Son of the Moon

Chapter 14

-Percy-

After the Olympians flashed out he turned to see the rest of the camp about to go to sleep when he called out, "Hold up!".

"What is it Percy?" Chiron asked confused.

Giving the centaur a deadpan look he explained "We still have to select the last two members of the quest Chiron.".

"Oh…" Chiron muttered embarrassed "oops.".

"What an impressive vocabulary." he deadpanned making the ancient centaur blush before he continued "Well I'm sure you've realized that I'm taking Bianca, Nico, Amanda, and Clarisse so with me that's five. We still need two more people for the quest.".

When he saw Annabeth about to open her mouth he was going to say something but Bianca beat her to it, "You're not coming bird brain." Bianca growled at the daughter of Athena.

"Yes I am!" Annabeth tried to sound firm but came across as petulant.

"No you're not." He deadpanned along with his friends making the daughter of Athena growl.

"May I offer a suggestion Percy?" Chiron asked tentatively and, when he nodded in the affirmative, the centaur continued "Well you have someone from Ares and Hermes who have named you the friends of their lines but you haven't done so for the Apollo and Hephaestus cabins.".

"That's a pretty good idea," he said thoughtfully "the Apollo cabin are good healers and the Hephaestus cabin are good at building and fixing things.".

"I'll be willing to come Percy." Charles Beckendorf offered while the rest of the Hephaestus cabin cheered.

"I'll come too." Will Solace added as the Apollo cabin joined in the cheers.

"It is decided then!" Chiron announced loudly to the cheers of the camp "We have our Septem of heroes and tomorrow they journey to find and retrieve the Golden Fleece!".

The next morning he stood on the dock fiddling with Riptide as he waited for the others to arrive. First to show were Nico and Bianca who seemed tired until he decided to wake them up. Turning to Nico he quickly took his friend and shoved the son of Hades into the ocean before turning to Bianca and pulling her into a kiss which she enthusiastically returned while a wet and very much awake Nico splashed back onto the dock.

After standing around holding his girlfriend, and laughing at his best friend who was still wet and grumbling, for several minutes Chiron showed up followed by Annabeth who had, once again, packed a bag and seemed determined to force her way into the quest.

Turning to Nico he held out his hand as the grumbling son of Hades handed over ten golden drachma while grumbling about 'stupid lucky gamblers' while Bianca giggled. Annabeth looked both confused and affronted while Chiron pinched the bridge of his nose and muttered "I don't want to know.".

After about five minutes that were filled with Nico pouting and trying to wring the water from his clothes, Chiron pacing, Annabeth glaring, and he and Bianca cuddling Clarisse and Amanda finally arrived and said that Beckendorf and Will would be there in a minute. Sure enough the sons of Apollo and Hephaestus arrived, each carrying their packs and weapons before everyone turned to Clarisse.

Stepping up to the edge of the pier the daughter of the god of war but before she could say anything the water roiled and boiled before erupting to reveal a massive ship that looked like it belonged to a pirate floating on the water. There was silence before he and Nico cheered and went to go check out the ship…only for Bianca to grab their ears and pull them back. "Ladies first boys." the daughter of Hades said chuckling as the others went to go inspect the ship bar Chiron who was holding back Annabeth.

After, finally, getting on the ship he looked around and grinned at what he saw as the ship was amazing and fully armed with enough celestial bronze weapons to lead a small invasion. "Clarisse," he began with a pleading tone in his voice "please tell me your dad is letting us keep the ship after the quest.".

Nico quickly added his agreement with my please by use of the puppy dog eyes…which were odd coming from a son of Hades but even Beckendorf and Will, who had been acting kind of awkward around them, looked hopeful. Before Clarisse could answer though there was a flash of light and a rolled up scroll appeared on Nico's head making Amanda snicker while Bianca took the note. Unfurling it the daughter of Hades read:

"Dear Questers,

As I am sure at least one of you will ask this I'll just go ahead and tell you that yes, the ship is yours to keep. Also to make sure that none of you worry I had some help in making it enchanted to ensure that old Barnacle Beard couldn't try and take it, and you all along with it. Thetis helped for one, she's heard about Percy and in intrigued by him, while the others to help were, surprisingly, Triton and Amphitrite who are amused that Percy is rejecting Poseidon and have a decent amount of respect for the Son of Artemis. Anyway, good luck on the quest.

Ares

P.S. I had to rewrite this whole thing to make sure it was legible and…coherent. As well as take out Ares' crass words and other failings in writing.

Love,

Grandma Hera".

Grinning he laughed and high fived Nico while Clarisse, Amanda, and Bianca just shook their heads and muttered "Boys." Causing the aforementioned gender to pout.

The group quickly set off in the direction of the Triangle while being waved off by Chiron while Annabeth glared at being restrained. They sailed for hours as the older members of the group got to know the newer ones better and they did some sparring.

Will was a bit of a surprise as the son of Apollo didn't really seem to fit the description of most of his siblings. While he did have the usual blonde hair and sky blue eyes of all Apollo kids Will was actually a lot more aggressive at times than the others. Most of the Apollo Cabin focused only on Archery, healing, and poetry while Will practiced not only in those three areas but with other weapons as well and even spent time at the forge learning how to make his own arrows and bows. But while he could be more aggressive in combat he was also more down to earth and level headed than his siblings in day to day life and didn't keep his head in the clouds.

