"Alice?" Danny asked, "Alice are you okay?"
The girl was crouched against the wall, her legs tucked into her chest with her arms wrapped around them. She was staring at nothing in particular, her eyes wide and hollow as she slowly rocked herself back and forth.
"Alice?" Danny asked again, still getting no kind of response. Percy sighed, she had been like that for over an hour, just sitting there in a fetal position, staring but not really seeing. She had yet to say anything, or even show that she heard anything.
A hand rested on the boy's shoulder and Danny looked up to see Chaos smiling down at him sadly and shaking her head. "It's no use Danny, she's lost in her memories at the moment. It will be a while before she recovers."
"Can she hear me at all?"
"Yes," Chaos nodded, "But her mind is refusing to let her reply. It was a defense she built up when she was very little and today's event has brought it back."
"But she will come out of it eventually?" Percy asked from his spot on the couch next to Hanna, who was still sleeping, her head resting peacefully on his lap.
Chaos nodded, "Yes, eventually. She just needs time."
Percy nodded and leaned back against the couch, rubbing his eyes tiredly. Today had been one of the longest days of his life, and he was exhausted. They were currently all hiding out in Hanna's cabin, seeing as it was the only one that locked, and were trying to hide from the campers who were standing outside the door, waiting for him to come out.
Yep, it had been a very long day.
With one last hiss Lucious had vanished into the portal, Alice's dagger going swiftly and silently after him. Now that he was gone, the chill that had spread through the camp dissipated, but Percy still felt like long shadowy fingers were trailing up and down his spine.
He closed his eyes and reluctantly turned towards the camp, not wanting to see their expressions. He still held Hanna in his arms, while Danny and Alice stood next to him. Danny was still sizzling with anger while Alice lingered back behind the two of them, not really looking at anything.
Percy slowly looked towards the demi-gods, or more importantly Annabeth, Nico, and Thalia, trying to gage their reactions. Annabeth looked ready to faint, while Nico's mouth was hanging open.
Thalia slowly look a single step forward. "Percy?" she asked in a quiet voice. Percy sighed and nodded slowly, unsure of what to say. Danny took a step in front of him in a protective way, his fingers twitching at his sides. Thalia however either didn't notice or didn't care. She gasped softly and her eyes welled up with tears, "Oh my gods," she whispered "it really is you!"
And then she was running at him. As she reached him, however, she stopped, waiting for him to say something, anything. He didn't though, she was met only with silence as Nico ran up next to her and waited for some kind of response.
Finally, Percy spoke. "Yes."
Thalia's grin returned, lighting up her face as she beamed at him. Beside her, Nico was smiling too, still trying to wrap his head around the fact that Percy, who he always thought of as a big brother, was standing before them at least a foot taller than when they had last seen him with blond hair and a place among Chaos' top assassins.
Thalia looked like she wanted to say something, but before she could a loud crack filled the air and the training field was suddenly occupied by the Greek gods, Poseidon at the front.
The horsemen whipped around, Danny's guns held outward in front of Percy and Hanna. He stayed like that for quite some time until Alice put a light hand on his shoulder and shook her head slightly, "Just because we cannot accept our past doesn't mean he can't." She said in a tiny voice.
Percy did not look at his father, or at anyone else for that matter. He nodded to Alice in gratitude and looked down at Hanna's sleeping face once more, strengthening his resolve.
He raised his head and locked eyes with a man he hadn't seen in years; his father.
Poseidon's eyes were bright with tears as he looked at the face of his now twenty-four year old son, even though in truth he was much older than that. "Percy…" he began, struggling to find the words. And then he was at his side, ready to wrap his arms around him in a long anticipated hug.
However, Percy did not seem to be on the same mental train as him, because the second Poseidon got too close Percy whirled away, his arms tightening their hold on Hanna's body. "Don't. Touch. Me." He said darkly under his breath. Poseidon took a surprised step back, pain growing in his eyes as his long lost son.
"Percy," he said quietly, "please. I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to abandon you like that, I regretted it the second you went missing, please son, forgive me. None of us ever meant to drive you away.
As the god of the seas pleaded with his son Percy watched coolly with a bored expression, but when his father said the last bit. "You think I left because you all decided to ignore me?" he asked.
Poseidon nodded, "Of course. And we are all so sorry Percy, I-"
He was interrupted by a small scoff, that eventually became a small chuckle. At this point every eye was trained on Percy, even Alice's and Danny's, who were looking at him like he had gone mad. The only one who didn't seem surprised was Chaos, she was simply watching Percy with a sad smile.
When Percy finished laughing he looked back at his father, his eyes narrowed. "You really think you were the only reason I left?" He stated coldly. "Are you forgetting the most important detail?"
