14. Jason

'Seriously,' Jason thought as he ran towards the borders. 'Is it too much to ask to board a boat without having to worry about things like the end of the world and evil duck-loving giants?'

After Thalia's startling announcement about the giant being on the borders of the camp, everyone in the conference room immediately grabbed a weapon (or a tin can, in Grover's sake) and started to rush simultaneously out the door to help. Above the noise, Chiron called for all the members of the quest to stay in the council room.

When the other demigods had cleared out of the room, the seven members looked to Chiron, wondering why he hadn't let them go out to help defeat the giant.

Chiron cleared his throat. "I think that it is best for you not to take part in this battle. Go now, before it is too late. Board the Argo II and head straightaway for Rome."

Immediately there were protests. 'We can't just leave them to fight by themselves!', 'No way! I'm fighting!', and 'Are you kidding? I've been away for eight months and now, when my home is in danger, I can't even stay to protect it?'

Chiron held up his hand and the demigods quickly quieted down. Annabeth spoke up. "I know it's hard, but it's the wisest course of action. Go now, while the giant's distracted. He won't notice us leave. Besides, we have to go quickly. We've dawdled long enough already."

Reluctantly, the other members nodded. Chiron nodded. "Very well then. I must go fight Mimas." He surveyed them all with a grim look on his face. "I wish you all the very best luck in your upcoming battle." With those comforting words, he cantered out of the Big House to attack Mimas.

One by one, the seven quest members got up and filed out of the Big House. Ignoring all the battle cries and the sound of clashing metal, they ran for the hill just inside the borders, where their boat was landed. Everyone quickly climbed aboard. Glancing back over his shoulder, Jason noticed a dark figure following Percy.

"Percy!" he called, trying to warn him. Percy glanced over his shoulder at the figure.

"Blackjack! What are you doing?" The Pegasus made some whinnying noises that Jason couldn't understand, but Percy nodded. "Okay! Blackjack's coming with us!"

There was no time to argue. With the last person—and horse—on board, Leo started rushing about like crazy, cutting lines and reeling in things. He shook the Numchuck controllers, and the sails billowed out. While Leo was dashing around, the rest of the campers just stood around watching, not sure about what to do—all except Annabeth, who was helping him.

Finally, Annabeth and Leo started to get the ship to lift off the ground. They started to fly, but that only gave them a better view of what was happening with their friends on the ground.

At the base of the hill, Mimas stood 12 feet tall, wielding a giant flaming hammer. The giant's entire body was set aflame, which was so bright and intense that no camper could stand within ten yards of him. Arrows were sent his way, but they all were incinerated in the giant's fire.

However, almost more terrifying than the giant himself was what he was wearing. It was almost as if he had gone to Target and gotten himself an extra-times-1000 large flannel shirt and pants. Both were a yellow the color of the sun, almost too bright to look at. Printed on them were hundreds upon hundreds of ducks: green ones, pink, blue, every color imaginable. Some ducks were smiling, not friendly, but evil we're going to kill you smiles. Others were simply glaring out from the fabric. Jason, who had previously thought ducks to be quite funny, suddenly felt his liking for them drop dramatically.

With some difficulty, Jason tore his eyes from the—well, interesting sight. Leo was also doing his best to ignore the giant and dashed around the controls frantically. He pushed a lever up, and suddenly the whole ship was thrust forward, leaving the hopeless battle behind them. Everyone desperately lunged for the nearest handhold and tried to keep their footing. Leo cackled maniacally.

"Oops! I forgot to tell you guys: hold on!"

Jason rolled his eyes at his friend and, slowly regaining his footing, took a careful step away from the rail he had grabbed.

Piper made her way up to Leo. "What are you doing? Why are we going so fast?"

Leo smiled his signature crazy grin. "The increased speed is necessary if we're to get there soon. Next stop: Rome! We arrive in four hours."