A/n: So this has been in the wrong folder in my computer for a while, so I kind of forgot to upload it…oops. Anyway, this story is full of OC's, but will remain faithful to the books we all love so much. There will be appearances from most of the Camp HalfBlood gang but the main character OC's are based off me and my friends. I find it easier to write dialogue and thoughts for characters if I actually know them. If anyone wants to guess, yes, Alice, the narrator, is based off me. Meely is my best friend who is a year younger than me. (These are not our real names.)
Disclaimer: I would say I only own the OC's, but I really don't own my friends…but I own the plot!
The Six Misfits of Olympus
When his darkness comes, the sky will fall
Unless the six misfits answer the call
The children of Love must stand for violence
The Poet's daughter must prevent silence
One child of Lightning will find another
The eldest will walk under night for cover
Lightning and the Thief will trick the Sky
Through his Power, he will fall or rule
The Orphan of War must use the final tool
The rain pounded down hard against the tin roof of the train station. I usually liked the rain, but for the first time in my life, I wished for the rain to stop. I don't know why, but I saw it as a bad omen. Usually, I would draw power from the refreshing mist. But not today. It just seemed different now. Part of me still wanted to run out from the cover of this dreary red building's roof and dance through the rain, feel the water droplets shatter against my palms as I'd look up at the sky….I shook my head. I couldn't do that. We'd miss the train. Plus, I don't think it'd have the same magical effect as it used to, now that Dad's not here to watch me spin around and get myself soaked. Also, I don't think Meely would appreciate it if I jumped up to dance in the rain right now, seeing as her head would fall off my shoulder and she'd wake up from her nap by having her head slam against the cold wooden bench we were sitting on.
I laughed a little to myself at the mental picture, but stopped and looked up when I heard the familiar 'Choo! Choo!' of the train.
I shook Meely awake by her shoulders as I saw the front of the train pull up to the loading gate, and the warm puff of smoke billowed out from the old engines, "Meels," I shook my little sister again.
"Five more minutes, Daddy," she mumbled against my arm.
I shook her again. Partly so we wouldn't miss our train, partly because the weight of her head was starting to make my shoulder go numb, but mostly because it stung my heart and eyes to hear her talk about Dad, "Meely Majita! Wake the crap up!"
She shook her head spastically and jerked up off my shoulder, "Hmm, huh, yeah, I'm awake. Save me some waffles."
I looked over at her with a raised eyebrow look that cleary said: What the crap are you talking about?
She rolled her eyes at my face, "I was having that dream again. The one where you steal all my breakfast and make a little fort of waffles and sausage…." She explained sleepily as she rubbed her eyes and looked around. I almost laughed at her dream, again, until she remembered where we were and her face dropped, her expression switching to that scared yet angry puppy look that makes me furious that our life is such crap sometimes.
She said it as a statement, not a question. She was just voicing her thoughts. She does it a lot so I was used to her bluntness, but I my heart still sunk at her words, like it was made of led.
I nodded grimly and stood up, taking our bags, "Yeah," I mumbled then swallowed back tears, "We're running away. Remember?"
She blinked, as if she was trying to make herself wake up from this dream. I leaned down and took her shoulder in my hands, I looked her in the eyes as I spoke, "Meels….this is real. Dad's….gone," I couldn't get myself to ever say dead, because he wasn't; he was still right there in that little space in my heart, smiling on us, " And Mom was never with us. But we are still here. I have you and you have me. That's all that matters right now. And I refuse to go to some stupid orphanage or foster home with state paid adults that might not even really love us. Because we are NOT orphans; we're sisters. Orphans have no family, we do. WE are each other's family now. Besides, you KNOW you'd rather live in a cave then go stay with Aunt Rhonda and Uncle Sylvester," I grinned at her as she shuddered at that thought. Our Aunt and Uncle were….well; the only word that comes to mind is slimy. That's precisely why Dad moved us here, 500 miles away from them, when I was four. Meely was two at the time, but she still remembers the way Uncle Sylvester leered at us as we drove away, picking something unidentifiable out of his teeth.
Meely took a deep breath, smiled, and stood up, "You're right! We're not pathetic orphans, we have each other. And we have a Mom."