Poseidon reeled back, his mouth hanging open in surprise. Everyone listened carefully, not wanting to miss a single word that came out of Percy's mouth. Percy kept his gaze steady, not wavering at all as he continued. "You see, dad, as much as I loved you all, even after you started to ignore me, my mother had just died. You know, my mother, the one I had been with since birth, the one who raised me, the one I would go to whatever lengths to protect. She died, in such a mundane and horrible way, and I could do nothing to stop it. I had to get out, I had to leave. So, Black Jack and I packed our things and went. I was thinking about leaving a note but I doubted anyone would read it."
"Then why didn't you ever come back, Percy?" Thalia asked in a small voice.
Now Percy smiled, a real smile, lopsided and warm. "After about six years of constantly traveling and learning of different cultures I eventually stopped thinking about my home. The world became my home, I went wherever I wanted to. And then, shortly after my twenty-fourth birthday I was given a job offer," his eyes locked with Chaos, who smiled back at him proudly. "An offer I couldn't refuse."
At this point there wasn't a demi-god within ear shot who wasn't in complete shock. Somehow, after a lot of stuttering and mumbling to herself, Annabeth managed to find her voice. "But, why didn't you ever come back?" she asked in a voice that was barely audible.
Percy looked back at her, cold and uncaring. "Why would I?" he asked simply, with no malice or anger in his voice. "It's not like I really had a reason to, I figured none of you would want to see me. I doubted you would even recognize me. Plus that would be a lot of explaining that I don't really want to explain."
He looked down at Hanna as she stirred slightly, her eyes scrunched up as if she was trying to block something out and her hands moved slightly. Percy looked away from the campers and to Alice and Danny, who seemed to get the message. Percy turned his head back to the geek deities one last time, taking in his father's shock and pained expression, Zeus' anger, Athena's calculating eyes, no doubt trying to read what he was thinking.
"I need to let my companion rest," he said formally "we will let you know if we hear anything more on the whereabouts of Lucious or his army."
And with that he turned and left, heading towards Hanna's cabin without sending a single look back over his shoulder. Alice and Danny followed behind him with Chaos next to them, her dark dress trailing on the ground.
Percy sighed heavily and rubbed his eyes from his spot on the couch. That conversation was one of the worst things of his life. Why couldn't they just let it go? He had, over a thousand years ago.
"Keep your chin up bro," Danny said as he looked up. "They aren't done with you yet, they still want information."
Percy groaned and brought his head down on the coffee table in front of him- hard. The crack sounded around the room and Alice's head jerked up, her eyes glowing their eerie blue.
"Alice?" Danny asked, scrambling up from his chair and crouching down beside her. "Alice can you see me?"
She head snapped to look at him, though her eyes didn't seem to really see him. "Danny?" she whispered softly.
Danny nodded vigorously, relief flashing in his eyes. "Yes it's me," he said, "I'm right here." He grabbed one of her hands in both of his, trying to bring her back out of the bowels of her mind. Percy got up and walked over as well, coming to stand behind Danny.
"Percy?" Alice asked, and Percy found himself nodding gently, a soft yes escaping his lips.
Alice took a deep breath, closing her eyes for a minute before opening them again. "I'm okay." She said in a quiet voice. Her eyes continued to glow for a minute before turning back to their normal bright blue and fixed on Danny. "Thank you," she said.
Danny smiled, "Eh no problem." He let go of her hand and rubbed her head, "you are starting to grow on me, for a psychopath."
Alice brushed his hand off her head, "Ya, ya, ya." She looked up at Percy. "How's Hanna?"
Percy swallowed the lump in his throat and gestured to the couch where he had left her, Sheaka curled up on her chest as she slept on quietly.
"Oh," was all Alice managed.
Chaos slowly walked over to the three, bending down slightly to look closely at Alice. "How are you feeling?"
Alice shrugged. "Been better, been worse. I will be fine." She offered a small smile. "Sorry I worried you."
Chaos smiled back at her fondly and offered her hand, lifting Alice from her spot against the wall. Just then Sheaka whined softly and everyone's turned to watch just as Hanna's eyes opened slowly. Sheaka jumped to her paws and began licking her face happily, her fluffy tail wagging back and forth.
"Okay Sheaka, okay. I get it." Hanna laughed as she put her hands up to defend herself.
"How are you feeling?" Percy asked, by her side in a second.
Hanna turned her head to smile at him. "Fine. A little tired, but otherwise…" she looked into Percy's eyes and noticed how exhausted he looked. "What happened?"
From behind Percy Danny frowned, "Lucious thought it would be fun to reveal all of our identities, including Percy's."
