Nico Knew he was late and Percy was going to kill him. He walked briskly through the streets trying to get to the location of the competition as fast as possible; hopefully Percy's race wouldn't have started. He knew he should have left the apartment earlier but Percy knew about his new found aversion to sunlight so hopefully he would understand the reason why Nico was thirty minutes late for his swimming competition. They were even lucky that it was winter time and in England the sun set around four or else Nico knew he would have been even later. He entered the auditorium just as they were calling the hundred meters free style, phew, that is Percy's first race so he was cool.
I walked into the auditorium trying to be as inconspicuous as possible but that proved to be difficult as I walked in wearing a black aviator jacket with a black sweater on top of a black shirt paired with black jeans and black loafers. I tend to draw attention when I walk into places. Fortunately for me, Percy saw me and grinned slightly at least it meant he wasn't going to try and kill me later. I grinned back and walked to the stands where I took a seat in the front stand with the swimmers families.
This was a National school competition and my school, Mills Lake, was in the finals thanks to our star swimmer, who just so happened to be my theoretical brother and best friend Percy Jackson. The race started and he was off pulling ahead by the time they were at the fifty meter mark. Percy and I were not very normal, we had powers. Mine was I could see the dead and sense deaths. I could also manipulate the earth, shadows and basically any elements of darkness.
Percy's was with water, the earth and he could talk to horses. He could manipulate water, breath under it, was refreshed by it, he didn't get wet unless he wanted to and he could talk to and control creatures of the sea. He could cause miniature earthquakes if he got angry and once when he was riding a horse, it spoke to him. We kept our powers to ourselves of course because we didn't want to be probed by scientists or disturbed by reporters. There was nothing normal about us, we had lived together alone for the last year and a half and had no parents we knew of. I had just turned eighteen, but Percy had turned eighteen in august so now it was legal for us to live alone, we had enough money to pay for the flat in Knightsbridge so we could concentrate on school and not be disturbed by the Government trying to "help" us. How do two eighteen year old boys have enough to pay for a house in Knightsbridge without parents or jobs? We didn't know, Percy's mum had died and left us a letter that told us minimal things but it explained that we needn't worry about any expenses that there would always be money in her account and when he turned eighteen it would all be for him. She warned us to be wise and told us someday it would all make sense. She also said we were going to apply to University of New York after we graduated from Mills Lake and from there the path would become clear. I read the letter almost two years ago and it still freaked me out.
Percy and I pondered; this had to do with our powers we were sure of it but when Sally was alive she didn't seem to notice them. Not that she'd been alive for long after we realised what we could do, but even then it made us wonder why she was keeping so much from us. I stopped thinking about how my life could possibly change and watched Percy finish the race.
The world record and the competitions record were right beneath the timer and Percy was keeping himself about twenty seconds behind the competitions record, so that was only a minute and a half behind the World Record. I knew he could go faster, I had seen him do it but we didn't want to attract attention to ourselves. As it was, he was ahead of the other swimmers by his whole body length and that was enough for everyone to be certain that he was definitely the winner of this race. I stood and cheered him on as he got closer to the end, and so did the rest of the school team. We erupted in cheers as he won the race and pulled himself out of the pool. The coach was there to give him a pat on the back; he was happy because that was the third gold medal for our school out of five. I knew Percy was going to get his hundred per cent success rate again and he had five races today.
I sat through the entire competition cheering on Percy and talking to a girl on the team called Violet. Mills Lake was in the lead by about ten points and there were two races left; the four by one hundred male medleys and the 4 x 100 male freestyle. Those were also Percy's last two races. Percy swam last leg butterfly and helped us secure the gold in the medleys relay. It was now time for our last race and everyone wanted an epic win, our best swimmers were on the race and they had done excellently so far only losing two or three races. All the swimmers stood on one end of the fifty meter pool in a line. The third leg swimmer was missing but I spotted him arguing with the coach about something near the door I hoped everything was alright. As he walked back to position I had a bad feeling about it, they had about ten minutes before their race but they had to be there and accounted for a while before. I studied the swimmer and I could feel like there was something really wrong with him.
I went over to talk to Percy about it, "Hey Perce, I need to talk to you a minute just come over here," I asked as I grabbed him and pulled him to the side. I began speaking in Greek which we'd discovered we could read, write and speak,
"There's something wrong with one of your swimmers, something seriously wrong. I doubt he's going to be able to swim the length, not to mention the whole two lengths. Who's your substitute?"
Percy looked worried then, "We have none now, one guy hurt his ankle and the other had a wedding to go to, we're all out."
