Well, I was reading back through my story and noticed several things that I need to address in my writing. Since no one pointed them out to me in reviews, I will not mention them here either. I just find it interesting to read through my story and realize things that I wrote that I could easily add more to in the future of this story. Have fun figuring out what those things are, and if you do succeed, you can have virtual waffles. And bacon.
Anyways, back to my story.
Disclaimer: I do not own PJO or the other books and whatnot relating to it.
I teleported myself to Olympus to inform my father about finding Perseus and the parts of the conversation I was aloud to talk about. I knew he wouldn't be happy, but at the same time I knew it was for the best. As I walked through the streets of Olympus, I prepared myself for the worst. If Poseidon was present, there was no telling what he would do when I refused to tell him what had happened to his son. After a few minutes of walking, I found myself in front of the throne room doors.
Bracing myself for the coming conversation, I pushed open the throne room doors and walked in. I took a quick look around to see who was present and saw my father, Hermes, and Hestia. Hermes appeared to be delivering some message to my father, so I just waited in the middle of the throne room for them to finish up.
Hestia was tending to the hearth, but when she saw me enter, she looked at me and smiled. I remembered what Perseus had told me about Hestia warning him, so I figures she knew exactly why I was here. I returned her smile and then noticed my father was looking at me.
"Daughter, why are you here? Shouldn't you be out looking for that Jackson kid?"
"Well father, after searching for several months, the hunt and I have finally found him. We interrogated him and got him to explain his situation. However, he made me swear on the Styx not to tell anyone, so I cannot tell you what I learned."
My father was glaring at me, "Artemis, the whole point of finding the boy was so that we could all learn his story and why he left. Are you meaning to tell me that you are intentionally disobeying my orders?"
I took a nervous breathe before responding, "Father, I had no choice. He wouldn't tell me anything until I swore not to tell anyone else, so I can't tell you what he said. I will however tell you that should Poseidon ever learn the truth a war could break out. He is being threatened by an Olympian and ran away to prevent his friends from coming to harm. That is all I can tell you."
He glared at me some more before sighing, "Fine. I am not the least bit happy about this, but since you won't tell me what I want to know, I will have to punish you."
I paled, but before I could speak, Lady Hestia did, "Brother, will you punish me as well? I too have not told you Percy's story. It would be unfair to only punish your daughter but not me. Besides, as I told you months ago, it is Percy's story to tell, no one else's."
I smiled gratefully at her before returning to look up at my father. He sighed and spoke, "Fine, you shall not be punished, but we still need to decide what to do with him. You said that you found him so I am now ordering you to send him back to camp."
"About that father, if Percy is at camp, all of his friends and fellow campers will be in danger so it would be best if he wasn't sent back there."
He glared at me, "Well what do you propose we do then? We can't just send him back out into the wilderness alone, Poseidon would never allow it plus he should help us gods, not run from us. If you won't send him to camp, then what do you think should be done with him?"
I closed my eyes and tried to find the best way to tell my father my idea. I knew he wouldn't like it, but I needed his permission to do it. I took several deep breaths before answering, "I think that he should join the hunt."
For several seconds, there was silence. My father looked as if he was trying to swallow something unpleasant, or thank his brothers, or something of that caliber of unpleasantness. As what I had said began sinking in, he appeared to move to more of a confused and angry face. Aunt Hestia on the other hand, appeared as if she had expected this, or at least thought it was a possibility anyways. She smiled at me, letting me know that she was on my side, and then turned to face father.
Finally, he spoke, "No. You are the maiden goddess Artemis. The hunt is your domain because they, like you, are maidens. Jackson is a boy and has no place in your hunt. I also don't trust him there, he has done nothing but cause me problems and if he joins the hunt, the problems he can cause would be rather limited and I don't doubt his ability to cause them."
"What are you saying father? What problems will he cause? And how can you say he only causes you problems? He prevented a war when he was twelve. He brought your daughter back to life a year later. The following winter he rescued me, assuring that we would prepare for war against the titans at that point. He then helped protect Camp Halfblood from an attack from the labyrinth. A year later, he led the camp in its defense of Olympus and defeated Kronos. He then was one of the seven to help us defeat Gaia. How can you accuse him of only causing problems?"
