The sun beat down on a lone man walking down a dirt path. He was tall – around six feet – and he was wearing a black cloak that covered his body with the hood up. There were no visible weapons on his figure aside from a dark brown bow slung across his back alongside its quiver.
As the man walked down the path, the intense heat caused heat waves to be visible, but the man was seemingly not bothered by it at all. He walked for several minutes before he came across a woman.
She was sitting next to a cart that turned over and lost a wheel with tears slowly dripping down her face. Next to the cart lay the bodies of several men – all of whom had slash wounds upon their bodies. The woman looked up and gained a hopeful, but also fearful, look as she said:
"P-Ple-Please! Can you help me? There were so many, they killed my husb…" The woman was cutoff mid-sentence by a whisper of metal cutting through air and a slight shuffling sound from within the cloak. The man's slow, aimless gait did not change at all as he walked past the woman who had a look of confusion on her face. Just as the man walked past her, not even a foot away, a line appeared on her neck and purple blood burst from the now headless body.
With his back now facing her, the man listened as her body hit the ground with a much louder thud than should have been possible. The man did not stop or even slow down as the body of a large and grotesque monster hit the ground behind him, but rather kept moving without any indication that he had even noticed what had happened.
He sighed as he thought, 'That's the third one today,' and pondered on the strangeness of this world that had become the normal for him – despite being his prison – and how he got there.
He remembered the day that the Second Giant War had ended, the day he fulfilled his second prophecy, the day he lost everyone he knew and loved, and the day he killed an immortal. Of course he had done so before – killed monsters who were in a sense of the word, immortal. He had killed several Titans during the previous war and even more Titans as well as Giants in the second war. That was not the problem, not why he would never again see his loved ones, not why he was left stranded on this gods-forsaken world. Although many gods were unhappy that he was likely capable of kicking their collective asses whenever he felt like it, they did not feel threatened. After all, were they not the gods of Olympus? Were they not immortal? Never ending, eternal beings? What then did they have to fear from a mere demigod when he would die in the blink of an eye, anyway? When they were incapable of dying, only being dispersed to come back within a few years. It wasn't long after the war that everything went to hell in a hand basket for the young demigod known as Perseus Jackson.
The gods were gathered for the reward ceremony. Ready to, once again, thank the mortals – without whom they would be cast down and overthrown. Zeus sighed for what seemed like the millionth time as he thought of thanking Perseus Jackson once more. He really didn't dislike the boy too much, but it was the principle of the matter.
Zeus had always been king, always been the one in charge and it had always been his children who were heroes. He had Heracles where Poseidon had Orion, and Hades had that upstart Adolf. Then along came this child of his elder brother that had accomplished almost everything that all his children combined had ever done and then stared the gods in the eye as he asked the Fates for more. And that was the thing that bothered Zeus the most!
The boy claimed to be tired of having to fight all the time, but, as soon as something comes up, he and his hero complex had to go and butt in! His only redeeming quality besides, yah know…saving the world and the rule of the gods, was that he was named Perseus like one of his own sons. Still, the boy was worthy, and he supposed he ought to offer immortality and godhood once more. He focused on the ceremony once more as Athena sent her daughter back to the crowd after awarding her the chance to build the monument to the Heroes of the war.
As Poseidon called his son forth, Zeus interrupted him and spoke with authority to the entire council chamber. "We have gone through this once before, and knowing the stubbornness that is Perseus Jackson, I don't suppose it will do much good. But we would be remiss to not at least offer once more. Who here believes my nephew to be unworthy?"
Everyone was silent as Zeus spoke, and there were no objections. And so, Zeus once more asked the child of Poseidon, "Perseus Jackson we once again find you worth of the offer of immortality, will you accept?"
Now when Zeus made his offer, he was unaware of a few things:
First off, he was unaware of the fact that going through Tartarus has changed Percy on a fundamental level. On his trip through the Greek Hell, he found several of those trapped there and had attempted to help them. They wove sob stories of how they had gotten caught in the River Styx and been dragged down by the Titans like he almost was on his first quest. He helped and protected them as they traveled through the pit before they inevitably betrayed him.
The second thing that Zeus was unaware of was the time difference between the realm of mortals and that of the Pit of Tartarus.
