Deep as the Sea
"Who the hell are these guys?" Percy snarled, losing his temper as he forced the creature's face away from his own. Increasing the force of his grip, he crushed the bones of its ugly face with his gloved hand.
He'd learn quickly to wear gloves and to cover as much skin as possible. There was something in their saliva that messed with his head and made it really hard to fight. Annabeth said it was a narcotic of some kind.
He just knew it was really annoying, even if it stopped affecting him while he was in water. More importantly, it was really dangerous to anyone who wasn't immune to poison when wet, which was most people.
Also, they were just disgusting—black, slimy bat-like creatures with giant fangs and disgustingly long tongues that slobbered everywhere—and he frankly didn't really want to touch them.
He stabbed Riptide deep into the belly of another creature as it foolishly approached, before kicking it away. They apparently feed on blood, which, considering the bat thing and the fact that they hated sunlight—something they'd learnt explosively while trying to transport a prisoner—made Percy think they might have been vampires or something, but if you slit open their bellies, they were basically powerless. If you just left them, they'd die before too long.
He shifted his glare to another creature that hissed at him. He lifted a blade and almost made to move towards him, but stopped midstride as its belly was cut open by something invisible.
He smiled in gratitude, but said nothing. The vampires, if that's really what they were, still had no idea what was cutting them open; he wasn't going to tell them that he had a partner.
He felt Annabeth brush past him, silently assuring him that she was still there, watching his back.
It hadn't been long since the Battle of Manhattan—Summer hadn't even ended yet. But for some reason, about a million monsters had decided they wanted them dead after the battle or something and had started coming after them all the time.
All the campers had pretty much been ordered to stay at the camp for the time being.
Or rather, he'd ordered them all to stay at the camp.
After the war was over, he'd basically become the official leader whenever things got bad. He'd told the campers to stay under the protection of the Camp and had sent several groups out to try and figure out what was going on.
Mainly him and Annabeth, plus Thalia and the Hunters, however, as the camp was still recovering from the battle. There had been a loud debate on whether it was better from him to stay behind to protect the camp or to leave and fight outside it, but Annabeth and Chiron had convinced everyone that letting him fight was for the best. Percy was grateful towards the both of them for that, of course; he'd have gone insane if he'd had to stay behind while something was going on.
Unfortunately, the Gods were being quiet and unhelpful, and even Mr. D had been draw away from the camp.
Worryingly, that even included his father. It may have sounded a bit spoiled, but his dad always had time for him. If even he was being quiet, it meant something serious was going on—and that it coincided with these sudden attacks couldn't be a coincidence.
Even worse, Percy just didn't have time to worry about it. He had to worry about his camp, first, until he was able to contact his father and find out what was wrong on his side.
But maybe he could get somewhere today.
He'd learned that the…vampires were being sent by someone, a superior, and presumably another vampire. The grunts didn't know anything about what was going on or why, except that they were supposed to attack them. The leader would probably know more.
So they'd make the leader tell them. That was the idea, at least, but it required they find the leader first…He, she, it—whatever—kept changing location from day to day.
Still, they'd had to kill something like a dozen vampires today alone. The amount of monsters being sent after them was increasing by a lot—they were probably getting closer.
It was less than an hour until dawn—if they could figure out where they were coming from, there probably wouldn't be enough time for him to move before dawn.
Percy swung his sword, decapitating the last of the vampires, whose corpse feel to the ground with a dull thud. He looked at it once and looked away—it wasn't the first time he'd killed a monster by any means; it wasn't even if the first three hundred—but they usually collapsed into dust.
For some reason, these things didn't. At least, not until they were touched by sunlight, and even that was mainly burning.
Still, at least that meant he wouldn't have to clean things up. He didn't like them while they were alive, much less chopped into pieces.
Speaking of sunlight…
He approached one of the vampires whose belly he'd split, glancing up at the sky obviously as he did so.
