A/N: First fanfic done for a book series. Go easy on me.
It was night and it was cold. The clouds I exhaled with every breath made it pretty obvious. And that's bad. Night time was very unlucky for me, emphasis on the very here. The cold wasn't really helping me cope with my luck, and I had the feeling my luck was going to run out soon.
For one, night time is bad for children of the sun. Having no light around slowly drains our strength away. In my case it was draining me ridiculously quick because I was on the run. Another point of bad luck: I was being chased through the woods by a hell-hound. Night time was as good for it as much as it was bad for me. What made this particular night worse was the fact there was no moon in the sky.
Reaching for my scabbard I remembered I left it back at camp. I was starting to hate my luck. Maybe it was my fate to die running for my life in the middle of the night.
My only other hope was to use my arrows but they were back at camp too. I cursed and dared a look back. There wasn't much distance between us, and it was covering about twenty metres every time it leapt. I knew it was only a matter of time before it caught up.
My mind kept racing to think of something, anything, that could keep me alive somehow. I guess it didn't really work unless you were a child of Athena, but I gave my best shot. And then something sparked. I always had my iPod with me. That meant I had my earphones too. I mentally slapped my head for not thinking about it all this time.
The god of the sun is Apollo. He is also the god of art, light, music – pretty much anything creative – which made complete use of the right side of the brain. I always knew my right side was lucky, it just didn't quite hit me so hard until now. Now all I needed was something to buy me enough time to get my iPod out, untangle the cord of my earphones and get my discs. Yeah, my signature weapon were discs. If you weren't a son of Apollo, you wouldn't know how much one could do with them. For example, if they were made of metal, they would conduct heat and sound at a drastic rate. I tried putting that to practice.
I noticed a low tree branch to my right – lucky side – and managed to grab it and swing myself onto it. I tried not to waste any time untangling the cord but the hound caught up just when I thought Fortuna was going to smile on me. I managed to get my earphones out just in time. I clapped my hands with them in between and when I pulled away there was a wedged disc the size of a frisbee in each of my hands.
The hound jumped up and head-butted the branch shaking it and throwing me off balance. I almost fell but I put one of my discs under my feet and slid down the other side of the tree. The hound noticed me too late and it got hit by my other disc square in its muzzle. It didn't help make the situation any better because now it had fire in its eyes. Literally.
The disc I threw at it came back to me like a boomerang and I made a run towards Camp Half-Blood while the hound recovered. It recovered way sooner than I expected. It closed the distance between us in a matter of seconds and was almost right behind me. I thought about putting one of my other theories to practice. Heat. I started spinning a disc on my hand and made it scratch the flat of the other one. It began to gather heat and when my hands couldn't hold it any more I threw it at the hound. It got hit on the muzzle again and it let out a whine as it stopped and shook its head. I kept running towards camp. I reached a hand back just in time to catch the disc.
The camp was a few yards away when I heard the hound behind me again. My legs were killing me. My body felt like it was going to shut down any moment but I knew I couldn't give in. I still had another theory to test. Sound.
I stopped running and turned fully around. The hound was coming straight at me, its mouth foaming and eyes alight. When I figured it was close enough I brought the two discs together like a pair of cymbals. My ears felt like they were on fire but I chose to ignore that. The sound waves they created visibly rippled across in every direction causing a little tremor. It took some effort for me to divert most of the waves towards the hound but a few of the waves found their way to camp. I mentally slapped myself.
The waves were strong enough to push the hound back a fair bit of distance and slightly levitate it off the ground. The last wave to hit it threw it on its side. This bought me enough time to run through the camp gate and get into camp. The glow of light from the torches around the entrance seemed to revitalise bits of my energy.
"Arrow!" I heard a familiar voice say before I managed to get to my cabin. I rotated the flats of my discs behind my back and they turned back into earphones. I quickly shoved them in my pockets. I was met with a boy the same age as me with clean swept blond hair. His storm grey eyes, a symbol all children of Athena bore to prove their birthright, were brimming with concern and relief when he saw me. "Where were you for the last hour? We couldn't find find you anywhere."
"Don't worry, Max", I said and patted his back. "I'm alright. I just had a mishap with Mrs O'Leary."
As if on cue Mrs O'Leary, the camp's guard hell-hound, came in through the camp entrance and growled at me. I glared at her before turning back to Max. I noticed something shiny on his arm and smiled. "Cool watch, man. What's the time?" I asked him.
