Being a god was incredibly lonely, and Percy wished he knew this before he became one. Immortality was overrated, sure you live forever, but you watch as your friends and family wither away, while you remain perpetually young.
At first, he was completely against becoming god, after the giant war, he was the only one who didn't accept the Olympian's 'gift'. Instead, he wished for Hades and Hestia to be placed back in the counsel. They deserved it, both played major roles in the war, and they were the eldest gods.
It hurt him that Annabeth became a goddess, she promised they'd stay together no matter what, but the idea of building things forever superseded living a happy mortal life. She moved on quickly, and Percy was left in the dust. But hey, after two wars, it had to be peaceful, right?
Peace. What a joke.
As the last mortal hero, he became the go to man for missions. The gods requested (demanded) Percy to go on one quest after another. Over the years, the Olympian's had gained many enemies, and he was their most capable lackey.
"Go kill this or handle that problem." There was always something they wanted him to do.
Eventually, Percy's luck ran dry, and he fought a monster he couldn't beat. On his deathbed, the Gods, with all their mercy, forced him into immortality. To them, Percy Jackson was much too valuable to lose.
That's how he ended up here, millennia later, wandering around a barren earth as one of the last remaining immortals.
The Olympian's were not the only ones fighting wars. While the seven were fighting Gaia, the Primordials were settling their own differences, which really meant planetary destruction. It started slow at first, and nobody noticed it, but once Erebus stepped foot onto the mortal plane, it was all over.
Cities were wiped out in hours, and within five years, the human population was extinct, along with all other non-divine life.
The gods followed quickly, their domains couldn't support them any longer. Poseidon was first, after the oceans had dried up. Percy remembered holding him in his arms, watching his father dissolve into dust, welcomed to the realm of the faded. Zeus was soon after, the skies had dissipated, and he followed suit.
One after another, everyone Percy knew faded, until he was the last god left. His domain wouldn't let him die, after all, time is infinite. As long as the clock kept ticking, his heart kept beating, practically a curse.
There were other immortals left, but they mostly kept to themselves. Erebus and Nyx had left the planet after it was destroyed, exploring more of the universe. Shadows and the night would always exist, so they would survive.
He thought the twin archers, Artemis and Apollo, would have been fine, since they were the moon and sun, but that wasn't the case at all. Apollo faded quickly, he depended too much on mortal worship. Artemis has lasted quite a bit longer, they made good memories together, but eventually she succumbed to the lack of worship.
Kicking a rock, Percy looked around, searching for any sign of life, anything that could give him a smidgen of hope. It had been centuries since he last ran into another immortal, that being Hemera as she left earth once and for all. He wished he could do that, but he was tethered to the planet. He might as well have been on mars, that's how scarred and destroyed earth had become.
Dust blew in his face as he trekked on.
All he had left were memories of what he once had, and thoughts of what could have been. A fantasy where he lived happily ever after and never had to suffer again. The brutal reality had hit him long ago, leaving him hollow and depressed.
Percy Jackson was a hopeless wanderer.
At least his domain gave him a slight sense of peace. As the god of time, he resided in the past, present, and future. His presence simply existed across every event in history, and everything that was to come. Percy was there to see the creation of the universe, the gods overthrowing the titans, to now, and everything in between.
His future wasn't looking so bright, so he tried not to look into it, but every so often he caught a glimpse of his continued exploration.
Sometimes he wondered if this was his destiny, cursed to wander a desolate planet for all eternity, a sick joke from the Fates. They played a major role in his mortal life, puppeteering his quest and battles. Once Percy became a god, they lost their plaything, and as the last act, they orchestrated this, a final display of control over him.
Percy chuckled without humor. Once the mortals all died, they had no more strings to spin, so they died too. It was a bittersweet thought, the fates were gone, but at what cost?
An aura of power knocked him out of his morose thoughts. There was another being in town, and he was going to find them. Rushing to the source of energy, Percy could hardly keep a smile off his face. It made his cheeks hurt, it had been so long since he last used those muscles.
Someone else was here with him!
Standing out amongst the brown surface was a goddess. Garbed in all black, she looked like the universe itself. Galaxies were strung across her dress, and Percy could see comets flash across. Pitch black hair cascaded down her back, which was stark contrast to her pale skin. Her eyes were black holes, drawing him and everything else in.
Turning to him, the goddess started hopping around and clapping giddily. A grin rested on her perfect face, and Percy couldn't help but smile as well.
"Percy Jackson! Just the god I was looking for!" Her voice sang out clearly, caressing his ears, and tickling his mind.
"Lady Chaos, it's such a relief to see you." The joy in his voice was evident, and she let out a laugh.
"I would hope so, I'm pretty much perfect!" She said jokingly, tracing her body with her hands. "Listen, I've got a bit of a problem, and I think you're the only one who can fix it."
Percy's smile retracted slowly. What kind of problem did the creator of the universe have?
"I'm all ears, milady."
"None of that royalty stuff, I think it's dumb. Anyways, you know how I created the universe with my awesome powers?"
Percy nodded his head slowly.
"Well, it's constantly expanding, the edges of the universe extend billions of light years away from its origins. Beyond that though, that's where my brother resides. I call him the End, because anything he touches dies. Disappears. Gone. Reduced to ashes. He is anti creation."
