Chapter 1: Kyle
Kyle, now fourteen, woke up to a loud banging on his front door and his father rifling through his drawers with a bag in hand. He closed the bag after filling it with clothes and threw it to Kyle along with a shirt, jeans, and his hat.
"Get dressed Kyle. Hurry!"
Kyle followed instructions, forming hypothesis of the situation at hand, even less plausible situations as time sped along. He finished tying his shoes when his mom shoved something akin to a knife, glittering bronze, into his hands.
"Run Kyle. Find your friends. The others will bring you to Camp in New York. Now go!"
And with that, she ushered him to the window, a portable fire ladder fixed to the sill.
"But Mom, I-"
Kyle turned hastily and jumped through the window, grabbing the ladder and climbing down. He jumped from the fifth rung, landing on grass. Through his peripherals, Kyle could see many kids on his street jumping from their windows, as well. They all ran to a seemingly out of place transit bus.
In the lead, Stan jumped into the bus, Kenny, Cartman, and other kids following. Kyle filed in last, sitting next to Stan as the bus sped off.
"Kyle! Do you know what's going on?"
"No..." He looked at the glimmering knife in his hand. "Did you get one of these, too?"
Stan looked at the knife, puzzled. "No, but I did get this." In his lap was a shining bronze sword with little engravings in it, forming rippling waves on the leather-bound hilt.
The bus came to screeching halt, throwing some kids forward. The doors swung open and None other than Tweek Tweak was practically thrown onto the bus, followed by Craig. Clyde, Kevin, Jimmy, and Token rushed on after.
Examining them, Kyle noticed that Tweek had a wooden bow over his back with a quiver thrown over his shoulder. Token, Clyde, and Kevin all had a number of daggers strapped to their belts. Craig had a sword at his waist, Jimmy only his crutches.
Tweek and Craig sat just behind Kyle and Stan, Tweek cuddled up to Craig's chest, twitching more than usual. Stan turned in the seat and peered over the back of the seat. He and Craig started conversing as Kyle started drifting off to sleep. However, before he could fully sleep, the bus came to a screeching halt once more. This time, Wendy, Bebe, Pip, and Damien practically sprinted onto the bus. They, too, had a variety of deadly weapons.
The bus intercom crackled to life.
"Hey kids, I'm your driver, the great Leo Valdez. Welcome to Casa de Leo!"
"... The Hell?" Kyle inquired, looking at Stan.
The intercom sizzled again. "I know you're all probably confused, but all of your questions will be answered at the camp. But we need to make a stop in Denver, first."
Kyle peered up the aisle to get a better look at the driver, 'Leo.' He was pretty lanky with unruly brown hair and tanned skin.
Cartman was examining Leo, too. "Eew! Why's there a Mexican driving?"
The bus seemed to get unbearably hot and, when Kyle looked back at the driver, he seemed to be smoking. Kyle looked closer and noticed that he was smoking. Then, the bus started cooling down almost as soon as it had began heating up and the man stopped smoking.
"Shut up, Fatass," Kyle said.
The bus continued on in somewhat of an awkward silence for about half an hour, the only noises being the hum of the transit bus, the quiet snores of still sleeping teens, and low voices whispering to each other. Couples were cuddling or giggling as the bus approached Denver.
The bus came to a slow halt and the doors slowly opened to let on a boy no older than sixteen. A black sword hung by his side and there was a dark aura around him. Leo left his position to sit in the front-most seat with him as a tall, silent man climbed on, sitting in Leo's place.
The doors swung closed and the bus sped off again, but it was different. Kyle glanced outside and found that Denver was nowhere to be found, along with the landscape. There was only a black void. And yet, not five minutes later, the bus was traveling down a country road next to a large hill. The driver continued on and the bus soon came to a full stop, doors opening. Leo and the other boy climbed off the bus, the former motioning to the other younger teens to follow.
The two led the group up a smaller hill to a large pine tree with a golden fabric that sat near a large alabaster and ivory statue. Strangely, Kyle felt comfortable around the white and gold female. For Kyle, there was a strange serenity around her, that was interrupted by the golden shine of sunlight bouncing off of the hide of a dragon curled around the pine tree.
Leo and the other male sauntered by the resting dragon without batting an eye. They led the group of teens to a large pavilion with stone tables of food occupied by young and old campers. At the head table stood a centaur.
"Chiron!" the other boy shouted.
The centaur's head whipped around to see Leo and the group. The other campers did so, as well, but seemed to blanch at the sheer amount of fourteen-year-olds following behind Leo.
"Leo, Nico. These are the new campers, I presume."
Leo and the other boy, Nico, nodded. Chiron trotted over to the rambunctious group as Nico and Leo sashayed to different tables.
Kyle noticed two things when they left. One, once Nico sat down, a boy that seemed opposite in every way put his arm around Nico. Two, the space above Tweek's head started shining gold. There were many gasps from the table Nico sat down at, every camper staring at Tweek. Tweek himself was starting to freak out, twitching and shaking. Others from South Park started shouting or screaming.
Chiron slammed a hoof down on the stone ground and there was silence. Chiron stepped closer to Tweek. “What is your name?”
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” he gestured to Tweek, “Tweek, son of Apollo.”
There was clapping and shouting as the young man sitting next to Nico ushered Tweek over. Tweek hesitantly sat down next to an African American boy with cornrows in his hair and a ginger girl with startling green in her hair. He looked back to Craig as Chiron explained to the rest of them that, until our godly parents claim them, they would sit at the Hermes table.
Stan cut him off when he started explaining ‘godly parents.’
“Whoa whoa whoa. What do you mean by ‘godly parents’? We already have two parents!”
There were shouts of affirmation and indignation.
“Only one is your real biological parent. For your friend Tweek, it was his mother.”
There were a few ‘oh’s, but most still remained defiant.
“You will accept it with time,” he said, sighing.
He led the rest of them to an already overflowing table. That is, before a dark red glow emanated above Kyle’s head. He looked up to see a dark red owl staring back.
“This is going to take some getting used to.”
Chiron trotted up to them again. Before he could ask, Kyle said, “The name’s Kyle.”
Chirping nodded. “Kyle, son of Athena.”
Yet again with the clapping from all but one table as Kyle was led away by a woman with wavy blonde hair and stormy gray eyes. She led him to a stone table, like all of the others, and sat him down next to her and another boy with blonde hair.
“My name is Annabeth. I'm the head counselor for the Athena cabin. I’ll be showing you around camp after breakfast.”
Kyle awkwardly nodded. It was going to be a weird day.
Chapter 2: Tweek
I don't own South Park or Percy Jackson.
Tweek ended up sitting next to a ginger girl with a shock of green in her hair and a wicked looking bow slung across her back, akin to Tweek’s, and an African-American boy with helix cornrows.
“Hey, kid. The name’s Kayla,” she stated cheerfully, her arm extended towards the twitching boy.
He glanced at her pale, freckled hand before grasping it loosely as he twitched. She took on a look of concern and worry as he shook.
“You okay, Tweek?”
His head snapped in the direction of the blonde. Tweek relaxed a bit, feeling safer under his warm gaze of sky blue eyes. He slowly nodded before shakily stating, “Y-yeah. I’m fi-ine…”
“Will. Will Solace,” the blonde said, a bright smile gracing his face.
He slowly became distracted by the red glow over Kyle’s head. However, his gaze managed to shift over to Craig and just admired his boyfriend of an assumed four years.
He was snapped out of his reverie by a loud conch shell sounding horn. His eyes immediately shot to the sky and to the sides of the pavilion, darting from side to side. His hands immediately shot to his hair. “GAH! They’re coming for us,” he shouted, panicked as he tugged at the messy blonde locks.
It seemed as though every camper stared as Tweek panicked before jumping into battle stances and rushing around in the same panicked frenzy. There was mass chaos that even Chiron was somewhat a part of. A large group of campers at a different table stood excitedly with spears and swords, some knocking out their table mates with hefty bronze shields. Kayla had drawn her bow and already had an arrow nocked. Will and Nico had jumped up to stand side-by-side, Nico with a wicked-looking black sword.
Craig had rushed over to Tweek in the haste of other campers and gently pulled his hands from the abused blonde hair.
“Tweek, calm down,” he said, still as nasally and monotonous as when they were ten. “No one is coming for us.”
Every other camper relaxed tremendously from their previous rigid stances. Some even groaned.
“What do you mean,” asked the blonde sitting next to Kyle.
“He has a ton of anxiety. The horn scared him,” Kyle stated.
There was an uproar coming from all different regions of the pavilion. There were angry and sorrowful cries of anguish and absolute boredom.
“So… Does this mean there’s no fight?”
Chiron sighed. “No. There will be no fights, Ellis.” Turning back to the rest of the campers, he said, “Head councilors, give the new campers a tour. Everyone else, please assume your daily activities.” And with that, he cantered to the large blue farmhouse across from the strawberry fields.
Will put an arm around Tweek’s shoulders as the Apollo table stood to branch off too daily activities. He nodded to Craig and the ravenette sauntered away to join his assigned twin councilors.
“Well, since I’m your head councilor, I guess I gotta show you around! The others will be meeting with Chiron before their tour,” he explained.
Nico had wandered off with the other Apollo kids by then and The only campers in the pavilion were the South Park kids and the four councilors. Will started off without Tweek and he had to jog to catch up.
They started at the endless rows of cabins, beginning by a bright golden one with breathtaking white flowers in the cabin. There were also floor-to-ceiling bookcases on Greek mythology, bows of wood, gold, and bronze mounted to the bright walls, racks of arrows tipped in different metals and substances beneath, and music posters from all genres. Tweek received his own bunk, as well, placing his forest green backpack onto it, but keeping the elegant wooden bow slung over his shoulder.
Then, Will explained the activities: Sword-fighting, Arts & Crafts, Music, Archery, Volleyball, etc. They passed by a large rock wall with campers shouting and cheering as Nico and a brunette girl raced each other to the top, lava spilling around them.
They then passed the forest, the beach, the Big House, the Forge, and finally wound up outside of Cabin 11. Will had told Tweek about Connor and Travis Stoll and he worried for the others.
Tweek turned his head to face Kyle and the blonde from Cabin 6 as they approached, also waiting for our group of friends.
“Hey, Tweek,” he said.
Tweek spasmed and greeted the other.
The four sat in silence until they heard loud footsteps to their right. Looking past Kyle, the quartet saw the two Hermes councilors and the rest of the South Park group. The councilors had an elbow each awkwardly perched on Craig’s shoulders, them being tall, yet him being taller. The taller of the two waved to the other four waiting for them, the other following his gaze and doing the same.
The group reached them and the majority of them spent the rest of their free time chatting. Before they knew it, dinner had already passed, the tour taking up lunch and most of the remaining day. The four councilors led the large group to the roaring campfire, bright orange and yellow light reflecting off of giddy campers, aged as young as eight to as old as maybe twenty. They were all singing corny and kind of embarrassing songs, but they still seemed to be having fun.
The blonde, Annabeth, had wandered over to sit next to a man who kind of resembled Stan, messy black hair and all. Except, he had sea green eyes and Stan had ocean blue eyes. Other campers sat on benches underneath banners with their parent on them. Will had left Tweek in favor of a tan boy with dark brown curled hair and Nico, sitting and wrapping an arm around the smaller boy.
Tweek decided to do as they did and cuddled up right next to Craig, who wrapped an arm around Tweek’s waist. Many campers ‘aww’ed at both them and Will and Nico, though there were a few huffs and Tweek could see Aphrodite girls and guys alike trading money while glancing at Craig and Tweek.
Chiron walked through in full horse form, standing next to Will, Nico, and the tanned boy as the song ended, with many campers’ rambunctious applause. “Very nice! What a great welcome for our various new campers. For those of you who don’t know, I am Chiron, camp activities director, and I am glad that you have all arrived to camp alive and with almost all of your limbs. Now, we’ll get to s’mores soon, but first-”
“What about capture the flag?” The shout came from the group of campers under a blood red banner.
“We are making sure that the Grove of Dodona is truly peaceful once again before restarting capture the flag and Harley’s three-legged death race.”
“The fuck is a three-legged death race?”
Shocked expressions turned to examine the pale face of none other than Eric Cartman. His face was gaunt and worried, fearful for his life.
“... Th-the three-legged death race goes through the Labyrinth to help us better understand it…” Annabeth had trailed off in her shock.
“...What? Why are you g-g-guys so s-si-silent all of a s-su-sud-den?”
Heads swiveled to Jimmy as he spoke, some eyes trailing to his crutches or legs.
“I believe they are in shock. My guess is that they don’t condone the use of profane language,” Kyle stated, an eyebrow quirked in slight confusion.
“Why the fuck not?”
Gasps were heard as heads whipped back to Cartman, some so fast that the campers fell in their haste.
Chiron stomped his hoof on the ground, requiring order. “Alright, settle down! Now, onto our next concern: the new campers from South Park.”
There were mumbles of “where?” and “South Park?” as other demigods looked to their neighbors in confusion.
“We believe that most of them are Greek demigods, but some could very well be Roman. From our understanding, this group of demigods may very well be the most powerful of their generation.”
Indignant and surprised cries and shouts were heard throughout the mass of campers. Chiron had to once again call for silence.
“Now, two of them have already been claimed, but-” He was cut of by a large flash of light as both Clyde and Bebe were surrounded by a hazy pink aura.
Tweek noticed an immediate difference in Bebe. She wore a light amount of make-up with a golden head band over her curly blonde hair that had been flipped over her shoulder, plaited with golden ribbons. Her clothing had been miraculously changed from her red jacket and jeans to a flowing red sundress that stopped at her ankles, complimented with gold arm bands circling her biceps and wrists, simple brown gladiator-style sandals topping it off. There was a rope belt where her bronze dagger glinted in the golden light of the campfire.
With Clyde, it was no different. He seemed to become more elegant and cuter, ruffled brown hair smoothing out. His red and blue jacket had been changed to a simple black t-shirt, plaid button up tied by the sleeves around his waist, that continued to shorter-than-normal olive cargo shorts, black converse adorning his feet. At his side was a black sheath where his twin daggers were confined. He may not have had the elegant change that Bebe had, but he definitely attracted the attention of most girl and boy campers.
Chiron the centaur folded his front legs and bowed to them, all others following his example, many reluctant to take their eyes off of the pair.
“Hail, Bebe Stevens and Clyde Donovan,” he announced. “Daughter and Son of Aphrodite, Lady of the doves, goddess of love.”
Bebe seemed to enjoy the attention, but Clyde was shifting and nervous under the love-struck campers’ gazes. Tweek caught Clyde’s eyes, giving him an encouraging smile before sighing. It was going to be a long night.
Chapter 3: Clyde
He shifted under the many gazes directed towards himself and Bebe, nervous. Bebe, however, was glowing with happiness, glad for the attention.
Campers– male, female, and other– seemed to hang on to every word.
“T-this isn't… Me.”
A girl with tanned skin and choppy brown hair rose from her kneeling position and took a few long strides towards the duo, resting a hand on Clyde’s shoulder. Clyde felt more at ease as she fixed her kaleidoscope eyes to his chocolate brown ones.
“It isn't me either, but you’ll get used to it.” She stuck her hand out, grasping Clyde’s firmly. “I'm Piper, head of Cabin 10.”
Clyde grasped hers back, shaking it. “Clyde Donovan.”
She smiled at him and led him and Bebe to the mass of Aphrodite campers. But when Clyde had sat down, just next to Piper, two bursts of light– one red and one white– emanated from the group of South Park kids. The group parted to expose Wendy Testaburger, black hair eerily red from the glowing owl above her, and Jimmy Valmer with a glowing white symbol above his brown hair.
An uproar swept through the mass of demigods, confusion and disbelief evident in various shouts of indignation. Kyle sauntered over with the blonde girl and they led Wendy to their large group of kids. Clyde noticed that, for the most part, the kids were blonde or red-haired, a few brunettes or ravenettes in the sea of golden fire. Jimmy was lead away by a brunette girl to a very small group of campers.
Chiron stomped his hoof yet again that night. “Silence! I know, four campers being claimed in one night is a bit… Odd, but not unheard of for such a large group. Settle down.” He turned to the two new campers. “Hail, Wendy Testaburger, daughter of Athena, goddess of wisdom and Jimmy Valmer, son of Tyche, goddess of luck.” Turning back to address the entirety of campers, he informed, “Now, curfew is in fifteen minutes!”
And with that, he trotted off.
Demigods started rushing to their Cabins, some alone, others in groups. Clyde noticed that some cabins were unoccupied, such as Cabin 2 and Cabin 8. He was proceeding through the green side-by-side with Piper. Noticing where she was leading them, he grimaced.
Soon enough, Clyde stood in front of the bright pink Barbie cabin. He was hopeful that the inside wouldn't be as bad. Oh how wrong he was. The moment he stepped inside, he wanted to turn around. The inside looked like a Barbie doll enthusiast was allowed to decorate an already pink room that was thrown up by a unicorn where runway models went to die. The thick stench of perfume and cheap cologne had immediately seeped into his clothing. As he walked over the fluffy pink carpets on the polished wooden floors, he tripped over multiple shoes, stepped on hundreds of hair pins, and stubbed his toe on three make-up boxes.
He started to feel like he didn’t belong, trying his hardest to messy his chocolate locks, redden his eyes, but nothing worked. He was peeved to find himself still breathtakingly gorgeous. Piper found him curled up in his bunk, knees hugged to his chest as anger flowed through him.
“You’ll get used to it,” she said, abruptly. Her eyes held a soft kindness as opposed to their half-sister, Drew.