As a god, he was unaffected by it and time progressed normally for him, but one of the aspects of Tartarus is that it chooses some prisoners, and warps time to prolong their suffering. Percy was one such soul, and, by the time he had found Annabeth after falling into the Pit after her, he had been in there for several millennia. Kept alive only by the fact that time does not actually exist in Tartarus and is only another tool with which to inflict pain and suffering.
The third and last thing that Zeus was unaware of was that this extended period of time in Hell had left Percy with lots of time to reflect on his life. He only brought trouble to his mother with all of his quests causing her to worry over him. Besides, she has a new life with Paul and his younger siblings, Marilyn and Alex he believed were their names. The two were fraternal twins, born right before Percy disappeared to Camp Jupiter. It was best to leave them alone.
He also had moved on from Annabeth. He had been apart from her for over five thousand years as far as he was concerned, and there was no way to bridge the gap that had grown in his heart – it was a miracle he even remembered her. He would now always remember her as his first love, but there was no way she would ever be able to relate or understand that Tartarus had been a much larger part of his life than anything on the mortal plane. They had broken up peacefully and she actually started dating an Apollo camper named Samuel Marston about a week ago.
All of this Zeus was unaware of, so he was, of course, surprised when Perseus Jackson didn't immediately reject his offer again. Percy took one look at him, and then glanced around at all of his friends; lingering on Annabeth as she held Sam's hand. He gave Sam a look that told him to take care of her, and Sam nodded seriously. Job done, Percy looked at the Council next – nodding respectfully at each of them – even Ares and Aphrodite – before speaking.
"It would be an honor, Lord Zeus. I accept." It was all of a second before Apollo jumped up and started reciting a haiku about how he and Percy were going to be pals forever.
Zeus was surprised, but found he did not completely dislike the idea of a new god around – even if it was a child of Poseidon.
The other gods smiled softly and gave Percy a nod, even Artemis. It was decided.
Zeus stood and announced:
"This ceremony is now complete. Everyone, excluding Perseus, leave the throne room. This is not for mortal eyes."
Everyone quickly left, whispering excitedly amongst each other about having known a god in his mortal life.
The rest of the Council stood. Even Hades and Hestia stood, surprising everyone.
Hades saw the looks he was being given and spoke calmly. "This half-blood has done more for me than anyone in history. He has brought back the honor of my name, secured a place for my children, and has gained my respect throughout his exploits. I will help in this and be part of the creation of this new immortal."
Hestia just smiled softly and nodded before the gods all turned to face Perseus.
Percy wondered how this was supposed to go when, all of a sudden, Dionysus looked at him with a pitying glance that spoke of personal experience and then he was consumed in a blast of godly aura from fourteen Olympian class gods. He felt pain like he had never felt before – the River Styx paled in comparison – but, to the wonder of the gods, he refused to scream. Percy stood there with a slight grimace on his face but nothing else betrayed his pain.
Almost as soon as it had started, the light died down. Percy stood before them, changed. He was taller now – towering at 6'6". His eyes had also changed. There was no longer any sign of sclera or pupil. His eyes changed color, or, to be more specific, changing colors. One moment they would be his original sea-green, then they would blaze a fiery red, before moving to a shining silver, then a deep void of black and so on in a never ending collage of color. His chest was also a bit broader than before, straining his shirt. His hair now reached mid back and was no longer messy, just strait and flowy like a waterfall. He looked down at himself in curiosity, having noticed the change in distance from his eyes to the floor.
Then came the arrival of the Triplets of Fate. They had changed from the last time he had seen them, appearing as three young women all in their early twenties at most.
The gods were also surprised as the Fates had not assumed this form in millennia.
Percy bowed his head to the Fates in more respect than he had shown anyone before.
The middle Fate raised a brow and asked the one question every god wanted to know, "Why such reverence for us when not even the king of the gods can command such respect?"
