Everyone settled down with their ice cream and grabbed some cookies before the next projection started.
Percy was now around the age of 9. He was on a playground with a bunch of other kids his age. Percy was playing basketball with a bunch of other kids when a silhouette leaned on the base of the hoop. He wore a trench coat and a fedora.
“Dude.” Apollo said. “What is this? Who is that?”
As Percy played with the other kids the man’s gaze followed him. His eyes weren’t visible under the hat but he turned to watch where Percy walked.
“That looks like Amos when we met him in London,” Sadie whispered to Carter who agreed then shushed her. There was no need. Other’s were voicing their thoughts.
“Kid I suggest that you run and find an adult,” Blitz told Percy.
“Can’t. Already happened,” Percy said.
“You see stuff like that on the street… I’ve seen it running from foster homes,” Leo started.
Magnus nodded, “Percy that’s really not good. You’ve got a stalker.”
Percy sighed, “Just watch.”
Percy and his friends finished up their game of basketball and started to walk inside. The man followed them until the door. He grabbed Percy’s arm just then and his face flashed with panic then confusion as he looked up at the man’s face under his hat. A teacher ran over seeing what was happening.
“Go now or we’ll call the police.”
The man let go of Percy’s arm and stalked off. The teacher glared as he went then looked at the confused Percy. “Are you okay? Why don’t we call your mom and get you something warm to drink.”
Percy shook his head. “That man had one eye.”
The teacher looked at him strangely. “The man wore an eyepatch? Like a pirate?”
“No,” Percy scowled, “He had an eye in the middle of his forehead.”
“That’s a nice story. Lets go to the desk and call your mom now. I think you might have gotten hurt playing basketball.”
The projection paused. Everyone turned to Percy who was looking at them with an eyebrow raised daring them to say something. It was intimidating but Tyson was not scared.
“He was a mean Cyclops.”
“Which makes me wonder, if you could see through the mist for him, well… shouldn’t you have been able to tell Tyson had one eye too?” Annabeth asked.
“I don’t think it works that way,” Percy said.
“If the mist is the duat,” Sadie butted in, “It doesn’t.”
Hearth nodded playing with a few of the runestones in his hand. Hazel looked at them interestedly. “We should really compare magic later.”
“We’ll have to ask the Fates,” Reyna said. “We do not want to anger them.”
“We will find time,” Zia said. “For your myths too Carter…”
The Egyptian was already looking through his bag of scrolls. Annabeth had been looking at them contemplatively. Percy nudged her.
Samira looked at Percy. “Your monsters follow the scents of a demigod. If your scent was blocked by your monstrous stepfather why did that Cyclops find you?”
“I don’t really know. I didn’t see many monsters after mom married Smelly Gabe. I think it’s because he was a Cyclops. Possibly something to do with dad.”
“To do with your dad?” Alex asked. “Does your dad send monsters after you? He might be as terrible as mine.”
Thalia shook her head. “No, Percy’s dad is probably the best godly parent ever. He actually shows he cares.”
“Hey!” Apollo protested looking at Will as if to confirm this wasn’t true. Will looked down and Nico reached for his hand. Apollo blanched and put on a grim face. “Thalia might be right. Uncle P talked about Percy a lot. He might have sent a Cyclops after him. Cyclops are workers in the forges under the sea. They serve Poseidon. Many like Tyson are products of his affairs with nature spirits.”
“So did your dad send that guy?” Chris asked.
“Not sure,” Percy said. “Lets just move on with the embarrassment.”
His request was listened to as the next projection started. Percy’s face was pressed up against an aquarium tank along with several other kids. In the background a tour guide was talking about the fish. The other kids took their faces off the tank but Percy kept his pressed against the tank.
“C’mon Percy!” yelled a kid nearby. “We’re going to see the sharks.”
The real Percy frowned. “Why can’t I hear them?”
“Hear what?” Jaz asked. “The video?”
“No. The fish.”
“The fish?” Alex raised an eyebrow. “Even I can’t understand animals. Sam?”