I groaned as we took our bags and stepped onto the train, "Meels, I told you-she's not a real mother if she's never even MET us." Ok, so I've kind of met her. But I haven't figured out how to tell Meely about what our mother had told me…
Meely rolled her eyes, "She met us when we were born, Alice, DUH!"
I laughed and smiled, thankful yet again that my sister's eternal optimism had lifted my spirits.
Once we were seated and situated as comfortable as possible in these cramped and stained velvet mauve train seats, I laid my head against the window as my baby sister's prattling voice lulled me off to sleep.
In my dream, I was surrounded by white flowers; tulips. My Dad said if he ever died, he'd want tulips at his funeral; because they reminded him of our mother. Graceful and beautiful.
"They could represent whatever you wanted, be so many things…." That's what my Dad used to say about these flowers. And about me and my sister. He said he saw so much of Mom in us that it almost made him cry sometimes.
I was at my Dad's funeral. I fingered one of the soft white petals as the preacher rambled on. I knew I should be listening. I like Preacher Tom; he was a close friend of my Dad's and he always gave Meely and I a stick of gum whenever he visited Dad. But I couldn't bear to even look at him as he spoke; this was my Dad's eulogy. Dad wasn't supposed to die; he was so full of life that I used to think he would live forever. I guess the drunk idiot that crashed into Dad's car didn't care that I thought he was immortal. I looked out over wide range of hills topped with oak trees; we lived in a kind of big estate. We're not really that rich, but Dad inherited from Grandpa….it used to be an orchard. But my Dad only kept the trees up and growing because he knows me and Meely liked to make fruit pies in harvesting season.
I spy with my little eye….I let my gaze wonder across the hills, I always play this game when I'm stressed or avoiding something, or both. I stopped when my eyes landed on a woman. Standing under one of the old peach trees (We live in Georgia; they're A LOT of peach trees). The woman was stunning. Even from this far away, I could see that she was beautiful. And she seemed to be pointing at me in a "come here" motion. My eyes widened in surprise and confusion; what would a random gorgeous lady want with me and why was she standing under my favorite tree?
I looked around me and saw that everyone was caught up in Preacher Tom's words, so no one noticed when I slipped out of my side-row seat and started to walk to the trees in the distance. I took off my black heels-and left them under my seat- so it'd be easier to walk up the hill. As got closer to the woman, a weird sweet smelling wind blew bye and rustled my cream silk dress (I refused to wear the most somber of somber colors at what was supposed to be a celebration of my very colorful father's life. The concept of somber respect and a black dress didn't seem to fit with my dad.)
As I came face to face with the woman, I realized the scent on the fall breeze was the smell of her perfume. When I actually looked at her close up, she was….even more beautiful, if that were possible. I couldn't decide if her hair was blond or red or brown, or if her eyes were blue or green or hazel. But she reminded me of every pretty Hollywood starlet I'd ever seen and everything that I ever thought was beautiful. It seemed to all be in her face. She was silent for a second, letting me take everything in.
But then she spoke,"Alice," she smiled glowingly and suddenly I felt like a little girl as she looked down at me, "My dear little Allie. I'm sorry I never spoke to you before this; it really is horrible timing. But I needed you to know something."
From the sound of her voice I automatically knew this woman was my mother, "Mom?"
I was ashamed of myself for letting my voice squeak, but I couldn't help it.
"Yes," she almost sighed the word, "I'm your Mother. And you, Alice Lyla Marie Stevens are no regular girl. You are my daughter; a child of love and a daughter of Aphrodite."
I gaped at the woman; was she crazy? Coming here after 16 years and telling me 'Hey I'm your Mom and guess what? I'm the immortal goddess of love.'
Anger started to boil in the pit of my stomach. Who does she think she is? She abandoned us; my sister, my father, me…. She left the people I love the most in the dust and now she acts like nothing happened?
She puts her hand on my shoulder and I flinch away, roughly breaking out of her grasp, I eye her with a mix between fear and anger, "I don't care if you ARE a goddess, lady, you don't have the right to just show up here 16 years after you abandoned me and my family and just act like it's okay."
She looked a little hurt, but she was hiding it well. She smirked approvingly at me, "You're fiery, girl. Ares would like you…." she seemed torn between amused at that idea and annoyed at herself for saying it.
