I do not own Percy Jackson or the Lord of the Rings
The world was ending...
With Gaia dead, the world was ripping itself apart.
Percy ran through the wasteland that used to be New York, decomposing bodies half-covered in the rubble that used to be their homes and businesses, their entire world littering the streets. The city that never slept was gone, nothing but broken memories and the dead. But Percy didn't pay attention to any of this; he had seen worse.
It had been more than three years since it started, and in that time he had seen every one of his friends die, all in horrible ways. His mom and step-dad were some of the first people to die when the earthquakes started. In the beginning, the surviving demigods tried to help the mortals, but they were soon killed in gun fights over food and clean water. All the close-range weapons training in the world could never prepare someone for a gunman more than a block away. Even though demigods are stronger and faster than a normal human, they were not faster than a bullet or stronger than a truck.
On top of all that, most of the weapons demigods had could not harm mortals. Running through the streets that had once been filled with so much life, Percy had to ignore the smell of rot and decay as he made his way across to tops of the burnt out cars that still held their owner's charred bones, forgotten in their seats.
After years of sights similar to, if not worse than, New York, the once-hero of Olympus was numb. He had seen some horrible things; his head was filled with the sights and sounds of the apocalypse, of the death screams of women and children. The sights of camps filled with cannibals feasting on one their own children- raised to be cattle in the new world. He had broken some time ago, but had re-forged himself in the fire of death. He was now something to fear.
With the collapse of governments worldwide, the land was split up into small factions surrounded by miles of wasteland. Percy was the holder of the largest of these areas, everything east of Ohio and north of Washington DC. Besides Percy's territory, there were three others of note: the bay area faction, which was heavily militarized following the massive earth quakes that split California from the main land; the Deep South the kingdom of cannibalism; and the one in the Rockies, which was for the most part a peaceful and religious community that kept to themselves.
Finally, after blocks of running, he could see it. Through all the destruction one building was still standing, the last in Manhattan.
The empire state building still stood tall, a testament to the strength of western civilization. Most of the lower widows where broken, smashed in by monsters and men alike.
For a whole block around the building, trenches scarred the ground, filled with broken and half-working automatons, the last works of the forge god before he faded. They stood as guards of the last safe place in the world. Weaving his way through the twisted barbwire, Percy made his way into the broken heart of western civilization.
Without hesitation, Percy jumped in the elevator, the door man long dead and the key already in its spot in the wall where it had sat for years, waiting to be used
Percy wasn't without change. Now in his twenties, his body was covered in dirt and scars, the worst of them were the burn marks that covered his naked torso, though they didn't quite cover up the older scars from his stay in Tartarus. But mingling with the old were the new; on his face were three terrible scars. One, a knife cut from an insane woman trying to take food from him, food that he was taking to an Orphanage in the early days.
The second, a bullet wound that had scraped along his jaw, leaving a ragged and uneven mark more than three inches long. He had gotten it when raiders attacked the relief camp he was at. The last one was caused by the remnants of gas tank from a car that had exploded, sending a piece of metal ripping into his jaw and neck.
This scarred man was no longer human, he was a survivor.
In the three years since it began, Percy was going to see Olympus for the first time since it had been closed off after the Battle of the Seven. In those three years he had received orders from only one goddess; the only representative that the council had left in the lands below.
Finally the doors of the elevator opened, letting a worried Percy sprint out and up through the streets of Olympus.
Most of the houses seemed abandoned, their owners long faded. Not even the nature spirits were left, having been poisoned by the pollutants that had been released by the fires and nuclear warfare. It took all of five minutes for Percy to run the two miles to the throne room, where the fading Olympians and the last of the minor gods waited.
The throne room seamed empty, half of the seats were vacant, and the thrones of gods like Demeter and Aphrodite were nothing but rubble. The remaining Olympians sat in their thrones and the last of the minor gods, dryads, and nymphs stood along the edges of the room.
"Percy," Zeus said softly, being without the energy to yell his words, "The world is almost dead, and us with it…. Since the creation of this world, the power over the elements and thoughts, even ideas, has been passed down from generation to generation of gods. Every one of those pantheons had one goal, the survival of life. Any form of life we have. Ever since the creation we guided and protected life. That was the true meaning of our existence. But under our rule, we have failed.
