Chapter 20? I made it to twenty chapters?

That's all you, readers.

Thanks for the 100 reviews! *does a happy dance* I never expected this much support, so thanks everyone!


"So. You got me: forgive me if I don't congratulate you," Lyssa—well, actually Furor—grumbled, shooting a hateful glare at Frank and his friends.

"Free. Percy. And. Jason!" Annabeth growled, her eyes blazing ferociously, tying her hair back in a tight ponytail. Seriously—whoever had come up with that ridiculous "dumb blonde" stereotype had obviously never met Annabeth, or any children of Athena, for that matter. Annabeth was, Frank freely admitted, scary. Very scary. She stepped forward, then leaned down until she was face-to-shadow-face with the vicious spirit currently trapped underneath the glittering golden net. Frank honestly didn't know why Furor wasn't begging for forgiveness on her knees. Man, Annabeth was really intimidating, with her patented give-me-my-boyfriend-right-now-or-else glare.

"I'm willing to strike a deal," Furor yawned lazily. "I'll give you Jackson for my freedom," Frank clenched his fists. Percy wasn't an object that she was negotiating the selling price of, even if that was how she perceived him as.

"No—freaking—way!" Piper, as fast as lightning, pulled out her razor-sharp knife and pointed it directly at Furor. "Both of them. Let both of them free!" Never mind… maybe Piper's the scariest… Involuntarily, Frank felt illogically compelled to run up to the two dueling demigods and drag them both back to Piper immediately, even though he knew perfectly well that that would just get him killed as collateral damage. Piper's charmspeak was really getting to be a powerful weapon and tool.

Despite the fact that she was trapped and pretty much at the demigods' mercy, Furor still had an annoyingly smug grin on her annoyingly chipper face. Now, while Frank didn't normally go around punching people in the face… well, he wanted to punch Furor in the face. Glancing around, he saw murderous expressions on Nico and Leo's faces. Piper and Annabeth were a mix of anger and worry. Annabeth was seething silently, while Frank was sure that Piper was muttering dark threats under her breath while glaring at Furor. Hazel, on the other hand, wore such a frightening expression that Frank had to blink twice to make sure that it really was her. "You do realize that I can drive you all insane right now, right?" Furor smirked triumphantly.

"Then who will let you out of the net?" Frank snapped back angrily. He was tired of the goddess' tricks, her elaborate plots, her devious schemes. He was tired of everything. Couldn't he have a normal life? He pushed down the golden net a tiny bit. Not much, but just enough so that it dug into Furor just a tiny bit more. He resisted the urge to cackle evilly (Leo was rubbing off on him) as the goddess winced slightly. (Hey, just because he seemed like a harmless, easy-going kind of guy didn't mean he couldn't have his small revenges.)

"I could also show you all my true, divine form and watch you all die painfully," mused the spirit thoughtfully.

Piper poked a finger at Furor. "That's not funny!" she snarled irately, but Frank could see her hands trembling slightly. He flinched as he recalled what Piper was so upset about (they'd exchanged quest stories with each other on the real Argo II): Jason had actually died once, upon seeing Juno's true godly form. Typical. As if stealing Jason's memories and sending him to a foreign camp wasn't enough, Juno just had to give him, Piper, and Leo a quest to free her from a trap. And then, of course, she killed one of her saviors. Oh, you saved me! Thanks. I'll just kill you now… whoops! Oh well. Tough luck. The only reason Jason was alive now was because Death hadn't been unchained yet. Frank could definitely see why most of the demigods hated Juno/Hera. Frank pushed down the net even harder. What the schist is Furor playing at?! "And anyway, no one can let you out if we're dead," Piper continued, taking a deep breath.

"What if I send out some more Furores to force you to let me out?" Furor shot back with no hesitation whatsoever. Frank froze, but his mind raced like Grover for enchiladas. (Percy had joked about that before… gods. Percy.) Can she do that? None of the old myths, Greek or Roman, have anything like this… she can't leave the net, but what can she do? Luckily, Annabeth spoke up.

