Percy blundered on in the streets, quite lost. What should he do? A hero without a quest! Unheard of! He had half expected that the gods would suddenly come down and plop another prophecy on his head. Seriously, two prophecies in a life time, way better than what other demigods can achieve in a life time, rivaling Heracles' own legend, and the guy turned out to be psycho and homicidal.
That didn't exactly cheers him up.
Actually, it would be more likely if a sludge monster suddenly rise from the sewer and demands his head. That wasn't fun. Not at all.
His went over to central park, and sat down on a bench in front of the lake, closed his eyes and listened. He could hear the wind pushing through the leaves, the plants. He could smell the scent of flower in the air, dirt and water. He could feel the lake through the ground, its untold power and history. He smiled to himself and loose himself in memories. It was here, that he had the battle against the Titan Hyperion, where he had first successfully summoned a storm. Many lives were lost that day, dryads, satyrs, demigods alike, Well, at least they got what they came here for.
Suddenly, he remembered that in Tartarus he had seen Hyperion walking about before getting shredded by the ground (aka Tartarus). Then, in that case, is the tree still here? He bolted from the bench without warning, scattering a few doves before stopping in front of the maple tree. It was as large and thick as it ever was. The bark was healthy, the leaves full, probably because it absorbed the essence of a titan, the Ichor. And it sort of stood out like a sore thumb, standing in the middle of the road like that. But well, at least no one tried to chop it down. That unlucky mortal might simply get shot with titanly light before bursting into flames, dying a terrible death.
He was glad that the area had been reclaimed quite nicely, tree were being watered and care for, guards that were paid were actually patrolling, warding off against all those that might try to litter in the wild with a bat.
Maybe the guards are satyrs, you'll never know. Especially those waving clubs around, Hedge style.
Wait. Something's wrong. Maybe its because of the water nearby, he could sense something distinctively wrong. He was tempted to immediately snap his head around to look for the source of trouble, but experience had taught him that doing so is equivalent of waving a huge bloody red flag shouting "COME AND GET SOME!"
So instead, he slowly withdrew from the tree, and started down a brisk jog down the side of the lake. Using his mind, he called out to the water spirits in the water, "Anyone?"
The lake immediately replied, "Yo? What can we help you with?"
"Can you do me a favor? See if anyone dodgy is watching me."
"Sure can do."
Talking to the minor (really minor, though he wasn't about to say it out loud) water gods telepathically had been a trick Percy had been mastering ever since the business with Tiber. He found out that every lake, river or reservoir out there got a least one god living in it. This knowledge had proved quite useful when he found out that all of them owe allegiance to Poseidon, especially when in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by monsters of every kind. Percy had particularly liked this lake. It reminds him of Blackjack.
"Yo! No one dodgy around. No one following around, no one staring like an idiot..."
"Anyone interesting around?" He thought.
"Well, there is this couple snoggin-" the voice continued.
"Fast forward. Skip that, don't go for details please."
"Okay okay! Calm down... Other than the couple, there was this mortal russian woman lugging a bag about, pointing everywhere with a... what do you call that gadget, camera? Besides her, no one funny or anything."
"I know, right? "With that, the voice melted away.
Struggling to remain calm and collected, Percy strolled leisurely to the exit of the park, ignoring the temptation of looking around. Trouble is coming.
With all his demigod's instinct, he was sure that trouble was coming in fast and very, very deadly.
She braved a glance at the boy that was obviously aware of her presence. Silently, she acted an image of a first-time traveler, taking photos of thing of interest. The boy that she was spying on appeared to be the "Energy Spike" that she was ordered to track. He doesn't look all that impressive: a sixteen-or-so highschooler, dressed in shabby jeans and an orange T-shirt, complete with a blue hooded jacket. His hair was black, his body quite lean and his expression looked like he is constipating.
All in one, Natasha was not reassured. She had looked into the boy's file, all the information that Shield can find about him. His name is Percy Jackson. Went missing at twelve, apparently kidnapped but managed to escape with a gun show-down, while he was hunted by the polices and managed to show up everywhere. His original father was missing at birth, and his mother, Sally Jackson also went missing for a short period of time at twelve, miraculously appearing back at the flat less than two weeks later. His step-father, Gabe Ugliano had said that the boy was on drugs, and shortly after Percy escaped and returned, he disappeared. That was when he was twelve, the first of the series he was about in initiate
Over the next few years (or the rest of his life), he had been in similar fashions appearing across the entire western continents. In America, in Quebec, in Alaska, in Greece and Rome - generally you can find him anywhere. Anywhere that a power surge can be found.
