"No, young man, this place is off limits," the security guard said roughly, with his hands crossed on his chest, a scowl firmly planted on his squared, squashed face.
Percy complained, "Oh come on, how many times have I told you? I said I have business here—"
"No girls, booze or drugs here. And for the last time, this place is off limits. O-f-f L-i-m-i-t-s. Go home. Find your friends and snort your weed, before I have to get you out of here."
Percy rubbed his face tiredly. He had been here talking to the same person for more then fifteen minutes, trying to convince him about the same thing. He was currently standing in front of a construction yard. Tall clothed fences surrounded the area, ramps and steel pipes forming a jungle inside. The sun was now beating high up in the sky, sending its boiling twelve o'clock rays down on the concrete pavements.
The heat was making Percy irritated, and the security guard is standing right beneath the doorway, where shadows shield him. The street here was empty, and so was the construction yard, devoid of any sound and movement. Percy silently cursed himself for not being able to use the Mist to help him, to 'convince' the security guard to get out of his way. He really, really need to learn that finger snappy thing.
Percy tried again, "Look, you want proof? That elevator shaft over there, its 'bottom' can slide open and reveal a perfectly functional elevator—"
The security guard scowled, "Thats enough from you, punk. Get out—"
"Johnson? Whats the racket about?" Another voice rang out from the central building, revealing an other agent disguised as a 'construction worker'. He lumbered over, his hard hat in his hands and 'drill' dangling at his belt.
The security guard, Johnson, scowled again, "Nothing, I'm just getting our little friend here to leave."
The 'construction worker' walked over, scrutinising Percy up and down, "Boy, are you lost? Can you not see that this is a construction yard?"
Percy said blearily, "You can drop the act, you know. SHIELD agents?"
"Get out of here!" Johnson growled, placing his big meaty hands on Percy's should and shoved.
That was a mistake.
Percy instantly reacted without thinking. He grabbed Johnson's arms as he fell backward, all the while using his falling momentum to swing his right leg upward, right between Johnson's legs.
"Oomph!" Johnson gave a strained groan that sound like a dying hog, before crumpling over on the spot, whimpering.
For a moment, both Percy and the 'construction worker' looked at each other in the eye like 'what just happened?'.
That moment abruptly ended as the man reached for his 'electric drill'.
Percy dived forward and knocked the man over before the gun was even out of its holster. When the man tried to get up from under him, Percy swiftly smashed his elbow onto the man's nose.
With a crunch, the man's eyes rolled back and slumped onto the floor, out cold. The man's nostrils streamed blood, most likely from a broken nose.
Silence. The construction yard was as empty as ever, the palisade hiding them from all prying eyes.
Slowly, Percy stood up, breathing deeply as his brief adrenaline rush faded away. Slowly, he surveyed the environment. Johnson was still whimpering on the ground, hands covering his crotch, squirming like a fish trapped on land. There are no guards swarming up, there are no alarms blaring. Dully, Percy concluded that no one noticed this fiasco.
How convenient that there would only be two guards. Either they were over confident, have a lack of man power or that this is a trap. Percy decided that he dislike the latter.
Percy propped the unconscious agent up, leaning him against a wall with the face downward so that the blood wouldn't suffocate him. Johnson his now squirming on the floor, crawling along the floor. Percy brought an end to that by punch the man on in the jaws, the man slackening like a stinginess puppet. Now, Percy thought, what should I do to keep these two down in case they woke up?
Normally, Percy is against hurting mortals, demigods definitely random blokes that were simply doing their jobs. That elbowing and kneeing were unfortunate things that have to be done.
Hopefully, no permanent damage had been done...
Percy quickly disarmed the pair, taking their pistols and ear piece off, hiding them in the worker canteen in case they contain some kind of tracking device. Its not like Percy will ever be able to aim a gun either, so it would be pretty much useless for him. No bows, no guns, and no bazookas. He can never aim. Though, he kept their name cards and strange little keys he found, along with the set of pliers and bolt-cutters.
Always horde everything that can help, but be prepared to lose anything that you bring with yourself. This is once of the golden rules of being a demigod on a mission.
Percy wandered into the security booth and inspected the bags and things nearby. He found several walki-talkies, which he left it where it was. He saw TV screen looking through security cameras. He poured water from a nearby water bottle on it. The computer immediately fizzed and died out from the combine effort of water and Percy's magical presence.