He glared at me, "He might have done some impressive things, but his attitude towards the gods is incredibly inappropriate. He treats us with little respect and has the nerve to tell us to change our ways. I would kill him myself if it wouldn't cause a war to break out. As for what kind of trouble he could cause, think about it: One male surrounded by twenty or so attractive females and a goddess. He is bound to cause trouble eventually."
I groaned, "Just because you can't keep your hands off of women doesn't mean that all males are that way. Sure, I used to think that, but Perseus has shown himself to be quite different from how I have pictured males to be. As for his attitude towards the gods, how can you expect him to respect you if the first thing you do when you learn about his existence is to accuse him of stealing your master bolt with no evidence to back it up? You spent some time actually trying to kill him, you accused him of a crime he didn't commit, and when he saved us all anyways, you never apologized or admitted to having made a mistake.
"It is not that he doesn't respect the gods, it is that he only shows respect to the gods who he has deemed worthy of respect. The gods who don't hate him for no reason. Also, just because he doesn't show you respect doesn't mean he doesn't respect you. He understands your position and respects you for it, but he doesn't treat with that respect because you don't treat him with respect. After everything he as done for you and the rest of the gods you still refuse to respect him, instead complaining about him all the time.
"Now, back to my request of having him join the hunt. He wouldn't be able to join as my huntresses have because he is not a woman. I can however have him swear his fealty to me. By doing so, he could travel with the hunt allowing him to always be within range of the gods. If you send him back to camp, it won't take long for him to find some way to sneak out and disappear again. If that did happen, I can assure you he wouldn't be found again. If you leave him to wander on his own in the wilderness and around the country, you can probably imagine the kinds of things he could do, if you can't, just let your paranoia run wild and you will understand. If you want Perseus to be under the control of the gods, then you should let him join. If you don't care what about what he is doing and what kind of trouble he is getting into, then leave him to the wilderness once more."
I concluded my rant and watched my father think about what I had said. Sure, I didn't actually think Perseus would get into trouble if he was left alone in the wilderness, but if I wanted my father to accept my proposal, he needed to believe it was a possibility. I looked over at Aunt Hestia and saw that she was smiling at me. I knew that she was fond of Perseus, so I smiled back at her.
Before my father could respond to what I had said, Hestia spoke up, "Well I think that this is a fine idea. I am rather fond of Percy, so I will feel better knowing he has a home and friends."
That seemed to get my father to make his decision. No one liked to go against Hestia because she was such a nice and caring goddess, so her opinion was often enough to sway the mind of Zeus when he wasn't quite sure which option he wanted to go with.
He heaved a sigh before responding, "Fine. If that is what you all want and think is best for Olympus then you can have him join the hunt. However, if he steps a foot out of line, I will personally kill the boy. Now hurry up and get back to you hunt before I think of a reason to change my mind."
I smiled and bowed my head, "Thank you father."
I then turned to look at aunt Hestia who was smiling at me, "Aunt Hestia, I promise that Perseus will be safe with the hunt, and if the hunters ever warm up to him, he might even be happy again." I then walked out of the throne room and went off to Aphrodite's temple.
As I walked though the streets towards her temple, I tried to think of the best way to get her to listen to me. Knowing that she didn't like me and enjoyed messing with Perseus's love life was going to make this a rather challenging conversation. After several minutes, I found her temple and knocked on the doors announcing my presence.
Ares answered the door. I almost laughed in his face when I realized that Aphrodite had him running about answering doors for her. For being the god of war, he was incredibly whipped when it came to his love life. He saw my expression and glared at me, "What do you want?" He sneered. "Lady Aphrodite hates you so why are you here bothering her?"
I saw him checking out my body so I punched him in the face. He might be Aphrodite's plaything, but he was still a man-whore. "Get lost Ares. I need to speak to Aphrodite in private."
He glared at me and then smirked, "Oh yeah? What's in it for me?" He then began checking me out again.
I grabbed an arrow and shoved it into the soft skin under his mouth. He opened his mouth to scream and I laughed because I could see the arrow tip in his mouth. "I will make you a deal, you leave now and I won't tell father about how you were just looking at me. You know how protective he is of me. Also, you might want to go and find my brother to take care of your jaw, that is a rather serious wound you have."
As soon as I mentioned telling father, he paled and left. He might be an idiot, but he knew better than to anger his father. I smirked at his retreating form and then walked into the temple.
