A/N: I apologize for not posting last week. I was moving and did not have internet connection.
Many thanks to princessariellover876 for the review and to HERMES CHAMPION for following and favoriting the story.
I do not own PJ, Smart Car, Clapper, Nintendo,
Chapter 2: Olympian Council Lite
After spending a week in Camp Half-Blood, I had forgotten that being winter meant it was cold outside. After the 14 humans and Chiron had pilled into the camp delivery van, Argus drove us out of the camp toward Olympus. The camp is magically protected against unwanted weather, but as soon as we passed Thalia's Pine, we were subject to whatever the gods convinced Aeolus to give New York. In November, that is typically very cold and we wear t-shirts at camp...
A little about Olympus. Of course, there is a mountain in Greece named Mount Olympus. That's not where we were going. The gods moved with the center of Western Civilization and the city of the gods moved with them: Rome, Germany, Spain, England and the United States. You might expect that Olympus would therefore be in (or rather above) Washington D.C. but you'd be wrong. Western Civilization is centered around the powerful economy of the US and thus the mountaintop (literally) city of the gods floats 600 stories over New York City. The entrance is in the Empire State Building.
It took almost an hour to weave our way across Manhattan Island and arrive outside the Empire State Building. Chiron indicated that the traffic was extremely unusual. Normally Hermes moves traffic to help us get there faster. This time it was almost like Hermes was holding us up. It was not a good sign.
I don't know what we looked like when we filed out of the car (at least Chiron was in his mortal world wheelchair form), but when we entered the building itself someone offered "the field trip" a ride with them on the elevator. I said sure, they could come with us but Chiron slapped me and told them we'd wait. I really wanted to find out what the mist made Olympus look like. The mist is something that makes mortals see normal things when non-normal things are around them. For instance, it will turn a magical sword into a golf club or a shotgun and a 3000 pound monster into Smart car.
Chiron got what he needed from the security guard and we all piled into the elevator when it returned. It rose steadily up and up until the beeping stopped and we were left with nothing but the soft music coming from the speakers.
"You'd think Annabeth would have changed this music," Dad said next to me.
"What do you think would cause Hermes to hold us up in traffic?" I asked, refusing to enter that subject.
"I can think of many things and I'm sure Annabeth can think of thousands more, but I promise you none of them are good," Percy continued. "I'm just hoping it's something like their upset at being summoned by someone as low in importance as Chiron. If it has to do with the Great Prophecy..."
The Great Prophecy is a sort of giant prophecy. We get prophecies when we go on quests, but they're different. There is always only one Great Prophecy, which deals with large, catastrophic events. The last Great Prophecy was about the Second Titan War, which my father somehow won. Soon after, a new Great Prophecy was spoken:
New rulers matched up as one to one
Heroes discover what's been undone.
Destruction reaches the hallowed halls,
Heroes look on as Olympus falls;
Fight from without and fight from within,
All start anew; returning again
The line which got the most focus was the fourth, the one prophecying the fall of Olympus. The previous Great Prophecy suggested that the fate of Olympus rested on the battle, but never explicitly said Olympus would fall. We all know that prophecies have double meanings, but no one, not even Athena, has been able to think of one here. It's scary.
The elevator beeped again and the doors opened to my favorite place in the world. I didn't get to visit Olympus all that often before last summer. I was technically mortal and therefore had to make sure that few gods were present. This was the first time I'd gotten to visit when it was bustling with activity.
We crossed a thin walkway to the main mountain. Olympus extended before us, a huge mountaintop floating in the sky. Temples and pavilions extended from huge avenues which snaked up the mountain. The temples began small, representing the minor gods and goddesses and got progressively bigger as they rose toward the ancient council room. There was an entire rainbow of colors throughout (literally on Iris' temple) and each temple had a statue either inside or out front. Some of the statues showed the god standing regally. Others, particularly the nastiest minor gods showed them in incredibly unflattering poses. I'm sure they complained, but Mom's got Athena on her side so they can't do much. There was a great commotion as all present were running around the market buying and selling. Still, there was an ominous tenseness in the air. The temples for the twelve Olympians formed a ring around the council room at the top of the mountain. They were eerily quiet. The council room and most of the minor gods' temples looked Greek, but not all the temples. Hephaestus had a skyscraper/sweatshop for a temple, Hermes' looked like a five-star hotel, Aphrodite's was a huge salon. Only Zeus, Hera and Demeter had temples that looked like they belonged in ancient Greece.
Chiron led the group as we walked through a city park that extended in between temples on our way to the council. Mr. D stood in the huge, double doorway in kaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. I'm sure that the only reason he wasn't ten feet tall was that the cup holding his Diet Coke wouldn't grow with him.