Chaos waved her hands and two stone chairs rose from the ground. Sitting down, she gestured for Percy to do the same.
"As the universe expands, it pushes back on End, my creation overpowering him, or that's how it's happened since the beginning of time. With the destruction of the earth though, and my creations dying, I've become weaker, and End is starting to take over. Now the universe is starting to shrink, and he's pushing back against me."
She met Percy's gaze, and he could see how watery her eyes were. The hidden pain that lingered there as she desperately tried to fight off her brother.
"That sounds pretty bad." Percy said awkwardly, not knowing what to do. His social skills were a bit rusty.
"It is pretty bad!" She cried out "If he eats up the universe, I die, you die, we all die! It won't be pretty either. Our essences will slowly decay as End strips us of our divinity. It will be eons of constant pain until we cease to exist! I can't fight back either, I'm too weak now."
Ah, another hopeless situation.
"So what do you want me to do? Join your army of my dead friends as an assassin named Omega because my ex abandoned me thousands of years ago? Fight him one on one with the blessings of the primordials and defeat him?"
Chaos looked at him incredulously.
"What? No! That's dumb, End would, well, end you in an instant. I'm going to send you back in time so you can prevent all of this from happening."
Percy slumped down in his chair and sighed.
"I don't really have a choice in this, do I?"
"Unless you want an entire universe to disappear, and everything you've lived for go to waste, then no, you don't have a choice."
"Fine, I'll do it. When should I travel back to?"
Chaos thought for a moment before a lightbulb popped up above her head, illuminating the area around them.
"Gah, that's bright! Go back to where it all started, the day your life changed. Little Percy Jackson on his field trip at the museum! Hehehe, you were so cute."
"I was cute? Chaos, I am cute!"
"Why so far back though? Why not the end of the wars, or before the destruction started?"
"There are things you can change, which might help with the future. People you could kill or save, actions which might set a course for something better."
Percy nodded his head in understanding.
"I'm going to send you off now. Know that the fate of the universe rests on your shoulders. You'll keep your godly powers and memories, don't forget to live a little!"
Chaos got up from her chair and opened a rippling portal in front of the two deities. Percy felt drawn to the tear in space, it was pulling on the infinite crawl of time, and his body urged him to touch it.
"Wait, before I go, what about Chronos and Kronos? They're immortals with domains of time too, what happened to them?"
"Kronos is gone, he faded. He could slow down or speed up time for the people around him, but he wasn't truly in tune to it like you are. Chronos, on the other hand, literally is time. He is the past, present, and future. You are the best of both worlds, you can use time to your advantage, but you're also connected to the timeline. You exist where Chronos is, but you aren't the time there."
Placing a kiss on his forehead, Chaos ushered Percy to the portal. Stepping up to it, he gazed into the past, but also a sense of the unknown. Before he could enter, Chaos spun Percy around and engulfed him in a tight hug.
"Thank you for this Percy, you're the last hope for all of creation." She whispered. "I send you off with my blessing, change the reality of the past as you see fit. I'll be watching your journey, and wish you the best of luck."
Percy's drive as a hero was returning to him slowly, the adrenaline pumping through his veins as preparation for his mission.
"Of course, Chaos. It's my duty. Plus I miss blue food."
With one last embrace, Percy faced the portal, before entering and disappearing with a bright flash.
TIME TRAVEL NOISES
Waking up on a noisy bus was a dream come true to Percy. The screaming children and bus sounds assaulted his ears, but he gladly welcomed it. It had been thousands of years since he last heard the voices of kids, and even longer since he'd been on a bus.
Looking into the glass window, he could see the reflection of his face staring back.
His youthful, twelve year old self, was a reminder of purity, and much better times. There weren't any scars marring his skin, he wasn't caked in dirt and grime anymore. His tubby face was childish, but he could see it in his eyes. They carried millennia worth of pain and suffering, more than any of the gods of this time.
A peanut butter and ketchup sandwich slapped into the window he was staring at.
"Hey freak! Are you crushing on yourself or something? What a weirdo!"
Turning to the sandwich thrower, Percy frowned, feeling a myriad of emotions. As a god, he had kept a tight hold on his thoughts and actions, but now, he could feel the rage begin to ebb into his veins. Why would some annoying twelve year old girl cause him to feel this way?
He was a god, and mentally he was older than the earth, but then again, he was locked in the body of a prepubescent boy, his younger self to be exact.
"Don't ignore me freak, say something!"
They say actions speak louder than words, so instead of reacting, he turned away, disregarding Nancy. He could feel her anger towards him, and it was honestly quite amusing.
The red head was about to hop across the aisle to start a fight, how dare he ignore her! Before something could happen between them, the boy between Percy and Nancy woke up with a yawn, the condiments in his hair going unnoticed.
"Perce, are we close? You said you'd wake me up when we got there."
This was Grover, the only boy in sixth grade with facial hair, but Percy knew him as his Satyr protector, meant to guide him to camp.
"Sorry Grover, the bus ride is over, I'm excited for this field trip!"
Grover looked at him funnily. Something was off, he could tell, but he wasn't sure what it was.
"Whatever you say dude, let's go!"
Chiron was watching the demigod closely, his student had changed on a seemingly normal bus ride. Was he having strange dreams? Did he see a monster, something his mind couldn't comprehend? Was he attacked?
