Authors Note: Hey guys, I hope you enjoy this story, it's my first. It's an eventual Percy x Artemis tale, but I'm not sure when it'll happen. The story is mostly just being created as I go, at the moment. I can tell you guys now I won't bring Chaos or any other Primordial deity as a patron or leader or something like that, it'd been overdone. If Percy is going to survive, it'll be on his own skills, and those of the gods who favor him. Please review and inform me of anything I can do to improve, and anything you disliked. I'll try to respond.
By the Light of the Moon
The Great Prophecy
A half-blood of the eldest gods,
Shall reach sixteen against all odds.
And see the world in endless sleep,
Heroes' souls, cursed blades shall reap.
Four honored heroes made from death,
An oath shall be made of a final breath.
A single choice shall end ones days,
Olympus to preserve or raze.
Mount Olympus, Throne Room
Kronos came at me like a whirlwind.
My instincts took over. I dodged and slashed and rolled, but I felt like I was fighting a hundred swordsmen. Ethan ducked to one side, trying to get behind me until Annabeth intercepted him. They started to fight, but I couldn't focus on how she was doing. I was vaguely aware of Grover playing his reed pipes. The sound filled me with warmth and courage – thoughts of sunlight and a blue sky and a calm meadow, somewhere far away from the war.
Kronos backed me up against the throne of Hephaestus – a huge mechanical La-Z-Boy type thing covered with bronze and silver gears. Kronos slashed, and I managed to jump straight up on to the seat.
The throne whirred and hummed with secret mechanisms.
Defense mode, it warned. Defense mode is activating.
That couldn't be good. I jumped straight over Kronos' head as the throne shot tendrils of electricity in all directions.
One hit Kronos in the face, arcing down his body and up his sword.
"ARGH!" He crumpled to his knees.
Annabeth saw her chance. She kicked Ethan out of the way and charged Kronos. "Luke, listen!"
I wanted to shout at her, to tell her she was crazy for trying to reason with Kronos, but there was no time. Kronos rolled and swiped at Annabeth's chest with Backbiter, unleashing a wave of energy.
Annabeth flew backward, slamming into the throne of her mother and crumpling to the floor.
"Annabeth!" I screamed.
Blood trickled from the corner of her mouth. She croaked, "Family, Luke. You promised."
I took a slow step forward, moving through the power of the lord of time. Grover was back on his feet, over by the throne of Hera, but he seemed to be struggling to move as well. Before either of us could get anywhere close to Annabeth, Kronos staggered.
He stared at the knife in Annabeth's hand, the blood on her face. "Promise."
Then he gasped like he couldn't get air. "Annabeth…" But it wasn't the Titan's voice. It was Luke's. He stumbled forward like he couldn't control his own body. "You're bleeding…."
"Your mother," Annabeth winced. "She saw your fate."
"Service to Kronos!" Luke suddenly roared. "This is my fate."
"No!" Annabeth insisted. Her eyes were tearing up, but I didn't know if it was from sadness or pain. "That's not the end, Luke. The prophecy: she saw what you would do. You're part of the prophecy!"
"LIES", the Titan bellowed. "You cannot turn me, foolish demigod. You have already lost."
But he seemed to be struggling. I could see him stagger slightly, as if his body wouldn't obey his mind.
I charged at him, but Ethan stepped forward and blocked my advance.
Grover's music took on a more urgent tune. He moved toward Annabeth, but he couldn't go any faster and keep up the song. Grass grew on the floor of the throne room. Tiny roots crept up between the cracks of the marble stones.
Kronos dropped to one knee, unable to control his body. His hair smoldered. His face was covered with electrical burns.
"Nakamura!" he groaned. "Time to prove yourself. You know Jackson's secret weakness. Kill him, and you will have rewards beyond measure."
Ethan's eyes dropped to my midsection, and I was sure that he knew. Even if he couldn't kill me himself, all he had to do was tell Kronos. There was no way I could defend myself forever.
"Look around you, Ethan," I said. "The end of the world. Is this the reward you want? Do you really want everything destroyed – the good with the bad? Everything?"
Grover was almost to Annabeth now, without Kronos noticing. The grass thickened on the floor. The roots were almost a foot long, like stubble on the floor.
