Jack opened and closed his mouth several times before any words finally came out, "I-I'm a-a wh-what?"
"A demigod, a child of a mortal and a deity, in your case, Boreas," stated the bald man, or, nearly bald except for that single curl on his forehead, sitting across from him.
"Manny, we don't know if his godly parent is Boreas, it could very well be Khione," stated the elderly man sitting next to him.
Manny glanced at him, "They let me look at his file, Ombric, his mother is noted to have mentioned something about the boy's father perhaps coming for him. And we have seen his powers firsthand, definitely a son of Boreas. Besides, Khione is not exactly known to have fallen in love with anyone, she most certainly is the Snow Queen, cold and heartless. I can't imagine this fine boy being her son, he has more heart than she ever did."
Ombric nodded, "You have a point, Boreas will no doubt claim him not long after arriving at camp."
"Wait, you guys actually want me to go with you to some camp I've never heard of?" Jack asked incredulously. The two men glanced at him in surprise.
"But of course! You are not safe here, the monsters will eventually find you, putting you and all the other orphans here at risk! At least at camp, you will learn how to fight monsters and protect everyone," replied Ombric.
Jack scoffed, "Flynn and Katherine would be more interested in that, not me."
"Then it's a good thing I'm adopting all three of you." Jack glanced up at Manny who had a smirk on his face.
"You, you're adopting all three of us?"
Manny nodded, "All three of you are demigods. A rare find, but one we must act upon quickly. They would not leave without you, hence this conversation." Jack ran his fingers through his white hair, the object of many a stare and jab.
"How-how do you know they're demigods? I mean, I understand how you would think that way about me, but why them?"
Manny leaned forward in his chair, "Because I was given the power to sense it, but so can all of the monsters, and if I have been able to find you . . ."
Jack's eyes widened, "Then so can the monsters." He half rose from his seat, "Can a monster take on human form?" Manny nodded slowly before sharing a glance with Ombric. All three were now thinking of the same thing as Jack jumped from his chair and dashed out to the hall.
"Jack, wait!" shouted Ombric, but Jack's first thought was of getting to his friends. It was all making sense now, though it was still kind of hard to swallow, it was beginning to make sense. Though Flynn was good at keeping away from people, Jack was really the one who could fight, and most people did in fact stay away because of his freezing powers. Everyone, that is, except for Flynn and Katherine. Subconsciously they knew, they all knew, they had to look out for each other without ever really knowing why. Well, now they knew, at least, Jack knew, and only he could effectively fight the monsters. He tore through the rest of the orphanage and out the back door. He paused, the biggest kid of them all was beating up Flynn while another held Katherine back in a tight squeeze.
"Leave them alone!" yelled Jack as tendrils of ice shot from his fingers. The ice from his right hand smashed into the face of the kid holding Katherine, causing him to release her, while the ice from his left hand rammed into the thigh of the kid beating up Flynn. Katherine ran to Jack. "Go inside to Manny and Ombric!" he told her before rushing forward to help Flynn. An unnatural shriek met their ears as the two kids seemed to morph right in front of their eyes. All the other orphans ran from the scene screaming as the two kids turned into a humanoid creature with just one eye while the third member of their party, a girl, seemed to grow fangs.
"Cyclops! Empousa!" yelled Ombric to Manny before rushing out to help Jack and Flynn, his staff pendant growing into a full sized staff. It made contact with one Cyclops before it rammed into the stomach of the other. The empousa charged Jack as he tried to help Flynn get to Manny. He sent a wave of snow in her direction, the cold stuff piling on top of her. Manny handed Jack a sword as soon as Flynn was over the threshold.
"What . . ."