No, it was something else.
The way he carried himself was different. Before, Percy would have been constantly moving, or talking with Grover, or just doing something random due to his adhd. He was an insecure kid, and Chiron could see this plain as day. His interactions with the other students weren't very good either, but he'd never seen Percy like this before.
He recognized the way Percy casually strolled through the museum.
After thousands of years of training countless heroes, he could see the similarities between a weathered demigod and Percy. The grace in his step was undeniable, the calmness he exuded hid the raging storm just beneath the surface.
Teacher and student met eyes as the rest of the class trickled into the museum.
Percy smiled knowingly at his old mentor, before the group stopped in the Greek history section.
"Mr. Jackson, would you mind telling us what this picture represents?"
It wouldn't do Percy any good if Chiron was starting to doubt him before he even got to camp, so he decided to play it dumb for a bit, and if possible, as long as he could.
"That's, uh, Kronos eating his kids, right?"
The name of the crooked one didn't affect Percy any more, he had gotten past the nightmares and he knew how to crush the titan of time.
A little bit of water goes a long way.
"Correct, and why did he do this?"
"Well, he was the king god, and he didn't trust his kids so he ate them."
"King of the titans, Mr. Jackson. What happened after they got eaten?"
Time to dumb this down as much as possible!
"Kronos threw up his kids, there was a big fight, and the gods won!" He proclaimed proudly, the fact he could simplify years of hardship into one sentence was a feat itself.
Behind him, Nancy mumbled to a friend "like we're gonna use this in real life."
"Mr. Jackson, to answer Miss Bobofits question, why does this matter in real life?"
Percy remembered last time that he had no idea how to answer this. Now, he had years of experience as a demigod, and even longer as a god, so he had time to think about it.
"It matters so we don't make the same mistakes as heroes of the past, and learn lessons from their adventures so we may apply them to our own lives."
Grover's jaw dropped and Chiron looked stunned for a moment. The Percy they knew did not speak like that, heck, he was going to fail out of school!
"Eloquently spoken, Mr. Jackson. Now, I think it's time for lunch!"
As the class was leaving, Percy was about to follow, before Chiron stopped him.
"My boy, have you been applying your studies to real life?"
"I have been, and I will continue to until the end of my days." With that, he walked off, leaving the trainer to ponder what had happened to him. Maybe Percy was too smart for his own good, and realized what he was? No, that couldn't be it, his scent would have increased tenfold, but it had stayed the same. Had he been playing them the entire time?
All things to think about over a nice turkey sandwich.
"Yoooo, Perce, why did Mr. Brunner hold you?"
"Ah, you know, telling me to keep up with my studies and stuff, he knows I'm gonna fail out."
Grover laughed nervously, which Percy knew now as his goat noises. Percy thought he'd say something supportive, like 'you'll be fine' or 'there's still hope' but instead he asked "Can I have your apple?"
"Oh, uh, sure."
Handing it over, Grover was about to take a bite, before a peanut butter and ketchup sandwich smacked him in the face.
A familiar redhead kleptomaniac stood in front of them, with a massive grin on her face. Flanking her on either side was another one of Nancy's friends, wearing the same dumb look.
Why were twelve year olds so annoying?
"Percyyyy, don't do anything dumb, I like peanut butter!"
Don't use your powers, don't use your powers, don't use your powers…
Standing up, Percy was completely calm, and he walked slowly towards Nancy. With every step, he said nothing, but he was obviously angry.
"What are you gonna do freak, the whole school knows you're on probation!"
"I know, and I don't care."
With that, he shoved Nancy right into the fountain.
"MISS DODDS, PERCY PUSHED ME!"
The math teacher was next to them in an instant, checking over Nancy to make sure she was ok. After making promises of a new shirt and compensation, she turned all her ire to Percy, a gleam in her eyes, and bloodlust rolled off of her. She'd been waiting for the boy to act up all semester.
"Yeah yeah, erasing textbooks until the end of the year, I know the drill already."
Riling up the fury-turned-teacher was fun, and Percy made a promise to himself to do it more often.
"Come with me," Miss Dodds said.
"Wait, no it was me who pushed her!" Grover was between the teacher and student, trying to take the blame for Percy.
Miss Dodds glared at Grover, making him shake slightly.
"I don't think so, Mr. Underwood."
Percy shook his head sadly at Grover, he wasn't doing the greatest job at 'protecting' him.
"Naw G man, I definitely pushed her."
He also wasn't helping him do his job of protecting either.
"What are you doing?!" Grover hissed under his breath.
"See, the boy is guilty as charged. You will remain here while I rightfully discipline him. Follow me, Mr. Jackson."
With that, the evil math teacher turned and led Percy back into the museum. As they walked, Percy looked at the displays, and he could really appreciate them. The last time he was here, he'd been wondering why all the statues were naked. Now, he could relate to every picture and bust.
Zeus and his bolt? Yeah, he'd seen it, almost experienced it multiple times too.
Chiron training heroes? The horse man had been ten feet away from his own statue.
Naked Poseidon on a clam? Well, he hoped it wasn't completely accurate, because the statue was not very well endowed.
As they walked, Mrs. Dodds was making strange noises, which sounded a lot like growling. Knowing she was a fury, it was most certainly growling.
"Uh, Mrs. Dodds, you ok there? Sounds like you have a little something stuck in your throat."