Clyde had instantly taken a disliking to her. He was disgusted by her excessive amounts of make up. She would reapply lipstick every ten minutes, mascara every twenty. Her hair was overly shiny, in his opinion. He was especially disappointed when Bebe struck up a conversation with her and they seemed to hit it off.
He adored Piper, however. The girl was so kind to him and understanding, comforting him and protecting his bathroom time with their sister, Lacy, and their brother, Mitchell. He instantaneously took a liking to the blonde girl and brunette boy.
“Lights out,” Piper called.
The lights had then gone out as Clyde’s new siblings started falling asleep, muttering about beauty sleep. Clyde settled down under the soft downy comforter and wondered how his friends were faring. Soon enough, he was consumed by a calming darkness as he drifted into a dreamless sleep.
He was shaken awake by Piper. He slowly opened an eye, squinting at the time in the digital alarm clock on his bedside table.
He groaned, shoving his face back into the soft white pillow on his bunk. Piper did not cease the shaking and he finally opened his eyes again.
“Up and at ‘Em, kid! Breakfast starts soon,” she proclaimed, a large smile gracing her visage.
It was hard for Clyde to not be happy with her contagious grin and slowly sat up seconds later. Piper left him to get ready as other campers rushed around, trying to find brushes or earrings or palettes of eye shadows as the children of Aphrodite readied to face the day– looking fabulous, no less.
Clyde opened the trunk at the end of his bunk and found a stack of clothing for him to wear. He looked at it skeptically before realizing that, instead of designer garbage that Drew would wear, the trunk was filled with solid colored tees, a pair of worn combat boots, worn black converse, pairs of dark denim jeans, a black leather jacket, a few different hats, black leather sheaths with his bronze daggers, and a bright orange t-shirt that almost everyone in his cabin seemed to wear– tank top, crop top, halter top, and many other styles. He decided on a black tee with a pair of dark jeans, his worn converse, and his daggers.
He looked over at Piper, who nodded and directed him to the cabin’s bathroom, Mitchell and Lacy standing guard with her as he changed. As he stared at himself in the mirror, he noticed that his hair was still perfectly styled, soft brown eyes bright. He sighed after a few moments before gathering his pyjamas in his arms and exiting the bright pink bathroom. Mitchell walked with him to his bunk, helping Clyde make his bed and put away the articles of clothing in his arms.
The conch horn sounded, signaling breakfast and Piper clapped her hands. “Let’s get this show on the road!” She then sashayed out of the building with the other demigods skipping after her. Clyde felt a tad self-conscious as he and Mitchell sauntered past other cabins with their heads held high as they conversed, gaining a few catcalls from girls and guys in the vicinity. Mitchell winked at one guy and flirtatiously waved to another. He suddenly turned to Clyde.
“They do this all the time. We’ve just learned how to put up with it,” he explained, gesticulating to other campers. Clyde simply nodded in understanding.
Clyde looked around once he reached the dining pavilion and spotted Tweek, who was talking animatedly with the ginger sitting next to him. To his right, however, was a small blonde girl– no older than eight– with big green eyes, who giggled at something Tweek and the girl had said, the other two laughing, as well. He let his gaze drift from the Apollo kids to the Athena table, where Kyle was enthusiastically speaking with the blonde next to him. Clyde also spotted Wendy, who sat with a blonde boy that looked almost exactly like the girl Kyle was talking to. Clyde’s gaze slid over to the Hermes table, spotting Craig and Kenny, who were speaking to the Stolls. He also recognized Kevin, the black-haired Chinese-American boy. He realized that most of his friends wore the bright orange t-shirt over jeans or, in Tweek’s case, cargo shorts.
He had managed to sit down at the table between Piper and Mitchell when Chiron trotted to the head table. Harpies and nymphs set plates in from of every camper before the white porcelain was filled with pancakes, bacon, French toast, eggs, any food the demigods wanted. Campers started lining up around a fiery brazier, swiping a portion of their meals into the flames, leaving the pavilion smelling delicious, much to the delight of Clyde. As he approached, he realized that Lacy, who was just before him, slid some eggs into the fire while she muttered ‘Aphrodite’. Clyde stepped up to the brazier and slid a slice of French toast into the flames and whispered his mother’s name, giving her the offering. He sat back down at his table and commenced scarfing down his French toast and bacon.
Chiron stood in front of the head table around half an hour later to give the morning announcements. “Good morning, Campers. As you all know, the Grove of Dodona has been tamed by Apollo.” There was clapping as the tan guy at the Apollo table nodded his head. “We have found that it is truly peaceful, so to celebrate, we shall play a game of capture the flag!”
There were many cheers emanating from the Ares campers, as well as others. The rambunctious crowd managed to quiet for Chiron to give details. After he had explained the basic rules and gave the mass of demigods the game’s start time, he assigned the teams.
“There will be two teams. The first team will consist of the Athena Cabin, the Poseidon Cabin, the Apollo Cabin, the Hebe Cabin and the Tyche Cabin. The other team will consist of the remaining cabins.” He then cantered off to the Big House, satyrs and dryads in tow.
Demigods started intermingling with their teams as they started forming battle strategies. Clyde was feeling suffocated, but graciously accepted Tweek and Kyle’s company. Tweek had introduced them to his sister, Kayla, the ginger archer. Trailing behind the two was Tweek's younger sister, the emerald-eyed-blonde, Sarah Lynn. The small group used the rest of their free time to strategize with Annabeth. Before they knew it, it was time for capture the flag.
Chapter 4: Stan
As the day progressed, Stan went through various activities, the most time-consuming being sword fighting. He stood in the arena with Nico, the instructor, as the son of Hades explained the basics of sword fighting. Through the lesson, Stan seemed to retain every bit of useful information, from small tips to Nico’s stance. Nico had allowed them to spar, helping out some of the struggling campers. Stan, having paired up with Craig, found himself almost copying Nico’s demonstration to a ‘T’ while giving Craig a run for his money. However, he tired quickly, thus allowing Craig to win. When he glanced around, Stan noticed Nico glancing his way, seemingly lost in thought, eyebrows knit in concentration, before shaking his head and aiding the next camper, a daughter of Demeter. Soon enough, the teams were summoned to strategize in the open field next to the woods. Upon reaching the fields, campers were handed bandanas– red or blue– that were to be used in place of the old plumed helmets. When Stan arrived, a small wood nymph handed him a red bandana that he then tied to his mid-thigh.
Stan found himself standing with Kenny, Craig, Butters, and Cartman along with the Hermes, Hades, Demeter, Hecate, Hephaestus, and Ares cabins. Some campers, however, elected to remain as medics or simply decided not to join in– despite the “All uninjured campers must play” rule– so that left only a few campers playing from Aphrodite, a handful of Demeter demigods, two from Iris, and the Nike cabin along with only half of the Apollo cabin. Even some of the Hephaestus campers declined, preferring to work in their beloved forge or fixing wiring in their underground cave system. Cartman was boasting about how he didn’t need strategy or even a team. Every single camper around him was becoming fed up with his bullshit, but of course, he wouldn’t shut up. Even Connor and Travis Stoll were peeved.
Stan glanced over to see the other team’s progress and couldn’t help but land his gaze on the fiery-redhead that was Kyle Broflovski, who still had on his green hat. Stan noticed that he was standing next to Wendy and his head counselor, the trio examining a map of the forest with focused eyes, foreheads creased in thought. Kyle had managed to worry his bottom lip between his teeth, Tweek sashaying over to the group with a red pencil, circling something and pointing to the other side of the map. Kyle nodded and suddenly looked up, Tweek following suite, to both stare at Stan, confusion lacing their green and brown eyes, respectively, eyebrows knit.
Stan realized that he’d been staring when Craig elbowed him in the ribs, emotionless as always. He looked back over to Tweek and Kyle, who had turned their confusion to each other before shaking their heads and looking back over the map. Stan turned his gaze back to Connor and Travis, who were drawing over the cleverly laminated map with a red dry erase marker with Jake Mason, head counselor of the Hephaestus cabin, and Laurel and Holly Victor, co-counselors of the Nike cabin.
“But they’ll have this side fully guarded. Annabeth would make sure that they have stronger defense and more lithe offense, with Nico probably shadow travelling-”
Travis was cut off by Jake Mason, who had been fiddling with a small, wind-up helicopter made of scrap metal. “Nico can’t shadow travel, remember? We decided that being able to teleport should be fouled in capture the flag.”
Connor looked like he was debating whether or not to intervene. Katie Gardner, the old head counselor of Cabin 4, seemed to be having the same debate, but together, they just looked amused.
“I’ve been at University. No I don’t know!”
“Tons of us have, Stoll. I’ve been in Arizona and even I knew that shadow travel is off-limits” Clarisse la Rue, former counselor of Cabin 5, shouted. In doing so, she attracted the attention of every camper in the field.
The blonde next to Kyle and Tweek quirked and eyebrow in confusion while the tall raven-haired guy next to her tried to stifle his laughs, but failed miserably. The smaller boy standing next to him pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. Next to him was a blonde guy, who was much taller than most, with a scar on his lip and blue glasses settled haphazardly on his nose, also trying to hide his chuckles, faring better than the ravenette. There were more that were laughing, stifling their laughs, confused, or even emotionless and unamused. They were one big family of blondes, brunettes, gingers, ravenettes, and even the occasional purple or green-headed camper, eyes bright and cheerful hues of blue, brown, green, hazel, and even gold, lilac, or kaleidoscopes of lively colors, children and teens of all colors and ethnicities. Whether the blonde is platinum or strawberry, the raven midnight or opal, whether blue is sea or sky, the brown chocolate or doe-eyed, whether they’re pale with freckles or tanned or even dark-skinned, whether their Chinese or Italian, they were outcasts until they found their place in the camp, associating themselves with a variety of people, learning to love and be loved as they coped with their bloodline, finding solace in even the most unlikely people.
Stan grinned as he realised that the boy was about Kyle and Tweek’s height– 5’5– with almost-shoulder-length black hair pulled back into a small low ponytail, not unlike the aforementioned fiery redhead and twitchy blonde.
Now that he thought about it, Stan realized that his friend group had changed quite drastically. Kenny didn’t wear a hood any more, Kyle started cutting his hair, managing to tame the wild curls into harsh waves of fire, and pulled it back into a low ponytail before donning his signature ushanka. Tweek grew his hair out, too, but held it back with bobby pins or a headband instead. Craig had somehow managed to convince Tweek to ditch his button up shirts for soft pull-over sweaters, his favorite being olive green. Speaking of Craig, he hadn’t changed at all. He still wore his navy blue jacket and blue chullo hat over the same midnight black hair with the same black denim jeans and worn gray high-top converse. The only difference Stan had noticed was the bright look in his eyes and small twitch of a barely-there smile when he looked at Tweek. That, and Tweek had managed to convince him to lose the ‘Red Racer’ shirt in exchange for solid colored tees.
Even Wendy had a wardrobe change and started wearing blue denim jeans and a simple white blouse, when she finally grew rebellious and cut her elegant raven hair into an asymmetrical bob. Butters had somehow grown even cuter, opting to wear sweaters instead of his warm, blue, sport-cut jacket, also growing his hair out, but not to the extent of the others. Clyde had quickly realized that the letterman jacket wasn’t him and wore nerdy graphic tees with Kevin, complemented by beat-up black converse, deciding that he wanted to be himself and had even tried to avoid attention. However, Bebe was still Bebe, nothing new except for the impromptu clothing change at the previous night’s campfire.
Hell, even Stan had changed some. He still wore his blue hat, but had ditched his coat for hoodies and didn’t even wear gloves. He felt the corners of his mouth twitch upwards into a soft smile as he ran his tan hand through his unchanged jet black hair, having opted to leave his hat on his bed roll in Cabin 11.
He was shaken out of his reverie when a loud horn akin to a conch shell sounded, signalling the start of the daily game. When he looked over his shoulder, he realised that Connor and Katie had managed to obtrude on the impending feud between Jake and Travis. He noticed that Craig was speaking with Tweek and the Head of Cabin 7, Will Solace, while Kenny and Butters stood off to the side with Token and Cartman. Clyde was nowhere to be found, that is, until Stan spotted him conversing anxiously with Piper, Head of Cabin 10.
Chiron galloped to the field from the Big House, stopping in front of the demigods to explain the rules.
“Attention, Campers. For tonight’s game of Capture the flag, the Blue team, led by Annabeth Chase from Cabin 6, has allied with Cabin 3, Cabin 7, Cabin 12, Cabin 15, Cabin 16, Cabin 18, and Cabin 19. The Red team, led by Travis Stoll from Cabin 11, is joined by Cabin 4, Cabin 5, Cabin 9, Cabin 10, Cabin 13, Cabin 14, Cabin 17, and Cabin 20. Cabin 1 has opted out to assist in refereeing. Cabin 17, Nike, is the current champion. You all are familiar with the rules: the creek-” He was disrupted by the giggling of the Aphrodite cabin and the snickers and chuckles from South Park’s gaggle of demigods.
“And what, pray tell, is so funny?” he asked, confusion and a small spark of amusement flashing across his face, hiding the amusement well with a glower directed to a majority of the giggling demigods.
Bebe answered him through tiny giggles. “It-it’s just that-” she snickers and interrupts herself, “Creek is an… inside joke for us.” She gestured to the South Park kids and the whole of the Aphrodite cabin.
Stan glanced the girl next to her as the black-haired girl let out a small, high-pitched giggle. He supposed that she was trying to be cute, and gave a flirtatious smile as she caught Stan’s quick glance– mistaking it as a gaze– with her own vicious dull brown eyes. Stan had already moved his line of sight back to Chiron, but not before catching a glimpse of her all-too-white teeth surrounded by her all-too-red lips. He thought that she looked like a really greasy, dull, uncouth version of Wendy: her shiny black hair looked like the grease on a bike chain, her round eyes were a dull, boring brown, like a piece of chocolate that someone left in the freezer for months, her artificially tanned skin made her look like a failed supermodel. Altogether, she looked like a carrot that a five-year-old had just pulled from the ground and dropped into a tar pit, but not before smearing their mom’s lipstick onto it, and then let it mold in a McDonalds meat locker.
“As I was saying,” the centaur started, “the creek is the boundary line and the entire forest is fair game territory, hide your flags in a visible location, please remember that there can only be two guards that must stand at least ten yards away from the flag, magical items are permitted, shadow travel, teleportation, and apparating are not. Killing and maiming is strictly prohibited. I will serve as referee with Jason,” he said, gesturing to the tall blonde with the glasses, “ and some of the Apollo cabin will aid me as battlefield medics.” He was off after finishing his speech, galloping to the forest as Jason lept into the sky, gliding away with the winds and surprising the new demigods.
Connor shouted, “Red team, forward!”
The team cheered as they began marching after him and the other head counselors, heading towards the north woods. Some members of the blue team were shouting words of encouragement, others wishing the red team luck: “You’re gonna need it!”
Stan had his bronze sword situated in his right hand, left hand casually stuffed into the pocket of his jeans. The afternoon was warm, the sun starting to set on the horizon. The woods were rapidly fading into darkness, fireflies soon swooping through the air or brushing the grass. After a few minutes of following Connor, he paused, stationing Butters, Pip, and Kevin as scouts in the trees, Clyde, Piper, Katie, and Cartman on ground patrol with Damien and Token guarding the flag, and Stan on border patrol. The other campers were either with the decoy group– such as Lou Ellen, from the Hecate Cabin– or with the capturers– such as Craig and Kenny.
Standing by the gurgling stream, Stan felt at peace. The tranquility and serenity it provided seemed to strengthen him the longer he stood by it, seeming to pull him closer. The bronze in his hand felt perfect, practically made for him. He could smell Long Island Sound, salty like the ocean. He closed his eyes, standing rigid, as he just listened, the creek’s babbling brooks whispering to him as his grip strengthened around the cool metal, wrapped in leather. His eyes snapped open, alert once more as a twig behind him snapped. He whirled around, only to find nothing there. His head whipped around again upon hearing the howls of monsters. Then he faced enemy territory as the conch horn sounded, a fight breaking out farther in. An ally Hecate camper rushed past him and jumped over the creek, rushing into the fray. He widened his stance, partially bending his knees and grasping his sword in both hands, readying himself for a scuffle.
He tensed, ready to jump into action when the brush rustled in front of him. He spotted bright green through the dense bushes, using the dying rays of light to spot none other than Kyle and Tweek. He relaxed, lowering his guard at the sight of his close friends. Yet, the moment they saw him, Kyle pulled his dagger as Tweek nocked an arrow, forcing Stan into his battle stance once more. Before they could attack, however, the sounds of battle stopped, replaced by the shouts of campers. Stan heard Travis shout “He’s got the flag!”
Tweek and Kyle whirled around just in time to see the one and only Craig Tucker, running with a light gray flag clutched tightly in his hands. He bypassed the two completely, bounding over the creek in triumph.
Every camper held their breath to see how the flag would change. To almost everyone’s surprise, the flag changed to a darker gray, the leafy green laurel changing to a caduceus, twin snakes winding around the winged staff. But before Chiron could announce Craig’s parentage, there was a low sound, resonating through the forest, a mix between a low groan and a loud growl. The demigods tensed, readying their weapons for an attack.
Suddenly, a grotesque creature barreled through the brush.
“Move, Stan!” Kyle yelped.
