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 Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth.

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Morgan Landry
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Morgan Landry

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PostSubject: Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth.   Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Icon_minitime10/18/2014, 7:43 am

Hello there :)

So this is a short story I wrote back in May/ June as an impro, about Maybeth's character Jason and my character Victoria (who are dating and it is one of my biggest OTPs). Basically, I had been reading up on Jason's Life Before Camp:

Spoiler:
 

So I got inspired and went ahead to write a short impro about this family secret. I don't know if that's what you had in mind, Maybeth, but I hope you nonetheless like this :) Please don't be too hard on me because it is an improvisation, so there may be some logic mistakes or other errors (and because I'm a franco-german potato). Sorry if I don't write Jason as good as you do D:
(Also, I added some music because it was the music I listened to when writing this. Original soundtracks of Divergent and Illuminati, none belong to me.)

Anyway, here goes nothing.



Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. XzHEFz6

Chapter 1

"Victoria."

The teenager looked up from her book, Feynman's QED. Her dirty blonde hair was sloppily bound in a tousled ponytail, many streaks escaping the elastic band to frame her face. In front of her stood Jason, the son of Apollo; he looked nervous and somewhat curious, she could see it just the way his brow furrowed.

"What is it?" She asked, not standing up from the stairs in front of the Athena pavilion.

"I found something in my cabin this morning. It was on my bunk, I didn't put it there, and it doesn't belong to any of my siblings, I asked them." Frowning, he took a white-yellowish object from his pocket and handed it to her. "Do you think it was one of the Hermes kids?"

Victoria took the object in her hand; it was an ivory brooch, obviously quite old, seeing its yellow to brown color and the blunt tip, not to mention the enormous amount of scratches.

"Improbable. Hermes kids steal, they don't give."

"Yeah but like, it wasn't an accident. I'm on the top bunk, nobody'd put it there accidentally."

"Mmh. Why did you come to me with this?"

"I thought, if this pin has anything...weird, then you're the one who can tell me. I don't feel like getting pranked again, after last time."

Victoria nodded, smirking. "I'll have a look at it," she assured, but at that moment, the conch rang. "Dammit. Dinner. Mind if I keep it and look at it afterwards?"

Victoria briefly went into her cabin to hide the pin under her pillow, hoping it wouldn't turn into a spider in her absence, before walking with Jason towards the Mess Hall.


The next day, Jason didn't come to breakfast.

When Victoria asked Will Solace after the Mess Hall, he answered he hadn't felt well enough to come eating and that he had categorically refused any type of medicine from his siblings. Then he left for the archery range with the rest of his cabin.
Immediately, Victoria jogged over to the Apollo cabin, the morning sun already very hot on her legs, arms and hair. She knocked two times on the chiseled door, opened, walked in and stopped dead in her tracks.

"Where are you going?" She asked.

Jason gave a start, turning around. His gold-painted trunk was opened on the lowest bunk of his bunk bed and he was throwing various clothes and personal objects into an azure-blue backpack.

"Oh, it's you," he said with relief, then his expression darkened. "I had a dream, last night, about my mother. She's in danger, like, deadly danger. I have to go back to London right now and find her before whatever's after her gets to her. It's a matter of hours!"

Victoria frowned then looked at him calmly. "Do you want me to accompany you?"

"If you want to...that would be great indeed," he answered, and flashed her a smile. "I'm leaving as soon as I'm done with packing. Can't afford to lose any more time."

"Plane tickets?"

"Won't need them."

________________


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Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Tumblr_oh5m9mlVOv1sz4dg2o2_540
Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Tumblr_oh5m9mlVOv1sz4dg2o4_540





for the RP invite


Guest, you are awesome.
(My mystery box prizes: 2 god parent gifts+2 slots+1exotic pet)


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PostSubject: Re: Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth.   Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Icon_minitime10/18/2014, 7:44 am

Chapter 2

Her hair was flying behind her like a short flag, the salty sea breeze stinging her eyes, but she was concentrated, batting her eyelids every few seconds to get rid off the little tears the wind brought up at here eye corners.
Her legs, strapped to the saddle, were thrumming from the beating of her pegasus's wings, the reins tightly clutched in her hands. She was riding a chestnut brown pegasus named Luigi, while Jason rode a white one, Guido, right next to her.





They had not bothered saying goodbye; Victoria had quickly put on her anticrash vest, then grabbed her olive backpack and put in there her flight control gloves, her hoverboard (reduced to the size of a kindle and enveloped in blister wrap; the suspensors were still active so it floated around in the backpack without exercising weight), oh and two tops, her Harvard sweatshirt and a pair of grey shorts. Almost forgot the clothes. Her computer, turned into a cell phone, was in her zipped-shut pocket.
Then they had run to the stables, saddled two pegasi without taking the time to groom them and flown away, leaving a quick explanatory note on the stable door.

Now they were flying as quickly as possible, following the coast towards New York, whose outline they could already see at the horizon, the rising sun casting reflections on the high skyscrapers. Victoria shot a glance at Jason, stood up in the stirrups, the straps rubbing against her bare legs, and shortened the reins of her pegasus, crouching over the saddle. Luigi got the message and angled his wings, shooting forward.
Jason imitated her and both were now flying so fast Victoria thought the air would wipe her face off. New York was suddenly a lot more nearer, glass and metal buildings glistening in the sunlight, the Statue of Liberty proudly standing in the Upper bay.