"Silence! I will not tolerate your insolence! You've caused us a great deal of pain, and I cannot wait to repay it!" She wore a sinister smile, and in that moment, she looked downright evil.
"Uh oh. That sounds bad. Did I hurt your feelings or something? I can't be the only one failing your class, right?"
"Confess your sins, and you will suffer less pain!" She snarled.
"Yeah, sorry I'm gonna have to pass. That's ironic though, cause I'm failing! Get it?"
The math teacher let out a monstrous screech, and began to transform. Her fingers elongated into razor sharp talons, her face became more bat-like. The leather jacket she'd been wearing stripped off her back, before unfurling into demonic looking wings.
"Damn Alecto, you're on ugly son of a bi-"
The fury rocketed towards Percy with the intent to kill or seriously maim. Any normal demigod would have been sliced ribbons in an instant, but he was Percy Jackson, God of time. To him, Alecto looked like a paper plane gliding softly on the wind.
Stepping to the side, Alecto flew past him, her claws missing his face by an inch.
"Ooooh, you're gonna have to be quicker than that."
Just then, Chiron wheeled in, looking old as ever.
"What ho, Percy!" He tossed a pen towards the boy, which midair transformed into his trusty sword, Riptide. In the past, as the gods had faded, so did Riptide's magic, and he had lost it as he wandered the earth.
Oh it's so good to have you back!
Catching the sword, he twirled it around, letting the blade flow naturally. He felt pieces of him start to come back together, Riptide was just part of the puzzle.
"That blade will not save you, Jackson. Give us what was stolen and the consequences won't be so severe."
With a demonic roar, she bullrushed him once more, hoping to eviscerate the boy.
Why are monsters so dumb all the time?
Percy didn't even have to move. He just held the sword out in front of him, watching blankly as Alecto impaled herself. The bronze blade pierced straight through her chest, leaving her standing for a second.
"You...Will...Pay" She uttered on her last breath before exploding into yellow dust.
Capping the sword, Percy pocketed it, whistling as he walked back out of the museum. Head held high, he gave Chiron a little wink as he passed by.
"I'm gonna borrow your pen for a bit, cause I don't have anything else to write with. Hope you don't mind."
Before Chiron could respond, Percy continued on towards Grover. Strutting by Nancy and her group of cronies, the girl called out to him.
"I hope Miss Kerr whipped your ass."
Hm, should I play it dumb, or just go with it…
"Oh yeah, I've got detention until the end of the year. It was totally worth it though!" He said cheerfully, snickering at the look of rage on her face. He knew Nancy would mellow out as she got older, so he better get his taunts in now.
For a god who had lived for countless millennia, he was quite immature. Maybe it was a side effect of being in his twelve year old body. Yeahhh, let's just blame that.
His goat friend was sitting on the fountain he pushed Nancy into. Grover looked up, a large smile on his face.
"Percy, you're alive!" He bleated out.
"Of course dude. It'll take more than an angry math teacher to put me down for good." Percy had a funny idea in his head, and decided to play it out. "Miss Debra really did a number on me, but I survived!"
"Debra? Don't you mean Do- I MEAN KERR! Yeah, Kerr. Did you hit your head or something?"
"Dodds? Who's Dodds? Grover I think my apple was poisoned, you're going crazy now!"
Grover looked like he was on the verge of a meltdown. Chirons plan of using the mist was swirling down the drain, all because of his mess up! His lower lip was trembling, and his eyes were watery.
"Hahahha, Dude! Your face… it's Priceless!" Percy was clutching his stomach, laughing hard and rolling on the ground.
"That's not funny man, that's a mean prank."
"Whatever, G Man, let's get back on the bus. I wanna go to sleep."
The rest of the year breezed by for Percy. It was kind of strange, watching all the mortal kids under the influence of the mist. In the past, he had almost been one of them, but his divine blood prevented him from forgetting the attack. Seeing all these middle schoolers wander mindlessly with false memories was almost unnerving.
Almost being a keyword.
Some things got to him more than others, like the face of Tartarus, or watching the earth slowly die. Still, the innocence of children being tampered with by the will of the gods?
Well, they did raise child soldiers, but he was here to fix that, in a way.
Bad weather was starting to pick up around New York, signaling the argument between Zeus and Poseidon had just begun. Why did the gods not keep a tighter hold on their weapons? Out of pride? He would never understand it.
Percy was doing his best to get kicked out of Yancy, and honestly he didn't have to try very hard. It was almost embarrassing how easy it was to fail a test. Don't blame him though, math is hard.
He remembered in the last timeline eavesdropping on Chiron and Grover. They spoke about the mist and winter solstice, probably because the bolt had just been stolen. Percy snickered to himself, he had been so clumsy back then.
Dropping a book on the ground, really?
The door to his room opened, breaking Percy from his musings. The goat boy had returned, probably from his meeting with Chiron. He didn't care enough to look through the timeline to see where Grover had been.
"G Man, your back! I thought you'd have been studying for Mr. Brunner's test tomorrow."
"Yeah Perce, I was just getting some help from Mr. Brunner, on the mythology part because I'm a bit fuzzy on it." He said nervously.
Really Grover? A satyr needs help with mythology?
"That's probably a good idea, I've been studying for the past three hours!" Percy exclaimed.
