DISCLAIMER: Percy Jackson and the Olympians doesn't belong to me. Our dear Rick Riordan has the rights. :3
Whohoo. Okay. My muse and I decided that we MUST watch the New Prince of Tennis series before I upload the next chapter on HIAB. So, she said so that the readers may not be bored too much by my sporadic updates, I MUST upload the first chapter to the story I made last year, when I was in my Percy Jackson Craze. Yeah, my muse has me grovelling at her feet all the time. :/ So, I complied, lest she turns on me and not let me finish HIAB. T.T
And so, without further ado, I present to you Chapter 1 of my new genderswitch fic, Ocean's Wings.
Chapter 1: I Vaporize my Pre-Algebra Teacher
Okay. Let's get one thing straight. I. Did. Not. Want. To. Be. A. Freaking. Half-blood.
If you're reading this and think you are, close it right away. Believe in whatever thing your "parents" told you about whether or not you're their kids, and lead a normal life.
If you think you're a normal kid, read on. Nothing's gonna happen to you anyways.
But, if you feel like what I'm telling you is somehow similar to your own story, slam this book shut and forget everything you've read until now. If you don't, well, it's only a matter of time before you get mobbed.
Don't say I didn't say anything.
My name is Persis Jackson. Percy for short. If you EVER call me by my first name I personally guarantee you that your life will be torture, both here and in the afterlife. Capiche?
I'm twelve years old. And yeah, yeah, you're all probably thinking that my language isn't appropriate with me being a girl and twelve? Well, deal with it. That's what you get for living with a complete bozo for almost all of your life.
And until a few months ago, I was a boarding student at Yancy Academy, a private school for troubled kids in upstate New York.
Was I a troubled kid?
Well, yep, you could definitely say that.
I could give you my whole life story here and you'll probably understand. Though, I'll save you the trouble and just give you the most disturbing part. And whoop-dee-doo, it just happened last May, when our sixth-grade class took an exciting trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to look at ancient Greek and Roman stuff. With twenty-eight mentally-challenged kids, two teachers and a yellow school bus, doesn't it seem fun?
Note the sarcasm, please.
But, then again, Mr. Brunner, our cool Latin teacher, was leading the trip, so I pretty much had hopes.
Mr. Brunner, FYI, was this middle-aged dude in a motorized wheelchair. He had thinning hair, a scruffy beard and a frayed tweed jacket which always smelled like coffee. Hey, you wouldn't think he'd be cool and all, but he's the most lax of all our teachers. He'd tell us stories, jokes, heck, he even let us play a little tournament and let us use his collection of Roman armor and weapons. Conclusion? It was the only class which didn't put me to sleep. Hey, give me a break. With ADHD and dyslexia, would you really criticize me?
I really hoped that the trip would be okay. Well, I hoped that Lady Luck would smile on me and doesn't give me trouble.
I mean, really, was that too much to ask? 'Coz it was not very funny when I found out I was dead wrong.
So, let me give you the low-down. Bad things always happen to me on field trips. For example, on fifth grade, we went to the Saratoga battlefield. I sort of had this teensy little accident with a Revolutionary war cannon and the school bus. I mean, it was an accident, for Goodness' sake, but did that change anything? Nooo.
Oh. And before that one, in fourth grade, we took a behind-the-scenes tour of the Marine World shark pool. I sort of took the whole class on an unplanned swim when I pushed a lever. And well, those two are just the tip of the iceberg on all my disastrous trips.
So, you can imagine, this trip, I wanted to be good.
And to prove that little tidbit, I was even ignoring the resident school bully, a freckled redhead by the name of Nancy Bobofit. I know, what kind of name was that, right? And here's the thing. It was hard ignoring her 'coz she was hitting my best friend Grover in the back of the head with bits and chunks of peanut-butter and ketchup. I mean, ketchup? Can you say eww?
Anyway, let me explain why it was Grover she was targeting. Thing was, he was easy. He was scrawny, and he even cries when he's frustrated. And I'm so incredulous about his crying because he must've been held back several grades now. He's starting to grow a very wispy beard and he's got ACNE for Goodness' sake. And, to top it all off, he's crippled. Yeah, that makes me his lady in a shimmering silk dress. Don't be fooled by his looks though, he could move as fast as a contestant in a 100-meter dash when it was enchilada day at school.
