Disclaimer: I do not own anything you recognize.
Warning: Expletives. Violence.
Author's Note: Thanks for the reviews! Even though I don't have the time to answer all of you, do know that I'm reading your opinion and will take it into account.
Reviews are loved.
Daughter Of Time
Percy trudged after Grover; she didn't know where he was leading them, but hopefully, not to her own death. She was pretty sure she could overpower him, especially with her ring-cum-weapon.
Speaking of which, Percy drew her ring, flipping it, expecting her scythe but only the dull bronze sword came.
Grover turned to her, mildly curious and wary. "What's wrong?" he sniffed the air. "I don't smell any monsters."
"I'm just testing," The half-blood replied warily, staring at the sword, willing it to return to her ring, but when nothing happened, she sighed, deciding to just hold on to it until she found a way to deactivate it. "It can turn to a scythe. I used it to kill Mrs. Dodds."
"The ring is always on your left hand, right?" Percy nodded, not knowing how it had anything to do with the sword. "Maybe if you touch it to the finger it's always on?"
Percy's gold eyes lit up. "Hey, you're right!" She tapped the tip of her sword, carefully, on her middle finger and instantly, it shrunk. She offered Grover a smirk. "Okay, maybe you're not useless baggage after all."
"Hey!" The satyr yelped in protest. "I can be useful too!"
"Such as?" Percy drawled challengingly.
It was dark in the forest, but she could see Grover's red face as he fumbled with something around his neck. She squinted to see better. "What's that?" she finally asked.
"My... my weapon."
"What can that necklace do?" she asked. "Is it like my ring? It turns into a weapon?"
Grover shook his head. "Satyrs like me aren't into violence. We're usually supporters in battles."
"What's the use?"
"Well, I can use my reeds to find us a way out of here," Grover said dubiously.
Percy's eyebrow twitched. "You mean... all this while we've been walking without knowing where we're headed to?" She scowled heavily. "I swear, puny satyr, if you're out to get me, I'll slice your head off!"
Grover yelped, scrambling away from her, waving his hands in surrender when the brunette advanced. "Wait, wait, wait!" he yelled. "I'm just trying to run further away from the mortal cops. Y'know, to save us from jail arrest?"
"True enough," Percy said.
"See?" Grover fumbled with his reeds. "I'll play this now, and then we'll be able to find our way around."
Percy winced, her hands reaching up to cover her ears the moment she heard the first notes—he called that music? She called that monstrosity, he'd never be a musician.
She glanced at him, gesturing for him to lead the way. "Oh, if you ever lost your current job, don't be a musician. You suck."
He bleated, and she grinned.
"By the way," she said. "Where are we going?"
"Out of here," Grover answered, eyes darting about nervously.
Percy saw his tense shoulders, saw how he hesitated with every stop. She frowned. "You don't know the way out after all? What's with the constant fidgeting?"
He shook his head. "Monsters, I smell them, everywhere," he murmured back, lowering his voice to not attract any monsters. Percy wisely kept her mouth shut, following Grover, her gold eyes wary, darting about. Damn, that satyr had better be right about monsters lurking about, she didn't like being so stiff and tense.
The moment they broke through the forest, into a clearing where a cottage stood, Percy's senses were going nuts. "Stop," she said, stretching her arm out to stop Grover when he made to move. "Something's wrong," she said, eyeing the statues critically. She gulped. "Those look real to me, too real."
"That looks like my Uncle Ferdinand," Grover murmured in response.
"Maybe it's him," she said, her brows knitting in thought. "Who in their right mind would want to carve a satyr?" Grover bleated in protest when the half-blood approached the statue. She tapped the satyr's cheek repeatedly. "The details are too incredible to be a mere statue, the terror's obvious... it's like he died looking at his worst nightmare. Huh..."
"You're quite right, dear."
The two questers whirled around. Percy took in the middle-aged woman's features, struck with wariness and alertness when she saw the veiled eyes.
Her golden eyes trailed away from the woman who emanated danger to the rest of the garden. Statues littered the ground, dusty and attached to one another with spider-webs, just as her nerves couldn't get any jittery, someone grabbed her arm.
Percy's small shriek was drowned out by another woman's louder shriek. "Lady!" she snapped. "What on earth is wrong with you?"
"M-monster," Grover whimpered unhelpfully.
Percy glared at him, too busy trying to free her arm from the mortal woman (struck by terror and hyperventilating). "Look, calm down, crying hysterically isn't going to help anybody."
"You don't get it!" The woman who was probably in her mid-forties or so yelled, her eyes bright with tears as she started to pull Percy away. "She's a monster! She turned my husband to stone!"
All of the resistance within Percy drained away to be replaced by horror as one name struck her: Medusa. Grover's eyes widened, before he yelled for them to run.