Grover shook his head sadly, his friend really was going to flunk out.
"Sometimes I think you're trying to fail, man."
"What can I say, it's a talent. Turn off the lights will ya? I'm tired."
The room went dark.
"Night G Man."
His dreams were filled with long forgotten memories, an exploding volcano, glowing gold eyes, a flying boat. Percy tried not to think about them anymore, they only brought pain, and they reminded him of all the lives he'd lost under his command. What did they even fight for? The pride of their parents? Their own survival?
He had the opportunity to save many lives, he wouldn't let this go to waste.
The dream shifted, and he was dragged from his memories, out into the universe. Stars rushed past him, and the planet he once resided on was just a speck of dust in the void. Coming to a stop, Chaos was in front of him, looking the same as she did from their last meeting.
"Hey, Chaos, I'm guessing this isn't just a house call?"
"I mean, not really a house call, but it can be casual. I just wanted to see how you were doing, since I haven't sent anyone back in time for a while."
"You've sent people back in time before? Woah that's so trippy, like what would my timeline be like if you didn't do that?" Percy's tone of voice reminded them both of shaggy.
"Yeah, I had to send this one guy back because he didn't fall in love with a woman, and the chocolate was never invented."
"That's crazy! I'm so glad you sent him back, chocolate is very important!"
"I know, if I hadn't, countries would have destroyed themselves from the lack of sweets. Anyways, back to the point. With me sending you back in time, your whole reality changes, and the one you once resided in follows you. At least, some aspects do. Beings beyond time follow, which is only me, you, Chronos, and End. Are you following so far?"
"So, because those things carry over into this timeline, End is still eating the universe up. You don't have sixty millennia like when I first came to you anymore. With time travel, it shifted the rate at which he gobbles me up. Now, you only have about fifty years. I hate to put all this pressure on you, but you cannot screw this up, or we're all dead."
Originally, Percy had thought he had plenty of time, he could afford to relax a little, enjoy being young again. Now, he had the weight of the universe on his shoulders, he'd have to make drastic decisions in the future to prevent its collapse. This would be one hell of an adventure, and he'd make the most of it.
"What do you want me to do to ensure that I succeed?"
Chaos looked sad for a moment. Her eyes crinkled up slightly and the corners of her mouth pointed down. Then, her normal, happy look flashed back.
"I need you to unite my children, their war caused this downward spiral, and only their peace can reverse it. If that doesn't work, then make sure none of them ever step onto the earth. The presence of a primordial on a mortal plane will shred it apart. You know this already, you saw what Erebus did. I need you to prevent that from happening."
"Unite the primordial gods or fight them… got it."
The task seemed impossible, these were beings of pure power, they represented universal domains. Some of them were practically infinite, limited only by chaos. How was he supposed to defeat something like that? Even as the embodiment of time, it seemed like a tall order.
"I'll try my best, Chaos, I promise. I won't fail, or I'll die trying!"
Chaos beamed with joy, and clapped her hands.
"Thanks Percy! You're the best! Even if you fail, it's ok, because we'll all die together! Yayyyyy! Anyways, you should wake up now, I don't know when I'll see you next, so good luck!"
The creator of the universe waved goodbye, and Percy was thrown away from her, traveling back through space. Stars and galaxies whizzed past him, and everything was one giant blur. A recognizable green and blue planet came into his vision, getting larger and larger.
I'm not slowing down!
Smashing into Earth, he jumped up with a start, breathing heavily.
"Woah there Perce, you ok? Did you have a nightmare?"
"Grover! Nah, I'm just excited for my last test of Yancy Academy!"
"What do you mean you think I cheated?! I studied so much for my last test Mr. Brunner, of course I'd do better on this one!"
The teacher shook his head sadly.
"I'm sorry Mr. Jackson, but even if you did study, your answer sheet is the exact same as Mr. Underwood's."
"That's just a coincidence."
"The written portion is the same as his, word for word. I don't even know how you copied that, his was in English and yours was in Greek."
"I studied hard to make you proud. I thought if I could do that in Greek, I'd get some extra credit."
Chiron looked sad for a moment before he smiled softly.
"It's ok, Percy, you did your best. I can give you extra credit, but unfortunately for you, Mr. Underwood also failed the test. You got a 35%. Don't be discouraged my boy, leaving Yancy… is for the best."
Percy didn't really hear any of this though, he was trying to remember what his grades were the last time he had been here. The power to be present in all events of history was not helping him very much at the moment.
Did I fail harder now or last time? I hope it was last time.
"You must understand Percy, it was bound to happen. You're… not normal."
Ouch, Chiron was not pulling his punches.
"Yeah I know, thanks for the good year, I'll see you another time."
Waving goodbye, Percy was out the door before his teacher could ask him to wait.
The bus ride back to the city wasn't anything special. Grover booked tickets on the same bus as him, and Percy rode in silence, barely acknowledging any of the Satyr's small talk. What he was really waiting for was the meeting with the fates, or at least looking at each other from across the road.
A loud noise startled all the riders, and the bus driver cursed.
It's about time…
"Sorry everyone, I think we've got a flat!" The driver called out. The passengers groaned as they filed out of the bus.
Looking out the window, a familiar fruit stand run by three ancient women sat across the road. They were the fates, weavers of all mortal life. For some reason, they were knitting a giant sock, big enough to fit Sasquatch.
