(Author's Note: I'm going to stop updating The House of Hades because the actual House of Hades book has been released, and let's face it, Rick Riordan's version is obviously better than mine, and people are more willing to read his version, so even if I continue updating there is no audience for me. I am of course, sad about not being about to continue with House of Hades, because I was coming up with some pretty great ideas, but fear not, some of my story ideas that was going to be put in the House of Hades is going to be included in this story, which takes place after my version of the House of Hades.
In other news, ever since Nico revealed his crush on Percy in Rick Riordan's version of the House of Hades, I've been a Percy/Nico supporter, as well as a Percy/Annabeth supporter, so this means I support Percy/Annabeth/Nico, and yes this is a three-way pairing, and I hope those guys get together in canon.
And speaking of Percy/Nico, I've made a music video dedicated to them, the link can be found on my profile.)
As he ran through the darkness, Percy could see a figure up ahead. When he got closer, he could see that she had a wrinkly green jacket over torn jeans. Her wild brown hair had grey streaks in them, her brown eyes (which had bags underneath them) which were once so full of life were now dull, and there was dried blood on her face and clothes.
His eyes widened as he realised who it was. "Mum!"
She gazed at him with her dull eyes, and Percy felt like she was seeing through him; as if he was being x-rayed.
"Percy…is that you?...Is it really you?"
"It's me," Percy said. "I swear on Styx it's me! What are you doing here, Mum? What happened to you?"
"They tortured me," she said softly. "Gaea dragged me here to be tortured…"
Sally's voice trailed off, and tears formed in her eyes. She wiped them away with her hand, but more kept coming. As she cried, the story came out.
After Percy was reported missing, she became worried. All kinds of horrible thoughts came into her mind about what might've happened to him, and those feelings made it hard for her to live her day to day life, she had trouble concentrating and sleeping. The lack of sleep made her tired all the time and more irritable, so she had to compensate by drinking a lot of coffee. But that didn't really help, the caffeine made her more restless. She found it harder to concentrate at work, her anxiety about Percy grew, and sometimes the coffee gave her nausea. Her worries over Percy made Sally lose her motivation to do stuff; she was bullshitting her way through work, she started to live on pizza and microwavable TV dinners, and she became withdrawn, as she found it harder to interact with people.
Luckily, Paul was understanding of the situation. He tried his best to keep her optimistic, but she could tell that as time went on, his hope waned too. And if that wasn't bad enough, she started to receive vivid nightmares that involved getting her own skin peeled off with a potato peeler, her arms rotting and falling off, having her tongue cut off with scissors, being beaten into a bloody pulp with a baseball bat, right to the point where every single bone in her body was broken, having her fingers and toes chewed off by a swarm of wetas, and having her eyes gouged out with a spork.
She would wake up screaming, and when she tried to fall asleep again, she'd hear footsteps across the hall, getting closer and closer until she could hear the doorknob turning, and then the bedroom door would fling open.
Normally that would be it, but these events started to escalate. After the door was flung open, there would be growling sounds in the bedroom, which would wake Paul as well.
It got worse. They soon received scratches and bruises from the invisible entity that invaded their home, and said entity would often speak to them. It urged Paul to leave, telling him that he was just a regular mortal who didn't need to be involved, but Paul ignored it, insisting that he wouldn't abandon Sally. The invisible entity then became violent. It started to punch and kick them around.
One night, the entity took on physical form, as a corpse version of Percy, with maggots and beetles crawling in his decaying flesh, eyeballs popping out of his sockets, his tongue hanging out, his fingernails chipped and falling off, and his clothes all torn up. Corpse Percy warned Paul, telling him it was his last chance to escape, for he only wanted Sally. Once again, Paul refused to back out, angering Corpse Percy. In response, he lashed out at Paul, who tried to fight back, but he was out-matched. Corpse Percy was beating him up when he told Sally to run, while he held him off.
After she bolted out the door, she could hear all sorts of sounds coming from their flat, but she ignored them, as she ran down the hall. She got into the elevator, which took her into the parking lot, where she got into her car and drove off.
