I can tell by the way they all stare at me, that they would give anything to go back to their throne rooms. Back to doing absolutely nothing. They've been here too long, each one of them absolutely bored to tears.

"Um," I begin. Wow, great way to start the conversation, Annabeth. I tell myself.

They all continue to stare at me, intently.

"Annabeth Chase," I begin, "Camp 12, Greek camp."

I can feel my hands shaking out of nervousness. The fact that they're all twenty feet tall, and could easily squash me into the ground does not make any of this easier.

Zeus waves a giant hand, signaling me to continue on with whatever I was going to do.

I bolt over to the knife section that I've been itching to get my hands on for days, and pick out the one that is most similar to my own knife. This one has the tip of it curved in a deadly arch, and is black with a silver lining to it.

I walk over to the dummy used for knife practice, and take cautious aim.

Using all my strength, I pull the knife up to my ear, take a slight step forward with my left leg, and throw the knife as hard as I can.

I miss.

The Olympians actually started to laugh at me. Even my own mother! My face feels hot, and my hands are clenched into tight fists. How dare they! I am putting my life on the line here for them to prove who is better, and they're just sitting around drinking, and laughing like it's nobody's business?

Not on my watch.

Just when I think things can't get any better, they do. (Please take note of the sarcasm I am displaying in that sentence.)

A man in a fancy servant suit comes in and brings a wine bottle, a pig with a golden apple in its mouth, and a chocolate fountain. The minute the man sets everything down, the Olympians all crowd around it, all exclaiming with joy, while I'm completely forgotten.

At this point, I'm so mad at the Olympians I'm about to walk out on them, leave them and their stupid pig to have some alone time, but that's before I notice the chandelier hanging two inches from the rim of the pig's silver platter. The chandelier is held up by a thin wire that looks so easy to break it is painful.

Wow.

They put that expensive looking chandelier in a room full of sharp and pointy weapons...not smart on their part.

Everyone is laughing, drinking, and having a wonderful time, while I sit here, and stare at them in complete disgust. And the sad thing is, they don't even notice me. I could sneak out right now and they wouldn't notice until after they've eaten their stupid pig.

I can hear Apollo's voice, "Who got this pig? Huh? Tell me, who got this pig?"

Full of frustration and humiliation, I throw the knife upwards, sending it straight through the wire. Just as I predict, the chandelier comes crashing down, causing many screams of alarm, and crashes straight onto the rim of the pig's plate. The sudden impact of the object is too much for the plate to handle, so the next thing I know, the platter tips forward, and sends the pig flying into my arms.

Aphrodite stumbles back, and ends up landing in the chocolate fountain. Hera trips over a chair, causing her to land flat on her rear—much to my enjoyment. Hephaestus and Ares both simultaneously run over to help a squealing Aphrodite, who was now covered in chocolate—all while Hermes and Poseidon burst out laughing. Artemis leaps over the leaps over the table, and out of harms way, while Athena stares at me with an amused expression, like she never knew I had the wits to do something like that.

Thanks, Mom.

The majority of the Olympians calm down and stare at me in disbelief; they all just stand there like ice sculptures with looks of terror etched on their faces.

I hold up the dead pig, and wave it teasingly in Apollo's direction, "I've got the pig."

Apollo's jaw hits the ground.

To prove my triumph, I pluck the golden apple out of its mouth, and sink my teeth into the juicy treat.

"Well," I say as I swallow, "I see you have some cleaning up to do, so..."

I give a slight bow, then exit the room, still eating my golden apple.


"YOU WHAT?" Effie screeches.

"I told you, Effie," I state, pausing only to take another chunk out of my apple, "I hit the rope with a knife, causing it to break, then the chandelier tipped the plate that had their precious pig on it, sending the pig flying into my arms, and Aphrodite into a chocolate fountain. I also kind of...took their apple, and...I'm eating it right now..."

Effie's face was absolutely appalled. Haymitch burst out laughing, "What were their faces like?"

I give a laugh, "Terrified. And when I walked away I could hear on of them mumbling, 'I knew we shouldn't have put that there...'"

I can see Percy, trying to hide his smile by staring down at his pork-chops, but he's definitely smiling.

Haymitch kept asking me more and more questions like this. I answer every single one as honestly as I can, and I find myself recollecting the moment, realizing it was even funnier than I let on. The gods absolutely hate getting made fun of, and I'm sure that if anyone else found out about the incident, they'd be the laughing stock of the entire mythological world.

Suddenly, we all hear Haymitch's phone buzz, "It's a message from Zeus. Turn on the television."

Effie hobbles over and turns it on with a snap of her fingers, and we all plop down on the couch to see the scores.

The Norse camp goes first.

A picture of Tyro fades onto the screen. Below his picture, the number 10, in flashing lights.

I gulp at the sight of that number. Haymitch told me that 1 was extremely bad and 12 was the highest number you could get. A ten was pretty good. Aw, man!

Next is Avalon, who ends up getting a 9. She's cruelly sneering at the camera in her picture, obviously trying to scare the rest of her opponents. I am very disappointed to tell you that the sneer is working.

Hope gets an 8, and Callaway gets a 9, along with Avalon. The girl with the fiery hair ends up getting a 7, which isn't too surprising, and her partner gets a 4.

One by one, more names and more scores show up. Cordelia Malveroy: 6. Aidan Warner: 3. Jaynna Wellington: 5.

I was surprised when I saw little Mackie pull up a 7, since she's so small. I guess she must've shown them something pretty impressive.

Percy's face flashes across the screen, and I'm surprised to see he's actually smiling in the picture. The score under him is a nine. Everyone turns to congratulate him by slapping him on the back. I congratulate him, too, but in reality I'm worried. A nine is a seriously high number. The ones from Camps 1 and 2 may be asking him to join at one point.

The only thing I manage to get out is, "Nice job, Seaweed Brain."

Then my face comes up on the screen, and I bite my lip in anticipation.

Here comes my four...

Then, it happens. My number on the screen pops up: 11.

An eleven? That can't be right! I...what...What is this? Some kind of practical joke? My mouth is gaping open, and my heartbeat quickens out of surprise.

Percy turns and grins at me, "Wow. They sure liked you."

I turned back to the screen, barely able to process what just happened. I got an eleven? I got an eleven. I GOT AN ELEVEN! Ah, man! I got an eleven!

The number swirled around in my head like an angry hawk. Anger, excitement, disbelief, all emotions that filled my insides, gnawing at me. Eleven. My head felt like it was spinning.

Even as I went to bed, it stayed there.

Eleven.

After finally managing to process my number, I begin to ponder over the different consequences. A sickening feeling washes over me. What if the ones from the Norse camp ask me to join their alliance?

Ugh, no.

I wouldn't join. Not in a million years. I mean, who would be so low as to join the gruesome killing machines, otherwise known as the Norse campers?

I shook the thoughts away, as I lie in my bed. I stared blankly at the white ceiling, looking for something, anything, to keep my mind off of the Games.

A voice in my head chants over and over, Only two more days. Only two more days.

I toss and turn, trying to wrench the taunting voice out of my head, but it's stuck there. Tomorrow we'd be interviewed to let the Olympians and the rest of the audience get a good feel of our personalities, and opinions, and to see who's worth keeping alive, or not.

There's a part of me that just wants to get these Games over with, and just accept my fate. There was an eighty percent chance I wasn't coming home. The thought made my insides flip inside-out, and shiver ran through my body.

Relax, Annabeth. I told myself, Just get some rest.

Slowly, but surely, my body began to relax, and my world turned black. Before I knew it, I was lost in a dreamless, peaceful sleep.


Rain~*