Stan managed to jump out of the way, landing in the creek. Though, the horrifying creature had yet to cease its attack. Stan stood in the water, poised for the next attack, but froze when he saw the monster. The gray, boney creature looked strangely human, aside from its gangly limbs and sagging, ill-fitting skin. A strange, hide-like fabric made up its trousers, separate strips of the tattered rags wrapped around its hands and feet. Scars and gashes had marred and raised bits of its chest. But what scared Stan the most: its lack of head. There wasn’t a sign of there ever being a head either. Frozen, Stan could only watch as its midriff opened in a wail of hot, putrid breath and musty, yellowed teeth while the scars opened to reveal the monster’s beady black eyes, blinking with the puffy, red flaps of skin that were supposed to be eyelids. And in that one horrific moment, the monster attacked. Stan swung the sword in his hands, just barely missing the monster, who had turned around, preparing to charge again. Stan let his eyelids slide closed as he felt the stream’s current, focusing on Nico’s fighting technique that he had examined oh-so-closely.
In the water, he felt more focused than ever before, his senses feeling heightened. He quickly opened his eyes again, feeling his pupils dilate. The monster charged again, and Stan was ready. He waited until the grotesque monster was within striking range before swinging his sword in a high arc, slicing the monster clean in half. Said monster exploded into a fine golden dust that fell around him, covering his hair in gold.
He turned to face a speechless crowd of demigods. He felt powerful, but managed to still shrink under their gazes, at least one hundred summer campers staring him down. Before he could even try to come up with a shitty explanation, he realized that they weren’t staring directly at him. The were staring above him.
“Stan,” Kyle said, pointing. “Umm…”
He looked up above him to see a slowly fading image, bathed in sea green, of a trident. He looked back down to see campers kneeling before him, except for Cartman, of course, who sneered, and Craig, who was about to, but was ushered back up by Connor.
“Hermes, the Wayfinder, messenger of the gods, Poseidon, Earthshaker, Stormbringer. Hail, Craig Tucker, son of Hermes, and Stanley Marsh, son of Poseidon.”
Chapter 5: Craig
To all Cartman fans out there, I'm sorry for this chapter. But I need a bad guy and exaggeration Cartman's awful personality gives me a chance to create a new Luke type of character.
After the whole fiasco during capture the flag, Craig was moved to a bunk in the Hermes cabin, as opposed to the floor. While he was making his bunk, a dude came in and started helping Stan pack. Connor explained that the guy was Percy Jackson, another son of Poseidon. Craig glanced back at the two males, finding that they did indeed look incredibly similar.
After Percy and Stan had all of Stan’s stuff, they left for Cabin 3. Craig had laid down in his bunk, having changed into suitable sleepwear, just as Connor and Travis called for lights out. Once the cabin was dark, he noticed that other cabins had started turning off their lights. Soon, the only sources of light were the torches on the front porches and the forever radiant Apollo cabin, glowing with sunlight despite the time being around 10:00 at night.
Craig tossed about, trying to find comfort. He ended up sprawled out on his back, his top sheet turned diagonally, one of his legs hanging over the bed’s edge. He found himself wondering how his cute little spaz of a boyfriend was doing. He smiled softly at the thought of the blonde, spazzing and twitching, yelling at the most random of times, laying his head on Craig’s chest as they cuddle. His smile slowly faded. ‘And then all this happened,’ he thought, glaring at the ceiling, as if it would have changed anything.
He slowly sunk into a deep sleep as he thought about Tweek Tweak, the small blonde freshman that had stolen the monotonous thief’s heart.
He was awoken by Connor, who was now a close friend and brother, shaking him. “C’mon dude,” he said, watching as Craig peeked through a narrowed eye. “It’s almost time for breakfast!”
Craig saw that his friends from South Park were already up, wandering about in Camp t-shirts or graphic tees or even tank tops. Nodding, he slowly sat up. Rubbing his eyes tiredly, he reached for the small leather trunk beside his bunk, filled with clothes and a plethora of miscellaneous stolen items, most of which he planned to return. Searching through the chest, he found the orange Camp Half-Blood t-shirt, a pair of jeans, and his old gray converse. He eyed Connor, who also had his clothes in hand. The brunette glanced back at him before the two simultaneously turned their eyes to the empty bathroom at the back of the old, wooden cabin. The cabin was silent, all previous chatter halted upon feeling the tense, competitive atmosphere, staring at the two males. The two glanced back to each other, before Craig shrugged and pulled his shirt over his head, replacing it with the orange one. Meanwhile, Connor traipsed to the bathroom, checking for any tripwires or buckets of water, paint, or other substance before cautiously stepping through the door and locking it.
The banter of the cabin picked back up, Hermes kids occasionally shouting at one another. Most of them were yelling accusations of theft: “Give me my brush, Alice! I know you have it!” Some were placing bets on random things– stealing precious items, for example– while their siblings rushed about, trying to find clothes, weapons, and the occasional pair of winged shoes. Others had even started planning pranks. A younger camper, maybe around Craig’s age, was running around in a hectic frenzy.
“Has anyone seen my bat?”
A wave of “no”s crashed over the racket of the demigods as they went back to searching for their own items. The brunette sighed and sprinted out of the cabin. Connor opened the door of the bathroom, fully dressed, to see the camper’s disappearing figure as they sprinted across the green to a smaller stone cabin.
“What did Cecil need?” he asked.
No one heard him as the demigods rifled through other camper’s trunks, yelling and screaming as bets were placed, pranks were planned, and some campers were pinned to the floor with daggers or swords to their necks for stealing their siblings’ belongings. Being ignored must have been a common occurrence among his siblings, because seconds after he asked, Craig noticed Connor roll his eyes and meander to his bunk.
Looking around, Craig was surprised by the monumental variation of weapons. Some campers were slinging quivers of arrows over their shoulders with bows or filling magazines with celestial bronze bullets. One camper was polishing her shield while another strapped a spear to his back.
Craig shook his head and strapped his sword to his side, tightening the strap of its sheath over his waist to rest comfortably on his hips. He looked up as the boy, Cecil, jumped up the steps to the front porch and flung open the screen door, a shining bronze softball bat in his hand. His chest heaved as he walked towards Craig, who he seemed to just then notice, sticking a hand out.
“Cecil Markowitz. Nice to meet ‘cha,” he stated, a grin on his face as he panted.
Craig shook his hand, void of expression. “Craig Tucker.”
The brunette still kept his grin as he ambled over to Julia, bat swung over his shoulder casually. Yet, upon reaching her, he swung the bat and managed to hit her in the side before poking her with it. “Don’t touch my stuff.”
The blonde mischievously smirked and rolled her eyes at Cecil, who had already strutted off.
“C’mon guys. Food!”
The unclaimed demigods smirked or outright laughed at the Hermes kids’ reactions to the prospect of food. They got hyped up, ceasing their raucous banter and bounding out the door. They managed to contain their excitement and strode across the green, passing the Aphrodite campers as they, too, left their cabin. They reached the dining pavilion to find the Ares, Apollo, Athena, Hephaestus, Dionysus, Hecate, Nike, and Iris cabins at their respective stone tables, though two tables held only one camper each– Jason and a sorrowful blonde boy– and a drowsy, angry looking Nico sat at the Apollo table, sipping a cup of black coffee with Tweek. Behind the Hermes cabin was the Aphrodite cabin, which sat down just a few moments after they did. After Cabin 10 was the Demeter, Tyche, Nemesis, and Hebe cabins. Chiron trotted over to the head table, looking around at the campers. The new campers became confused when he shook his head with a sigh.
“Could someone go wake Percy and Stan?”
Annabeth, Wendy and Kyle stood simultaneously, earning quite a few stares. Wendy looked vaguely surprised with Kyle, but gave him an encouraging smile and sat back down. Kyle and Annabeth both looked surprised by the other, but shrugged and made their way towards Cabin 3. There was a short silence as they made their way through the pavilion. But, when the two passed the Hermes table, Craig and many others throughout the entire pavilion were surprised, and, yet again, disgusted by none other than the actual Hitler: Eric Cartman.
“Ha! First a Jewish ginger, and now a fag! Christ dude, when will it end?” He laughed boldly, ignoring the angry and disgusted stares of the other demigods.
Craig’s knuckles turned white as he grasped the leather-bound hilt of his sword tightly, seeing Travis and Kevin do the same, Connor reaching for a hidden object at his side while Cecil picked up his bat, Julia and Alice glaring at the obnoxious child. Craig noticed the other cabins’ demigods were in the same state of anger. The Apollo campers all had their bows laid across their laps, an arrow already nocked, with Will Solace whispering something to Nico, the pale boy’s angry grimace turning to a terrifying smirk as he glared at Cartman. The entirety of Cabin 6 was tense, ready to pounce with their swords and daggers in hand. Even the Aphrodite cabin was angered at Cartman’s animosity towards the fiery redhead.
Cartman finally noticed that nobody was laughing with him. He seemed confused when even Butters turned his back, normally kind blue eyes becoming steely and cold.
Kyle flushed with anger before placing a hand on Annabeth’s shoulder. He shook his head and continued on the the Poseidon cabin, tugging along a fuming Annabeth.
The chatter slowly picked up again as the nymphs started placing magic plates and cups on the white table cloths. However, the chatter was not as lively and more apprehensive. Cartman was from then on ignored as food started appearing on plates. Table by table, the demigods slowly rose, walking towards the flaming brazier. Any group that had passed by the Hermes table would glare at Cartman, who seemed oblivious, trying to talk to Butters, who was refusing to acknowledge him by striking up a conversation with Kenny.
The chaos had really begun after Kyle and Annabeth returned with Percy and Stan in tow. The latter two looked quite thoroughly pissed, and Craig then noticed the slight, red puffiness of Kyle’s eyes and almost-dry stains on Stan’s camp shirt.
The redhead was somewhat flushed, cheeks red with– almost invisible– drying tear stains. His knowledgeable emerald green eyes were somewhat red, only noticeable because of his pale skin. His hair was mussed and tangled under his crooked ushanka. But every detail was so small that only someone with great attention to them could actually see that Kyle had been crying, most likely out of frustration. Meaning, mainly the Aphrodite cabin and the Hermes cabin.
Annabeth held Kyle’s hand as she walked with him back to the campers of Cabin 6. Stan and Percy’s eyes looked like the oceans during a typhoon: angered and violent. They sat with Jason, whose eyes looked like the lightning in a raging storm. They started whispering, occasionally glaring at the Hermes table– specifically Cartman. Many campers, including Craig, noticed the ominous clouds covering the sky and raging waters of Long Island Sound. There was an uneasy feeling that swept through Craig. He stood with the rest of his cabin after breakfast, waiting to see what would become of the fatass.
Chapter 6: Tweek
I wanted to try first person with this story to see if it would be better than third, so tell me if you guys like first or third. Or don't because you fuckers probably won't read this.
'How dare he?' I thought, clutching my bow tightly as I watched Kyle and Annabeth wander towards the Poseidon cabin. Not only did he make fun of Kyle, but he also made fun of Kayla. Speaking of Kayla, she sat next to me, fiddling with her bow’s string. Her auburn locks shone in the morning sun, reflecting the yellow light with her bright green hair. Across from us was Will, who had started whispering to Nico, but motioned for us to listen, too. Kayla, Austin, Sarah, and I all leaned in to hear the blonde’s low voice.
“If he makes another snide remark, you all have permission to unleash absolute Hades on that guy.”
Kayla and Nico smirked, but I frowned. Upon noticing this, Will asked me if something was wrong.
“Yeah, something’s wrong. Cartman’s a dumbass who doesn’t know when to quit. He won’t stop to save his fucking life.”
They winced at my use of swears (what’s up with that?), but nodded in understanding.
Directly after breakfast, Chiron told us that it was a free choice day. Upon hearing that, I immediately found Craig leaning against a pillar just outside the pavilion with Clyde, Token, Jimmy, and Kevin. He smiled at me when I approached, standing straight and striding towards me. We met in the middle and he hooked his arms around my waist, pulling me closer. Him being almost 6’2 and me being almost 5’4, he had to lean down as I tugged him down for a quick kiss. We pulled apart after we heard loud squeals and looked behind us to see some Aphrodite campers hopping up and down in excitement. One had even swooned, fainting into her sister, who just so happened to be Bebe. I blushed as he took my hand, pulling me towards the others.
“Hey guys!” I said, smiling brightly.
Token and Kevin nodded in acknowledgement, Jimmy gave me a shining smile, and Clyde welcomed me with, literally, open arms, grinning. He crushed me into an embrace and I squeezed him back, smiling as well.
“How’s the Aphrodite cabin?”
He frowned a bit. “It’s fine, I guess. My siblings can be a bit over dramatic,” he gestured behind me to the now mellow children of Aphrodite, “but some of them are actually really nice! Pipes, Mitchell, and Lacy are super cool and really kind. But…” He trailed of and stared behind me again, glaring. “The Queen Bitch herself. Drew Tanaka.”
I looked behind me, seeing Bebe again. She was giggling next to a girl who looked like she bought every can of orange spray paint that the Dollar store had in stock and sprayed herself, then stole the greasiest black hair from the communal shower drains and glued them onto her scalp. Her brown eyes were dull, but shone with malice. Her face was absolutely caked with makeup. The red lipstick that was layered on– probably staining her lips for weeks– and the clumped mascara made her look like a clown that tried to rush their face paint. Her head was tilted back and she gazed around as if she was royalty, if greasy carrots had royalty. She wore the regular Camp Half-blood t-shirt and jean shorts, but the shirt was less orange than her and her jean shorts were probably riding up her ass with how short they were. All-in-all, she looked like a drowned, harassed rat that a third-grader tried to paint orange and smother in their mom’s makeup.
I whipped my head back towards Clyde. “I think I want to meet your siblings, Mitchell and Lacy. By ‘Pipes,’ I assume that you mean Piper. She seems cool.”
He nodded, smiling bright again. He rushed into the pavilion and came back not even a minute later with three demigods in-tow. I was shocked by how gorgeous the four were together. The boy next to Clyde looked almost like the boy: the same brown hair, fair skin, almond eyes. He was most likely Mitchell. The first girl was Piper McLean. The beautiful Native American girl was speaking with a small, bubbly blonde, who was very animated, making wild gestures from time to time.
I glanced at the others. Token and Kevin were staring, ogling the four unearthly beautiful teens. Jimmy wasn’t really looking at them, but still showed some interest in the group. But Craig took only one look at the radiant kids before he suddenly turned his gaze to me, examining me with more love in his eyes than I had ever seen before. I quickly gazed back at the approaching teens, feeling heat rising in my ivory cheeks.
I lifted a hand and waved to them. Clyde started jogging back, forcing the others to speed up, as well.
“Guys, these are my siblings: Mitchell, Pipes, and Lacy.” He pointed to each one as he introduced them.
Mitchell was a really timid guy, shyly smiling and tucking a few longer strands of his hair behind his ear. Piper was pretty chill. Her choppy brown hair was braided with blue harpy feathers and her eyes were forever changing, which was somewhat distracting. Lacy was simply adorable. She was hopping up and down, jittery and excited. Her large, almond brown eyes shone with curiosity and a childish joy. I couldn’t help but smile at her.
“It's nice to meet you all,” I said, grinning at Lacy’s hyper nature.
Craig had wandered to my side and had one of his arms slung over my shoulders. Clyde wandered back over to Kevin, Token, and Jimmy as we spoke.
We started asking Piper about the Second Giant War against Gaia. She was answering some of our questions with little hesitation, and didn't seem bothered by our curiosity. However, there were still some touchy subjects. I knew when we brought one of said subjects up because the brunette would wince and hesitate to answer, or simply didn't answer at all.
“So Leo died?”
“Yup,” she replied, a hint of anger in her eyes– but I got the feeling that it wasn't directed towards us.
“And he came back to life?”
“Without telling us, yes.”
Craig had moved during our conversation again, this time behind me with his arms wrapped around my midriff and his chin resting comfortably on my head.
He released me as Will and Nico approached us, hand-in-hand. Surprisingly, Nico was wearing a Camp t-shirt and jean shorts as opposed to his usual garb. Around his neck hung a leather cord with a multitude of beads and a silver band. Nico had told me that Percy Jackson had been collecting them to put on Nico’s camp necklace while he had been traveling between camps– before Percy had disappeared, of course. When I asked him about the silver band, he started turning red, but told me that it had been a gift from Will. At his side was his Stygian Iron sword. I grinned at them as they approached.
“Hey Will, Nico!”
“Hey T! I was wondering, since you're the new Apollo camper and all, if you’d be up for a solo at the Campfire tonight? Any song, your choice,” Will said, his signature grin on his tanned face.
I stood, contemplating. It sounded like fun, but it was way too much pressure. The thought of singing in front of over one hundred campers that could make fun of me at any moment wasn’t all too appealing to me. What if I messed up? What if I sang the wrong note? Or messed up a lyric? Or my voice cracked! I was pulled out of my frantic thoughts by Craig, who was slowly untangling my pale hands from my hair.
Will also looked concerned, worry evident in his crystal blue eyes as he stepped closer, and arm raised. He looked like he was approaching a wounded animal, which he might as well have. “It’s okay if you don’t want to, Tweek.”
I let him place his hand on my shoulder lightly before jerking my head up, looking determined. He and Nico were taken aback, as well as the others. “Any song?”
He nodded, his smile slowly growing again.
I smirked. “I’m in.”
After breakfast, I went to the woods with a large, leather-bound book and climbed up a sturdy looking tree. I stopped at a particularly thick branch with medium-sized branches around it and sat down, leaning against the trunk before opening the book. Upon reaching Camp, I had found reading to be slightly more challenging before. Malcolm, a half-sibling, told me that I should try reading books in Ancient Greek. Following his advice, I found reading to be much easier. I flipped through the pages of Ancient Greek, reading the ‘Lord of the Rings’ instead of just watching the movie. Reading it made me realize just how much content I was missing. Being a son of Athena sure had its perks, because I was almost finished by lunch.