While in the room, he noticed a few stacks of boxes on the side. Instinct told him to open it up, and he did, using his pen's tip to slice the tape. In the box, he found rolls upon rolls of a familiar silver.
Percy grabbed one and smiled to himself evilly, before setting to work.
Duct tapes fixes everything, right?
Of course it does. And two knocked-out, drooling adult males that can wake up at anytime is definitely in the list.
He whistled to himself merrily as he walked to the centre of the building, where the unconstructed lift stood. The building itself seemed to be a shopping mall, or something like that. What they are trying to achieve with it all the way out here with no residential areas nearby was beyond him. He sighed slightly as he entered the shade provided by the first floor, the dust swirling in the air as he disturbed it.
Percy scrutinised the elevator shaft, the bottom where great coils of steel was embedded into concrete. The shaft led up to open sky, which let in a bright beam of sunshine into the elevator shaft, contrasting to the dark environment. It gave it a strangely holy vibe.
Now, how to get the thing open?
Hecate had told him that there would be an elevator shaft under the fake one, but as far as he could see, the bottom is concrete. No hinges, no bolts, not going to go anywhere.
He stood there for a good fifteen minutes, stuck staring at the elevator. He prodded around at everything, pushed every dodgy looking thing that he could find. Maybe the elevator couldn't be used from the outside, and is controlled from within? That would make sense. A so did it throw a wrench in his plans.
His job here was simple. Get in. Say hi. Kill monsters.
Now he felt like he is trying to infiltrate SHEILD as if he is a spy.
A teenage, crazy spy with issues.
His watch said that it is approaching twelve O'clock. He hoped that it meant it is time for a guard shift, or something like that. He fished inside his jeans, and was rewarded with an iPod.
Yes, an iPod. There is no rule against using electronics. As long as you are not sending out signals, its perfectly fine, and that monsters will not come for you like piranhas to a wounded otter. He plugged the earphones into his ears and flicked on the device, playing homemade songs performed and recorded by the Apollo Cabin.
He leaned against a concrete pillar, and waited.
Somehow, when compared to slaying monsters in a daily basis, going to walk in a secret mortal organisation seemed a whole lot more fantasy like, a lot more surreal. Along with the fact that he is going solo here, it is even more daunting. Further more, it was apparent that he will facing guns. He was very sure that he can't dodge bullets, or have bullet-proof skin, or slice them in half mid-air like action movies.
What were the Gods thinking anyway? How did they expect a sword to hold up against guns? Percy was pretty sure that his body was perfectly squishy, at least from the last time he checked. He can still die in many painful, horrific ways that will probably be an embarrassing end to his demigod career.
Suddenly, the floor began to shake beneath his feet. He could feel the vibration rising up from underground. With a massive belch-like sound, the elevator bottom suddenly wrenched itself from the ground, pistons holding them up, revealing a gaping hole underneath the concrete.
Percy stood back and hid behind the pillar he was leaning against, pocketing his iPod. He drew his hoodie close around him, and watched.
Slowly, a platform rose from within the newly opened shaft. In it, two similarly dressed man were chatting idly. It was easy to see that they were meant to resemble the two earlier guards that Percy tied up like a spider cocoon with duct tape.
And there Percy was starting to wonder if he had somehow accidentally really went into a construction yard.
Finally, the platform came to a screeching halt, and the light on its fences turned a pleasant green. The men stepped off the platform, still talking idly.
Abruptly, Johnson #2 frowned and looked around, asking, "Where are the guys? Ain't like them to miss their lunch..."
Percy slowly withdrew from his hiding spot, tip-toeing behind the two men as they slowly walked away. He uncapped Riptide into its sword form, now painfully aware that it can harm mortals.
He raise the sword above Johnson #2's head.
With a clang, he slammed flat of the blade right onto the back of his head. The other guy reeled back in shock, saying, "What the—"
Before he finished his sentence, Percy kicked at the back of his knee, sending him off balance and flailing. With another shove, he got the guy on the ground. With another expert smash with the hilt of his sword, he too is out cold, slumping onto the floor with his butt high in the air.
Great. More bodies.
Well, at least he got duct tape to spare.
