Ch. 38 …. The Epilogue (Two Years Later)
Reyna could only gasp for air as she felt the warmth of her own blood soaking her midsection and soon after trailing down her legs.
Had she the strength, she might have cried.
How had things gone so wrong?
After fighting Hel and preventing the end of days from coming in her lifetime, she thought she'd earned some downtime from the Fates. But as if it could be any more evident than right now, she knew the saying was true; fate was cruel.
Less than two years!
She had less than two years of peace after defending Olympus when the gods went silent. Normally that wouldn't have been an issue but soon after, events began to take shape that explained their absence.
An enemy older than the Titans began to stir. It started slowly at first but within months of the first signs, her entire world had been turned upside down again. Quests were sent but rarely ever heard from again.
When she had sent Percy, Frank and Frank's girlfriend Hazel to Alaska, they had been the first to return intact; and even then, they had appeared only to warn them of the impending invasion of an army led by the giant son of Terra, Polybotes.
That was when she had felt the true taste of fate's bitter side.
They survived the battle and defeated the giant… At a cost she was not willing to pay.
Even with his final breaths, Percy had been a true hero, slaying the giant with only the help of an impertinent statue god. But even he, the greatest hero of their age, hadn't been able to overcome the injuries suffered in that victory.
Had it not been for Jason, Reyna would have been right beside him, dying in the defense of their home and their people.
But she couldn't do that. She had a son, a baby boy born roughly nine months after the battle of Manhattan.
For all their life experience leading up to that battle, neither had had the time to learn about the little things in life. Things that all teens their age are tought… Like safe sex.
But despite not even being eighteen years old, they were more than capable of taking care of their son, a boy they'd named after the bravest friend they'd ever known.
With Reyna a praetor and Percy a centurion in the Roman legion, along with being two of the most revered heroes of the Roman people, they'd had an outpouring of support from the legion and the entire city of New Rome. Raising a baby was tough but she found that doing it with Percy was the most worthwhile thing she'd ever done in her life. And things were going fine…
Until they weren't.
After losing Percy, she had trouble controlling her emotions. And soon after, with the legion traveling to Greece to join the Greeks in the defense of the original Mount Olympus, she found herself forced to leave her child in the care of a trusted friend in New Rome while she led the legion into a battle she didn't know if they could win.
Now look at her… Bleeding out at the foot of the original Mount Olympus; alone and leaving behind a child to be raised in a world she wasn't sure would even exist past the next twenty four hours. They hadn't lost the battle… Yet. But she had taken an arrow for Frank from some ridiculous child of Gaea who had once been in love with the goddess Artemis. Even in her waning moments, she couldn't help but feel furious she had fallen to that pathetic pretty boy excuse for a giant.
She could feel her breaths getting shallower. She prayed to every god she could think of that she would find Percy in the afterlife. She feared she would be alone in Elysium, separated from the one dead person she would give anything to spend eternity with.
"Well that's a depressing thought." A voice said and she knew she was about to die considering no one was close to her. Frank had dragged her away from the conflict but was forced to leave her when a hoard of wild centaurs charged at him and Hazel, forcing them to leave her safe but alone, hidden from the battle.
"If you would just hurry up and die, we have work to do."
Now she knew she was delusional. That voice… She would know it anywhere.
"Percy…" she wasn't even sure she made a sound but it was all she could muster with so little blood left in her body. As she was trying to force her eyes open, she was suddenly blinded by a light above her.
"Rise Reyna." The voice said more firmly. To her shock, she did just that. She rose to her feet and looked down only to see her own body slowly beginning to dissolve as if she were some kind of monster or something.
She looked up and had to force back to urge to cry out. Percy stood before her… Well, not exactly the Percy she remembered. This Percy was a little taller and more muscular, with more defined facial features and an aura of power and authority that seemed to radiate from his body.
"Percy," was all she managed to croak out.
Instead of responding, she stepped forward and wrapped his arms around her waist before planting a passionate kiss right on her lips. She was too stupefied to even react when he broke away. She stayed in the same spot, a mixture of confusion, happiness and awe giving her a temporary break from rational thoughts.
"I feel like I've waited a lifetime to do that again." He smiled at her.
"B… Bu… But, you're dead!" She finally sputtered out.
He smiled a familiar mischievous and crooked smile, "Dead? I suppose that's one way to put it. Come, my love; we are not done yet."
Frank fired his an arrow through the forehead of a centaur and then spun around turning his right hand into a bear's hand and smacked one so hard it did a complete flip before collapsing to the ground and crumbling to dust.
He pulled out another arrow and drove it into the forehead of a third before ripping it out and firing into the neck of a telekhine that was sneaking up behind Hazel.