"Hi," Mr. D. said when Chiron walked up to him.
"Did you get my message?" Chiron asked.
"No," Mr. D. said. "Zeus did. Old Dad's not very happy with you."
"He knows I wouldn't call a meeting without a really good reason," Chiron said.
"That's true. Doesn't mean he's happy," Mr. D. said.
"Can we get started then?" Chiron asked.
Mr. D. sipped his drink. "No," he said.
"Why not?" Chiron asked.
"Because we're not all here yet," Mr. D. said. "We can't just drop everything for a minor immortal." He put extra emphasis on the word minor.
"You can be in thousands of places at once. Part of you can be here for this," Chiron said. Mr. D. only smiled.
"Ah, demigods!" a male voice said behind us. I turned around to see Hermes walking up to us in a full toga. It was not pretty. "We're having a little trouble. I'm afraid we can't hold a full meeting of the council today. I've got rooms set aside for each of you in my temple. Please follow me. Chiron, Dionysus will take you to see The Big Guy now. He's very interested in your news."
"Nico, come with us," Chiron said.
"I'm afraid Nico must come with me," Hermes said.
"I wasn't asking," Chiron said. "Zeus wants to know what this is about and only Nico can truly tell him." Chiron put his arm around Nico and walked into the council room without waiting for a reply. Hermes turned and began leading us toward his temple. I caught up.
"What's going on?" I asked. My father was hot on my heels.
"I can't say here," Hermes said. A snake appeared on the backpack he was wearing. If you bring a rat, we'll meet you in your room, George the snake said. George will do anything for a rat.
"Where am I supposed to get a rat on Olympus?" I asked.
Hermes just smiled. "They're everywhere," he said. He sped up and left us behind.
Our rooms were decked out! Each room was actually two rooms, a kitchenette, and a bathroom. The bedroom had a massive, double king bed with satin sheets, a 36" television with Olympus Cable (awesome programing), a thermostat which controlled the temperature down to the hundredth of a degree (actually, there was one of these in each room), and a clapper (lest you have to get out of bed). The bathroom was huge with a bathtub big enough to fit President Taft, a shower with options for multicolored water and bubbles, a bidet, a massage toilet (I'm not quite sure why we would want this) a double sink with triple mirror and heat lamp.
Through the mini-kitchen was the living room. A 102 inch flatscreen television dominated one wall with a seven seat corner couch across the room. Each seat in the couch had a recliner option and there were four ottomans floating around the room. There was a Not-So-Mini-Minibar (trademarked by Martha the snake) with a personal bartender robot (He'll make sure you don't drink too much ambrosia) and one of every gaming console in the world. Even an old NES. But the highlight of the room was definitely the optional disco ball.
I was enjoying none of it: I was searching for a rat. And Olympus hires the best cleaning harpies in the world, which makes finding a rat impossible. But if anyone could, it was probably me. I'd found an ability to make dogs and cats immensely comfortable around me by focusing on having a calm mind myself. I hoped it would work on any animal. I sat on an ottoman and focused on being as calm as I could. I could feel it working: if there was a rat in the hotel, it would come to me.
The dust on my shoes flew into the air and circled into the shape of a rat. Suddenly, it grew fur and squeaked. It started to run, stopped, turned and walked over to me. I picked it up tenderly.
Someone knocked on my door. I walked to open it, but it opened on its own. Hermes and my father walked in.
"You really didn't expect to find a rat here did you?" Hermes said as he closed the door.
"Did you do that?" I asked.
Give me the rat, George said.
Say please, Martha scolded.
"Quiet or I'll turn you into pillbox mode," Hermes said. "Yes, I did that."
"How?" I asked.
"I'm a god," he said shrugging. "I feel I owe you both an explanation for our actions earlier. I'm sorry I couldn't talk about it outside of my temple. If there is one place where us gods respect each other's privacy it's our temples. Well, at least the ones on Olympus.
"We have heard your Great Prophecy as well and we know that an invasion is coming. We also know this invasion has a great possibility of success. We believe that this invasion will come from demigods."
"We could have told you that," I said rather stupidly. Dad flinched.
"Yes," Hermes said calmly. "But we don't know who those demigods will be. There's a reason you were met by the two gods who actually interact with mortals in our daily lives."
"Zeus suspects us?" Dad asked unbelievingly.
"No," Hermes said. "He suspects Chiron."
"What?!" Dad and I said at the same time. "Chiron would never do that!" I finished.
