All rights belong to Rick Riordan
The Earth Stops Moving
When we watched the giant king fall we thought it was all over nobody thought it could only get worse. That was when the earthquake started and everyone fell before the screaming started and everyone was forced to cover there ears. I have been to the fields of punishment numerous times and I knew the various types of screaming that pain and suffering could incite. But this was far worse than any there this was a voice screaming in anger and demanding vengeance and seemed to be coming from beneath us. Suddenly the quake stopped only for giant earthen hands to reach out of the ground and restrain us the gods tried to break free but the stone hands held them like a vice.
I was held down on my side so I got a spectator seat to when Gaia burst out of the ground ripping the surface apart as she rose higher the displaced earth attaching to her before coming absorbed into her greater mass before she reached down and amputated the statue that had been victorious seconds earlier with a squeeze of her hand, I could feel the pain of the two souls inside the statue as it was unceremoniously dropped to the floor where more hands rose to restrain the flailing effigy.
I looked around to see if everyone else was restrained only to notice two figure to my left that were looking at the scene that had occurred with hate filled golden eyes as my cousin and the Lion looked up at the massive figure who regarded them with dark eyes.
'Gaia for that you will die, I will not just kill you will fade from this world. I shall reunite you with your Husband in the void as well as my Grandfather I believe they both would like a good long chat with you'. Percy said so coldly it was almost mechanical before he jumped onto the Lions back and slung his shield across his back only to draw his golden spear and wield that in his left.
The primordial goddess seemed unconcerned about his pledging and simply summoned a boulder the size of an SUV into her hand and throwing it at the resisting pair striking the spot they were standing.
When I saw he boulder inbound I froze time in the spot we were standing before speeding the pair of us up to a hundred times normal speed as we charged towards the rampaging Deity. The result of my efforts was it appeared we left an afterimage that took an apparently catastrophic blow as the boulder sank into the Greek soil before digging a channel for 20 meters. Everyone that could still see was focused on the point expecting to still see us there not 300 meters away and closing in on the Giant figures foot. The Primordial also seemed to think we had been flattened as she turned to regard the others while we continued to close.
We regained her attention the moment Nemea's sharp claws cut straight through her earthen flesh as we proceeded to claw our way up her leg. We had managed to climb as high as her waist when she began to take action and a massive hand came to smite the area we had just vacated. We managed a few more meters when a second blow caught Nemea's hindquarters behind me causing her back legs to buckle under the blow so we were left hanging by the claws of her front paws. The lioness roared in pain as her back legs were unable to find purchase. I was left with little choice but to quickly climb the Lions back and neck and jump before another blow came in and flicked the struggling monster off to the surface where she quickly restrained. As I flew through the air I aimed to use my weapons as impromptu climbing picks and I watched as the weapons sank into the Primordials thick earthen hide.
Her hide must have extremely thick as she failed to notice he two lumps of metal imbedded in her flesh as she looked at the struggling lioness who continued to roar in frustration at being restrained as if expecting to find me. As I looked above me I saw I was about 10 feet from the top of her torso which meant I was currently hanging from an enormous Goddess's right breast. I immediately threw that thought out of my mind before deciding that I would need to climb higher and attack her head, the problem was that my spear seemed firmly lodged into her body. I decided to let the spear go there was nothing I could do about it now and instead I drew Riptide into my left hand and thrusting it a foot higher before pulling Maelstrom out and repeating the motion again and again until I was currently on her shoulder staring at her giant exposed neck in front of me. I raised both my blades across my shoulders before swinging them in an X-formation.
The blades bit easily into the Primordials throat and for the first time since she arrived she bled Silver Ichor of the Primordials seeping from the rents in her flesh. I ducked as giant hands were raised to clamp around her throat and clutch the bleeding wounds and I got an extremely dangerous idea that might just work or would kill me painfully. I decided to do it while I had the chance and Gaia was distracted and I ran at the goddess's curled hands.
My plan was simple in theory if you are unable to hurt an enormous thick skinned primordial goddess from the outside, then try the inside and I was standing a dozen feet from a screaming entrance with her fingers providing a convenient staircase to her face as she staunched the ichor loss.
I ran up her fingers each one bringing me closer to my destination as I crossed the last index finger I leapt and landed on her massive lips.
'Open wide bitch' I though as I swept riptide across her lower lip and causing her to rear her head back and scream in pain while I dropped into the darkness. Now I admit I had not thought this part through properly, I don't know if I was expecting to see a sign saying Organs or Heart this way but as I plummeted down her gullet I instinctly plunged the blades into the sides of her throat with the blades slicing all they came into contact with. It was similar to when I attacked Pelorus and my weight and momentum continued to drag me down while silver ichor fell around me and her throat began to gag and restrict it seemed as she noticed a problem before suddenly everything stopped.
When I say everything stopped I mean everything I landed in a flat area, the wounds stopped flowing Ichor and the motions ceased leaving me confused. I decided to draw my swords out only for them to come out partway before getting stuck. The light revealed by the partially revealed blades showed the cause of the lack of activity around me. Everywhere I looked had turned to solid stone I was at the base of a long tube of smooth granite. The Primordial had been killed but I was trapped, while I was in here my weapons were stuck in the walls and I was left with no way of escape as there was no way up or through the solid stone.