“No. I can talk in the form of one,” agreed her sister. (Alex was still feeling like a girl).
“The form of one? You can do it too?” Frank asked.
“Later Frank,” Annabeth said. “Percy do you want to explain to our Egyptian and Norse friends?”
“I can hear fish.”
“You can hear fish?” Hearth signed as Blitz translated.
“They talk. They call me the Prince of the Sea or Lord and a bunch of other things. Most common is son of the Sea King.”
“Really?” Sadie snorted. “That’s hilarious.”
“It’s annoying but it can come in handy. I’m just wondering why I can’t hear them here,” Percy looked at Annabeth quizzically.
It was Rachel that answered. “You weren’t able to hear them as a kid. Not till you knew you were a demigod.”
“Course they weren’t as oblivious as you,” Thalia teased.
“Could you not hear horses as a kid either?” Hazel asked.
“You can hear horses?” Magnus asked.
“My dad is the god of them. Talking to them isn’t always pleasant.”
“My dad is the god of horses too and I can’t hear them!” Magnus protested.
“I guess I’m just better,” Percy said but shut up under Annabeth’s glare.
“Let us all continue. The sooner we shall finish this the better,” Zia said.
The projection continued with Percy walking with his class to the shark pool. They stood on one of the conveyor belts that lied on top of the glass. Under them all were the sharks.
Percy was looking at them as they swam up to the glass right under him then swam away. They continued along the belt as the tour guide spoke but none of them really heard it until a kid nudged him. “She’s asking for help.”
Percy raised his hand. The guide smiled at him and called him forward. Percy walked up and off the conveyor belt. His class followed him off.
“I want you to hit that lever and watch what happens,” the marine world guide told him. “We let our behind the scenes guests feed the sharks.”
Percy walked forward and pressed something. Behind him something moved then a splash. A kid had toppled into the tank as the walkway retracted. Several others started to topple in after him and screams could be heard. Percy and the tour guide did too. His eyes widened as the sharks swam over to him and wrapped around him before swimming away.
In real life Calypso shrieked getting a weird stare from Leo. “They are scary creatures.”
“I guess. Those teeth look nasty,” Leo agreed.
“Shark. Top of ocean food chain. Endangered. Shark fin soup. Asian food. Sharks live in all the oceans of the world. Have many rows of teeth that keep growing and moving forward as they fall out. Perceived as scary.”
“Not scary Ella,” Tyson shook his head. “They are nice. Just look scary.”
“Nice, like Tyson,” Ella blushed.
Piper whispered to Reyna, “I’m not usually sappy but that’s adorable.”
“They are a sweet couple,” agreed the praetor.
Percy was nodding. “Ella’s right. Sharks are nice like Tyson. They can look scary but they act like giant puppies.”
No one knew what to reply to that so the projection played again. Nearby his classmates were being fished out by other aquarium workers. Percy was still in the tank reaching out to pet all the sharks. Finally he was tugged out to the hateful stares of his fellow students, teachers and the tour guide.
“You young man,” started one of the teachers, “are in deep trouble.”
The projection ended. Everyone stared at Percy. Then Leo started laughing. In a moment Chris, Will and Apollo were too. Then Jason and Grover had turned their grins into full on laughs. Magnus and Frank were next. Then everyone else burst into laughter. It took them a while to calm down.
“I’m sorry but why were you in trouble?” Juniper asked. “The tour guide pointed at two levers and you pressed one.”
“That’s my luck,” Percy shrugged.
Thalia nodded. “Percy has horrible luck when it comes to getting into situations. Getting out of them is where he gets lucky.”
“Extremely lucky,” Nico agreed. Percy gave him a look showing he understood exactly what circumstances Nico was talking aboud.
“My school life is just one example,” Percy agreed.
“Why?” Samira asked. “Surely these three incidents are an anomaly.”
“No. Something bad happened every year. I was expelled until I hit eighth grade. Seven different schools.”
“You attended seven different schools?” Piper gaped. “Even with all I did trying to get Dad’s attention my record was two.”
“Mine was four,” Alex said. “Once for being genderfluid.”