"It's probably not long until the sun comes up, guys." He said, stopping just out of reach of one. "I'm guessing you'd like to be somewhere else before that happens, huh?"
He received a number of weak noises in response.
"Well…I suppose I could move you guys inside." He continued his practiced speech. "But if I help you out…you've gotta help me out, okay?"
"W-what…" The one at his feet tried to ask something. This wasn't the first time he'd given this speech, so he was aware of what he was trying to ask.
"I'll let you live…but the one who sent you here dies. And I want you to tell me where they are."
A chorus of furious—but still pathetic—sounds was his response, as it had been the night before. And the night before that, actually.
He shrugged easily, turning away.
"Oh well. It's not like I'm the one who minds the sun."
"H-he'll kill…us…" The one by his feet said.
"That's only an issue if you're alive for him to kill." Percy pointed out. "And if he's alive to kill you. Which won't be an issue, once I catch up with him."
It was hard to make out emotion in the monster's pitch-black eyes, but Percy thought he was considering it.
Finally, he nodded once. Percy grabbed its leg and began pulling him towards the empty building he and Annabeth had been staying in and would now be abandoning, dragging him through the blood that had fallen out of him.
He couldn't really say he was surprised when the vampire's long pink tongue lashed out towards the blood, lapping at it quickly as if he was dying of thirst—which he probably was.
He wasn't surprised when, after he dragged him completely through the blood puddle, the vampire seemed to have recovered immensely.
And he was flat-out expecting it when he attacked him.
He stepped easily out of the way of the punch, grabbed it, and pulled his opponent into his own punch, knocking him several steps back. Before it could recover, its head left it's shoulders, tumbling to the ground. A moment later, it was joined by the rest of his body.
He looked down at it for a silent moment, before sighing and shaking his head. Stepping over it, he approached the next of the fallen vampires.
"I hope you're not as stupid as your friend over there." He said, as the vampire looked up at him in blatant fear.
It shook its head quickly.
"Good," He said. "Then let's try this again."
Reaching down, he grabbed its leg, and began to pull it through the blood he'd spilt.
He was going to find whoever was trying to kill him and get some answers. Tonight.
No matter how many of these grunts he had to go through.
As he'd promised, he'd let the monster go after it had given him what he'd needed. Even if that meant there was still another of its kind out there, that was fine—horror stories can't be born without someone to tell them. If he let a few opponents go, at some point, they'd tell others, who'd tell others and, hopefully, at some point that would form an image that could protect the camp as well as any shield.
It had been Clarisse's idea and it was a good one. Maybe it was because they were all working for the same person, but already hesitation had appeared in the people that had been sent after him. If that image continued to grow, then perhaps it could become something that could keep the Camp safe.
And, after all, it was only fair, since the vampire had given him the information he'd needed.
"…Is this the place?" Percy wondered, uncertain.
"For someone who's eluded us for days, he's not very subtle, is he?" Annabeth said, sounding embarrassed.
It was a manor. Just by looking at it, you could tell that it wasn't a place fitting for a temporary residence or hiding place—rather, this place was more likely to be the enemy headquarters.
Given they were hunting a vampire, it seemed like a pretty obvious place—looking at it, Percy was having flashbacks of Dracula movies.
To call it impractical would be slightly misleading. There were guards positioned strategically, as well as lights and cameras around the walls. It was obvious that breaking into it quietly would be…difficult at best.
Annabeth put on her baseball cap and became invisible. It would be a lie if Percy said he had any idea what she did after that, but he presumed she'd slipped inside or something. It was already daylight and time wasn't an issue, so he simply waited outside. It was more than an hour before the guards shifted—or tried to, at least.
The guards outside went inside, but they didn't come back out. No new guards came out either, which was probably a good sign. Five minutes later, the front door swung open, apparently of its own accord.
Percy stood, stretched briefly, and walked in. If there had been any defenses protecting the lawn, they didn't activate. Nor did anything else, really.
But then, he hadn't expected them to. If any defenses had existed, Annabeth would have disabled them before signaling him to enter.