The day went by slowly after that, especially after the announcement, courtesy of the Apollo cabin, that none other than the small, twitching, blonde boy from the little town of South Park was going to have a solo performance at the campfire. It was the Apollo cabin’s “rite of passage,” so to speak.
I was beginning to get excited. The camp was definitely in for a surprise. Tweek probably had one of the best voices in South Park. He could hit any note you asked of him, and it seemed like he could mimic anyone and everyone. If he sang Sia, he seemed to sound like her. There was one time that I thought he was Cartman when he tried to impersonate him. I was surprised, because when I heard “Screw you guys, I’m going home,” I immediately turned to Cartman to find that he, too, was confused. Later, we found that it was Tweek Tweak, the little blonde spaz that we had grown to love.
His talent was extremely helpful in our ‘Stick of Truth’ and ‘Coon and Friends’ days, too. We would use his skill to our benefit, tricking enemies, distracting them to the point of quitting the game altogether or joining our side. We could also use his jacked vocals to mess with Craig; the spaz seemed to literally throw his voice to the opposite end of an old warehouse or even the school building.
I smiled, thinking about how stupid Craig looked when he was wandering the school aimlessly, searching for his boyfriend. When I thought about it, those skills made sense. Tweek, being the son of Apollo, god of Music and such, could probably manipulate his vocal chords and noise frequencies.
I was quite literally shoved out of my reverie by Kenny, who had pushed me out of the tree, book still grasped in my hands, into Stan’s waiting arms, almost like it was planned. Which it was. I glared at the both of them, enraged at their disrespect.
Kenny visibly stepped back about a foot... or three, practically cowering behind a tall oak tree as I tried to incinerate him with only a look. Sadly, it wasn’t working.
“Woah, easy Kyle! We just wanted to come get you for dinner,” Stan said, quickly trying to explain.
“Why didn’t you just yell for me like a normal person?” I growled.
He raised an eyebrow. “We did. For fifteen minutes.”
“C’mon guys, It’s dinner time!” Kenny shouted, racing to the dining pavilion.
Stan chuckled and started after him. I realized that he was still holding me bridal-style and let out a– very manly– squeak, before squirming in his arms. He looked confused at my attempts to wriggle out of his arms before he flushed bright red and almost dropped me in his haste to put me down.
Stan had the decency to at least look sorry, but I wasn’t expecting such a mortified expression from the boy. He started off towards the pavilion and I strutted after him, trying to keep up with his long strides.
Once we reached the pavilion, he gave me an awkward, but strangely sweet, side-hug before swaggering over to his table. I blushed slightly and sauntered over to my own table, spotting both Kenny and Craig already gorging themselves with half a rack of baby back ribs, the other half probably burnt in the orange flames of the brazier. I stared at my crazy magic plate and in the blink of an eye it was filled with four ribs, salted green beans, and mashed potatoes. I stood with my voodoo plate and made my way to the flaming brazier. I slid the two best ribs, half of the green beans, and a large helping of mashed potatoes into the roaring fire, and whispered, ‘Athena.’ I wandered back over to my table and sat between Malcolm and Isaac Thompson, a stubborn redhead with a fiery personality to match and intelligent blue eyes. Across from me sat Wendy and Teresa Moyers, who could have easily been Wendy’s twin sister.
Looking around, I spotted most of my friends at the Hermes table. Kevin and Token were having a conversation with Butters as the three ate their barbecue. Kenny and Craig seemed to be in the middle of an eating contest. And everyone was ignoring the Fatass. Shifting my gaze, I saw Clyde eating some green beans as a boy, Mitchell, talked to him, wedged between Piper and Lacy with Mitchell across from him between a girl with purple hair and an Italian boy with dark brown hair. Bebe was sitting next to the greasy Carrot Princess and her lackeys. Moving on, I saw the nervous, twitching form of Tweek Tweak at the Apollo table with Will and Nico across from him, Kayla and an African American boy next to him, and a Hispanic looking boy about the age of sixteen sitting right next to Will. Although, maybe he was Brazilian, seeing as he had a Brazilian flag bandana tied through one of his belt loops. I looked around again to see Jimmy sitting at a small table with a platinum blonde girl and an Italian girl, just across from a brunette boy.
Isaac elbowed me in the side, snapping me back to reality. The others looked expectant, including Wendy.
Isaac sighed. “We asked if you knew what Tweek’s singing sounded like.”
“Oh. I do, actually.”
That got the entire table interested. They kept shooting questions at me.
‘What’s it like?’ ‘Is he any good?’ ‘What song do you think he’ll sing?’
I tried to keep track of all the questions. They were starting to give me such a bad headache that it was verging on the cliff of vertigo.
“I-it’s really nice, actually. He’s extremely good. And I don’t really know what he’ll sing.”
I looked to my right and saw Craig receiving rapid fire questions from members of his table as well. He kept up his monotonous expression, answering with only one or two syllables.
Looking past the raven haired boy, I noticed that Tweek was conversing with a small Latino girl and the Hispanic/Brazilian boy excitedly, producing wild gesticulations as he spoke, knocking around the bow and quiver on his back. Kayla would sometimes interject, along with Will and Austin. A small blonde girl sat next to him, tapping her foot periodically with a shining smile on her face. At the ends of their table were other groups of Apollo children who would also join in from time to time. Blonde hair, brown hair, silver hair, even blue hair was whipping around in the warm breeze that swept through the pavilion, giving the entire stone picnic table an ungodly luminescence. Their exuberance was contagious, and soon every demigod, satyr, and nymph was smiling.
Soon enough, every being under the pavilion had trained their sights on the shining demigods. I noticed that, even though they were staring at the one and only Tweek Tweak, I couldn't help but feel like only Craig was really looking at him. The way Craig looked at him was the way I looked at Stan: Utterly and hopelessly devoted to the boy, so much love that he was practically bursting at the seams.
Tweek was lucky. He was unbelievably lucky enough to find his soulmate. I wished I was that lucky.
But soon enough, the horn sounded and the magical ceramic disappeared along with the drinking glasses. Teen after kid after occasional immortal being started filing out of the extravagant stone edifice and they started off towards the bright orange glow of the campfire. I followed them with Stan at my side, and we figured that, since Annabeth and Percy sat together, along with Nico and Will and Tweek and Craig, we could, too.
I sat next to Tweek with Stan on my right. Tweek looked excited for once, perched happily in Craig's lap, green eyes shining with his bright smile. The glow of the flames danced across his figure, creating graceful shadows that seemed to bend and dance along his pale skin. The orange light reflected off of his blonde hair, dying it fiery reds, oranges, and yellows.
The raucous slowly quieted when Chiron lifted a hand for silence. He let his eyes wander to the unclaimed South Park kids, weary. “Per tradition courtesy of the god Apollo himself, Tweek Tweak shall commence onwards to his rite of passage.”
There was applause as Tweek slowly rose from his seat on Craig’s lap and strode confidently towards his own cabin’s seating, briefly speaking to Will. Slowly, a few of the Apollo cabin’s musicians followed him to the waiting form of Chiron. Taking a deep breath as the musicians placed themselves into a ready position, he started up a beautiful melody that will never cease to amaze me.
I know it's short, but for the next chapter, what song so you guys want Tweek to sing? He does have vocal manipulation, so he'd sing like the artist.
Chapter 8: Craig
I'm still looking for a song. I do have one in mind, but I would love your suggestions! I still don't do the disclaimer, I'm awful so I don't own South Park or Percy Jackson cause if I did, Style and Bunny would be a thing and Percabeth and Nico wouldn't have gone to Tartarus.
I don't know what I was expecting. But when Will and Nico came over, I sure as hell wasn't expecting that. Even moreso, I would have never expected Tweek to say “yes” that confidently. He had become so much stronger, so much more confident, that I just kept falling in love with him over and over again. Now I understood. When you see the guy you love every day, and he just keeps gaining confidence, you can't help but fall head-over-heels in love everytime you see him. Connor had found that in Jake Mason, to everyone’s surprise. Travis had found that in Katie Gardner, to no one’s surprise. Even Kyle had found that in Stan, though the feeling was a bit all over the place. And I realized that I found the same in Tweek.
The day sluggishly progressed, ADHD high in the anxious demigods around me. I stood in the middle of the empty arena with my sword, Tweek accompanying me with his bow slung across his back.
“What song?” he asked, suddenly.
Caught off-guard, I managed to only nick the dummy that I had been maiming only moments before. I whirled around to face him. “What?”
He looked at his feet, refusing to meet my gaze. “W-what song should I s-sing?” He continued to stare at his feet as his cheeks flushed with red, shaking becoming more prominent. He twitched as he let out one of his short, verbal ticks.
“Isn't that up to you?”
His face became impossibly red. “B-but that-t-that’s too much p-pressure! You decide.” His eyes were wild with fear, as if the thought of having to choose one measly song was a decision that could potentially end the world.
I stared in disbelief before letting loose a rare laugh, accompanied by a smile. “It doesn't matter what you sing. I know it’ll be fantastic.”
He blushed even more before shifting his gaze back up to face me. “Thank you, Craig.”
I let my smile fall when I heard footsteps enter the arena. Turning, I came face to face with Stan Marsh, the newfound son of Poseidon, and the one and only Kenny McCormick. I gave them a small wave with my free hand and I heard Tweek greet them with a small ‘hello’ from a few paces to my left.
“Hey dudes. It’s almost noon. You need to eat sometime. Today preferably.”
“We’ll be right there. You guys go on ahead,” Tweek said, gentle, yet demanding.
I watched as they retreated and heard Tweek’s grow closer, the distinct hesitation in every step and double tap of his shaking feet hitting the arena’s dirt-covered floor. I felt a timid hand on my shoulder and I sheathed the glimmering bronze blade to my side before turning to face him. He shifted to let his arms wrap loosely around my neck, my hands at his waist.
“We should probably head out.”
I nodded my head before pressing on to the arena’s entrance, where Stan and Kenny had been moments before, and kept one of my arms wrapped around him.
I walked Tweek over to the Apollo table before sauntering back over to the Hermes table. I sat between Conner and Cecil, just across from Kenny, Token, and Kevin. Travis had taken his place next to Conner and Chris was beside Cecil, Julia, Margot, and Alice sitting to the right of Kevin. There were many more demigods surrounding us, too, with the Hermes cabin being the largest.
Looking around, I saw Clyde sitting with Piper, Lacy, and Mitchell, Bebe with Carrot face, and Jimmy sitting with Chiara, his half-sister, and his five other cabinmates.
Shifting my gaze, I found Kyle having a seemingly heated discussion with the one and only Malcom Pace. Wendy and Annabeth were also having a debate and the other kids of Athena seemed to be offering evidence to both sides, supporting the arguments. What a bunch of nerds.
I quickly looked away to the bright Apollo cabin. Tweek was having an animated discussion with Sarah and Nico. The Hades boy was sitting extremely close to Will, moving his hands in wild motions and Will was keeping his face away from him. Kayla was laughing with Austin at something Tweek had said and Nico retorted effortlessly. Seeing the two made me jealous– of course I did, who wouldn't?– but I felt happy that Tweek found someone to befriend. Looking at their table, I noticed that even Nico was shining, smiles and all despite the countless nights of sleep I had been warned of.
The horn sounded again, signaling the end of lunch, and the demigods rose from their tables and moved to their next activities, some sprinting, some walking, some holding hands. I found Tweek in the mass of people with Will and Nico before taking his hand. The four of us made our way over to the forest, sitting at the base of a large pine tree. We just talked sometimes, Nico and I practicing sword fighting occasionally while Tweek and Will were eying a target they had strung up, bows at the ready.
“What song are you gonna sing?”
Tweek let go of the taut bow string in surprise, the arrow flying to the yellow ring of the target. He whirled around in surprise to face the Italian.
Nico quirked an eyebrow. “What song are you going to sing?”
Tweek calmed down slightly. “I… I don't r-really know. What d-do you think I should s-sing?” He twitched slightly as the Italian pondered his question.
Nico snapped his fingers and pointed to Tweek. “I have an idea. Come on,” he said, wandering away with Tweek slowly following, conversing with a few hand gestures here and there.
Will and I glance at each other.
“Did our boyfriends just steal each other?”
We looked back to where they disappeared.
Shrugging, we followed them. However, we cut towards the dining pavilion at the sound of the conch shell. It surprised me that we managed to talk and just relax for about four hours straight.
The thick brush and trees began to thin until the pine turned to oak and sunlight turned the earthy ground into a spotted watercolor painting. Will and I halted and just stood, admiring the leafy green of the trees and the brown of the worn dirt trails that many feet had traversed. The distant sound of monsters was somehow quite soothing with the rippling stream and the singing birds.
And just like that: ruined. Will and I watched as Stan caught Kyle and Kenny laughed his ass off.
“We should go,” he whispered. Nodding, I wandered out of the forest with him and we sought out the welcoming stone of the pavilion. We parted ways to sit at our own tables: me between Kevin and Token, Will between Tweek and Austin. I noticed that Nico wasn't among them and scanned the area for him, finding him situated between a handsome-looking blonde with excellent posture and a small scar on his upper lip and the black-haired boy with sea green eyes named Percy Jackson.
A few minutes later, the dirty blonde mess of hair that could only be Kenny McCormick sat down across from me. I saw Stan give Kyle an awkward side hug before traversing the pavilion to sit next to Percy, fist-bumping Blonde Superman and Aquaman. Kyle wandered over to Annabeth, Wendy, and two other campers: a red-head boy and a raven-haired girl.
The white ceramic plates did their weird magic and food was suddenly there. Kevin looked incredibly fascinated by the sudden appearance of pizza, hamburgers, fries, various dessert items, fruits and vegetables, and various soft drinks. We all stood with our plates before approaching one of the various blazing fires in the bronze braziers. I scraped the best fries, one of the four slices of pizza, and a few carrots into the fire before sitting back down at the stone table.
I ate in silence as my friends and half-siblings spoke, some louder than others. The various conversations melded into white noise as I ate. I was in my own world, staring at nothing as I thought about my life. What did I do to get to that point? I was cut out of my thoughts by the conch horn, signaling the end of dinner and the start of the campfire.
Demigods were flooding towards the roaring orange fire pit. Spirits were high as I approached. As I sat down next to Kenny, Tweek sashayed over to the benches. He sat down with his legs thrown over my lap. Chiron made his announcement and Tweek moved to get up, an air of confidence around him. The Apollo cabin had a number of different instruments that I couldn't name.
“I don't really have anyone to dedicate this song to or anything, but you're sure to be surprised. So, without further ado…”
Chapter 9: Kyle
I apologize for the shortness of it as well as how late it is, but here's the new chapter.
“... I give you, the Apollo Cabin.”
A young boy, about thirteen, stood next to Tweek. His blonde hair reflected the orange of the roaring campfire and his chocolate brown eyes sparkled as he opened his mouth– not singing, but not quite talking, either.
Call it love and devotion
Call it a mom’s adoration
Another boy behind him echoed “Foundation.”
His voice was like honey, flowing smooth and sweet. It was enchanting, to say the least, and I began to grow anxious for more as the first boy progressed.
A special bond of creation
For all the single moms out there
Going through frustration
Caleb Rogers, Tweek Tweak, sing, let them hear
Tweek let his eyes sweep over the crowd, meeting Craig, then Nico, then me, Clyde, Wendy, Will, the list goes on. After his quick pause, he takes a quick breath and demigods start leaning closer to hear, Craig, the others, and I just smiling to varying degrees upon recognition of a favorite song.
She works the night, by the water
She’s gonna stress, so far away from my father’s daughter
She just wants a life, for her baby
All on her own, no one will come
She’s got to save him
The shock of the crowd was the highlight of the night for us South Park demigods. Tweek’s normally nervous, shaking voice, high with anxiety, was covered by a delicate voice that was surprisingly feminine, an almost perfect replication of Anne-Marie, the real artist of ‘Rockabye.’
She tells him “Ooh love
No one’s ever gonna hurt you, love.
I’m gonna give you all of my love
Nobody matters like you.”
She tells him “Your life
Ain’t gonna be nothing like my life.
You’re gonna grow and have a good life
I’m gonna do what I’ve got to do.”
I heard people singing the chorus with him, laughter filling the air with exuberance and joy. Campers’ spirits were lifted and the campfire grew in size, becoming excited orange and happy yellow.
So Rockabye baby, Rockabye
I'm gonna rock you
Rockabye baby, don't you cry
Somebody's got you
Rockabye baby, rockabye
I'm gonna rock you
Rockabye baby, don't you cry
Not even a minute into the song and some people were beginning to look teary-eyed. Warmth practically radiated from him. It took me a few moments to realize that he was actually glowing, encased in a warm orange-yellow haze.
I let my gaze drift from demigod to demigod, taking in the multitude of expressions. Even Craig, who stared at the normally twitching blonde in adoration.
The greasy carrot queen– Drew Tanaka– was glancing around at some of the guys like a predator, which was creeping me out. She was even glaring at some campers, like Annabeth, Piper, even Nico.
Shuddering, I turned away from her to find that I had been spacing out for a majority of Tweek’s performance. He ended his song to be met by roaring applause. He twitched suddenly before awkwardly bowing to the rambunctious campers. Slowly, he wandered back over to Craig, sitting next to him with his legs thrown over the noirette’s lap. The other children of Apollo huddled close together on their section of amphitheater. Chiron cantered about the dirt-covered ground around the blazing orange tendrils of flame, kicking up dust with his heavy steps. I spaced out again, deeming none of the announcements important until the centaur announced a ‘three-legged death race.’ My eyes widened in something akin to fear or worry as Chiron went on to explain rules procedures and every casualty that could happen.
