Authors' Note: Well, this is my first Percy Jackson fic, and what a depressing one it is as well. Being the sadistic reader, the moment I read the Son of Neptune, I thought, Wouldn't it be interesting if Polybotes actually did end up torturing Percy under the sea?
This is going to be part of a series of short stories called Drowning, which will focus on the darker possibilities of Percy Jackson in which things go very wrong. Despite the title of the series, the misfortunes are not just limited to Percy, though since I associate everything to do with Percy (yes, this includes the new series which I am honestly not that big of a fan of), it will have to be called that.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy. This contains spoilers for the Son of Neptune, though not any too major.
Disclaimer: I don't own Percy Jackson. I really wish I did. Sadly, that isn't going to happen any time soon.
He could barely remember his name.
Percy. A dim voice repeated inside his head. My name is Percy. Jackson. Percy Jackson. I love Annabeth. Annabeth Chase. She's my girlfriend.
He couldn't remember what she looked like. Panic seared through Percy's mind. He couldn't remember what Annabeth looked like. He couldn't remember her hair color, or her smile, or her eyes...
Percy's ankle was shackled to a dead coral reef. He floated around 20 meters from the surface of the water. So close yet so far.
Suddenly, his muscles seized up. Percy tensed. He was coming.
A sudden jolt of pain coursed through Percy's veins. His mouth opened in a tortured scream as his body was filled with agony. His head was spinning. He was going to die.
The pain stopped abruptly and Percy sank to the coral reef bed with a groan. The dead coral scratched at his skin. A long time ago, the cuts would've healed almost immediately. Now his blood flowed freely around him. The aftereffects of the poison filled his lungs and Percy almost blacked out.
Percy opened his eyes for the first time that day and stared into the ugly face of Polybotes. The giant smiled.
"That was your birthday present."
The phrase took a moment to register in Percy's brain. Today was his birthday. The words left a horrible taste in Percy's mouth. It was his birthday.
The giant left, still wearing the same smirk. Percy winced as he tried to pick himself up from the coral reef before sinking back to it.
As soon as Polybotes was out of sight, sea nymphs surrounded him. My lord, they murmured. You have suffered.
The nymphs didn't look too well themselves. Their blue complexion had darkened and had become almost green. Almost like poison.
One of the sea nymphs drifted near the shackle and Percy's eyes widened. "Don't," he croaked.
A horrible scream filled Percy's ears as the nymph was incinerated. At the same time, another jolt burst through Percy's veins, almost like one of Zeus' lightning bolts. He didn't know how long had passed before he stopped screaming. By the time he could open his eyes again, the sea nymphs had all disappeared.
Percy looked up towards the surface of the ocean. He knew that Poseidon, his father, could not find him here. This part of the ocean was now ruled by Polybotes. Perhaps all of the ocean was now ruled by Polybotes—Percy didn't know. His only hope was that perhaps Poseidon would destroy Polybotes. Then, and only then, would Percy have a chance to survive. He had to hold onto that one hope—that Polybotes had not conquered the entire ocean yet and that his father was coming.
As much as Percy would like to believe that, he couldn't put his heart into it. He had been suffering and tortured for almost a hundred days now. Poseidon was nowhere to be seen and every day Percy drew one day closer to his demise.
He missed Manhattan. His missed his mother...though his memory of her was also fading fast. All he remembered was her name, Sally Jackson. The name brought warmth and gave him hope, though that soon disappeared. Percy didn't even know if she was alive. The same went for Annabeth. And...and...the satyr. Percy struggled to remember his name. Grover. Yes, Grover.
There was something to do with Grover that Percy had forgotten, though that wasn't exactly unexpected. He had forgotten most of his life and it had been replaced with torture. All he remembered were the basics. The names. The smiles. The warmth. But there was something with Grover...something that told Percy that he could use it to contact Grover…
Maybe Grover was dead as well.
Percy weakly raised himself from the coral and drifted upwards until he could drift no further. The shackle on his right ankle cut him, but Percy no longer noticed the pain. He knew he had a permanent scar.
He stared up at the sun, wondering what everyone was doing. Did they remember him? He barely remembered himself. Were they searching for him?
Or had they given up? Had they forgotten about him?
For a moment, Percy felt as if he would embrace death. Polybotes had told him once, "I will torture you under the sea. Every day the water will heal you, and every day I will bring you closer to death."
If, Percy thought, life was like a rope, anchoring him, then the rope must be so frayed that it would fall at a moment's notice.
Percy was drowning. Drowning in pain. Drowning in despair. Drowning in the memories that he could no longer recall.