A/N: I'm not dead after all. Awesome.
So it was brought to my attention that this is shaping up like a submit-your-OC (Sue) story, which wasn't really my intention at all. No more submissions, please. But I promise that I'll get around to murdering all of your characters sooner or later.
Also: I do not like Piper. I think that she has the potential to be a good character, but at the moment, she's a bit of a Mary Sue. Don't believe me? Go read her freaking description on the wiki. I'm not sure how Riordan's editor overlooked this major problem, no sarcasm. And, yes, I know that she's completely OOC in this chapter. It's called proving a point. Perfect!Piper isn't that much of an exaggeration, though…
There might be some errors in this, by the way, because I kind of skimmed over most of The Lost Hero, so I'm not entirely sure what happened. But the only character I like from that book is Leo, because he's just freaking awesome.
FACT: Charmspeaking makes you OOC. It's official, guys. Wynter Sora has spoken.
Oh, and by the way- thumbs up if you get the tiny little Maximum Ride reference in this chapter. It's there, if you squint your eyes and tilt you head and look at it six ways from Sunday.
Anyways, enjoy the chapter!
First stop; the Hecate cabin, because gods know they won't be able to take down an army of Sues intent on swapping spit with a certain son of Hades without some kind of magical thingamajig.
Of course, Annabeth and Rachel don't make it more than three steps towards the cabin before a nauseatingly beautiful daughter of Aphrodite jogs gracefully up to them.
This particular girl is nothing like other children of the love goddess. She's gorgeous, but doesn't use it to her advantage (except for when she does, but then it's totally justified); she tried to change her appearance because she was embarrassed by the attention; she can charmspeak, but she only uses that when justified, too; she is always right, and always attracts the opposite gender; she makes friends with the most unlikely of demigods…
"Piper," Annabeth sighs, exasperated. "Shouldn't you be with the pack of Sues drooling over Jason?"
The daughter of Aphrodite waves one hand dismissively. "He'll choose me in the end anyways. I mean, we had months of fake memories together! He can't ignore that, right?"
"Great," Rachel grumbles. "Can we just kill her already?"
Before Annabeth can answer, Piper's eyes narrow in heroic annoyance. "You're not allowed to," she informs them. "This author won't tolerate killing of canon characters, no matter how annoying they are. It's bad for business, takes too long, and upsets the fans."
Rachel and Annabeth exchange glances. "Unfortunately, she's right," Annabeth admits. "We're not allowed to kill her. Or Jason, for that matter."
"Anyways," Piper continues, "I need your help. Jason likes me, of course, even though I'm too modest to admit it, but there are all those other girls… I mean, this is worse than Reyna, who I'm not supposed to know about yet."
"Damn," Rachel repeats. "Do we really have to take her with us?"
"I'll just charmspeak you into letting me come," Piper threatens. "This is important, you know. Very, very important, which is why I said I'd charmspeak you, because otherwise I'd never do that, you know? Because it's bad and I'm not Drew. Drew's such a bratty slut. It's okay for me to say that because everyone says it."
"Jesus Christ, I think she OOC'd herself."
"Piper," Annabeth begins patiently, "it would be hypocritical of us to let you live while we're going around killing the other Sues. And since we can't technically kill you, it would be better if you'd just leave and we can forget we ever saw you, okay?"
Piper crosses her arms over her chest. "I'm coming with you. See how bravely, reasonably stubborn I am?"
"We're not Christian, Rachel."
Sighing for the millionth time, Annabeth considers her options- but really, Piper's right. They can't kill her, and while she isn't sure how much effect charmspeaking will have on them, she really doesn't want to take the chance and risk becoming permanently OOC. Besides, Piper's the daughter of Aphrodite. Maybe she can explain why Percy is suddenly so attracted to all these Sues, and why he's forgotten that Annabeth, his girlfriend, even exists.
The three of them start towards the Hecate cabin again, Annabeth crossing her fingers that Rachel will foresee some way to get rid of Piper before they both spontaneously combust.