"I know that," Hermes said. "And Dionysus knows that too. Chiron is happy training demigods and wouldn't want the power and responsibility involved in Zeus' job. But we only know that because we interact with him regularly. But in Zeus' mind, Chiron is still a son of Kronos: a rival. And he's not really immortal: if no one needs training, he will die.
"Zeus wasn't acting against Chiron until Thanksgiving. When the gods were off Olympus, in other words weaker, there was an attack that nearly happened at the camp Chiron leads. Zeus wasn't happy with him. Now, Chiron is trying to call all the gods together. Further, when he showed up to this meeting, he is bringing the head counselors, or the strongest demigod, for every cabin including Hera's."
"New rulers matched up as one to one," Dad said.
"But we're not here to start a rebellion!" I said. "We're here to tell you who will! We're the second line: Heroes discover what's been undone."
"I believe you," Hermes said. "And I hope Nico can convince Zeus to change his mind."
Maybe he'll turn Nico into a rat George said.
Maybe he'll turn you into a rat, George Martha replied.
"Shut it," Hermes said.
"What happens if Nico fails to change Zeus' mind?" Dad asked.
Hermes sighed. "Then, none of you will leave this mountain alive."
I didn't sleep well that night.
I know, shocking. But I don't tend to sleep too well when I'm told I might die by an act of the gods at any moment. But I woke up in the morning and I thought that was a good sign. I survived walking to breakfast, which I thought was even better.
I filled my plate from the gigantic, two tier buffet and sat with my mother and father to eat.
"I hear Hermes scared you a little last night," Mom said.
"No," I said. She looked at me skeptically. "A little," I corrected.
"I remember the first time I was threatened by the gods," Mom started.
"Oh gods, Mom, stop," I said. Dad was no longer able to hold his laughter in at this point.
"What do you plan to do son?" he asked when he finally stopped laughing.
"Well, Hermes said Zeus can't do anything to me in his temple right?" I asked.
Dad smiled. "True, but Zeus can order Hermes to do it," he said. "Hermes may like you but he won't disobey Zeus for a mortal."
"Thanks Dad," I said. "What do you want me to do?"
"Realize something," Dad said.
"What?" I asked.
"That you entered a new world when you were claimed," Mom said. "The gods are always watching and you're always under threat of divine destruction. You have only two options: hide or continue. If you hide, you might be safer but you'll never be truly safe and you won't be a hero."
"So you want me to continue on," I said.
"Well if you continue, you'll have no guarantee of either safety or being a hero," Mom said.
"But if you hide, you'll disappoint Hera and she'll kill you herself," Dad said. "So continuing on and living is really your only hope of either."
I decided to leave Hermes' temple and walk up the mountain when the meeting we had all been waiting for was finally called. As soon as I entered the council room I realized we'd been the last notified of the meeting. The council room was the one thing on Olympus that my Mother had not been allowed to design. The gods had rebuilt the chamber to look almost exactly as my father had described it. Zeus and Hera sat upon their thrones at the far end of the hall, each about ten feet tall. The male thrones extended to their left, each throne resembling the respective god's taste. The female thrones extended to their right. Each line of thrones was perpendicular to Zeus and Hera, creating a kind of rectangle. The minor gods thrones were present but unoccupied.
In the middle of this rectangle, Chiron stood at attention facing Zeus. He was wearing his orange Camp Half-Blood t-shirt and was in full centaur form. Nico stood next to him looking disinterested. As each of us demigods arrived, we walked up and joined them. I waved to Hermes as I walked up. He only nodded in acknowledgement.
"Why aren't we starting?" I asked when I realized that all the demigods were present.
"My Dad's not here," Percy said. His face betrayed his worry.
"Lord Zeus," Chiron said. "We are present and are ready to give our warning to this council."
"Chiron," Zeus said. His tone was cold, but he did not blast us, which was good. "The council is not yet present. Have patience, little one." He put extra emphasis on the word "little."
"My apologies, I had assumed Poseidon was still working on the oil spill," Chiron said. "We will, of course wait."
"Lord Hermes, do you have any news?" Zeus asked.
"No, Lord Zeus," Hermes said. "I have heard nothing from Poseidon since yesterday."
Phone call for you sir, Martha said. This earned a nasty look from Zeus.
"Didn't I put you on silent?" Hermes asked as he brought his caduceus up.
It's of extreme importance sir. From Poseidon. I believed it relevant, Martha defended herself. The staff with George and Martha slithering around it morphed into a smartphone with the snakes slithering around the back cover. George winked at me before Hermes brought the phone-caduceus to his ear.
Hermes' face paled immediately, his eyes wide in what could only be described as fear. He brought the phone down in slow motion, his eyes fixed on my father. After what seemed like an eternity, he said "Perseus Jackson, son of Poseidon, step forward."