"There is no throne to Nemesis," Ethan muttered. "No throne to my mother."
"That's right!" Kronos tried to get up, but stumbled. Above his left ear, a patch of blond hair still smoldered. "Strike them down! They deserve to suffer."
"You said your mom is the goddess of balance," I reminded him. "The minor gods deserve better, Ethan, but total destruction isn't balance. Kronos doesn't build. He only destroys."
Ethan looked at the sizzling throne of Hephaestus. Grover's music kept playing, and Ethan swayed to it, as if the song were filling him with nostalgia – a wish to see a beautiful day, to be anywhere but here. His good eye blinked.
Then he charged…
But not at me.
While Kronos was still on his knees, Ethan brought down his sword on the Titan lord's neck. It should have killed him instantly, but the blade shattered. Ethan fell back, grasping his stomach. A shard of his own blade had ricocheted and pierced his armor.
Kronos rose unsteadily, towering over his servant. "Treason," he snarled. His face contorted for a second, in what looked like sorrow and panic, before turning back to the cruel sneer of the Titan.
Grover's music kept playing, and grass grew around Ethan's body. Ethan stared at me, his face tight with pain.
"Deserve better," he gasped. "If they just… had thrones-"
Kronos stomped his foot, swaying as he did. The floor ruptured around Ethan Nakamura.
The son of Nemesis fell through a fissure that went straight through the heart of the mountain – straight into open air.
Kronos took a step toward me, and then seemed to remember Annabeth. He collapsed onto his knees.
"Annabeth", he muttered – back to Luke's voice, as if the Titan wasn't in control anymore.
"My knife." Annabeth tried to raise her dagger, but it clattered out of her hand. Her arm was bent at a funny angle. She looked at me, imploring, "Percy, please…"
I surged forward and scooped up her knife. I knocked Backbiter out of Luke's hand, and it spun into the hearth. Luke hardly paid me any attention. He stretched a hand out toward Annabeth, but I put myself between him and her.
"Don't touch her," I said.
Anger rippled across his face. Kronos' voice growled: "Jackson…" Was it my imagination, or was his whole body glowing, turning gold?
He gasped again. Luke's voice: "He's changing. Help. He's… he's almost ready. He won't need my body anymore. Please-"
"NO!" Kronos bellowed. He looked around for his sword, but it was in the hearth, glowing among the coals.
He stumbled upwards toward it. I tried to stop him, but he pushed me out-of-the-way with such force I landed next to Annabeth and cracked my head on the base of Athena's throne.
"The knife, Percy," Annabeth muttered. Her breath was shallow. "Cursed blades… more than one…"
When my vision came back into focus, I saw Kronos grasping his sword. Then he bellowed in pain and dropped it. His hands were smoking and seared. The hearth fire had grown red-hot, like the scythe wasn't compatible with it. I saw an image of Hestia flickering in the ashes, frowning at Kronos with disapproval.
Luke turned and collapsed, clutching his ruined hands. "Please, Percy…"
I struggled to my feet. I moved toward him with the knife. I should kill him. That was the plan.
Luke seemed to know what I was thinking. He moistened his lips. "You can't… can't do it yourself. He'll break my control. He'll defend himself. Only my hand. I know where. I can… can keep him controlled. His scythe won't work. Not for this."
He was definitely glowing now, his skin starting to smoke.
I raised the knife to strike. Then I looked at Annabeth, at Grover cradling her in his arms, trying to shield her. And I finally understood what she'd been trying to tell me.
You are not the hero, Rachel had said. It will affect what you do.
"Please," Luke groaned. "No time."
If Kronos evolved into his true form, there would be no stopping him. He would make Typhon look like a playground bully.
The line from the great prophecy echoed in my head: A single choice shall end one's days. My whole world tipped upside down, and I gave the knife to Luke.
Grover yelped. "Percy? Are you… um…"
Crazy. Insane. Off my rocker. Probably.
But I watched as Luke grasped the hilt.
I stood before him – defenseless.
He unlatched the side straps of his armor, exposing a small bit of his skin just under his left arm, a place that would be very hard to hit. With difficulty, he stabbed himself.
It wasn't a deep cut, but Luke howled.