Transforming into the form of a giant eagle, he launched himself into the air, climbing at least fifty feet into the sky before letting himself freefall back to the earth. When he was fifteen feet up, he spread his wings again and aimed his fall right into the back of a herd of assorted monsters that were trying to overrun his girlfriend.
He rolled across the monsters' flailing bodies, changing this time into a full grown gorilla and crushing a handful under his suddenly increased weight. The survivors were quickly grabbed with his huge mits and hurled into more of their comrades.
He backed up, Hazel fending off monsters from their backside with her huge cavalry sword.
They pushed their way back towards the direction they came from, desperately trying to get back to their fallen praetor and friend, Reyna.
"Just go Frank!" Hazel yelled, the twang in her southern accent becoming more prevalent when she got flustered. "I can hold them! Get to Reyna!"
Torn between leaving Hazel to fend for herself and getting to Reyna who did not look good when they last saw her, Frank's decision was made for him when he felt a booted foot sending his big ape form tumbling back as Hazel shot him a look that said; listen to her, or else!
Frank tripped over the wounded body of a Cyclops and transformed again, this time into a leopard, and using his superior speed and agility to weave through the monsters, both wounded and attacking until he found Reyna again.
Blood was pooling on the ground where she lay. Frank launched himself over her body and straight into an empousa who seemed very interested in all the blood pouring out of Reyna's body.
He used his razor sharp teeth to rip her throat out before she even knew was hit her and then transformed back into his human form.
He knelt down, panic welling up inside him as she felt for a pulse.
It was there, but very faint.
He grabbed some ambrosia from him pocket and shoved it in her mouth. To his dismay, she didn't move.
"Come on Reyna! You need to eat this! I can't lose you too!" He tried to reason with her but to no effect. She didn't move and made no effort to eat the godly food.
Frank reached for some nectar but before he could even get it out, her body went ridged and then, slowly, started to dissolve into the ground beneath them.
"NO! Hold on Reyna!" He pleaded but could only watch helplessly as her body was reduced to ashes.
Frank clenched his eyes, trying to hold back tears as he watched his remaining closest friend, outside of Hazel, die before his eyes, just like Percy had done.
Frank felt movement behind him and his eyes snapped open. Instead of tears, they were filled with one thing: Rage.
Without even consciously meaning to, Frank's body began to change. The monsters which had been closing in on him stopped in their tracks and slowly started to back away as they watched his form grow larger and larger.
In a matter of seconds, the husky child of Mars was gone. In its place was a truly horrifying creature.
Maybe it was just his childhood memories and the stories his mother had read to him as a kid, but Frank rose to his feet, and standing at a height of twenty or thirty feet was a fully grown Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Frank turned around as pain began to flood his mind. The image of Reyna's body vanishing before his eyes ran in a loop through his mind. He looked down at the monsters watching him in horror and awe before taking a deep breath and letting loose a roar that sent the closest monsters flying back into the others and they rest screaming and scrambling away in a panic.
Frank barreled towards them, crushing several under his feet before he reached down and snatched close to a dozen in his massive powerful jaws. He chewed once and spit an assortment of body parts into the crowd of monsters before he grabbed another mouthful, charging forward and crushing more under foot as his mind only saw red.
Hazel was staring wide eyed at her boyfriend. Sure, she had seen him transform into an assortment of ferocious and dangerous animals but she was having trouble believing her own eyes. He had somehow managed to turn himself into a creature that hadn't even been alive for millions of years. He was both utterly terrifying and absolutely awesome as he ran rampant through the monster ranks; feeble jabs and miniscule arrows only bouncing off the tough reptilian skin that covered his body.
As she stabbed a charging Hellhound straight in the gullet, she felt that despite the tremendous losses they had already taken, things might actually end up okay, maybe they could win this battle.
Hazel was wrong.
Even with Frank barreling through the enemies by the dozen, they were no match for the superior forces of Gaea led by her gigantean children.
The larger sized giants were able to neutralize Frank and without the help of the gods, they could not be defeated by demigods alone. By the end of the day, the demigods were being pushed back into the foot of the mountain, running out of room to continue retreating. The battlefield was littered with the bodies of demigods, Roman and Greek alike but the children of the gods fought on, refusing to break under the constant onslaught of Gaea's army.
But as they ran out of room to retreat, they were faced with the inevitability of their defeat. They prayed and prayed for help from their parents but their desperate pleas were met with silence. Even the Hunters of Artemis seemed to have been abandoned by their goddess as they tried to slow the enemies approach led by their millennia old lieutenant, Zoë Nightshade.