I don't know about you, but chronic Irish step dancing doesn't sound very fun. Anyway, we were allowed to choose the person we wished to die with if worst comes to worst. Glancing around, I caught a glimpse of Stan, who was staring at me. I noticed that Annabeth had paired with Percy– no surprise– Nico with Will, and Tweek with Craig. Travis Stoll had talked a Demeter girl into being his partner– probably Katie Gardiner. Conner high-fived Jake Mason and the Hephaestus boy gave him a friendly smile.
Chiron dismissed us and campers started slowly wandering back to their cabins, many complementing Tweek, who had reverted back to his timid, twitching self. I started a conversation with Wendy about the architecture of some of the cabins as we sauntered back to our own. She then changed it after we had analyzed the curses etched into the Hecate cabin.
“Are you partnering with Stan for the race?”
Instead of giving her an actual answer, I nodded before waving to some of my friends as the made their way to their own lodgings. Clyde was walking with Lacy, who was making wild gesticulations. Craig and Kenny seemed to be arguing about something or other. Tweek caught up with the two and gave Craig a quick ‘goodnight kiss’ before sprinting to his glowing gold cabin. Jimmy was telling a joke to his five half-siblings, who were giggling or laughing uncontrollably. Stan and Percy were admiring the shining bronze blade in Stan’s grasp.
I reached the gray cabin and opened the darker gray door engraved with an owl. Once every child of Athena had arrived, Annabeth addressed the twenty-something of us.
“Tomorrow, I’ll be leaving camp to attend classes for high school. I’ll be back around 3:00 p.m. Malcolm will be in charge from the time I leave until the time I return. Understood?”
Everyone nodded their affirmation before turning to their bunks, preparing to sleep. I ditched my jeans and t-shirt for my plaid pajama pants and a too-big-shirt. After brushing my teeth and pulling my hair into a slightly higher ponytail, I layed down on my bunk before letting sleep consume my consciousness.
Chapter 10: Tweek
Have another chapter. This will probably be the last one for a while, but as I said I'm working on numerous other works. I counted the files that I had. There's ten. TEN. I'll post something about them if you all are interested. Until then!
I jolted awake, hitting my head against the bunk above me. Holding my forehead, I twisted around to try and find the cause of my abrupt awakening. I saw my brother, Will, practically sprint out of the cabin as warm yellow light radiated from him. I watched as he exited the door, seemingly swallowed by the night. Then I heard it. A bloodcurdling screech coming from the newer sector of buildings. More of my siblings were roused from their slumber as a higher-pitched scream was projected from the Athena cabin. The last straw was when Kayla flew out of the cabin and into the shadows as thunder rolled overhead, masculine shouts of terror emitting from the Poseidon cabin. I threw on my olive green jacket and scurried out of my cabin towards Kyle’s, running headlong into the darkness. The first thing I noticed was the temperature. The dark shadows were chilling. I could barely make out the raging tide: large waves rolling ominously towards the shore. Lightning crackled and a waterspout was forming on the horizon. I felt cold raindrops pelting my face, almost hail.
The feminine screams were becoming louder and went from tolerable to unbearable as a flung open the gray wooden door. The first thing I noticed was Kyle– his bright red hair and pale skin– pressing himself against the light gray walls, staring fearfully at one bunk in particular. Other Athena campers were in similar situations, though some were sifting through books in desperation. The bunk in question housed the thrashing, screeching form of Annabeth Chase. Her blonde curls were matted, strands stuck to her forehead with sweat. Her eyes were shut tightly, causing wrinkles to form on her normally smooth face.
Just as I closed the heavy olive wood door and made my way over to the trembling form of Kyle Broflovski, the door slammed open, causing me and many others to jump. In the doorway stood the one and only Percy Jackson. His jet black hair was plastered to his forehead and his sea green eyes were wild with terror. He was followed by Kayla and Stan, both with ghastly expressions. Percy rushed to Annabeth's side and Stan marched around me to rub circles on Kyle's quivering form with the palm of his hand. Kayla and I exchanged looks that ended in agreement: head back to the cabin.
We made our way back to the cabin looking a bit shaken, especially since the shadows were still plaguing the camp. Luckily, they were fading and the screams had disappeared. I glanced over to where the Hermes cabin would be before turning back to my sister.
“Does that happen often?”
She nodded solemnly. “Sometimes. It's a long story.”
I hummed in recognition. “Whatever it is, they went through a lot.”
“More than any demigod before them.” She stepped in front of me and put her hands on my shoulders. “Whatever you do, don't ask them about it tomorrow.”
Reluctantly, I nodded. We continued on towards the glowing cabin in silence. Once we opened the shining gold door, I noticed that every one of my siblings was awake. Will looked relieved once he noticed us from his bunk.
“How are Percy and Annabeth doing? I noticed that they've gone silent. Did Percy wake up first?”
Kayla held up a pale hand to silence the blonde before any more questions could be asked. “They're fine. They calmed down, but Percy gave Stan quite the scare. Annabeth was bad, probably the worst I've seen her judging by the terrified looks of her siblings. Yes, Percy did wake up first before sprinting to the Athena cabin.”
Will nodded before saying, “Nico’s fine, too. He's still in his cabin, but I calmed him down and he woke up. The shadows gave the newbies quite the scare and the Ares cabin wasn't happy with the animate skeletons setting off their alarms and messing with the barbed wire.”
Kayla laughed. “Bet the Aphrodite cabin was loving it.”
Will guffawed with her before sighing. “We should probably get to sleep. Lights out everybody!”
I hopped up onto my bunk, apologizing to Caleb– the demigod above me– for hitting my head against his bunk. He shrugged it off and we turned in for the rest of the night. Slowly, I allowed the familiar darkness of sleep to consume my consciousness and thrust me into the realm of dreams.
One of the many things nobody warned me about when I arrived at camp was the dreams. Most of the time, they're premonitions, quests from the gods, or dark and terrifying things that are happening in real time. Sadly, I had the tail end of the list. Standing before my ghostly form was a small group of people and one satyr surrounded by strange hyena-dog-jaguar hybrids that looked rather vicious. They seemed to be speaking, high-pitched and chilling to the bone. I wanted to move towards them, but I was paralyzed where I stood.
My dream changed to find another group in a similar situation, standing near a mountain range and surrounded by an odd-looking group of girls. I say odd because their top halves looked like dumb blonde cheerleaders and their legs were replaced by a robot-like donkey leg and a scaly serpentine leg. Their nails were claws and they looked like they would either tear the group apart or set them on fire.
My dream changed once again to yet another group. They were sitting on the oh-so-familiar curb of South Park Avenue, just in front of my family's coffee shop. They weren't surrounded by any mythological creature, though they looked incredibly on edge. They were speaking to one another, though I couldn't make out what they were saying. My mother wandered out of the store with a tray of coffee and various food items from the bakery– all made by her in our kitchen at home. The satyr nodded to her in thanks and she quickly dismissed herself.
I bolted up and hit my head against Caleb’s bunk again. However, he wasn't in the bunk. Instead, he was taking his sweet time in the cabin bathroom. Others were at the communal showers and some decided to skip showers altogether. Kayla was busying herself with bandaging her hands and stringing her bow. Austin was packing his his saxophone into its case– a black leather case with never ending space– with reeds, a spare ligature, the neck strap, anything you could think of.
I swung my legs over the side of my bed and dressed, slinging my bow across my shoulders, before making my way over to Will. The boy in question was packing a white cloth satchel with a large red cross painted on the side. He threw rolls of bandages in with boxes of bandaids, squares of ambrosia, and small bottles of nectar. Over his camp t-shirt and cargo shorts was a white doctor’s coat. The sleeves were rolled up to his elbows and a stethoscope hung on his neck.
“Hey, Tweek. What's up?”
I fidgeted as he packed up the last of his medical supplies. “Just wondering what's going on today.”
“Oh. Not too much, actually. We have breakfast, go about our regular activities until lunch, then we have Harley’s death game for the rest of the afternoon.” He slung the satchel over his shoulder before calling the others over for breakfast.
I spotted Craig once I exited the cabin. Well, Craig found me. I didn't notice him coming up behind me until I felt his hands grasp my waist as he practically whispered “good morning.” I jumped about two feet in the air before turning around to punch his shoulder playfully. He kept an arm around my waist as we moved past the Athena cabin where Kyle and Wendy exited, followed by their siblings and Percy. We saw Clyde as he shuffled out of the Aphrodite cabin with Piper, Bebe, and the rest of his siblings. Stan wandered out of Cabin Three looking very dazed and confused until Kyle traipsed over to him to lead him and his groggy ass to the dining pavilion. Upon reaching the pavilion, I noticed that the Ares cabin was already seated, fighting over something or other. Nico and another blonde boy, Jason Grace, sat at the same table, soon joined by Percy and Stan. Craig left after planting a small kiss to my temple, sitting next to Kenny. I traipsed over to Kayla and Austin, sitting between them. Will sat across from me a few moments later.
After the usual morning routine of throwing food into a fire while praying to our parents for fear of being smote, Chiron cantered through the dining pavilion to the head table.
He went through the basic rules of Harley’s three legged death race, as well as safety. He ran through every possible problem that we could encounter and every curse, trap, or jinx that we could step into. I kind of blocked him out with my paranoia of anything happening to my friends and me until he said, “Paolo may have had his leg cut off again, but not to worry. Cabin 7 managed to reattach it.”
Paolo Montes, son of Hebe, went off in rapid fire Portuguese. He sounded ridiculously angry, causing some demigods in the vicinity to lean away from him. Lester Papadopoulos, a.k.a. my father, Apollo, cringed from his seat beside Will.
“Never did understand Athena’s want to learn Portuguese,” he muttered.
“In other news, demigods from Camp Jupiter will be visiting for the race. Some shall be staying for a few days. Please treat them with respect.” Chiron sat to enjoy his own breakfast as the rest of us conversed.
“What exactly is Camp Jupiter?”
Will glanced up from his buckwheat pancakes and apple slices. “It's our Roman sister camp. Nico’s half-sister and her boyfriend are part of the seven from the Second Great Prophecy. Watch out for Reyna, by the way. She’s terrifying when she's angry.”
I nodded in response before going back to eating my toast. Looking around, I noticed Kyle and Wendy were both eating oatmeal, though Kyle had strawberries on top while Wendy had blueberries. Craig and Kenny were once again having an eating contest, only with blueberry and chocolate chip muffins instead of barbecue ribs. I seriously hoped they didn't choke in their stupidity. Butters was acting as their safety net, making sure that they didn't die from gorging themselves on the pastries. Clyde was having a nutritious breakfast of fluffy chocolate chip pancakes with bacon strips. Bebe was having a weird smoothie concoction that probably wasn't healthy.
I let my gaze shift to Stan’s table. Stan himself was eating scrambled eggs, bacon, and buttered toast. Percy was eating… were those blue pancakes? Jason and Nico both sat with white flour pancakes in front of them. They all looked vaguely similar to each other. All-in-all, they looked regal and dignified, even though they were slouched over with poor posture and bedhead.
There was a sudden ruckus as black vans pulled up to the Big House. A brunette girl with cinnamon skin stepped out of the first. She looked like a queen with her flowing purple cape, two dogs by her side. The greyhound-esque dogs glinted as if they were metal. It took me a few moments to realize that they were indeed metal: one silver and one gold.
Another girl and a boy followed close behind her. The girl was about thirteen or so with cinnamon hair and skin the color of a coffee bean. The boy looked to be older with buzz cut raven hair and tanned olive skin. Chiron stepped out of the four-story blue house to greet them as more people wearing purple shirts filed out of the other vans.
Dryads and nymphs came to collect the magical pieces of ceramic as we demigods pushed and shoved one another to meet the purple-wearing demigods first. I sat at the stone dining table to avoid being trampled, just as Will and some of the others had done. I saw that the campers at Stan’s table remain seated, as well. The Roman demigods diligently made their way over to them, causing the rowdy bunch of demigods to quiet and move out of their way.
The cinnamon-haired girl hugged Nico first before Percy and Jason, then started introducing herself to Stan. The boy fist bumped Percy and Jason, greeting Nico before joining the smaller curly-haired girl. The last girl– the one with the air of dominance around her– hugged both Nico and Jason before starting up a conversation with Percy. The three newcomers went on to greet others of the camp, the brunette girl strutting over towards Will and me. Her friendly smile and warm brown eyes calmed my shuddering and twitching slightly, which was definitely an improvement. Her eyes suddenly turned cold while her smile still remained.
“Solace,” she said.
He jumped before turning to face her. “Praetor. How nice to see you here.”
Her eyes went back to friendly. “Nice to be here. I heard that the camp had a storm last night.” She seemed especially worried after her last sentence.
Will shrugged. “Well, we did what we could. Nobody got hurt.”
She sighed. “That's a relief. So, Will. How are things in the infirmary?”
He grinned at her. “We still have a few casualties, but they're doing much better. I also have Nico helping me out sometimes.”
She nodded her head towards me. “And who might this be?”
Will smiled even wider, if that was even possible. “This is my brother, Tweek Tweak.”
She looked a bit startled by my unusual name before reverting back to her friendly and calm expression. “I see. Well, it's wonderful to meet you, Tweek. I'm Reyna Ramirez-Arellano, Praetor of Camp Jupiter.” She stuck her hand out towards me.
I grasp it lightly with shaking hands. “N-nice to me-et you, Reyna.” I twitched after releasing her tanned hand.
She left to go meet with other demigods and Craig can over to sit next to me, Nico beside him. I couldn't tell what they were talking about, but they halted in their conversation as they sat down. Craig casually laid an arm around my shoulders, mindful of the bow across my back, while Nico leaned into Will’s side. I don't blame him– that fucker’s warm.
There was a sudden commotion that caused the four of us to look around in a frenzy before Chiron blew a conch shell horn, signalling the beginning of activities.
Chapter 11: Clyde
I barely slept at all due to the screams of terror. Piper told us all to stay put and we sat on our bunks, motionless. At one point, I managed to catch a glimpse of Tweek bolting through the shadows that covered the camp like a heavy fog. Stan and Percy also ran towards Tweek’s direction a few minutes after. Drew started screeching along with Bebe and her posse. I looked outside again to see what they were gesturing to and saw dozens of skeletons and zombies shuffling around camp. There were loud sirens coming from the Ares Cabin, meaning that the undead set off some of their traps. Honestly, why did they need so many barbaric methods of keeping other campers out?
The dreary shadows had disappeared soon enough and, by morning, we all managed to glean a few more hours of sleep. After the blatant harassment and offense of merely living in such close quarters to Drew Tanaka, I found tasks as simple as dressing or using the one communal bathroom in the back of the pink, lacey cabin quite difficult. Living with Bebe makes it even worse. Of course, I can’t really complain. Most of my other siblings are the kindest and nicest people you could ever befriend.
There was a knock on the door when Drew was using all of the hot water, and since I was the most presentable in my cabin at the time, I opened the hot pink obstruction. Standing before me was Craig Tucker.
“We’re having a meeting by the stream after breakfast. I’m talking immediately.” he said, monotonously, before he turned to leave, running back to his cabin. Well, okay then.
“Clyde? Who was that?” Piper shouted.
“Just Craig,” I replied, turning around to face the Cherokee girl as I closed the door.
“The tall, brooding one from the Hermes cabin?” Drew had returned from her Odysseus-length journey to the bathroom. The girls around her started chattering animatedly about the so-called ‘hot’ noirette from Cabin Eleven. “He should have stayed longer,” she said, fake disappointment in her voice. “We could have had so much fun.”
“He happens to be taken. And not interested in your crusty, old ass, you moldy piece of orange chicken,” I responded.
Pipes started chuckling in hysterics, tears forming at the corners of her kaleidoscope eyes. Mitchell had dropped his hairbrush and Lacy gasped, looking shocked. Most of my other siblings were having the same reaction. Valentina had dropped her huge box of makeup, Thomas had fallen from the stool he had been previously sitting on, and Melissa had started chortling like there was no tomorrow. Drew screeched like the mound of lip gloss that was permanently staining her mouth with glitter had just offended her.
Bebe, who was standing next to her, flipped her overly-curled blonde locks over her bare shoulder, fidgeting with her sleeveless red top. “Don't talk to her like that!”
I turned on her. “How about I do anyways, you fucking asparagus?”
The other girls surrounding her also made unearthly sounds that ranged from yelps to screams to ungodly screeches of pure offense.
After calming everyone from the little fiasco that was the Aphrodite Cabin, Piper led us to the dining pavilion for breakfast. Upon reaching the stone edifice, we received many inquiring and accusing glances. We sat down at our usual table, next to the Hermes cabin.
“What was that about?”
I yelped in surprise, whirling around to face Kevin Stoley. “Why? Why would you terrorize me so?” I dramatically questioned.
He chuckled at my surprise. “What was with all the yelling and screaming in the Barbie Dreamhouse?”
I sighed. “I called Drew a moldy piece of orange chicken,” I stage-whispered. “Then I called Bebe an asparagus.”
He started laughing uncontrollably, earning strange looks from his cabin mates. When presented the question of “what's up?” he spread the word of my tousle with Drew Tanaka. More laughter was gleaned from the Hermes and Hephaestus cabins, along with the Apollo and “Big Three” tables. Soon, every table including my own was giggling, chortling, guffawing, and slightly dying from lack of oxygen. Even Kyle– Ms. Debby Downer– was giggling, not going unnoticed by one Stan Marsh. I couldn't bring myself to feel ashamed at my flippant, degrading comments that I had projected towards the two pretentious girls that morning.