They flew over Staten Island, shooting over Gravesend Bay then Jamaica Bay, where they could already catch a glimpse of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy airport. Victoria had always thought it looked like some kind of oyster, a sea shell, but she liked the shape of it mathematically speaking.
On their command, the two pegasi dove like eagles towards it, angling their wings sharply.

"Ready?" Victoria shouted over the wind. Jason gave her a thumb up.

Together, they kicked the pegasi's sides, having them drop down. Flying wasn't the most discrete way to infiltrate an airport, but pegasi were veiled by the Mist. Mortals usually took them for big eagles or other birds of prey, so Victoria and Jason would be fine as long as nobody looked at them too closely.

"Alright. Now to find the plane,"Jason said as they stepped down behind a shuttle bus. The pegasi unfolded their wings and soared upwards.

"On the website, the flight reference was 6143, American Airlines." She peeped from behind the shuttle bus, spotting Alaska Airlines, Alitalia, Air France, Air New Zealand...She checked her watch and cursed. "8:45. The boarding's almost over! Come on!"

They sprinted from behind the shuttle bus, racing along the wall, looking at the planes.

"What are you doing here?"A worker asked.

"Got lost!" Jason panted. "Where's the plane to London?"

"Over there, but hurry up. Where are your parents?"

They didn't answer the last question and dashed off towards a plane at the far end of the hangars. Victoria had gotten on her phone the boarding pass from Bordeaux to New York she had used in early June and clutched it in her hand; reaching the aircraft, she raced up three stairs at a time and showed the stewardess her old boardingpass. The stewardess just gestured her inside, to what Victoria smiled until she suddenly heard her calling. "Miss! Hey, miss!"

Victoria turned around. Her heart was still pounding from the run.

"Your boarding pass again, please."

She silently prayed to Athena for help, it was now or never. Reluctantly, she stepped forward and held her phone up.

"Excuse me, is there a problem?" Jason asked from behind her, and she heard him snap his fingers. "This is a boarding pass for this flight. We booked it."

The woman looked confused and bewildered, gazing at the phone's screen. It took her a few seconds, then... "Yes. Yes of course. Pardon me, I didn't... You may go to your seats."

They walked to the back of the plane and found two places next to each other, on which they sat down. Victoria looked at Jason with a surprised but appreciating expression.

"I didn't know you could manipulate the Mist so well," she said with a smile. "Chiron tried to teach me but I'm no good at it."

"It's only snapping your fingers and imagining stuff, really," he said as the plane started to move.

"Yeah, perhaps, but never mind all that. Now we got some spare time, I need to tell you something. Remember the pin from yesterday?"

"Of course, but I don't think it's really important right now."

"It's over 3500 years old. I don't have C14 dating system, but I have something pretty close in my room, though not as precise. Anyhow, it's not made of any animal bone. I thought it would be elephant ivory, but... It's a bone I can't identify so it must be a mythological creature. Third, these scratches," she took out the pin and showed two scratches to Jason.

"Yes, scratches. So?"

"They're recent. All these other scratches, they happened through the pin falling down or somebody handling it carelessly. But these two have been cut in knowingly and recently, they have a precise shape, I could see it neatly under the microscope."

"Yeah, but they don't mean anything. It's not like they are letters."

"Don't be so sure. At first I thought it was linear B, the oldest form of Ancient Greek, but it wasn't. I searched a bit more."

"And?"

"It's Phoenician.This one on the left is shin, which means 'tooth'. And the one on the right is nun, the fish."

"So what? Tooth fish? Is that what's written?"

"Fish tooth," Victoria corrected, deaf to his obvious lack of care. "You read Phoenician from right to left, like Hebrew. But it's not all. I didn't realize it at first, but then I looked at it under different lightings and analyzed some scrapes in Petri dishes. There used to be blood on the tip."

"Blood? Recent blood?"

"No, don't panic. It's so old it turned to dust aeons ago. But some traces always remain. And then, there's the last discovery.. áI used my power on it to look for spells or mechanisms...but there weren't any. Whoever gave you that pin didn't mean to harm you."

"Well that's reassuring, but as I said, I really don't think the pin matters much right now, you know."

________________


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Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Tumblr_oh5m9mlVOv1sz4dg2o2_540
Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Tumblr_oh5m9mlVOv1sz4dg2o4_540





for the RP invite


Guest, you are awesome.
(My mystery box prizes: 2 god parent gifts+2 slots+1exotic pet)


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PostSubject: Re: Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth.   Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Icon_minitime10/18/2014, 7:48 am

Chapter 3

"Jason, wake up. We're there."

Victoria smiled as Apollo's son slowly opened his green eyes, his blonde hair tousled by sleep; he wiped the eye sand from his lids and stood up hesitantly.

"By the gods, my back is stiff. How long was the flight?"

"Seven hours and thirty minutes. Come on," Victoria grabbed his arm and led him out of the plane, both their backpacks on her shoulders; Jason picked his and they took the shuttle bus towards the Gatwick airport.

