Percy Jackson stalked back into his father's cabin while feeling at his absolute worst.
He'd battled the Minotaur, Ares the God of War, and the cyclops Polyphemus for starters. The fourteen-year-old boy had been betrayed by a person who he'd once called friend: Luke.
But now things were even worse: The entire cast of year-long Campers – minus Clarisse since she was curiously absent because of a quest Chiron had given her, but Percy was pretty sure that she hated his guts regardless – all blamed him for costing the Camp the Capture the Flag game against the Hunters, Thalia was now studiously ignoring him like the plague – refusing to even glance at him now – and Grover was off embarrassing himself for that nasty Huntress Zoë Nightshade, and to top it all off there's the small fact that the one person that the green-eyed boy was somewhat sure would've at least talked to him right now was gone.
That thought continued to send a hard pang in his chest every time he'd remembered it the past couple of days since Apollo had dropped them all back at Camp Half-Blood. Annabeth was gone. Vanished into the air, and that was the only way it could be described as, since he would've been able to sense her falling into the sea from that cliff face. Seeing her in that dream the other night didn't give him any assurances aside from the fact that she was actually alive.
This sucks, Percy thought sourly as he took out his blonde friend's Invisibility Cap and set it on his nightstand, right next to the lone trophy he kept: the Minotaur Horn which he used to kill the bull-like monstrosity two years ago. "I really need someone to talk to," he murmured aloud. "You'd probably have an idea, Wise Girl – what-with you being so smart and all."
Chiron had just left him after their little chat. Just because Zoë didn't want him to join them on their quest, he was being forced to go back home and wait out the winter for news on whether or not his friend was still alive or not, and that didn't sit well with him. Not at all. He just knew he needed to be on this quest, but Chiron had just about ordered him home, and he really didn't want to distrust the centaur's advice. Percy couldn't just sit on his hands though, it wasn't in his nature.
The black-haired boy then looked to the back of the cabin and stared at the new water basin. The stress was beginning to claw at him, and he desperately needed to talk to someone and he's supposed to call his mother and let her know he'll be coming home now, so he walked over to the small pool of saltwater and pulled out a single golden drachma from beneath its surface.
The young demigod then placed the drachma Chiron had given him into his pants' pocket so that he could call his mom later, and stood there and pondered on who he should try to talk to. "Tyson?" he asked himself. He shook his head and reminded himself, "No. I just called him yesterday and he told me that he was getting really busy now. I'll try Mom as a last option. Dad?
"Why not?" he shrugged. "It's been two years since we've actually talked, hasn't it? I know Tyson said that he's busy now, but it can't hurt to see if he'll accept the call. If he can't talk, then I'll try mom.
"Iris," he began the chant for the I.M., "O' Goddess of the Rainbow, accept my offering." As he recited the required chant, he tossed the drachma in his hand into the misty rainbow he'd just created. "Show me Poseidon: God of the Seas. I…don't really know where he is right now. Try either Olympus or Atlantis… I think."
The misty haze remained black in front of him for a full minute. The young child of Poseidon wanted to be patient, but his ingrained battle instincts – or his A.D.H.D., in other words – refuse to let him stay still for very long. His eyes flickered over to the damaged shield his half-brother had made for him last summer, then to the blank mist, then over to his nightstand, and then back to the attempted Iris Message.
Percy let out a resigned sigh. "I guess he can't talk," he mumbled bitterly. "And just when I want to get some advice he's –"
The son of Poseidon stopped as he heard that voice come from the mist in front of him. "D-Dad?" he called back, unsure of his ears. It had been a while, but he didn't actually believe that the God of the Seas would accept the call.
"Thank the gods," his father let out a relieved breath as his face showed up in front of his demigod child. "I'm sorry, but Triton had me in a war meeting so I had to hurry it up and finish it before I could talk."
"Huh?" was the child's reply.
A grim smile was on his father's face as he said, "War is coming to the seas, Percy. My predecessors are on the rise, and I must prepare for them. I also had to make sure that Zeus wasn't listening in on us."
"Why would he do that?"
A small chuckle came from the God of the Seas as he slightly smiled. "My brother doesn't like it when we gods have contact with our mortal children."
"Don't really know," Poseidon answered with a shrug. "My brother has always been the paranoid one in the family." A few rumbles of thunder echoed in the sky. "He likes to monitor all I.M.s going into and out of Olympus because he's afraid one of us will end up plotting with our children to take over his seat of power. He forgets that not even Heracles was ever powerful enough to challenge him directly, and none of us have children even half as strong as he was just yet.
"So, why'd you call, Percy?" his father asked nicely.
