Morning – Big House – Camp Half-Blood
After breakfast at her cabin table, Thalia approached the big house. Chiron and Dionysus were playing Pinochle at the deck. This sight never gets old. Chiron is used to having fun with Dionysus before his archery classes. (Although Thalia doubts Dionysus can be a fun guy… she knows he's the party god but with his level-100 grumpiness?)
"Daddy's angel is here!" Dionysus said without getting his eyes out of the cards. Can't he get more bored? Thalia rolled her eyes.
"What is it, Thalia? Would you like to join?" Chiron asked turning towards her.
"Actually no, I wanted to ask something." Thalia said, "I- I had a nightmare last night-"
"Can't it wait, Tallie?" Dionysus asked dismissively, "We have important business here rather than listening to your little nightmares."
Thalia took a deep breath. Half-brother or not, Dionysus is a god. "Look," she said, "I think this is more important than a card game," Thalia ignored her half-brother's scoff, "This is about the goddess of the land."
Chiron visibly paled. The old centaur opened his mouth, closed it, and opened it again. Dionysus' reaction was priceless. For once, he shut his dam mouth and looked serious instead of being bored. Well, this is interesting, huh? Then the centaur and the god shared a look. Then both of them got up from their chairs. The pinochle deck vanished in Dionysus' hand.
"Indeed," Chiron whispered, "Let's take this conversation to my office," Chiron offered. Thalia nodded and followed her mentor into the big house. With no expressions on his face, Dionysus followed the suit.
"What did you see in your dreams, my girl?" Chiron asked.
So Thalia went on, describing everything she had seen in her dream; how the goddess defeated Typhon with the help of Satyr warriors, how Zeus and Hades met her. At the end of the tale, Chiron lets out a tired sigh.
"She is Lady Persephone," the wise old Centaur said.
"What?" Thalia was bewildered. She looked at Chiron as if he turned into a donkey. "Seriously? The last time I've been in the myth class, they taught me that Persephone is the sweet little daughter of Demeter and Zeus who got kidnapped and became the dark lady of the underworld! Not a goddess of land who's taking down the damn Typhon?"
"What the old centaur meant is that goddess is Persephone Sr.," Dionysus intervened, "I was still a demigod when she got banished. If you want full info, she was the eldest goddess born of Ouranos, Gaea, and Kronos."
"Hold on a minute," Thalia said, apparent disgust on her face, "They did that? Was that like a good ol' family time?"
Dionysus literally spewed Diet Coke.
"No!" he sounded annoyed, "After Kronos slew his father, he gathered the pieces of the sky lord in his own loincloth and hung it around his waist. He had sex with a nymph at the feast after slaying Ouranos. His semen mixed with the ichor of Ouranos and impregnated the Earth and the result was the birth of Persephone. The Earth mother hid her from Kronos. She grew up, hiding from the eyes of Kronos and the other titans."
"When she learned how to disguise herself as one of the titans, the mother earth sent her to train under the titan of mortality, Iapetus." Chiron said, "Prometheus and she created the humans when she was babysitting him at the banks of river Styx. She breathed life into the statues Prometheus made out of the clay of the Styx."
"She was also the goddess of life," Dionysus said, "Also she's the goddess of destruction."
"Destruction? How? I thought Enyo was the goddess of destruction?" Thalia asked.
"She took upon the mantle after her mother was exiled," Chiron said simply, "She was born the goddess of war and devastation. Her father was the god of war, after all."
"She shagged Ares," Thalia raised an eyebrow.
"Among many others," Dionysus shrugged, "Can't you comprehend our family drama yet, Teresa?"
Thalia rolled her eyes and turned towards Chiron, "What happened then? After she created humanity alongside Prometheus?" she asked.
"She continued her hiding life, seeking allies to take down her father. She granted immortality to some of the first humans. She started gathering forces and allies, trained Satyrs and Nymphs for the war. She found Aphrodite, lady of love."
"Don't suppose they fell in love?" Thalia asked slyly.
"They became best friends, but no. They were never lovers-"the wise centaur was interrupted by the cough of Dionysus, "-but they were friends with benefits as the mortals call before Lord Dionysus would kindly point out."
Dionysus was suddenly interested in a wine magazine, not bothered to listen to either of them.
"Also she created animals the same time around the creation of men. You may have heard of Dinosaurs? They were made for fighting the titan army. Her forge of creation birthed many creatures such as dragons, demons, gryphons…"
"Wait," Thalia said, "Let me guess, she also convinced some of the powerful titans not to fight, right?"
"Yes," Chiron whispered, "She and Rhea managed to do so. If sisters of Kronos except Rhea and Oceanus joined Kronos," the centaur let out a sigh, "The battle's result would have been in favor for the titan lord and I'm afraid you, me or Dionysus wouldn't have been here talking about the entire thing."