"We must pass on our mantels to avoid further catastrophe. Since you are the last demigod, and the only one on the planet capable of surviving the trip, we would send you to another world to pick our replacements." Speechless, Percy could do nothing as they continued on.
"This world has ended, there is no hope left for what life remains. But there is one last planet that has the capability to hold life, and there it flourishes. That world is our last hope. Thousands of years ago, several deities traveled there briefly. On that planet they created new forms of life. Men exist along with others there; it is the council's hope that you will travel there to guide this world and keep it safe. Foster this last hope for life. If not, then space will truly be devoid of life."
"Isn't there anything you can do?" The scarred hero rasped.
Zeus fell back tiredly into his seat, "Perseus, this is the only thing we can do. The gods that we sent to that world are fading, and once they're gone the world will be destroyed. You, nephew," the fading king spoke, with some emotion, "Are our last choice. Millions of years of mistakes cannot be fixed." Looking deep in to his nephew's eyes, the long time king of the gods did something only heard in myth.
"I'm sorry. I truly am."
Slowly, one of the other Olympians stood. "Percy," Artemis spoke, "Before you are to leave, I would like to speak to you alone." Confused, the demigod could only nod at the goddess' strange behavior. With a tired wave of her hand, the goddess of the moon gestured towards the balcony that wrapped around the back of the throne room.
They came out onto the cracked marble that over looked the dead city, the hot wind blowing dust around there feet. They stood there for some time before Percy turned to his companion. "I had thought that you had faded, Artemis. I… I thought that after ten months…"
Smiling sadly, the last true hunter stared out at the dystopian wasteland. "Percy, I have something to ask you," she said suddenly, refusing to look him in the eye. "There is one last maiden out there in the world, and I would like you to take her with you." Looking at her, he suddenly wrapped an arm around her shoulder, an action that would have gotten him killed just a few years ago, but instead of reprimanding him she just pulled him further into the embrace.
"Artemis," Percy whispered into her dark hair, "I would do anything for a friend, and you know that. I promise."
Pulling away suddenly, the short goddess looked up into his eyes, her tear stained face covered with a small smile. "You truly mean that don't you."
Nodding, Percy slowly wiped the tears from her face, while the once strong-willed woman let him, to broken with loss to refuse the comfort her friend was giving her. "Percy, you need to understand the risk first, before you go and promise. I talked to my sister before she faded, and Athena said that it might not be possible. She warned that it would take too much energy to transport just you there, adding another person could not only kill them, it could kill you.
Percy slowly turned away from her, not being able to stand her sobbing. It physically hurt him to see her like this. But as he was about to reply, a thought popped into his head, and before he knew it he was facing her again. "Artemis, who is this person to you? In all the years I've known you, you have never put the value of one person over that of the majority. Why is this person so important to you?"
If it was possible, she seemed to break down even further, but in between her sobs he could hear her try to answer his question, though she was unable to. So for the second time Percy pulled her into his arms, holding her tight. "Percy," she said, after several minutes. "She's… she's… my daughter, Percy. My only child."
New first chapter. Read and review, lots of reworking was done to fix this chapter. Also can you please comment on my work, it helps so much when it comes to writing the next one.
With his mouth gaping as it was, Artemis couldn't help but compare him to a fish out of water. They even made the same sound, she mused.
"Your child Artemis?!" Percy almost yelled out, giving her a head ache. "But… You're a… a maiden goddess.''
"I still am, you idiot." A now mad twelve-years-old replied, cutting off whatever he was going to say next. "Just because I have a child does not mean I had any… relations with a man."
Still shocked at this new revelation, the emotionally drained Percy slid down the railing to rest against the floor. Worriedly, the goddess crouched down next to him, trying to see if he was all right. In the years she had known him there was one thing he never did, and that was show emotion in front of those he cared about if it would affect them in any way.
