Jason, Chapter 1
Jason leaned against the railing of the Argo II, staring absentmindedly at the deserted strawberry fields of Camp Half Blood. His eyes swept over the training fields, and to where the cabins proudly stood, isolated. On usual Saturday mornings, campers would be running back and forth on the basketball courts, happily chatting with their friends and siblings, chasing after Travis or Connor who had stolen some possession, or challenging camp rivals to a friendly duel. Instead, all the campers were now gathered around the Argo II, exchanging bets on what the Romans would be like.
"Hey!" Leo exclaimed, looking directly at a piece of parchment, which Jason guessed was recording the video message they were planning to send to Camp Jupiter." Greeting from your friends at Camp Half Blood, et cetera. This is Leo, I'm the… What's my title? Am I like admiral, or captain, or-"
"Repair boy!" Piper shouted at Leo, from her spot on the deck. She gripped the railing with anxiety while loose strands of her hair danced in the wind. Her braid flapped around every time she would shiver with excitement. Jason could have stared at her all day, she was so beautiful, but Reyna's face kept popping up in the back in his mind, and he tore his eyes away.
"Very funny Piper," Leo grumbled. " So yeah, I'm…ah… supreme commander of the Argo II…"
Jason let Leo continue on as his mind wandered back to his old memories. He remembered all his friends, Dakota, Bobby, Gwen, Hazel, and Reyna. He recalled the war games, death ball, the horrid moments of trying to conjugate Latin verbs in Latin lessons, and the Feast of Fortuna. What had camp been through without him? Had Octavian tried to cease power? Would he be recognized? And what was happening with Percy Jackson?
"5 minutes 'till takeoff!" Leo boomed through a loudspeaker he'd somehow installed into the ship, "so if your name is not Leo, Piper, Annabeth, or Jason, GET OFF THE SHIP!" Demigods scrambled around the ship, while children of Hephaestus quickly ran a spot check of the ship.
"Geez Annabeth," Jason heard Travis whine, "why can't we come see the Roman camp?"
"You know very well the Romans may attack us if there's to many 'Greeks,'" Annabeth snapped. "So we'll come back later with the Romans, and you'll get to see the campers." Travis and Conner didn't seem to like this, but a few other campers pulled them off the ship, sensing Annabeth's distress. She was ready to attack anyone who made her angry.
"You nervous?" a comforting voice said from behind, and Jason whirled around to see Thalia standing behind him. Her bow was slung over her shoulder, and her quiver full with arrows.
"Yeah," he admitted. "You sure you don't want to come?"
"Positive," she responded. "You know I don't like heights." She shivered at the word, and Jason remembered that was the reason she couldn't fly. She quickly put on a straight face when she saw his smirk, and added "I'll go to Greece with you though. My hunters will cam come too"
"You'd better," Jason muttered. "What are you planning to do while we're gone?"
"My hunters and I are planning to track down a few of Gaea's minions. There's this one monster that's been causing quite some trouble in Albany. Shouldn't take more than a week though." She looked over the side of the boat and saw one of her hunters waving to her urgently, Phoebe, Jason recognized. "Gotta go!" Thalia sighed.
"See ya around, sis," he called as she jumped of the side of the boat, landing in a Jedi pose. She turned, waved, and then sprinted off into the woods.
"Nice sister you got there," Leo remarked, his eyes following Thalia until the pine trees hid her from sight.
"And totally out of your league, Leo," Piper snorted, approaching the two of them. "Anyway, aren't you supposed to be preparing for take off?"
"Shoot," Leo mumbled, "stupid ADHD!" He ran at full speed into the control room, crashing into Nyssa. It was so like something… Jason cringed at the memory. It was so like something Dakota, his Kool-Aid addict friend would do. Jason gripped the railing as the memory came back, and his knuckles turned white. His head thumped, and his face grew hot. It was such a simple memory, yet hurt to try to remember.
Piper seemed to notice Jason's stress, and turned to him, her kaleidoscope eyes portraying concern. She wore a concerned face that looked so similar to the expression Jason remembered Reyna had when he'd fallen off the side of the fort during the war games, before he could fly, and before an eagle could catch him. Reyna. Somehow everything related back to her, and Jason made up his mind. He had to tell Piper about her.
"I'm fine," Jason told Piper, and then quickly changed the subject. "Look, Piper, there's this girl, Reyna, at Camp Jupiter."
Piper nodded as if she expected this much. "Go on," she instructed him, and Jason, without hesitation, decided he could trust her not to kill him, and poured out the next sentences.
"I don't know what she means to me, what I mean to her, or what we are, or were. But I know that it's complicated, especially since I like you. I just don't know what to expect." Jason took a deep breath, and waited for her response, praying to all the gods, especially Aphrodite, that Piper wouldn't go off and start attacking him in anger.
Piper bit her cheeks for a moment, in consideration, and then smiled the smile Jason had always loved, from the moment he woke up hand in hand with her on the school bus. It was a small shy smile, but her eyes would sparkle, and it had often reassured Jason on his days of misery, where he would break down under the stress of his memories being erased.
"I understand, Jason," she said, "and I hope we can still be good friends, even if you don't take make the… choices I want you to make."
Jason could feel a ton of weight lift off his shoulders, and he let out a sigh of relief. "Thanks, Piper," he thanked. "It means a lot to me."
She said nothing, just smiled her award-winning smile, and kissed him on the cheek. "I'd better go check on Leo," she stated after a moment. "He seems to have gotten a little distracted." She trotted off, and Jason peered into the control room. There he saw Leo standing on the commander's chair, holding a rolled up magazine to his mouth like a microphone, horribly singing "Twist and Shout" from The Beatles, while a horrified Nyssa shouted at him to stop, yet nothing seemed to shut Leo up. Nyssa looked ready to attack, but Piper walked in, and charmspoke Leo to stop. He reluctantly got down from his chair, and walked up to the loudspeaker, and an earsplitting shriek was heard throughout the boat.
"Oops! Take off in 1 minute!" he shouted, and Nyssa ran down the ramp of the boat, "so get ready really quickly. Also, the crew of this ship is not responsible for any straggler or people who fall off the boat during take-off due to their lateness. Is that even a word? Lateness?"
"Enough Leo," Piper groaned.
"Chillax beauty queen," Leo mumbled, and she punched him in the shoulder.
"So what are the Romans like?" Annabeth asked curiously behind him.
Jason swiveled around in surprise, and then bit his lip to consider the question. "Well, they definitely don't like graecus, I mean Greeks, and they're a lot more discipline and strict than you all are."
"Sounds like the Stoll brothers would spend their days scrubbing dishes in the kitchens," Annabeth joked.
"Or conjugating Latin verbs," Jason shivered. Annabeth gave him a strange look, but he shrugged.
"That's how I learned not to steal they praetors toga before senate meetings".
"OK, campers, grab something sturdy," Leo's voice could now be heard through the speakers, "we take off in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…. And blast off!"
A huge cheering sounded through the valley. Campers, satyrs, and nymphs alike cheered wildly as the warship sailed off. And in the midst of it all Jason thought he heard Rachel say something about asking the man continuously pursued by a scorpion, but he could have been mistaken.
"Booyah!" Leo's voice cried through the speakers. "Next stop, Camp Jupiter. Prepare to meet some Romans!"
"And hopefully," Jason heard Annabeth plead, "see Percy."