"However, the goddess was biding her time until she was sure of attacking mount Othrys when Rhea was sent to her by Gaea for the protection of Zeus. Persephone made a baby out of a rock and gave it to Rhea, taking responsibility of bringing the young lord of thunder."
"Must have been hard," Thalia said.
"Indeed, the young lord of thunder use to cry a lot as a baby-"Chiron was interrupted by Dionysus' mutter of "Demanding as always," "-And he required a lot of attention because whenever he felt bored, he used to fly. Persephone appointed Kouretes, who were also her sons to entertain him and keep him from running away when she wasn't present."
"Her sons with a cloud nymph," Dionysus supported. Thalia rolled her eyes again.
"Anyway, once Zeus grew up to be a fine young god, Persephone started training him in combat. Queen of Othrys visited whenever she can and helped the lord of thunder to master his titan form. Within a few years, Zeus managed to convince Kronos to participate in a drinking contest, which the titan lord accepted.
"Mustard?" Thalia smirked.
"It is," Chiron nodded. "Zeus and his siblings escaped. Persephone sent the six to Tartarus to rescue the Heckatonkheires and elder Cyclopes after 5 years of that incident. Then the war between gods and titans broke out for a decade. Then they ambushed Othrys, taking the titan lord out of surprise, and actually won. Then Lord Zeus did something his sister never forgave," Chiron paused.
"Which is?" Thalia asked.
"Ripping Kronos into shreds with his own Scythe and throwing them to Tartarus," to her surprise, the centaur said, "The titan lord certainly loved his children, but his obsession of the prophecy of Ouranos got better of him. Persephone wanted peace between titans and gods, and she wanted to show Kronos that the prophecy could have been prevented. She would have left him alone after taking an oath on Styx never to attack Olympus ever. Alas… after the traumatizing punishment and the pit, the titan lord went even more deranged, and that's why he's dangerous than ever."
"And then, she decided not to join Olympian council," Dionysus said.
"Why?" Thalia asked.
"Like his father, Lord Zeus craved power. Lady Persephone deduced that if she became the queen of Olympus, Zeus would have double-crossed and overthrown her eventually. This is my best guess." Chiron said.
"When you put it that way…" Thalia reluctantly agreed.
"Yes, let's put a bookmark for today Thalia. I'm afraid if I continued with the story, I'd miss the archery class," Chiron said, "If you have any dreams?"
"Sure, I'll tell you about them," Thalia said turning back.
"And Grace," Dionysus said coldly, "This is highly confidential. We revealed these secrets within reason. You must not reveal the story to any of your little friends, or otherwise-"
The god of wine left the threat hanging in the air as he teleported away, leaving the scent of grapes, one worried Centaur and a rigid demigod.
Two hours earlier – The Alcatraz Island, California
The smell of Tartarus… It was all around this place.
Persephone phased through the walls of the abandoned prison/museum. As Annabeth informed her, there was Kampé, one of the most powerful monsters to exist. It was disturbing to remember that Kampé's parents are Tartarus and Nyx.
This fearsome monster had half of a woman's body and half of a dragon's. Before you ask, the front side was the woman half. That's good news, right? Well, no. Sorry to disappoint you but she was far from Aphrodite from the front side. She had snakes for hair and green, reptilian skin which covered her front side. Not to mention her wolverine-like claws and yellow teeth. About the backside, that would be gorgeous for someone obsessed with zoology and animals. It was black with white stripes. She had a pair of massive dark wings and a venomous scorpion tail, which made her look even cuter in the monster–dating parlor in Tartarus. The boundary where her halves meet? Tartarus wouldn't be any prouder than that. Her skin constantly bubbled and morphed continuously into various heads of animals that had hatred radiating from them.
Persephone decided that she couldn't alert Kampé. Even if she manages to kill it here, it will reform in the pit and that would alert Kronos about Persephone's attempts of you-know-what. If her father got the wind of it, then her plans would burn into ashes. Well, can't let that happen. So, a distraction? Yes, but it would take a big one. Otherwise, Kampé would notice her.
The scepter materialized in the goddess's right hand. She thrust it upon the ground and the prisons began to shake. Now, it's the time for an illusion. With a wave of her palm, there stood Poseidon, the earth-shaker.
The illusionary sea god ran down the courtyard and challenged the monster.
He roared and challenged the mighty Kampé with the raised trident. The ground started to tremble with sheer power. Kampé let out an animalistic roar (which made Persephone shudder) and flew all the way down and started to dash towards the illusion. The illusion taunted her as it dodged the scimitars of the dragon woman.