They boarded the Gatwick Express, changing the little money they had into pounds, and watching the landscape fly by under the dark evening sky, clouds hanging low. It was around 9 pm. Victoria had taken out the pin and was studying it, turning it over and tapping the tip against her index.

"I'm missing something," she mumbled. "I'm missing something huge."

Jason wasn't listening, he was staring at the window without seeing it, and his hands were clenched so tightly around the straps of his backpack that his knuckles were white. Victoria could feel how nauseated and worried sick he was just by looking at him. She extended a hand to touch his fingers, and he gave a start.

"Sorry," they said together. Victoria smiled in her mind, and took Jason's hand for a couple of seconds before letting it go; they had arrived at destination.

Once out of the train, Jason started walking quickly, in long strides; Victoria had to jog to keep up. Finally, he broke into a run, which Athena's daughter imitated, easily catching up. They sprinted through streets, past a small park, ran over roads without bothering about the cars, getting angry toots. Finally, they stopped in front of a discrete little house made out of brown bricks, a lace of wisteria framing the windows; both of them were panting and sweating.
Jason took out a key from the inner pocket of his jacket, and opened the door; it smelled of withered flowers. Victoria walked in behind him, weary, passing a hand on her forehead to wipe the sweat away.

"Mum?" Jason called, closing the door. He waited, but no answer came. "Mum!" He went up a flight of stairs, temporarily disappearing from sight; Victoria used this moment to look around, studying the brownish carpet of the entrance, the wooden cupboard for the jackets, the chest of drawers with a picture of baby Jason held in the arms of a beautiful young woman, next to a withering rose. Victoria passed a finger on the chest of drawer's surface.

"Perhaps she's out with a friend," Jason said as he came down, obvious hope in his voice.

"She's not," Victoria replied. "She has been gone for at least two days."

"How do you know?"

"The dust on the chest of drawers. The withering rose. The... wait a second. Do you have a dog?"

Jason frowned. "No, why?"

"Look here. Look at these traces. The dust on the carpet is thin, but you can still make out -- here. Dog spoors. And here.... does your mother wear big boots?"

"Not that I know, not in summer. Who was here? Who is there?" he called.

"Whoever it was, they already left," she said. "There are other traces at the door. They left... not so long ago."

"There must be some kind of clue to where she went. I'll have a look at her computer, there might be plane or train ticket or something."

The two of them climbed up the stairs quickly and arrived in the first story, a large window overlooking the street. A corridor later, they were in his mother's room, but no computer was there.

"Dammit!" he cursed and kicked at a box. It fell open, paper and pencils falling out. Jason looked up at Victoria. "Alright, what's the next step?"

Victoria frowned. "Move."

"I'm sorry?"

"Move," she repeated, and gently pushed him a step back. There was something, something he had stepped on when the box had fallen open, a piece of paper with a symbol on it. Jason picked it up, Victoria coming next to him to look at it.

"What is it?" he asked.

On it was a simple sign, a bar with three downwards pointing diagonal lines on the left.

Spoiler:
 

Victoria looked up. "The window...." she whispered.

"What?"

"He. That's what's written. He, the window. It's Phoenician again."

"Why would my mother write something in Phoenician?" he asked.

"The best way to find out is to find her, so let's not bother too much about that and follow her clues, because even if it leads to a trap, she'll be right next to that trap," Victoria replied, then quickly went over to the window and opened it. Nothing was there. Not giving up, she looked left and right, and then saw another paper, sticking in the open shutter on her right. It must have been there for quite some time, seeing how rumpled and wrinkled it was by the wind. Victoria leaned out, Jason holding her shoulders, and reached to take the paper between her index and middle finger. She unfolded the paper, leaning back in while Jason closed the window.

The sign was a rectangle cut in two by a horizontal line.

Spoiler:
 
á
"Het," she said. "The wall. But which one?" Then she remembered. "Of course. There's another meaning: the courtyard. Jason, you have a courtyard here, right?"

They sprinted down the stairs, Victoria clutching the paper, and went back into the living room. Jason went to a side door, opened it and stepped into a small courtyard with folded deckchairs and some flower pots.

"Check the walls," Victoria told him.

"Well, well, well, look who we have here."

Both of them spun around. A young man in leather jacket and camouflage trousers stepped towards them, a sword in his hand; he had a red scar around his neck that didn't look healthy.

"You're Jason Duke, aren't you?" There was palpable irony in his voice as he said 'Jason Duke', as if the name was a joke.

Victoria pulled her pocket telescope from her backpack and made it unfold in her xiphos.

"What do you want?"

"Put that toothpick away, girl, you're gonna hurt yourself. Not that that ain't gonna happen anyway," he said with a wolvish grin.

"Look, this is private property, and I have to ask you to leave," Jason ordered, himself taking out his sword.

The man grinned. "Won't happen kiddo. Dad sent me here for you. Normally, I wouldn't do anything he would want, but seeing the prize... "

With that, he lunged at Jason with his blade; the son of Apollo leaned backwards, the tip stroking his chin, then the young man aimed a powerful punch in his jaw, sending him on the ground.