"It's the only way to destroy them," replied Manny. Nodding, Jack took the sword and slashed through the empousa on his way back to Ombric. She melted into dust as he tackled first one Cyclops, and then the other. It was over in a matter of minutes, all that was left of the action were three little piles of dust being swept away by the wind and a quickly melting pile of snow. "Jack! Ombric! We need to get Flynn to camp, now!" Ombric raced back to the door, his staff shrinking as he moved. He helped Manny get Flynn between them and half-dragged, half-supported him to the car, Jack and Katherine right behind them. The five managed to get into the car and, with Ombric at the wheel, sped off through the countryside. When they got to the city, Jack gasped as he noticed the cars around them seemed almost at a standstill while they themselves could have easily been going a hundred miles over the speed limit.
"Ombric can manipulate time, but we only use it in times of emergency, like this. Keep Flynn, cool, Jack, we're almost there." Jack put his hand up to Flynn's forehead, he was heating up fast, and the speed they were traveling at probably wasn't much help. Jack had no idea how long it took, it could have been hours, it could have been mere minutes, but they had finally arrived at Camp Guardian. Ombric brought the car slowly to a stop in front of a cabin that looked like it was trying to be a golden hospital. While the other three gingerly got Flynn out of the car, Ombric dashed to the cabin doors and knocked. A girl who looked to be about Katherine's age opened the door.
"Why, Ombric, what is it?" She caught sight of Flynn behind him being supported by Jack and Manny. "Oh, quick, bring him in!" Ombric held the door so they could get Flynn through without putting too much strain on his already aching body. Jack noticed the girl had long, golden hair as he and Manny followed her through the makeshift hospital to a bed. "Here, lay him down gently. Somebody get me some ambrosia and cold water, quick!" A couple of teens dashed off in search of the ambrosia and cold water while the girl got Flynn comfortable and checked his wounds. "What did this?"
"Cyclops," muttered Ombric solemnly. The girl glanced at him shock before turning back to Flynn as he gasped in pain.
"Oh no, there isn't much time. Please, stand back." She wrapped some of her hair around his head and his chest, and began to sing. Jack's nerves seemed to relax with every word, even more so the instant he noticed Flynn's bruises and wounds fade away. The girl took a shaky step back when she finished the song, Flynn looked as good as new and sleeping rather peacefully. Jack stepped forward to help the girl around the bed. "Oh, thank you, I'm fine."
"Hey, you just saved my best friend's life, it's the least I could do."
She smiled at him, then gasped, "Why, you're injured!" Jack glanced at where she was looking at, his right shoulder had a good gash running down it. At that moment the two teens returned with something Jack figured was the ambrosia along with the water. The girl promptly steered Jack to the next bed, sat him down, and tended to his wound. She popped a piece of ambrosia into his mouth before cleaning his wound and bandaging it up. "Alright, there, you can at least go out and make yourself presentable, but I expect you to take things easy, no lifting swords or any other heavy objects until I say so, is that clear, Mister?"
"I'm Jack Overland, and that was perfectly clear," he grinned.
The girl smiled back, "Glad to hear that. Pleasure to meet you Jack, I'm Rapunzel Bennett."
"Rapunzel, eh, like the fairy tale?" asked Jack as he gave a quick, knowing glance at Katherine.
The smile instantly turned forced, "Yes." Katherine unexpectedly gave a little squeak, well, Jack was certainly expecting it, everyone else just glanced at her in surprise.
She gave a little bounce, "I love fairy tales! I've always wanted to write a few of my own! And maybe even go collect others like the Grimm brothers did! I think it's really cool you're named after a princess! It could only mean that you'll have good luck as a demigod!" Manny and Ombric started chuckling.
Rapunzel, still somewhat shocked, replied with, "Wow, um, thank you, I certainly hope so."
"Well, good luck outside of getting teased for your name, right?" asked Jack.
Rapunzel swiveled to him with almost a glare in her eyes, "And what of it?"
Jack shrugged as he got up and fingered his hair, "You're not the only one who's been teased about something." Rapunzel blinked as Jack moved to where Manny, Ombric, and Katherine were standing. "So, will we get to see the rest of the camp? I want to be able to get a head's start for once on this guy," he stated, nodding his head in indication of Flynn. Katherine giggled.