Percy and Jason were having quite the time gasping for air after their maniacal laugh-fest. Percy had even fallen half-way out of his chair. Nico and Hazel sat next to the two, barely keeping themselves together. Stan sat hitting his head on the stone table at his brother’s antics, chuckling to himself. Annabeth, Pipes, and Kyle were shaking their heads at the boys’ actions, although they were laughing themselves.
Will Solace had fallen from his seat, Tweek and Kayla trying fruitlessly to help him back up while giggling. The other kid, Lester Papadopoulos, a.k.a. The Great Apollo, let his head fall into his hands at his children’s tomfoolery.
Piper practically shoved me out of my observations, snatching my attention effectively. I shot her a questioning glare. “Today, after the little meeting that you and your friends are having-” I almost choked on my pancakes at her observation. “As I was saying, have them meet up with Leo at the Hephaestus cabin. He has something for you guys, although I’m fairly sure that Tweek already has his.”
I didn’t know what she was talking about, but before I could ask, the conch horn sounded and demigods started filing out of the pavilion. I stood as the melamine plates vanished, sauntering over towards the woods. I followed a fairly well-kept dirt path to the narrow region of the stream. Sitting next to the clear water were my friends, including Bebe and even Pip. “So,” I began, sitting near the others, “what’s this meeting for?”
Tweek spoke up from his place next to Craig. “We wanted to see how everyone was doing and, for those who aren’t yet claimed, what god or goddess their other parent is.”
“Sounds fun,” I reply.
“I can go first if no one else wants to,” Stan interjected. After receiving nods of affirmation, he proceeded. “Percy’s pretty chill and we actually went surfing the other day in the Long Island Sound. He’s also taught me how to control my powers and, well…” He held up a hand, the water of the stream stirring and rising until Stan had a spherical ball of water hovering above his hand. That is, until he dropped it on Kyle, who shrieked in surprise. The noirette chuckled before placing his hands on each of the ginger’s pale arms, drying the fuming male. “That’s basically it,” he finished, turning back to the group.
Kyle and Wendy continued the conversation. “Annabeth is so cool,” Kyle said. “On the walls of our cabin are blueprints for temples and these micro-housing units for the new ring of cabins.”
Wendy nodded along with him. “There’s also a huge library in the back with any book you can think of written in Ancient Greek. Most of them pertain to architecture or our mother, but some are fantasy books, non-fiction books, even adventure and mystery. The walls have charts and maps, too. It’s all so exciting!”
“And the library stretches from floor-to-ceiling,” Kyle continued. “It's like a maze of bookshelves and I wouldn't mind getting lost in it. Especially the books on great wars or the classics. And the 3-D models of that new armor is amazing! The workshop is pretty sweet, too.” Wendy shrieked with enthusiasm and the two children of Athena exchanged lively banter about their cabin.
“U-Um,” Tweek stuttered, putting himself in the figurative spotlight. “Everyone in my c-c-cabin is so nice. I’ve learned how to play the g-guitar and I learned some new songs from musicals and movies. If we’re talking abo-out cabins, m-mine has an entire armory of bows and arrows, a makeshift infirmary, band posters plastered to the wall, a s-small library, and these really p-pretty white flowers. We also have a baby grand piano, three guitars, Austin’s saxophone, and a room dedicated to writing and composing. W-we don’t mess around when it comes to fine arts. We even have a g-golden chariot.” He stuttered through his descriptions, twitches and ticks thrown into the mix. “It's also really fucking loud and bright and I can barely get any sleep.”
“Things are amazing in the Aphrodite cabin,” Bebe squealed. “I’m one of the cool girls, unlike that one blonde. What’s her name? Laney? Lucy?”
“It’s fucking Lacy, Bebe. You know this.”
“Calm down, Clyde. Don’t be such a whiney crybaby,” she shrieked, giggling at her own cruel joke. “Anyways, the makeup there is, like, magic. It shows up whenever you need it.”
“How do you feel about it, Clyde?” Kyle inquired.
“It’s a hot pink nightmare of greasy orange carrots and idiots that share half a brain cell. At least I have Lacy, Mitchell, and Pipes. Drew is honestly a grade A bitch, too,” I remarked. Bebe looked incredibly offended.
“Alright, my turn,” Craig stated. “Connor is a really cool sibling and, since Travis won't be around much longer since he’s going back to school, he and I have been hanging out. Cecil's awesome, too. Our cabin’s pretty basic with a shit ton of bunk beds and sleeping bags. Pretty interesting if you ask me,” he said monotonously. Seriously, the guy doesn't have any emotion.
We continued our round of “how the fuck are you?” and started predicting the unclaimed demigods’ parentage.
“Honestly, I think that Kenny’s going to be Hermes,” Kyle stated. “He doesn't really fit any other description.”
“I’m totally gonna be a kid of Zeus, guys,” Cartman interrupted. “I'm gonna use my cool godly lightning powers to make Kyle do what I want. Bow before me,” the fat tub of lard hollered. “What should I make him do first?” he asked himself.
“Oh shut up, Fatass,” Stan said, commanding. He seemed pretty peeved with the dumbass. In fact, he was more protective of the formerly Jewish boy than angry with Cartman.
“Whatever, Stan. You're just mad ‘cause my dad’ll be so much cooler than yours.”
The sea that fed the stream raged. The waves grew taller and the small outlet started to overflow. Soon enough, the turbulent waters became calm once more. “Don't mess with the gods, Cartman,” Kyle said suddenly, voice shaking. “Even the weakest overpower us.”
A serene yet ominous and awkward silence fell over our group. I suddenly remembered Piper’s request. “Hey, Pipes wanted us to go to the Hephaestus cabin for something. She mentioned something about Tweek maybe already having his?”
Tweek's green eyes brightened with a strange, rare light. “H-Phones,” he stated, pulling a small rectangular bronze block from his jean pocket. “They're like iPhones, but made by the Hephaestus cabin for demigods. Celestial bronze and imperial gold.” The small rectangular prism started to glow after he pushed a circular button in a bottom corner. “In the Apollo cabin, music is a necessity. We all have one of these.” A small emerald charm swung from a peg on the device.
“I’ve got one too,” Craig stated. In his hand was a similar looking device, the charm on the peg a blue sapphire. “They're pretty functional and they don't attract monsters.”
“Kickass, dude!” Kyle exclaimed. “Let's go.” He started to sashay off towards Cabin Nine, the others and me following.
The Hephaestus cabin is quite unassuming. From the outside, it looks like a large metal trailer. The plating on the side was crafted with mismatched sheets of aluminum, steel, celestial bronze, the occasional patch of cursed iron. On the inside, however, the metal bunk beds were mechanized on tracks. They could sink into the floor to the cabin's underground system of tunnels that stored materials and machines. On tables sat piles of scrap metal and unfinished projects. They had a killer stereo system with lots of monster-proof technological advancements. Upon entry, I saw demigods handing out the bronze phones, explaining their functions. To my right were two campers by the names of Shane and Christopher discussing if they should install fiber optic cables in celestial bronze or imperial gold. To my left was Jake Mason and Leo Valdez, consulting over a large sheet of metal. I wandered over to Nyssa, who was distributing the mobile devices.
“Hey, Nyssa,” I began. “Piper sent us over to pick up some H-Phones.”
She nodded along with my statement. “Here you are,” she said, handing me the block-like bronze device. Hanging from a small peg was a red jewel tied to a thin cord. “Thank you,” I said, turning and wandering out the heavy metal door.
Most of my cabin mates sat by the volleyball court, watching other demigods play. When I say next to Mitchell, they were watching the Apollo cabin versus the Athena cabin. I couldn't decide if I should cheer for Tweek, Wendy, or Kyle, so I chose all three. Whenever Tweek jumped and spiked the white sphere, I shouted praise and encouragement. When Kyle or Wendy dove and saved the ball, I did the same. The three didn't seem to mind, but Bebe was back with her possé and she seemed annoyed by my constant cheering with Mitchell and Lacy.
The match was over by the time the conch horn sounded, the Apollo cabin winning by one point. The two cabins were neck and neck for the longest time until Sarah managed to save a precarious hit and scored another point.
My siblings and I went to the arena next for sword fighting and combat training. Once there, Percy took Mitchell and Thomas to the side for their sparring match and they were admittedly very good. Piper and Annabeth helped Kyle and I with our daggers and, by the end of the period, Kyle and I were facing off in a deadly dance of sharp bronze at our fingertips, slashing at each other at high speeds with reckless abandonment. The day went on, lunch being nothing special. The only period I thoroughly enjoyed after lunch was archery with Tweek. Some girl from another cabin– Nike, I believe– challenged him to an archery contest in an act of sheer stupidity and lost so badly that it was actually entertaining. After a few more sessions at the lava wall, stables, and gardens, the horn for dinner sounded.
The feasting transpired with no tomfoolery or dumbasses trying to screw up the friendly atmosphere. At one point, Drew tried to embarrass me in front of everyone by tripping me, but I happen to have an exceptionally good balance, strangely enough. I was able to catch myself and Drew was scolded by various authority figures. And Kevin did scare me again, questioning the meaning of life or something. Craig and Kenny had their usual eating contest of spareribs, Butters acting as the impartial judge and safety crew. The camaraderie died down slightly afterwards on our way to the massive campfire, but the foolishly pleasant songs of the Apollo cabin brought spirits even higher. Tweek sat with the band– holding an acoustic guitar– instead of Craig, who opted to sit between Connor Stoll and Cecil Markowitz. The noise died down and Chiron and Reyna decided that then was a divine time to make a grave announcement.
“I come bearing poor news. Horrid news, in fact,” he began. Whispers and hushed voices rang out in the fray of nervousness and anxiety. “The satyr guides have come across troubling obstacles and we will need to send rescue parties out to retrieve them.” There were many volunteers from the Ares cabin. “However,” Chiron said, “the difficulties that they are facing may progress towards our camp. We will need as many experienced demigods as possible protecting our camp. For this reason, I have decided to assign these rescue parties to one experienced camper along with two of our newest campers in each of eight groups.” There were many complaints and Tweek mumbling something about ‘pressure.’ It was going to be a long night.
Chapter 12: Kyle
I haven't been putting the disclaimer but I mean... Guys, I'm not nearly good enough to write either of these fandoms. Why would I own either of them? Common sense people.
Two of us with a senior camper? What was he thinking? Hopefully he would know who to pair up and which senior demigod would fit with the duo to keep them in line. Did he even think it through?
“For now, we shall continue on with our campfire as usual. Tomorrow, there will be a counselor meeting. Make sure to bring your new siblings along. Now, on with the music!”
The spirits of the campers rose. I, however, felt like my stomach was becoming a bottomless pit. My nerves were at what I could consider an all-time high at that point in my life. The songs flashed by and the s’mores were consumed quickly as I cogitated every terrible and harrowing predicament that could transpire on our fairly simple quest.
Eventually, the counsellors managed to wrangle their younger campers and led them back to the cabins. The Apollo cabin’s residents grew weary after the first few songs, turning in as soon as possible. Annabeth and Malcolm led our fairly large group towards our cabin. However, I needed to talk to someone. So I snuck out of the gray-painted cabin towards a sea blue stone cabin with coral and abalone, the smell of saltwater emitting from the edifice that was the Poseidon cabin.
Whenever I’m feeling troubled, I always talk to Stan. So who better to speak to about my dreadful ideas than my super best friend?
I knocked on the door, hoping for Stan to answer. Luck was not on my side and Percy was the one who opened the shell decorated door. He seemed incredibly confused about my presence. “Um, hi… Kyle, right?”
I nodded. “I-I need to speak with Stan, please.”
He smiled a little; an easy going smile that released the tension from my shoulders, calming me to the core. “Come on in. Wouldn't want the harpies getting to you.”
I thanked him quickly before striding over to the bunk with Stan reclined, playing a game on his new phone. I sat, grabbing his attention. “Wha- Kyle? Why’re you here so late?” he inquired.
I inhaled a silent breath before heaving a great sigh, letting the secure feeling of the ocean wash over me. “I’ve been having some doubts about our newfound quest,” I began. “Many things could go wrong and we only recently started training. You're still learning how to control your powers and I can barely fight, much less be useful in a time of need.”
“That's not true,” he defended. “I've seen you in fights before and you always won.”
“Cartman doesn't count,” I replied. “He's a tub of lard that can barely throw a punch. You've seen me help Tweek with his boxing and it wasn't pretty.”
“He’s the national lightweight champion for boxing. What did you expect?”
Percy, overhearing our conversation, turned on us so fast that I thought he had contracted a nice case of whiplash. “Tweek– the twitching blonde kid that spazzes out all the time– is the national lightweight boxing champion?”
“It was surprising to all of us, including his parents,” Stan stated.
“Dude!” I suddenly shrieked, “Do you think we'll hit Colorado?”
Stan’s eyes lit up. “I hope so. Anything to see my mom again.” He suddenly pulled me into a heartfelt embrace. “Anything to get you back to Ike.”
I almost cried, letting out a regretful sob. I had completely forgotten about my little brother that was probably terrified going through all of that drama the night us demigods boarded the transit bus with Leo Valdez. “I miss him so much,” I whispered. “I can't believe I left him with my deadbeat father.”
Stan pulled back a bit to speak. “He isn't all that bad. He's just a little insensitive.”
I nodded, tears starting to form at the corners of my eyes. “Yeah. Yeah, you're right. Thanks for talking to me, Stan.”
He gave me a warm smile in return. “Anything for you. We're super best friends, remember?”
All of a sudden, the cabin door flew open by an unknown force. The air shimmered as the door closed and there stood my older sister, a blue baseball cap in her hand. Her blonde hair was disheveled and tangled, her stormy gray eyes displaying her fatigue. Despite all of the imperfections, she still looked unearthly beautiful. Her hair, however much unkempt, remained in untidy princess curls and her perfectly tanned skin radiated beauty.
Percy looked a little bashful at the sight of his girlfriend standing in his doorway with an invisibility cap just after she got up from her bed and faux slumber. She noticed me after sealing the door. “Kyle? What are you doing here?” she catechized.
Percy answered before either Stan or I could. “He was feeling jittery about their quest and decided to voice his concerns.”
Annabeth nodded in faint understanding. “I guess you can stay here if you so desire,” she said, addressing me.
I glanced at Stan for his full consent. When he softly smiled, I turned back to my sister. “Thank you. I think I’ll take you up on that offer.”
Percy suddenly exclaimed “Sleepover!” which startled the rest of us. “Well,” he continued shyly, “sleeping in the Poseidon cabin, at least.”
Annabeth sighed, muttering “Seaweed Brain” and throwing the lights off before slowly laying down by his side. “I suggest you two get some sleep. It's going to be an early morning.”
Stan laid down in the dark cabin, shifting to get comfortable. I expected that I would get my own bed, but Stan grabbed my arm and gently pulled me down beside him. I thought he was asleep by that point until he threw an arm around my midsection, pulling me closer until my head hit his chest. I decided that I should just get some sleep like Annabeth said, making the most out of the situation and cuddling up to Stan. Soon enough, the realm of sleep captured me and I fell asleep in my best friend’s arms.
Dreams suck. The place that my dream took me was just outside of my hometown. A small mob of monsters was congregating around a single monster standing in a box. The thing looked like a gross meat suit. It was almost human except for the gaping mouth on its stomach and its brown eyes in place of a chin. The potbellied, bow-legged monster was addressing the crowd and pointing, making even the crudest gestures look polite.
My dream changed to the Community center. Cars were parked outside in the overflowing parking lot. Inside, many of our real parents sat in the foldable metal chairs, rambling and yelling. Tweek’s mother was more skittish than usual, Clyde’s father was pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose with shaking hands, Stan’s gorgeous mother sat next to my insensitive father, mourning over the apparent loss of her son and most other teens in South Park. A satyr guide sat to the side of the room eating an aluminum can, the small group of children that he was protecting seated close beside him. He was getting increasingly nervous as the Mayor spoke. The blue-haired woman was standing behind the rickety old podium.
I was swept away from the scene to stand before an elegant woman with gray eyes that looked like small storms. Her dark hair fell over her shoulders and framed her pale, slender face. A bronze breastplate was strapped over her embellished white chiton. On her armored shoulder sat a brown and gold barn owl. “Beware, Kyle Broflovski. Your journey will be perilous and many dangers await you. There is a gift waiting for you in your belongings that will be imperative to your survival. Do not fail, child.”
I was practically shoved out of the dream world by the woman and fell out of the small bunk in surprise. There was a loud thump as I hit the ground, awakening the other three members present. Stan peered over the edge at my fallen form.
“You okay there, Kyle?” he asked.
“Y-yeah. I'm fine,” I groaned.
“What happened?” Annabeth inquired. “You just fell out of the bed. But you don't flail.”
“This woman literally pushed me out of a dream. And, somehow, that was enough to shove me out of the bed, too.”
“Mom,” Annabeth answered. “She did the same to me the first time I slept in the Poseidon cabin. When I wasn't dreaming, of course.”
“Well, mom said that she left something with my stuff, so we might want to swing by the cabin before the counselor meeting.”
Annabeth and I left cabin three and made our way across the green in our pajamas. Upon opening the door to our cabin, I noticed that our siblings had created complete chaos without us. Books were strewn about and some of the maps had fallen off the walls. Wendy watched in amusement at the destruction. Annabeth just ignored it and we made our way over to my bunk. Sitting in the small backpack that I had were my spare clothes and a notebook with a dull pencil. On top of my few belongings was a new article of clothing: a dark hat with a faint gray outline of a horse’s head.