Next thing he knew, he was on the ground too; Victoria had sent her shield at his back like a frisbee; the man growled and stood back up, and so did Jason. Their attacker didn't seem interested in Victoria, his goal was obviously Jason as he rushed back at him with bared teeth. They exchanged blows and stabs, but he was well enough trained to manage to keep both off with a single sword. Victoria wanted to ask who he was, but was too occupied with fighting him off, wishing she had not sent her shield away.

________________


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Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Tumblr_oh5m9mlVOv1sz4dg2o2_540
Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Tumblr_oh5m9mlVOv1sz4dg2o4_540





for the RP invite


Guest, you are awesome.
(My mystery box prizes: 2 god parent gifts+2 slots+1exotic pet)


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PostSubject: Re: Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth.   Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Icon_minitime10/18/2014, 8:19 am

Chapter 4

Victoria's lip and nose were bleeding. She was trying to get to her shield but the man seemed to read in her thoughts and kicked it behind him. The daughter of Athena was fighting with her sword, keeping her boot knife for emergencies, but still attacking and defending herself fiercely, keeping her feet apart for a better balance and swiftness, her elbows bent and close to her body. Whilst she parried and stabbed, following a precise scheme, her eyes darted across the ground, looking for things that could help her while analyzing the terrain. If there was one thing that a Greek hoplite knew, it was that battle grounds were as important, sometimes more, than soldiers.
Her intense gray gaze took his movements in and she could already make out several little things, the way he leaned back a little just before aiming a hacking blow, the movement of his left hand when he swept his blade sideways...
Jason, at her side, was fighting as fiercely as her. He was not only a good fighter but a clever fighter. Seeing their opponent was taller than him, he was aiming stabs and slashes at his legs, though stayed very agile when dodging and deflecting the attacks aimed at his head and upper body.
Victoria shot him a quick glance. Without realizing it, Jason and her had started a scheme of fighting that complemented itself: when Jason was attacking his legs, Victoria would aim at his neck and torso and vice versa, forcing him to fight on two levels. The man had realized it too and was starting to grow irritated. With a powerful blow, he knocked Jason's sword out of his hand and continued with a massive punch at Victoria, sending her flying into the deckchairs.
My back, was all she could think for several seconds, her senses numb with pain. She was fortunate she had her backpack or else her spine might have suffered serious damages. She briefly worried for her hover board, but remembered it was wrapped in blister paper. When she got some more clarity, she saw Jason with a brick in one hand, a flower pot in another, deflecting the blows, his fingers bleeding. Now that the man wasn't there to keep her from it, Victoria lunged for her shield.
"Fourth mode," she hissed. "Fourth mode!" The shield collapsed into a sharp-edged discus just the moment the flower pot shattered in Jason's hand, carnations and earth spilling onto the ground.

"See you, kiddo," he smirked, raising his sword for the final blow.

"See you," Victoria growled, and sent her discus at him. It cut through his back and spun out of his chest, spraying blood and other bodily fluids around it before embedding itself in the wall. A second passed; then two. She couldn't see his face. Finally he fell on his knees, then on his chest and moved no more, red blood and flesh escaping the gruesome wound in his back.
Jason looked up at her; the discus was lodged in the wall right next to his neck. There was blood sprayed on his face and shirt, coagulating into droplets which ran down the side of his cheek and staining the cotton.

Victoria wiped the blood from her nose and chin; her back was still aching like the seven hells so her first steps were careful.

"Are you alright?" Jason asked, coming closer to her and putting an arm around her shoulders. She just nodded.

"Quick, let's search the walls now," she said, taking the discus from the bricks, turning it's edges dull and wiping the blood and flesh away on the man's own leather jacket. Jason turned around and inspected the walls, looking between each brick and testing each stone. On her side, Victoria did the same. Her nails were scraping against the rough stone, but she didn't care that two nails broke.

"Got it," Jason triumphantly said after a minute, jogging over to Victoria, holding an earth-covered paper. "It was between two bricks, behind a flower pot. What sign is this?"

Victoria looked at the unfolded, dirty paper. The glyph looked like a sideways delta.

Spoiler:
 

"Daleth, the house. That's... weird and slightly illogical. Why would your mother want us to go out then back in?"

"Perhaps she's talking about this house," Jason said, pointing at the small garden house, then opening the little wooden door half hidden under wisteria.

The shed smelled of earth and metal, and Victoria took out her flashlight to see something in the darkness. Jason's eyes looked feverish as he stepped to look at a line of hooks, examining each. Victoria followed him, looking under some garden furniture. The floor under her made a hollow sound as she stepped on it.

"Where did you just step?" Jason asked, and looked at the stone she had just set her foot on. They looked at each other then knelt down, testing the stone with their fingers. If it sounded hollow, it meant there must be a space under it. After several attempts at lifting it, they took their swords out again, dug the tip between the stone and the rest of the floor, and heaved it upwards with an ear-grating creak.
A small paper laid folded in the hollow space under the stone and Jason immediately bent forward to pick it up.

"I wonder what sign this is gonna be," Victoria whispered, walking closer to read over his shoulder.

"It's not a sign. It's a phone number."

Victoria's brow furrowed and she looked at the number.

"You know it?"

"Not at all. Look at the dial code; this is not a UK number."

Indeed, the code was +355.

"What country is it?"