She headed for Montauk beach, where she called out to Poseidon for help, but she got no response. She cried out in despair, and at that moment, the sand beneath her feet started to stir, and before she could get away, the sand began to pull her down. She knew this was not normal sand, and then, like a kick to the stomach, it hit her. She realised who was behind this.
"…And then Gaea spoke to me," Sally remembered. "I still remember every word she said."
Sally's mind recalled that terrible night at Montauk beach, where she struggled helplessly as the sand grabbed on to her body, and dragged her down as if it had fingers. While she fought against the sand, an ancient voice called out to her.
"Normally I just ignore mortals, but this time I'll make an exception. You see, I need you in order to get Percy. When I capture him, I want him to break down, I want him to cry. Tartarus should do the job, but it still won't be good enough for me. Before I sacrifice him and another demigod (hopefully it's Annabeth) to revive me, I want to torture him, I want to break him. And in order to get him into that mental state, I'm going to use you. Oh, and by the way, don't ask Poseidon for help, he doesn't care at all about you."
"….So that's how I ended up here," Sally said. "They tortured me, exactly the way I dreamt it…it was horrible, I just wanted to die. But they wouldn't let me, in order to keep torturing me as long as they could, I was fed fire from the Phlegethon river at the end of they day, so my injuries would heal. And then, the pain would start all over again."
Percy gritted his teeth, and he clenched his fists. As his anger grew, his clench became tighter and tighter, right to the point where his nails were digging painfully into his palms.
"That bitch!" he shouted. "That goat fucking, shit eating bitch! I'll fucking put her to sleep!...Permanently! And I'll fucking kill those giants! I'll make them wish they were never born!"
"That's big talk for such a puny hero," a voice said. Percy glanced around, but he couldn't see anyone around him, and his ears couldn't pinpoint where the voice was coming from either.
Sensing his confusion, the voice continued to talk. "You're in Tartarus, and yet you have the audacity to boast like that. You demigods have been killing us for centuries, and you're letting it all go to your head, always thinking that you're unbeatable and better than everyone else. You need to be taught a lesson in humility. "
All of a sudden, something (or was it someone?) appeared behind Sally. He was tall and muscular, with white fur all over his body, a bull's head, long curved horns, and although he was standing on two legs like a human, he had hooves rather than feet. This guy was also carrying a spiked club, and he was wearing white underwear with a Fruit of the Loom label.
Sally turned around. "You!"
"I killed you!" Percy said. "Twice!"
"Hmph," the Minotaur snarled. "Kill me thrice and I'll give you a gold star! Now you'll see what Gaea meant when said she'd use your mother to break you!"
He raised his club, and Percy had been in enough fights to know what was about to happen next. He tried to move his arm to draw Riptide, but he couldn't. His body was paralyzed. He could feel sweat running down his face, as he watched the Minotaur slam the spiked club into Sally's eyes, forehead and nose. The spikes sank into her skin, causing blood to pour out. Sally cried out in pain.
"STOP IT!" yelled Percy. He was surprised to find out that he could still speak. His mouth still worked, and he tried to move his arms and legs again, but he couldn't. "LEAVE MY MUM OUT OF THIS!"
The Minotaur ignored him. He pulled the club out, and Percy could see the damage it had done. There were holes poked in the pupils and irises of her eyes, nose and forehead, with blood flowing out of the wounds, and down to her cheeks.
His jaw dropped open. He was speechless, as the Minotaur raised his club again, and hit Sally in the face with it. This time, he forced the spiked club into her mouth. She winced as she felt the pain when the spikes penetrated her tongue and the roof of her mouth. The Minotaur shoved the club deeper into her mouth, until her jaw couldn't open up any wider to accommodate the club. Ignoring her muffled screams, the Minotaur shoved the club deeper and deeper, until he heard a distinct crack.
The Minotaur then pulled the club out, ripping off her tongue, a few chunks of skin, and letting the blood rush out. Percy could see that her jaw was broken; it was hanging open, with blood trickling out of her mouth, and dripping onto the ground.