I was still looking at her like she was insane, "Ares? The god of war? I'm just asking, fair question and all cuz you show up at my Dad's funeral out of the blue and everything, but are you mentally ill?"
She laughed. She freakin' laughed, "No, child, I'm being honest. I've watched you. I know certain things about you. For example; you like 80s music, you pace when you're thinking, you hate sports clothing stores. See? I didn't abandon you. I've been watching. But I couldn't speak to you until now; Zeus thinks talking to mortals is dangerous, sends up signs to monsters or something, I don't know, he's always so grumpy, point is: Those Greek gods I've seen you read about AREN'T myths. They're real. We exist. And you're my daughter."
I blinked, what she was saying was finally sinking in. I found myself believing her. I was still pissed that she didn't fight harder to stay in contact with us, but I was starting to understand. It'd probably take me a while to forgive her, but for now I at least believed her, "So…let's say I believe you okay? You're REALLY Aphrodite and you're really my Mom. But why now? Why did you crash my Dad's funeral to talk to me? And why just me? Why aren't you talking to Meely too?"
She looked out across the hill to look at the funeral procession, and I could tell her eyes were focused on Meely sitting in her chair in her blue dress with a scared and still somehow angry expression on her face.
"Meely wouldn't listen right now if I tried to talk to her. She's too…distressed. I don't blame her. But you, you're older; you're….almost ready now. "
"Ready for what?" She was starting to piss me off again.
She smiled sadly, as if she would've laughed fondly at my antics if she wasn't so weighed down by something, "I can't tell you that. You have to figure it out on your own. But I do have something I can and NEED to tell you," she put her hands on my shoulders again and this time I let her, "Alice, the darkness is about to begin. A war will start. Your friends are going to need you. When they want to give up, you're going to be that spark of insanity that inspires them to be brave. You're an artist, my daughter, and that means that you can see things-ideas, pictures, possibilities- that others cannot. Love is the most powerful tool you have. When you feel like giving up, remember this: Love cannot be beaten."
I blinked a couple times out of shock. I had so many questions. I always thought that meeting my mother would clear up my confusion about her, but all it did was make me want to know more answers. Yet something about her presence and her words made me hesitant to form a sentence. I felt like this was way above my head. Like I shouldn't know how to do any of the stuff she'd just said I would have to. But for some reason, I still whole-heartedly believed her. It made no sense; all of this stuff was supposed to be fake. Only stories parents tell their kids when they're little. I shouldn't believe any of this stuff. I should be questioning my sanity. But I wasn't. I knew that what she was saying was true. And I'd never been very sane anyway, "But….what? What darkness? Why do I have to stop it? Why's is there going to be a war?" questions flew out of my mouth as soon as I mustered up the courage and clarity to ask them, "I hate war…." I mumbled to myself. Sure, practice sparring is really fun. I love to do that with Meely. I mean we forced Dad to let us take martial arts lessons. But war….that was a bigger scale. Soldiers kill to protect their homes and that I respect. It's the people that start the war that I hate; because there is no reason that they should have to kill the opposition to resolve their problem.
Aprhodite laughed, and the sound was like wind chimes blowing in the breeze, "Of course you do. You're a child of Love. Love opposes war."
I raised my eyebrow at her in disbelief, "But didn't I read a story where you….hooked up…. with Ares?"
Her eyes turned to slits of pink fire, "Mortal writers always exaggerating things….we went on a couple of dates, okay?"
She shook her head and her eyes regained focus, "Never mind that. Listen to me now. You need to get out of here."
I looked at her silently for a moment, deciding whether or not I should trust her, or even listen to her, "Why?" I asked cautiously.
She seemed to gain back some of her godly anger from before, "Because there's an ugly group of evil harpies coming to fly you and your sister off to their nest for lunch."
Both my eyebrows shot up, "Harpies like evil sky spirits harpies?"
She rolled her eyes, "Yes. They're aren't that many kinds of harpies."
Just the good kind that work for Zeus and the rogue ones….I thought to myself.
She looked over her shoulder, as if checking to make sure they're wasn't a herd of monsters clambering over the hill, "You need to go now. Take your sister and head to New York. There's a Camp there for kids like you. You'll be safe."
Her voice was quickly taking on a desperate tone, as if she had only seconds left to talk to me. And it was scaring me more than I'd like to admit, "Camp? What camp? And how will we know where it is?"