As soon as I had closed the doors, I heard Aphrodite call out, "Ares, honey, who was at the door? What did they want?"
I laughed and responded, "Well dear sister, I was at the door. As for what I want, I would like to have a private discussion with you."
I could hear Aphrodite groan from wherever she was, but she walked in all the same. She looked at me in disgust and spat, "Unless you are here to tell me that I am right about love, get lost. Also, what did you do with Ares?"
"Ah, Ares, he was looking at me in a way I didn't like, so I sent him to my bother for healing. And I am not here to say you are right, because as we all know, love only hurts people and gets in the way. It is completely unnecessary. Now, I have come here to talk to you about Perseus Jackson."
She paled a little at the mention of Perseus, but then she got a big smile, "You say love is unnecessary, but here you are to talk to me about a man. Well, what can I do for you little sister?"
"Okay, I hate you and you hate me, so I'm going to cut to the chase here. I know what you planned with Athena with regards to his love life. I know how you broke him and Annabeth up. Now, if you don't want a full-fledged war on your hands with Poseidon trying to send you to Tartarus, you will swear here and now on the river Styx that you shall never again interfere with his love life. That includes making my hunters fall for him. Am I clear?"
Aphrodite appeared to be depressed, angry, and scared at what I had said. After thinking for several minutes she responded, "I don't know how you know all this, but I am assuming you found him finally and got him to tell you the truth. I didn't want to do it, you know, but Athena is not someone you want to have as an enemy so I agreed with her before she began threatening me. As for Percy, I do not currently plan on playing with his love life anymore. Him and Annabeth was supposed to be my masterpiece, but it didn't end up working because Athena refused to get over her hatred of the boy. I suppose I could swear to your demands, but I am curious as to why you are doing this. You make it sound as if he will be travelling with you and the hunt or something."
I sighed, "I'm not sure how much you know about his reaction to the news that Athena had plotted all this behind his back, but do to this, it is no longer safe for him or his friends if he remains at camp. Dionysus wouldn't protect them at all. Father also doesn't want him wandering on his own because he is afraid that he will cause trouble or something. I have offered to let him travel with the hunt under certain circumstances. To ensure that this works without problem, I need to know that you will not be interfering with his emotions, especially love. Now, regardless of what you were planning to do with his love life, as you have shown with the incident with Athena, you are more than willing to change your mind on the matter. I cannot have this continue, so swear on the Styx or I will inform Poseidon of what you did."
"I do not know exactly what he did during his confrontation with Athena, but from his face when he came to talk to me, I could tell it hadn't gone well. As soon as I heard about his family, I knew it was Athena's doing. It saddens me how much hatred she holds towards him, but there is nothing I can do about that. Fine, I swear on the Styx to never again interfere with Percy's love life."
Thunder boomed in the background and Aphrodite continued, "Now, I do not like you and I have just sworn to never play with Percy's love life, a love life that I once promised to have lots of fun with, so I am not in a good mood. If you would kindly leave, I would appreciate it greatly."
I nodded my head, "Thank you Aphrodite, I will be leaving now." I then turned around and walked out of her temple in search of Athena.
I really didn't want to confront Athena because she had always been my favorite sister. I didn't want to think that she would hurt my hunters. However, after seeing how she had treated Perseus after everything he had done, I wasn't sure if I could really trust her. She was the goddess of wisdom, so I knew blackmail wouldn't be as effective against her; she would be prepared for it and try to use it against me instead. This was going to be a really difficult conversation.
I sighed as I knocked on the door of her temple and waited for her to answer it. When she did, she smiled at me and invited me inside.
She offered me a seat, but when I didn't take it and she saw my face, she got a serious look on her face. "What is it Artemis? What's wrong?"
The concern in her voice was real, but I knew it wouldn't last once I responded. I sighed and told her, "You are what's wrong. I know what you did to Perseus. I know why he can't stay at camp anymore. I have offered him a chance to travel with the hunt. Father has agreed to my request. I am simply here to tell you that if you hurt any of my hunters in any way shape or form, you will have a full-blown war on your hands. I am not as nice as Perseus. The only reason you are not currently at war is because you have taken advantage of his fatal flaw and he doesn't want to be the cause of a war. I will not suffer from such weakness."