"Albania," Victoria replied after having checked on her phone.

"Albania? What the heck?"

"Don't ask me," she said. "Let's call it."

She selected the number on her phone under Jason's restless eyes, and put it to her right ear.
It beeped once; twice; thrice. Victoria let it beep into the void eight times before hanging up and calling it again. Again, it beeped into the void endlessly before a pleasant feminine voice started talking in Albanian, no doubt indicating the person she was trying to call was unavailable at the moment and suggesting she leave a message.

"Nobody there?" Jason asked; Victoria gloomily nodded. "Gods dammit!"

"Not surprising, it must be like, 11 or midnight over there. Wait a second," she told him, typing quickly on her phone.

"What are you doing?"

"Tracing the number."

Just at the moment, a shadow fell across the door.

"Missed me?" The young man asked, and cut down on them with his sword.

Victoria grabbed a deckchair just in time to shield them both; the sword cut through it as if it was made out of butter.

"Didn't I kill you five minutes ago?" she disapprovingly frowned.

At that moment, Jason grabbed another chair and flung it square into his stomach, knocking the breath out of him, just enough to grab Victoria's hand, dash out of the shed, back into the house and out in the street.

"Come on!" He breathed, clenching her hand in his. Their backpacks were hitting their shoulder blades and spine with the rhythm of their feet. Victoria ran faster, her aching back shooting bolts of pain down her legs, but she kept a steady rhythm. They wove between cars on the road, jumping over handrails and benches, hearing the loud thudding of their assailant's combat boots on the pavement as they raced for their lives.

"Who is this guy," Victoria heard Jason mutter under his breath. Heck, if I knew, she thought, but didn't say it. She had said 'I don't know' too many times in the last days. She felt weird.

"There! The tube!"

Both sprinted towards it, praying Olympus for a train. They jumped over the ticket-checking-machine and ran towards the platform; they'd take the next best train. Looking at the panel, though, they realized it came only in three minutes. They doubted they even had thirty seconds. Victoria looked at the opposite platform. The train was scheduled for...now.

"Jason. We gotta get on the other side."

"What?"

There was no time. Victoria could already see the lights of the train in the tunnel. Grabbing his hand again, she raced towards the rails, jumped down onto them under the gasps of the people around them, sprinted to the other side and climbed up, helping Jason reach her....Swoosh. The train rushed into the station just the moment Jason got his legs on the platform.

"What do you think you're doing?" An old lady reprimanded. Jason and Victoria ignored her, like they ignored the looks of the other people, walking into the train as normally as possible. Looking through the window, Victoria could see their assailant arriving on the opposite platform, looking for them; she quickly ducked and hid away.

The train departed. Victoria let out a long sigh of relief, grateful for every atom of air she exhaled.

Jason sat down next to her, sweat beading his face, giving the drying blood on his face a stickier texture. The persons in the train were looking at them very strangely.

"So what now?" He asked in a hushed voice. "Did you trace the number?"

Victoria checked her phone. "My computer did. The person it belongs to lives in Fier, a city not too far from Tirana. Here's the address."

Jason looked at the display of her phone and nodded, glancing at her. They both thought the same: his mother was somewhere in Fier, either kept by this person or hiding there. If this person hadn't been important, she wouldn't have bothered hiding his phone number like this. "Albania, why not. Seems we'll have to pull this morning's trick again."

Victoria stayed silent, she was researching something on the Internet. Finally she spoke.

"No, we won't. The next flight from London to Tirana is in two days."

"What?! "

But Victoria was still typing and scrolling on her flat, silver phone.

"Tell me you're joking," Jason begged in a feeble voice.

"I'm not."

"But...what are we gonna do? We can't stay here, we gotta find her!"

"We'll have to ride a train then," she replied.

"A train. To Albania."

"No, to Paris." She showed him her phone. "Next flight for Tirana: 6 am. If we take the 10:30 o'clock train from here, we can make it. Whatcha say?"

"I say we should be quick. It's already 10:14 pm."

________________


Click on the gifs


Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Tumblr_oh5m9mlVOv1sz4dg2o2_540
Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Tumblr_oh5m9mlVOv1sz4dg2o4_540





for the RP invite


Guest, you are awesome.
(My mystery box prizes: 2 god parent gifts+2 slots+1exotic pet)


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PostSubject: Re: Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth.   Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Icon_minitime10/18/2014, 8:48 am

Chapter 5

Jason soon understood that when Victoria said 'riding a train', she meant it quite literally.

They had to change the line of the tube since they were going in the wrong direction, and rode their way across London towards St Pancras station.
Once there, they both checked the clock.

"Oh, Hades' pants," Jason cursed. It was 10:28. "Come on!!"

They sprinted into the station, looking at the different platforms before racing over to the Eurostar. Its doors were closed and it started driving forward just the moment Jason and Victoria hurtled on the platform.

"No!" Jason shouted as the train started leaving the station. "Why....Just.... One more minute and we would've made it!"

"We haven't missed it yet," Victoria panted. "I have an idea. Come on, this way," she said and ran back out of the station, then along its left side, the high red brick walls on their right looking brown in the darkness.