"Even if you could do that—which I highly doubt, by the way—none of us can free you anyway," she paused. Frank grinned appreciatively. Of course—only powerful gods could free another from this kind of trap. And even then, only Vulcan could do it easily. I mean, Hephaestus. That's a Greek myth.

Furor had to interrupt. "If you can't free me, then why am I still here, bargaining with you?" Frank mentally face-palmed, and his smile slid off. They'd underestimated Furor. She was more intelligent, more powerful than she'd let on. As Lupa would say, she was establishing her dominance over the rest of them.

"Because we have access to Hephaestus, who can free you," Leo spat, his disgust evident. Frank stared in shock at the normally easy-going demigod. Had he ever seen the fire-user truly angry before, besides when he was possessed by the Furores? Even then, he'd seemed more like his usual self than now. Frank was realizing how little the demigods actually knew about each other. Sure, they knew all the important stuff like who spent the most time in the bathroom (Percy; Leo claimed that it was because Percy was trying to "become one with the plumbing"); sure, they knew who you could count on to help without laughing if you got stuck in a pair of Chinese handcuffs (Annabeth). But did Frank know what Piper's favorite color was? Not that it mattered so much, but still.

"True," Furor concede, jolting Frank out of his thoughts. "It appears that we are at a stalemate." Frank rolled his eyes, not even bothering to conceal it. Come on, Frank! You're the kid of the freaking war god! Come up with something! But try as he might, he thought of no good solution that would satisfy both sides. And time was running out for Percy and Jason; when Frank shot a glance over his shoulder at them, he noticed that both were breathing more heavily than before, and sporting multiple wounds each. They had to do something, and fast.

"Don't even think about it," Furor jeered. Frank's fingers itched for his bow. "My barrier cannot be broken by the likes of you…" she continued bragging about her barrier. In Latin, no less. Frank tuned out, but a sudden Latin phrase made a connection in his brain. Uno modo. One way; what was one way? Unum posteque. One-sided. One way, one-sided. The barrier is blocking US from reaching THEM, but not THEM from reaching US! She's depending on the Furores to keep them in, but if we attracted their attention in some way… Frank grinned. It was so simple, yet so elegant. He had a plan now. And he was sure that Mars had helped him notice the important phrases. Thanks, dad.


Percy grinned wolfishly as he heard the screams. He continued fighting with the savage smile upon his face. The screams were blood-curdling, high-pitched, and seemed to never end. In other words, they were awesome. One step closer to beating the hell out of Grace! That was the only thing that mattered now. Percy pushed down all other thoughts. The Furores took the place of his friends, and he forgot them. There was just his mission, and the infernal screaming. Percy sidestepped a sharp jab and rolled to the right, narrowly avoiding a vicious kick to his head. Jason hovered above him, wearing a glare and wielding his crackling sword. He was decidedly not screaming. So who was? Percy's mind dwelled on the question, though he knew that he should be focusing on his opponent, Jason. But now that he'd thought about it, Jason's voice wasn't that high-pitched. And it was impossible to scream that loudly without moving your mouth. Though Percy had to admit that Jason was a worthy opponent, Jason wasn't that good. So—who was screaming?

Percy fought almost robotically, ducking when Jason attacked, pressing forward when Jason fell back. The Furores tried to spark his anger again: Come on, Perseus! Fight harder! KILL HIM! The screaming continued, and so Perky continued to ignore the spirits' chiding.

I am fighting! He thought back to them. Let me take at least a short mental break, okay? No reply from the Furores—Percy took that as assent. The raging fury inside him subsided somewhat, though; Percy still wanted to make the son of Jupiter pay for what he'd done (what did he do, anyway?), but he just wasn't quite so eager to do it right then. Whatever Jason needed to be punished for could wait a moment, right? Your choice, the Furores sounded disgruntled, and Percy felt a cold chill on the back of his neck. His fighting immediately got better. Stronger. More powerful. You're welcome, Perseus Jackson. The son of Poseidon knew that the Furores were helping him, but he couldn't resist a final parting shot: Don't call me Perseus. Call me—

"Seaweed Brain!" Percy blinked. The voice sounded familiar, but he couldn't quite place it. It was not Jason, though. The screaming started back up, but this time Percy strained to hear the words. "Seaweed… full of kelp… brain… get out… KELP HEAD! Holy Athena… schist!" The words made no sense, though Percy felt a strange sort of déjà vu, like he should've known the person with the voice. He shrugged and returned to the process of stabbing his enemy in the shoulder. Somebody else screamed, and Percy sighed before twisting away from a poorly-aimed lightning strike. The voices seemed to be affecting Jason too, but Percy was still irritated. Can't they stop with the high-pitched screaming until Jason's dead, at least?!