I stared her in the eye for my entire speech and watched as she slowly put up her defenses and began thinking of some way to get me onto her side. After a few minutes she spoke, "You do not scare me sister. I know how much father cares about you and if you cause me problems, I will simply convince father to kick Perseus out of the hunt again. It won't be hard to do. I will let him know how hard Perseus is trying to seduce you and he will be gone. As for a war, if you started a war, you would lose it. Father would take my side immediately and with the king of the gods on my side, many of the other gods would join with me as well. You would have no one and would lose miserably. Nice try, but your threats don't scare me."
I glared at her, "How little you understand sister. Perseus has all of the minor gods on his side. He would also have Poseidon and Hades. Two of the big three. Add my brother and myself to that as well as Hermes and Hestia and most of the immortals would be joining our side. If we then explained to the demigods about how you manipulated their greatest hero and ruined his life, even your own children would begin joining our side."
"You are counting on Perseus telling everyone his story. You know he wouldn't do that to help start a war. Your plan would never work."
"No, Athena, you are wrong there. I would use his story to start the war. His story would only be used to bring people to our side of the war that I would start if you hurt any of my hunters. It would not be wise for you to do anything to my hunters or myself. If you don't wish to be the cause of the next great war, then I suggest you stop causing problems for Perseus and move on. All he did was tell you truth and you had the nerve to hurt him for it. This conversation is over Athena. I would recommend you think very hard before doing anything rash and stupid."
I then walked out of her temple before she could respond. I hated fighting with my sister, but she really hadn't left me much of a choice. Hopefully she would be smart and not try to start a war. I was feeling pretty miserable, so I teleported myself back to the hunter camp to see how everyone was doing and hopefully cheer up a little.
After Artemis left I groaned. Thalia turned to look at me and laughed, "Well Percy, it appears you are going to be joining the hunt. Good luck with that and hopefully the girls don't kill you too soon."
"Yeah yeah Thalia. I know. The hunt hates men, or boys, or whatever you want to call me. Artemis is giving me no choice but to join though, hopefully that keeps them from killing me."
She grinned at me, "I wouldn't count on it. They may just think that you are trying to put the moves on Artemis instead of them, making it even worse for you."
I paled and Thalia laughed even more. "Fine," I said, "if I have to join anyways, can I at least go back to my campsite and gather my things so I can move into the hunter camp?"
She looked at me and seemed to contemplate what to do, "Fine, but I'm coming with you and you have to promise you won't run away again. Hunting you down was hard enough the first time."
I grinned at her, "Yeah, the only reason you found me was because I stayed in one place for too long. Lady Hestia warned me that I was close to being found so I had been planning on leaving tomorrow. Unfortunately you found me today. As for me leaving, I won't do it. Or really, I can't do it. If I leave this time, all the gods will turn on me. I left camp because it wasn't safe for the campers due to Dionysus's hatred of the camp. Here with the hunt, Artemis will actually protect her hunters meaning that I can stay here safely without putting people at risk. If I were to leave anyways, I would be being selfish and turn the few gods who actually like me against me. As soon as Artemis made the offer, I had no choice but to accept."
Thalia looked at me, "Wow Kelp Head, you said something smart. I don't know what you have been doing on your own these last few months, but it seems to have increased your intelligence."
"Yeah, well, being alone for such a long time I had plenty of time to think. With no one to talk to and nothing exciting to do, I was left to my own thoughts in my head. I'm pretty sure that that combined with my meditating really helped me to think a little before doing stupid things. Regardless, lets head to my campsite to get my things and then you can introduce me to my new family."
Thalia walked out of the tent and I followed her. Outside, there was no one around. I felt around with my senses and located the hunters a little ways to my right. They seemed to be doing nothing, so I figured they were talking. I then looked at Thalia and sprinted to my left towards my campsite.
I laughed as Thalia yelled after me and then tried to catch up with me. After several minutes of sprinting, I reached my old campsite and stopped. A few seconds later Thalia stopped next to me, panting and cursing under her breathe.
She glared at me, "What was that for Kelp Head? I told you no running away."
I laughed, "You look a little winded Thalia. Don't tell me that is the limit of your endurance, I mean, that was barely I warm-up for me. Besides, I told you I wasn't going to run away. Anyways, welcome to my old home."