"Can't you swim two legs?"
He looked at me then shook his head, "Not without raising suspicion, I've been swimming all day and I've already done five rigorous races. Doing two hundred and winning would make me look abnormal and there are scouts here, don't want them spreading the word about me,"
He suddenly stopped then looked like something had struck him, "Nico, you can do it, you're a pretty good swimmer and you have the stamina. The first two guys are excellent so they'll probably be in the lead, I've seen you swim Nico and I know you're good, please."
I looked at him for a second then sighed in defeat, "if not for the fact that this means so damned much to you, I'd have left you to rot. Where's your spare speedo we have five minutes and the guys going to collapse in about three, I'll be out in two." I said as I walked away from him briskly and retrieved the speedo from his bag.
I was out of the changing room in record time and standing beside the coach ready to show him when the boy fainted. He would be alright, I knew that much but he wasn't fit to swim today. I looked at the boys pale face and counted down from five, once I got to one he promptly fell and Percy caught his head before it could reach the floor. I notified the coach and he ran there.
In all the hustle and bustle an official came to ask for the replacement and Percy said my name. Excellent everything was all set, the coach looked at me and nodded, "Good luck son, good thing it isn't crucial though. No offence but I haven't seen what you can do so just do your best and enjoy it," I nodded and gave the coach a small smile then I walked over to Percy to talk as the race started.
"You okay Nico?" he questioned,
"Yeah I'm fine, I'm just happy you taught me how to swim and made me practise for as long as you do" I smirked at our secret. The other teams looked fairly confident but you know what they say, 'Don't count your eggs until they've hatched'.
The raced commenced with a buzzer noise and they were off, the guy in the first leg was good and he brought us in for a majorly close second. The second leg was even better and by now we were in first place, and then it was me.
I dived in and swam in the precise manner Percy had taught me too, barely making a splash as my hands sliced through the water and my feet propelled me forward. As I reached the fifty meter mark and returned in one swift movement, I propelled myself forward faster and faster, there was no need to be careful of time as I wasn't really good enough to break a world record. So I just swam coming up for air only about six times in the entire two lengths.
I reached the end and saw Percy dive in ahead of me; I then exited the pool and saw we were in the lead, of course. The coach came over to me and smiled widely,
"Di Angelo you were phenomenal, the technique was excellent from the dive to the wall push of. Even your form, nearly as good as Percy's it's a wonder you didn't join the swimming team. Anyway it's too late to ponder now, you did a phenomenal job and placed us right back on top. Commendations, you truly deserve them."
I smiled widely then heard the siren sound the winner. I whipped my head back and ran back to lift Percy out of the pool as he smiled widely, "Congratulations National Champion," I shouted over the noise of people screaming for us.
The confetti was blowing in now that the other racers were out of the pool. The trophy was passed over to Percy as he was simultaneously hoisted onto the shoulders of his team mates; I laughed lightly and walked back to the changing room to return to my prior outfit. As I walked into the room which was now dark, I felt like there was a presence here too but I didn't see anyone so I changed into my clothes and walked back outside.
The rest of the team was wearing sweats over their swimming costumes and were driving anyway so they wouldn't get cold. Percy and I decided to walk home because our house was not too far away from the venue.
As we walked home talking, Percy dried himself so he wouldn't get cold. Suddenly I felt like we were being followed and stiffened, Percy stiffened too but continued walking. I turned back but saw nothing, we were walking through the park and it was empty. There was a lake on the left of the path we were walking on and not much else.
Again I felt like there was something or someone following us, I stopped for a second to talk to Percy then before I knew it I was being grabbed and something was biting my neck. Percy must have seen it because just as it sunk its teeth into my neck it was grabbed off and I saw Percy manipulating two strong hands made purely of water.
My neck exploded in pain but I had to help Percy, the thing didn't look fazed by the hands just surprised and before my eyes it broke through the hands and flew at Percy sinking it's teeth straight into his arm. This time I summoned skeletons from the earth to distract it and get it off Percy for long enough. This thing was fast and it was strong, the skeletons managed to get her off Percy who summoned more water to hold it but he didn't look so good,
"Percy!" I yelled, "I'm about to use hell fire and large rocks, stay safe!" I yelled as my hands reached to the ground,
"Be careful! Don't use too much of your power!" he yelled back struggling to keep the thing contained.