Panic did't quite fit the description of SHIELD right now. Maybe 'Pandemonium' would fit better.
Another secret organisation showed up. Yay! And not to mention, they were on their side.
How ironic is it? A secret organisation dictated to protect mankind that was supposed to be secret got visited by another secret organisation that protect mankind claiming that the first secret organisation needed protection in order to continue protect mankind and thus save the world.
Before anyone even started to say the word, 'council', Tony already started to do his own preparations. First off, the worlds satellites are now being hijacked to look for the presidential Percy Jackson and the girl in the... scroll, screen thingy.
Jarvis the third, the intelligence that Tony managed to slip in to the SHIELD computer system two years ago is now on full alert, recording all unusual readings, making calculations how where the Percy Jackson's most likely entry point to be.
Currently, Starky the submarine is now cruising its way into the Atlantic Ocean, right where the Helicarrier was sunk. The machine probably was already scouring the ocean floor for clues. Giant scales, bones, shipwrecks and anything that might link to the mysterious leviathan they faced.
Before he can do anymore on his phone though, Fury suddenly slammed his hand into the council table, saying in his typical Fury voice of command, "I think that I don't need to explain why on earth you people are in this room sitting down, so lets get down to business."
"Are you asking our opinion on it?" Tony asked, raising an eyebrow, "When since SHIELD ever did that?"
"SHIELD doesn't. The Avenger Initiative, however, do," Fury lazily answered, "What are your thoughts on them?"
"Cautious," Dr. Banner said, "They don't trust us at all. The mask, the voice. We can't track them."
"With very good reasons..." Tony muttered.
"The one talking was probably young," Natasha supplied, "Even when she talked in a commanding tone, it is still quite obvious that her mannerism was unexperienced."
"You think that she might be a fake? A mask for their organisation?" Barton asked.
"No, I think she's legit."
"A group of youngsters fighting? In the twentieth century? Saving the world and all that?" Steve asked, concerned, "Don't you think that they are a bit young? I mean, look at Percy Jackson. He's not even eighteen."
Thor rumbled, "Many warriors fight young, friend. You can't teach an old man to fight, and young man and woman can be surprisingly good combatants to survive."
"We know that," Tony said, raising his eyebrow again, "But still, a warrior. Good enough to be sent here—" Tony gestured at the room, pointing at the SHIELD emblem, "Among us. Spies, agents, aliens, metal suit, biohazard science man and Capcicle."
"He took down the Serpent," Thor supplied helpfully.
"Speaking of which," Capcicle raised up a finger, "How did he did... what ever he did? The watery giant swordsman?"
"We don't know yet," Tony admitted reluctantly, "We couldn't figure out how he controls water. Definitely not physically possible, yet."
"And its not just him," Fury said, "There is still this shadowy kid somehow got into the Helicarrier, and could have killed me if he wanted to."
"So lets say, this organisation's warriors do not have a same set of skills. Water, darkness, fire, things like that," Banner said, "And Percy Jackson is coming. So, water, apparently."
"The theory can still be wrong, though."
"They say that they come from a world where swords and bows rule the sky. But first, what can a sword do against guns?" Tony asked.
Suddenly, an offended Barton, Capcicle and Thor glared at him. Tony gulped and raised his hands in submission, "Fine, I take that back. The next thing, Minotaurs and Dragons."
"Monsters, they exist," Thor said, once again extremely helpful.
"Yes, they can very well exist. But still, Minotaurs, dragons. It seemed a bit far-fetched..."
"The Sea Serpent was very real to me."
"And what do they mean in 'we came from a world where blah blah blah'?" Banner asked, changing the direction of the conversation, "A different dimension? Time? Planes?"
"Or can just as easily be a figure of speech, since we found them here, we tracked them" Natasha said, "But that raise another question, how on earth do they hide their little monster hunting fiascos?"
"Thats another 'we don't know'. When ever we got a lock on one of them, they just suddenly disappear. Our agents comeback, confused. The evidence will somehow magically disappear. Like they never existed."
"So, to conclude," Fury said, "A mysterious magical organisation is offering one of their warriors to help us deal with the trouble we will face from their world, and that we shouldn't refuse because we would rather have them as allies."