She glanced at me distractedly as if she was trying to sort through her thoughts-so that's where I get my scatter-brained trait from, "Hmm…it doesn't have an address. And I can't teleport you there because Zeus is a paranoid twit and is monitoring all air travel."
"Teleportation is air travel?" I restrained a laugh.
"It's hard to explain," she waved the notion off, then seemed to get an idea, "Oh! I know. Percy Jackson lives in New York. I always liked that boy…such a good love story…."
I stared at her like she was a five year old sticking her finger in a light socket, "Uh, that's great, but how does that help me?"
She shook her head again, like I do when I get distracted by too many ideas, "Oh. Sorry. He's a demigod that I trust. Go to his apartment and tell him I sent you and asked him to personally make sure you and your sister get to Camp Half Blood."
"Um….ok, but you're forgetting something-his address would be kind of important."
She grinned, "I know, child, I was getting to that. Here," she snapped her fingers and a piece of pink scented paper appeared in a poof cloud of sparkly perfume, "The address is on that."
I looked down at it and sure enough there was perfect black scrawl in calligraphy of a downton Manhattan apartment.
The goddess's mood switched back to dire warning again, "Now go. I don't mean after the funeral. I mean now. Take your sister, pack your bags, and run. Remember: Love conquers all."
And with those final words, she evaporated into a glittering pink cloud.
The train hit a bump in the track and I was startled awake, with Meely's snores in the background. I looked over at her sleeping with her hair in her face and sighed. All my life, I swore to keep my baby sister safe. Try to make sure she was happy. I believed it was kind of my duty to her as her older sibling. But now, I had pulled us from everything we knew and all we believed to be safe and told her I'd take her to New York to see the sights before we went to our friends' house in Connecticut and begged to stay with them.
I had lied to my sister. She still thinks we're just going on a fun trip to a friend's. But we were going to some random dude's house that I'd never met to see if he'd take us to some camp that I'd never been to. I had no idea what I was doing here. I barely had enough money left for train fare. And if what Aphrodite had said is true, then they're may be monsters waiting to eat us once we lay foot in New York. That is if a search party of state officials doesn't report us missing and come find us before we even get to the big apple. I mean I'm only sixteen; I have no freakin' idea what I'm doing.
Meely moved around in her seat and snored louder this time. I laughed. I remember the day I'd forced Dad to make Meely sleep in a different room so I didn't have to hear her snoring…it all seemed so far away now. Meely never gave up hope that our mother would come back. Well, our mother came to me yesterday, and I still haven't told Meels.
I shook off the guilt and stared straight ahead at the seat. This was our life now. This was our situation and I had to make the best of it. I'm still protecting her, I assured myself, We'll both be safer at this camp. Still have no idea WHY I believe Aphrodite though….
Meely yawned and soon enough, was awake. Bad thing about being so close to your sister is that closeness enables us to be able to read each other like a book. She blinked the sleep from her eyes, took one look at my face, and knew something was wrong, "Alice….you look….scared….and when YOU're scared it must be pretty bad…what's wrong?"
I stared at my little sister's face; her expression was concerned, her eyebrows knitted together over her big brown eyes.
Great, her innocence was making me feel even guiltier. I couldn't hide this from her anymore. And besides, I trust her.
"Look….when we got on this train, I know I said that I didn't know anything about Mom and that she abandoned us….but that was a lie."
She stared at me in disbelief, like she was trying to pretend she didn't just hear what I said; I never lied to her.
"I'm so sorry, Meels, I should've told you," I spoke quickly to get it all out, "But our mom was at the funeral yesterday. She talked to me…..okay, promise you'll listen and not freak out when I tell you this next part, please?"
She nodded quickly, "You better tell me quick girl, before I slap you upside your pixie little head."
I laughed, despite the situation my sister had a way of making me smile. I quickly shifted back to serious mode as I looked around to make sure no one was listening to us. Thankfully, our train car was pretty empty; just some creepy dude in a baseball cap and some old lady sitting in the corner.
I made a "come here" gesture with my fingers, then leaned into her ear to whisper, "…..Our mom is Aphrodite."