Anyway, the crazy klepto girl was throwing the chunks because she knew I wouldn't do anything to her. Why? Well, the principal had threatened me with suspension – the LONG one – if something or someone does as much excitement as an amoeba. I know, unfair, right? It wasn't my fault he ran a school for mentally disturbed kids, right?
Finally, I've had enough.
"I'm going to skin her alive," I snarled quietly.
Grover patted me on the arm, trying to calm me down. "It's okay, I like peanut butter."
He dodged another chunk of sandwich.
"That's the last straw. You're dead, Bobofit!" I started to get up but Grover pulled me back down.
"You're already on probation, Percy," he reminded me. "You know who'll get blamed if anything happens!"
Thinking about what mess my mom would have to clean up with me being suspended again calmed me slightly. Looking back on it now, I really wish I strangled her then.
Suspension, heck, even getting expelled would've been less than a heart attack for my mom compared to the mess I somehow landed with anyway.
It was Mr. Brunner who led the tour. He rode up front in his wheelchair, guiding us through the drafty, echoey galleries, past big marble statues and busts, and glass cases full of orange and black pottery that were slowly crumbling.
I really couldn't believe that this stuff had been here for thousands of years.
He gathered us in front of a thirteen foot tall stone column with a really big sphinx on top, and then started telling us how it was a grave marker, a whatchamacallit? A stele? Yeah, that's it. It was a stele for a girl about our age. He told us about the meaning of the carvings on the sides. I was trying to listen to what he had to say, because, bite me or something, but it was interesting and all, but everybody around me was talking, and each time I would tell someone to shut up, the other teacher chaperoning us, Mrs. Dodds, would give me a glare.
Mrs. Dodds was this little math teacher from Georgia who always wore a black leather jacket. Take note, she's freakin' fifty years old! She also looked mean enough to drive a Harley straight into your locker. She came to Yancy halfway through the year when our original math teacher had a nervous breakdown. Yeah, teaching kids like us is dangerous to one's health.
Anyway, from her first day, Mrs. Dodds absolutely loved Nancy Bobofit and figured I was something to be wiped off from her boots. She would point her crooked finger at me, say, "Now honey," like she was going to reward you or something, but it always resulted in me getting an after-school detention for like, a month!
One time, after the infamous after-school detentions that had me out until midnight, I met Grover at our usual hiding spot after curfew, the alcove separating the dorms into male and female, and told him that I didn't think Mrs. Dodds was human. He looked at me, surprised at first, but then he turned really serious and said, "You're absolutely right." I mean, detention until midnight? Really?
Well, Mr. Brunner kept talking about Greek funeral art.
Finally, Klepto Girl snickered about something she said about the girl on the stele. I turned around, gave her an eight out of ten glare and said, "Will you shut up?"
And, yeah, it came out louder than it was supposed to.
The whole group laughed at me. Mr. Brunner stopped his story.
"Ms. Jackson," he said to me, his voice questioning, "did you have a comment?"
Oh my gods. I thought my face was about to burn off or something. I said, "No. No, sir."
Mr. Brunner raised one eyebrow, and wait a minute. Did he just smile? He pointed to one of the pictures on the stele. "Perhaps you'll be able to tell us what this picture represents?"
I looked at the carving and mentally thanked whoever was out there looking out for me 'coz I actually recognized it. "That's Kronos eating his kids, right?"
"Yes," Mr. Brunner said, his voice prompting me to elaborate. "And he did this because..?"
"Well.." I turned my brain upside down so I could find the information. "Kronos was sort of the king most powerful being, and-"
"Would you elaborate on that, Ms. Jackson?" Mr. Brunner asked.
"Oh, uhm." Come on, girl, think! What was Kronos called again? Zeus and crew were the gods, and Kronos was.. Aha! "Titan. Kronos was king of the Titans," I said, looking at Mr. Brunner for confirmation. Seeing the nod, I continued. "And… he really had major trust issues with his kids, who were the gods. So, Kronos ate them. But his wife hid baby Zeus and gave her husband a rock to eat instead. And then, when Zeus grew up, he tricked his dad into upending his stomach to get his siblings out-"
"Eeew!" said one of the girls behind me. I swear. Am I the only normal girl in this school? I even said the censored word!
