Annabeth yelled, "Percy, cut the string!"
Percy reached into his pocket and cursed. Riptide still hadn't come back. He yelled, "I still don't have Riptide!"
Annabeth cursed and said, "OK, then. We'll just fall into Tartarus while Arachne reels us in, right?"
"What? I don't have control over when my pen returns to my pocket!"
Annabeth stayed silent.
"Alright, then. Tartarus is an endless pit, so let's just rest up, okay?"
Percy's eyes closed, and his dreams were not good.
The romans were in another run-down building, listening to Reyna while she drew on a piece of parchment, finishing the attack plan for the ambush on Camp Half-Blood.
"And so the first and second cohorts shall attempt to secure the big house from the north, and the third, fourth and fifth cohorts shall attack the cabins and flush the campers out here."
She drew crosses over the cabins and the big house, and drew a huge circle where the climbing wall was… except that there wasn't a climbing wall on her map.
"Then we shall regroup there and attack them for destroying our camp!"
The Romans cheered.
"Praetor, you shall stay here."
Percy was puzzled when he heard that. Who was the other praetor?
His puzzlement turned to anger as a shadow stepped out from the darkness and said, "But, my colleague-"
Percy recognized that voice.
It was HIS voice.
Octavian continued, "I would like to lead the attack myself, my colleague."
Reyna glared at him-a wolflike glare that said If you do not do as I say I will personally stuff you in a meat-flavored sack and throw you to the wolves.
Octavian grumbled and walked off. Even he wasn't stupid enough veto Reyna's orders.
Percy was worried. The Romans were almost ready. They wouldn't have enough time to get the Athena Parthenos back to Camp and stop the attack. He was about to open his eyes when he hit something hard, and blacked out.
When he came to, he found that he was on a huge ledge overlooking the abyss. Annabeth was nowhere to be seen.
Tears sprang to his eyes. He'd been with Annabeth for only a couple of minutes, and now she was gone again.
He stood up and gasped. In front of him was a huge cave opening almost 60 feet tall… and it was collapsing. A sign next to it said, 'To the Doors'. Percy was close. He was so close.
The cave was now only 50 feet high, and still growing smaller.
"Ohh…I'm supposed to go in before it shuts."
Percy ran for the opening and leapt through just as the opening closed…and got his leg stuck.
"Argh. Now what?"
He tried pulling his leg out. No effect. The soil was too heavy. He felt around in his pocket, and his pen was there. He uncapped it, and touched it at the opening. Immediately, his leg loosened and he tumbled onto the ground.
"Where am I?" he asked himself.
He looked around and saw three hallways. An inscription on the ground read:
One leads to the place you seek. The others lead to certain death.
"Well, that was happy and jolly, but which is the right passage?" Percy muttered under his breath.
As if on cue, his sword glowed and tugged at him.
"Get back here, I'm trying to think…" Percy reeled the sword back in, but it kept on tugging. It seemed to be pulling him toward… the middle hallway?
"All right, here goes nothing." Percy said. He stepped into the middle hallway. All of a sudden gates came crashing down behind him.
"Ohh-kay. I guess I'll be staying here for a while." Percy said.
He kept walking onward and realized that he was alone. He cursed. He'd have to close the Doors by himself, unless he found Annabeth along the way.
The hallway was narrow, and pretty soon he was walking sideways, his body squished between the walls. He sure was glad that Frank wasn't here. He would have been left behind.
As the hallway grew wider again, he found himself now in a huge room with torches lighting the walls. A corridor was at the other end of the room.
"No defenses? No opposition? This is just too easy." Percy said to himself.
When he reached the middle of the room, the ground shook. Percy kept his balance as 20 skeleton warriors crawled out of fissures that expanded out of the ground. As soon as the skeletons crawled out, the fissures sealed themselves. Percy shuddered. He'd had his own share of bad experiences with skeleton warriors before.
The skeleton warriors ripped their ribs out. Percy winced. They held the ribs like knives, ready for battle-20 skeleton warriors that couldn't die, against one son of Poseidon, away from any water source.
"Oh, great. So here's the trap." Percy said.