The Greeks, led by the daughter of Athena, Annabeth Chase, were mixed among their Roman brethren trying to hold back the advancing army led by the king of the giants himself, Porphyrion.
With the demigods backed up as far as they could go, the giant king raised his hand, halting his attacking forces as the demigods pulled the injured behind the lines and tried to reform their ranks among the utter chaos.
Porphyrion stepped in front of his army, a smug and amused smiled plastered all over his ugly face.
"A decent fight, little mortals! But you have been defeated, abandoned by the gods who created you! Lay down your arms and I will be merciful in dealing with you!"
No half-blood moved.
They had reformed their ranks by this time and were preparing to make their final stand, still holding out hope that the Olympians, their parents, would come to their aide.
Porphyrion seemed rather pleased by their reaction.
"No? Very well, I respect the decision to go down by the sword." He raised his arms, preparing to unleash Hel on the demigods and finish the battle once and for all. But just as he was about to order the attack, thunder boomed so loudly overhead, it made the anti-Zeus flinch in fear.
Demigods, giants and monsters alike all looked to sky. Most expected the gods to come charging down in their chariots and meet the enemy head on.
Instead, a single monstrous bolt of lightning dropped from the sky between the two armies. The bolt was so immense, it literally lit up the darkening early night sky. Everyone on the battlefield shielded their eyes in the intense light.
When the light faded, a single figure was on a knee between the two armies. His long dark hair trailed out the sides of his horned helmet. His strange battle armor matched no one on the battlefield but in his hand was a weapon no demigod could miss.
"What is this? What is this?" Porphyrion roared, unsure who or what was now standing between him and his victory.
The figure rose to his feet, the greatest weapon in the universe gripped tightly in his right hand as he stared fearlessly up into the eyes of the massive giant.
"Abandoned? Maybe by some gods, but not by all."
The demigods began pounding their shields and spears into the earth, shaking the ground and unsettling the hordes of monsters that had been ready to tear them to pieces.
Porphyrion wasn't fazed by the resurgence of the demigods' spirit. He raised his spear to the sky and unleashed a bolt of lightning right at Percy.
He raised Mjolnir above him and the lightning flew harmlessly into the weapon. This seemed to rattle the giant as he stared at Percy, confused how he wasn't obliterated.
He waved behind him and a giant with hands engulfed with fire barreled ahead. He raised a monstrous looking hammer, prepared to crush Percy into a pulp, when a pair of arrows imbedded into his neck. Without missing a beat, Percy hurled Mjolnir at the giant, hitting the arrows and driving them deeper into his neck.
The giant staggered backwards a few feet before crumbling into ashes.
Percy looked back and found Zoë with her bow still raised and a look of weariness but some hope plastered on her face.
"A god?" Porphyrion growled. "You will need more than one god to defeat all of us, whoever you are!"
Percy held out his hand and the hammer flew back to its master.
"I know," Percy cracked a smile as he listened to the giant's words. "I brought friends."
In blinding flashes of light on each side of him, two more beings appeared. The first, on his left, was a guy who looked around twenty with blonde hair and an imperial gold gladius in his hand.
"Jason," a girl in the group of demigods gasped. Thalia stepped forward but Jason held up his hand and gave her a look that said, later.
On Percy's right was a gorgeous woman wearing the traditional armor and cape of a praetor on the Roman Legion. Reyna held a spear in one hand and a shield in the other, her eyes scanned the enemies until she found a particular non-half dragon giant whose face had gone slack.
Porphyrion let loose a roar of anger, "It doesn't matter, you and the demigods will never survive a battle with this army! Our numbers will crush you!"
To this, Percy's smile only grew. He raised his hand to the sky and a portal above him appeared.
"Warriors of Valhalla! Show this abomination how true heroes fight!"
Out of the portal streamed thousands of warriors all screaming "For Asgard!"
Gaea's army tried to retreat but it was already too late. The Norse ran through their ranks cutting and slashing monsters to pieces.
Seeing their incredible reinforcements, the demigods let out their own battle cries and ran into battle with the fallen heroes of Valhalla.
Percy, Reyna and Jason grew into their godly heights of about fifteen feet and sought out the true threat, the giants.
Reyna made a beeline for her least favorite giant, Orion. Though smaller than his brothers, he still stood taller than any mortal on the battlefield. He tried to fend her off with his arrows but she was too quick, using her shield to protect herself as she ran, she tried to run the giant through with one fateful blow.
Orion managed to fend her off with his bow and unsheathed a hunting knife, slashing wildly at the former praetor only to stagger back when a volley of silver arrows found their mark all over his body. The Hunters, led by Zoë, continued to fire at the bane of their mistress, keeping him from going offensive. It was all he could do to fend off Reyna while smaller arrows continued to light him up.
