Once the laughter calmed down they turned forward waiting for the next part of Percy’s story. The projection started with a woman sitting with Percy on the edge of a bed. Everyone recognized the woman from the first projection. This was Percy’s mom, Sally Jackson.
Percy was eating blue sour strings while the woman ruffled his hair. She had sparkling blue-green eyes and long brown hair streaked with gray. Her uniform was red- white and blue. “I have a surprise…. the beach.”
“As soon…. get changed.”
“I get that your dad is the god of the sea but what’s so special about this cabin?” Apollo asked curiously.
“It’s where Dad met Mom. We used to go every summer but Gabe wouldn’t let us the two summers before this one. There wasn’t enough money he claimed.”
Everyone scoffed and disgusted looks came onto each of their faces when said man entered the projection.
“Bean… you hear me?”
“He’s a jerk,” Alex declared. “You don’t have to live with him anymore right?”
“He’s been gone for almost five years,” Percy smiled. “I think you’ll see why.”
Everyone kept their eyes trained waiting for Gabe to be gone when Percy laughed. “I think you’ll have to wait a little longer.”
Percy and Sally exchanged glances. A silent deal. Sally turned to Gabe and gave him a fake smile. “I was on my….. the trip.”
Gabe glared at Percy narrowing his eyes. “The trip? …. serious about that?”
“I knew….. us go,” muttered Percy.
“Of course he…. sour cream. The works.”
“Your mom sounds amazing,” Jaz smiled.
“She’s the best,” Percy smiled. “Mom has a lot of patience. Needed it to put up with me.”
“We all do,” Annabeth sighed.
Percy raised his eyebrow knowing she was joking.
“Aunt Sally is amazing,” Nico said smiling for once. “Never surprised when I turn up from the shadows.”
“She took care of all the hunters once,” Thalia said.
“Cause she keeps the house open for any demigods in need. I think that includes the Norse and Egyptians too. Mom is happy to spoil anyone.”
“Percy’s lucky to have a good mom,” Jason muttered.
“One who’s still here,” agreed Frank. “Not that I don’t love Sally.”
Nico, Leo, Magnus and the Kanes looked down too. They all had fantastic mothers. Their mothers just weren’t here anymore like Sally Jackson seemed to be.
“I am. I will say that I know what if feels like to have lost her, or thought too. Nico, Leo and Frank, you’ve met her. You know she’s there if you guys need anything and Magnus. Well, any relative of Annabeth’s is already family in our book. I’ve been meaning to ask you too to come by two. We’ll have to do it after,” Percy said gesturing to the Kanes. All six teens muttered thanks then an awkward silence fell letting the projection start right up again.
Gabe smirked. “So this money…. clothes budget right?”
“Good thing Drew is no longer here. The idea of a clothes budget would knock her unconscious,” Piper laughed.
“That’s a good thing,” Sadie pointed out.
“It’s horrible. I mean that she has to pay when they’re married. I bet she supplies everything for him!” Hazel protested.
“And you won’t take… and back.”
“We’ll … very careful.”
Gabe itched his pudgy chin which had food crumbs on it. “Maybe if you hurry…. interrupting my poker game.”
“I’m sorry…. to it right now.”
Gabe squinted trying to detect the sarcasm. “Yeah, whatever.”
He left the room. Sally turned and smiled at Percy. “Thank you, Percy….. to tell me, okay?”
“How’d she know?” Hearth signed.
“She just did,” Percy said leaving no room for any other questions.
“I still want her to punch that man in the face,” Reyna muttered.
“I think we all do,” nodded Calypso. “I do no think I would mind punching someone in this case.”
“Neither do I,” Juniper agreed.
“Well I never mind,” Clarisse said. “So can we find him and do it?”
“Shh! I love your violent tendencies but it’s starting again,” Chris told her putting an arm around her shoulder. Rolling her eyes Clarisse settled into him to watch.