Thalia finally seemed to realize that she wasn't in just a random part of the forest anymore and turned around to take in my humble campsite. She then looked at me and said, "This is all you have? This has to be the most boring thing ever. You have a tent covered by a tarp and a small campfire pit. And I'm guessing that patch of ice is the meat cooler you were telling us you had made. I thought you were joking about only training and meditating all day. How did you not die of boredom here?"
I laughed, "Well, training actually kept me pretty busy. I'm not sure if you noticed, but I learned how to fire a bow accurately and let me just tell you, that took a LOT of work. Also, my waterpower's have grown quite a bit as well, but I'm going to keep those a secret for now. I will however tell you that I can sense any source of water that is within several miles of myself if I try hard enough."
Thalia looked at me, probably trying to understand what I meant by that. "You mean that no one can sneak up on you because you can sense them coming due to the water in their body? Also, congrats on getting good with a bow, after everything I heard about your ability to shoot, it really is quite the accomplishment."
"Thanks. As for the water sensing, I suppose I could do that if I wanted to. That might help keep me safe from the hunters. Anyways, what all do I need to bring with me? I have a few souvenirs I want to bring, but do I need my tent or tarp or anything?"
"You don't need the tent, but if you want to use it instead of one of our tents then feel tree to bring it. Same goes for the tarp, although we don't have any because Artemis can prevent it from raining on our camp. If you end up staying outside of the camp in order to avoid the hunters though, you might want it. What souvenirs do you have that you want to bring back to camp with you?"
I went into my tent and came out with deer antlers and a skull. "These are from my first kill. I keep them around for good luck. Kind of morbid with the skull and all, but it seems wrong to just toss it. Also, I kept the skin and use it as a floor for my tent. So I will be bringing that as well."
Thalia looked at me funny, "I suppose you can bring that stuff. The deer skull seems a little creepy, but whatever floats your boat waterboy. Anyways, pack up your stuff so we can get back to the hunters. If Artemis comes back and finds us both missing we'll get in trouble and an angry Artemis is not fun."
I nodded and then packed my stuff as fast as I could. I decided to take my tent because I had grown rather fond of it as well as the tarp in case I ended up staying outside of the hunter camp. I got everything into my pack and then walked with Thalia back to the hunter camp.
When we showed up, the hunters were in the middle of dinner and Artemis still wasn't back yet. I hoped she wouldn't get in trouble for helping me. When we got to where they were eating, they all stopped and looked at us. One of the only hunters I knew the name of spoke up, "Welcome back Thalia. I heard you were the first back from the hunt, but instead of bringing the rabbit you brought the boy we had been hunting. Congratulations."
Phoebe then turned to me. I only knew her name because I remembered the Stoll's pranking her the winter Annabeth was kidnapped, preventing her from going on the quest and opening a spot for me to go. She hated boys even more because of that. She glared at me and spoke, "Hello, boy. It is rare to have a boy in the hunter camp who has not been turned into an animal. Now, since you have been found, kindly return to that special camp of yours and leave us in peace."
I sighed, this was going worse than I had anticipated. After Phoebe's speech, all of the other hunters glared at me and I was tempted to run back into the wilderness again. I knew though, that that wouldn't work and would serve only to anger the gods even more. Before I could respond though, a silver flash illuminated the area and Lady Artemis appeared.
She took a look around and saw all the hunters glaring at me and sighed, "Now now girls, no need to glare at Perseus. In fact, it would be best if you tried to get along with him, as he will be joining the hunt now."
Immediately the hunters began protesting, saying that I was a boy and not to be trusted. They said that no boy was allowed to join the hunt and I would end up being a terrible guy, just like all the other boys in the world. I really wanted to protest and tell them off, but I knew that would just get them to hate me even more. I also knew that most of them had good reason to hate boys and their protests were more a show of the bad experiences they had had in the past and not how they actually felt about me.
Once they all calmed down, Phoebe spoke up, "My Lady, what do you mean he is joining the hunt? He is a male and as we all know, boys are terrible and mistreat women and are not good people. Why would you allow him to join?"