“So… It's a Broncos hat,” I observed. “What does it do?”
“We’ll find out later. Right now, we need to get to the meeting.”
We travelled to the Big House, treading carefully past the other cabins and beside the strawberry fields. Annabeth climbed up the dirty, whitewashed steps first, me following her path through the old screen door. We entered into a room overflowing with people, my friends standing to the side. Many of the other counsellors were clustered around a faded green ping pong table. Nico stood beside Will and was conversing with Connor Stoll, who was also standing. Katie stood near Travis to allow for more room, though the male was more than willing to give her his seat. The Victor twins were fighting for one of the seats, in the end challenging each other to a task that I couldn't remember. Annabeth sat next to Percy and I was about to find Stan until she tugged on my shirt, motioning for me to stay with them. In the end, I stood behind her. Chiron traipsed in and began the meeting.
“Satyr guides are still having trouble protecting young demigods on their voyage to camp. That is why we’re going to assist them. Each group will be assigned to a region of the nation. Any questions?” Annabeth raised her hand politely. “Yes, Annabeth?”
She stood to address the congregation. “More of an announcement, I suppose. Kyle was visited by our mother and she gave him a hat, which I assume is akin to my baseball cap of invisibility. He also said that she quite literally pushed him out of a dream.” She sat, leaving all eyes on me.
“Could you explain this dream of yours, child?” Chiron catechized.
“Well, there were many pieces to it. The first fragment was showing me a congregation of monsters, maybe forty or fifty. They were just outside our hometown in Colorado. Then, in our community center, the mayor was giving a speech or something like it. A satyr and a small group of children were to the side. Our parents were there, too.” Demigods around me saddened or brightened depending on what they were picturing. “Then I was visited by my mother who told me that our quest is going to be absurdly dangerous and then told me not to fail. A wonderful experience, really.”
“I had a dream like that, too,” someone interjected. Said person was none other than Tweek Tweak. “Though, my dream was about two groups, both in Colorado from what I remember. One was surrounded by hyena-wolf things. Then there were cheerleaders with messed up legs on a mountain range. Another group of people was in South Park. I think it was the same group. They were sitting outside of my family’s store.”
“Hyena-wolf hybrids… And cheerleaders with messed up legs…” Cartman trailed off. “What the fuck did your parents do to you when you were younger? There is no such thing-”
“Crocotta and Empousai,” Chiron stated, effectively cutting him off. “This is very serious.” He addressed us all. “The groups will be made of two newer demigods and a senior camper, as stated previously. However, not all seniority will be a counselor.” He placed a hand on my shoulder. “Kyle Broflovski and Stan Marsh shall travel to South Park, Colorado with Percy.” He then gazed at Tweek. “Do you know where you saw the Crocotta?” The jittery blonde nodded. “Craig Tucker and Will shall accompany him.” The two boys nodded.
“As for the others, I have assigned teams based on the situation of the satyr. Wendy Testaburger and Bebe Stevens will be accompanied by Miss Chase in Olympia, Washington. You will travel by plane tomorrow afternoon.” The three girls nodded. “Clyde and Kevin shall be supervised by Miss Blackstone in Salem, Massachusetts. Mr. Di Angelo, I need you to escort Damien and Phillip to Phoenix. Please don't leave them there.”
He continued assigning groups to varying states and capitals. Most of the supervising demigods were counsellors. Kenny and Butters were being led by Connor Stoll in Nashville and Fatass and Nichole were paired up with Jake Mason, leaving for Helena in the morning. Token and Jimmy were headed to Austin, assigned to Jimmy’s older sister, Chiara.
“Dude, we’re going home!” Stan exclaimed, excitement filling his voice. He was elated to see his mother again. “You get to see Ike. Aren't you happy?”
“I'm ecstatic, Stan. It's just…” I trailed off. “I don't want to leave him again. I don't want to leave him with my father.” Stan wrapped an arm around me, bringing me into a side hug.
“It’ll be fine, Ky. He’ll be alright. Who knows, maybe he’ll be like us,” Stan said.
The rest of the day went by in a flash. I spent most of it by the stream with the two sons of Poseidon since I wanted a game plan before our departure the next morning. They quickly became bored, messing with the gurgling water as I ran ideas by them with no reciprocation. Stan tried his best to make me feel productive, listening as closely as he could while forming tendrils of water. Annabeth and Wendy were off planning with Bebe who was probably as bored as the two men before me were.
“Kyle, we’ve been at this all day. We've missed lunch. You're my super best friend and all, but even I can't pay attention for this long.” He set a hand on my shoulder. “I know that you want to go in with a plan. But we need to eat at some point.”
“It's almost time for dinner. I was going to invite Wise Girl to eat at our table, Will won't leave Nico alone, and Piper’s eating with us. Kyle, why don't you join us tonight? We'll be able to talk strategy over food,” Percy offered.
I grew bashful at the thought of sitting with Stan while surrounded by various perfect poster couples. “That would be lovely, Percy. Thank you,” I said, hoping that my vocalization didn't show my timid mood.
The three of us walked along the stream and out of the woods, heading towards the dining pavilion. We passed by the ring of cabins. The pavilion was crowded with hungry demigods by the time we arrived. My friends at the Hermes table had already thrown food into some of the various blazing orange fires, scarfing down more barbecue or sandwiches. Clyde was having a great time with his siblings, looking bored out of his mind as Lovey Ann talked to him non-stop.
Percy led us past the other tables to a seemingly ordinary stone table with the three Roman demigods, Jason, Piper, Annabeth, and even Leo and Calypso. Percy sat down with his hip flush against Annabeth’s. Nico was sitting with Will, who had invited Tweek and allowed the latter blonde to bring Craig. Craig had an arm thrown around the smaller blonde’s shoulders, eating his sandwich with his other hand. Stan sat down at the end of the stone picnic table, just across from our two friends, and patted the small area on the bench next to him. I carefully slid into the space across from Tweek. Almost immediately, a Caesar salad appeared on the melamine plate in front of me.
After throwing some of my salad into the closest fire, I started gulping down the green leaves. I stopped, feeling someone staring at me. I turned my head toward Stan, who was practically boring holes into me with his eyes. “Can I help you?”
Stan flushed pink. “N-nope. I’m good.”
He looked slightly uneasy. “Are you sure?” I question. “You're looking a bit faint. Are you sure you aren't sick?” I tried placing my hand to his forehead only for him to bat it away.
“I'm fine, Kyle,” he exclaimed. Then, much softer, he stated “I'm alright.”
Percy cleared his throat. “Hey, Kyle. You wanted to work on our strategies for when we get to Colorado, right?”
I was slightly taken aback. “Y-yes, actually. Did you have something in mind?”
“I'm glad you asked, Owl Face,” he said, grinning. We’ll need to get to the town from the air since it's surrounded by monsters. I have a way in, but we’ll need to make sure that we aren't spotted. We’ll meet with the mayor and the other authority figures, then we can get out of there with the new demigods. Any problems?”
“Not particularly,” I began. “However, we’ll need to convince a shit ton of rednecks that hate being part of the progressive world, an idiotic mayor, and my father. Just warning you: he’s uptight, uncouth, offensive, and has a stick up his ass. He already borderline-hates me.”
Percy gave me a lazy, relaxed grin. “Piece of cake.”
Tweek and Craig were speaking to Will about their own mini quest. Based on what I heard, they were headed to the Rocky Mountains around Colorado.
“Be careful for falling rocks, by the way,” Tweek rambled. “Most of the time, they're fairly small. But sometimes they're really big! It also gets really cold.”
Will chuckled lightly. “Apollo children are known for their tolerance of cold weather. But it's June, so we should be fine.”
“You don't understand,” I said. “There are only two seasons near South Park.”
Annabeth looked confused. “What do you mean?”
“Winter and one week in July,” Stan continued. “It gets really cold and we always wear light jackets and gloves.” Then he pointed to Tweek. “Unless you're him.”
“Remember the Stick of Truth?” Craig asked, a lighthearted smirk on his face.
“The what?” Jason inquired.
“It's a game that we used to play that was basically a fantasy role play game in real life. We were about eight or nine, but we made our own costumes and even had a government,” Stan stated. “I think Kyle was the leader of the Elves and Cartman was the leader of the humans. I was actually a human on Kyle's team. Tweek was a barbarian, so he really only wore pants and shoes. Didn't Butters help you with your paint?”
“Y-yeah. He did, actually. I d-don't really have a steady h-hand.”
“That actually sounds like fun,” Hazel– one of the Romans– chirped. “Maybe we could use it as a war game to emulate strategic planning.”
The dark haired girl, Reyna, nodded. “It's not a bad idea. We’ll need to make some changes, of course.”
Nico stared at Tweek. “So you had no shirt?” Tweek nodded. “In below-zero weather?” Another nod. “And you were an archer, I presume?” The blonde nodded once more. “Interesting.”
We ate in silence after that, the occasional comment thrown into existence. But we were comfortable and Jason even invited Tweek, Craig, and me back after our quest. Soon enough, The horn sounded, signaling the beginning of the campfire. Nothing particularly special happened. Annabeth requested that I join her and Percy, so I ended up being hip-to-hip with Stan. Tweek and I made small talk since he didn't have to join his siblings that night.
As I began to succumb to the dark void of sleep, I wondered about what perils we would face that my mother cautioned me of. And I would soon find out, because– sadly– my sleep wasn't dreamless.
Chapter 13: Kyle
Update: A schedule has been posted, though it may be altered throughout the school year. The Stick of Truth rewrite has also been posted, so if you want another read, it updates weekly.
I still own nothing.
Of course my dream would show me schnauzer-like seal people. They slightly resembled waterproof ferrets with hands. They were flopping around near the town sign. Beside them was a group of Cyclopes, huddled around one with a scarred eye. A lion-scorpion with matted fur and a bent tail gnawed on a large slab of mystery meat. They were conspiring, I just knew it.
The visions shifted to some of the many now-childless families of South Park. First, it was Laura Tucker and her daughter, Ruby. They were with Red and her family, just staring at an old family picture with Thomas and Craig Tucker. The Tucker residence quickly morphed into the Tweak residence. Helen Tweak was a gorgeous woman, sitting in an empty kitchen with coffee brewing on the counter. It was forgotten in its pot as she stared at a fairly recent photo of Tweek and Craig. The two were grinning at the camera, Tweek tucked snugly under Craig's arm. In another moment, Stan’s mother sat on her plush couch, bleary eyed as she gazed at a portrait of Stan that hung on the wall.
Then, I was face-to-face with a man. He wasn't all that old, perhaps in his mid-forties. His sleek black hair trailed into his black beard, streaked with gray. His dark blue eyes twinkled like pools of the night sky. His skin was strangely navy, speckled with pale dots and his suit looked like the universe.
“Beware, child,” he said, his voice sultry and flowing, yet fear-inducing. “Beware of the night. None are safe when day fades to dusk. Only when dawn begins does my reign of terror end.”
I jolted awake with Stan shaking me in my cabin. “Come on, Kyle. We need to leave.”
I saw that it was still quite dark out and most of my siblings were still sleeping. Annabeth and Wendy were packing bags with Percy. The sons of Poseidon already had their blue backpacks and Annabeth already had a gray one on her back. Stan shoved a dark gray bag into my arms when I sat up and handed me the Broncos cap that my mother had given me. Annabeth had clipped a Yankees baseball hat to her belt with a celestial bronze dagger.
I had decided to sleep in the clothes I would initially be wearing, so I stood and prepared to march out of the door with Stan and Percy. Annabeth and Wendy quietly said their goodbyes to us on the front porch and dashed across the green to wake Bebe. I caught a glimpse of Craig and Tweek sprinting through the shadows with Will in camouflage clothing. Tweek’s shock of bright blonde hair was held back with a black bandana and Will had eye black streaking his cheeks. In another region of the cabins was Lou Ellen standing beside Kevin and Clyde, double checking her bags.
“You guys ready?” Percy inquired. His eyes twinkled with excitement, but he looked rather dismayed.
“Hopefully,” I said. Acknowledging Percy, I catechized, “What's the plan? You said you could get us in undetected.”
He smiled lazily before jumping down the wooden steps of my cabin and running towards the forest. Stan and I rushed to catch up with him and we dashed past the empty arena and archery range, flourishing strawberry fields, and the unusually quiet forges. Suddenly, Percy swerved away from the woods to run beside the lush trees and dark shadows. We soon approached a one-story barn, horses poking their large heads out of their open windows and gazing towards us.
“Hey Percy?” Stan began. “Why are they calling us ‘young lords’?”
Percy guffawed. “Our dad is the god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses.”
“He was the father of the original winged horse, Pegasus. Because of this, I assume that you can communicate with equines, as well as various sea-dwellers,” I interrupted.
Percy nodded, seemingly impressed. “Nice observations, Owl Face.” He then turned away from us, silent. Then, a large black animal barreled towards us from the stables. Midnight wings unfurled from a sleek body, dark as night. Percy turned back towards us whilst petting the pegasus. “Meet Blackjack. He’s my personal pegasus, one could say.” The stallion whinnied.
“Who’s Guido and Sofia?” Stan asked.
Two pegasi galloped towards us. The first slowed to a canter and gravitated towards Stan. The stallion was a stark white with speckled wings. The second– a caramel-coated mare with dark brown markings– shuffled hesitantly towards me. Her wings were tucked closely to her body.
“So you must be Sofia,” I muttered. She whinnied in affirmation. Louder, I asked, “It means ‘wisdom,’ right?”
“That's correct, actually,” Percy stated. The black pegasus behind him nudged him and Stan chuckled. “No, I don't have donuts!” The stallion didn't let up and looked to be having fun.
“We need to get going,” Percy called, mounting the pegasus. Stan followed easily and Guido soon took a liking to the boy.
Sofia was a bit more difficult. She was shy at first and the other two males were trying to convince her to let me hop on her back. Slowly, she bowed her head and let her wings stretch out. I straddled her back, just behind her shoulders, and tucked my heels under the joints to her wings, leaning forward slightly. She took off into the air and joined the other two pegasi.
“You seem comfortable,” Stan said.
“Just following Percy,” I yelled back. Sofia neighed as we flew over the farm road towards Manhattan.
Percy led us over New York, winding around glass skyscrapers and brick apartments. The industrial cities slowly faded into rolling countryside as we flew over the curving highways. We had to dodge around a few commercial airplanes and flocks of birds, but it was a fairly smooth flight. After an hour, Stan decided to make small talk with Percy at the front of our formation. I was stuck in the back, listening to the two.
“How are we going to convince the town that they're going to be facing something that they've never seen before?” Stan asked. “They've seen some shit that I can't even believe is real. But Greek monsters that shouldn't be alive anymore? Insane.”
Percy looked troubled. “I'm not too sure. From what your friends have said, they're a stubborn town.”
“Maybe we could get the group and get out,” Stan suggested. “I mean, the monsters won't attack if there's no demigods.”
“But what if the town won't let us take custody of the group?” I interjected. The two men gazed back at me. “Maybe they have other motives for keeping the demigods there.”
Stan looked confused. “Why would they want more demigods? They let us go to be safe.”
I rolled my eyes. “Because, Kelp Head. They could be possessed by eidolons or perhaps were replaced by blemmyae. Do you not ever plan for the worst scenarios?” The boy shook his head in confusion. “Unbelievable,” I muttered.
Percy's head suddenly jerked up. “Something's wrong.”
The pegasi hovered in the air, facing the Rocky Mountains in the distance. Out of nowhere, a boulder sailed towards us. The pegasi dodged when a sudden onslaught of rocks rained down on us. Looking closer at the far off mountains, I saw more Cyclopes and empousai, along with Scythian Dracaenae.
“What are those?” Stan shouted.
“The fucked up cheerleaders that Tweek was talking about, some one-eyed ogres, and dragon ladies,” I shrieked back.
“Those bitches are ugly!” he replied.
Percy led us away from the offenders before turning on us. “Do the two kids with Nico swear like the rest of you?”
“Damien might, but Pip would probably chastise him,” I explained.
“Thank the gods,” he said. “I thought that Nico was going to have a heart attack when your fat friend was cursing at the meeting.”
“Why is that?” Stan asked.
“He's from the 1930’s.”
“How does that work?” I exclaimed. “It should be impossible!”
“Key word being ‘should,’” Percy smirked.
I stared deadpan at the sons of Poseidon before me. “That was such a creative observation- Oh wait! No it wasn't you fucking burnt pancake.”
“No need for cursing, dude,” he defended, arms raised as Blackjack whinnied.
“Let's just keep going,” I fumed. “These pegasi move fast,” I observed. “We're already over Illinois.”
Stan looked below, unsure. “How can you tell? There's just cornfields for miles!”
I smirked. “I just know.” Sofia soon sped up, leaving the other boys in the metaphorical dust. Blackjack caught up quickly, Guido having some trouble with Stan perched on his back.
“We’ll be there soon, actually,” Percy began. “Pegasi move faster than most forms of travel.” He then sighed. “Your two friends with Nico have it easy.”
“And why's that?” Stan asked.
“Nico has a zombie chauffeur that can take you across the continent in just a couple hours,” he groaned.
“How long will it take us?”
“About four hours,” I interjected. “At least at the speed we're going.”
Chapter 14: Stan
Sorry this has been taking so long to update, but by next semester, I should be updating monthly. Maybe I'll add a holiday chapter on the 13th or the 25th. Let me know if you guys would enjoy that, and if you would prefer it to be a Christmas present or a Hanukkah present (though I suppose Christmas is celebrated more).