As he strode through the door, he couldn't help but think that it was a really nice house. Polished wood, cabinets of silverware, grandfather clocks, and ornate chandeliers. Despite being obviously high-class, there wasn't anything that seemed unusual.
Which was itself unusual, because he knew something supernatural was in here somewhere.
Still, the fact that it looked normal said a lot. Unless this place was stolen—something that would draw a lot of attention, because presumably anyone that could afford this place would be missed by someone—then for it to look this normal would require it be set up that way. Presumably by someone who had some experience in that sort of thing.
But just because he hadn't noticed anything strange didn't mean there wasn't anything. If it was fake, then by definition something was hidden.
"This place…" He murmured when he felt Annabeth brush against him reassuringly.
He didn't have to say anything else.
"The refrigerators are empty." She whispered back, her breath against his ear. "So are the cabinets. The silverware is unused. There's a dishwasher and dishes, but no detergent."
If this home belonged to a human, then logically there should have been something to eat in here, somewhere—or, at the very least, signs that there had been food, at some point.
By itself, it wasn't enough to say anything for certain, of course—he could eat out a lot or something—but since they had already tracked something here that fed on human blood, it was enough for him to act on.
He looked around quickly, wondering where to being a search for a blood-sucking monster, when he felt Annabeth tug him towards a door.
He glanced at it once, before looking at the place he assumed Annabeth was inquisitively.
"The door to the basement is locked," She said. "From the inside. And none of the guards had keys that could open it."
Good enough for him.
The manor wasn't very subtle, nor were the guards, which implied that the same was true of the master of both.
Percy wasn't very subtle, either, so that was fine by him.
"I'll go first. I'd feel bad if I made you do all the work." He said, smiling. The expression faded as quickly as it'd appeared, fading into a mask of seriousness. "Give me ten seconds. Follow if nothing happens—otherwise, wait until I signal that it's safe."
For a moment, there was no response, before suddenly her breath was by his ear again.
"Be careful down there Seaweed Brain." She said. "We still don't know what we might find."
"If I knew how to be careful, I wouldn't have done anything I did in my entire life," He said, winking at her. "If you suddenly ask me to do something new, I'll just confuse myself. Let's just stick with what I know—I'll get in trouble and you bail me out, okay?"
Without even waiting for a reply, he leaned back and kicked the door open.
What he found in the basement wasn't what he had expected.
Though, that would raise the question of what exactly he was expecting. Maybe the stereotypical coffin filled basement of a vampire's castle? He wasn't sure.
But whatever he'd anticipated, it wasn't a bunch of prepared, awake vampires and a line of four guards pointing machineguns at him. Behind the two groups stood a well dressed man in an expensive suit, who looked human, but showed no reaction to the line of monsters right in front of him.
"…Huh." Percy said awkwardly, suddenly really glad he'd made Annabeth wait outside.
As one, the gunman began to fire. Percy quickly shut the door to keep any shots or ricochets from escaping to the floor above and potentially injuring Annabeth. He pressed his back against it, both to keep it closed and to protect himself, closing his eyes and crossing his arms in front of his face, more out of instinct than anything else.
It was…strange, being at the center of a storm of bullets. Due to his invulnerability, he wasn't hurt by any of them, but it wasn't as if he couldn't feel them. But the strange thing was that when, one by one, the bullets slammed into his skin at high speed, he felt each one, felt their shape as it warped and flattened on contact with his skin, as they bounced off, as they shredded his cloths and he heard them as they drowned out all other noise with the sound of hundreds of gunshots, and yet…
Neither hurt. It was strange, listening to sound through invulnerable eardrums and feeling blows through impenetrable skin.
And then, it was over. The wave of firepower had lasted only a minute before their guns were empty and they had to reload. Smoke and dust filled the air, but Percy was a demigod—even if he couldn't see them, it didn't really matter.
And it went without saying that he had no intention of standing idly by, letting himself get shot at.