"Hey Grover, you hungry? I'm gonna grab some fruit from the stand over there, wanna come?"
"Fruit stand? Where? I want some, let's go! Wait a second… WHAT THE FU- GET BACK HERE!"
It was too late for Grover to stop him though, Percy had already crossed the street and was pulling out his wallet. The three fates were looking at him strangely, as if they hadn't expected him to approach them. Most mortals were terrified of fate after all.
"Hi, I was wondering if you sold any mangoes, or apples. My friend was afraid to cross the street, and I didn't want to hold his hand, so I have to do the shopping for him."
The fates deadpanned at him.
"Do you know who we are, Perseus Jackson?"
He nodded his head fervently.
"You're fruit farmers! Oh, that reminds me, do you take gift cards? I don't think I have any cash on me right now, but I have a coupon to Popeyes. Buy two meals and get an extra biscuit. Now that's a deal."
Looking back at the bus, Percy could see Grover peeking out of the window by their seat, his eyes barely showing.
"See my friend? That's Grover, he was too afraid to cross the street or something." He pointed at the goat boy, causing him to duck down quickly, smacking his head on the window. "What do you think he'd like?"
The three fates looked at each other, having a seemingly silent conversation, but they were probably talking into one another's mind.
"You are a strange child, Perseus. You know who we are, yet you don't fear us. You have knowledge of what you are, yet you shouldn't. Your fate should have changed, but it hasn't, and we cannot affect your string anymore. What have you done?"
Percy smiled sadly, the gravity of his mission taking hold once more. Just then, a large presence entered his mind.
It's ok to tell them, Percy. They must concede to me, or at least their mother, who follows me.
No it's your cat, Stinky. Of course it's me!
No need to get snarky. I'll tell them, but what if they change the fates of others?
They will not change anything, it will be you who does that.
Also, Stinky the cat?
Chaos left his mind, and Percy looked back to the fates. Rubbing his eyes, he began explaining the situation to them.
"I am on a mission on a scale this universe has never seen, direct orders from Chaos herself. Reality is collapsing, and she has sent me to prevent this."
If the fates were shocked, they didn't show it.
"My mind and soul are from the future, and I have sent back to the start of my demigod life to make changes in the past, so this world may survive."
After a moment of silence, the fates spoke in the most casual manner he'd ever heard from them. Of all things Percy expected, it hadn't been that. They giggled at the look on his face, which made him mildly uncomfortable. Three incredibly old women giggling? That was always the start to a horror movie.
"Well, that explains a lot. Thanks Percy! Good luck on your quest!" It was odd hearing them speak like that, he was used to spooky and ominous messages.
With that, the fruit stand began dissolving, and the fates disappeared.
"Wait! My mangoes! I wasn't kidding about that, I'm hungry!"
After the bus got fixed, the rest of the ride was uneventful, if anything, it was annoying. Grover was constantly badgering him, asking about the ladies and the fruit stand. Plus, he was sitting way too close for comfort. The bus came to a stop once more.
Finally, my stop!
"Promise you'll wait for me, Percy? I have to go to the bathroom, I'll be back in a second."
"Yeah, I'll water, G Man. Have fun!"
He didn't wait.
As soon as Grover entered the bathroom, Percy ditched him. Calling a taxi, he half expected Blackjack to swoop down, but then he remembered he didn't meet his Pegasus until next year. He was looking forward to returning home, he missed his mom's embrace, her warm smile, her kind eyes.
The entire taxi ride home he was looking forward to seeing her, but he felt like he was forgetting something. It wasn't until he opened the door to the apartment that he remembered.
Oh right, Gabe.
A vile stench invaded his nose immediately, almost smothering all his other senses. The smell was horrendous, more than enough to cover his demigod scent. Hell, it could probably cover the entire camps.
The man producing such a terrible odor currently sat on the couch, shirtless, with a beer in one hand and poker chips in another. Surrounding the little game table were a few nameless poker buddies. They didn't matter, they would be gone soon too.
How a walrus like Gabe married a woman like his mother was a question he was never able to answer. Perhaps motherly love and devotion to her son, but even she had her limits.
Gabe was built like a bear preparing for hibernation. His chins were prominent, and the acne on his chest an angry red. His beer belly took bubble gut to the next level, he could star on an episode of my six hundred pound life. It was a miracle he could even walk, let alone terrorize Percy and his mother. His bald head was discolored wrinkly, save for a few strands of hair he'd managed to save. Not that it helped, Gabe was still hideous.
"Welcome home, retard! Got any money?"
"No 'how was school' or 'was the trip good'? That's not very kind of you, Gabe Ugliano…"
A twelve year old with a backpack slung over his shoulder wasn't normally an intimidating sight, but the fact that Gabe couldn't move a muscle, or that his poker friends were now withered, empty husk changed a lot.
"You don't deserve to walk on the same earth as my mother, breathe the same air, let alone sleep in the same bed as her."
The terror in Gabe's eyes was evident, and staring into Percy's, he watched them flash gold, just for a moment. Finally, the pressure on his throat lessened, and he could make noise.
"SALLY, COME CONTROL YOUR DEVIL CHILD! ONCE I GET FREE, I'LL BEAT HIS ASS, AND THE. YOUR NEXT!"