"-and so there was war between the Titans and the gods," I continued, rolling my eyes at the pale faces of the girls listening to my narrative, "and the gods won."
Some snickers and a few muttered "Geek!" fluttered from the group.
Behind me, Klepto Girl mumbled to a friend, "Like we're going to use this in real life. Like it's going to say on our job applications, 'Please explain why Kronos ate his kids.' "
"And why, Ms. Jackson," Mr. Brunner asked, his eyes glittering with mirth and something else I couldn't place, "to rephrase Ms. Bobofit's excellent question, does this matter in real life?"
"Hah. Busted," Grover muttered but, with the silence of the museum, the whole group heard anyways.
"Shut up!" Nancy hissed at him, her face brighter than her rustic hair.
Well, at least Klepto Girl got what was coming. Mr. Brunner really was the only one who ever caught her saying anything wrong. He had bat ears or something like that. "I don't know, sir."
"I see." Mr. Brunner looked disappointed, but his eyes shone with relief. "Well, half credit, Ms. Jackson. Zeus did indeed feed Kronos a mixture of wine and mustard, which made him disgorge his other five children, who, of course, being immortal gods, had been living and growing up completely indigested in the Titan's stomach. The gods defeated their father, sliced him to pieces with his own scythe, and scattered his remains in Tartarus, the darkest part of the Underworld. On that happy note, it's time for lunch. Mrs. Dodds, would you lead us back outside?"
The group drifted off; most girls were holding their stomachs and the guys were pushing each other around and are pretty much acting like doofuses.
Grover and I were about to follow when Mr. Brunner's voice reached us. "Ms. Jackson."
Here it comes.
I told Grover to keep going. Then, I turned to Mr. Brunner. "Sir?"
Mr. Brunner had this look that wouldn't let you go – intense brown eyes that could've been a thousand years old and had seen everything.
"You must learn the answer to my question, Percy," Mr. Brunner told me, his look solemn.
"About my answer, sir?"
"About real life. And how my class and your studies apply to it."
"Oh." I didn't get it.
"What you learn from me," he said, "is vitally important. I expect you to treat it as such. I will accept only the best from you, Persis Jackson."
I winced. I really didn't like my name, and hearing it being said by someone who wasn't my mom made my blood sing for blood. I would've punched him if he wasn't Mr. Brunner. I mean, he is my favorite teacher and all, but still, he pushed me so hard!
Yeah, sure, it would be kind of cool when he put on the tournament days and set up games for us to identify this certain Greek and Roman person, the gods they worshipped and all that. But, Mr. Brunner expected me to be just as good as every normal person, even if I did have ADHD and dyslexia, thus, never making a grade higher than a C- in my entire lifetime.
I muttered something about trying harder, while Mr. Brunner looked at the stele with a mournful gaze, as if he himself was present at the girl's funeral.
He then returned his attention to me and told me to go outside and eat my lunch.
Outside, the class had gathered on the front steps of the museum, where we could watch the traffic along Fifth Avenue.
Overhead, a pretty large storm was brewing, with clouds blacker than I'd ever seen over the city. I thought it was because of global warming or something. 'Coz how do you explain the massive snow storms, flooding, and abnormal wildfires suddenly starting ever since Christmas? The funny thing was, though the clouds were as black as night, there was no single lightning bolt to be seen streaking through the sky. Weird, huh?
And, unfortunately, nobody seemed to notice. Some of the dumber guys were pelting pigeons with Lunchables crackers. Klepto Girl was homed in on a poor lady's purse, and Mrs. Dodds wasn't seeing anything wrong with her little angel. Bah, humbug.
Grover and I sat on the edge of the fountain as far away from the others as we could get. We thought that if we do that, everybody wouldn't know we were from the school for loser freaks who couldn't make it elsewhere.
"You got detention, Perce?" Grover asked me, a frown on his adolescent face.
"Nope," I said, shaking my head, making my let down shoulder length raven hair fly. "Never from Brunner, Grove. I just. I just wish he'd lay off me sometimes. I'm not normal."