He didn't know what the cause was, but Poseidon's mortal child suddenly felt unbearably angry at seeing his father's face. "Geez, I don't know," he said to his father with barely-restrained rage. "It might have to do with my friend being in danger. It could be because I know that I have to be on this quest that Thalia, Grover, and those three Huntresses are going on. Or, maybe it's the fact that you – haven't – been – there –for me!"
The God wearing the Hawaiian shirt winced at his child's angry voice. "Listen, Percy –" he tried to say before the furious boy continued on.
"But it's true!" Percy howled. "I can understand that you have your job to do, I really can, but that doesn't excuse your total absence in my life! And don't even get me started on all the pain Mom's felt! Is it really that hard to just send something, anything!? A letter once in a while!?"
Poseidon's bearded face was unreadable as he asked, "Are you finished?"
"No," the demigod snorted. "But I can hold off the rest for now."
"Percy," the father began to speak affectionately. "I know. Everything. All you just said is true, and I'm truly sorry I haven't been there for you when you needed me."
"I didn't need you there all the time," he informed his father. "But I would've like to at least seen you once or twice. Yes, I felt better whenever I was around water, but that's not the same, father."
"I… I know, Percy," Poseidon relented with a depressed sigh. "It's just… If you'd known about me, then –"
"Yeah, yeah, I know already," the fourteen-year-old drawled. "Monsters would've come for me. Newsflash: Even when I didn't know, they still found me! At least now I can protect myself and mom!"
"Son, I'm sorry," the God reiterated. "I know many things need to be said, but if all you're going to do is yell at me then I've got other things I need to do."
Immediately, Percy's anger vanished into thin air and he felt like a small child needing his father once his mind had fully processed what he'd just been told. "Wait!" he nearly pleaded as his father made to sever the connection between them. "I…could use some advice, dad," he admitted in a small voice.
An affectionate smile graced the Sea God's tanned face as he asked, "What is it, son?"
"A bunch of stuff has happened."
"Tell me everything, my boy," Poseidon prompted him to start.
Percy settled himself on the edge of his bed, and he did just so. He was glad to be able to speak with his dad and hopefully get some good fatherly advice.
"So that's all?" Poseidon asked as Percy had just finished telling him about choosing to try and give him a call.
"That's it," Percy answered with an affirmative nod.
"So, in summary," his father began to recount what he'd just been told. "You, my niece, and your friend were called to help bring a few Half-Bloods to Camp, and while there you all encountered the Manticore. You were able to rescue the two with Artemis' assistance, but you lost Athena's child. My fellow Olympian then left and Apollo, of all people, took you all and Artemis' Hunters to Camp Half-Blood. Then you had a dream where you realized where your friend is in danger. Then you had the customary C.T.F. game, and everyone thinks you're the reason you lost. Finally, now my niece, the satyr who found you, and three of little Arty's girls are going on the quest you believe you should be on."
"Arty?" the green-eyed son parroted. A small bit of amusement made it into his mind as he wondered how the graceful Goddess of the Hunt would take being called that by his father.
"My immortal niece," Poseidon answered.
"I gathered as much," Percy grinned. "And… yeah, that's all of it." His green eyes then blinked as he realized how easily his father had explained in a few seconds what had taken him a few hours to tell. "Oh, and don't forget how everyone hates me."
Poseidon's own sea-green eyes rolled. "Okay, so what is it you want advice on, Percy? You don't need as much as you think."
"The way you explained things makes it seem to me that you can't do much, Percy," his father explained. "I mean the Oracle of Delphi herself actually walked out to personally deliver a prophecy to Zoë, and it doesn't look like you're included in this one."
"But," he tried to protest, "my friend's in trouble, dad! I can't just leave her to die! I have to do something!"
"Gods," the God grumbled under his breath as he smacked his face, "Athena was right. I can't tell you not to go, but I do advise against it, Percy. A few people have tried to interfere with prophecies from the outside before, and the results are not pretty."
"But I can't just let Annabeth die, dad!" Percy insisted. "We've been through too much together for me to just abandon her!"
Poseidon took in and let out a tired breath. "Just as stubborn as me," he murmured. "Alright," he relented. "If you're so insistent on intruding, then the least I can do is offer you this: You, Percy, have the greatest affinity for all of my godly abilities out of all of my children – immortal or no."
"What do you mean?" Percy asked him curiously.
"I'm afraid I can't say more," the God of the Seas revealed cryptically. "Just…think about what-I-just-said's meaning, okay, Percy?"
Percy's green eyes widened as he finally thought about the potential his father's words revealed to him. "Are you saying," he asked, "that I could do most of what you can do, dad? That I'm not just able to –"
"I can't say," his father interjected.