"Percy," she said while taking his hand, "You are my only friend left in this world, and the only one I have ever told about my daughter. I wouldn't ask you this if I didn't think it would work, but I have to ask, I'm her mother. And if I don't do this, not only will I die, but so will she." Staring at the demigod's unmoving form in front of her, she was forced to sit down. "Percy, at least let me tell you about her." For several seconds she thought he was going to refuse, his opinion of her being tainted by this new information. But like before, after minutes of silence he slowly nodded his head.
"How was she born?" He asked softly, so softly that the goddess that was less than a yard away could barely hear him.
"I created her out of my own power, and the power of another." At this Percy raised an eyebrow in question. Sighing in defeat, she answered, "The other person was Lupa. Shortly after the fall of Rome, a large portion of my hunters were wiped out when they were trapped by a fleeing group of solders. Only half a dozen where left alive of the over fifty. Some of them had been with me since the beginning.
"So I left the remaining hunters at a monastery that we had helped with before, most of the survivors had suffered terrible wounds and could have died if they didn't get some form of medical attention. I couldn't stand it there; I had to do something, so I hunted down those men and slaughtered them all. But even after the last man had died I found myself crying, some of those girls had been my friends since I was a small girl. They were family, and I failed them." Smiling sadly at the dust covered ground, Artemis paused for a long time before continuing. "I don't know at what point I broke down, but when I woke up an entire village was destroyed and all of the people living in it killed.
"I… I took myself away after that and went deep into the woods. I couldn't stand being by others, but whether the fates where favoring me that day or not, I found Lupa. At the time I knew there was something wrong with her, but I didn't know what until she tried to make herself fade. She had almost done it too when I found her, but I convinced her not to. I don't know what I said, but I saved her.
Lupa was horribly depressed with the fall of Rome, and in her depression she was ready to end it all, but I managed to save her. Though even if I saved her, I wasn't able to turn her back into the mother of the empire, because her child was dead. So I gave her the idea to make a new one, but she took my words a bit too literally. What I had meant was for her to start another empire, but instead she pestered Athena for her secretes of making her children, and somehow my sister conceded. I think that at some point she realized how desperate Lupa really was.
"But there was a problem. Lupa, although being the mother of Rome, was a minor goddess and didn't have the power to create a child on her own. So she came to me. And I agreed. We traveled far away from the wars that were happening with the fall of Rome; I don't know how far we traveled outside of the influence of the gods, but we finally found a safe and remote place to start the ritual. The entire process took us more than a week with our weakened forms, and when the light cleared we had a child." By this point her face had broken out into a sad smile.
"So," Percy whispered, "You and Lupa?" Slowly the small goddess faced towards the man who just signed his death warrant, her face going completely still. "Did you just insinuate that I had sexual relations with another goddess?" She said with a calm and collected voice that would've sent immortals running. But Percy didn't back down, he just stared her down, waiting for one of them to break first.
It was Artemis who broke first. With a cry of triumph, Percy jumped up from where he was sitting and pumped his fist several times, "I knew it!" He yelled, but had to stop when a small foot came rocketing into his stomach, sending him to the floor gasping, while a now smirking twelve-years-old stood over him.
"Now get up, moron," she said a little quieter. "We are going to go visit my daughter."
Groaning, Percy stood and fallowed his tormentor down a maze of hall ways. With every step his companion seemed to get older, and within minutes the once twelve-years-old was in her thirties, then her forties. By the time they had arrived at the nondescript door that hid Artemis' child, her body had aged to that of a forty-two-years-old. In Percy's opinion she still looked amazing, but he kept that thought at bay, not blurting it out like he would have normally done.
Slowly, his long time friend opened the door, and was immediately tackled by a blur, throwing them both to the ground. From his vantage point all that was visible of the girl was her long brown hair. But as he looked at her longer, he felt his mouth drop open again. High up on her head sat two dog-like ears, and coming out of the long ankle length dress was a matching tail, further proving that she was indeed Lupa's child too.
"Mother!" The woman cried out, "I thought that you were not coming back." Her voice marred with tremors, betraying her emotions. Slowly Artemis pulled her arms free, and wrapped them around her daughter.