They sprinted past the station, next to the red brick building and the covered platforms into a kind of park filled with trees in which people were having an evening stroll, shooting surprised glances at them both (because yes, Jason had still blood on his face and shirt); but they had grown accustomed to those looks.

They left the path to hide behind a couple of high bushes, where Victoria put her backpack on the ground.

"It's leaving," she heard Jason mutter and looked up; indeed, the Eurostar train was almost out of sight.

Victoria opened her backpack fast and put a hand in it but her fingers didn't close around something she had expected. Frowning, she took out two breathing masks she had never put in there. A gift from her mother, or from Apollo? Victoria could feel her plan change slightly in her mind.

Putting the two masks back in, she retrieved the floating hoverboard, now the size of a kindle, and quickly unwrapped the blister paper as she took it out.





"Size three," she told the device, which developed in a series of mechanical clicks into her hoverboard, though a bit larger than normal. Victoria stepped on it, the ferromagnets in her shoes adhering to the board's surface whilst she shrugged into her anticrash vest, pulled on her flight control gloves and took her lab goggles, putting them in third mode so they expanded from cheekbone to temple. "Come on," she told Jason, offering him a hand. He grabbed her palm and heaved himself onto the board, passing his arms around her stomach, his navel pressed against her backpack. Victoria pushed on the front of the board with her right foot and they hovered forward; she could feel Jason struggling to keep his balance, bending his knees and holding on tightly as they shot towards the train, the dark night sky making them less visible. Victoria made her board climb up in the air by raising a finger and soon enough they had almost caught up with the train, now floating behind it.


"WATCH OUT!" Jason shouted and pushed Victoria down -- just in time. She had been so focused on the train she had almost overlooked the bridge. It made her loose her concentration and the board danced to the left, missing an overhead line by a couple of inches. Victoria turned them around with a twist of her legs, like she would when snowboarding, and crouched down to get faster towards the train.

"Get ready," she told Jason as they managed to get above it, flying fast. Once they were on the middle of the train, Victoria put her hands on the board.

"Second magnets: on," she said in a loud voice to cover the wooshing noise of the air. The board vibrated once then sunk a bit.
"What was that?" Jason asked.

"Those are common dipolar magnets," she replied over the wind. "They connect to the surface of the train; let me adjust the height."

She crouched down slowly, Jason imitating her movements, and tapped some keys on the áholographic keyboard she had generated with a click on the side of her board. The board lowered again, they went under the overhead line, then lowered again until the board got suddenly attracted by the train's surface and stuck to it. Victoria's hair was flying behind her; they were both still crouching.

"Size four," she told the board, who responded by expanding to the sides, until it stopped at one meter fifty of width. Victoria took one glove off and handed it to Jason.

"Here," she said.

"Isn't that your flight control glove? Shouldn't you... not take it off?"

"It's deactivated for now. But ferromagnets are activated. Pull it on and put your hand on the board, that way you won't fall off."

He did as she told him, and put a hand into the glove. "Gods, this is heavy." Jason then put his hand on the board's surface, where it connected with a heavy click.

"Come forward," Victoria said and pulled him next to her; then they both laid down and watched the train under and in front of them, the town melting either side of them in a soup of shapes and colors.

They lay side to side, their hair pushed backwards by the wind. Jason's eyes were watering. Finally, he tilted his head to the side and put it on the magnetic board, looking at Victoria, the overhead line racing above them. Without a word, he reached out and took her gloveless hand; Victoria looked at him, her eyes protected by her lab goggles, smiled and pressed his fingers. Her nose had resumed bleeding from the fight, and so did her lower lip; only then did she realize it was broken. Now she understood why people had looked weirdly at her too.

"How much time?" Jason asked, his voice scattered by the wind.

"About three hours," she replied with a wince as blood ran into her mouth.

They stayed silent for several minutes, the train slowly leaving London.

"Who do you think that was?" Jason finally asked. Victoria knew he was talking about the young man.

"I... I'm wondering too," she answered. "He said something about his father. That... he wouldn't do anything his father would want."

"Any clues?"

"Geez, there are so many son-father hatred relationships in mythology," she stated, to what Jason nodded with a I know right look. "We could browse all of Hesiod's and Homer's works and have not even half of those."

They fell silent again, resting on the hoverboard, their muscles aching as they held each other's hand softly; finally Victoria activated the heating function of the board, closed her eyes and ignored the paining emptiness in her stomach which indicated how hungry and drained she was. The eyelids over her sore eyes were a delightful relief and she abandoned herself to an exhausted slumber which was only briefly cut as they entered the Channel Tunnel, when Jason and her put their breathing masks on.

________________


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PostSubject: Re: Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth.   Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Icon_minitime10/18/2014, 9:03 am

Chapter 6

A blur of light greeted Victoria's sleepy gaze as she opened her eyelids to the beeping noise of her board. An orange light was blinking and she heaved herself up onto her elbows, her gloved hand still sticking to the magnetic board. The index of her other hand was still entwined with Jason's thumb. She was freezing, despite the heat of the board.

"Off," she told the blinking light in a shivering voice, and the beeping subsided.

"W... what.. are we there yet?" Jason asked, heaving himself up too, his voice muffled by his mask.