He wanted to run to her side, and beat the shit out of the Minotaur for hurting her, but he simply couldn't move, no matter how hard he tried.
Tartarus! He thought. This must be the effect of Tartarus! There's no other explanation for this! I don't; I never freeze with fear!
The Minotaur put his hand into her mouth, and he ripped her lower jaw off. Blood gushed out, and with a smirk, the Minotaur threw the jaw at Percy, whose eyes widened with shock.
"Don't worry" the Minotaur said, clearly enjoying Percy's misery. "There's more, much more to come."
He raised his club again, and he swung it right into her neck. Sally could feel the pain once again as the spikes dug into her neck. But now her privilege of screaming was denied, due to her tongue getting ripped off, so she was forced to endure in silence. A few seconds later, the Minotaur pulled the club out, and Sally bled like crazy. The blood streamed down her jacket, staining it red permanently. But it did not stop there, the blood got to her jeans, and eventually onto the floor. A few seconds later, she fell to the ground.
"NO!" Percy shouted. "NO! NO! NOOOOO!"
The Minotaur threw his head back and laughed.
"YOU BASTARD!" Percy screamed. "YOU KILLED MY MUM! I'LL FUCKING RIP YOUR HEAD OFF!"
"Do it then," the Minotaur challenged. "Go on, I dare you. Take out your pretty little sword and kill me."
Percy gave him a death glare; it was all he could do at the moment.
"Oh right, I forgot" the Minotaur said, with a grin. "You're still paralyzed, and you can't do anything except watch, like a useless sack of pota‒no wait, that's an insult to potatoes. But you get the point, right?"
He placed his spiked club onto the floor, knelt down, and leaned his face a few inches away from her stomach. He opened his mouth, revealing his T-Rex-like fangs, and he bit into her body, tearing through her clothes and skin. Neither Percy nor the Minotaur knew this, but Sally was still conscious, and she could feel everything as the Minotaur's teeth bit through her flesh. Blood flowed out of her body, and onto the ground, forming a small pool.
With his fangs, the Minotaur grabbed onto her intestines, and he started to slurp them, like they were spaghetti, ignoring the fact that they were filled with half digested food and feces.
Percy's jaw dropped, and his vision was getting blurry, tears were forming in his eyes. He couldn't see exactly which organ Minotaur was eating, but he could hear the chomping, as the Minotaur bit into Sally. The tears ran down his face, as the Minotaur continued to tear through her body with his teeth, eating various organs, and letting her blood spill onto the Tartarus ground. Sally's body changed from just bloody to unrecognizable, with her intestines, stomach, and a bunch of other organs that Percy didn't recognize hanging out, and she was laying in a pool of her own blood.
"NO!" Percy cried. "NOOOOOO!"
His eyes opened, and Percy could feel something wet on his face.
Oh…I was crying…must've been crying in real life as I cried in my dream….
He sat up, and he looked at the alarm on the nightstand. Ugh….it's 4 am….
He lied back down, and closed his eyes, but he didn't want to go back to sleep. He didn't want the dream to come back. Normally, once he woke up and went back to sleep, he wouldn't get the same dream, but ever since his experience in Tartarus, he'd been having recurring nightmares of the place, and in his dreams, he'd see his mum being tortured, himself being tortured, Annabeth being tortured, or a combination of the three.
And they never go away….Percy thought. No matter how hard I try to forget them…they'll always be stuck in my head; I just can't unsee them, even though it's been three years since then.
He sighed. I need a fucking drink, he decided.
Percy got up from his bed, and he made his way into the kitchen, ignoring the mess in his small, rented flat. There was dust, crumbs, beer cans, take-out boxes, empty plastic ramen bowls, and napkins all over the floor. Dirty clothes stacked up on some of the chairs, and garbage piled up in the wastebasket. And it wasn't just his flat that was a mess; he was a mess too, on the inside and out. Percy had been wearing and sleeping in the same jeans and orange T-shirt for god knows how long.
He opened the fridge. Aside from a nearly empty bag of cheese flavoured Goldfish crackers, there wasn't any food in the fridge; just a six-pack of beer, and a bottle of vodka.