Most of the Hecate children have been busy lately either making potions and casting spells by request of the hundreds of Sues pouring into Camp Half-Blood or wandering around like mindless zombies, a fate that has unfortunately befallen many demigods. As children of a minor goddess, they're usually overlooked by authors unless their magic skills can serve their delightful Mary Sue.
In fact, when Annabeth eases open the door- surprising a Hecate kid usually results in being temporarily turned into a toad- there's only one girl inside, standing beside her bunk with her back to them, mumbling incoherent words. That's normal for them, though, so Annabeth isn't very worried.
At least, she isn't worried until Rachel draws in a sudden breath and hisses, "Mary Sue!"
The girl spins around, eyes widening in- fear? No, of course not. Sues are never afraid, or if they are, they never show it. Except for when they do, but that's always around their love interest so they can be comforted in the arms of their soulmate.
NUMBER ELEVEN: Your character's life should not revolve around their schoolgirl crush, and breaking down into tears never looks beautiful. Ever.
"Maxine Isabelle Oliviana!" Rachel practically shrieks. "She's a Sue, Annabeth! She-"
"I'm not!" the girl denies hurriedly, most likely sensing that her life is on the line here. "I mean, I was, but I'm not anymore!"
Annabeth shakes her head. She's heard this a million times before, Sues denying that they're anything less than original, despite all the evidence to the contrary. You can't trust Sues- for all their perfection, they'll say anything to save themselves. "Once a Sue, always a Sue," she reminds the girl. "I'm sorry, Maxine, but-"
"That's not my name! I changed it! I changed everything!" Taking a deep breath, the girl motions them over towards her. "Here, look at this. I've been working on it all night, ever since that Hunter girl shot Silveria." Looking at Annabeth with desperate, pleading eyes, she adds, "I know I'm a Sue. I mean, I was a Sue. But I rewrote my character bio. I'm different now."
Annabeth frowns, confused- and as a daughter of Athena, she's never confused. A Sue rewriting herself? How is that possible? The authors never admit that their characters are Sues, but… this daughter of Hecate claimed that she redid the bio. It could be done, she realizes, but it would take quite an admirable force of will.
"My name's Maya," the girl says. "Not Maxine Isabelle Oliviana. Maya Greene. And, I mean- look at this description. I changed 'delicious chocolate-colored locks' to 'dark brown hair' and 'bright, piercing emerald orbs' to 'green eyes.' And now I have this really weird-looking scar on my-"
"Please don't finish that sentence," Rachel groans.
Still suspicious, Annabeth asks, "What's your fatal flaw?"
"Overestimating myself," Maya replies. "And I don't have many friends because I'm not a social person, not because I'm so tragically misunderstood. And not every guy in the universe falls down at my feet." Catching their dubious expressions, she insists, "I have a personality, I swear."
"Interesting," Rachel muses. "Wonder if I can paint something… call it The Transformation- no, that's too bland, how about Escaping Your Disgusting Sue Self-"
"Okay," Annabeth decides. "We'll let you go. We, uh, need something, by the way. We're Nico's friends, and-"
"Nico?" Maya interrupts. "Nico di Angelo? Son of-" She cuts off abruptly, shaking her head and muttering something that sounds like "No, cut that shit out."
Rachel sighs heavily. "Oh, don't tell me you're one of those."
"Was one of those," Maya corrects. "I mean, he's like… thirteen or something, right? And I'm somewhere around sixteen. That's just… gross." Shrugging, she says, "Old habits die hard, I guess. You need something to kill his Sues?"
"Can you get us something?"
"Nope. Wait, yeah- I think Sadie has something. She'll kill me if she finds out I gave it to you, but…" Maya turns and strides over to another bunk, dragging something out from beneath it- a purple backpack. Unzipping one of the pockets, she grabs something in a Ziploc baggie and tosses it towards Annabeth. "My sisters cooked it up when the Sues started coming in, but they never got around to trying it out. It's an anti-OOC charm- you're probably gonna need it."