Max checked his shiny celestial bronze wristwatch. His eyes widened as he tugged my shirt and said, "Oh, crap, we're gonna be late for the camp-fire. Come on!"
He ran off in a direction where the smoke of the camp-fire could be seen from a distance. I stayed in the light until I felt my legs get stronger, then ran after him. The camp-fire was alight and burning bright in the middle of a circle full of kids of different ages. I looked for Max and saw that he was already in place among his half-brothers and -sisters; the children of Athena, all with grey eyes that mirrored the orange of the camp-fire. He gave me a thumbs-up. I responded with the same gesture and made my way to where my half-siblings were sitting. The twins, blond Duke and brunet Mike, shuffled away from each other and nodded at me to sit between them where I always sat if I was at camp. Ours spots weren't assigned to us but we always sat where we did because it felt right. I didn't feel so right because every camp-fire night everyone from every cabin had to gather around the fire. I was a loner so being in groups of more than four or five people always made me feel out of place, and being in the cabin holding the record of being second most populous didn't make me feel any better. I felt even more so here because I stood out as the only dark-skinned and -haired kid among dozens of fair-skinned kids who were fathered by the same god as me. And if being a black son of a white dad wasn't bad enough, I was the only kid in the Apollo cabin to have to wear glasses. Why is that bad? Well, having the ability to manipulate light, one would expect a child of Apollo not to get visually impaired from looking at his father's chariot in the sky.
Noticing my frown Duke patted my back and smiled me. "Cheer up, buddy", said Mike and smiled at me. I couldn't help smiling back. At that moment, the whole camp suddenly quietened down. I held a finger up to my lips and the twins fell silent. We looked ahead as a centaur, a half-man half-white stallion creature, came in through the opening. His name was Chiron, yeah the same one that trained and taught my ancestor Asclepius to be the best medic in the world, but now activities director of camp.
"Demigods, how are we tonight?" he asked all of us. A chorus of 'good' went up from the Athena, Ares and Hephaestus cabins. A chorus of 'awesome' rose from the rest of us.
"Tonight is a special night kids", he continued with a grin. "Does anyone know what?"
Max smiled before yelling out, "Is it Annabeth's birthday?" He received laughs from the other cabins and a death glare from one of the older girls from his cabin, who I guessed as Annabeth. I couldn't tell properly because of my freaking sight. I won't lie; she was crush material, with her awesome blonde hair and grey eyes. The only thing that made her stand out was her fringe. It was a thick streak of light silver that made her look older somehow. She didn't like talking about it though. She kicked Duke's butt for asking her about that. She's always had my respect since then.
"No it's not my birthday", she said bitterly before turning to Chiron. "It's Percy's birthday."
The camp fire turned a ghostly shade of blue and decreased to the size of a small soccer ball. Nobody seemed too happy about hearing his name. I can't blame them, though. I felt kinda bad for the guy too. It's been three weeks since he disappeared. He just vanished without a trace. Grover, a camp satyr and one of Percy Jackson's best friends, knew he wasn't dead. He had an empathy link with Percy. He said it was like they were connected by some unseen thread, and if it was severed in any way they'd both die. So the news of him being alive worried him, and us, even more.
Chiron nodded gravely. He looked in the direction of the Poseidon cabin. Only one kid sat there but he took up three seats with his massive body. Even with my poor vision I could see his one massive baby eye in the middle of his forehead brimming up with tears. When Chiron made eye contact with him he burst into tears and hid his face in his massive hands.
"Yes, Annabeth, it's Percy's birthday" Chiron said with the saddest tone I've ever heard from him. He was a strong guy – horse guy? – but he couldn't help his voice from cracking up. Percy was his best student and we all knew that. "Tyson", he continued, "has been assigned to look for him. Annabeth, I would like you to go with him. You may consider this as a quest, though there will be no glory at the end. Honour, yes, to those who wish to join them, but I can't promise anything yet. I do not know of the dangers you may face or the choices you will have to make. But our Oracle..." he paused as if this was something he shouldn't say, "...the Oracle may have the answers should you choose to consult her."
I lost any sort of concentration I had on his speech after that. The last thing I remembered of the night was that I went to hang around the waters near Long Island South. Even with it being a moonless night, the water off the bank reflected the camp fire, which was bright orange again, making the lake look it was made of fire. I never got why, but my eyes always worked better than usual, with my glasses or no, in the darkness. I never liked the sun much, being the reason for the state of my eyes, but I couldn't hate it either. It was the only thing that made me feel like I had a father, and that he was there even though I couldn't look at him. I still remember that day when I was five.