Looks like I'll have to get more soon, he thought, as he took out the vodka, and closed the fridge door. Better get my fake ID ready.
He grabbed a glass that was on the counter poured the vodka into it, and he started to drink, trying to forget all the stuff that happened to him, from losing Sally, to going through Tartarus, to being forced to let Annabeth go, to losing Frank, Hazel, and Leo, to being betrayed by his own father.….
Percy stared at the calm, blue water as it hit the sand of the Camp beach in waves. For a moment, he felt better but he knew that when he left the beach, the bitter memories of his quest and Tartarus would come back, and he'd be miserable again.
He cleared his mind, and then he closed his eyes in a prayer to Poseidon. Dad, I need to talk to you in person. It's important, I think you'll want to hear this…it's about Mum…
He opened his eyes, and he could see ripples forming across the water, as if someone had thrown a stone into it. Seconds later, he saw a man (who looked like an older and angrier version of him) rising from the water, and then walking towards him.
"What do you want?" he asked. "And make it quick, will you? I'm busy, and I don't have time for this."
"Hey, Dad it's been a while," Percy said. "So…we've managed to unite the two camps and put Gaea back to sleep, but…."
"Yes?" Poseidon asked. "I don't have all day you know."
"Mum…Mum's dead," Percy said. "I saw her in Tartarus, and….the Minotaur…it killed her."
Before Poseidon could say anything else, Percy told him the story of how he and Annabeth fell into Tartarus, how he met his mum while he was there, and how all he could do was watch as the Minotaur clubbed, and then ate her.
"…I just thought you should know," Percy said.
"Huh…" Poseidon responded. "Is that all? Geez, I thought it was something really important. Well, I gotta get back to….you know, work. See ya."
Huh? Percy thought. That's his reaction? I tell him Mum's dead, and he's….
"Don't you care?" Percy asked. I thought you would, otherwise I wouldn't be here, telling you about it!
"What do mean 'don't I care?' " Poseidon asked.
"Mum's dead, and you're acting like nothing happened!" Percy responded, feeling anger swell inside him.
"What do you want me to say?" Poseidon replied in a hard voice. "How do you want me to react?"
"Maybe you should act like you actually give a shit!" Percy said. "Instead of being so goddamn apathetic about it!"
Poseidon narrowed his eyes. For a moment, it seemed like he was going to hit Percy, but then he sighed and closed his eyes. A second later, he opened them.
"Percy, this is going to be hard for you to hear, but…look Percy, I have to tell you something…I've been hiding it for a while...I guess I can't hide it forever…"
"What it is?"
Poseidon sighed again. "I can't lie to you forever, Percy. The truth has to come out some time, and it might as well be now. The things is…I don't care about Sally Jackson…or you for that matter."
Percy's eyes grew wide in shock. His mind became blank for a second; this was one of those rare times he couldn't think of anything to say.
"Oh, don't give me that look," Poseidon said. "Sally was just another mortal; she was just another one night stand, and I've had a lot of one night stands over the years….the point is, there's nothing special about her. She wasn't a friend, we weren't even that close! She wasn't a family member either, so why would I care what happens to her?"
"You're….you're joking right?" Percy replied. "This has got to be a joke of some kind!"
"But I'm just being truthful," Poseidon said. "I never cared for either one of you. Sorry, but that's just the way it is."
"Goddamn it!" Percy yelled. "Stop acting like this! This isn't you!"
You've never acted like this before, he thought. You're definitely not yourself today. You're like a completely different person….and it feels so….weird. I mean, I haven't seen or spoken to you ever since I defeated Kronos, and now you're just being so goddamn rude…
"I'm just showing my true colours, Percy" Poseidon said. "I'm tired of pretending to actually care for you and Sally."
"I'll say this again, Percy" Poseidon repeated. "I don't care about you or your mum. If you died in a fire or something like that, I wouldn't mourn either one of your deaths."
"Dad…you're seriously acting really weird," Percy said. "Are you…"
He was reminded of the time Annabeth told him about the time she met Athena at the train station, except it wasn't Athena; it was Minerva.