There was a cold look in Percy's eyes as he stalked forward, face to face with a frozen Gabe. The fat man spat at him, watching gleefully as a glob soared towards the young boy's face.
His joy was quickly crushed as the spit stopped midair, hovering, before smacking back into his own face.
"Crying for the woman you hit? It doesn't matter, she won't hear you, nor would she help you if she did. Your pitiful time on this earth… never mind, you don't deserve my pity. Know that your death is imminent, and it will be tenfold the pain you inflicted in this apartment."
Gabe could only whimper as his body was forced to stand up. The floor creaked beneath him, and chip crumbs poured off his bloated belly. The mummified corpses of his poker friends had dissipated into fine dust, now little piles on the worn chairs.
"What… are... you?" Gabe choked out, the stench of alcohol floated on his breath, causing Percy to wrinkle his nose.
He scoffed, before he started getting younger and younger. In front Gabe now stood a young, seven year old boy, with bruises and scratches covering his arms and face. Many more were hidden beneath his clothes.
"What am I?" Percy asked innocently, his voice high and squeaky. "I'm just a kid you beat, tormented, and abused. A piñata for you to hit and take money from."
Suddenly, he grew taller, his features growing harder and defined. And adult Percy stood in front, staring down at the petrified man.
"I am the right hand man of Chaos, her will and her way. I am your judge, jury, and executioner. I am time incarnate."
Gabes face started turning red, along with the rest of his body. His eyes started watering before a pained scream escaped his lips. Falling to the ground limply, he could only watch with horror has his body started contorting. Once by one, his limbs twisted and crunched, tearing and destroying themselves.
"I'm… I'm sorry! Please, stop this! I didn't mean it! I promise I won't drink anymore, I'll never lay a hand on Sally or you or anyone ever again!" Gabe begged and pleaded, looking for any reprieve from the pain.
Percy was not moved.
"Sorry won't save you."
He let out one final moan as his body crumpled, a bloody, unrecognizable mound was all that was left. Percy stared at the remains of Gabe unflinching, without regret or remorse. He'd relieved his mother of a terrible burden, but at the cost of his humanity.
Not that it mattered, he lost that a long time ago, or was it well into the future?
He remembered every time Gabe raised his fist in violence. Every broken bottle and every crack of a belt. His essence was spread across every moment, experiencing and reliving his own traumatic time with Gabe.
'Bitch! Where's my beer? Bring it now or you're gonna get it tonight!'
He was six then, he could barely see over the counter, yet he was forced to wear long sleeve shirts to hide the marks.
A shadow loomed in the doorway, the stench of alcohol strong.
'You stole a pizza slice while I was pissing! For every minute I was gone, it'll whip you! And even more cause I feel like it!"
He was only nine, and he hadn't eaten in two days.
Shuffling in the hallway knocked Percy out of his thoughts. With a quick wave of his hand, Gabes body dissolved into dust, before blowing out the window with the rest of his buddies. Growing younger, he fixed his uniform and shouldered his backpack again, before greeting Sally Jackson, the greatest mother to walk on the planet.
"Are you sure Gabe is fine with us taking the car? You know how he is about this Camaro. I wouldn't want to drive it without double checking with him."
Percy's mom looked conflicted, gazing questioningly at the keys in his hand.
"Yeah, he said he found a sugar mommy or something, and didn't need us anymore. Left with the clothes on his back and a beer in his hands. What's a sugar mommy?"
Sally's mouth dropped, and her left eye twitched violently, before shaking her head and schooling her features.
"That's great sweety! How about you go get packed and I'll get the car ready."
"But whats a -"
The car ride was uneventful, except Percy was looking at the sky every five minutes and watching the treeline for dangerous creatures. After making it through the New York traffic and a boring ride through the countryside, they finally made it to Montauk.
Deep blue water spilled on a pristine sandy beach. White caps crested, making the sea noisy with the crashing waves. Gray sky hung drearily overhead, a storm was imminent. In the distance, a busy city was muted and seemingly frozen, like a postcard.
It would have been picturesque, had the angry ocean and the sullen sky not mean that war was on the horizon between two gods.
That night, as a storm rolled in, Percy lay in bed, thinking of the future. How could he possibly fight primordial gods? Gaia had been a brutal challenge, and she was practically asleep. He remembered the power of Tartarus, unquestionable and absolute. The embodiment of Hell was a terrifying being, and the other gods that resided in his body were equally strong.
The first time he met Nyx, she flew from the void of chaos, a space that shredded anything that entered!
Then again, he didn't have to fight them all. Only the ones that disagreed.
Hopefully, they valued living more than suffering a prolonged death at the hands of End.
Thunder clapped overhead, and rain poured heavily onto the roof of the cabin. His uncle was truly not happy. Not that Percy couldn't blame him, if he lost Riptide he'd probably be on a nationwide manhunt too.
Any time now…
Three quick knocks at the door overpowered the sound of the raging storm outside.
Sally got up, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, before warily approaching the door. She glanced at Percy, who was oddly wide awake.
"Something like that."
Swinging open the shoddy cabin door, they were greeted by a soaking wet Grover.
"Percy! You said you'd wait for me!"
"So you're telling me you were attacked by a kindly one and you didn't even bring it up once?!"
"Sorry mom, I thought I was crazy."