Gabe stood in the doorway as Percy walked downstairs lugging some bags to the car. He held a beer bottle in his hand and laughed cruelly anytime Percy stumbled with the bags.
“It’s not fair. Sally can’t just be leaving to the stupid beach when she has some of those wings to make. Not fair.”
Percy grumbled showing his anger at his stepfather’s idiocy and rudeness. Gabe glared back at him. “Not a scratch….. one little scratch.”
“But Percy will not be driving the car. He is twelve!” Tyson protested.
“New York. Legal driving age as of now, 17.”
“You’re right Tyson,” Percy told his brother. “You and Ella are. That was just Gabe.”
No one seemed to know what to respond. However the silence didn’t last long as they watched what happened next.
Watching him lumber back….. and told my mom to step on it.
“How did you do that?” Apollo demanded.
“I don’t know!”
“It shouldn’t be possible. No one can do that. Unless he was a monster or something, even then that’s not how it works!” protested the now mortal god.
“It could be the water particles in the air?” suggested Annabeth.
“It wasn’t,” Grover shook his head. “We all know that it wasn’t.”
“Was it magic?” Walt asked curiously. “Like a spell you didn’t know you were doing? I have experience with that.”
“I don’t think so,” Percy said. “I don’t understand the big deal. I just did the sign.”
“That’s not what it’s supposed to do though!” Apollo said again.
“Dude I’m pretty sure you could only do that with magic or with power over the air, like me,” Jason nudged Percy.
“Well, I only have power over winds to use for storms, like hurricanes. At least I think.”
“How have you not thought about this?” Annabeth asked.
“Because I haven’t! We can talk about this later. I want to get this harder part done soon. Preferably before we have to eat or sleep.”
The projection started with Percy standing on a beach. It was storming on the beach………. And I screamed, No!
“Um I’m sorry but what was that?” Magnus asked.
“A dream,” Percy answered simply.
“I’ve had my share of dreams. Most of them trips through the duat. None have been that weird,” Carter said. They had been frightening though.
“Well that dream wasn’t about two animals. It was about my dad.”
Before Percy could finish Thalia and Jason groaned. “Ours too.”
“Your dad?” Hearth signed.
“Zeus, king of the gods and controller of the sky. He happens to fight a lot with his brothers, Percy’s and Nico’s dads,” Thalia replied.
“Why are you dreaming about them?” Jason asked. “I mean, dreams always have to do with something. At least for demigods.”
“They do. Percy has particularly bad ones,” Grover said.
“This is just the beginning,” agreed the said teen.
Percy woke up. Outside it really was…… wasn’t exactly Grover.
“Dude, way to shock him,” Will said raising an eyebrow.
“Well I didn’t really have time to explain it all,” Grover replied dryly.
“Why?” Zia asked eyebrow raised.
Grover held up a finger in reply pointing to the 3D figure of his younger self and Percy.
“Searching all….you thinking?”
Sally turned to Percy pale and gasping. “Percy, what happened….didn’t you tell me?”
“O Zeu…..Didn’t you tell her?”
“Percy. Tell me now!”
Sally’s tone shook everyone in the room. The kind woman didn’t look like someone to ever respond to her son like that. Something was really wrong.
“Mrs. Dodds,” Percy stammered. “She was this bat monster. I used Mr. Brunner’s pen to kill her. No one heard of her. Then the ladies, they cut the string at the fruit stand. They had sasquatch socks.”
Sally stared. She grabbed her purse and shoved Percy’s rain jacket into his arms. “Get to…. Go!”
“This is it?” Clarisse asked.
“Yep,” Percy said somberly.
“What?” Nico asked. He had known Percy almost four or five years now. Still he was realizing, there was a lot about his cousin he did not know.
“I know it was probably scary but I’ve always wanted to see this,” Chris said.
“It was terrifying,” Percy agreed. “You get your wish. Just happens to be one of my nightmares.”