"Are you Neptune?"
Ever since the two camps allied with each other to defeat Gaea and the Athena Parthenos was returned, the gods were able to go from Greek to Roman (and vice versa) without getting headaches.
"No, I'm Poseidon" his dad answered.
There was a pause before Percy started talking again. "So what you're basically saying is that you never cared for me or my mum? But what about when you said that my mum was a queen amongst mortals? And what about that time at my birthday when you said that I was your favourite son?"
Poseidon laughed. "Oh man, you actually believed that? You seriously...oh wow…I…"
His voice trailed off as he continued to laugh. Percy glared at him, he gritted his teeth and he clenched his fists while his father laughed at his cruel joke.
"I lied," Poseidon said matter-of-factly. "I only said that to you because I thought you were the hero of the Great Prophecy. I wanted you to remain loyal to me, so you'd focus on saving Olympus. If I put on my usual apathetic demeanour towards you, you might've thought that I didn't care about you like Luke did with Hermes, you might've even joined him, and of course, I couldn't have that."
"No…no way!" Percy said. "You…you can't be serious!"
"Oh, I am" Poseidon responded. "I'm telling the truth, I swear on Styx I'm not making any of this up."
At that moment, a gust of wind blew across the beach, causing the fringes of Percy's hair to be blown across his face and in front of his eyes, hiding them from Poseidon.
"You know," he began. "Back in Tartarus, before she died, Mum told me that she drove to Montauk, and she called out to you for help…but nothing happened. Up until now, I thought you were too busy dealing with your Roman aspect, but now I don't think that was it. You were deliberately ignoring her…weren't you?"
"Yes, I was" Poseidon answered.
"You could've saved her?!" Percy yelled. "And you didn't?...Fuck you!... Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!...I can't fucking believe this! My mum…she thought you loved her!"
"She's nothing next to Amphitrite," Poseidon said. "And you know what? Compared to Triton, you're nothing but an accident."
Percy didn't reply to that, he simply reached into his pocket, and he took out Riptide. But before he could uncap it, Poseidon slapped the pen out of his hand, making it drop into the water. He then kicked his own son in the ribs. Percy flew through the air, and he landed on the sand.
"I'm a god of Olympus, you might want to show a bit more respect towards me," Poseidon said. "Or else you'll end up dead, like your mum. Now then, I'm going to leave. Goodbye Percy, you're no son of mine. This is the last time we'll ever speak to each other."
The sea god then turned around, so that his back was facing Percy. He extended his arm, and a trident appeared in his hand. A second later, a huge wave formed, and it washed over him. When the wave crashed onto the beach, Poseidon was gone, leaving Percy with nothing but more pain.
Percy stayed on the beach for a while, staring at the ocean, which had a calming effect on him; it was able to take away his anger and sadness, but he eventually made his way back to his cabin. There, his feelings returned, and he let his anger out by throwing stuff around. When there was nothing left to throw, he went to the Hermes cabin, to buy some beer from Travis and Connor, who were able to smuggle them into camp. When he finished the can of beer, he got some more. He lost track of how many he had, but he eventually got to sleep.
In the morning, he woke up to a knock on the door. Without waiting for an answer, the door opened, and Chiron walked into the cabin, with a grim expression on his face.
"Percy, I received an Iris message last night," he said. "It was from Poseidon, he told me to remove you from the Camp."
"I'm so sorry," Chiron said. "But last night, I was at the Big House, having some Diet Coke with Mr. D, when I got the IM from him. I asked him why, and he said it was an order from Olympus."
"Percy, what happened?"
"Nothing special," Percy answered coolly. "I just had a recent conversation with my dad, and…."
He told Chiron about what Poseidon told him, and as he talked the grim expression on Chiron's face did not fade. When he was finished, there was a long pause before Chiron spoke.
"I…I'm sorry to hear that Percy," he said, sounding like he meant it. "I know what it's like when your own dad hates you."
There was another pause.
"You're kicking me out?" Percy asked.