I got a good look at it and suddenly realised what it was, "vampire," I whispered. Then all hell was let loose, the she devil broke out of the grasp and kicked Percy into a bush then came at me, I focused on the earth and two dagger sharp black rocks shot out of the earth and pierced the thing. It made it look like rocks colliding and shattering as the creatures' body was halved. I had already drained a lot of my power then I used the last of it to summon fire to engulf the creature's body. I crawled over to where I saw Percy land and blacked out as a fiery fire began to consume me.
I woke up feeling revitalised but also immensely thirsty. I opened my eyes and was shocked by the clarity and high definition everything seemed to be in; I could see everything. And even more disorienting, I could hear everything too, it was really weird. I looked around to see Percy still passed out behind me, I tapped his shoulder and he woke up then gasped,
"Nico, what the fuck is going on?"
I looked at him then and was slightly surprised by what I saw; his once tan skin had gone a bit paler and his formerly slightly crooked nose was now straight. His eyes were sea green but they had a reddish tint to them. He gasped as he looked at me too,
"Nico, what happened to you? You look different."
I thought back to the last night I remember but everything was hazy; it was like watching a low definition movie with scratched glasses. But I remembered enough of that fight to realise what was happening, I was immensely disturbed.
"Percy," I said standing up slowly, "I think we were bitten by a vampire, I killed her yesterday but not before she bit both of us."
He stood up immediately and with inhuman speed, "Whoa!" I gasped, "This is not good, Percy are you thirsty?" he stood stark still for a second then replied,
"Yes, yes I am immensely thirsty actually."
I walked out of the bush we were still standing behind and came into the view of the lake and very few people milling about the park, "Percy, there's a lake here does the thought of having water hold any appeal?" Percy was beside me in seconds.
He scrunched his face up then answered, "No, no it doesn't."
I started to panic then, what if we had lost our powers? I had to find out; I concentrated on the ground and willed a skeleton warrior to appear. In a fraction of a second it did. I sighed in relief and glanced at Percy to find he wasn't there, I looked around and I still couldn't find him, then something weird happened, I stopped and listened. I could hear him breathing above me. I looked up and sure enough there he was standing on a broad branch.
I raised my eyebrow sceptically but my voice was filled with amazement, "How on earth did you get up there?"
Percy smiled and hopped down, landing gracefully on the balls of his feet. Weird, the word graceful was not usually applied to Percy except when he was swimming, fencing or any other sport he did.
He shrugged at me and responded, "I jumped up, grabbed on to the branch and swung myself up. I have a feeling there's a lot we can do that we don't know. Oh and by the way, we've been passed out for about three days. It's now Tuesday at seven fifty if we hurry we can still make it to school and not get into major trouble a week before we graduate."
I paused for a second and then looked at Percy and shouted, "Race you home!" then I set of running as fast as I could.
It didn't strike me how fast we were going till about fifteen seconds later we were home. I stopped abruptly and Percy followed suit, we both looked up to the house in front of us and then looked at each other.
Percy broke the silence, "This is really weird, we're superfast, have amazing hearing and sight, and incredibly agile. I wonder if we are super strong too, hmm" he pondered as we walked up to the door of our house. I unlocked the door and walked in to find a letter to Percy and I from his mother.
Dear Percy and Dear Nico.
I don't know when you'll receive this but if you do, it means I'm gone and you are about to graduate and move on to New York. Don't sell the house or worry about it, everything will be fine. I know you will both be able to cope there living by yourself and the money is already in your account Percy. Remember I love you both and only kept secrets to protect you, you are both destined for greatness and come from greatness. You will be going to New York for the summer to give you enough time to settle and such. There you will meet your fathers and everything will be explained to you. You're going via Private jet and will be staying in an apartment which was left to me when my father died. You don't need to pack much you will return here often enough and you can shop for stuff when you get there. Transportation has been arranged, the car will be here too take you to the airfield in exactly one week and a car will be at the airport to take you to your home. This may be very unusual for you seeing as I am no longer around, but things are about to change my darling boys, you need to be prepared.
We looked into the large envelope it held two American passports for Percy and I, huh I never knew I had American blood, I thought I was all Italian, two motorcycle keys, two door keys and some pictures. Behind each of the pictures was a name and what the person would do for us, there was a picture of the drivers, and one other man who was supposed to help us.
Percy sighed and walked into the living room, "It's like she never even died on a plane crash, and this is really frustrating. Whatever, let's go to school we can test our new found abilities out after."
He mumbled and ran up the stairs. I suppose to me it might have seemed slow enough because I was like him but something tells me a normal person would have thought he disappeared.
I sighed loudly and ran up the stairs to change and begin a new day and ultimately my last week in England for a while.