"In a nut-shell, essentially yes. Along with the fact that monsters will appear all over the world."
"Man, we can never take a break, can we? Its like every other day, you thought you took down a drug lord, and suddenly aliens appear and decide to ravage New York. Every time you thought something was done, bam! More problems."
"We signed up for this, Barton," Capcicle said, " and some of us didn't even get to choose."
"Hold on a moment," Banner raised up a finger, "What you are saying, is that these guys, along with their personal 'monsters', live next to us the entire time?"
Tony had thought about that himself. If, to say, there are monsters everywhere, like giant underwater serpents or man-shaped bull charging along in a farm, it would be pretty obvious. It would be pretty hard to miss. But then, it is one thing to say that they live next to us, or that they live in the country side.
Tony finally answered after a whole thirty seconds of contemplating silence, "It would be pretty hard to miss, yes. That is, if they live right in the city. There are plenty of places that they can hide. The Amazon Rain Forest, the arctic, the sea, under ground, hell, pretty much anywhere people don't live in," Tony took a breath and looked at Fury, "How many phone calls or reports have you received about monsters or things similar again?"
"See? Even if they do exist, we would very conveniently ignore them or pass them off as prank calls or photo shop."
"Easier to hide from the world than we expected, huh?"
"Lets get back to the point," Fury interrupted, "Percy Jackson, their 'warrior', will be coming."
"A boy, no less," Steve muttered.
"For all we know, he is on is way right now," Natasha said, "probably already at the front gate knocking."
"Why don't we notify the guarding agents to look for a boy?" Tony suggested, "That would be very practical."
"No, Tony. The less people that knows about this, the better," Fury answered, "They might know about the Helicarrier disaster, but they don't know why, and I do not intend for them to know about this."
Steve opened his mouth to speak, but before he does, there was a know at the great double doors at the end of the meeting hall. Usually when there was a meeting, there would be absolutely no interference from the outside world. There was a rule that there should be no knocking, entering or leaving the council room until the end of the meeting. So, when someone actually knocked on the door, it should be a big deal.
Fury motioned for the doors to open. Sensing the motion of his hands, the door slid open on their own silently, retreating back into the walls.
A lone officer stood in the doorway, his hands frozen in the air in the motion of knocking, and his eyes staring at the Avengers with fright.
Oh well. Another freaky fanboy.
Fury raised a single eyebrow and ordered, "Speak."
The officer stood up straight tautly and cleared his throat, "ahem.. Sir-r, there was an accident at the - at the western entrances... We lost contact with the four guarding agents, and the elevator was misused. The western warden suspect an infiltration..."
Tony raised his eyebrows at that. The Avengers all automatically gave each other the look. Fury ignored them and spoke to the trembling officer, "I want you to report to the western warden that his sector is to be shut down until the source of the problem the discovered and solved. Is that clear?"
The officer gave a frantic nod.
"Then scram." Fury gave a shoo motion with his hands.
The officer turned tail and ran, disappearing down the hallway. The doors slid shut behind him with a hiss.
There was a moment of awkward silence where the Avengers simply looked at each other uneasily. That moment was broken when Banner muttered, "Well that couldn't be more coincidental."
She wrecked her brain trying to remember the lessons Hecate gave her and it was proving quite hard as almost everything the goddess had said was either in metaphors or questions. Not to mention her ADHD, her brain hadn't bothered to listen to her anyway despite her best efforts.
There had been a strange tilt to the quests coming from the oracle. Normally most quests would be about clearing out a monster den, rescuing some satyrs, or to fetch something from someone to someone else.
And now, there are some pretty weird quests coming out of Rachel's mouth. Things about going planting bombs and stealing various things from mortals. Hazel wondered if Rachel had somehow went haywire because of Apollo's punishment. After all, with all their efforts to stay out of mortal business, now they would directly go and blow up an office. The risk had increased as well, now that they were up against the tech savvy mortals, with guns. Not that they were willing to test the theory out, but they were sure that swords and shields are not that useful against giant turrets filled with anti-tank rifles and bazookas.
Not that it was often, but still, it was very strange. Maybe it had something to do wit the fact that many damned souls had escaped Tartarus earlier in the Gaea War, and had kidnapped / posed as humans.
That was an unpleasant possibility.
