Percy Jackson and the Aphrodite Trap

By P. A. Hanson


I was tired. I don't think I've ever been so tired. Every part of me hurt and I deeply wished to find some water to help me, water heals me you see, but there's no son of the sea god assistance in this place. Maybe if I could somehow convince the girls to stop, I could take the last of my nectar. In the end I didn't need to.

"Let's take a break", Thalia announced.

I looked around relieved, even if Thalia was being bossy, but I have got to admit she's better at this stuff than me, she doesn't even look tired, I can only assume it's something to do with her huntress enchantment. Annabeth on the other hand looked as tired as I felt, and she dropped her backpack in the passage without a second thought and sat down. I joined her and took out some ambrosia squares and offered one to her, which she grudgingly accepted.

"This looks like an abandoned subway", I said, doing my best to distract from the pain we were in.

"Like, duh, Mister Seaweed's genius strikes again." Annabeth snapped sarcastically. I cringed. She was not going to let the Rachel thing go no matter how much I protested my innocence.

"You were there Annabeth." I sighed. "I had nothing to do with what she did, and she did give us a prophecy, so why don't you try to explain that, wisest of girls." Annabeth just looked at me murderously.

Chapter One

It All Happened So Fast

I was so excited to be visiting Camp Half-Blood during the winter break, and at first glances had mostly recovered from the Battle for the Labyrinth in the summer. Things had gone quiet so far, with no sign of Kronos or Luke, or any other Titan or monster for that matter. The camp seemed in working order and had suffered no more attacks just like me. Still, it was a little too quiet for my liking. Annabeth came to visit me in Cabin three and I was surprised to find that she had suffered no monster attacks either, which we were both happy and worried about. I told her about my Dad's visit and all I had been up to since my fifteenth birthday, but I couldn't bring myself to tell her about Nico's plan for fighting Luke, as I was sure she wouldn't allow me to do something so stupid. She told me about staying with her dad in San Francisco, and was just telling me about Beckendorf and Clarrise's new camp defences, when a shadow came from the front door. We both look around, It was Rachel Elizabeth Dare, soaking wet, and stark naked.

My jaw dropped, I'd never seen a naked girl before, and she was beautiful.

"Rachel! What's this?" Annabeth shouted, turning to looking at me in the most evil way imaginable.

Rachel said nothing, in fact she looked blank. "RACHEL!" Annabeth screamed.

I was completely paralysed, staring at drips of water from her red hair running down her naked body. Annabeth punched me in the arm. "What do you think you are looking at?" She shouted, "Go get a sheet or something."

I snapped out of my funk and ran over to my bed and grabbed a bed sheet, my heart beating fast. Annabeth grabbed it off me and covered Rachel with it and sat her down on a deck chair in the corner of the room.

"You two better had a good explanation for this." She said to me in a low voice.

"What have I done?" I proclaimed loudly, "I didn't make her come here like this! I didn't even know she was at the camp!"

Annabeth was just about to throw herself into a rage when Rachel spoke in a low voice, a deep gravelly tone, deeper than I ever imagined she could speak. We both looked at her in shock. Her eyes were white, and her pale face looked straight ahead, ignoring us completely.

"Three will be chosen, three will be asked,

Three of six will fail what is tasked,

They will go through the entrance of the Oldest Tower,

Find the secret door to the halls of Power,

Through the realms of the mighty, your quest must travel,

The puzzles therein, you must unravel,

When you get to the palace you must be composed,

And open the doorway that has been closed,

The journey through will leave them shaken,

Future's lost, Innocence taken."

"That was a prophecy." I said, confused.

"It's not possible, she's not an Oracle, and why did she come to you?"

"Maybe she came to you." I said defensively.

"She came to your cabin, Seaweed Brain." Annabeth stated, as new voice butted in.

"Hello, Percy, Annabeth. Where did you come from? I feel a bit dappy!"

We both looked at Rachel, who apart from wearing a bed sheet looked quite normal.

"DAPPY!" Annabeth shouted, "Have you looked at what you are wearing?"

Rachel looked down. "A toga of some kind?"

"YOU WALKED IN HERE NAKED!" Annabeth screamed, almost losing it completely.

"Oh. I must have given quite a show." She smiled. "Am I wearing a bed sheet?"

"You're not embarrassed?"

"Nah. I had a rather bohemian upbringing, so it's never bothered me much. I quite like being naked, but I like these new BED clothes!" Rachel said, eyes sparking. I cringed as I could see Annabeth getting angrier.

"Well I Don't like it! Why did you come to Percy's cabin?"

"It's Poseidon's cabin, not Percy's"

"ANSWER MY QUESTION!" Annabeth choked out, almost turning red. I took a step back, not wanting to get in her way while she was like this.

"I have no idea" Rachel said calmly, "I came to visit you, Percy, Tyson and Grover at the camp, and Chiron let me stay in the Big House, as I don't have a godly parent. I was taking a shower, when the next thing I know, I'm sat here, being shouted at." I wondered how Rachel managed to walk from the Big House to here naked, without being noticed, then I cringed at the thought of what camp gossip would be like if a naked girl was seen entering my cabin. I decided it was time I spoke up.

"I think we should get her back to the Big House and inform Chiron of the Prophecy."

"I've not finished with you yet, Dogfish Breath!" Annabeth spurted out.

I didn't understand why Annabeth was so angry at me, for something which wasn't my fault at all. Dogfish Breath was a new low. I walked away and grabbed a Camp Half-Blood t-shirt and shorts and handed them to Rachel.

"There is a bathroom back there, go get changed." I said, ignoring Annabeth altogether. To my delight and dismay, Rachel just dropped the sheet and got dressed in front of us, grinning mischievously.

"Ugh. For Zeus's sake girl!" Annabeth proclaimed loudly, "What are you staring at Jackson?" I turned away for Annabeth's sake, trying unsuccessfully to cover a grin, worrying like hell what Annabeth was going to do next.

"I spoke a prophecy? That's so cool!" Rachel said while dressing.

"If it was a prophecy, I'm not convinced yet that you weren't just making the whole thing up."

"Come on Annabeth", I said. "What possible motive could she have for that?" Annabeth looked away and sighed. "You have no idea do you, Seaweed Brain" I didn't, but I was glad of getting Seaweed Brain again. It was better than Dogfish Breath.

"Let's take her to Chiron and Mr D and see what they have to say." I suggested. Annabeth said nothing, and sort of shrugged a sort of grudging acceptance at my request, and stomped of to the doorway.

"So what did the prophecy say?" Rachel said.

"You don't remember?"

She shook her wet head head. "Nope. I told you that. I don't remember anything."

"Neither do I." I said embarrassed. I really was embarrassed. My mind was obviously elsewhere when Rachel was reciting the prophecy.

"Well at least someone has their hormones in check and brain working, because I remember it all." Annabeth stated crossly and loudly from the cabin entrance. "Ok then Jackson, lead on to the big house and we'll see what Chiron has to say."