Grover didn't say anything, which was good for me. I never reacted favorably to any pity. It made me want to knock someone's head off. Which was why it was probably a good thing that when Grover looked at me, he asked me for my apple, not give me some deep psychological crap.
As he ate my apple, I thought about my mom's apartment, only a little ways uptown from where we sat. I hadn't seen her since Christmas. Call me a Mommy's Girl or whatever, but I miss her. I so wanted to take a cab and head home. But then, I won't. 'Coz she'd hug me and say she misses me too but she'll be disappointed with me so much. She'll ship me off here again, saying that I had to try harder to pass sixth grade, even though I had never lasted a complete year in any school I had attended. And, the worst part was, I'd comply 'coz I won't be able to stand the sorrowful look she would give me.
When I shook off my reverie, I found that Mr. Brunner had parked his wheelchair at the base of the handicapped ramp. He was nibbling on some celery while he was reading a paperback novel. A red umbrella stuck up behind his chair, making it look like one of those café tables.
I was about to unwrap my sandwich when the Bane of My Existence showed up, complete with posse. And what do you know, the uncivilized bitch dumped her half-eaten lunch in Grover's lap.
"Oops." She grinned at me unrepentantly, her freckles looking like someone spray-painted her with cheese.
I tried to stay cool. I mean, I even did the whole 'count to ten in all the languages you know' trick. Still, my mind went blank as I heard an angry wave on my ears.
I really don't remember touching her, but the next thing I was aware about was Nancy sitting inside the pool for the fountain, screaming her head off, "Percy pushed me!"
Mrs. Dodds suddenly appeared out of thin air beside us.
Some of the kids were whispering: "Did you see-"
"-like it grabbed her-"
I really had no idea what they were mumbling about. All I knew was that with Mrs. Dodds there, I was in deep shit all over again.
As soon as Mrs. Dodds was sure "poor angelic Nancy" was okay, even going so far as to promise her a new shirt from the museum gift shop. I swear, it's like Nancy's Mrs. Dodds long lost granddaughter or something. Anyway, when she finished with the dumb girl, she turned on me with her eyes screaming victory, though I seriously don't know over what. "Now, honey-"
"I know," I grumbled. "A month erasing workbooks."
Later on, having a chat with a cousin of mine who's really into the 'causing trouble' realm, if you know what I mean, said that there's a particular rule that says "Never to guess one's punishment, for it will lead to an even worse punishment than the one you guessed." Words of wisdom, I always say.
Mrs. Dodds didn't look impressed with my answer. "Come with me," she said.
"Wait!" Grover suddenly yelped. "It was me! I pushed her!"
I stared at him, really stunned. I mean, he was terrified of Mrs. Dodds. She scared him to death. I knew he saw me as his best friend and all, but I never knew he could be brave enough to face someone who terrified him. Okay, I admit, that was a really bad thing to think about your best friend, but hey, if it makes up for it, he redeemed himself in my opinion from that moment on.
She glared at him so hard his whiskery chin trembled.
"I don't think so Mr. Underwood," she said, her voice low, almost growling.
"But-" Wow. Grover really redeemed himself. If he was my type, I'd totally kiss him. As it was, no thanks.
"You- will- stay- here."
Grover looked at me desperately.
"It's okay, Grove," I told him, trying to sound comforting. "Thanks for trying, dude."
"Honey," Mrs. Dodds barked at me. "Now." Sheesh. Could she already drop the 'honey' thing?
The Bane of My Existence smirked.
I gave her my I'll-fillet-you-alive stare. Trust me. Even my mom says that I'd never get a boyfriend 'coz I'm too unapproachable with my stare. Hey, what can I say? It isn't my fault all the boys that try to ask me out are dumber than a seashell.
Then I turned to face Mrs. Dodds, but creepily enough, she wasn't there. I looked around and found her standing at the museum entrance, way at the top of the steps, gesturing impatiently at me to hurry.
What the heck? How'd she get there so fast?
Many doctors and teachers say that memory lapse was normal for people with ADHD. They say that your brain takes too much information and needs to shut down for a bit before resuming. That's why sometimes, it seems like the universe suddenly moved forward a few moments faster.
My opinion? That was a load of bull.
With my opinion like that, I still went after Mrs. Dodds.