"I would never do that and you, know it. I promised didn't I?" She said, choked up with emotions. After their heart-felt reunion on the floor, Percy was introduced to the young woman, who looked around is age.
"Perseus, this is my daughter Holo, the wise wolf-goddess of the harvest, and last living hunter." Now that he could see her properly, Percy had to admit that the woman in front of him was beautiful. It wasn't just her face that matched her mother's perfectly, but the way she held herself. It was if she had the whole world under her foot. But there were two attributes that stood out. And literally took his breath way.
The first were her eyes; they were a deep scarlet, and he could see his reflection in the red depths of them. Almost losing himself in them, he tore his gaze away to the other attribute of note. Her mouth quirked up in a small smile that sent shivers down his spine.
Two abnormally long canines rested like pearls against the pink of her lips, looking sharp enough to tear his throat out. Over the past few minutes, his breath had gotten shallower, and his hart quickened to an almost painful degree.
But he was snapped out of it when he felt the very mature hand of Artimis collide painfully with his face, sending him to the ground with its force. Lying on his back, his good friend's face came into view, looming over him with a glare that could melt ice. She gripped his shirt and slowly lifted him off of the ground.
"We may be friends Perseus, but if you ever look at my daughter like that ever again, I will come back, and I will kill you. I don't care if we are friends, no one will look at my child like that."
Once the overprotective goddess had made her point, she dropped the son of Posiedon onto the ground and walked out of the room, but not before yelling out that they would be needed in a few hours and that they should spend the time to get to know each other. With one last glare, the thick wooden door slammed shut.
Slowly Percy sat up and looked nervously towards Holo, only to find her sitting on a small, wooden, four-poster bed; her face set in a sad smile. So Percy dusted himself off and sat next to her, being careful to not to enter her personal space. When she spoke, he was transfixed by her voice; it was so different from most people, deeper and filled with a sadness that came from someone who truly lived.
There was just something about it that made him want to wrap an arm around her and say he was sorry. But he didn't- her mother's threats where still fresh in his mind. She was the first to speak,
"Sorry about my mother. She… can be a little over-baring… my mom wanted me to tell you about myself- about why I was never in any of the myths." Her voice was pained, like she really didn't want to, and he understood. He knew what pain the past could give you.
"You don't have to tell me," he said, with his scarred voice ruff and deep. But to this century's old goddess, it was almost comforting. She had been told of this man's exploits, of the quests, of his entire life. Her and her mother watched as he lived in the hell bellow.
They watched him terrorize the camps to the south; as he destroyed entire towns, wiped them off of the map, leaving the bodies of hundreds lying in the dirt. They watched the first time the west coast army marched its way into New York, dragging their slaves behind them. They saw as the decaying streets ran red, and they could almost smell it, the smells of war, of disemboweled bodies, of the feces and urine that came when one dies.
Their corpses were still there, lying on the Brooklyn bridge, and their slaves were gone, back west into a peaceful community. But those weren't the only ones to visit the dead grounds of the east coast. Visitors from China and Europe also came; whether they were peaceful or not, they all ran after they saw the horrors that the dystopian city held.
In those years, she had watched. In her hidden room, she had seen the man next to her live, and at one point, die. He had felt pain far beyond anything she could ever feel.
"Maybe later," she whispered. In truth, she was a little afraid of him. He had done some terrible things, and who really knew what he was capable of? If the Olympians were really giving all of their powers to him, powers that in the past turned great men into monsters and fair rulers into tyrants, what would it do to someone that already had more than a spark of evil in him, more than the normal amount of cruelty?
She had seen how effortless it had become for him to kill. He may have gotten her mother's approval, but that didn't mean she didn't fear him. It didn't mean the rest of the world feared him, and now going to a new world while being the most powerful living immortal, what could he truly become.
These thoughts occupied her for the last hours on the planet, and they stayed with her even as they disappeared from the throne room, whisked away to a new world.
New chapter, and I finally found my female protagonist and love interest for the story, yay. So you know the drill, read and review. It makes all the difference in these types of things.
ALSO CHECK OUT MY OTHER STORYS.
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LOVE AFTER DEATH