She pulled back from me with a dazed look on her face, not a look of disbelief, but more like her brain was trying to process the information, but kept coming up with 'ERROR: does not compute'.
After a few minutes she turned to me with a raised eyebrow, "If you're kidding, Al, I'm gonna hit you."
I simply smiled and shook my head, "I'm dead serious."
"For once," she said absent-mindedly, still mulling over my words, "So…..like, the goddess of Love and all that stuff….she's our Mom? And that's why she left?"
…Wow, she put that last part together faster than I did.
I nodded, "Apparently Uncle Zeus has some weird thing about communication between gods and their children being dangerous."
"….wait….this means we're half god!" she squealed.
The creepy dude in the baseball cap glanced over at us from under his hat, "Meely, !" I hissed as quietly as I could, giving her an elbow to the ribs for good measure.
She frowned and rubbed her side, "Sheesh, ya don't gotta be so violent about it."
I grinned, "Yes I do," I quipped, "That's who I am. Or have you forgotten?" I smirked at her playfully and soon we both dissolved into giggles as the train pulled into its next stop. I head the doors of other cabins screech open as some people filed off the train.
I looked up at the clock-4:30- we should be in New York in another hour.
After about 45 minutes, Meels was getting very anxious to see New York-she'd always wanted to go there. We both love Fashion Week so we'd pestered our Dad to take us since we were 10. Needless to say, he refused every time. I pushed that painful thought away; I didn't want to cry on a train in front of strangers. I hate crying in public. Besides, I had to be strong for Meely; if I cried, she'd cry. And we'd both mess up our makeup, the random thought flitted through my head before I realized it didn't matter.
"Alice, come ON!" Meely whined, "I really wanna go to Times Square before we go to Danielle's house."
It amazed me that my sister could still be so annoying, even while grieving. And it bugged me that she seemed so cavalier about this, "Meely! For the last time, no! Don't you get this? We aren't on vacation! We're gonna be on our own in a huge city unless we can beg and convince Danielles' parents to take us in and not tell the authorities that we're runaways! God, it's like you don't even miss Dad…." I grumbled the last part to myself and was immediately sorry that I'd said it. Meely's face dropped. I could see her fighting to decide whether she wanted to cry or slap me.
"Shut up Alice!" she practically screamed, "Stop acting like you know everything! I'm just as scared and sad and confused as you are! You know this is how I distract myself! Not everybody can face crap like this head on like you do! You don't always have to be the strong wise big sister, ya know! I'm not a baby anymore!"
I turned my head away while my eyes stung with tears, "You're right," I whispered, though I couldn't look at her while I said it, "I've been compensating. Mom was never here, so I felt like I owed it to you to protect you. But it was unequal-you're not a baby, you're smart too. And I never should've questioned the way you deal with…..Dad being gone."
I could sense her shrugging behind me; it's weird, but it's kind of like sister telepathy, "I know this is just how YOU deal with stuff-by bottling it up, refusing to think about it, then lashing out. But you don't have to do everything yourself, you know? I'll…I'll help."
I smiled, "I know."
"How sweet," a snarling voice like crumbling asphalt rasped from behind us. Meely nearly hit her head on the ceiling she jumped so high. It would've been funny had there not been two REALLY ugly monster things behind us. The one that had spoke had the face of the old lady that was sitting behind us, but everything else on her was different. She had dozens of slimy green snakes attached to her head like hair, slithering around and hissing in a typical snake like manner. Her body was covered by an old granny dress-truly hideous puke green dress with stripes and flowers by the way-but her feet looked scaly. I didn't bother looking down again to check if my eyes were playing tricks on me again. The second monster was the creepy dude with the hat that I'd seen earlier. Except he wasn't a dude anymore…from the waist down he was a black stallion.
I could hear my heart pounding in my ears as I frantically looked around for any escape. I could hear Meely start to hyperventilate beside me. She tapped my shoulder with a shaking hand, "Um…..you see them too, right?"
I gulped and looked over to her, "Yeah, Meels," I took her hand in mine, "I see them too."
I don't know how I was doing it, but in the back of my mind I was calculating several battle plans-moves I could use to disable them or tricks we could try to distract them long enough to get away. I was still scared as hell but I could feel my survival instincts kicking in. The jitteriness that I usually feel was actually coming in useful; I could feel it the nerves powering through my veins like adrenaline. I felt faster and stronger. I'm not sure why, but somehow I was able to unfreeze from the paralyzing fear I'd felt moments ago.