"You kept the sword!"
Lighting blasted across the sky, illuminating the road ahead of them. The bullet like rain made it nearly impossible to see out the windshield, even with the wipers at full power. Percy looked up nervously, waiting for it to blast them instead.
"I was also worried Grover would eat me, because he has horse legs."
"They're goat legs!" He bleated. "I'm a satyr, it's my job to protect you. C'mon man, you should know this, you took Chiron's class with me!"
"Aha! I knew Mr. Brunner was Chiron. That explains the smell now. Don't tell him I said that."
He could see the yellow streak screaming down from the heavens. Time slowed to a crawl for Percy, while the other passengers literally froze. Focusing on the rain, he forced it to condense, forming a tight line of water next to the bolt.
He watched with slight pride as the lighting aimed at their car changed its path, following a more conductive and direct route around them, smashing harmlessly into the ground.
Well, not exactly harm free.
The bolt cratered the ground and a flash of light showed their next problem, the Minotaur.
"STEP ON IT!" Grover yelled.
Sally floored the gas, the Camaro skidding for a moment before shooting off. The charging bull man narrowly missed a direct it, his razor sharp horns leaving a gouge in the trunk. They could hear his bellows of rage at missing his prey, and could feel the thumps of his steps as the beast chased after them.
Percy could hear his mom muttering to herself, her eyes set on the road, both hands were clenched tight on the steering wheel.
"...Just one more mile… one more mile…"
The storm had kept up, but the thumping had finally stopped. Slowing to a stop, Grover led the group from the car and into the forest, headed to the holy land. Just as Percy made it into the treeline, the Camaro exploded. The hulking figure of the Minotaur could be seen sniffing the ruined car. The flickering flames gave a hellish appearance to the massive beast.
"He found us!" Grover whimpered. Steeling his nerves, determination filled his veins. This wouldn't be a repeat of last time. "Hurry, follow me!"
They ran into the dark forest for what seemed like hours, but had really only been three minutes and twelve seconds. Coming to a large hill, a huge pine tree stood proudly, overseeing a clearing and the hidden secrets behind it.
"Get to the pine tree and we'll be safe!"
The trio scrambled quickly, crossing the clearing as quickly as possible. Suddenly, a tree smashed into the ground in front of them. An angry roar came from the otherside of the clearing as the minotaur came into view.
Ripping another tree out of the ground, he threw it at the group with enough force to tear through steel. A branch caught Sally square in the chest, sending her flying, before rolling limply on the ground.
Percy ran to his mother, his eyes searching for any signs of movement. She layed on her side, facing away from him. It was as if the world had halted, the rain was frozen midair, the howling wind had been muzzled, the only thing he could hear was his own breath.
Reaching out one shaky hand, he put it on her shoulder, nudging Sally gently.
Turning her slightly, Percy could only sob as he saw the familiar glazed look in her eyes.
"No...no… NO! This can't happen!"
Clinging to her body, Percy released an anguished cry as he buried his face in the crook of her neck. A hand tried to tug him off, to get him to move, to do something, but it did nothing.
"C'mon, Percy, we have to go. He's coming!" Grover urged, looking over his shoulder.
"She's dead…" He muttered.
"I know, and I'm sorry, but if you don't move, so will you!"
Percy gave his mother one last look of longing, before standing slowly. Wiping away his tears, he turned slowly to Grover.
"Go get Chiron now and tell him to get her body."
"But what ab-"
Grover scampered off, leaving Percy alone with the huffing creature. Wrath filled his veins as the world responded to his commands. A golden hue surrounded him and the air literally vibrated. The frozen rain started slowly levitating upwards as Percy approached the Minotaur.
"This world has caused me much pain, but the deed you have just committed now has been the worst one yet." Percy growled out. "For that, I will rip you in half!"
The Minotaur roared. How dare some small boy challenge the might if a legendary creature such as himself? Charging forward, the monster lowered its head, preparing to spear Percy. It got closer and closer, its horns ready to maul the demigod, before it suddenly stopped.
The force of their collison let out a domelike blast. Percy grit his teeth and his arms shook. In each hand a horn of the Minotaur was firmly held in place. In his childlike form, his small hands couldn't fully wrap around the razor sharp appendage, but he made a promise.
WIth a war cry, Percy pulled with as much power as he could muster, his eyes closed with focus. There was a pop, and when he reopened them, all that remained was a pile of golden dust. Two horns of the beast that killed his mother sat mockingly in his hands.
Stumbling back to his mother, Percy collapsed on his knees next to her, dropping the horns. Taking her hands in his, he ignored how cold they felt, and held them against his cheek.
"I came back to save lives, not take the ones most important to me. I'm sorry, mom, I love you."
The rage that fueled him seeped out, and the sadness took over. Fighting to stay awake, exhaustion slammed into him. The last thing he saw as his eyes closed were two familiar figures standing over him, sorrow written on their faces.
This is something that I started a while ago but never published. It will probably just be used to help segway my ideas into other stories while I work on them. I tend to start one project, but then another idea comes to mind, and then I can only think about that. This story wont get updated frequently, unless you all want me to prioritize this above all others. Also, im off to college soon, so i dont know how much writing i can do then. Thanks for understanding. Ill try to bust out one or two more chapters for A Joyful War before i go, so be on the lookout.