He didn't need to; the mortal woman was already pulling Percy away.
Medusa chuckled. "Playing a game now, are we?"
"Running is useless," Percy warned the woman, still trying to break free of the iron grip. "Let me deal with her." When the woman didn't seem intent on freeing her anytime soon, she sighed, adding, "I'm not human."
The woman shrieked in terror, staring at her in horror as if she going to transform into another Medusa. Then, to Percy's horror, she turned into stone. Percy didn't think her eyes were capable of such a feat no matter how much she wanted them to. Percy didn't spare the new statue any time, just turned and ran.
She plunged blindly into the dense overgrown garden, stumbling into various statues and shoving them out of the way; she was sure her hands were bruised and dirty but she didn't care, all that mattered was to get far, far away from Medusa.
Percy skidded to a halt, darting behind a statue to hide when she heard the unmistakable hisses of Medusa's snake hairs. She tried to silence her heavy breathing, silently wondering where Grover was. They weren't friends but he was her only lead in this world she was completely clueless about.
She should find him and get out of there.
Luck must've hated her; the moment Percy turned, about to step away, the branch beneath her feet snapped soundly.
Oh, shit, she cussed. "Fuck."
She waited for Medusa to spring in front of her, but, to her astonishment, something groaned from behind her. She hesitated; was someone injured? Was it Grover?
She hesitated—and that was her mistake.
Percy cried out, stumbling away even though she knew she was too late. The statues fell—
Time slowed down.
Percy crashed onto her back, breathing heavily, eyes wide when the statue was suspended in mid-air. "What is this?" she heard Medusa's confused hiss, and that was enough to sent her scrambling to her feet.
Then—what must've been the most miraculous thing—happened: the wooden walls to her left blasted into bits as a worn truck skidded in. She'd never been so happy to see an old car.
She stepped out of the shadows, glancing down and seeing Medusa's hair struggling. She didn't hesitate, she flipped her ring—too much in a hurry to wait for her scythe because every second counts when life-and-death called for it—and her bronze sword came.
She stabbed downwards, raising her sword again and slashing.
The head lolled even as the body disintegrated.
She readied her sword when the person in the car stepped out. She eyed the two warily, but she relaxed slightly when Grover jumped out from behind. She arched a fine brow at the blonde girl and boy. "Aren't you guys too young to be driving?"
The blonde man grinned, making the scar on his face ripple. "Nothing's ever too young with demigods like us." He extended her a hand while his female companion edged towards Medusa's head, a cloth in her hand. "Luke Castellan, son of Hermes, nice to meet you."
"It's not nice to meet you," Percy retorted bluntly, suspiciously, glaring at his hand as if he'd committed a crime.
"She's Percy Jackson, unknown heritage and despite her mean out front, is quite nice if you can ignore her cusses."
I scowled at Grover who cringed away."Did I ask you?" He shook his head. "No more next time, goat boy, or I'll be serving my step-dad roasted goat meat."
"That girl about your age there is Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena. Say hello, Percy."
"Hello, Percy," Percy sneered, sarcasm leaking from her tone.
Luke glanced at Grover. "Is she always like this?"
"No, just, uh, 24/7."
Percy's smirk widened. "You're learning."
Grover bleated. "Unfortunately."
As it turned out, the demigods of Camp Half-Blood had the same goal as she did.
Actually, she wasn't interested, but couldn't find it in herself to say anything to deny Grover's claims. Play hero, save the world, make herself look good: sounds nice.
What bothered her though, and what made her ignore the rest of her companions, was the matter of her parentage. Luke had assured her that someday, she'd be claimed by her dad and he'd be proud of her for this quest. There was something off about that son of Hermes—if being the son of the god of thieves wasn't enough of a distrust—and she didn't trust him.
The daughter of Athena was intimidating though from the occasional blush she got whenever Luke was near, Percy thought she was just putting on a tough front.
Percy made a mental note to tease her later.
"So," Percy said, kicking back. "where are we going now?"
"Las Vegas," Annabeth answered from the front seat by Luke. Percy rolled her eyes, surprised much?
"Got any spare change? Coins?"
"Why?" Grover asked. Percy shot the satyr a glare; he'd been getting bolder and bolder these days.
"Because," Percy drawled sarcastically. "I need it?"
"To call my mom, to let her know I ain't dead yet, maybe?"
"Oh, forgot to tell you," Annabeth said. "demigods can't make calls. It's like sending a flare and telling monsters we are."
Percy glanced at her, incredulous. "Seriously? There's more shit for demigods than I'd originally thought." She sighed. "Don't we have any godly ways to communicate?"
"Sure," Luke said. "There's my Dad's delivery express—"
"He's a postman?" Percy snorted, not at all sensitive to Luke's feelings.