"What can you say then?" Percy asked, his impatience beginning to bubble over at not being able to get a straight answer from his father.
"Nothing further on that," his father informed him. "It wouldn't help your development if I just told you everything, Percy. Most of the fun is in discovering the powers for yourself anyways," he told his child with a mischievous gleam in his eyes.
The corners of the demigod's lips twitched upwards as he remembered his accidental first usage and inadvertent discovery of his control over water over two years ago. "Yeah," he finally agreed. "It is more fun that way. I wonder if Thalia is prepared to be my unwilling test dummy."
The pair of father and son both chuckled together. Poseidon calmed down first and said with a noticeable hint of amusement in his sea-green eyes and his voice, "Now, take it easy on her, Percy."
"No permanent damage," the son conceded with mirth in his eyes.
Thunder rumbled in the sky.
"It seems," the God continued to chuckle, "that my brother doesn't like that." He let out one last laugh before saying, "It's been great talking to you, my son. Unfortunately, Oceanus' forces grow larger and I must return to my duties."
"It…was great to finally get to talk to you, dad," Percy told him with an affectionate smile. "I really needed that."
"My boy," Poseidon told him, "I am always around. Even if you do not see me, even if you believe I can't help you, remember that you are my son. And out of all my children so far, you are my favorite, Percy."
"I'm honored, dad," the green-eyed youth answered respectfully.
"It's not about honor, it's about you, my boy," the Sea God said to him. "Also, before I go, there is one other thing I wish to tell you."
"What is it?"
"Before you go off and join this quest without permission," the God grinned at his son, "remember this: The Sea never forgets her children; even if her children believe that she's abandoned them, she still remembers."
What's that about? Percy silently wondered. He scratched his head, unsure of his father's meaning, as he said, "Uh… Thanks, I guess. I'll remember that."
"I hope you will, my boy," the God of the Sea told him with a grim frown. "I truly hope that you do."
And with that ominous farewell, the Iris Message shimmered out of reality, leaving the Son of Poseidon standing over the fountain with an out-of-place-on-him contemplative look on his face.
What was dad alluding to? Percy wondered. "Whatever it's supposed to be, it sounded important," he voiced his thoughts. "Might it have to do with –"
Knock. Knock. Knock.
A heavy pounding on his cabin's front door interrupted his avenue of thought. "Who is it?" he called to the door in response.
Boss! Blackjack's voice screamed in his head. Open up, boss! Big trouble! Need your help!
"Blackjack!" Percy exclaimed in recognition. The son of the Sea God then bounded across his cabin and threw open the door. "What is it?"
Big trouble! the black Pegasus repeated. Climb on boss, I'll take you where you're needed.
The green-eyed demigod let out a resigned sigh. This is the thirteenth time this month, he mentally whined. "Alright," he relented weakly before climbing onto the back of his trusted friend. "Let's go then, Blackjack."
Hold on tight, boss! His steed told him as the horse's hind legs flexed for take-off. We're gonna be moving quick!
Percy gripped Blackjack's mane with his hands tightly and squeezed the black midsection with his heels in order to prevent himself from being blown off. Being the child of the being whom created horses and – through them – Pegasi gave him good natural horse-riding instincts, but Blackjack's speed had nearly blown him off multiple times while in flight before.
The Pegasus underneath him extended his majestic wings and gave them a powerful flap, creating a small breeze that whispered in the clearing and made the trees lean slightly. Blackjack then reared up before slamming his front hoofs into the ground and began to gallop forward.
Percy felt the air begin to cut into his face with more and more ferocity as his steed flapped his wings and picked up speed on the ground. Maybe I should've brought a windbreaker, the young demigod thought in a morbid humor as the black Pegasus kicked his front hooves off of the ground with his wings beating steadily as the pair of Pegasus and rider took to the air.
As he was the son of the Sea God, the moisture in the air during the brief flight didn't stick to him and freeze him while flying; that was the lucky part, as it kept him from being covered in ice as the air whipped on him in below freezing temperatures. Unluckily, he couldn't command the wind that sent icy tendrils of air through his clothes and made him feel as though he was stuck in a meat freezer.
Even with the cold though, very little could ever offer Percy the same elation that he felt every time he and Blackjack flew together. Being able to skim over the salty waves of the sea, while traveling at speeds no sports car could even come close to, sent adrenaline swimming through his veins. As more seawater sprayed onto his face, with each drop allowing him a small sense of serenity, Percy closed his eyes and smiled.
"Nothing will ever beat flying," Percy murmured to himself.
Boss! Blackjack screamed. We're here!
