The Mark of Athena

Annabeth VIII

Anonymous: Fake and gay. The real first chapter starts out with exploding statues and back up plans for back up plans for back up plans

Well, excuse you for being so idiotic! What are you even doing on if you don't know what fanfiction means? It's okay that some of you confused this with the real The Mark of Athena. I'll merely accept that as a compliment, although my writing style is quite different from his. But calling this 'gay'? Gay means 'happy', or 'homosexuality', not a word for you to insult everyone with. Talk to me again (actually, on a second thought, don't)when you stop being such an idiot.

For those who appreciated my fanfiction, I send my sincere thanks. Without your encouragement, I don't think this fanfiction will continue thus far. Thanks.

ANNABETH REALLY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO THINK when Gaea's big and ugly face appeared in front of her.

After Percy left with a hurried, "Nico owed me some explanations", she settled herself on the rock to just think about what to do next and what not, but then she came and ruined the party. Didn't she have enough fun in her dreams last night? And the night before—what more did she want?

Gaea's words came back to Annabeth: Beware Annabeth, this is your last warning… Perseus will perish provided that he arrives Rome or Greece in the first place. Prevent his journey, and you may just save his life….

Of course Annabeth wasn't stupid. She knew this was a trick—why would Gaea keep any of them alive after she destroys the Western Civilization?

But she is not so sure now. Percy did say that Gaea found him very amusing… Correct? And Annabeth would do anything in a heartbeat if that means she gets to keep Percy alive. Especially after just now, when she truly realized how much she missed him; how much she loves him.

The ground twisted and the mud sculpted into a gigantic sleeping woman. A gigantic, sleeping, ugly, clay woman.

Annabeth tightened her fist on her dagger, but she knew it wouldn't do anything to the Earth Goddess. She could see Gaea's eyelids moving, almost fluttering as if she was waking up.

Oh no, not this again…

Annabeth braced herself.

"So, Annabeth Chase. Have you made up your mind yet?" Annabeth kept quiet, gears turning furiously as she debated with herself.

"Don't you want to save Perseus' life?" Her face twisted again, showing a muddy smirk to Annabeth.

"What, and destroy both camps? I am not that selfish." Stated Annabeth defiantly against Gaea.

"Oh, little girl. We both know how much you love that boy. I see everything. You cannot hide from me."

Annabeth didn't know exactly how to respond to that. Right now was definitely not a time to blush and stutter.

"You have no idea what are out there, my dear girl. Monsters, giants, and my children… You don't have the tiniest idea how bad things can go."

"And if I don't cooperate?" Annabeth tested the waters.

"Then Perseus and the other six prophesized campers die. And of course, you are one of them." And if I do cooperate, the Giants will gather their strength and Gaea will stir, causing the Western Civilization to fall, permanently. Annabeth thought to herself.

"Of course, I'm not going to force you into submission of any kind." Gaea continued in her sickly hoarse voice. "You do have a choice, and I will leave the tools behind if you think I am correct."

With another mud splash, the Earth spat out a gut-less cotton thing that looked suspiciously like a Panda Pet, and several screwdrivers and bolts. Annabeth knew exactly what Gaea wanted her to do with them.

"But of course, I am always right." Gaea said as the mud twisted back to normal, her voice echoed hollowly behind.

Oh no, oh no! This was not the choice she wanted to make any time soon, let alone today. She cannot make the sacrifice, nor could she risk the safety of the camp potentially. She knew she couldn't be so selfish, but she desperately wanted to be.

Oh Percy… What should I do?

But of course she couldn't consult him. All he'll do is to freak and insist that she stays in camp while he go and find Gaea to battle her. Nothing is going to be accomplished except for Percy getting himself killed. The very thing Annabeth was trying to avoid.

But what should I do? Annabeth once prided herself in the way that she could always be perfectly in control of everything. But not now. This is Percy we're talking about. She was abandoned all her life. First, it was her mother, who left her on her father's doorstep, unable to raise her in Olympus. Then it was her father and her stepmother, who viewed her as a freak, a monster.

Things were better when she finally met Luke and Thalia. But both of them were gone, one by one. Thalia was sacrificed and Luke turned into a traitor, breaking her heart into tiny little pieces.

But Percy never left her. Not even when he was offered immortality. Immortality… Who could refuse that? But Percy did.

For her.

And she is definitely going to return the favor by saving his life.

Annabeth picked up the crushed panda and the tools Gaea left her.

Moments later, Annabeth got onto the ship that she had been on for the last -few days, and went into the control room. She spread the blueprint on the wooden floor of the control room, looking for inconspicuous places that she could take a few screws off without being noticed that easily.

I shouldn't be doing this. But Annabeth already made up her mind, and nothing is going to affect her decision that easily.

Although Athena's children are known to be only strategists and architects instead of builders, Annabeth gained plenty of experiences working with blueprints on Olympus as its official architect before it got shut off unexpectedly. And before she was awarded by that darn gift from her mother.

Focus. She told herself. It was not the time for self-pitying. From her pocket, she got out her New York Yankees cap—another gift from her mother, and put it on her head in case anyone came wondering this way.

Then if Octavian, that little rat, comes, she wouldn't be in the spotlight for being accused for exactly what she was about to do. It's not like Gaea is his biggest fan either, because she was the one who provided Annabeth the panda. She called him an 'annoying puppet', one with a sickly sweet demeanor who wanted to act as her humble servant. Annabeth already got to know him through Gaea's nightly visits.

Quickly, Annabeth hid the panda in 'plain sight'. Somewhere not too hidden, but just enough that anyone who wasn't looking wouldn't find it, in case someone who works for Octavian destroys the 'evidence' first before the investigation that would surely come to pass.

Then, as if she did this for a thousand times, Annabeth went and unscrewed a few bolts here and there, replaced a few, and screwed on a few more. Her work here was done.

I seriously hope this will help Percy… And also help both of our camps, for the gods' sake. Annabeth thought as she left the temper, extra tools and leftover screws in her hand.

She didn't notice the boy who went into the ship after she left, and the way he hurried to Jupiter's temple with Annabeth's Yankees cap in hand.

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