He burnt through the smoke in an instant, lashing out at one of the guard's guns with Riptide as he passed by—even if the blade wouldn't harm mortals, it could cut through steel effortlessly. In the same instant, he grabbed another gun with his free hand, taking it by its barrel and ripping it from the man's hands. In a smooth arc, he brought it up to catch it's former owner hard in the face, knocking him both from his feet and the realm of the conscious, before swinging it to catch the one who's gun he'd destroyed on the back of the head.
Planting Riptide in the stone floor, he dropped the gun he held in his left hand. It was decent as a weapon in that it was hard and he could hit people with it, but he had better options.
The two remaining guards finished reloading even as they turned towards him—he'd knocked out the two in the middle, leaving the two on the outside.
He grabbed the barrels of both guns before they could even start firing, pulling both gunners closer to him, before twisting the one on the left out of its owners grip as it slackened in surprise. He pistol-whipped him, even as the other guard, who either had better training or was just harder to surprise, began to fire into his invulnerable chest as Percy twisted towards him, bringing the gun down with a crack on the top of his head, before yanking the gun from his grasp as well.
Twirling the guns, he switched his grip from the barrels to the handles, holding them as he'd seen in countless movies. He probably wasn't holding them the way he was supposed to and he'd never really used a gun before, but standing with one in each hand made him feel like an action hero.
He had floored all four gunners and begun firing before the first of the vampires even reached him.
He knew he wasn't good at archery and he probably wasn't good with guns, either. If it came to hitting specific targets accurately, the most he could really boast about was that he didn't hit the people on his side anymore.
But if it was just pointing and holding the trigger in a specific direction, he could do that. There was probably a better, more efficient way to use these guns, but this was fine for the moment. The bullets hammered into random places on the vampire's chest until he got used to the recoil and held them more steadily. He pretty much sprayed bullets randomly over the crowd of vampires until his guns clicked empty.
Even if he was a bad shot, it was okay if he just shot more bullets, he figured, and since all the vampires had come from basically the same direction, he'd hit pretty much all of them.
Besides, they were nothing but a way to make things a bit easier for him.
"I came here for two reasons," He declared proudly, a grin stealing across his face despite himself. "To kick ass and—"
A vampire burst through the smoke, claws outstretched towards his face. His body was full of a number of holes from his haphazard spray of bullets, but apparently he hadn't hit anything important enough to put the thing down.
Percy reacted in an instant. Their purpose accomplished, he dropped the guns and pulled Riptide out of the floor, raising it in a wide arc that took of the monster's head.
"Okay, I'll just be quiet."
He could have stayed back and waited for them to come to him—but Percy had never been much of a defensive fighter. He met the next vampire's charge with his own, sidestepping at the last moment, bringing his sword down in an arc to end its life even as he continued his advance. Stepping to the next in line, he then brought his blade up, sliding it smoothly into its gut, before leaning back to avoid it's snap at his face, raising a leg to kick it hard in the chest, sliding it of his blade and tossing it into the vampire behind it.
Percy continued his advance, stepping around the tangle of limbs he'd reduced the two vampires to, while a third one approached from the side. Grasping Riptide in both hands, he swung his blade, starting low—the Celestial Bronze sword carved smoothly through both the vampires on the ground before lifting in a shining arc to cut the third vampire from cheekbone to temple.
Only two more vampires remained, plus the strange man in the back, and he quickly stepped into their personal space. Having apparently realized how dangerous he was, but also realizing that the only way out of the room was through the door behind him, they glanced at each other once and moved in unison. Showing a bit more strategy than their predecessors, they attempted to attack simultaneously from different directions, intending to distract him enough to dash past, hoping to make it to the stairs.
The one on the right ended up with a sword to face for his trouble—entering under his chin and exiting out of the top of his head. The one on the left was stopped as Percy grabbed his face with his free hand, fingers digging deep into its skin to gain traction on its slimy skin.