Chiron looked uncomfortable. "Well….your dad insisted on having me remove you. I told him that I couldn't, this is the only safe place for demigods, and if you leave, you'd be attacked by all sorts of monsters, and it would only get worse, since you're a child of the Big Three. But…he just wanted you gone."
"So you're really kicking me out," Percy said.
Chiron sighed. "Don't get me wrong, Percy. I really don't want to do this. But−
"As a servant of the gods, you have to do what they say," Percy interrupted. "Your own feelings don't matter, it is your duty that counts, right Chiron?"
The centaur nodded sadly. Percy wasn't surprised, ignoring your own feelings and doing your duty was a very important lesson taught at camp. It was something that was hammered into newbie demigods over and over again. An ideal hero was one who would fight and die for the greater good. On a quest, he or she would always put the mission first; he or she must do whatever it takes to ensure that it's a success. Feelings didn't matter, they must be controlled, sometimes hidden away, so that it wouldn't jeopardise the quest. Under pressure, the ideal hero must not give in to his feelings, he or she must listen to reason, which would tell him or her to succeed at any cost, trivial things like emotions must be ignored, for they would only hold him or her back.
Percy knew that part very well. It was what Annabeth told him during their last moments in Tartarus, when he was forced to leave her behind, in order to save the world. Of course, he didn't want to, but it had to be done. Annabeth even insisted that he forget about her, and focus on the mission.
"Just give me a minute to pack," Percy said. "And then I'll be gone."
"Percy…I'm really sorry…I…I just don't know how to say it," Chiron said. "But I'm just so sorry…Poseidon−
"Is one of the most powerful Olympians, and even if you managed to ignore your duty and refuse his order, he'd get angry and kick your arse," Percy finished for him. "I get it, Chiron. I'm not mad at you."
"No, I'm mad at my dad."
There was another pause.
"I won't take too long," Percy said. "I'll be out of here in a second."
"Oh…alright," Chiron said. "I'll be outside…and Percy?"
Chiron looked uncomfortable again. "Your dad ordered me to have all the other kids watch as you leave Camp, and he ordered me to tell you to not bother with Camp Jupiter, he gave orders to them to not take you."
"Oh….I see…" Percy responded, feeling his heart sink.
"And one more thing," Chiron said. "Good luck out there."
"Thanks, I'll need it."
Chiron then left the cabin, and Percy angrily stuffed his belongings into a duffel bag. About fifteen minutes later, he left the cabin, and he ignored the stares and whispers of the other demigods, as he made his way to the eastern borders. It was the most humiliating thing ever, as everyone had their eyes on him, but Percy made sure that his face was as emotionless as possible, for he was too proud to let anyone know about the despair stirring inside him.
Percy poured himself another glass, and he started to drink. After that day, he lived on his own. No one tried to help him, and monsters did attack, but he always managed to kill them. Sometimes, he would get injured, but he'd heal them by soaking his wounds with water.
He collected his mum's life insurance, and he rented a flat. He spent the rest on booze, which he could buy easily, now that he had a fake ID. Occasionally, a monster would seek him out, and after the attack, he'd be forced to move out. For three years, he moved so many times he list count, but no matter where he went his daily routine was the same. When he got up, the first thing he would do was have a drink, and he spent the rest of the day drinking. At night, he'd go to a hostess club, nightclub, or pub, to drink some more.
But no matter how much he drank, he would never forget the horrible memories. They always haunted him, preventing him from moving on with his life.
Percy finished his glass, and this time, he started to drink directly from the bottle. He walked back to his room, he lied down on the bed, and he drank. When he downed the entire bottle, he placed it on his nightstand, and he closed his eyes.
All of a sudden, his wardrobe door burst open. Startled by the sound, Percy opened his eyes, and saw a figure in a black theatrical robe and a pig mask with long black hair. Before he could react, the figure whipped out a plastic syringe that had clear water-like liquid inside it, and he injected Percy in the neck with it.
That's all for chapter 1! Don't forget to review, favourite, or follow. And I hope all you readers have a merry Christmas!