Beckendorf was a simple man who lived his life by simple rules. He knew what he liked and what he didn't and preferred to simply spend his day being able to work. He helped his friends whenever he could and tried to find the simplest yet most effective solution to any problem.

After several hours of sailing they spotted a large Cruise Ship out in the distance that gave him a bad feeling. Turning to Beckendorf he asked "You have a mobile video camera with you by any chance?".

Nodding the son of Hephaestus reached into his pack and pulled out a round camera with four spider like legs, "Live action feed, HD lens, darkened Celestial bronze body, and a range of up to one hundred miles. You getting a vibe from that ship as well?".

"Yeah," he said with a nod before he froze part of the ocean bellow them into a tiny boat and made the water lift it up, "set the camera there and I'll send it over to the ship.".

Nodding Beckendorf placed the camera before pulling out a joystick controller and what looked like a television before setting it up on a table. "That's an impressive bag." Will muttered which only got a smirk from the talented son of Hephaestus while the screen got hooked up to show the feed from the camera.

As we got closer to the cruise ship, he realized just how huge it was. He felt as though he were looking up at a building in Manhattan. The white hull was at least ten stories tall, topped with another dozen levels of decks with brightly lit balconies and portholes. The ship's name was painted just above the bow line in black letters, lit with a spotlight. It took me a few seconds to decipher it: PRINCESS ANDROMEDA

Attached to the bow was a huge masthead-a three-story-tall woman wearing a white Greek chiton, sculpted to look as if she were chained to the front of the ship. She was young and beautiful, with flowing black hair, but her expression was one of absolute terror. Why anybody would want a screaming princess on the front of their vacation ship he had no idea.

He remembered the myth about Andromeda and how she had been chained to a rock by her own parents as a sacrifice to a sea monster and that his namesake, Perseus, had saved her just in time and turned the sea monster to stone using the head of Medusa.

He figured they'd have to sneak the camera around, a walking video camera isn't exactly normal even if it is small, but after checking a few corridors and peering over a balcony into a huge central promenade lined with closed shops, he began to realize there was nobody to hide from. Sure it was the middle of the night but they had walked half the length of the boat and met no one. They had passed forty or fifty cabin doors and heard no sound behind any of them.

"It's a ghost ship," Will murmured.

We came outside on the swimming pool level. There were rows of empty deck chairs and a bar closed off with a chain curtain. The water in the pool glowed eerily, sloshing back and forth from the motion of the ship.

Above us fore and aft were more levels-a climbing wall, a putt-putt golf course, a revolving restaurant, but no sign of life.

And yet ... he sensed something familiar. Something dangerous. He had the feeling that if he wasn't so tired and burned from our long night he might have been able to put a name to what was wrong.

Turning to the others he said "You guys go get some shut eye, "Nico and I'll keep an eye out on this end.".

The others quickly nodded after Bianca agreed to take over watch in a few hours. At three in the morning his shift was finally over and he drifted off to sleep in his chair with the spider cam still rolling.

He woke to a ship's whistle and a voice on the intercom- some guy with an Australian accent who sounded way too happy "Good morning, passengers! We'll be at sea all day today. Excellent weather for the poolside mambo party! Don't forget million-dollar bingo in the Kraken Lounge at one o'clock, and for our special guests, disemboweling practice on the Promenade!".

Shocked he shot out of the chair and all but demanded, "What did he say?"

Nico groaned, still half asleep while lying face down in a hammock and muttered "The happy man said ... bowling practice?".

He hoped he was right but then Bianca quickly walked over and asked in a voice filled with shock "Disemboweling practice?".

Once we were all assembled we ventured out into the ship and were surprised to see other people. A dozen senior citizens were heading to breakfast. A dad was taking his kids to the pool for a morning swim. Crew members in crisp white uniforms strolled the deck, tipping their hats to the passengers.

Nobody noticed the camera but he still felt like there was something wrong.

As the family of swimmers passed us, the dad told his kids: "We are on a cruise. We are having fun."

"Yes," his three kids said in unison, their expressions blank. "We are having a blast. We will swim in the pool." Before they wandered off.

"Percy, this is weird," Bianca said softly "They're all in some kind of trance."

Then we passed a cafeteria and saw our first monster. It was a hellhound-a black mastiff with its front paws up on the buffet line and its muzzle buried in the scrambled eggs. It must've been young, because it was small compared to most-no bigger than a grizzly bear. The weird thing was: a middle-aged couple was standing in the buffet line right behind the devil dog, patiently waiting their turn for the eggs. They didn't seem to notice anything out of the ordinary.

"I'm not hungry anymore." A disturbed will muttered.

Before any of us could reply, a reptilian voice came from down the corridor, "Ssssix more joined yesssterday.".

Something, or more like two somethings, slithered past the, making sounds like sandpaper against the carpet. "Yesss," a second reptilian voice said. "He drawssss them. Ssssoon we will be sssstrong.".

The things slithered into the cafeteria with a cold hissing laugh as he saw that they were Dracaena.

Then he heard another voice outside, one that angered him worse than any monster's, "only a matter of time. Don't push me, Agrius!", it was Luke, beyond a doubt; he could never forget his voice.

"I'm not pushing you!" another guy growled. His voice was deeper and even angrier than Luke's. "I'm just saying, if this gamble doesn't pay off…".

"It'll pay off," Luke snapped. "They'll take the bait. Now, come, we've got to get to the admiralty suite and check on the casket." their voices receded down the corridor.