Tearing his blade roughly from the right vampire's head, he swung it under his left arm, decapitating his captive. The body immediately fell to the floor, but he kept a hold of the head. Its jaw had slid open, slackening in death; he turn his hand over, causing gravity to close it, before tossing it to the feet of the out-of-place man.
Standing only a few feet away, a group of dead vampires and defeat guards behind him, his skin untouched by the battle, Percy looked at the man he'd decided was the leader, acting like it wasn't even a thing.
As he stepped towards him, the man backed away at his advance.
"You're the one that's been sending monsters after us? What's in this for you? Is there anyone else involved?"" He asked as kept walking. In moments, the leader had his back to the wall and nowhere to go.
Even so, he didn't say anything. Percy watched him for a moment, considering something.
Then, he stabbed him in the foot.
The man let out a cry of pain, confirming Percy's suspicion.
"As I thought, you're not human." Percy said, withdrawing his blade. "What are you then?"
The man still refused to say anything, though he now glared at him furiously.
Pursing his lips, Percy stared at him, not really surprised. He hadn't expected it would be easy to get answers.
"I don't have anywhere to be," He said. "And the only way you're getting out of here is through me—and you aren't getting passed me unless I get some answers. Make this easy on yourself and save us both some time."
The man sneered at him.
"Do you expect me to believe you'll actually let me live?"
"I suppose that depends on what, exactly, you tell me, doesn't it? I certainly won't let you go if you say nothing." Percy replied, taking another step forward. "But yeah, if you answer my questions—and tell me everything I want to know—I'll let you go, on the condition that you stop sending people after us. If anything happens, I'll come back for another visit and you'll die."
He didn't bother rising or lowering his voice—he just stated the facts. He wasn't really confident about his acting skills, so he didn't try to be intimidating, but he'd follow through on any threats he made, if it came to that.
Truthfully, he'd planned to kill this guy without saying a word, but he'd already noticed something that stayed his hand.
"Let's start with the most important issue…" Percy began. "Who are you working for?"
This guy…Percy couldn't believe he was the leader. After the attacks began, they'd done some digging. The Hunters had spread out, hunting monsters but also reporting back what they found—and they'd reported strange monster attacks all across the nation. He and Annabeth had decided to start in the areas close to home, which had led them here, but…
There was no way this guy was behind everything. He didn't have enough defenses or soldiers or even 'variety.' These vampires weren't uncommon, but they were hardly the only thing that had appeared recently. He couldn't be behind everything—Percy doubted he was even behind all the vampire attacks, given how wide spread Thalia had reported they were.
In the end, all he'd found was another grunt.
The man's eyes shifted nervously.
"I can't," He said. "They'll kill me."
"Fine," Percy said. "Then I'll kill you and try again with the next guy that shows up."
The man licked his lips once and nodded.
And then spit at him. It wasn't a normal amount, either, but a disgustingly large wad of it that Percy immediately recognized.
The man was a vampire, too.
Percy ducked quickly to the right, knowing better then to let it touch him—especially with his clothing torn to pieces by that hail of bullets.
And the man saw his chance. Dashing forward as Percy dodged, he ran as fast as he could towards the door—he'd go through it, if he need to. Even if it was daylight, he had ways to escape; a specially prepared van shielded against sunlight.
"—Death it is, then." Percy said, spinning on a dime, and grabbing the man by the arm and pulling, Riptide already raised to send another monster to its grave.
But all he pulled away was a disgusting sheet of flesh that slid straight off the man, revealing the bat-like monstrosity beneath. Percy's eyes widened in surprise before he threw it to the ground with a snarl and lunged after him.
And then the man stopped sudden. Percy grabbed him, pulling him roughly, before he stopped too.
The 'man's' belly had been cut open. Percy released him, letting him drop to the floor.
"—What happened to waiting until I gave the signal?" Percy asked.
"You took too long," Annabeth said, tacking off her cap. "It's not nice to keep a girl waiting."
'I got worried,' Percy knew she meant.