I looked back on everything that had happened in the battle the first few victories followed by the one tragic moment that ached in my heart when I watched Annabeth die only to be incarnated as a super powered statue that proceeded to kick ass before killing her nemesis the giant king only for his mother to take revenge and cost me her again.
I had watched my other friends fight alongside there parents and work to victory on there own and with help. I had worked with the goddess of the hunt to aid the others before she helped me get over my shock at Annabeth's loss and set Minerva back on track out of her madness. I felt strange to feel a sensation of ease around the man hating goddess that confused me, I felt comforted by her presence and support in battle she was someone that I could rely on as long as she was shown respect and you acted appropriately such as when she hit Frank for his arrow.
Then I remembered seeing the others incapacitated and captured before I had responded without thinking and beginning my colossus climb and descent to where I was. The problem was I didn't know if the others were still alive or captured and the frustration at my own helplessness began to grow into rage. I would not be stuck here not after everything I had done, I would not lose everything else to such a little thing as a stone wall. I continued to grow in frustration causing my body to shake before everything exploded.
We could only watch in twisted fascination as the pair reappeared on the Primordial's leg after the boulder incident and we watched as they climbed Gaia's body before Nemea was intercepted and restrained and Percy continued his assault much to her ignorance before he severed her throat.
We watched in horror as he ascended her face before sinking out of sight down her throat. We watched as the Primordial seemed to contort in pain at some internal problem before she screamed and seemed to slow before her movements stopped completely. We watched as her earthen skin began to lithify into solid rock. We felt the hands restraining us also go slack and the gods began to struggle again before Mars finally managed to break free and help Poseidon and one by one they began to break the others bonds.
I was about to be freed by my father when a second earthquake could be felt coming from the seemingly dead Primordial this one far greater in strength causing everyone to stumble apart from those flight capable who took to hovering in the air. Enormous rents opened up I the countryside and MountOlympus began to issue smoke from its crater.
I returned my attention towards Gaia only to see a golden light being issued from the cold stone surface of her chest when suddenly it exploded. As the debris flew into the air the rest of the figure began to collapse in on itself as the head fell down without a chest to rest on, the legs broke at the joints as did the arms as they fell and shattered until the giant body of a woman was nothing more than a boulder field and the earthquake suddenly stopped.
The tremors had shattered all our remaining bonds allowing us to rise to our feet. We watched as the debris settled before voices began to whisper but strangely the first to ask the question we were all thinking was Artemis.
'Where is Perseus?' she asked with a hint of worry.
'Where is my son? Hades is he still alive?' the distraught sea god asked his brother.
'I don't know Gaia and the Giants passing has thrown the underworld into disarray, I am sorry brother for the moment I don't know' my father answered and I believed him my death senses were a mess normally I could always feel death but the moment they were a mess like someone had introduced system feedback and it was deafening.
We looked at the field of debris when Jason who was flying above us shouted that he had seen movement. We all ran to the position he indicated and everyone began to dig even the more stubborn gods everyone was desperate to find him. What we found was the ivory arm of the Athena Parthenos flailing around under debris as we continued to unearth the amputee figure. When it was finally unearthed it glowed with a grey shine before becoming opaque and beginning to shrink until it was human sized and the light faded revealing the figure.
The figure was female about 21 years old in stature with grey eyes and Minerva's face but what was really strange was that she seemed to have Annabeth's blond hair.
The assembled crowd looked at the figure in shock; it was as if someone had combined the features of the demigod and the goddess together with all the sternness and the look of great intellect of Minerva with the youthful beauty of Annabeth. Everyone was looking with open mouths when she spoke.
'What are you all looking at, and what happened to Gaia' the figure asked in what was clearly the same voice of the goddess as before.
'Why you dear, you look amazing and I love the new hair, now we need to get you some make up' Venus began to say before Minerva cut her off.
'What do you mean new look' she asked confused.
Venus simply waved a hand summoning a mirror in front of the grey eyed goddess who stepped back in shock at her reflection.
'How is this possible, something has changed my true forms appearance what did this?' she asked more to herself than the assembled crowd.
'It is simple dear, you did the moment you combined your essence with Athena's daughter and the statues power' the fates all said as one.
'H-how is it possible to combine our essences permanently and what happened to her soul' she stuttered.
'Her soul will reach the isles of the blessed but her physical essence is locked with yours, she will always bear a connection to you but the damage to her soul will mean that even in the underworld she will be unable to talk to others except the lords of the underworld and yourself I am afraid.' They said regretfully to which the goddess became tearful and started to collapse only to be caught by Poseidon. We can confirm that with the Parthenos returned to you your additional Greek domains will be returned to as well along with the prename Anna. All hail Anna Minerva goddess of wisdom, crafts, battle and architecture' the three women said respectfully while the goddess continued to break down in tears.
'Now this is all good and well but were we not looking for the punk' Ares said after shifting back.
'Show some respect, he just saved our lives again' Artemis screamed pointing her bow at the war god who paled.
