire to see the people we care about soon.
I found him admiring Annabeth's recent work on Olympus.
"You know, my girlfriend's in charge of the whole rebuilding project," I said as a greeting.
"It's impressive," he conceded. "What do you think today's task is going to be?"
"I have no idea," I admitted. "But it's going to be harder than yesterday's."
"I arrived at the same conclusion."
"So what do you think we should do with our time?" I asked him.
I offered to show him around Olympus, since he had never been here before. He accepted. Actually, Olympus was practically as new to me as it was to him because I had yet to visit since Annabeth commenced its reconstruction. I had to say, she had done an absolutely brilliant job (not that I was surprised).
We finished about half an hour before lunch and were at a loss about what to do.
"Well, maybe we should see how we would fight together in a battle. Maybe go over some battle strategy," Jason proposed.
And here's where Annabeth would normally step in, I thought. Well, she's not here right now, so I guess there's no other option…
"Sure. Why not? We might as well get used to each other's fighting style while we can."
We fought until noon, and then went to lunch. Over lunch, we discussed strategy.
"Do you think that you have any different powers than Thalia does since your dad's Jupiter, not Zeus?" I asked Jason.
"Well, I don't think so. I can summon lightening, fly – "
I almost choked on my food. "Did you say fly? Thalia never mentioned she could fly. Then again, knowing her, she would never try…"
"Why wouldn't she try?" Jason asked. "Flying's awesome!"
Because she's afraid of heights! Hahahahahaha, ehem. If Thalia could read my mind right now… I scared myself. I could see her glaring at my right now. "Um, I kinda swore never to tell anyone."
"But I'm her brother!" He gave me a glare.
I just chuckled. "To be honest, Thalia's glare is 100 times worse than yours. And at this moment, I fear her wrath more than I fear yours."
Jason sighed. "Well, anyway. As you already know, my coin can transform into either a spear or a sword. It's made of imperial gold. And I can manipulate the winds. Um… yeah. Your turn?"
I thought for a second. "Ok. I can control water, like I can walk on water, summon waves, and stuff like that. I heal faster in water. Um, when I'm really pressed I can summon a hurricane – "
It was Jason's turn to be shocked. (haha. Shocked. I couldn't resist. Anyway…) "What?"
"Um, yeah. Like my own mini hurricane. It takes a lot of energy, though, so I can't sustain it for long."
Jason nodded. I continued, "Um, I think you already know about my sword. And I think that's about it for me."
I was just about to respond when Hermes appeared in front of us.
"Hello Percy, Jason! Time to…"
"I like rats! Did you bring us rats?"
"Hi, Martha. No, I didn't bring any rats, George," I replied.
"George! It's rude to talk like that!"
"Well, I'm hungry! What about you? Did you bring rats?" George asked Jason.
Jason was looking around. I almost laughed – he looked so freaked out. Hermes just looked annoyed.
"George, Martha. I thought I told you two to behave. I just may have to…" he threatened as his hand reached toward a button marked "silent."
"No, no! We don't need that. We'll behave. Won't we, George?" Martha said quickly.
"Yeah. Especially if I get my rats…"
"George! Ugh. I really don't know how – "Martha never finished her statement since Hermes hit the button.
"Anyway, it is time for your second challenge. Are you ready?" Hermes asked us.
"Um, does our answer matter?" I replied.
"Maybe. Just remember, the longer you wait, the more your girlfriends are going to worry…" Hermes responded.
He didn't need to finish. The moment he mentioned our girlfriends, we had decided. "We're ready."
"That's what I thought…" Hermes murmured as he flashed us to an arena.
The arena had changed a lot since the last time I had seen it. There were woods and a creek on one side of the arena and a strange fort-like structure on the other side. The creek looked very similar to the one at Camp Half-Blood, but I didn't recognize the fort.
Jason, on the other hand, seemed to recognize the fort.
"Do you recognize anything out here?"
"Yeah. At Camp Jupiter, we play war games using that fort. The third, fourth, and fifth legions attack the fort and try to get the flags that legions one and two are defending. What about you? Recognize anything?"
"Well, the other half of the field appears similar to Camp Half-Blood. We play capture the flag every Friday."
Okay, I thought. He knows the fort. I'm good with fighting in woods. The woods have water nearby.
"Children! You are here for your next task," announced Jupiter.
Well, no freakin' duh, I thought.
"You have two options. Option 1: you can play a game of capture the flag. You will both be on the same team. The fort will be in play. You will be defending the woods/creek side of the arena.
"Option 2: you can play the Roman war game. You two will be attacking the fort, which will be defended.
"In either option, you will have virtual troops and will be fighting virtual monsters and demigods (on a side note, I would like to thank Hephaestus and Athena for designing the system)." They will behave as they would in the real world. You cannot get hurt or killed, but you will feel the pain all the same, and if, say, your arm is cut off, it will 'disappear' for the rest of the game. Understood? Now, choose an option."
I turned to Jason. "What do you think?"
Jason laid out our options. "Well, if we play capture the flag, then you can use the creek to your advantage. But I have more experience with the war games."
I pondered for a moment. "Do you want to go with the war games? They seem harder to win, but harder to lose as well. I mean, it's harder to get to the flag, but in capture the flag, if a fast person gets the flag and evades a couple people, game over."
Jason nodded. "Okay, sure."
We turned to Jupiter. "We choose Option 2: the war games."
Okay, admittedly I was kinda disappointed with this chapter (although I enjoyed the George and Martha bit) ;-), and it was kinda filler-ish. But I felt like I needed to update some time, and this moves the story along a little. Next chapter will have some action, I promise.