"Besides," Annabeth continued, smiling teasingly. "It looks like this could use a woman's touch."
Percy glanced at the whimpering vampire at his feet.
"By all means," He said, stepping back.
"The Red Court, huh…" Percy murmured.
"It's interesting, isn't it?" Annabeth said, a familiar gleam in her eyes. "The Red Court of Vampires. Seems to imply that vampires aren't completely united. Maybe it's a political faction? It could even be an extremist group?"
"I was mainly thinking it was weird." Percy said, lifting his voice. "Monsters forming their own organization? And us not knowing about it until now?"
"It's not that weird," Annabeth disagreed. "They didn't seem to know about us until recently. And I can even guess when."
"The Battle of Manhattan." Percy agreed more than said. "Yeah, I guess it's not surprising that we drew some attention then. But still…they're monsters. We hunt monsters. How have we never even run across them before? There are so many of them; you'd figure someone have seen them before at some point."
Annabeth opened her mouth for a moment before snapping it shut with a click and shaking her head.
"I'd say the only way would be if we were somehow avoiding each other," She said. "But that would require we know about each other."
Percy pursed his lips for a minute.
"There's still too much we don't know." He decided. "And we aren't figuring out what it is quickly enough. If something's going on, we might already be on a time limit."
He debated with himself for a minute before sighing.
"We need to widen our search. And…we need someone more persuasive." He decided. "Annabeth, call Drew."
Annabeth looked annoyed at the thought.
"Why don't you call Drew?" She replied.
"She's the new Counselor of the Aphrodite Cabin—she may as well get to work." He continued, dodging the question. "If nothing else, her Charmspeak will be helpful—and I'm sure the Aphrodite Cabin will be happy to be free of her for awhile. Call Clarisse and the Ares Cabin, too; I know they've been eager to join the search."
Annabeth actually sputtered at that.
"Clarisse and Drew?" She said, looking at him like he'd lost his mind. "Are you insane? Clarisse will kill her if she says anything about Silena. Are you sure that's a good idea."
"No," He admitted. "But if we took her with us, I'd have kill her if she said anything about Silena—I was there when she died and I was Beckendorf's best friend, besides. But Drew doesn't have much skill in a fight—if she meets someone she can't Charmspeak, she'll be in danger, and even if I dislike her, she doesn't deserve to die; hopefully, she'll be smart enough to keep quiet around Clarisse. Besides, going on a quest might be good for her; we were all brats at one point or another, before we had to grow up a bit."
"And who knows? Maybe they'll become friends."
Annabeth raised an eyebrow at that.
"You think so?"
"Not really, but I didn't think Clarisse and Silena would become friends, either." He said, shrugging again. "Call Grover and the Satyrs, too, and have them look around—the Nymph's, too, if you can. Even if these guys have been avoiding us, I doubt they knew to avoid every plant in the city. Tell them to see if the nature spirits know anything. Send them along with the Ares Cabin, too."
Annabeth nodded easily at that, though she seemed a bit worried about deploying so many people at once with the situation still so uncertain.
"And what are you going to do?"
Standing, Percy rubbed the bridge of his nose.
"I'll go call Nico." He said. "If all else fails, I'm sure these guys have killed people before—and I'm sure at least one of them knows something. It may take awhile, but I bet Nico can find out what we need."
Annabeth nodded and left the room without a word to go make her calls. Percy watched her go, somewhat thankful for the privacy.
The relationship between him and Nico was…strange. After his sister had died, he'd felt responsible for him, even if Nico had hated him at first. They'd worked things out eventually and he'd eventually started to think of Nico as a little brother.
An incredibly annoying little brother that he loved anyway.
Nico was a professional when it came to annoying him. In the first week he'd known the kid, he'd wanted to kill the kid he was so annoying. And when he'd had to chase him all over to keep him from doing something stupid. And when he'd nearly gotten him killed in the Underworld—despite how ironic that was in hindsight.
