A new projection rose. They were walking through the fields of Asphodel. Around them were millions of spirits. At one point they passed a path to the Fields of punishment. They kept pushing through spirits, all grey and devoid of any part of their old life. Then at one point Annabeth stopped to stare at something. Hades castle was looming in the distance. Percy and Grover stood beside her.
“Why are they showing this?” Annabeth asked. “It wasn’t so important.”
“No. Not until we got closer,” agreed Grover.
“Let’s watch and see.”
Annabeth opened her mouth but all that came out was a buzz. She was looking at a bright area in a different direction. Spirits floated by, all the souls of the dead. Then suddenly, right by them was a dead spirit with a little more color than the rest. Her eyes were flecked with gold. Dim brown was in her skin and black was in her curly hair. She looked at them curiously unlike the other spirits that just passed by and through them. Then they trudged on.
“We really are going to see almost everyone,” Jason noted.
“Do you remember that?” Frank asked her.
“Dimly. I remember living walking by and wondering why they were there. It’s not strong and I can’t really recognize them,” Hazel replied.
“Wait,” Carter asked. “That’s you?”
“I’m sure it will explain the whole story later,” Piper tried so Hazel wouldn’t have to say anything.
“It’s fine. I was there for a while, Nico saved me around a year ago,” she told them. “It’s hard to talk about so you’ll just have to wait to hear me explain in this picture.”
“It’s called a movie, but that’s not even what it is,” Leo told her. “It’s more like a 3-D hologram.”
“Like in a sci-fi film,” agreed Annabeth.
“Back to my question. Are we all going to pop up in Percy’s life before we’ve actually met him?” Jason asked.
“Not all of us,” pointed out Thalia. “Clarisse wasn’t in it. He’s already met Will, Chris and Grover. They weren’t in it either.”
“Unless he shows up in England then no,” Sadie told them.
“Or Egypt,” Carter agreed. “I was in museums or hotels when I was in any city. You won’t see me.”
“Unless you guys come to Boston it’s the same,” agreed Magnus.
“So maybe just the seven, or people who were on the Argo II at some point,” Annabeth suggested.
“That makes sense,” Rachel told her. “And I have a feeling it’s right.”
“Wow. So I guess we should be on the lookout,” Jason said.
After a few miles of walking…….they were waiting for us. “I suppose….turn back.”
“We’ll be okay.”
“Maybe we should……for instance….”
“Come….boy,” Annabeth grabbed Grover’s arms. He yelped and his shoes started to fly. His legs pulled him away, dragging him through the grass.
“But I didn’t—”
He yelped again….away from them.
“What’s happening?” asked Sam.
“I have no clue,” Piper told her.”
“The magic on the shoes shouldn’t work like that,” Chris noted. “Unless—”
A glare from Annabeth and Clarisse shut him up before he spoiled anything.
No table to let it go Sadie looked at him strangely. “Unless what?”
Juniper shrieked. Ella held out her claw and let Juniper squeeze it in fear as she covered her eyes. Grover sighed. “I’m fine. This was years ago.”
Percy reached for Grover’s hand but he was going to fast. Annabeth and Percy ran after him. “Untie the shoes!”
Grover unfortunately had no core muscle strength. He couldn’t sit up to try and untie the laces.
“Where are the magic shoes taking Goat-Boy?” asked Tyson.
“No where good,” the Satyr answered darkly.
Nico paled. “You’re right. Thalia move over and make some room.”
“We’re fine,” Percy told him. “We’re over it.”
“We’ll be fine for now. Until we actually get there I’ll be fine with small reminders,” Annabeth agreed.
Now other’s were starting to catch on. Frank paled almost as much as Nico. “How’d you get away?”
Grover grinned. “Satyr secret.”
Grover got faster. They ran as fast as they could. The walls narrowed and they entered a tunnel. “Grover! Hold….to something!”
He was grabbing at the floor. The dirt fell from his fingers. Percy and Annabeth slowed as they saw where the tunnel ended. The tunnel widened into……straight toward the edge. “Come on Percy!” Annabeth sped up again.
“I know…..catch him.”
“Sure, forget about me while I’m about to die,” Grover said.
“Sorry, it’s kind of scary,” Percy told him.
“I know,” Grover said gently.
He was yelling, clawing…..get to him in time. Then it happened. The flying sneakers…..like an anchor.
Everyone sighed in relief. Then several people looked at Grover. Leo was the first to crack. He laughed. “The hooves. You were saved by the hooves.”
“Don’t knock them,” Grover protested.
“Dude,” Magnus told him. “It’s kind of funny.”
“No,” Grover told him. “Not at all.”
“It actually really is,” agreed a giggling Hazel.
“She’s right,” Juniper laughed.
“Sorry man,” Percy grinned. Grover threw someone’s discarded shoe at him. That sent everyone into another fit of laughter. When they calmed down settling back into their seats it started again.
He was ten feet……back up the slope. The other shoe tugged itself off…the chasm to join it’s twin.
“Ow,” Percy rubbed his head. “I could swear it still had some hoof in that shoe.”
That led to another fit of giggles.
Then they all collapsed…..with rocks. Grover was scratched up…..he was terrified. “I don’t know…..didn’t…”
“Percy, this place—”
“I can’t hear anything,” frowned Reyna. “Are you sure it is not fear?”
“No,” Percy replied along with Grover and Annabeth.
“Then why could you hear it before Grover?” asked Apollo. “Satyr’s have better senses than demigods.”
“I don’t know,” Percy frowned. Annabeth seemed to be speculating.
Percy uncapped his sword. The sound stopped. “Magic.”
“I don’t know,” Sadie said. “I suppose.”
“It is,” Hazel told her. “Dark, ancient and horrible magic.”
“That’s terrifying,” Zia said. “Like the voice of the serpent.”
“Or the whispers of Loki and his minions,” Magnus shuddered.
“I don’t really know what either of you are saying but it is,” Frank said. “More than I thought.”
“It’s about just as bad as Gaea,” Piper whispered.
“Scarily,” agreed Jason.
“We have to….of here.” They pulled up Grover and ran. Percy stumbled but got up after a moment. They ran back into Asphodel. The wind died…..gotten away.
“What is that thing?” asked a nervous Blitz.
“Won’t tell us,” Hearth reminded him.
“Not telling,” Percy said.
“See?” Hearth signed to Blitz again. The Svartelf sighed and slumped back in resignation as they waited for the next part to begin.