Everyone looked at my dad like he was about to explode, but he handled it like it happened all the time. Which it kind of did. He stepped forward and stood at the foot of Hermes' throne. "Stretch out your right hand," Hermes said. I saw Zeus tense and creep to the edge of his throne, but he didn't speak.
An audible gasp emitted throughout the room as a green light appeared in my Dad's hand. The light solidified and extended into a long spear. The end of the spear split into three prongs before the light became solid and gold with pearls where the spear split. It was the Trident of Poseidon, his symbol of power.
"Perseus Jackson, Lord Poseidon gives you his power. You are temporary Lord of the Sea," Hermes said.
"What?" my Dad said. Mom rolled her eyes: Dad always said the right things.
"Poseidon has conferred upon you all of his powers except immortality," Chiron said, unable to hide the awe in his voice. "In effect, you are the Lord of the Sea. It is a power all gods have, but they never use it."
"Why?" Percy asked.
"Because in giving you their powers, they lose them," Chiron said.
"What reason did Poseidon give for this betrayal?" Zeus asked with fire on his voice.
"Betrayal?" Athena asked. "Poseidon has been the most loyal of us for centuries. He was well within his rights to do this. He would never betray this council."
"He knows that a demigod rebellion is coming," Zeus said. "Now he has armed one. I want to know the reason!"
"If you would simply follow my plan, you wouldn't need to worry," Athena said.
"Enough!" Zeus said. "I've heard enough of your plan!" Athena sat back in her throne, angry but holding her tongue.
"He did give a reason," Hermes said slightly above a whisper. "He was killed."
"What?" the whole council exclaimed together.
"He was called back to his palace for an urgent meeting and while he was there it was attacked by something that he couldn't defeat. He believed it would kill him," Hermes explained.
"What could kill a god?" Ares asked.
"We believe we may be able to answer that," Chiron said. He was way braver than me.
Zeus stared at Chiron during the silence that followed. "Perhaps we should hear them out?" Hera asked more than said.
Zeus leaned back and motioned to Poseidon's, no Percy's, throne. "Sit, Perseus Jackson, Substitute Lord of the Sea." Percy did so, somehow figuring out how to grow to ten feet tall. "The council is convened," Zeus said as soon as my Dad sat down. "What information do you bring, Chiron?"
Chiron and Nico summed up the attack on the Underworld. "It is my belief that this same phenomenon attacked Poseidon," Chiron finished.
"But how can anything kill a god?" Aphrodite asked. She seemed particularly worried about it.
"The Sword of Hades," Percy said before Chiron could speak. "I was there as it was being made. The Sword has a key to the Underworld inside of it. Therefore, with just a scratch of the blade, it has the power to lock any soul, I repeat any soul, in Tartarus. It does severe damage but doesn't really kill a god anymore than Zeus killed Kronos."
Thunder rolled in the sky. "Don't say his name here," Zeus said.
"Why would Hades create such a weapon?" Athena asked.
"Hades didn't want to," Percy said. "Persephone did it against his orders. Now they have both suffered the consequences, and from the sound of it Poseidon has as well. Tartarus is a nasty place indeed."
"You'd know all about Tartarus wouldn't you, boy?" Ares asked.
"Not as much as I would if you'd had your way," Percy said in an equally vicious tone.
"Boy, your daddy ain't around anymore to protect you. Don't overstep your bounds," Ares warned. His eyes were beginning to burn through his sunglasses.
"You know last time a war started you were behind it all. Why aren't we investigating you?" Percy asked without getting up from the throne.
"You want to fight boy?" Ares asked, rising to his full height.
"Wanting another cut on that ankle?" Percy asked without rising. "I wonder how much more pain a trident would cause."
"ENOUGH!" Hera said rising to her feet. The action caused a gasp from the council and made Ares sit down, but he didn't remove his gaze from Percy.
"This bickering is not helping us," Hera said, returning to her seat. "We need to focus on the ramifications and our response. My son has a comment to that effect."
I stood stunned, unsure how Hera had known what I was thinking, but I decided to voice it anyway. Everyone was staring at me so I needed something. "Well, council of, um, gods and such, earlier Nico said there was a rift within the Underworld. That some spirits followed Hades and others followed the person holding the symbol of power - "
"Christopher," Nico interrupted.
"Right. I was wondering if the same thing could happen in the Sea now that Poseidon is, presumably, locked in Tartarus. What consequences could this action have?" I finished with Hera beaming at me. Hestia also winked approvingly from the hearth in the middle of the chamber.