The black-haired demigod's sea-green eyes opened at his partner's words. He glanced downwards and noticed that the Pegasus was beating his wings in a slow, steady rhythm as they both circled over a small area of saltwater.
Straight down, the Pegasus informed him. The hippocampi are waiting for you below.
"Thanks," Percy grumbled as he brought both of his legs to one side of the horse's body. He heard his steed whinny once as he then threw himself off and fell straight down.
Being the son of Poseidon, the icy seawater welcomed his presence with a semi-warm embrace as Percy splashed into the sea. The young demigod then redirected himself directly downwards like Blackjack had told him and willed the currents to propel him into the blackness below.
The speedy ocean currents which he manipulated shot him straight down at speeds no sea vessel could ever reach. Murky blackness shot by him as he continued to descend straight down to the seafloor.
As Percy neared the bottom, he slowed his descent as he noticed the figures of three white-haired horses whose hind-quarters were fish tails. These were the real sea-horses: the Hippocampi.
The three hippocampi were swimming in a semi-frantic fashion in equal distance from one another in a perfect circle, as if they were highlighting a certain area for him to look at. The sea-horses' tails glimmered in the faint moonlight that had managed to filter down through the layers of seawater in all the different hues of the rainbow. They were truly majestic creatures with a wonderful natural beauty about them, regardless of their palpable nervousness.
The black-haired demigod child tore his gaze away from the mythological creatures and focused his eyes in on where the three hippocampi were circling. He immediately recognized an overturned boat – not too large, but he could tell that it had once been a fishing vessel. As he swam closer, he noticed something underneath the sunken ship.
Percy swam further and saw that something was tangled in a fishing net and the creature was wedged halfway under the boat. The young demigod frowned as he inspected the scene. I really hate those things, he thought about the net.
His green eyes darted around and noticed how hopelessly stuck the poor creature really was, and he grew a little worried for the entangled animal's fate as he realized that the hull of the wreckage was close to falling off of the rock it was on and that it would fall directly onto the entangled sea creature he was supposed to save.
The hippocampi neighed in anxiety and worry as the hull of the sunken ship creaked while the captured creature continued to squirm around in a vain attempt to free itself from the net. One of the horses swam over and tried gnawing on the ropes of the net, but it couldn't accomplish anything, so it whinnied in worry and disappointment before swimming back to join its brethren.
One of the frantic fish-tailed horses noticed Percy's approach and begged him, Free it, lord!
The son of Poseidon gave the trio an affirmative nod before swimming closer towards the small entanglement. It kinda looks like a baby hippocampus, he noted at first glance. But baby hippocampi don't –
"Moo!" the creature wailed in pain.
"…do that," he finished aloud. The demigod swam around the sunken boat and the creature's entire form was revealed to him.
Percy's green eyes blinked, uncertain if what he was seeing was actually real. He rubbed his eyes to make sure that he wasn't seeing things, but once he removed his hands he noticed that he wasn't hallucinating at all: He was really looking at a true sea-cow.
This thing had to be some kind of mythological creature, as no other explanation made any sense to him. It was a literal sea-cow, not a manatee. It had the torso and head of a black calf that looked as if it'd just been born very recently. The creature's black fur, big brown eyes, and white muzzle were accompanied by a back-end that was black, scaly, and serpent-like in appearance that had some fins going up its entire length. The closest way Percy could come up with which would fit the creature was that he was looking at what you would get if you combined a cow and an eel.
"Hey there, little one," Percy greeted the bovine-ish creature kindly as he reached into his jeans' pocket slowly. "Where did you come from?"
The young creature merely looked at him with sad eyes and mournfully cried, "Moo!"
Well that's…odd, he thought. Usually I can at least hear some surface thoughts of any sea creature, but I'm getting nothing from her.
We don't know what it is, one of the hippocampi informed him. Many strange things have been stirring.
"So I've heard," the demigod mumbled as he thought back to what the manticore had said to him on that last rescue mission.
He pulled out a brown pen from his pocket and uncapped it. The small pen then extended and in length and transformed into his meter-long, celestial bronze sword, Riptide.
The cow-serpent's eyes went wide with terror as it witnessed the blade appear. It let out a panicky howl as it began to wildly thrash around in an attempt to hurriedly untangle itself, but ended up only getting itself further and further restrained by the fishing net.
"Whoa! Whoa!" Percy cried to the creature currently freaking out. "I'm not going to hurt you! I'm just going to cut the net!"
However, either the cow-serpent didn't hear him or didn't believe him, as it continued to crash underneath the net wildly in a desperate attempt to free itself and flee from the blade. Percy looked up as he heard the downed ship's hull creak and groan as it began to shift and became even closer to falling on top of the entangled sea creature due to its frantic movements.