As 'Poseidon' distracted the Kampé, Persephone vanished and reappeared in the cell where the Heckatonkheires were imprisoned. Speaking of whom, they were curled to balls in the corner of the cell, appeared to be suffering from not believing in themselves. Aged, smaller and pathetic; shallow images of what they were before.
"Cottus and Gyges!" Persephone whispered.
The Heckatonkheires slowly looked up.
"It can't be!" Gyges muttered in disbelief. "Cottus, am I going insane? Can you see our lady too?"
"It is her," Cottus confirmed.
"It is me," Persephone said, "I'm here to rescue you. Now hurry, grab onto my arms."
They didn't waste time. With each pair of hands, the brothers hung on to their mistress as they teleported away.
Meanwhile, 'Poseidon' vanished into thin air, which made Kampé angry. She busted a few cells and flew towards the cell where the Heckatonkheires were imprisoned. Once she came to know that the Heckatonkheires escaped, she spewed acid in frustration and set the prison cell ablaze.
She will suffer the wrath of Lord Kronos for this…
Throne Room - Palace of Persephone
"What happened? How did Kampé manage to capture you? Where's your brother? Briares?" Persephone swiftly asked once they were in the throne room.
Gyges and Cottus looked at each other (with all their fifty faces, mind you) and turned towards the goddess. The monsters were sitting on the grassy floor while Persephone was down on one knee with a worried look.
"After your banishment, Olympians destroyed each and every one of your temples, followers, and demigod children," Cottus sighed heavily, "Us? We were bound in chains in front of them. With a bolt of lightning, Zeus sent us down to the abyss just like his father did before with the help of his brothers. Poseidon managed to keep Briares though, seeing as he was helping to renew Poseidon's castle at the time."
"We spent eons in Tartarus, wandering until Kampé found us. Until your arrival, we were imprisoned like this by Kampé. She wanted us to recreate the Scythe, but with more power than before," the Heckatonkheire paused for Persephone's gasp.
"That would have allowed him to travel through time," Persephone's eyes widened, "We need to be more vigilant. And also we need to find your brother before my father does. Now rest, you two," Persephone dismissed the brothers who were accompanied by human servants.
"And Prometheus," Persephone called for the trickster god, "I will need your assistance for the upcoming war."
Prometheus looked a big deal healthy. His scars were faint now; he was in a nice, clean tux.
"I assume you want me to spy on the lord of the time?" he asked, with a slight waver of the voice.
"You're a smart boy," Persephone commented, "But you're not just going to spy on them. No, the job description is a bit longer than that. You see, spying on them is pretty easy for me. I got this information from young Nico, that a demigod son of Hermes leading the side of the titan lord. And yes, I know he feels foolish for becoming the pawn of my father."
"Can't you control him?" Prometheus suggested weakly. He was clearly afraid, if not terrified.
"Are you losing your touch? That would alert dear ol' daddy as you perfectly well know!" Persephone snapped, "Look, little trickster, I know you're afraid of him. But you're the person for this. You're the titan of the crafty counsel, don't tell me it's couple counseling nowadays."
"Yes, but I'm also the titan of forethought. It is perfectly fine for me to be wary of angering the beings who are more powerful or have more influence in the divine after what I went through. My uncle is one of the beings who have both and can triumph even someone like you, no offense. He might fall in the upcoming war, but who knows? He can rise and gain the upper hand any time after that. Then I will find no escape from his eyes, who's there to save me from his scythe?" The titan ranted.
Honestly? He's thinking too much about this. If Zeus hesitated like this, Kronos wouldn't have fallen. Plan B, then.
"This is why you're not going as yourself," Persephone changed the gears, "You're joining them as someone else," her eyes gleamed mischievously, "You will be one of those rouge demigods that joined Luke. Peter Morrison, son of Prometheus?"
"Not bad," the titan said, "But the name can make the titan lord suspicious. And also the traitor being a son of Prometheus can draw his wrath towards me."
"Another alias then," Persephone said, "Jacob Summer, son of Kore Persephone. You will have my blessing to manipulate the plant life and regeneration once you are awake."
"Wait!" Prometheus raised his voice, "Where are you sending me?"
"Nearby city to the 'Princess Andromeda'," Persephone shrugged, "You're a 25-year-old bartender. Your father died when you were 7, you're angry that your mom is considered powerless and you were practically invisible in your time with camp half-blood. You loathed the Olympians and decided to stay the hell away from the camp. When you heard Olympians are going to get what they deserve, you decided to join Kronos and watch it closely."
"Sounds a bit childish for a 25-year-old demigod but whatever," Prometheus said, "I suppose you're letting me keep my memories, right?"