Lights and buildings were shooting past them in the noise of the train and wind, and Victoria could catch glimpses of the shimmering Eiffel Tower, its blue projector sweeping over the city, as well as Notre Dame, far away, garnished with yellow projectors to cast the cathedral with light in the ocean of houses, flats and streets.

"Yes, we are. Come on." Soon enough, they would reach the Gare du Nord, and then it would be too late to leave the train.
Victoria crouched up shakily, starving, and deactivated the gloves's ferromagnets slowly, keeping a hand on Jason just the time he knelt up to wrap his arms around her.

"Ready?"

"Yes."

"This might be dangerous," she added, but her voice was covered by the wind. Slowly, she adjusted the height of the board, making it rise one centimeter up, then two, then three, watching out for the overhead lines, before having it copy the train's speed. She then made the board slide to the left, at the same time interchanging the ferromagnets with the superconductors on the underside of the board with a snap of her fingers. Victoria managed to keep the board at the same speed as the train for a couple of seconds then made it slow down progressively.

The painful wind in their faces disappeared, and her head felt odd as her hair fell back around her neck and on her shoulders. They finally came to a halt at the side of the railway, and knelt down in the darkness, Victoria reducing her hoverboard back to kindle size and wrapping it in blister paper again, putting it into the bag along with the breathing masks.

"Do you know your way around Paris?" Jason asked as they climbed over the metallic fence that separated the street from the railway.

"Not really, I haven't been to Paris much," Victoria replied. "We have to go to the CDG airport. Where are we here?"

Jason looked around, jogging to the corner of the street.

"Rue Charles Michels," he called at her, reading the panel. Victoria immediately gave the street name into the GPS app of her computer/phone, and looked at where they were.

"We're right next to the Quai," she informed Jason as he got back. "That's good, it means we're close to St Denis station. From there we can take the train, we'll have to change once into another train, and then we'll arrive at Paris CDG."

Jason exhaled slowly and sat down on the pavement, Victoria slumping down next to him.

"My body is tired," she said after a while.

"Yeah, mine too. I guess I should've said thank you for...well, for London."

Vic put a don't mention it hand on his arm. "Let's get something to eat, then find some shelter to sleep at."

"Sewers?" Jason said with an exhausted smirk.

"Paris sewers? You must be joking," she smirked back.

They stood up and slowly walked to the St Denis station; on their way they met an adult couple who looked at them once and immediately crossed the road to get on the other side, Victoria ignored it.
When at St Denis, she cursed. "We only got pounds! Gods dammit!"

"Do we really need to pay?"

"How else do you wanna get past these things?" She asked, gesturing at the ticket checking machines whose doors reached up to the ceiling.

"Let me do," he smirked and walked forward, crouching down next to one machine.

"Smile, you're on camera," Victoria informed him after noticing a camera in a corner of the ceiling.

Jason fumbled and searched for several moments on the box where people slid their ticket in and finally found what he searched. Victoria did not quite see what he was doing, but the next second, a set of doors opened with a metallic creak. Catching Jason's urgent gaze, she jogged through them, and he sprinted behind her.

"How'd you do that?" She asked.

"Simple question of wiring," he replied. "Do you think I spend my whole time doing archery and basket ball?" He gently teased her. Victoria could only smile.

"You gotta teach me how to do it."

They boarded the next RER train and went out at Stade De France, where they took the train to the airport. Victoria was slumbering throughout most of the ride, and Jason had to shake her shoulder thrice to make her wake up once they arrived.
One of the good things about airports was that they stayed open at night. Jason and Victoria walked in and first looked for one of these machines to change money at; they put all their unused pounds into it and collected a handful of euros in coins and bank notes, before searching for a restaurant.

When they found one, the fat waitress looked at them wide-eyed and took a step back behind her counter.

"Deux sandwiches, n'importe lesquels," Victoria told her in a tired voice, and the woman tossed them two random sandwiches without a word.

Victoria jumped on hers and wolfed it down while Jason paid and ate his, both sitting at a table next to the mirror-covered wall. When Victoria looked at it, she understood why everybody was looking so weirdly. Her hair was so disheveled it stuck up around her head in messy knots. She had dirt on her face and the blood that had trickled from her nose and mouth had dried, drawing a red line from nostrils to chin. Jason didn't look much better, but she had grown accustomed to the dried crust of blood on his cheek and the stains on his shirt.

After paying, both went to the bathroom to wash their hands and face, then headed to a row of seats where they sat down heavily and fell asleep after Victoria put her alarm clock at five am. Four hours wasn't a lot of sleep, but they'd have to get as much as they could.

________________


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PostSubject: Re: Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth.   Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Icon_minitime10/18/2014, 9:10 am

Chapter 7

"Alright, same trick as yesterday?" Jason asked as they walked towards the flight panel and Victoria nodded, yawning hugely (sleeping was not exactly easy with all the announcements booming through the airport every few minutes, and even though Victoria and Jason had managed to get some sleep, huddled against each other under their backpacks, they both were still tired as hell).

They walked out of the airport, then around it, trying to find a good place to hide at to await their plane. Unfortunately, they immediately got spotted by a worker who came over to them.

"What are you doing here? This is no place for kids, go back to your parents," he said. Jason and Victoria exchanged a glance, and suddenly Apollo's son walked forward, snapping his fingers under the worker's nose.