“One,” Sadie said. “Though I suppose I’m just better at not being caught.”
“You’re good at a lot of things,” Walt whispered to her.
“I guess,” Percy said (not hearing Walt) although he agreed with Sadie. “Can we just finish watching me be expelled?”
“Can we eat after?” Grover asked.
“Just watch,” Rachel said with an eye roll effectively shutting him up.
They were now on a field.
Annabeth surveyed it eyes wide. Reyna did the same. “Saratoga,” both said at once.
Magnus rolled his eyes and turned to warn Alex, “Don’t ask.”
Several kids were looking at a battlefield display and looking at the reenactments. Percy was among them around a year older than they had last seen him. He was looking at the actors load a canon. He looked at it curiously. The actors turned to answer a tourist’s questions. Percy walked forward and looked at the canon. He fiddled around with it and pushed it so it faced a different side.
“You didn’t,” the people almost as destructive as him said at once. That meant Alex, Leo, Thalia, Sadie, and in this case Clarisse. The latter had a wicked grin on her face.
“Prissy if you’re about to do what I think you are… well you might not be as much of a punk as I thought.”
“No,” Percy said with a smirk. “You’ll think that no matter what.”
“What is he about to do?” Zia asked Sadie.
Percy had managed to move the cannon so much so that it was now facing a different way. He walked around to the end of it and at the rope attatched. Curiously he pulled. To his surprise it ignited a spark. With the instincts of a trained soldier or a demigod he jumped to the side and covered his ears. A shot had been fired and it was heading straight toward the yellow school bus.
The scene paused as the people in the room turned to look at Percy. Annabeth especially was gaping and almost glaring. “What exactly was the thought process there?”
“I was curious,” Percy replied putting on his innocent puppy dog eyes.
“Annabeth are you serious? That was amazing!” Sadie yelled. “Even some of my best spells can’t create explosions that amazing.”
“I think the explosions I’ve seen you make are pretty powerful,” Walt disagreed.
“You do have a knack for them,” Carter agreed.
“Percy,” Sadie continued ignoring her fellow Egyptians. “What was the most powerful explosion you’ve ever caused?”
“The bad boat,” Tyson suggested when Percy didn’t answer.
“Mt. St. Helens,” Annabeth disagreed.
Percy looked at Calypso then nodded. “Yeah. That I think.”
“The volcano?” asked Frank.
“You exploded a Volcano? Teach me your ways!” Sadie pleaded.
“That does sound fun,” Alex agreed.
“We will get along brilliantly,” Sadie said. “Percy teach us.”
“It’s not so fun so no,” Percy replied. He was staring at Sadie before he looked at Annabeth again. His frown had turned into a bright smile and everyone was looking at him very confused.
“Let’s just finish,” he said. He had Annabeth hand in his trying to shake off the feeling that he had just gotten. He was still sure Sadie was a product of his and Annabeth’s DNA like in that Sci-Fi movie he had seen. Not that he would say it.
Everyone on the field was looking at the bus as it exploded. Phones were brought out and soon enough sirens were heard. The actors were looking for what had gone wrong when they saw Percy. One grabbed him by the arm and pulled him forward. “Who’s kid is this?”
A teacher walked forward and glared at Percy. “Jackson. I apologize. Sadly he is my student.”
She walked him away toward the other students. Another teacher was calling another bus. “Jackson you are a danger to everyone around you. I shall see that you never return to Washington Junior High ever again.”
The projection ended and Percy gave them all a joking smile. “That was grades three, four and five. I got expelled for all those things and bringing danger to everyone around me.” He stopped and muttered under his breath. “Some things never change.”
Annabeth frowned hearing that but Percy was continuing. “Let’s eat. It’s Lunch back home and I’m starved. There a place to get burgers around here?” he grinned to Thalia and Nico (His fellow burger loving cousins).
As if an answer to his question a door appeared to the side of the couch that Hearth, Blitz, Hazel and Frank were on. It was labeled Cafeteria. With a grumbling stomach and after exchanging a look Percy and Grover charged in the lead.