He always forgave Nico in the end—which was part of the reason he thought their relationship was kind of brotherly—but that didn't change the fact that spending time with Nico was frequently a trying experience. Clarisse and Luke had proved that childhood enemies could become friends and that childhood friends could become enemies—but little brothers are annoying forever.
Still, the kid was good at what he did.
Percy sighed one last time before going to call the Ghost King.
Their information network spread quickly—and the amount of things they found out was already giving him a headache.
Grover and the Satyrs had learned a stunning amount of information from the plants of New York City—especially in the Parks. They were still in the process of organizing everything they found, but between Central, Prospect, and Flushing-Meadows Corona Park, plus the Bronx, they'd solved a staggering number of crimes. In the end, Annabeth had had to connect them to her half-brother, who was the current New York City Police Commissioner, and have them funnel everything to him, because they just couldn't handle all of it themselves.
There were also a number of strange things that, honestly, Percy wasn't sure what meant, if anything. They were definitely supernatural, but there were so many…
How had they not noticed anything? There were so many cases of supernatural activity, some of which dating back an extraordinary amount of time, and they'd had no idea…
He couldn't believe that this many monsters had escaped their notice in their own city. No, literally—he couldn't believe that such a thing was possible unless something had actually hidden them.
Something was going on. Something was keeping them out of the know and he didn't like it at all.
There were too many things going on for them to possibly do everything themselves. The sheer stunning amount of cases—and more importantly, the fact that they weren't organized at all. The nature spirits had recounted everything they remembered, so they had all the information, but if they wanted to get anything useful out of it, they were going to have to put it together.
Percy didn't want to, so he pulled ranked and dumped it on the Athena Cabin. Even so, it was going to take a lot of time for them to get anything out of it. They'd seen enough to write books, but just identifying the characteristics of all the creatures would take days or week, and that was being optimistic.
Trying to figure out the exact time and place of everything that had happened, much less trying to puzzle out the motivations behind all the attacks…
Percy kind of felt bad for them, but he was mainly just happy that he didn't have to do it.
Drew had proven herself as useful as he'd hoped, charming out information where their threats had failed. The downside was that the target needed to know something for her to get it out of them—and, at the moment, the only vampires left in the city were the grunts that had been lucky enough to avoid him and Annabeth. Sadly, that probably didn't include anyone important, so classified or hidden information wasn't forth coming.
While that was sad, it would be corrected the next time they got their hands on someone in a leadership position—and the upside more than made up for it besides. For while the vampires Drew had interrogated hadn't known anything secret, they had mentioned a great deal of things that were apparently widely known to everyone but them. Drew and the Ares Cabin were writing down what they'd learned in reports, but even the small things they'd shared through an Iris Message had been helpful.
In addition, Drew and Clarisse seemed to be getting along, if not well, then at least without killing each other.
But as he'd expected, Nico was the biggest source of information. It wasn't uncommon for monsters and bad guys in general to prescribe to the theory that dead men tell no tails—which was failing miserably in this case. Nico had somehow made a list of all the people who had died of unnatural causes and it was a long, long list. He was in the process of tracking down and questioning the people on the list, which was sure to be a long process, but it was the best source of information they had.
Not all the strange deaths in New York were monster related, though, and again, information was funneled to Annabeth's brother—Percy was pretty sure this was going to do some pretty amazing things for his record, which wasn't bad to begin with. Annabeth had said her brother was considering running for Mayor after his term was over.
Nico had a group of ghosts organizing the information, which he'd promised to send to the Athena Cabin after it was done.
Everything was going nicely. Percy hadn't realized how good the Camp would be at gathering information before today—mainly because he'd never thought about it before. But as long as things stayed the way they were, he thought it'd be okay; once he knew what the problem was, he could try to solve it, instead of swinging blindly in the dark and hoping to hit something.
However, until everything was finished—or at least until the next group of monsters showed up and tried to start something—there wasn't much he could do but wait.
So wait he did.
And like that, summer wound to an end.