Tucking the baggie into her back pocket, Annabeth asks, "You do realize that this makes you a supporting character at best?"
"Well, yeah, but I can live with that. Who knows, I might get a good author to write my story someday."
"Keep working on that personality," Rachel suggests cheerfully. "Good luck."
"Oh, don't worry. I have a charm for that…"
As they draw closer to the mob of impossibly gorgeous and talented girls chanting "NICO, NICO, NICO!", Annabeth begins to have second thoughts about this. She held up the sky, braved the Labyrinth, and fought a Titan army, but she's also the daughter of Athena, and her survival instinct is kind of screaming at her right now.
"Pathetic," Piper decides. "I may not be a heartbreaker daughter of Aphrodite, but-"
"Piper?" Rachel says politely. "Shut the hell up, please."
"NICO, NICO, NICO!"
"Yeah, that's not creepy at all," Rachel grumbles.
Why do they act like that? Annabeth wonders. Like all they can think about is him. Even when I was all wrapped up in Percy, I didn't-
Oh. Percy. Right.
"Piper, you're Aphrodite's daughter, right? I mean… you know all about love." She almost adds and stuff, but smart people just don't do that.
"You're worried about Percy," Piper guesses. Right, as usual. Because she's always right. "Don't be. I mean, sure, it's kind of rough for you right now, but that's just because Mary Sues make people go all OOC. I'm sure that he'll be back to his world-saving self in no time."
Pause. "You know, Piper, for a Sue, you're not so bad."
"NICO, NICO, NICO!"
"Okay, so we've established that Percy loves Annabeth and Piper's not the worst Sue in the world," Rachel grumbles, "but can we please focus on Nico? I mean, he's who we're here for, right?"
"No," Annabeth says. "We're here to kill Mary Sues." For some reason, this seems to upset Piper- maybe because she doesn't particularly enjoy the prospect of someone killing off her kindred spirits. Soul sisters and all that.
The trio starts forward towards the mob, Annabeth taking the charm out of her pocket and clutching it tightly in one hand. Her celestial bronze knife won't do any good against these monsters, and she doesn't know if she can use Logic to kill them all off. Not for the first time, she doubts if they'll really be able to take them all out. There are just so many of them, and they all have impossibly unrealistic powers, and Maya admitted that she wasn't sure if the charm would work…
A girl with flowing strawberry-tinted gold hair flounces gracefully past, her eyes glittering in the sunlight. Annabeth's met her before- Myracle Precious Jemstone, a daughter of Aphrodite and Ares who is somehow a demigod. Something to do with a potion, if she remembers correctly. It's kind of hard to forget, actually, because Myracle won't stop complaining about her horrible life for five seconds. And yet no one else seems the least bit annoyed by this. Oh, right, and Percy hit on her, too, though it looks like the little b- witch has moved on to Nico now.
Rachel's eyes narrow, and Annabeth remembers that Myracle also somehow has the power of prophecy and gave a quest in which she led and took five friends and all of them survived.
Leaning towards Annabeth, Piper whispers, "I thought she was in love with Connor Stoll?"
"Who the Hades knows with these things?" Rachel snaps. Her face brightens with interest, and she points to another girl, whose long, curly brown and black hair tumbles down her back in perfectly cascading ringlets. She turns slightly towards them, her eyes changing from purple to pink to silver to blue and back again in the space of a few seconds. "Isn't that a daughter of Hera? Does Hera even have any children?"
"Right, the I-have-no-friends girl. Except everyone at camp loves her."
A girl dressed entirely in black with ripped-up jeans and a "bad girl" attitude, who also looks suspiciously like Thalia- except her eyes are an even brighter blue, her hair a deeper black, her skin a more flawless creamy pale- storms towards them, looking like she's about to blast them to bits, but is intercepted by "Percy's twin sister", and the two proceed to engage in a fistfight to determine who is more worthy of Nico's love.
Kill me now.