He managed to shove Reyna back and turned towards the hunters with a look of fury. He notched and arrow and took aim directly at Zoë who was caught in no man's land, with no cover and nowhere to run. Before he could loose the arrow though, his body went rigid.
Reyna shoved her spear deeper, until the tip appeared out of his chest. His mechanical eyes tried to turn to find his attacker but that proved unnecessary when Reyna ripped her spear free and kicked him to the ground, pinning him under his foot. She raised her spear, a look of deep satisfaction on her face.
Zoë stepped up beside Reyna with her bow drawn.
"This is for orphaning my son you little prick!" Reyna spat as Zoë fired and arrow and Reyna drove her spear straight into his heart. The giant dissolved, leaving only a pair of creepy looking mechanical eyes as a spoil of war.
Jason went spear to gladius with the giant Hippolytus, trying to both disarm and understand how this giant thought a tracksuit was a good idea for battlefield apparel. Not that he was one for fashion, but Hippolytus seemed like he was trying to figure out whether he wanted to go for a jog or shake down some store owners with the obnoxious gold chains that hung around his neck.
A trio of arrows found their way into the giant's calf, causing him to let loose a string of curses as he turned and found a spiky haired girl in a set of armor that said Death to Barbie carved into the chest plate.
Thalia nimbly rolled away from the giant dragon foot that tried to squash her and grinned when Jason caught Hippolytus distracted and sliced off the hand holding his spear.
Hippolytus let out a horrible scream of pain as he stumbled back and fell right onto his butt, clutching the stump where his severed hand had been.
"Wait, wait!" He said pleadingly at Jason who was closing in for the kill.
Jason paused and smiled innocently at him, "What? I think you've got me confused. I wounded you, my big sister is gonna be the one to kill you."
Too late did the giant see it coming. Using his severed hand as a launch pad, Thalia vaulted herself into the air, her spear raised to the heavens as she called down a bolt of lightning that would have made even Percy jealous. It connected with her spear just as she drove it into the giant's chest and within seconds, Hippolytus was reduced to a pile of dust inside a tacky tracksuit.
As they battle ensued, Percy had assigned himself the task of taking on the king of it all. Standing about thirty feet taller than him, it was a daunting task for Percy to battle Porphyrion. But what he lacked in size, he was able to make up for in speed and agility.
Having the most powerful weapon ever created also didn't hurt.
And fortunately for him, an old friend, his best friend to be precise, was quick to come to his aide.
Switching his form faster than Percy could follow, Frank was keeping Porphyrion on his toes, changing from dragon, to giant eagle and even what Percy thought was a hummingbird, Frank kept the giant's focus split between him and Percy.
As the chaos of the battle erupted, Percy caught glimpses of Olympians joining the fight as well. He saw Athena battling alongside her daughter against one of the giants. Apollo and Artemis were flying around in chariots, firing arrows faster than mortal eyes could follow and keeping giants at bay as the demigods and warriors of Valhalla tore through the monster army. He saw Hermes speeding in and out of the battle, grabbing wounded demigods and bringing them to safety before bolting back into the fray,
He was pretty sure he even saw Ares, in his mortal size, going berserk amongst the demigods and carving a path of carnage through the enemy ranks.
He was also pretty sure he didn't see Zeus which explained a lot pretty quickly. But he had little time to think about that as he had his own problems as Frank the eagle was swatted out of the sky. Luckily for him, Percy appeared in his path and caught him before he could go crashing down.
Percy set his friend down dazed and stepped in front of him, holding Mjolnir tightly in his hand, the skies darkening and thunder booming at his will.
Porphyrion glanced around in horror as he watched his army and his brothers fall one by one. Soon, the battlefield was nearly empty and he and Percy stood looking at one another, a deep hatred running through the giant's dark eyes.
"YOU! YOU! You've ruined everything! I'll kill you!" He roared and charged straight at Percy who spun Mjolnir in his hand before hurling it at the giant. Pophyrion smacked it aside with his a hand and launched himself at Percy who pulled out a sword and met his spear strike. Porphyrion's strength won out and he shoved Percy back, forcing him on the defensive from a barrage of slashes and stabs.
Percy kept backtracking, waiting for a chance to counter when he missed his mark and the spear found a home in his shoulder, opening up a deep gash that began to pour golden ichor.
Shaking it off, he held out his hand and slashed at the giant's legs. Porphyrion jumped back and Percy caught Mjolnir. He drove his sword into the ground and slammed his mighty hammer into the hilt, driving it deeper into the earth as a bolt of lightning connected just as the two weapons hit.