"Why get a head's start on him?"
"Because he can figure out any place pretty quick, all the ins and outs, and I want to be able to find a place that I can keep my personal stuff safe from him for a while, at least." Manny's and Ombric's faces lit up with understanding.
"Ah, so he's a thief, I take it?" asked Ombric as he rubbed his beard.
"Uh, yeah," Katherine replied, glancing at Jack.
Manny nodded, "Then he's no doubt a son of Hermes, all thieves are. They sign up for spying on the enemy, and they certainly do a great job of it." He turned to Katherine, "Now all we have to do is figure out whose child you are, and we can get you settled in. But for now, we'll take you to Jack's cabin, and we can let his half-siblings show the two of you around." Manny and Ombric left the hospital cabin, followed not long after by Jack and Katherine who paused to thank Rapunzel again for saving their friend. Manny and Ombric led them to a cabin some ways away from where the hospital cabin sat, nearly on the outskirts of the cabin area, it seemed. This time Manny knocked, and the door was opened by an older teen with white hair much like Jack. He took one look at Jack and grinned.
"Guys, we've got another brother!" he shouted into the cabin. A few whoops answered him before a swarm of blondes and white-haired teens nearly ran him over to meet Jack. A shrill whistle made them all stop.
"I'm glad you're all enthusiastic about meeting your new brother and welcoming him to camp, however, he and his friends just barely escaped a couple of Cyclops and an empousa in order to get here. Please take it easy on them, and select one or two people to show them around the camp."
"Yes Mr. Manny!" chorused the children of Boreas.
"Good, thank you. We'll see you at dinner." He and Ombric left, making their way back to the car. The teen who answered the door ushered everyone into the cabin so that they could talk.
"So, you're a son of Boreas, huh?"
Jack laughed, "Apparently, it was pretty obvious with my white hair and, well, this." He let out a stream of white light, and it began to snow in the cabin. The others laughed.
"Well, that's a sure sign alright. Welcome to Cabin 29, home to the children of Boreas! I'm Basil Frost, head counselor of Cabin 29."
"Nice to meet you, Mr. Frost, I'm Jack Overland," Jack stated as he shook hands with Basil.
"Really? Hey, we've got a Jack!"
A girl of about twelve snickered, "You should have his name, Basil, then you could be Jack Frost!"
"Oh come on, Sarah, that was the very reason why mom didn't name me Jack."
Jack chuckled, "That's OK, I get called Jack Frost a lot anyway."
"Great, then we can adopt you!"
"Sarah, he already he is our half-brother, we don't need to adopt him."
"Besides, Mr. Manny already did that," remarked Katherine. The children of Boreas glanced at the only brunette in the whole room.
"Who's your godly parent?" asked Sarah.
Katherine shivered slightly as she shrugged, "Don't know yet, Mr. Manny and Mr. Ombric couldn't quite figure it out. I guess it's not as obvious as Jack with his snow powers or Flynn with his thieving."
"Oh, you have another friend? Where is he?" asked Sarah.
"A child of Hermes if I ever heard one," muttered Basil.
"He's at the hospital cabin, the Cyclops did a good number on him before I could intervene."
Basil winced, "Ouch, I hate dealing with those guys, despite the fact that we're the best ones to handle them. Is your friend doing alright?"
"Yeah, Rapunzel used her glowing hair to really heal him."
"Wow, he really got it bad, huh? Glad to hear he's over the worst of it."
"Basil, Basil, can I go with you and show them around Camp Guardian?" Sarah pleaded. Basil sighed as he glanced at the other campers, most had walked away, but there were a couple who wanted to show them around.
"Well, as head camper, it's my duty to make sure he's well acquainted with the camp and the rules, and as your older brother, it's my job to keep you out of trouble." The twelve-year-old locked her pleading blue eyes on her brother. "Fine, Sarah, you can come."