"SAVE ME FROM MY EVIL BROTHER AND STEPSISTER, NICO!" Hera's daughter yells.
"NO! SAVE ME! MY BACKSTORY IS DESIGNED TO BE TRAGIC SO THAT PEOPLE WILL TAKE PITY ON ME!" screams another.
"I LOVE YOU!"
"I LOVE YOU MORE!"
"PICK ME, PICK ME!"
Thalia's sister glances up for long enough to shout "NICO, WE UNDERSTAAAAAAND EACH OTHER!" and promptly takes a fist to the jaw, courtesy of Percy's "sister."
Rachel tugs on Annabeth's sleeve, grinning like this is the most hilarious thing she's seen in years. "Gods, I have to paint this," she laughs. "Of all the times to forget my sketchbook- hey, Piper, whataya say about using your Sue powers to conjure something for me? Because you guys are always prepared, right?"
Piper frowns. "I'm not a Mega Sue, Rachel. I'm just a little on the Sue side. So, basically, there's hope for me yet- I'm pleading temporary insanity due to poor character development."
"I LOVE YOU, NICO! AND PERCY AND WILL AND CONNOR AND TRAVIS AND LUKE, BUT MOSTLY YOU!"
"WE'RE MEANT TO BEEEEEEEE!"
Annabeth grabs her knife, prepared to do battle. "Okay, guys, here's the plan. We fight our way in to Nico, and then we start picking them off, okay? I think that the 'he's thirteen' argument will vaporize about half of them, and then-"
"What?" Piper demands. "You can't kill them."
"Uh, yeah, we can. That's pretty much the point of this whole story," Rachel points out. "What do you think we've been doing for the past five chapters?"
"But you saw Maya!" Piper argues. "She rewrote herself, remember? She changed."
"Piper, Maya's the exception to the rule," Annabeth explains. "She probably wasn't much of a Sue to begin with, and most of them won't listen to us if we say anything's wrong with them. Not to mention that they'll combust anyways. Logic kills them."
"It didn't kill Maya."
"Maya was… well, she was like you," Rachel admits grudgingly. "Besides the name, I mean. But she was… redeemable. She didn't have to completely scrap her character idea. But most of these… well, what the hell were the writers thinking?"
"We have to give them a chance!"
"LOVE ME, LOVE ME!"
"I DESERVE TO BE YOUR GIRLFRIEND BECAUSE I'M SO MOTHERFUCKING SPECIAL!"
Annabeth raises her eyebrows. "You want to give them a chance?"
Rachel nods in agreement. "Piper, as a Sue, you can't do anything that would cause people to not like you. You have to do the right thing. But the right thing usually makes for very poor humor, you know? So it's just not going to work here."
Steel flashes in Piper's eyes, and the crowd of Nico-loving Sues hushes dramatically. "I'm a daughter of Aphrodite," she reminds Annabeth. "I know a thing or two about love magic. Either you do it my way, or Percy will love the Sues until the end of time!"
Cue shocked gasps and few irritated shrieks of "But Percy loves me!"
Annabeth smacks her hand to her forehead and groans, "You really had to pick now for character development?"
A/N: What is this thing? Is it… a plot?
Longest chapter so far. Figured you guys earned it after my month-long vacation from this story. (Sorry, sorry…) Still, this was probably one of the most fun chapters I've written, even though it's a little lacking in my usual horrible punch lines.
So, what do you guys think Annabeth should do? Kill the Sues, rewrite their bios, or let Rachel paint them to death? (That last one's not really an option, but it would be funny, don't you think?) I would put up a poll so you guys could vote on it, but a) I'm too lazy and b) ...yeah, I'm too lazy.
(Shameless self-advertising) I don't have any other PJATO fics up at the moment, but I do have a few for the Maximum Ride series and Degrassi. If you would read them, that would be frickin' awesome.
Again, sorry for the delay! Virtual cookies and eternal gratitude to anyone who reviews! (Come on, how could you pass that up?)
I do not own PJATO.