"Something of the sort," Luke said, seeming to be not offended. "But you'll need drachmas and it might not work seeing as your mom's mortal. You can use IM."
"Something tells me that it's not Instant Messaging," Percy butted in dryly.
"Nice to know that you have a good head on your shoulders," Annabeth said, tone equally dry. "you might be a child of Hermes."
"Pretty-boy and I don't even look alike." Percy smirked victoriously when she saw Annabeth's tense shoulders at her nickname for Luke.
"Whatever," The daughter of Athena cleared her throat. "At any rate, we'd need a rainbow to use Iris Messaging."
"Is this Iris a postwoman?"
Luke coughed, choking back his laughter. "No, she's the goddess of rainbows—"
"I didn't know there's a deity for something so useless," Percy muttered but was ignored by Luke.
"—and you would want to play nice if you want her to deliver a message for you." Luke shot her a pointed look through the rear view mirror. "Annabeth, give her drachmas."
"If I sell this to mortals," said Percy who wasn't all that wealthy. "how much will I get?"
"Here," Grover handed her a sprayer; she glared at him and he quickly amended his words. "Okay, I'll keep pumping this to form a rainbow and you'll talk?"
The truck rocked.
"Why don't we stop?" Luke suggested before I could say the same. "There's a petrol station ahead and this truck needs some fuel anyway. You guys can go somewhere hidden to make the call."
"So," Percy smirked infuriatingly at Annabeth as she waited for Iris to connect her message to her mom. "you and Luke...?"
The daughter of Athena turned red, slightly grateful that the satyr wasn't there. Not that she didn't trust Grover or anything, she just knew the satyr was incapable of keeping a secret especially when pressured and Luke was anything but pressuring.
"What about us?"
Percy scoffed. "Oh, great daughter of Wisdom," Her tone leaked sarcasm. "please spare me the flattery. I know there's nothing I know that you don't. So? Don't try to play dumb."
"None of your business," Annabeth said.
"Me? Just trying to be nice. I ain't going to tell him or anything." The unclaimed half-blood shot her companion a significant look. "Besides, spilling secrets is the easiest way to bond, no?"
"Yes and no," Annabeth grumbled, tugging on her coat, silently imploring the Iris Message to hurry up and connect to spare her this mortification. "Depends on who we're talking about."
"You don't trust me?" Percy shot Annabeth a mock look of hurt.
Percy smirked. "Nice, I don't think I trust myself either."
"Percy?" The voice was distorted but sweet anyway. Annabeth turned away from Percy to see the face appearing from the misty message. She heard Percy's audible gulp and the half-blood seemed to be getting emotional.
Annabeth didn't know what to make of Sally Jackson other than the fact that she was a great mother and she was jealous of Percy for having such an awesome mortal parent. Her first impression of Sally, after seeing the sort of person Percy was, wasn't pleasant. She sort of imagined the woman to be an alcoholic, a drug addict or something equally bad.
She was, instead, met with a sweet and loving mother who cared more about her daughter's safety than the world.
"Mom, meet Annabeth," Percy was saying, drawing Annabeth's attention. "Say hello, Annabeth." Her golden eyes glinted, mocking Luke's words and presence even though said demigod wasn't here to hear it.
The daughter of Athena offered the curious mortal woman a shy smile. "Hello, Mrs. Jackson."
The woman smiled back pleasantly. "It's good to see my daughter finally making a friend." Percy made a face, but it was carefully hidden from her mother. "Take care of her for me, will you?" Her voice faded.
"Mom!" Percy cried, reaching out but the message dissipated. "What happened?"
"There's a time limit, and that's it."
"Oh, you should've said it sooner," Percy mumbled. "I would've told her about the quest."
"Does she know...?"
Percy nodded, albeit a little hesitant. "I think so. She said I looked like him: gold eyes, black hair, bronze-ish skin, bad temper and all around unpleasant." She smirked. "Can't say I'm not proud. What about you?"
"Being a daughter of Athena is an honor," Annabeth said truthfully, wishing that it was true and that Percy wouldn't call her out on her insistence. "Children of Athena knew since birth that they were demigods. Makes it dangerous for us and many of us go to Camp at a young age."
"Then you can go home, right?" Percy asked, brows furrowing. "I don't like this Camp, no matter how nice Grover and Luke described it to be. I just want to go back to my mother... even if I have to face that asshole."
Percy eyed her warily, as if assessing how trustworthy she was before answering. "My jerk of a stepfather, abusive and an asshole." She blinked. "Hey, you still have Medusa's head, right?"
"Percy, killing mortals—"
"You have no say in that," Percy cut in. "I killed Medusa, that is my spoil of war. Maybe you don't have to worry about your goddess of a mother, but I'm different. My mom's human and mortal, and her husband's abusive. What about you? What would you do if your dad's being abused?"
