Disclaimer: I do not own Percy Jackson or the fictional world created around him. I don't own Poseidon either. No one owns the sea...

Editorial note: This is the preface to the story WJATO: The Doors of the Deep. I seem unmotivated to finish that story, now two years in the making, without a deadline. I have several chapters written. Until I run out of chapters (which I hope is never because I will work on it), I will release a chapter every thursday beginning June 26. It is highly advised to re-read WJATO: The Queen's Hero in order to fully understand the new story.

Enjoy.

Preface: An Immortal's Death

Poseidon heard them coming before he saw them. That's one of the best things about the ocean: sound travels a long way. He had often wondered why he wasn't the god of sound. The invading band was small, only a couple dozen footsteps could be heard stampeding across the ocean floor. It would be difficult to spot them in his large complex.

After the Second Titan War, Poseidon's undersea palace complex was little more than glorified ruins. He was envying Atlantis. But his son had convinced him that he had an opportunity as well. Both he and Hades (rumor has it) had designed their palace complexes after the main throne on Mount Olympus. Mount Olympus was great…for Zeus.

But Poseidon wasn't Zeus. So he had rebuilt the throne complex to resemble himself, to show the freedom of the sea. The complex itself was built in interlocking circular hallways, which waved gently creating ripples in the infrastructure. They were difficult to walk through, but easy to swim through. Every intersection of circles formed a large, square ballroom the size of two American football fields. The roof of each room was clear, showing the creatures swimming around outside. The rooms themselves ranged from a single story tall to five, depending on the local tides.

The infrastructure wasn't the only unpredictable part of the new throne complex. The throne itself moved from ballroom to ballroom as it wished. Only Poseidon actually knew where it would be next, because he knew the ocean; how it felt, ebbed, flowed, and lived. The mobile throne exemplified what the ocean was; although, it had made it difficult for petitioners to find him over the last couple of decades.

It would also cause problems to the invaders. Poseidon reached out through the sea to his son and lieutenant, Triton. "Do you feel them?" he asked. The question screeched through the ocean in clicks and whines.

"Better, I see them," his son replied. "Twenty land-dwellers at the gates."

"Might they be friendly?" Poseidon asked.

"My army is ready," was Triton's only reply. Triton seemed closer this time, though Poseidon still couldn't see him.

"Stand by," Poseidon said. "I can deal with land-dwellers."

"Are you sure you don't want me to distract them?" Triton asked.

"This is the sea, I will crush them." Poseidon answered.

"Overconfidence is your fatal flaw," Triton almost spat.

"Thirst for blood is yours," Poseidon answered. "Besides, gods may have flaws, but not fatal ones. Lead them to me."

Poseidon's body burst into bubbles and cruised through the corridors of his palace, ebbing and flowing from circle to circle, through ballroom and ballroom until he arrived at the one containing his throne. It was near the edge, close to the invaders. As he approached, his bubbly body slowed, seemingly held up by an opposite force. It was strange and new, but the air bubble around the land-dwellers probably caused it. It was nothing to worry about. Poseidon took his seat on his throne.

The invaders walked calmly into the throne room. Twenty seemed to be an overestimate. They were cloaked in black, with large hoods over their eyes. They formed a circle around four central characters that each held the corner of a large, white device. The device was a square, twenty feet on each side, and was made of what looked like marble. It was smooth all around except for a single coat of arms etched in the top. The coat of arms looked familiar, but Poseidon couldn't quite place it. Undoubtedly this was the device creating the hemispherical air bubble around the group.

"Halt!" Poseidon said, making sure to convert to English and not moving from his throne. "What is your business in arriving here unannounced?"

The group stopped halfway across the room. The ballroom took the opportunity to grow slowly from its two-story height. The hooded figure in the front looked up at the throne, but did not lift his hood from his head. "We have come to take what is rightfully ours," the man said. The voice sounded dark and cold; at least it did as much as a voice could sound dark while underwater.

"And what is that?" Poseidon asked.

"Your throne," the voice said simply.

Poseidon laughed. "Is that a declaration of war?" he asked.

"No," the voice said. "You and your brethren declared war against me, long ago. This is simply vengeance."

Poseidon rose to a ten foot height, easily rising over the invaders. "Then it was foolish for you to come to the sea." He raised his hand and dramatically closed his fist. The water in the room became suddenly excited and boiled before crashing in on the bubble of air. To ensure the point was made, Poseidon decided to continue the onslaught, making water rush in from all the surrounding hallways, creating a cocoon of raging, hot water around where the invaders had stood. The glass ceiling even broke to get more water inside.

A cold, hard laugh rang through the room as the air bubble burst through the cocoon and the invading party stepped confidently forward toward the throne. "Did you think we would come in here and not expect that, old man?" the voice asked. Poseidon doubled his effort, but it was becoming harder and harder. The water seemed to be dying out, like it was fighting against him. Suddenly, it stopped its attack on the group and retreated from the room. The air bubble expanded to fill the entire space.

"Who are you? Who are you working for?" Poseidon asked, buying time. He called for his whole essence to return to him. These were still mortals. Even if they had managed to tame his ocean, his true form would obliterate them. The hooded man stopped about fifteen feet in front of Poseidon, who stood just in front of his throne. Blood rushed through him in anger.

The hooded man simply laughed. "Trying to collect your form, great ruler of the sea?" he asked.

Poseidon smiled as he began to glow. "You're only mortal," he said. "This is goodbye."

The hooded man cocked his head. Poseidon's smile fell. For some reason, the more of his essence that he called to himself, the harder it became for him to call more. It was a genuine strain now and it seemed he was making no progress.

"Your throne is forfeit," the hooded man said, motioning to another figure to his right. That man was slightly shorter, with a broader build. Poseidon couldn't see his face either, but a white hand emerged from the robe. The hand was holding a long, Stygian Iron sword and was double edged. It was neither long nor short and had skeletal designs etched in silver across the blade. The hilt was wrapped in leather. At the base of the sword, where the crossbar crossed it, was a large circular design with a golden key welded into it.

Poseidon's eyes went wide. He felt an emotion he hadn't felt since the Second Titan War: fear. "It takes more than a victory to steal a throne," Poseidon said. "The sea will never obey you."

"No," a voice said from the hallway behind the group of mortals. Poseidon's heart dropped when he heard it. "The sea won't obey him. But the sea will obey me." Triton swam out into the room, morphing from his mermaid form as he entered the air. "I am your heir after all, right?"

Poseidon backed into his throne.

"I told you father, overconfidence is your fatal flaw," Triton said.

"Any final words, my lord?" the cold voiced man mocked from his position. The sword, The Sword of Hades, hovered over Poseidon's thigh as if its holder was waiting for the command. Poseidon knew a single blow from that would lock his soul in Tartarus. "No?" the cold voice asked again.

Poseidon looked up through the ceiling toward the surface and gently said, "Percy," as the sword came down.