A crack opened up in the earth and began to spread, growing and following the giant king as he backtracked to avoid swallowed up.
"You should have known better from the last person who tried, Midgard is under my protection!" Percy roared as he vanished in a bolt of lightning and reappeared behind the giant. He slammed Mjolnir into the back of his knee, sending Porphyrion upended onto his back. The crack in the earth continued to close in and the giant tried to crawl away only for Percy to slam his foot into his chest.
"As a mortal I went to Hel and back. Your little war took my mortal life from me but it ends today! It's time for you to go home!"
Porphyrion tried to shove Percy's foot off and succeeded only for Percy to bring his mighty weapon down on the giant's chest just as the earth broke apart beneath him. Porphyrion crashed into the crevice and was swallowed up by the earth itself, enjoying a scenic route to the family reunion in Tartarus.
The demigods, assembled Olympians and remaining Asgardians all looked at him in silence. He looked around and found Jason and Reyna, giving them a look before all three and the warriors from Valhalla vanished without a single word.
The surviving demigods from the giant war stood in the Field of Mars. The mood was solemn as the entire field was lit up with the fires of burning funeral pyres for those lost in the battle with the giants.
The entire Olympian Council was in attendance, paying tribute to the heroes of the war and the children lost in the many battles leading up to the eventual victory.
Frank stood at the front of the Roman Legion, his newly awarded praetor cape flapping in the wind as he led the ceremony for the fallen. Hazel was a few feet behind him, a small child in her arms, his arms wrapped around her and his head buried in her neck as they said goodbye to both his parents.
As the fires burned, Jupiter rose from his throne at the front of the collection of Greek and Roman demigods, his face sullen as he prepared to speak a few words for the lives lost. Before he had a chance to start, a blinding light lit up the otherwise overcast sky. When the light faded, three familiar figures were standing beside Frank, their own faces stoic as they looked at so many shrouds being burned for the lives lost.
"You," Jupiter said in shock. "But, you're, you're dea…"
"I was dead." Percy cut him off coldly. "But now I am immortal, a god amongst my people like your son and my wife."
Jupiter looked at Jason, disbelief and shock etched all over his face. He wanted to smile knowing his son was now a god but the look he got from Jason kept him from enjoying the moment.
"We did not come here to mince words with you Jupiter. We have come to honor our fallen brethren and recover the one we left behind."
Reyna hadn't paid any attention to Jupiter or any of the gods. She had her eyes on Hazel, the smile on her face unmistakable as she looked at her child being cared for by her friend.
"Percy," Frank said in a little shock. "You guys are gods now?"
His cold expression melted as he looked at his friend and he smiled, "Well, I'm gonna be Frank with you," Frank cracked a grin at his friend's joke. "Yup, pretty much. My grandfather felt our services in the last war were deserving of the reward whether I wanted it or not. He was just waiting for me to die… Which he clearly didn't have to wait long for."
Frank stepped closer to Percy but didn't have time to prepare himself when he was wrapped in a godly sized embrace from his friend. When Percy let him go, the grin threatened to split Frank's face.
"But, I thought you couldn't get back and forth anymore?"
Percy nodded, "That was true. But for me, the new protector of the realms, I've kind of got an all access pass to go where I please. It seems your fates have willed it so and so shall it be from now on."
Jupiter cleared his throat, a look of annoyance on his at being completely ignored by Percy and his own son. Before he could speak though, Percy held up a hand to stop him.
"We are here to honor our friends and retrieve my son. But we are also were to pass a message to you Jupiter, er Zeus, or whoever you are right now."
Jupiter scowled at the utter disrespect but waited for the message.
"We three are now the protectors of this realm. Our duties fall onto anything that endangers the safety of this world and people within it, both mortal and immortal. I suggest you heed my warning and remember my words to be true. You feared me as a mortal, you should very much fear me as a god."
Percy looked at Reyna who now had their son cradled in her arms. Jason winked at Thalia who grinned at her brother, before Percy turned to the demigods, scanning their ranks and smiling at all their shocked and awed faces.
"Celebrate my friends, for you saved this world once again. Honor our fallen brothers and sisters and never forget their sacrifice but know they did so in the hopes of a better world for all of us. Today that new world begins."
A.N: Yeah, I know I talked about doing one of these. Well I watched Avengers 2 last night and felt like it was time, (it made me think of this story and it's fun writing about Norse Percy). It's probably not what you all envisioned but it's what I got for ya. If you don't like it, you can pretend I didn't write it.
Thanks for all the support everyone showed for this story. I hope it was as enjoyable for you to read as it was for me to write.