As it turns out, having three ADHD demigods sitting on pegasi for hours at a time was not a good idea. Kyle thought ahead and brought a book along that would most likely take days to finish. He was perched on the caramel pegasus, both looking decidedly comfortable. Percy was talking to Blackjack and messing around with Riptide. Guido remained silent, so I didn't bother talking with him.
I pulled the bronze sword from its sheath at my side, examining it closer. The hilt was wrapped in leather, ending at a golden cross guard. The rain guard was fashioned out of a deep blue sapphire and the blade itself was a gleaming celestial bronze. It was weighted perfectly in my hands, much like the double-handed sword that I had during our Stick of Truth game.
I almost jumped at the sudden sound of Kyle's voice. I turned to him and noticed that he was staring at his dagger, glancing between the two blades.
“Want to see?” I asked.
He thought about it for a little while before nodding. I smiled and reached it over to him, my hand on the blade with the pommel facing him. He grabbed it and allowed Sofia to fly as close as possible to Guido, tossing the dagger to me. I watched as he examined the hefty bronze blade, light fingers trailing over the wave engravings, before inspecting the dagger in my hand. It was light and the gleaming triangular blade had small engravings of Ancient Greek symbols. The hilt was bound with a type of smooth cloth and the pommel had the engraving of an olive branch. I saw Kyle start handing me my sword back in my peripherals, so I turned and tossed his dagger back, receiving my sword and putting it back into its scabbard.
“Does it turn into anything?”
I stared at Percy, who had been fiddling with a capped ballpoint pen. “What do you mean?”
My brother grinned and uncapped the pen. In turn, the pen morphed into a bronze sword. The word ‘Anaklusmos’ was engraved in the side.
“Mine can do that.”
I glanced over at Kyle, who was messing with a glittering silver necklace. He grabbed at a single charm in the shape of an owl and his dagger was nowhere to be found. The charm then morphed into the blade, taking the necklace with it.
“Mine can’t,” I grumbled. “At least, I don’t think it can.”
“Try throwing it,” Percy suggested. “If it comes back as an object, then we know what it transforms into.” Before I could reply, he commanded the pegasi to hover and looked at me expectantly. I glanced over at Kyle with pleading eyes, but he was indifferent.
“Fine,” I sighed. I unbuckled my scabbard from my waist and slowly stuck it out over Guido, just in front of his flapping wings. The jostling made me release the sword and I could only watch as it plummeted to the ground below.
We sat on our pegasi for about five minutes before I felt weight in my pocket. I had to concentrate to feel it because the object was super light. Reaching into my jacket pocket, I retrieved a wide leather wristband. A trident emblem was burnt into the brown material with wave designs. There was an engraving in the back that read ‘Uάlassa thς Sofia.’
“That's pretty cool,” Percy vocalized.
“‘Sea of Wisdom.’ The Hell does that mean?” Kyle asked.
“What are you talking about?”
“You're the son of the sea, but a Sea of Wisdom? No way. Both you and Percy have sea water for brains.”
I probably looked really offended by his statement because almost immediately he said, “Don't take it personally. I didn't mean it in a bad way.”
I just shook my head and laughed. “Don't worry about it, Ky. I'm perfectly aware that I'm not the brightest crayon in the box.”
“Yeah!” Percy interrupted. “Annabeth calls me a seaweed brain all the time.” He thought for a few seconds. “Although, I'm fairly sure it's an endearing term. But that's no need to get worked up, Owl Face!”
Kyle frowned. “Why do you keep calling me ‘Owl Face?’”
Percy grinned. “Leo gives annoying nicknames to us that stick for the rest of our lives, so I decided to beat him to the punch. For example,” he held up a finger, “Annabeth is Wise Girl– I came up with it– and I'm Seaweed Brain or Aquaman. Jason is Sparky, Blonde Superman, anything relating to the sky, and Piper is Beauty Queen. Leo has too many that he came up with for himself. Just call him Repair Boy.”
“What’s Stan’s?” he asked eagerly.
I shook my head and my face started heating up.
“Shark Boy, Aqualad-”
Kyle cut my brother off. “Can I call him Kelp Head?” he asked with excitement.
Percy smiled at him. “Yeah, actually. I've been called Kelp Head a few times before, but I guess you can call dibs for him.”
“Any for the others?” Kyle continued.
Percy nodded. “Tweek’s most popular are ‘Green Arrow’ and ‘Golden Boy.’”
“I wonder how he feels about that,” I muttered to Kyle. He nodded in return.
“Your friend Jimmy’s been dubbed Lucky by Leo, who was ever so creative. That black-haired kid, Kevin, has been called ‘Spock’ before. Also Leo.”
“So Leo comes up with most of these ridiculous nicknames?” Kyle questioned.
Percy nodded before turning back around. “Any idea where we are?” he questioned suddenly.
Kyle looked at the ground, examining the landscape. In doing so, his hair fell over his eyes in a cute wave of red. His eyes were focused, the stunning green reflecting that of the rolling hills below. A small frown crossed his face before he worried his bottom lip between his teeth in concentration. He was overall beautiful.
I already knew that I liked him and, from my conversations with Wendy, I suspected that the feelings were mutual. To me, he’s like a son of Aphrodite, rather than Athena. I got sidetracked, didn’t I?
“Just inside Kansas. We’ll be in South Park in no time.”
Suddenly, three pegasi sped past us. Percy called out to them and they halted. Once we caught up, I could see three figures clearly. The most noticeable was a black-haired boy on a chestnut stallion wearing camouflage fatigues with a sword at his side. Next to the boy– identifiable as Craig– was a young blonde man– Will– also in fatigues, on the back of a light gray pegasus. In the lead was Tweek, wearing an olive military jacket over a black shirt and camouflage pants. His bow was slung over his back and his speckled roan pegasus whinnied restlessly.
“Hey Kyle, Stan,” he greeted.
“Hey Tweek,” Kyle replied.
“Why are you guys here, Will,” Percy questioned.
“We’re going to the same place,” the blonde deadpanned.
Percy flushed and nodded. “Of course. I knew that,” he retorted.
The rest of us stared unimpressed at his attempt of self-redemption. Kyle rolled his eyes and steered Sofia over to Tweek.
“What’s her name?” he asked.
Tweek let out a laugh before replying. “Ironically, her name’s Hliachtida.”
Kyle giggled at his response before saying, “Coincidentally, mine is Sofia.” The two chuckled together before he continued. “Sunbeam and Wisdom. Fitting.”
“Wait until you hear Clyde’s” Tweek told him.
The two flew off in the direction of South Park, leaving us to follow behind. They spoke about one thing or another until we started spotting small herds of monsters dotting the virtually empty landscape. The clusters grew larger as we neared South Park. The six of us managed to pass by the large hoards undetected until we reached the outskirts of the mountain town.
“Welcome to our tiny little white-bred, redneck, podunk, bigoted, insensitive, racist, sexist mountain town,” Kyle announce sarcastically, gesturing widely with his arm.
Percy and Will shared a look. “Will convincing them be easy? Or possible?”
“Easy? No. Possible? I don’t know. It depends on what we’re facing and if our town has been replaced by Greek monsters or not,” Kyle replied.
Tweek nodded to our group, Craig and Will following suite. “We should meet up in North Park at the Harbucks. Three days from now, preferably,” Tweek stated.
“If one group isn’t there, send help,” Kyle supplied.
“We’ll be in the Rockies if that happens,” Craig said.
“Be safe,” Percy told them. “Don’t die.”
“We’ll try not to. Especially with two doctors,” Will replied. They took off towards the towering gray peaks of the mountains.
Percy glanced back at Kyle and I before motioning for us to follow him down into the streets. Guido took off after him with Sofia and Kyle in pursuit. Percy touched down moments before Kyle and me. The pegasi moved through the streets that were seemingly abandoned. Their hooves clacked against the faded, cracked asphalt.
“Anyone else getting a strange feeling?” Percy asked.
“Definitely,” I replied.
Kyle looked around at the shattered storefront windows. “Yes, but why?”
A loud roar sounded behind us and Sofia was suddenly flung to the side, taking her rider with her. Guido reared back wildly causing my vision to become unfocused. I could hear Kyle’s groans of pain while Sofia whined softly.
“Not you again.”
Chapter 15: Tweek
I honestly don’t know what I was expecting when Will threw a bundle of clothes and a heavy white bag imprinted with a red caduceus at me in the ungodly hours of the morning. I do know that Craig holding me down as my brother painted black streaks across my cheeks was a particularly upsetting experience. I can't believe that Craig actually aided in my misery. Anyway, we set off towards the wooden stables, passing by Kyle, Wendy, Stan, and a few others, like Clyde and Kevin. Upon reaching the simple wooden structure, Will led Craig and I towards a small group of stalls.
“After the second Giant War, Chiron, Reyna, and some of the gods thought it was a good idea to give their children a few pegasi for transportation on quests or visits between camps. I actually have my own pegasus, same with Percy, Annabeth, and the other senior campers that are aiding your friends. You two can borrow some of the newer pegasi that aren't used very often.”
He led Craig over to a chestnut pegasus with black speckling his coat. “You’ll be on Apostolos for the time being. One of my cabin’s most agile.”
I wasn't paying attention to his instructions for riding because I was too distracted by a roan mare. Her wings were lined with a soft gold color and white was splashed across her flanks. Her auburn eyes bore into mine.
“Hliachtida is pretty rowdy.” I jumped at the sound of Will’s voice. “She's not the most complacent of the Apollo cabin’s pegasi. Or any pegasi for that matter.”
I didn’t really listen to my brother’s warnings as I stepped towards her. I was sure in my step for once and, before I knew it, I had a hand resting on her silky nose. “I think we'll get along just fine.”
The next thing I know, we’re in the air. Hliachtida’s large wings carried her quickly into the dark sky. She flew directly over the dense forest of camp at a leisurely pace, barely above the foliage, before taking off towards Manhattan. The old country roads gave way to busy New York streets. She raced ahead of my companions, winding around the skyscrapers that don't quite touch the clouds. Her red coat rippled in the rising sun, turning her a gilded copper masterpiece. As the golden rays grew and touched my arms, I felt more powerful. I caught a faint glimpse of bright red and caramel brown ahead of me before the speck of fire disappeared.
I felt Craig's presence more than saw him approach. “How's life?”
I turned to face him before addressing his inquiry. “Right now? Fine. Once we reach Colorado? Hell. How about yourself?”
“I’m fine as long as I’m with you,” he answered.
“Don't be cute, that's my job.” I smiled at him.
“Get your head in the game, kid!” Will shouted good heartedly as he flew past. “We’ve got a lot of ground to cover.”
I became quite bored with just rolling fields of grain beneath us. The pegasi also seemed quite bored and just slightly fatigued. Will took notice of the predicament and called out for us to land for a short break. Hliachtida looked thankful for the rest after two hours of strenuous flight. The golden fields slowly grew closer as we descended, landing alongside the cracked, gray road. The sun was now fully in the eastern sky, casting long shadows across the faded asphalt.
Hliachtida sat down away from the others, resting on the warm grass. She eyed the wheat field with distrust. The other pegasi were in the same state, glaring at the field. However, neither of my companions seemed to notice. I took a chance and placed my hand on Hliachtida’s roan flank, trying to reassure her. She didn't seem to notice and remained staring at the plot of land. I basically gave up on trying to calm her until I saw movement in the towering crops. Suddenly, the warm sight of golden wheat soured and I felt the mare beside me tense in anticipation. I would be lying if I said that I hadn't grown anxious.
Craig and Will eventually made their way over to me. I thought that they had noticed the pegasi and my unease, coming over to tell me that we were leaving. Keyword being “thought.”
Hliachtida and I immediately took to the sky as the two boys neared. It may seem ill-mannered, but I was justified, okay? I don't think that permanent bitch face and golden eyes describe my companions. The other two pegasi took off, as well, when they noticed the boys’ similar states of possession. Honestly, why did I think I would have a good day?
Chapter 16: Stan
Luckily, Kyle was okay, despite being thrown through a storefront window. Sofia was kicking angrily as she attempted to escape the flattened plant in front of the shop. Kyle followed soon after, thin trails of blood inching down his pale face. It would have been slightly worrying if he wasn’t glaring fire at the monster that threw him with his dagger in hand.
The monster growled, his dark eyes fixated on Percy. Large horns sprouted from his massive forehead and fur covered every inch of his gargantuan body. His hooved feet made the ground tremble as he stalked forward. Held in his hands was a large, bloodstained, double edged battle axe.
Percy was the first of us to react, ripping the cap from his pen. He slid from Blackjack’s back and dashed towards the minotaur, bronze sword in hand. Kyle, spurred on by my brother’s actions, leapt away from the shattered glass and charged at the monster.
Now, I think that I’m a rational person. I believe that you should always think before you act. But here we are, three demigods squaring up with a giant bull that walks on two legs and carries an axe that could wipe out the entire town of South Park. Oh, and three pegasi that seemed pretty indifferent to the personification of “fuck you” towering over the buildings on the other side of the road, casting a shadow of imminent death. Pretty good odds, right?
The minotaur growled at us, his gaze ghosting over Kyle and me. His eyes widened in anger when he saw Percy, roaring as he raised his ax. The three of us jumped out of the way as it came crashing down. The pegasi scattered and flew away, leaving us in their fear. I heard Percy’s exasperated sigh as he glared at the monster.
“This guy again. Why can't he just stay dead? Is that too much to ask for?” he muttered to himself.
Kyle and I looked at each other in confusion before Percy sprinted down the road. We quickly followed behind him, hearing the thundering steps of the minotaur following us. We managed to pass quite a few of the old shops, seeing the storefronts smashed in or crumbling. The farther we got from main street, the less damaged everything seemed. By the time we hit the neighborhood, cutting through dilapidated Sodosopa, with the Cloven Hooved Death™, barely anything was in tatters. The homes stood tall on their sunken foundations and the ever apparent vibrant colored paints were still going strong.
“Head for the community center!” Kyle shouted. “That’s where the entire town normally meets in crises like this.”
Knowing that Percy had absolutely no idea where the idiots congregate, Kyle and I took the lead, turning down the street where we used to live and made a mad dash past everyone’s childhood homes.
Almost everything that insinuated children living in those homes was removed.It was as if our existence was being erased. The glimpse I got of Kyle’s old bedroom showed white paint and next to no furniture. His few posters were taken down, most likely in the trash. My own room was in a similar state, though I could see my old bedspread covering the mattress. Kevin Stoley’s balcony was void of any telescopes that he had set up and his planetary models were nowhere to be found through his window. Craig’s room was barren, but I think that’s how he left it. I would have to ask Tweek later on. Speaking of Tweek, his room, once a utopia for Lego lovers and coffee addicts, was stark white. His desk was spotless, at least from the view I had.
We neared the community center, passing the small bus stop. I’m pretty sure the minotaur trampled it as he followed, judging the noises of crumpling metal and shattering glass behind us. We passed a few more homes and finally stopped just shy of the block-like structure of the community center. The minotaur, it seems, lost interest in us completely, staring out at the hillside on the outskirts of town.
“We need to get inside before it decides that we’re more interesting,” Kyle whispered, jogging carefully to the front doors.
Percy and I hastily followed him, waiting for him to open the doors. He tugged on the handle, but the door was locked. He sighed and rapped his fist against the grimy glass. No reply came until his second attempt, knocking louder.
“We already told you: we don’t have what you want!” came a familiar voice. “Just… just leave us alone, alright?”
I sighed. “It’s Stan and Kyle. Let us in before we die.”
“Wow, way to liven up the mood,” Kyle muttered.
The doors swung open revealing Stephen Stotch, wide-eyed at the sight of the three boys. “Come in, quickly.” He turned and led us into the old building.
“Stanley!” was all I heard before my mother pulled me into a tight hug. I peered over her shoulder in time to see Kyle collapse to the ground and hug his little brother, his eyes watering.
My mother released me and started grabbing at any part she could reach, examining me for any injuries I could have acquired. After deeming me perfectly fine, she moved to Kyle, who had released his brother but remained on the ground.
“Why are you two here?” she asked. “You should be at camp! It’s not safe here for you.” She was fussing over Kyle during her whole spiel.
“Yeah, we noticed,” he said, letting her wipe at the blood steadily dripping down his forehead. “You’d think being thrown through a window would slow you down but-”
My mother cut him off with a pale face and a loud shriek. “What? Someone get the doctor!” she shouted at the crowd accumulating around us.
“No need, Mrs. Marsh,” Percy stated, drawing all eyes to him. “I have some healing supplies on me.”
She looked worried, especially when Kyle pulled his own ambrosia squares out of his backpack. He broke off a square and quickly ate it. Sighing, Kyle looked as relieved as I felt when the blood flow thinned and the open wounds closed themselves. Small shards of glass from the window fell to the ground, encircling him in a glinting barrier.
“No harm, no foul,” he said, winking at Ike, whose expression was flooded with concern. He stood, stepping over the glass remnants.
Percy shook his head in disbelief. “Anyways,” he began, and once again the spotlight was his, “you may not have what those monsters want, but we know you have what we want.”
Chapter 17: Author's note
Sorry for the lack of updates, but starting Wednesday, May 23, I will be updating weekly, most likely more than once. There will also be the appearance of a new story (Haikyuu!! x Harry Potter) and the Marching Band AU will pick up now that band season has officially started! The series Out of the Shadows will pick back up with a new book called Into the Fire. I also have some story recommendations that I will be posting in a few days. Go give them some love once the list comes up because everyone deserves that!
Everything should be on a somewhat consistent schedule, just know that there will be absolutely NO UPDATES on May 29, June 1, July 10-12, July 17, July 19, July 20, the week of July 22, or August 22. That's really all, just be on the look out for new updates once or twice every week!