It was on one of the days of my mother's performances. She was an amazing singer, possibly the best in the whole of the northern hemisphere. She had this voice that sounded like honey, just a thousand times sweeter and more natural. Her face was just as pleasant. Her skin was the colour of honey in milk, and in the spotlight it looked like glowing bronze.
The performance took place in an open place. I think it was a park, I don't remember too much. She took me with her because she considered me her lucky charm. I found it odd because she wore lucky charms all over her neck and wrists, but I didn't have the heart to tell her that. I sat up front with my aunt Shai, who I couldn't stand. She was the complete opposite of my mother, physically and inside. My mother was healthy and had a kind face with beautiful brown eyes and a bright smile. Aunt Shai was deathly skinny and pale and had one of those faces that look nice at first but then begin to scare you. Her eyes were hooded and a pale shade of a colour between brown and yellow, like – excuse my French – faeces. Applying make-up to her face did nothing to hide her ugly crooked smile.
Her performance was only an hour long so I didn't have to sit with her that long. She was at least nice enough to sit me on her lap to help see my mother better. At least that's what I thought anyway. She tipped the glass of water that she was holding and spilled half of the contents on my pants. Her kid, Shirin, was right beside me and she laughed her head off.
Aunt Shai told her to take me to the public toilet and bought me a fresh pair of shorts. How that five year old knew her way around the place, I will never know, but she guided me to a row of portable toilets on the edge of the place, far away from the stage, but close enough to hear my mother's beautiful voice. On the way there she never stopped laughing at my crotch. I swear, if she was a dude, I would've punched her face in. I tried to ignore her the best I could.
After I was done changing and came out, Shirin was nowhere to be seen. I looked around for her for a couple of minutes and was about to return to the performance when Shirin came out from behind one of the portables and tackled me to the floor. I had the wind knocked out of me and tried to scream but her hand was pushing hard on my chest. The next thing I knew was that I had the sun in my eyes. I looked away from the sun, but I saw something out of the corner of my eyes that I remember more than anything that day: the sun had a face, though very undistinguishable in the light, and it was smiling at me. My eyes focused on the sun and even though they hurt, I couldn't look away. I felt Shirin laugh and hit me on the face. I kept my gaze fixed on the sun. A beam of sunlight bounced off a passing car. Somehow the light bent direction as if it had hit an invisible mirror. The light flashed directly into Shirin's eyes and she raised her hand off my chest to block the beam. Feeling my breath back I screamed. Shirin got off me and ran away. I tried getting up but my chest hurt too bad so I stayed down. Slowly, everything turned black.
The next thing I know is that I woke up to my mother calling my name. "Teer?" she was saying, "beta, be alright. Please, be alright. Teer?" I opened my eyes but what I saw scared me. Everything was so blurry I couldn't even make out shapes. I felt hands lift my face up and get lost in a tight hug. Then someone put glasses on my face and the first face I saw was Aunt Shai's, grinning her crooked teeth at me. I looked around for my mother and almost cried when I saw her.
Her eyes were red and puffy from crying. With the whole room and Aunt Shai being white, mother looked like the only source of colour in the room. For a moment everything slowed down and we just looked at each other, knowing we were both crying inside but not showing it. Then that moment ended when two men in white coats came into the room and led her away. Aunt Shai told me not to worry and stroked my hair until I fell asleep.
I shook my head. My head was spinning so I sat down.
Yeah, my memory can reach that far. Having total control over the right side of my head left the left side pretty empty. Creating things, yes I can do. Analysing things, not at all. Leaving so much space free, my memories had enough space to allocate and accommodate themselves. I had this really stupid mixed feeling about the fact that I got only the physical gifts from my father and not the other cool stuff.
Lost in thought I didn't hear Max come in behind me. I got the crap scared out of me when he breathed on my shoulder and said, "I come for your brain!" I almost skewered him with my pilum. When he saw the weapon he backed away and almost ran away but thought better of it. He just came and sat beside me. "Why do you have a Roman weapon?"
A/N: Yeah, not so proud of it myself. Anyway, if you like it, leave a review.
P.S: If you missed the details this is a bit after the The Last Olympian and before The Lost Hero.