"No telling!" Persephone stood up, turned around, pointed her scepter towards Prometheus, and cackled, "You will be a bulky man and a wise demigod at the same time! That much I'm telling you!"
"Wait! No!" Prometheus shouted for naught. He blacked out as the green and brown rays hit him square in the chest, evaporating the titan who once stood in the throne room.
"Adventures of Jacob Summer, now that would be a worthy book," Persephone mused while leaving the throne room.
30th of December – Docks, San Francisco
They are so dead.
Maybe not Luke, he was too valuable to the cause, but other members of the crew are.
They failed their mission spectacularly.
Finding Nereus, the old man of the sea wasn't hard. He smelled worse than rotten seaweed and dead fish combined according to Bush (A satyr recently joined in their ranks, who believed Kronos will bring the golden age which would help nature. Kronos himself complemented his ideology of 'waiting for Pan is useless'.) With a binocular, Luke saw the man they were searching was sunbathing at the end of the pier.
So they laid down a plan.
They had a magical net, sewn with the essence of Kronos which renders the captured temporally powerless. Luke would approach the old man and distract him, while Ben (son of Oceanus, Zeus killed his mother and stepfather when he was 6, grew up in foster care, and joined Kronos last year, their sea specialist) would hold the sea back for a while. The rest of them led by Chris (except the tracking satyr, obviously) would draw a curve behind him while Luke and Ben work, and put the net upon him. Alabaster would manipulate the mist, which would close the scene for mortals.
So they went with it.
Nereus wasn't exactly your Dumbledore, Gandalf, or Merlin. He reminded Luke of some drawings of Poseidon. Maybe an extremely old Poseidon who is in a dirty bathrobe and pajamas more like? The sea god seemed not to notice Luke, but once Luke poked on his fat stomach? He began to wrestle. Luke had to close his mouth, to restrain his wails.
Ben held back the sea as they discussed, also the other demigods were surrounding Luke and Nereus. The net was thrown, making Luke and Nereus vulnerable to the point of a mortal. Then it was easy. Nereus was nothing but an old man but Luke was a youth in his prime. Then all they had to do was drag him to more landsides and ask about the first child of Kronos.
But they didn't expect the tidal wave which came roaring towards them. Luke got off the net quickly and ordered the others to take the man away. But they were too late.
Nereus was the eldest son of Gaea and Pontus not for naught. As the seawater hit his body, the old man roared and tore the net as he was received a new life. "Freedom!" he screeched and jumped to the sea, turning into a dolphin and that was that.
Luke swore and cursed loudly. He kicked the net in frustration.
"Damn it! Ben!" He turned towards the son of Oceanus who was being helped to his feet by a man who seemed unfamiliar. He was a bulky guy with brunette hair and brown eyes. Instinctively, Luke drew his sword and pointed at him.
The guy held his arms in the air gently, "Wait, wait! I'm not looking for trouble. Are you Luke Castellan by any chance?"
"You're a demigod?" Luke asked, lowering his sword slightly.
"Yes," the guy said bitterly, "Jacob Summer, son of Persephone, queen of the underworld."
'Greek' Luke immediately thought, "I've never seen you at the camp?" he asked.
"Camp?" the guy sneered, "Thought telling you about my mom would clear the air for you. I was practically invisible to anyone at the camp, why should they notice me? I left the place by two years and got the heck outta there," he paused, "Why talking about me? You're going to take down the 'oh so mighty' Olympian gods, right?"
"We're not recruiting random demigods who pop in between random quests!" Chris Rodriguez interfered. "We can't trust you,"
"You should," the guy said, "I know why you came here today and I know that your Lord is going to be pissed at you so much that he would throw some of you to the hellhounds. I'm the guy, who can save your asses right now."
"Bringing a demigod to Lord Kronos and failing the mission? What's so special about you that stop him from punishing us?" Ben asked.
"Because I got some info about the goddess you were searching for?" Jacob smirked, "The goddess herself sent me, I swear on the river Styx. She has some intriguing answers for Lord Kronos."
Luke perked up mentally at the rumble he heard. Perhaps this isn't an entirely useless encounter at all? His lips held a smirk that would have made his father proud, "Why didn't you say so in the first place?" He held the hand for the stranger.
"For the demise of Olympus," Jacob shook hands with Luke.
Finally! Suffering from writer's block for a while, but I think I'm getting on track. Sorry for the delay! I want to know your future theories.
To take away your confusion, Prometheus is now the son of Kore Persephone, not our goddess here. And yes, it is said in many myths that Kampé is Gaea and Tartarus' daughter, but yes... I liked her being the daughter of Nyx and Tartarus... And as far as I know, Nereus is the eldest son of Gaea and Pontus.
Someone plz tell me how to save the chapter with superscript?
Longing for your reviews.