"Nima, you too, come on," sighed Basil. Nima smiled as she joined them, and they walked out of the cabin, much to Katherine's delight. Basil talked to them about the rules of the camp, how everything worked, and showed them where everything was, with some tidbits from Sarah and Nima. They even went into explaining demigods and the gods themselves, giving Jack at least something of a history of their father. As the sun approached the horizon, the group made a quick stop at the Apollo cabin to see how Flynn was coming along. Jack rolled his eyes, Flynn was fine, certainly well enough to start flirting with Rapunzel. But Katherine seemed to take no notice of it and rushed to Flynn's side, Jack eventually not far behind.
"So, Princess, how's your star patient?" Jack asked.
Rapunzel raised an eyebrow as she replied, "Doing well enough that he can join us in the pavilion for dinner."
"Great! Just wait until you see the rest of the camp!" Katherine practically squealed. Jack grinned, she may not know who her godly parent was, but his siblings had been doing a great job of making her feel welcome.
"Wow, so you guys got a look at the new place without me? I feel so loved," Flynn stated sarcastically.
Jack rolled his eyes, a grin tugging at his lips, "Well, you should, we love you so much that we decided to brave the new territory to let you know . . ." here Jack paused, and a real smile lit up his face, "we're home, man. We're finally home." Flynn glanced at him in surprise before a smile of relief spread over his face as Jack helped him up. The group meandered over to the dining pavilion, Flynn and Katherine joining the Hermes table. Sarah pretty much chatted Jack's ears off the entire time, pointing out the different tables, until Jack paused her to ask about the lonely girls. One was sitting almost at the very front of the pavilion, her black hair nearly as long as Rapunzel's, and her green eyes seemed like they could shoot electric bolts at anyone across the room. The other girl was sitting at a rather dark table. Her dark curls fell past her shoulders, and he thought that, if she could, her pale, almost white, face would glow. The third one had dark skin, and just like the other two, had black curls cascading down her back.
"Oh, that's Emily Jane, she's a daughter of Zeus. She tends to keep to herself for the most part, though she's hung out with the kids of Aeolus. That's Nyala, a daughter of Poseidon, her mother's from the Caribbean islands, and she can sing as well as any Apollo kid. And that's Catrina, she's a daughter of Hades, she'll sit with us sometimes when she's really lonely. Or when she's curious about the new kid," grinned Sarah as Catrina took her platter and walked over. "Meet my new brother, Jack! He's already fought off two Cyclops and an empousa!" blurted Sarah before Catrina even sat down.
"Sarah! Do you think you could let Catrina have a seat before you start talking her ear off?" asked Basil, joining the table after giving up a portion of his food for Boreas.
Catrina smiled as she pushed back a dark curl, "Oh, that's alright, Basil, she's one of the few people who will actually talk to me."
"You mean no one besides the children of Boreas talk to you?" asked Jack, more out of surprise than meaning for it to be an actual question.
Catrina nodded sadly, "Yeah, I am the daughter of Hades, after all, you know, traveling through shadows, talking to spirits and whatnot. I can get pretty creepy. Boo."
Jack crossed his arms, "You know, if you really want to get over the prejudices about you being creepy, promoting it doesn't really help."
Catrina shrugged, "Hey, at least I'll know who my real friends are."
"Well, there is that, but, still . . ."
"May I have your attention, please," boomed a voice over the gossip. Everyone paused in their dinner and turned to the front of the pavilion, where Manny and Ombric, and an older woman, stood. Ombric continued, "Thank you. We have a few announcements, but first, I would like to introduce you all to the latest additions to our camp. Will the three of you stand when I call your names? Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Jack Overland, Flynn Rider, and Katherine Queen." A loud applause went up as Jack, Flynn, and Katherine rose and smiled. A second later, an audible gasp was heard. The three glanced around in surprise before glancing at the podium for answers. Manny and Ombric were grinning from ear to ear. "It seems that your godly parents have indeed claimed you. Jack is, as we have figured, a son of Boreas." Ombric pointed to something above Jack's head as the children of Boreas let out whoops. He glanced up, and gasped, a glowing snowflake was floating just above his head. He glanced at his friends, and saw the symbol over Flynn's head. "And Flynn is a son of Hermes." The Hermes kids cheered. But Jack saw nothing over Katherine's head and began to wonder when a symbol appeared and grew in brightness.
