Set after TLO; slightly AU I guess, because Thalia is not a part of the hunters in this.

Disclaimer: I don't own PJO or anything in it, as I'm sure no one else on this site does.


The yelling from outside my cabin jolted me awake. Until then, I had (for once) been having a pleasant dream. In it, Annabeth and I were on Olympus while having a picnic in the park. She was talking about all of the work she's done as Olympus' architect and the temple of Demeter she was currently finishing the blueprints for.

Truth be told…I wasn't really listening. I had always known that becoming an architect was Annabeth's life dream – and in my defense, I did try to keep up with what she said at first – but most of the time I have no idea what she was talking about (the daughter of Athena tended to forget that not everyone was as smart as she was and could therefore not understand what the hell she was saying) so I ended up zoning out. Instead, my thoughts drifted to how nice it was to relax after the ongoing war with the titans was finally over. Until the stupid yelling woke me up.

I looked at the time.

9:30. Ugh. I was still tired, but there was no way in Hades I was going to fall back asleep with all the light streaming through the window. Besides, I was getting hungry. Cursing Apollo, I hastily threw some clothes on and left my cabin.

It didn't take long to locate the source of the noise. The Apollo and Hermes cabins were at the pavilion yelling at each other for some (most likely stupid) reason. Honestly though, for two of the most upbeat and happy cabins...they looked downright murderous.

Hmmm… I wonder what they were so mad about.

Then it dawned on me.

It was Monday.

Gods, they could not be having this argument again? Damn it. This was not good. Appetite fading, I spotted a gloomy-looking Nico and an annoyed-looking and Percy sitting a few tables away.

"Please tell me this is not happening," I asked while walking to them. But the answer was already clear; it was written all over their disgruntled faces. I slumped down next to them while trying to contain a groan. The shouting match continued.

"NO, you cannot have both Thalia AND Nico, on your team – that would be SO UNFAIR"

"FINE. Then YOU can have Nico, but then WE get Percy."

"ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The last time Percy and Thalia were on the same team, they set the forest on FIRE and sent EVERY member on our team to the INFIRMARY!"

"Yeah, but we still won…"

"No. I say WE get Nico and Percy, you can have Thalia"


And on it went; a cycle of petty argument over who-got-who for their team –without even bothering to ask any of us about our opinions on the matter, mind you –that seemed to never end.

Finally, Percy got really pissed and voiced what I'm pretty sure all three of us were thinking.

"DO WE EVEN GET A SAY IN THIS?" he yelled, and I could practically see mini hurricanes brewing in his eyes. Oh, he was so mad. He was beyond mad. But then again, so was I.

They cabins simply ignored him and went back to arguing.

"Gods," I muttered "I hate being looked at as some object they can use just to win a damn game," making a mental note to zap both of the cabins as soon as I saw the first chance.

"They take the fun out of capture the flag," Nico grumbled, voicing my thoughts perfectly. "I've even considered stopping playing, with all the fights we've been causing."

"Same. And besides, all they think about is numbers, like whoever has the most out of the three of us is destined to win," added Percy, still looking really peeved.

I hated to admit it, but he had a good point. Campers always assumed whoever had two out of the three of us would automatically be victorious. And that wasn't only with us three. I began to think about all the times capture the flag teams strived for the most cabins and the ones with the most people. Quantity over quality. It was complete crap.

Then pretty much out of nowhere, Nico looked with this mischievous glint in his eyes that seemed to promise either the beginnings of brilliance or destruction. It made me instantly nervous.

"What if we can prove them wrong?" he whispered as if that was an adequate way of explaining himself.

"What exactly do you mean?" said Percy slowly, looking just as confused yet eager as I felt. I suppose it was just the ADHD part of my brain, but I was already practically dying to know what Nico was planning. Then again, I was never exactly known for being the most patient.

"What if we can prove them wrong? We could show the camp that numbers don't matter? "

And with that, he explained his plan – an amazing, brilliant, insane plan, that if for some reason were to fail, would probably get all three of us killed.

Hi Friends - this is the author in 2021. It blows my mind that people still read this story, 10 years after I published it. I was a teenager in high school when I wrote this, and there are certain parts of this story where I think this uh, comes through. I've improved my craft since then (went to college with a concentration in creative writing and everything), but I'm going to keep this story as it was originally published because this was the start of what got me into writing. Thanks for the wonderful support over the years. Love you.