Artemis sighed before speaking, "Phoebe, you are right. Perseus is a male and most boys to tend to be terrible people. Perseus however has shown himself to be a decent male who respects his peers. Also, he cannot live at camp anymore due to certain circumstances we do not need to get into. I'm not saying you have to like him and be nice to him, but you should at least give him a chance. If he proves himself to be like a typical boy, I will kick him out of the hunt immediately." She then turned to me, "Perseus, after dinner we will have to have a small discussion about your place among the hunt. For now, eat dinner and set up your stuff."
I bowed my head and then went and got myself some food. I sat down at the edge of the little dining area to try and avoid the many glares I was receiving. I ate quickly and then left to go set up my campsite. Lady Artemis followed me and I could feel the glares of the hunters burning into the back of my head.
When I got to the edge of the camp, Artemis spoke, "Where are you going? You are staying with the hunt now."
I sighed, "You saw all the glares I was getting from the hunters, there is no way it would be safe for me to stay in the camp. I am going to set up my tent and stuff a quarter mile away so that the hunters won't bother me. Hopefully. Anyways, what did you want to talk to me about?"
"We need to have a conversation about your place in the hunt. As you know, you can't make the same oath as the hunters because you are a boy. What my father agreed to was you swearing fealty to me. That would mean you have to obey me, but that was already a given as my hunters have to do that as well."
"Fine," I said, "I swear fealty to Lady Artemis, goddess of the hunt. Speaking of your trip to Olympus, how was it? Did you get Aphrodite to promise to leave me alone?"
"Yes, I got her to swear it on the Styx. I also made sure Athena knows better than to mess with my hunters. Hestia seemed to approve of you joining as well. I only told those four about finding you and joining the hunt. Now that they know, the others will find out as well and you may be visited by some of them wanting answers. I will leave that for you to deal with, especially your father. He will probably insist upon learning about what happened to you. Anyways, set up your camp and good luck with the hunt. Hopefully the hunters warm up to you before they kill you."
Artemis then walked back to the hunter camp and I went about setting up my camp. It didn't take as long to set up this time, so after half an hour my campsite was ready. I sat down in front of my tent and meditated.
After some time had passed, I felt a body of water moving towards me. I focused on it and sensed that it was a person. They were moving silently, but I could see them coming, even with my eyes closed. As soon as they got to the edge of the tarp I had set up, I opened my eyes and stared at the hunter. "Hello Phoebe," I said. "What brings you to my humble campsite?"
She jumped a little when I opened my eyes and spoke, but she recovered quickly. "Jackson," she spat, "just because Lady Artemis is giving you a chance to be in the hunt doesn't mean we all agree with it. We know how you boys are and we don't trust you. I recommend you watch yourself, because if you step one foot out of line I will personally kill you."
I smiled at her, "okay Phoebe, sounds like a plan. Now, if you don't mind, I would like to get back to my meditation." I then closed my eyes and went back to focusing on my water senses.
I could feel her frustration at my response and hoped she wouldn't do anything. I didn't need to get in a fight minutes after I joined the hunt. Unfortunately, my response had rubbed her the wrong way and I saw her raise her bow and nock an arrow. She let it fly and I could feel the water in the air part around the arrow. Just before the arrow reached me, I reached out with my hand and grabbed it.
Keeping my eyes closed, I tossed the arrow back to her. "Better luck next time. I would rather not start a fight, but if you insist upon attacking me I will defend myself. I am sorry if I angered you, that was not my intention. I only want peace, I have had enough violence and fighting for one lifetime."
I felt Phoebe leave my campsite and I went back to my meditation. I hoped that after that the hunters would leave me alone, but like I normally was, I was wrong.
Well, that is the chapter.
That was a fun one to write. The next one should be up in a couple of days.
Thanks for all the reviews and stuff, they are rather nice.
Now that Percy has joined the hunt, we can learn about his experiences with it. There will be several chapters of that before the hunt visits camp.
On a different note, poor Ares. I never really liked him, but still, getting an arrow to the soft spot on the bottom of the chin straight up into his mouth. That probably really hurt.
The coming chapters won't just be about Percy; there will also be some stuff about how other people learn about where he is and their reactions to it. If you want specific POV's, let me know and I will do my best to write it.
Like always, if you have anything to say to me, whether it's about this story or not, let me know in a review or PM. I love hearing from my readers.
Well, that's it for this chapter, so until the next one, don't drink and drive, don't do hard drugs, and stay out of trouble. At least the bad kind anyways.