"So….these are the children of Love that we've been hearing about. You know we heard Zeus had deemed you two dangerous…" the old creepy snake lady looked over to her friend the horse dude, "I don't know, what do you think, Eurie? Do these little girls seem dangerous to you?"
The centaur(yes I know stuff) sneered at us with delight in his sickly gray eyes, "Nah. They don't look like they could hurt a fly-way to pretty for violence."
Their words were getting to me; I hate when people underestimate me. It makes me want to punch them. In the face. The anger was starting to heat my whole body up, my fists clenching by my sides. On a random note, I wondered if I somehow really WAS related to Ares….it would explain this reaction.
I felt Meely's fingers tighten around my hand I knew their taunts were having the same effect on her as they did to me.
I glanced over to Meely out of the corner of my eye, and she looked to me at the same time. It was times like these that I was glad I could practically read her mind but looking in her eyes; I knew we had the same idea.
"Plan BW?" I whispered to her, knowing she knew what I meant. It was the plan we used to teach a bratty girl in our 2nd grade class a lesson- Britney Wilkins. She'd always picked on Meely and I for being ADHD. Until one day, we heard a rumor that she was gonna try to start a physical fight with us at recess-so we came up with a plan at lunch that day to use the moves we'd learned in karate class from the day before on her.
An evil glint that I love to see came into my sister's eyes, "Plan BW."
We both got huge grins on our faces as we turned back to face the monsters, who for some stupid reason hadn't attacked us yet-they probably thought we were too harmless to expend energy on. They'd soon learn differently, "I call Horse Face."
I didn't even look at me Meely when I heard her respond back with, "I'll take care of Old Lady Ugly."
As the two monsters were exchanging dubious looks with each other and chuckling t our expense me and my sister grinned bigger, "Aaaaaaand….GO!" I shouted.
I launched myself forward, doing a front walkover into Horse Face's face, effectively kicking him in the nose. I righted myself quickly and drove my elbow into the pressure point in his neck. I did all of that before he could say "Ow."
I saw an admittedly scary pissed off look on Horse Dude's face as he lumbered towards me. He was recovering quicker than I'd hoped he would.
"You'll pay for that, Princess," he growled at me. Before I could realize what he was doing he swung a hand at my face and knocked me to the ground, the pain spreading through my cheek like burning needles.
I shot my eyes up to look at him as I jumped back to my feet. I quickly climbed up on top of a train seat. I was about to karate kick his stupid face off when I heard a thwack and the centaur fell face first to the ground.
"No one hurts my big sister and gets away with it…BITCH!" my sister's snarling voice came from behind the horse dude as he fell.
I leaped off the chair and grinned, "Thanks, Meels!"
She grinned at me, "See…I got moves too."
My eyes widened as I saw the other monster that Meely had knocked to the floor had gotten up and was about to whack my sister in the back of the head.
"Duck!" I shouted to her. Meely trusted me automatically and ducked to the floor quickly as I swung around in kick spin , planting my foot to the Snake Lady's neck.
I grabbed Meely's hand again, squeezed it, and looked her straight in the eye, "RUN!"
She nodded and didn't hesistate; we took off running out of the train cabin door, flying through the hall of the train car, knocking people over and shoving to get through in our haste to escape.
We heard shouts of "Hey!" and "Watch it!" as we barreled through the hall.
"Alice, look out! Food cart!"
I saw what my sister meant as I nearly collided with the silver cart carrying sandwiches and soda's. I acted on instinct, jumped, and front-tuck flipped over the cart.
"Woah! If we weren't running for our lives right now, I'd totally give you a high five for that! That was awesome, girl!"
I grinned and kept running. Neither of us bothered to look behind us, but we could hear the snakes from the lady's hair hissing from behind us.
"Meely! The train door's locked!" I looked at her, panic stricken, as I realized that the door to our escape was locked and we didn't have enough time to slow down and open the door.
Before I could finish my thought, I heard a thud from in front of me. I looked back to the front and saw that Meely had kicked the door down!
"Hahaha, badass, Meels!" was the last thing I said before we both jumped out of a moving train.