'My little sister is right, we need to find him dead or alive he deserves to be rewarded for his service' Apollo's Greek aspect added.
'Now is not the time for jokes' she hissed at him before changing targets eventually releasing the slack and dispelling the weapon when he nodded.
Everyone turned back to the rubble pile to see a golden lioness furiously digging through the debris with all her paws. We all looked at her before running over obviously she had found something.
When we reached her Poseidon set Minerva on the floor before approaching the lions head and rubbing it getting its attention.
'You did good girl but let us help, stay back a moment while I do something' the beast regarded the god with golden eyes before nodding and backing up to the rest of us as we watched the sea god raise his trident and slam it into a boulder creating a shockwave that spread out five meters in each direction around the point Nemea had indicated. The shockwave caused the debris to shake violently before starting to crumble and before long where there had been a large mass of rock was only sand surrounding a figure laying face down in the dirt.
Poseidon moved forward and picked up the figure into his arms that remained unmoving.
'Apollo get over here and help me heal him he is alive but extremely weak he is barely breathing' the lord of the sea said worriedly before laying Percy on the ground in front of Apollo in a small depression he filled with sea water he summoned.
The god of healing placed his hands on the boys head and begin to chant in ancient Greek to quiet for me to hear the words obviously some spell of healing as golden energy flowed from the god to the half-blood. As the minutes ticked by colour returned to Percy's skin and his breathing stabilized. Slowly he began to stir and Apollo step back his work done.
Eventually Percy opened his eyes only to be grabbed in a bear hug by his father as he began to sit up, he looked confused as he surveyed the rest of us over his fathers shoulder meeting our smiles (except Ares) with one of his own as he hugged his father back only to freeze when he saw the last figure in the group who had risen from the ground to look in. As Percy's eyes met Minerva's they began to widen before he said one word.
When I saw the blond figure at the edge of the group I thought it was Annabeth as she was the only blond female with the group when this started and I called her name but when I did the figure only looked away in despair and I began to make out differences.
The first was she was too old easily 3 or 4 years older than me, although she had the same hair style as Annabeth it was not as long. The thing that gave it away though was her eyes, sure they looked the same storm grey but they held to much sorrow and past hatred to be Annabeth her eyes had always been full of joy and the prospect of knowledge. Finally the figure returned her gaze to me.
'No Perseus, I am Minerva. Annabeth Chase is dead; you are only seeing an imprint left on my essence from hers' the goddess explained causing my heart to sink and I began to cry causing my father to hold me closer as I began to thrash around in personal agony. Annabeth was truly gone and I was alone again. Sure I had my other friends and family but my love was gone and had taken my happiness with her.
Eventually I settled and my father released me and everyone began to relax at the fact everything was over and Zeus and Ares began boasting of their triumph and their own parts, etc. but no one was paying them attention everyone was standing with their parents or spouses looking at me as Zeus tried to take credit for Porphyrion's defeat when Hades had enough and told him to shut up.
'We won because of Perseus and Annabeth's sacrifice all you did was feed Gaia your energy and resurrect her faster, so shut your mouth for a moment or two and let us leave this place. We can discuss everything on Olympus and set about dealing with other matters like the camps conflict before we reward our children for their help.' The Lord of the Dead said earning nods from the others and once Apollo was done healing Hazel and Arion who had staggered back when the fighting was concluded, the gods grabbed their children and we flashed back too the throne room. As the gods went to their thrones and the missing Olympians arrived. After they arrived the fates bowed before flashing out.
'Now we are gathered here to celebrate the defeat of the giants due to our power which allowed us to overcome them and their evil mother Gaia who is now dead' he was interrupted by Poseidon's trident striking the floor and receiving looks from everyone who was in Greece.
'Fine, we are here to reward our children without whom it would not have been possible to defeat Gaia or the giants as well as to mourn the loss of a true heroine to Olympus one who sacrificed themselves for the safety of Olympus. Now we shall commence the reward—' he paused as all eyes turned to Artemis who suddenly fell from her throne clutching her head in pain shrinking to human sized as she hit the marble. I immediately ran towards her and picked her up to find her crying golden tears that stained her silver clothes as she began to mutter about Hunters before gasping every so often as if someone was punching her in the gut causing her to scream out.
While I was distracted with the goddess in my arms, there was a flash of light behind and I heard the other gods leap to their feet.
'Hera, what are you doing here? We banished you when your plan failed' Zeus stated raising his Masterbolt.
'Really husband from what I see Olympus still stands and our thrones remain and everyone is still here' she said smugly.
'What about my daughter? She is dead now' Minerva spat.
'That was not my fault after all it was Zeus here who failed to kill Enceladus unfortunately his son also failed to confirm the kill regretfully' she replied simply earning a growl from both god and son.
'Brother, Sister why don't you stop your bitching and someone find out what is wrong with Artemis' Hades ordered before pointing to the struggling goddess in my arms.
'Oh that is simple, why don't you ask Apollo after all it is his little bastard legacies fault?' the Queen of the Heavens said causing all heads to turn towards the sun god.
'Oh Octavian what have you done now?' The god said sinking into his chair.