"A good question," Athena said. "It is puzzling indeed why one of Poseidon's lieutenants was not picked over this demigod."
"Well, we all know why that oaf Tyson wasn't picked," Ares said. Both Percy and Hephaestus rose at that but were persuaded by Hera to sit back down.
"But why wasn't Triton picked?" Athena asked. "He was the heir to the Sea."
"You never ask a question like that without already having an answer," Mr. D. said almost sarchasitcally.
Athena smiled. "It indicates to me that Triton is behind it," she said. "Poseidon gave Percy his powers to set him against Triton who was taking the Throne of the Sea by force. He wanted to create that rift Winston Alexander talked about."
Silence followed Athena's comments as it always did.
"Is there any who can find fault in Athena's comments?" Hera finally asked. No one said anything.
"Then it remains what to do about the greatest consequence of Triton taking over," Zeus said.
"What's that?" Ares asked. He appeared interested for the first time since the Tyson comment.
"The Flood," Zeus said. The gods all murmured in recognition except Percy who looked as confused as us demigods.
"Like, Noah's Flood?" Dad finally asked. He was finally looking like my Dad again.
"Yes," Zeus said. "Long ago, I became angry at the inhabitants of this world. I ordered a flood to wipe them out. As governor of this world, I have the authority to do that. I made it rain upon the earth for forty days and Poseidon brought forth the waters from under the earth, which really caused most of the flood. One man's family survived. You know this man as Noah. The Greeks called him Deucalion.
"After the flood, my master the metaphysical God demanded an account for my actions. He was not happy with the flood. He sent an archangel named Selaphiel with a bow to the earth and a demand. He ordered a door be created to drain the floodwaters under the earth. The bow, which could only be fired once, would then be fired upon the doors to seal them forever. You refer to this bow as the rainbow."
"What's the problem then?" Percy asked.
Zeus smiled. "We never locked the door," he said. "Selaphiel's job is to pray unceasingly. He found the world a wonderful, disturbance free, place to do that. I assured Selaphiel that the flood would never happen again and he retreated to a small, desert mountain in the East. Though, he did make sure to set up a reflection of the rainbow to remind us of our promise."
"You disobeyed the Metaphysical?" Chiron asked.
"The order was not really needed," Zeus said. "Our power comes from our kingdoms, that is why Pan died. When the flood happened, the Sea and the Underworld, my two greatest rivals, grew astronomically. Meanwhile, my kingdom remained stagnant while the other Olympians all fell to almost nothing. With the world flooded, there is no agriculture, marriage, love, machinery, hearth, wisdom or anything else. The other Olympians would keep me in check; I didn't need to lock the door. However, we could use it as a weapon against our enemies."
"Poseidon was the only one who knew where the door was," Athena said. "Now it is out of our control."
"Wrong," Zeus said. "I didn't want Poseidon to have that kind of power. I ordered someone else to make the door and ensure it was not in Poseidon's kingdom."
"Who?" Athena asked.
"Triton," Zeus said. "Now the Sea and the Underworld are in our enemies hands and the Door of the Deep has become the greatest weapon against us. Now, it must be locked."
"None of you know where it is?" Percy asked.
"No," Hera said for the group.
"Then a Quest is in order," he said. "I nominate my son to lead it."
"Hey!" Ares said before the other gods could interject. "My son, Jim Davis is the perfect selection for this quest!"
A uproar began as each of the gods nominated their own child. Even Artemis suggested that Thalia lead the quest.
"Fellow Olympians!" Athena shouted, rising to her feet. The room quieted. "As much as we would all like to have our child lead this quest, its importance cannot be underestimated. For this quest, we must set aside allegiance and choose by quality. Personally, I agree with Artemis; Thalia's tracking skills will be invaluable."
"There's only one problem," I said without thinking. I realized my mistake and apologized.
"It is the curse of having a share of my wisdom, grandson," Athena said. Aphrodite groaned.
"Speak, demigod," Zeus said.
"Well, this quest will involve taking a symbol of power from an archangel and crossing an unknown number of realms. As good as Thalia is, she is no longer a demigod. She could not accomplish this quest," I said quickly.
Silence followed, which I wasn't sure was a good thing.
"Perhaps Winston should lead this quest after-all," Mr. D. said. He was the last person I expected to speak up. "Assuming there is a rift in the Sea, as the grandson of Poseidon, he may be able to win the allegiance of dryads along the way. And he has the powers of Hera, which could help diffuse tense situations, particularly with Selaphiel."
"I agree," Aphrodite said.
"Do any oppose?" Zeus asked. No one spoke up. "Then it is settled. Winston Alexander Jackson will lead the quest. We are adjourned."