But this voice was familiar as well. "Oh my gods… WHAT THE HADES… holy shit! Gods, Jason!" A variety of interesting cusses followed. "… The hell! Jason! Sparky, get out of that weird barrier thing!" Immediately, the son of the sea felt compelled to run towards the voice at top speed. In fact, he started to, but the Furores saved him. Don't listen! At the last second, Percy tripped Jason, who lay sprawled on the ground for a moment before hovering back into the air, taunting Percy.

Another voice—masculine this time—joined in to the chorus of yells. "Yo, Lighting Boy! Get your butt out here! Beauty Queen's gonna kill you! Same goes for you, Kelp Head!" Percy and Jason turned at the same time towards the familiar-but-strange voices.

Yet another. "Percy, Jason, come on! Get out of there!"

"Yeah, let's go!" Percy's mind inexplicably came up with an image of a blond girl with a pair of intimidating grey eyes, arms crossed, and wearing a glare.

"Get your seaweed-clogged brains out of there before I do it for you!" It sounded like there were at least six different people calling to them, but the voices were distant, muffled in some way. Percy squinted, completely forgetting that only moments before, he'd been fighting to the death with Jason. Sure enough, there were six humanoid figures facing the two fighters, thankfully not monsters. Percy could handle a bloodthirsty demigod and a horde of monsters eager for a fresh meal of demigod stew, but not at the same time, especially after Jason had battered him down already. Next to the not-monsters was something that looked like a massive garbage bag tied up with a glittering golden net.

The Furores were silent—maybe they were curious about these strangers too. For the first time, Percy noticed his surroundings. He was on one side of a room that was beautifully designed, though plain at first glance. Suddenly, another unbidden image popped into his head: the blond girl again, talking excitedly about architecture. Annabeth. Wait—where had that come from? Anyway, the room had bloodstained floors that was originally in a shade of charcoal, stacks of weapons along the walls, and a single window where bright sunlight was streaming through. Percy distantly remembered the room being dark before—had it really been that long? But he tore his gaze from the room itself and studied the six strangers.

They were an odd group, for sure. There was a buff Asian guy with an arm around a petite African-American girl and a boy with dark hair, a dark sword, dark clothing, and… well, an aura of darkness around him, literally. Next to them stood a short, elfish-looking Latino fiddling with his fingers, talking reassuringly to a girl with hastily-tied choppy brown hair. She was responding to the elf, but was staring worriedly at Jason.

But the last person… she wasn't a stranger. She had wavy blond hair in a high ponytail, penetrating grey eyes, a set jaw, crossed arms—the entire don't-mess-with-me package. Her jeans were ripped, the hem of her shirt cut of roughly. She had visible cuts and bruises all over, and an incarnadine bandage wrapped around her head, like a sweatband. Annabeth. Her eyes met Percy's. Oh my gods. She's beautiful. He forgot all about the duel, about Lyssa, about the Furores. And everything rushed back to him in a gigantic wave of memories. How could I have forgotten?! Without a second thought, Percy ran to her, bursting through the invisible wall with ease, but stopped just short of kissing her. He stared into her eyes, and saw his reflection in them. He was, plainly, a bloody mess. But he had his green eyes back. He heard Leo's whoop and Hazel's joyful laughter, and sensed Piper's and Jason's lips crashing together and Frank's impulsive hugging of Nico. But he saw the green eyes vividly. Then he kissed Annabeth, and felt her smile.

They've gotten Jason and Percy back! *whoops along with Leo*

The next chapter will be an epilogue of sorts... but I'm already planning out my next story :)