Hanna's worried eyes instantly found Percy's, who looked back at her with a sad smile. "It's alright." He said softly, "It wasn't fun, but it could have been worse I suppose."
"How?" Danny asked, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "They were practically interrogating you for murder." He changed his voice to intimidate Poseidon. "Who are you and what have you done with the son I drove away thousands of years ago? Why have you changed?"
The others chuckled quietly as Chaos spoke up, "Be careful Danny, the Greek gods may be idiots but they are powerful idiots. Even you don't want to get on their bad side."
Danny shrugged, "Let them try, it would take a lot of them to hurt me that badly."
Alice stopped laughing and looked at him seriously, "Danny you should be careful what you say, we all know that even though we can heal ourselves we can still die if injured badly enough."
Hanna nodded, "Or if we're beheaded."
Danny waved his hand dismissively, "Alright, alright, I get it."
The room went quiet for a minute, before Percy turned to Chaos. "Chaos, what did you mean when you reminded Lucious of how he got him powers?"
Chaos sighed and closed her eyes as Hanna's gaze snapped to Percy. "What now?" she asked, "Which reminds me, when did you here Lady Chaos?"
"She got here shortly after you were knocked out, she was able to chase Lucious away, for now." Alice explained. "However that still doesn't answer Percy's question."
Percy's eyes locked on Chaos. "Lady Chaos?"
Chaos sighed once again and gestured to the couch. "I think you all better sit down."
Not sure what else to do, they all sat, Percy and Hanna taking the couch while Alice plopped down in a nearby armchair and Danny sat on the floor by her feet seeing as they were out of chairs by that point.
Chaos began to slowly pace by the small fireplace in the front of the room. "It was a long time ago, the day I first found Lucious. Of course, back then he wasn't called Lucious. I found him in the Egyptian desserts, when the world was still young and the pyramids had yet to be finished. He was the son of a slave, but since she could not care for him, she left him in the dessert to die." Chaos smiled sadly, "When I saw this happen I decided to take the child in, not feeling right with leaving him to such a fate. I named him Ralan, after the sun god his people worshiped, and raised him as my own son."
"What happened?" Alice asked.
"When I took him in, I blessed him with the gift of immortality and rejuvenation and entrusted him with the protection of this world as I could not always be here to look out for it. He, much like you, took on a name so that the world would know him. He was called Fear, for he was meant rid the world of all fear and doubt. He was, what some would call, the first Horsemen."
The room went deathly silent, the four assassins trying to take in and understand everything they had just been told. "So what went wrong?" Percy finally managed to ask.
Chaos shook her head slightly, "After he gained his strength and learned all I had to teach him, he went insane. He began to attack innocent people and careless with his duties. He let some places become overrun with monsters and horrible rulers. How do you think the Dark Ages came about?"
"No way," Danny breathed, "He was the cause of that?"
Chaos nodded, "He brought on the death of thousands of innocent lives and became obsessed with power, even going so far as to try and unlock an ancient evil I sealed away years before. He failed, but the cursed power seeped into his veins and added to his abilities, that is how he came to look like he does now."
"You mean he didn't always look like a piece of old lettuce?" Alice asked.
"No." Chaos shook her head, "He was like a son to me, but after that I knew I had let this go on for far too long. I did the only thing I could think to do, I sealed him away. I encased him in a magic spell, a spell strong enough to contain his powers and strength. However, it seems like he figured out how to get out, because otherwise we would not all be here today."
"I don't understand," Hanna asked, "Why didn't you just kill him?"
Chaos looked at her sadly, "How does a mother kill her own child? How does she simply end the life of the boy she watched grow to a man, a boy she once rocked to sleep and loved dearly? I planned to kill him, I really did, but when I looked at him I still saw that helpless little child, and it proved to be my weakness."
Hanna went silent after seeing the raw pain in Chaos' eyes, the mental anguish that must have haunted her now more than ever.
"However," Chaos continued. "Time has erased whatever emotions I used to feel when I look at him, and now he is threatening you, he should be wary of what is coming for him."
Suddenly as if on cue Alice became stiff in her seat. Her nails dug into the fabric of the arms rests and her eyes lit up into their iridescent blue. "Kira?" she asked to thin air. She nodded multiple times before her eyes dimmed back to their normal color and she looked at the others who were staring at her with slightly started expressions. "Kira was able the track down my dagger, I was seeing through her eyes just now."
"And?" Percy asked.
"I know where Lucious is hiding."
"Where?" Danny pressed, getting up and looking down at her eagerly.
She smiled up at him slightly, her eyes bright. "Egypt, or more specifically, the Pyramids."