He looked at them in slight confusion as he thought it was obvious before explaining. "You who were already ancient when Gaia was but a child. You who weave the strings of fate as a woman weaves a scarf. You who create, watch and then destroy all, even the gods and, while you are guided by what you see of the future, you are not bound by it. If you so wished, the lives of all those here could end with the snip of a pair of scissors; or you could decide that it was our fate to hand down Olympus to the demigods, but you chose to follow the path of least interference, leaving us to make our own choices as much as you can. And while that amount of power is admirable, no one here can ever say that I respect those with power simply for having it. No, what truly draws my respect is the amount of self-control you three have to not simply control everyone. Humans have a saying that goes:
'Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.'
Apparently, they were wrong."
As Percy spoke, the Fates had ever growing smirks upon their faces as the gods grew even paler at what he said. Percy looked at them all and then blinked in realization. "You thought they were bound by the Ancient Laws as you are? But aren't they older than the laws, having been around since before them? Actually, didn't they help create them to control you guys? To stop you all from messing up everything? In fact, I am pretty sure cutting the strings of fate counts as directly interfering with a mortal. So, wouldn't it be obvious they were exceptions?"
The gods thought on what he said and realized that what he had said made sense. They had been living under the illusions of invincibility and immortality when their lives were all held under the thumb of the Fates without them ever knowing about it.
The Fates smirked once more before the one on the left (Percy still couldn't remember who was who) spoke. "Thank you for recognizing us and what we do. So few realize the scope of our responsibilities." Percy just bowed his head and waited.
The Fates glanced at him as their eyes lit up with a light and spoke in unison, "All hail Perseus, Primordial of Power, Balance, and…" Here the three Fates paused as they looked at each other before nodding. The eyes of the gods widened larger at each domain mentioned. "Time, Light, Water, the Earth and other planetary bodies."
The throne room was so quiet that the soft crackling of Hestia's Hearth was like a blazing inferno. The gods were shocked as the Fates declared the new immortal or Primordial.
Percy himself was stunned with his mouth slightly hung open. "What…what do you mean Primordial? I thought I was to be a god?" Percy asked quietly.
The Fates nodded, their eyes growing sad as they knew what was going to happen next. Sighing, they spoke. "Yes, but when you slew Gaia, she did not return to her slumber as you all thought. She died. Faded. Moved on. She was slain by Perseus Jackson, and, for some reason beyond even our understanding, you are capable of permanently killing immortals. As such there was a need for a new Primordial. The gods may come and go, and not much will be lost for they simply claim dominion over whatever they are god of. The Primordials are different in that they do not control it, but they are its very existence. Gaia was the Primordial of the Earth and all planetary bodies, not because she could control them, but because she was the Earth and the other planets of this universe and beyond. As is the same for all other Primordials who still live. We also gifted you with the domains of most of the Titans and Giants that you defeated who had similar domains to a faded or near-faded Primordial." This was said in a whisper, as if they did not want to reveal it, but knowing that they must if the future they saw was to become a reality.
Percy sighed as he continued walking down the dusty path. It hadn't taken the gods even an hour to decide that he was too dangerous to keep around. He could see that they felt sorry for his situation, but he understood that he had always been a wildcard and that they could not afford someone with his apparent ability to remain among them. The problem was that now that he was an immortal, they could not just wait for him to die, or even kill him as they wanted. They were left with only one choice, to send him to another world where they seal him off from theirs and then hope that he found happiness there.
He had been a bit angry at first, the planet shook a little bit when that happened, but he realized that he could not be angry with them. Sure, he was upset that they did not trust his loyalty, but loyalties change during eternity. He understood that he was simply too dangerous to them and that even if he was trusted now, there was no telling what he might do or how he might change over the course of eternity.
Sighing once more, he glanced at the sun unnecessarily to tell how much time had passed. Of course, as the Primordial God of Time, he already knew; two hours, sixteen minutes, and forty-eight and a half seconds since the last time he checked, but old habits die hard.
He should be getting to the next town soon. He brought his gaze back down the road in front and caught the sounds of a blade cutting into flesh.
In the distance, there was the sound of unsheathing swords and flashes of sunlight glancing off armor. As he moved closer, he noticed that all of the people were blond women, a figure in all black, and a little girl. 'Must be the warriors from the Organization.' He thought 'Claymores, I believe the normal folk called them.'
The last thing he thought before sitting himself down on one of the rocks nearby the group and watching the interaction was:
'What a peculiar smile."