WARNING! SPOILERS FOR THE MARK OF ATHENA! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
I'm baaaccckkk! Sort of. Since I was slowing moving into a deep depression after I read The Mark of Athena (and realized that agonizing process of waiting a whole year 'till The House of Hades has commenced yet again), I decided to write. Not sure how long this will be, but It will definitely be more than this.
Speaking of writing, I'm not sure that I will be finishing Earth's Warfare...I mean, now that The Mark of Athena is already out, it would sort of be pointless, no? I might just end up making it a one shot of its own - just have it be one of the many possible reunions scenarios out there. Not that it matters now, but you get the point. I can still work with the Prelude, however, and incorporate it into a new story (which may or may not be this one - I'm still in the process of deciding whether or not I want this to be a sort of take on The House of Hades)
Anyways, I hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I DO NOT own Percy Jackson - I ALSO do not take credit for the italicized words at the beginning of this story. Those words were taken from The Mark of Athena, not from my own mind (Pages 567-568).
Annabeth's leg felt like it was pulling free of her boy. Pain washed everything in red. The force of the Underworld tugged at her like dark gravity. She didn't have the strength to fight. She knew she was too far down to be saved.
"Percy, let me go," she croaked. "You can't pull me up."
His face was white with effort. She could see in his eyes that he knew it was hopeless.
"Never," he said. He looked up at Nico, fifteen feet above. "The other side, Nico! We'll see you there. Understand?"
Nico's eyes widened. "But-"
"Lead them there!" Percy shouted. "Promise me!"
Below them, the voice laughed in the darkness. Sacrifices. Beautiful sacrifices to wake the goddess.
Percy tightened his grip on Annabeth's wrist. His face was gaunt, scraped and bloody, his hair dusted with cobwebs, but when he locked eyes with her, she thought he had never looked more handsome.
"We're staying together," he promised. "You're not getting away from me. Never again."
Only then did she understand what would happen. A one-way trip. A very hard fall.
"As long as we're together," she said.
She heard Nico and Hazel still screaming for help. She saw the sunlight far, far above - maybe the last sunlight she would ever see.
Then Percy let go of his tiny ledge, and together, holding hands, he and Annabeth fell into the endless darkness. (Page 567-568)
Was this it? Was this the end? Percy didn't know. He was falling into the depths of the unknown – the frightening unknown.
The only sense of comfort came from the warm hand in his. They were falling together, he and Annabeth, into the one place that even the gods dare not go. But at least we're together, Percy kept reminding himself in his terror. Tartarus isn't necessarily the best place to be with your girlfriend, but considering the facts, he could almost say he was glad not to be alone.
The air pushing against the two demigods as they plummeted gradually got hotter and hotter until the gusts lashed at their skin. Or was it colder? Percy was suddenly reminded of space shuttles reentering Earth's atmosphere.
They were dropping in the darkness; Percy couldn't see a thing. At some points, he thought he saw the angry red eyes of some monster glowing through the walls of black, but since he couldn't even tell if his eyes were closed or open, he decided not to worry too much and chose to believe it was his imagination. Like he could be more troubled than he already was.
Tugging on Annabeth's hand, Percy pulled her closer and blindly wrapped his free arm around her body. They both clung to each other as if they would be ripped apart by the constant onslaught of air. This close, Percy could faintly hear the terrified shrieks of Annabeth – his as well. The sounds were faint, however, compared to the roaring in their ears.
Unable to retain a sense of direction or which way was up, down, left, right, the son of Poseidon and the daughter of Athena fell for what seemed like eternity. Finally, Percy noticed an orange glow – they were heading towards an orange glow.
Conflicted on whether he should be glad for the new change in scenery or alarmed, he watched as the orange glow grew bigger and brighter. Suddenly, it's as if someone turned on a lamp. As dull as it was, Percy had to squint his eyes due to sensitivity to light. There's the ground…This is Tartarus?...The ground's right there…His eyes widened as that thought flew to the forefront of his mind. The ground! Falling! SPLAT! How were they supposed to survive this fall, let alone make it to the Doors of Death? Percy panicked and tried to think of something to slow their descent, knowing there was nothing.
He looked at Annabeth who, with wild eyes, came to the same conclusion. They were going to die. All of this had been for nothing. Everyone was going to be killed by Gaea and the whole world doomed because they couldn't even make it to Tartarus alive. They had failed – The Doors of Death were never going to be closed.
Percy blinked back tears as he drained himself of emotion, steeled himself for their imminent demise. The ground coming up faster than ever, Percy quickly kissed Annabeth on the cheek and switched their position, his back now towards the unforgiving ground. He knows she hates it when he tries to protect her, but he needed to do this.
His green eyes met her grey ones for a second.