Annabeth's eyes were as hard as Percy's. "That's easy, I'll leave him to rot." Genuine surprise flitted across Percy's face, stealing her face of the dark expression. For some unknown reason, she elaborated. "My dad resented me ever since he was born. He never wanted me and he even told Athena to take me back, away. He ignored me, started to do so once he married this regular mortal woman, had normal kids and forgot Athena."
"He wouldn't be able to," Percy said, surprising Annabeth that the shorter girl even knew. She looked up at Annabeth with sad gold eyes, slightly defeated. "My mom certainly wasn't able to forget dad, she always had this sad look when she stare off into space, thinking about him."
Her dad had the same expression too, it made Annabeth second-guess herself.
Then, abruptly, Percy patted Annabeth's shoulder in comfort. "When I turn my stepfather to stone, I'd gladly lend you Medusa's head and then who knows, you might be appalled now, but when you see him again, feel the resentment, you'd use it and then turn him to stone." She cracked a grin. "Maybe we can name them... uh...WWF."
Annabeth arched an amused brow. "I'm assuming that stands for World's Worst Fathers."
Percy threw her head back and laughed. "Yeah, you got it, girl! Maybe you're not as boring as I'd originally thought."
"What makes you think I will be boring?" Annabeth demanded, slightly offended and though it would usually have cowering demigods before the blonde girl, Percy merely snickered.
"Well, Athena is your mom—wait, I thought Athena was a virgin goddess." A puzzled look stole Percy's face, she glanced quizzically at Annabeth. "How on earth were you born?"
She felt slightly embarrassed, just as she did as people asked her or commented about it. "My mother doesn't engage in the usual way to produce her children," she mumbled. "She... creates her children by visualizing them..."
Percy's jaw dropped. "You're a figment of her imagination?"
"Athena believes that love is purest in the form of—"
"Do you have a bellybutton at all?"
Annabeth glared. What sort of ridiculous was that? Of course she would have a bellybutton. "That's it, Percy Jackson, I'm never speaking to you ever again." She turned on her heels and stomped off.
Percy smirked, springing to her feet from where she was crouching, crossed her arms behind her head and stalked after Annabeth. Even though she nearly died and the conditions sucked (her stomach was growling and she was sorely in need of a bath), she thought that this was the best adventure ever!
"Not mature enough, milord, are you sure about this?"
Yes, let her enjoy her ignorance, she'll come around sooner or later.
Percy stiffened, she felt compelled to run away, prevent herself from being caught in the act of eavesdropping but the formless voice laughed. It was raspy, as if the owner of the voice hadn't laugh in a long, long time—a time far longer than she'd been alive.
Are you curious about me, girl?
No, she wanted to answer, but she couldn't bring herself to speak, her lips felt numb and her mouth was heavy. She tried to take a step back, to retreat but her body seemed frozen.
Hail, The evil voice laughed. Percy shuddered, yelping silently when she tumbled back, into a throne made of pure black, a wreath of thorns forced onto her head, eleven other seats rising from the jagged earth and into the dark throne room. She trembled, her head jerking up, her eyes wide as she gazed into a pair of golden orbs identical to hers. The conquering hero!
She woke up screaming.
"Percy!" Someone was shaking her, she realized, she was just dreaming. That made her sag in relief, stopping her squirming. She slapped the offending hand away, blinking as she opened her eyes.
"Bad dreams?" Luke's face came into view first. His hair was mussed, evidence that he'd been asleep in the driver's seat. By his side, Annabeth was sleeping soundly, her head resting against the glass window. Rain pounded hard on the truck they'd used as their sleep quarters for the night. Grover was snoring behind Percy, having gotten the back for himself and he was oblivious to the loud rain.
"Happens all the time to half-bloods like us," Luke said reassuringly, his hand and reach long enough to pet her head. She pulled back, slightly uncomfortable.
Not many people could unnerve her (so far, her mother was the only person in the world who could make her cower), but Luke was one of those boys who did. Not because she had a silly schoolgirl crush on him—thinking about it made her want to puke—and even if she crushed on someone, that guy would have the sharpest tongue who was someone she could ridicule, bully him, and chip his pride into bits.
Simply someone who'd keep her entertain, angry enough to rise to her challenge, brave enough to fight her and wouldn't pull his punches.
She disliked lying sissies; a straightforward guy was the one for her, no doubt. She wasn't as fickle as those girls her age, she knew what she wanted and when she see what she wanted, she'd definitely take it.
Percy glanced at Luke, which brought her ADHD mind back to the main topic.
She didn't know who the evil voice-guy was, but she knew who had spoken earlier; whatever he was doing there, Luke had been speaking to someone he definitely shouldn't have been associated with.
Question: Is this better than the older version?