It had greatly shocked and surprised everyone that he managed to elude Shield for so long without even trying. With deeper researches, they had found that there are many more of such instances across the globe, smaller power surges coming with it.
For a long time, Natasha hadn't been nervous. Actually, the last time that she was ever remotely near anxious was when Barton to brain-wiped. Right now, she was sweating quite profusely. Something just seemed off, something not quite right, and this feeling was quite unpleasant. She had learned to obey her instincts over the long hard years, and they are now telling her to "Turn away walking as fast ass you can".
What had bothered her even more is that how a boy can hold such power, on him, with him or by him. Where was the energy signal coming from; the boy, something he had on his body, or a particular item? Is he a terrorist? Is he working for anyone? What is his motive? Natasha hate not having information, and usually her missions include finding them out. Even though Barton was jumping across the rooftops like an acrobat just to cover her, she still can't shake that sinking feeling.
Shaking herself out of her trance, Natasha looked back at her target, who was now jogging to the entrance, going to disappear from sight soon if she doesn't follow soon. Cursing slightly, she sped up her foot steps, walking quite briskly toward the exit.
She spoke softly to her hidden listening device, "Target is leaving Central Park. No hostile actions observed."
"Ditto to that," Barton said.
Over the com, Stark suddenly butted in, obviously hacking the com of the microphones again, "Not hostile? Trouble follows this kid, I swear it. Every he goes - BOOM! A random building catches on fire or blow up."
"What do we do with him?" Natasha asked, ignoring Tony (again), waiting for Director Fury's answer rather nervously.
After a moment, he finally replied with a weary voice, "Continue to follow him and observe; if you manage to get him alone, talk to him and bring him in."
After a bit of considering, he said, "And also, Tony, you are in. Bring your suit."
He took a shuddering deep breath, struggling to stay calm. All his senses were tingling, screaming "GET OUT OF HERE!" at him. He was currently in the streets again, amidst oblivious mortals, walking by. He need to leave, now. That women who was following him, is mortal. He was completely sure of it, the lake god had said so.
This is potentially disastrous. He should have know the mist wouldn't hide everything. Even if the monster-slaying part was hidden, he would still sure to draw unwanted attention with his trek across the globe, all the trouble in the news.
And now the mortals are looking for him, and they seriously mean business. He glanced at the reflective window opposite to the road, and sure enough, the woman he saw earlier was still around, her attention on him. On the roof, he could sense another being. Someone that use ranged attacks? Tactical support?
Really, now what? It would be impossible to escape the city now.
That leaves only one choice: To confront his pursuers.
He looked around, trying to locate a suitable place for confrontation - Jackpot! He found a darkened alley, with a roof made of stairs and stacked cardboard paper, yet wide enough for his weapons to be used to their max potential. And further more, there is an open sewer lid that he can escape to, with all their watery support at his back.
Without a second thought, he waltzed into the alleys, retreated in deep and waited behind a stairs. He silently counted, one, two, three...
Pat Pat Pat The sound of the mortal's footsteps were prominent.
Five, six, seven...
Percy closed his eyes, his senses sharp. He focused on the air, the surrounding, accessing to all his sensory organs, trying to paint a picture of the of the world around. While so, he gave a silent prayer to Hermes for his sneaking blessing upon him. Just let me get out of this mess. I would even try to train your kids!
Pat Pat Pat...
He can feel the minuscular vibration on the damp concrete floor, the echoes of footsteps reverberating like an insect on a spider's web. One peculiar set stopped right on the entrance, half in half out. The figure was probably standing now at the entrance, staring at the dirty, wet alley, wondering wether to enter or not. Well, the moment of truth
The footsteps stepped out of the alley.
Percy had almost smiled in relief, yet he didn't allow himself to. This one had been too close, for a mortal to try and discover his kind, and more importantly, him. This is positively disastrous.
Percy slipped back into focus mode, and felt another tiny tug at his web of water. Heavy, but it vibrated so softly it almost fooled him. Almost, but not quite. A detached portion of his ADHD mind congratulating himself in able to remember all those old 101 rules of hero-ing ~ don't relax just yet ~ feeling absurdly proud of himself for a moment before snapping back to attention.