Hence right now, Hazel is breaking in into a military compound in the middle of Arizona, half set in a mountain, half out in the air. Hazel managed to locate this place out of the entire desert because of the sheer magnetic disorder in the area. Some thing told her that she should absolutely run away from whatever source of this magnetic field like every living thing nearby.
Up over in the sky, there were no birds flying. Around her, not a single animal breathes, not a single plant lives. There was no wind, no clouds. Even the sun itself seemed to be weaker than usual, the ground itself wasn't even all that hot despite the fact that it was pass midday.
This sincerely creeped her out more than the House of Hades ever did. At least she knew that that was her dad's summer palace, not... this.
This place almost vibrates with wrongness.
This must be why Hecate had sent her on this particular mission. All alone too. That too was strange. Why didn't Hecate send her own children for this mission. Why must it be her?
There are a lot of unanswered questions.
She shook the thought out of her head, steeling herself from her mind wandering off.
Hazel refocused on the military compound before her. High fences surround the rough brown-coloured rectangular structures, the shadow of the mountain making ti hard for her to pick out the details. A few towers stuck out with satellite dishes attached to. With her binoculars she spied several officers walking around in a strange, unfamiliar garb. There were several other person walking around. They were dressed in white lab coats with their hands bound behind them.
Hazel watched as the men were marched into an arch way into the mountain, several soldiers with gun prodding them to enter the building. Maybe this is a secret research facility? Which organisation controls it? Why were the scientist bound? Hazel herself was ordered to find out the source of the magnetic field, and if possible, remove it.
Hazel shuffle up from her laid-down spying position and put away her binoculars in her leather bag. She slowly walked over beyond a dune and found an abandoned well sitting, it diameter around one and half meter wide, its stones digging far beneath the sand and dirt. She was sure that the well didn't exist before she came here.
Lesson 1, Everything only is because of it's observers.
Hazel pried open the wooden lid of the well and looked down. With the sunlight shining from above, she could see the bottom of the well thirty two meters and twenty three centimetres deep. She didn't know how she knew the depth of the well, and how she knew that there was another tunnel under the well.
She clambered over the top of the well, and leapt.
She dug her fingers into the walls of the well. The stone came away as soft and mushy clay.
With a splat, she landed on the bottom the well, the watery clay at the bottom of the well cushioning her fall like a pillow. Dully, she thought to herself, I apparently do not take fall damage.
She rose from the mud, the clay itself falling off her jeans, not dragging her down. A tunnel goes through the bottom of the well. Automatically, she knew what direction she had to go.
She walked under the entrance of tunnel, the sunlight fading out behind her. She tracked on the stone and dripping water. Despite the darkness, she knew perfectly well where she is, where every step would be.
She focused herself once again.
Lesson 2, Everything is only a matter of perspective.
Hazel continued to walk forward, and came across a door that wasn't there before. She pressed her hand on the sandstone door.
The door rumbled like the engine of a car. A small triangle glowed in the middle of the slab as it started to crack. As fissures appeared all over its surface, the door imploded into dust, letting light to spill into the tunnel.
Hazel walked through the dust into the next room, the ash bothering her not. She found herself in a broom closet. A single lightbulb hung from the ceiling on a wire, dimly lighting up the shelves nearby. Cans of paint and brushes sat on the shelves, crates of different construction tool stacking up in the corner. A single steel door sits on the end of the room.
Hazel extended her underground senses outward. In her mind, she could map out the entire compound. As her consciousness travels through the tunnels, she could see each and every single detail, feel the breath humans, the ventilation that crisis the earth.
This sensation gave her an uncanny feeling not unlike that of a spider sitting on her web, and the feeling itself had somewhat creeped herself out. Oh no, she had enough of spiders and the alike. She had only saw the web of Arachne and that along is enough for her. No, no spiders.
Hazel turned around and looked at the tunnel where she came from. It was nothing but a blank wall. The tunnel never existed. No dust, no water.
Well then. She is in. Time to get to work.
HOW'S LIFE? IT'S BEEN.. UH... A FEW MONTHS HEH?
Uh... I was somewhat bored of writing important fillers. So, I procrastinated for months on the same chapter. In fact, I hadn't been on for so long that all the other previous writings expired, with only this chapter left. : (
But anyway, here's a chapter.