Author's note: thank you for your patience. I moved, and I started at a new college, and about a hundred million other things. I want this chapter to be good, I have been trying to figure out how to write it for a long time. I have decided who the bad guy is. Remember, not all is as it seems. I do not have a beta And I do not plan to get one, I will try to edit when I can. These will be semi rough chapters.
Warning references and acts of abuse and rape in this chapter Nothing explicit
Chapter 7 – Time and Terror
In the spirit of giving Percy a chance all the hunters took up sign language. Being as old as they truly were it had come to them quickly. The hunters noticed that every time they understood what he said or initiated a conversation with them Percy couldn't help but smile. Although they were on friendly terms there were times where the hunters could not help but look at him with distaste. Time passed them by as they continued their work. Percy did not wake from his night terrors as often as he used to. They were becoming more bearable. Each morning he would be the first one up. He would train until he heard a hunter stir. Then he would make breakfast, with at least one blue food. The hunters never asked him why it was blue. They had asked Thalia though. The knowledge that it was his tribute to his mother was enough that they gave him the courtesy of leaving it be.
Soon they had reached a year since the war against Gaia. In respect for the fallen warriors there was a memorial held at the roman camp for all. Percy spent the service with Grover, Clarisse, and Nico. He couldn't stop the tears from flowing down his face. He was not the only one. The memorial ended with the unveiling of Malcolm's memorial to the fallen warriors. It reminded him of the Vietnam memorial in Washington D.C. it was an obelisk with the name of every lost life. Percy smiled in comfort when he realized it hadn't immortalized the seven, but rather supported the memory of why they fought.
Three years passed since the memorial service. He was now friends with the hunters and their harmless pranks were now truly harmless and all in good fun. Thalia noticed that Percy's smile had returned, he sometimes would be in a glum mood, but those seemed to become rarer with each passing day. He still did not do his sword practice when they were around. However most days he would practice his knife throwing with them. Some days they would let him practice in solitude. Other days a hunter or two would give him pointers to clean up his throws.
One day Percy had gone off hunting with the wolves for fun. He was stunned when he was suddenly hit with the need to return to the camp. He just knew there was something wrong. It would seem that there was a sensor for his job as the guardian. He ran in his wolf form as fast as he could back to the camp. As hard as he tried he knew he was not going fast enough. Then he broke through the underbrush changing form as he burst forth. In a movement he had practiced until he could do it flawlessly he uncapped riptide mid-change. The sight that met his eyes froze him in place. Every hunter was being held with a blade at their neck. His breath caught in his throat when he saw that even Artemis had been disarmed. There were even more monsters surrounding the group and a few were looking at him, weapons raised. His eyes roamed the mini army that had subdued the hunters. He was shocked into stepping back upon the realization of who headed the army. There, with a nasty grin on his face was the only person Percy had ever truly feared, Gabe Ugliano was back from the dead.
Everyone was looking at him, waiting to see what his next move would be. Percy spent little time analyzing his chances, the sword in his hand dropping from his hand immediately. He reached into his back pocket for his paper that he always kept with him on the chance he came upon someone who he knew couldn't sign with him.
'I want to make a deal,' he wrote quickly.
Gabe looked at and laughed cruelly.
"What could you possibly offer me?"
'Me' Percy responded. 'Let the hunters go and you can do whatever you want to me'
"You realize I have several years of hatred to make up for. You killed me, I will make you suffer." Gabe spoke loudly. The hunters' eyes widened as they realized what Percy was doing.
'I know, my only demand is that you swear on the Styx that the hunters will not be harmed and will let them go.' As he read this, Gabe smiled cruelly.
Gabe glanced over the hunters then turned back to Percy, "I swear on the river Styx that as long as Perseus Jackson allows my army and I to do whatever we want to him we will release them free of harm." As thunder rumbled, the hunters watched in horror as two Cyclops came forward and grabbed Percy and dragged him over to a tree that stood out from the rest of the forest they tied his hands above his hands above his head with him facing the tree. The hunters were positioned in such a way that they could see all that occurred. Gabe came up behind him and grabbed the back of Percy's head and pulled back hard. He was handed a whip by one of his underlings. The two Cyclops both grabbed part of Percy's shirt and ripped it off of him. As the hunters saw the scars the hunters realized that not once had Percy practiced without his shirt on like any other man would on a hot summer day. Then they all flinched as the first strike slammed down on his back. It continued for what felt like an eternity to the hunters. Not once did Percy make a sound or even look toward the hunters. Artemis watched on in horror as she saw the pieces of Percy's life before Camp half-blood fall into place. When the whipping finally stopped, Percy's back was in ribbons, blood running down his back. He was hoisted to his feet and the rope holding his hands above his head was tightened so he was just hanging by his hands, then the portion of the army that was not guarding the subdued hunters took turns using him as a punching bag. They heard bones crack as his ribs broke, yet still he did not make a sound.
Eventually the line holding him up was cut and he crumpled to the ground. The Cyclops picked him back up and dragged him in front of Gabe and the hunters. Gabe grabbed his chin and made him look into his eyes.
"It is clear you have forgotten that you are mine. I will have to remind you of that fact." He spat out. "Take him in there and tie him down" he ordered pointing to the food tent. As the monsters obeyed the command, Gabe turned to the hunter's. "You know you are lucky the little bastard came when he did. This would have been what would have befallen you if it were not for him and his little deal. Now I get to see if he is still as responsive as he used to be." As he turned and began to walk to the tent, the hunters saw him start to loosen his belt. That was when it hit them. Thalia screamed out in horror,
"NO!" She struggled firmly against her captor but the Cyclops was too strong. Time passed slowly as the hunters were forced to listen to the quiet horrific noises coming from the tent. Some of the hunters were having memories of their lives before the hunt plague them, they understood what Percy was going through all too well. Finally, after an eternity, Gabe sauntered out of the tent. His revolting grin told them all they needed to know. Then suddenly all the monsters and Gabe were gone without a trace. For a moment the hunters were frozen in surprise. Thalia recovered first and ran for the tent. She rushed in not caring what the others thought. She found Percy lying on his side, not a stitch of clothing, she could clearly see that his right arm had been broken. He was unconscious; Thalia felt that was a blessing in disguise. The other hunters and Artemis entered behind her. For a moment all they could do is stare, then a few quickly turned and exited. Thalia glanced around and saw a dish cloth and grabbed it approached her cousin. She knew that Artemis was well aware she had no romantic feelings toward her cousin. She covered his private area. As she did she noticed something that made her gasp in horror. Artemis stepped forward to see what had caused such a reaction only to see a mark on the inside of Percy's thigh. It was a brand clearly made with a hot brander. It said Property of Gabe.
"Milady, I need some nectar and water." Broken out of their thoughts, they got to work starting the healing process for Percy. They had stopped the bleeding on his back when he began to stir. His eyes opened and he took in his surroundings and his state of dress. His eyes widened in realization. Then he changed form, as a wolf he was still injured but at least it was a physical embodiment that the hunters knew how to cope with. They watched as he changed and struggled to his paws keeping the weight of his broken leg. They watched as he limped his way to his own tent. He reemerged as a human, head held high. He had put on a new pair of pants. Phoebe was the first to approach him. She looked deep into his eyes.
"I am sorry. I didn't realize…" she paused trying to formulate what she was trying to say. She glanced up when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Percy was smiling at her. She could see in his eyes, all was forgiven. Then she did something that surprised them all. The oldest hunter who hated hugging, especially boys, hugged Percy.