His eyes glowed like lava. The throne room shook, throwing me off my feet. An aura of energy surrounded Luke, growing brighter and brighter. I shut my eyes and felt a force like a nuclear explosion blister my skin and crack my lips.
It was silent for a long time.
When I opened my eyes, I saw Luke sprawled at the hearth. On the floor around him was a blackened circle of ash.
Kronos' scythe had liquefied into molten metal and was trickling into the coals of the hearth, which now glowed like a blacksmith's furnace.
Luke's left side was bloody. His eyes were open – blue eyes, the way they used to be. His breath was a deep rattle.
"Good… blade," he croaked.
I knelt next to him. Annabeth struggled over, looking weakened and sporting a long cut on her armor, leaning on Grover for support. They both had tears in their eyes.
"Annabeth… the scythe's curse…" He wheezed.
I paused, recalling something a monster once said about Kronos' scythe. Careful, fool. One touch and the blade will sever your soul from your body.
"No." I breathed. "It can't."
I turned, staring at her properly for the first time since the injury. A huge ugly gash ran across her front. Luckily, her armor had protected her well. But then I noticed it. A small flesh wound on her side, where the scythe first hit her, bled profusely.
"Annabeth," I cried out in disbelief. Grover stopped as she staggered, and fell to her knees in front of Luke.
"Percy… Luke…" she smiled, the effort costing her.
Luke gazed at Annabeth. "You knew. I killed you, but you knew…"
"Shhh." Her voice trembled. "You were a hero at the end, Luke. You'll go to Elysium."
He shook his head weakly. "Think… rebirth. Try for three times. Isles of the Blest."
Annabeth sniffled. "You always pushed yourself too hard."
He held up his charred hand. Annabeth touched his fingertips.
"Did you…" Luke coughed and his lips glistened red. "Did you love me?"
Annabeth wiped her tears away. "There was a time I thought… well, I thought…" She looked at me, like she was drinking in the fact that I was still here. I was standing there dumbfounded, still shocked by the revelation.
"You were like a brother to me, Luke," she said weakly. "But I didn't love you."
He nodded, as if he'd expected it. He winced in pain.
"We can get ambrosia for both of you," Grover said. "We can-"
"Grover," Luke gulped. "You're the bravest satyr I ever knew. But no. There's no healing…" Another cough. Annabeth nodded weakly, and then slumped back. I caught her gently, and shook in fear.
He gripped my sleeve, and I could feel the heat of his skin like a fire. "Ethan. Me. All the unclaimed. Don't let it… Don't let it happen again."
His eyes were angry, but pleading too.
"I won't," I said. "I promise."
Luke nodded, and his hand went slack.
I turned to look at Annabeth, who managed to nod at Luke before wincing. She caught my stare and gave a faint smile, but it was resigned, as if she knew her fate.
"No. No. No. Annabeth, you can't let this happen. We'll get ambrosia and nectar. Please, just hang on." I cried, tears starting to form in my eyes.
"I'm sorry, Percy. I think… I always knew I'd play a part in this prophecy, that I'd be one of the four. Will you do something for me, please?" Her tone was soft and weak, but pleading.
"Of course I will, Wise Girl. But you're not going to die." I responded, tears freely streaming down my cheeks at this point.
She gave another half-hearted smile, and then leaned in for a kiss. I shared it with her, briefly, before she pulled away.
"Promise me you'll move on, Percy. I don't want you living in grief, or killing yourself to try to join me. I want you to live, and enjoy life." She stated softly, her voice breaking.
"I… I promise. I love you Annabeth. I'll always love you."I stutter, my mind reeling.
She gave a true smile this time, and closed her eyes. Her body lost its tenseness in my arms, and she slumped backward. The cursed blades had claimed their last victim, fulfilling the prophecy at last.
"No." I whisper, before bowing my head.
The gods arrived a few minutes later in their full war regalia, thundering into the throne room and expecting a battle.
What they found were Grover and I kneeling over the body of a broken half-blood, in the dim warm light of the hearth, with another in my hands.
"Percy," my father called, awe in his voice. "What… what is this?"
I turned and faced the Olympians.
"We need shrouds," I announced, my voice cracking as tears rolled down my face. "Shrouds for the son of Hermes and the daughter of Athena."