"A daughter of Calliope," muttered Manny.
The woman nodded,"Then the prophecy has begun to be fulfilled, the pieces are set, Fate is in motion."
"What?" asked Jack. Manny nodded to the woman.
"When shadows arise and darkness falls; Monsters will roam and adventure calls; The team of heroes led by a son of ice and snow; The thief and the writer with him will go; Along with children of Zeus, Hades, and Apollo; And defeat evil in a spectacular show; With the relics gathered from the forest deep; And put all evil back to sleep; Ere night falls on Midsummer's end; Fight well to save both love and friend." Manny gave a nod when the woman finished speaking. Understanding what he wanted, Catrina pushed Jack up to the podium. Flynn and Katherine took some convincing from the kids of Hermes, but they, and Emily Jane, soon joined them. Heaving a sigh, Rapunzel too rose and went to the podium.
Nodding, Ombric spoke, "It seems we have our team together. However, I would like to include one more member to this party. Nicholas St. North, please come forward."
"A son of Hephaestus?" whispered Catrina as a brunette, easily the same height as Flynn, approached the podium.
"Yes, a son of Hephaestus, his expertise with mechanics no doubt will come in handy."
Flynn whispered to Jack, "And help even the odds." He indicated the four girls standing almost directly behind them.
Jack's eyebrow went up, "What? You're finally surrounded by cute girls, and you want to make it more even? But that's not really the problem here." Flynn gave Jack a questioningly glance as Jack moved towards the older men. "So, you bring us to camp, only for us to leave it?"
Manny sighed, "No, Jack, you're not leaving right away, there's a lot that you must learn before you face this rising evil. And I'm sorry that this had to happen, but we didn't know until Katherine was claimed by Calliope that you three were the ones the prophecy spoke of. We were thinking that maybe Basil would lead, but now we know for sure that it has to be you, you're the only one Flynn and Katherine would work with." As if to prove his point, Flynn and Katherine nodded. "Besides, you're going to have to get to know the rest of your team, and especially how to fight monsters. You were lucky this morning because Ombric was there helping you, but he and I will not be able to help you on this journey, you have to lead this one yourself." Jack pursed his lips as if deep in thought, but it didn't take long before he let out a sigh.
"Alright, fine, I'll lead, but there better be something good that comes out of this."
"There will be, the safety of the camp and your friends," Ombric replied solemnly.
Manny turned to the tables, "Which brings us to the announcements, first of all, we'll have a Capture the Flag tournament over the next couple of weeks." A cheer went up at that, indicating that Capture the Flag was one of the camp's favorite activities. "The losing cabin will have kitchen duty for a month." A moan went up at that. "And the winning cabin will be exempt from chores for a month." Another cheer, competition would be hot. "The seven members of the team will be exempt from chores period as they have a mission to train for. That being said, I want you all to help them train, and train well. And the final announcement, as requested by Ivanna, to the persons or persons who vandalized her house, she has forgiven you for this one time, but if you ever do it again, we will find out who you are and justice will be swift, a punishment chosen by Ivanna. Are we clear on this matter?" An unanimous reply in the positive met his ears. "Good, thank you. Return to your dinners, and prepare for the first Capture the Flag tomorrow morning, between Cabins Five and Six! The winner will take on Cabin Nine in the afternoon!" A cheer went up as Cabin Five, Ares, and Cabin Six, Athena, quickly finished their dinner to go plan for the next day. Cabin Nine, Hephaestus, left not long afterwards, leaving the other seventeen cabins to bet on who would win. Jack partook a little of the gambling, but his thoughts were about the prophecy. His mind was still going a million miles a minute before sleep finally overcame him that night.