The hippocampi decided to join in on the panic then, as they began to frantically gallop around in the water. Their wild movements caused the water to shift and a small current began to push on the sunken ship, further complicating things by contributing to it potentially crushing the helpless cow-like creature.
"Okay, okay!" Percy tried to assure all four of the panicking creatures by speaking as firm, but calm, as he could. He quickly capped Riptide and the blade quickly shrunk down into its pen form and he hurriedly put it away. He then held up his hands for the cow to see and said, "It's cool. No sword, see? No sword."
The son of Poseidon then began to calm the frantic creatures by speaking to the slowly-calming sea-cow with serene nothings. He doubted that the bovine could understand what he was saying, but it responded to his tone and eventually returned to a semi-calm state.
Free it, lord! All three hippocampi pleaded with him at once, causing him a small headache.
"I'm on it," Percy told them. "Just let me think for a minute."
The demigod's eyes flickered all around him, taking in everything he saw: The dangerous closeness of the ship to finally falling, the cautious stare of the cow, and the skittish and nervous three hippocampi above him. As his gaze fell back to the sunken vessel, Percy recalled what his father had told him earlier and an idea appeared in his head.
The hippocampi aren't calm enough, he noted with a small frown. They may not be able to do what I need 'em to exactly. I guess I'll try it solo then. "Hold tight," the child of Poseidon said to every creature present. "I'm going to get you out of that net, Bessie."
Did that cow just sound annoyed? Percy thought in shock. He shook his head to get rid of those thoughts before saying to nobody in particular, "Here goes nothing."
The young demigod then felt the sea around him and began to redirect as many of the currents as he possible could. The tugging sensation in his gut became slightly painful and caused him to slightly wince as he forced half of the currents to push the ship up off of the downed bovine and the other half of the currents focused on pushing the hunk of steel back towards a somewhat stable place to leave it.
The metallic ship groaned in protest as the pressure around it increased due to Percy's powers and he grit his teeth as he began to feel sweat fall down his face from his effort. He dug his feet into the seafloor, kicking up some loose dirt into the sea around him, and used his hands to direct the flow of all the currents he was controlling. The painful tug in his stomach kept on growing and he began to wonder the merits of attempting this alone, but he forced himself to keep at it and succeed.
Aside from the metallic hull's groaning, the sea around the son of Poseidon was deathly quiet as he continued to press onwards. Each of the hippocampi were murmuring amongst themselves in awe at seeing their lord push himself so far to save a fellow sea creature, while the cow-serpent he came here to save was staring at him with wide, astonished eyes.
"I'm the son of Poseidon," Percy reminded himself. "The God of the Sea, Lord of Sea-Storms, and the Earthshaker. I will do this, if only to prove to myself that I am – the – strongest!"
Percy let out a great war cry as the tugging pain in his stomach began to reach nearly unbearable levels.
"I…won't…lose!" the young child of Poseidon roared as he brought both of his hands above his head in a quick upwards sweeping motion, directing all of the currents under his command to force the ship off of the cow so the hippocampi could pull the captured creature away from the danger of being crushed by three tons of steel.
The force of each current doubled at his will and pushed with such force that the metal ship offered one last great moan in protest before being sent soaring off into the murky depths at great speeds. The sunken vessel's metallic hull colliding with a seawall out of sight rang out through the waters so loud that the three hippocampi neighed and whinnied in panic before galloping around and acting like dogs that were afraid of thunder.
All-of-a-sudden, Percy's body felt like it weighed ten tons. His limbs felt like they were limp noodles trying to move around in frozen jell-o. He was beyond exhausted after his effort.
The black-haired young demigod swayed from side to side as he tried to keep standing. As he looked over, he noticed the cow-serpent's net had been blown off of it somehow and the creature's big, brown eyes were looking at him in awe.
"I'm…not much, Bessie," he tiredly told the sea-serpent. As he swayed too far forward and began to fall to the seafloor, he asked the sea, "Did you see that…dad?"
A pair of slender arms caught the young child of the Sea as he fell and the last thing he heard before darkness took him, "He did, Percy Jackson, and he couldn't be prouder."
A small smile graced his face as his eyes closed shut and he passed out from exhaustion.
A/N: Welcome all, to my attempt at a Percy Jackson fic! In case you didn't know, this story begins in the Third Book The Titan's Curse right after Percy is told to call his mother by Chiron once the quest to rescue Artemis is called forth.
I hope you all enjoy it, as I know I have already. Let me know what you think.