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Waterlogged

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Percy was normal. He was average and mundane and so utterly boring that he could disappear in the background without a trace. He was Percy and just Percy.

That was okay. He liked normal. Normal is good.

He didn’t want to be taken out from that normal.

-

The world he lived in was dangerous. Murders happened left and right and bank robberies were spoken about like the weather. Life was hard here.

That was why the world he lived in had superheroes.

16 percent of the people born in the world were gifted with powers and strengths of sorts. Some had the ability to go through fire, some had the ability to manipulate minds. People with blessed intelligence could also save lives. No one knew where these powers came from, but thankfully, Percy had none, and for that he was grateful.

He spent the next 12 years of his life in quiet peace, lucky enough not to get involved in the danger.

Granted, school was tough. He didn’t like the way people settled things there. There were rumors and backstabbing and betrayal. Percy glared at whoever glanced his way, and they stayed away. The only person he did like was Grover. A scrawny kid with a target drawn on his back with permanent marker. Percy made sure to stick close with him.

All in all, he liked his life. It was bland, but it was his.

-

He had felt something watch him all week. He was nervous to tell his mom, reluctant to make her worry for no reason at all. You couldn’t catch something you couldn’t see. Percy brought pepper spray just in case.

That night when he was coming home, he felt the hands before it could even grab him. His fingers quickly found the pocket containing his pepper spray and he sprinted like his life depended on it. Which, you know, it kind of did.

He felt the edge of his shirt grab on to some tangled wires of a barbed fence, catapulting him backwards. In those five seconds, Percy managed to use up all the curse words in his very limited dictionary. He fell on his back, his lungs straining for air. He was gasping and he was scared. His knuckles turned white from clutching the bottle of spray so tightly.

His legs felt numb as hands finally grabbed his shoulders. He felt himself being picked up like a ragdoll. He lifted up the pepper spray bottle in one swift motion as he felt eyes staring at his face.

He took in a sharp breath and aimed. Percy pressed the top of the nozzle so hard he thought it might pop off.

“FUCK- Grab the kid! What the hell are you waiting for?”

His head hit the ground, his thoughts in disarray before scrambling up. Percy ran as fast as a concussed 12 year old could, before he felt himself being knocked face first into a pole.

Stars were dancing in his vision as he felt his knees buckle. Distant footsteps seemed to be coming closer to him.

This is so embarrassing.

-

Percy dreamt of a girl with eyes like a raging storm. She stared at him like he wasn’t worth her time, her face scrunched up to an intimidating scowl. Percy thought he would have liked to be her friend if her displeasure would be aimed somewhere else.

The dream shifted and he watched as the girl with stormy eyes blink out of his vision. He suddenly felt nauseated and sick to the stomach, his lungs filling up with some sort of jelly-like substance. He willed his eyes to stay open as a flash of orange hit his senses. Text swam in front of his eyes.

Camp Half-Blood?

-

Percy wanted to say he woke up gasping with air, but instead of air, he ended up choking on a thick gooey substance. His vision blurred around the edges as he tried his best to wipe the goo out of his eyes. When he wiped out a decent amount of the substance from his face, he realized he was knee deep in the thick liquid.

He started to panic when he realized he was caged in a glass tank, the top sealed with a metal lid. He looked out in the glass windows, startled to find several people with white coats watching him. Some were even taking notes. He squinted on the initials of their coats. K.A was an odd name for a human-experimentation laboratory. Or at least, that was where he thinks he was.

He was stuck in his own head when he realized too late that they were opening the lid of his tank. He tried jumping up, only to slip on the goop and land flat on his back, cheeks flushed. He felt like an animal in an exhibition.

Percy watched in mild horror as more goop was thrown inside the tank, now filling up to his chest when he stood up. He wanted to scream.

When it started reaching to his neck, he waddled through the substance to start banging on the tank windows, his fists leaving trails of transparent goo on the clear glass.

He vaguely remembered his face feeling wet, but he continued to bang the glass. He felt suffocated. But no matter what he did, the people outside seemed to turn a blind eye to his silent pleas and continued noting down furiously.

In an attempt of freedom, he clawed at the glass before throwing himself at it in a fury. He started screaming when he slipped and ended up hitting the surface of the tank with more force than needed, instantly bruising his shoulder blade. He felt like a desperate animal in captivity.

He sank down and tilted his head upwards in a helpless manner. He must have been doing this for hours. How did this even happen? Percy was not special. He was twelve and lived with his mother. Percy seemed to sink down lower when he realized the heartbreak he must have caused his mother when he was kidnapped. Percy took a handful of the goop and threw it towards the glass in frustration, obscuring the view of the labcoat people from watching him. He felt a slight twinge of satisfaction.

He closed his eyes as his hands laid limply on his sides. Oxygen felt scarce as he tried to gulp down as much air as possible without swallowing the goo.

He exhaled lightly as the final batch of the thick goo was dropped on him.

-

Percy wasn’t sure if he was awake anymore. He was suspended in the goop now, eyes closed as his face turned into a serene expression of acceptance. He felt his chest constrict from the mouthfuls of the substance he seemed to constantly take in.

He was drifting between consciousness when he suddenly heard screaming. Loud and wet and blood curled shrieks of agony drifted through the air like a melody of some sort. Percy couldn’t be bothered to feel bad.

That was, until he suddenly felt himself being slammed into the tiles of the floor, shards of glass-covered-goop surrounding him. He turned his head away quickly, vomiting gallons of goop and bile that never seemed to end. Breaths of air wracked his form as he crouched down, backing away to the nearest corner available. When he seemed to get a hold of himself, he looked up to his rescuers, sea-green eyes dull with exhaustion.

Stormy grey eyes met him head on.

He felt his eyes unconsciously catch the front of the blonde girl’s neon orange shirt, dark grey gear barely allowing him to peek at the logo.

Percy felt his stomach drop.

“Camp Half-Blood?” As if in slow motion, he could feel his body tilt sideways before darkness blanketed him into unconsciousness.