Halfway up the steps, I glanced back at Grover. He looked like he saw a ghost. He was cutting his eyes between me and Mr. Brunner, like he wanted Mr. Brunner to notice the situation. Alas, my Latin teacher was absorbed in his paperback. I couldn't read the book 'coz my dyslexia acted up, though for me it read 'Teh Osedyys'.
Sighing, I looked up. Amazingly, Mrs. Dodds had vanished again. She was now inside the building, at the end of the entrance hall. Wow. I mean, was she like, a ninja or something?
And why the heck are we going inside the museum? Is she going to make me buy a new t-shirt for Nancy? I mean, how spoild could you get? I really think she's her great-granddaughter or something now. Eww.
And apparently, that wasn't the plan, 'coz she went deeper into the museum, stopping at the gallery of Greek and Roman stuff. And lo and behold, we were the only ones there.
Anyways, Mrs. Dodds faced me with crossed arms in front of a big marble frieze of the Greek Gods, and, to make it worse, she was making this sound that was scarily close to growling.
I mean, she won't hurt me right? She's a freakin' teacher! She could be turned in to the authorities for child abuse! Wish I knew about the other world then, 'coz it definitely doesn't apply there.
"You've been giving us problems, honey," she growled, keeping one eye on the frieze and the other on me. And trust me, the way she was eyeing us both, I wish I could've just went with my instincts and fled home.
"Yes, Ma'am," I said, inching ever so slowly for the door.
She loosened her cuffs, looking at me with and evil glint in her eyes. "Did you really think you would get away with it? That we wouldn't find you?"
Oh, boy. She's snapped. But, wait a minute! Who the heck is 'we'?
"Huh? I-I don't know what you're talking about, Ma'am," I said, taking a few steps back. Screw tactful, she's getting homicidal!
"Confess, Persis Jackson, and you will suffer less pain!" she said, her growling unmistakable now. And, wait a minute, are her nails getting longer and sharper?
"Ma'am, I don't know what you're talking about," I insisted feebly, eyeing the door.
And then, right before my very eyes, her eyes glowed, her leather jacket suddenly became a pair of leathery wings, her skin turned more leathery than usual, her teeth elongated into sharp fangs and her fingers turned into talons.
What the heck? Am I having some crazy dream?
When I felt the dull pain from my butt having met the cold stone floor, I knew this was no dream.
Mrs. Dodds gave an unearthly shriek and flew towards me in breakneck speed.
I'm so dead.
Then, something even stranger happened. Mrs. Dodds stopped in midair, snarling at something behind me. When I turned to look, Mr. Brunner appeared at the doorway, with Grover in tow. He threw something at me, shouting at me. "Uncap it, Percy!"
When I caught it, I looked at it incredulously. It was Mr. Brunner's pen. What was I supposed to do with a freakin pen? Wait. He said to uncap it, right?
When I uncapped it, it shimmered and elongated, turning into a wickedly sharp bronze sword. It was the sword Mr. Brunner uses on his tournaments.
"Die, honey!" Mrs. Dodds said, flying straight towards me.
Ok. My knees are shaking so bad. I think I'm going to be sick. So, I did the natural thing. I swung the sword blindly.
HISS. The sword hit Mrs. Dodds in the waist, and immediately, she turned into golden dust, raining over me. And yet, I still feel her eyes glaring at me, saying that this wasn't the last time I'd see her. I shivered.
When I turned to Mr. Brunner and Grover, I found the doorway empty, no sign that they were even there. I looked at the sword in my hand, faintly glowing in the dim lights of the museum.
With resolve, I put the cap of the pen at the tip of the sword, watching as it shimmered back to an innocent looking ballpoint pen.
That's it. It's time to get answers. Mr. Brunner and Grover better not trick me.
There we go! All finished with Chapter 1! How do you like that ending, eh? Haha. Yeah, SmartPercy is the way to go, in my opinion. Hey, if she's anything like his father then she's going to have to be smart! Why? 'Coz Poseidon's been at an impasse with Athena ever since Ancient Greece. Hey, how do you expect him to be on par with THE GODDESS OF WISDOM if HE'S NOT SMART? And so, Stay Tuned for the next chapter! Read and Review! :D