Ohhh great. Now what? Breaking out is a very viable option, yes... but just the part that he must not reveal himself to mortal sort of proved to be a chink in his plans. Distraction? A random runaway horse down the highway? Possible, if he try to slip away at the same time, out of the alley or into the sewers. Percy is not fond of sewers. Wet is good, yes, smelly and disgusting, no. Leave him out of it, with its usual infestation of slug monsters, giant rats and the a croc-man swaging down the draining pipes. A very cheerful place. He cursed himself for choosing a close ended alley for hiding. It was an extremely stupid decision.
"I know you are in there," a feminine voice rang out, "Stand out and no one would need to be hurt."
Ahh... Just as well. Yolo.
Breathing deeply, he rose and stepped out of his hiding place, facing his peruser. Just as he had predicted, she was the twenty-something Russian woman that he had seen waltzing around in the Central Park. She was extremely pretty, with a model's dream body built, like an upgraded gymnast. She was dressed in casual clothes, jeans, sweater, a small flimsy red jacket that matches her fiery hair perfectly, looking all in the world like a movie star that decided to take a stroll in a dirty alley. Her appearance looked harmless enough, and Percy is sure that she is a mortal, judging from her obliviousness to his monster-away reputation or her carefully sculpted words.
And lastly, her eyes. It reveals many things.
This woman is definitely a seasoned warrior, battle hardened, Percy can see that much from her stance. He can see her eyes calculating him, and that she is also seeing Percy reading her, a trait for anyone with many skirmishes. It was a haunted pair of eyes that had seen many things that no mortals should see, a pair of eyes that he sees whenever he looks into a mirror.
Shaking himself out of his trance, Percy forced a grin and said, "Well now, you caught me. May I know who had the honor of trying to kill me this time?"
Percy caught a very brief flash of shock in her eyes before it harden again, "Natasha Romanoff, at your service," she said fluently, "And no, no one is trying to kill you here."
"Capture then? Great. This again," Percy sighed to himself.
"We would prefer not to use the word 'capture', 'bringing in' or 'request' might be a better word for it," Natasha said, crossing her arms.
"And it doesn't matter which way I see it, right?"
"Correct. All that varies is that if someone needs to get hurt or not," she supplied, cocking her head, "Will you come with me peacefully, then?"
Percy took a moment to comprehend this, before asking, "Where are we going, and who is responsible for this... 'request'?"
Human, government, top secret stuffs. Go figure.
Natasha must have noticed his expression, because she immediately continued, "Don't take this the wrong way. We don't know who you are, and what you can do. We can't simply let you know what we are before you agree to come with me."
Wait. What he can do? Percy's eyes narrowed, "What do you mean by what 'I can do'? How did you find me?"
Natasha almost sighed exasperatedly, "That was the easy part. You see, you've been appearing all over the world without a flight record, causing wanton destruction in your wake on camera. Its not that hard to locate you, Percy Jackson."
So much for the Mist covering everything. Well, actually, it makes sense. If the Mist covers everything, how in the name of the Gods are there mythologies? Somethings are bound to leak out. He can't go with the woman. That would reveal his demigod-status, and he had absolutely no idea what to do. How will the Mist react? What will happen if he manage to break out? Dang it. Percy made a silent prayer to Hecate.
"Wow. Spy organization. Very very cliche."
The woman allowed herself a small smile, "Might be, But back to topic: are you going to come in or not?"
Percy hesitated slightly, unsure how to proceed. Should he 'come in'? If so, he risk being captured, locked in lab suffering crazy experiments, and occurring the wrath of the gods. So, no. Leave him out of mortal issues.
If he decides to break out... He will get mauled by mortals, might accidentally reveal the existence of Demigods, occurring the wrath of the gods, too.
No, not that too. Both are bad, with a capital B. Gods, how will Annabeth react in such a scenario? Its definitely a first in their demigod life - ganged on by mortals.
Do not escape! Do not run!
Percy's sense suddenly went full blaring at this mysterious voice in his mind, and hissed back mentally, who's that? Whispering in your brain is a decidedly unusual business, is almost alway a sign of trouble, especially if its a creepy voice. Where did the voice come from? With demon, this time?
Goddess of the Mist, Hecate. I answer your plea.
Now thats a surprise. A Goddess a answering that quickly? Or even bothering to answer at all? Well hello, Hecate! Thanks for deigning to notice me.
Glad you know. Now obey my instructions and you might survive. First, stop staring at the mortal like an idiot and answer her question!
Suddenly, Percy realized that he had been staring unwittingly at empty space for several second, getting himself a strange look from the female agent. He blinked a few times to focus himself, replying with a small, wary smile, "Well, I don't have a choice, do I?"