"We are no passengers, we're the English interns, Victoria and Jason. Don't you remember us?"

The man's frown deepened, then disappeared. An empty expression passed across his face, and he even smiled for a short moment.

"Of course. Victoria, Jason. Didn't recognize you. Come on, we got work to do."

He led them to a sort of hangar, providing them with fluorescent worker jackets, and for the next for thirty minutes, Jason and Victoria had to load luggage onto various vehicles which would be driven to the planes.
When the luggage for Tirana came, Jason and Vic took their chance. They sneaked onto the vehicle, half hidden by the bags, and once at the plane, pretended they had been asked to be there in order to help. Going into the hold, they took care of the luggage the driver heaved up to them on the forklift truck. It took good ten minutes, then he asked them to climb down before he shut the hold. Victoria shot a look at Jason, who snapped his fingers again.

"You have work to do," he said. "Close the door and go back to work, you did not see us."

An blankness passed on his features, and he closed the door, locking them up in darkness.

"Okay, you never told me you could manipulate the Mist that good," Victoria said after a moment. "It sounded like charmspeak to me."

"Oh no. Charmspeak is manipulating your brains, feelings and emotions. With the Mist, I just change the whole situation and setting."

"Just."

They both chuckled in the dark.

"Now we'd better find something to warm us, this flight is gonna get quite cold. We're good for three hours up in the troposphere -- perhaps even the tropopause though I doubt that."

________________


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PostSubject: Re: Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth.   Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Icon_minitime10/18/2014, 9:59 am

Chapter 8


Without Jason, Victoria would have died out of cold before they even flew over the Italian coast. They stayed close to each other, Victoria having swapped her shorts for her jeans, put on her Harvard sweatshirt and gloves, giving Jason her anticrash vest, in addition of the fluorescent worker vests from Paris, but their shared body temperature was what kept them alive. That and exercise. Throughout the flight, they did ankle rotations, shoulder rotations, jumping jacks and squat thrusts, feeling very much like idiots, but at least they were feeling something. The temperature soon got very cold, but they did not stop, knowing that staying in motion was most of all contributing to keeping them alive.
When the plane landed with a powerful throbbing that sent them to the ground, it seemed like an eternity had passed since Paris.

The moment the hold opened, Victoria had turned her Harvard sweatshirt into the breastplate her mother had given her, chiseled with the head of the Gorgo Medusa. The men who opened the hold stared for a second in frightened shock before one of them screamed a sentence in Albanian and they all ran away in different directions, leaving Victoria and Jason free space. They jumped into the vehicle that was intended to bring the luggage back and drove towards the airport, where they left the vehicle and rushed towards the parking area, Victoria stuffing her sweatshirt back into her backpack as the hot temperature of Albania washed over them. Their fluorescent vests lay abandoned on the ground behind them.

They soon found a taxi and asked him to go to Fier immediately, Victoria giving him the precise address of the phone number's owner.

In the car, it was very hot, and both Jason and Victoria were sweating. Mediterranean landscapes flew by, rugged coasts and crystal clear water, sparkling in the sunlight.

The ride took them about an hour, soon enough, they arrived in the small town of Fier, with its white buildings and streets dotted with palm trees. Jason was tapping his hands on his knees quickly, a look of worried impatience on his handsome face. Both of them were ignoring their rumbling stomachs.

Finally, the cab driver stopped in front of a white high-rise in a separate road. They paid him with what cash they had left and went inside, cluelessly looking at the names of the inhabitants. They didn't know what the person's name was, they knew only the address, so Victoria simply took her cell phone out and called. This time, it beeped only twice before an adult masculine voice answered.

"Tjeta?" he said, and Victoria gave the phone to Jason.

"Hello? I am Jason, Jason Duke," he said in a slightly trembling voice.

The voice fell silent for a second.

"We're in your house, in your building," Apollo's son continued. "My mother left us your number, but not your name. Please, can you tell us where to find you? My mother has disappeared."

There was another silence, then the man said: "Fourth storey, right," and hung up.

Immediately, Victoria and Jason rushed up the stairs as fast as they could, and arrived at the fourth storey, where a very pretty girl of about nineteen or twenty was waiting for them. She showed them in with a smile. Prudent, the two demigods stepped in a flat that smelled of cooked vegetables and garlic bread. A small boy with blonde hair came out of a room and looked at them with huge interest. The young woman showed them to the room the boy had just left, which was a kitchen. A man of about fifty was sitting at the table with his wife and another little boy over what looked like oven-baked trout with garlic and onions, and just the smell made Victoria's empty stomach ache. á

"We're sorry to interrupt your lunch," Jason said quickly. "Do you know where my mother is?"

The man took his time wiping his mouth with a napkin. "She is not here," he replied with a heavy Albanian accent, and stood up to face Jason, his expression menacing. Victoria's stomach rumbled. "I do not want to be part of all this. Understood? This is not our business."

"Alright, okay. Can you at least tell me where she is?"

"Apollonia," the girl said, her accent not nearly as lovely as her face. "She went to someone we can trust."

"Apollonia?"

"Ruins, not far from here," she explained. "Our friend is guide there."

"Can you... can you take us?" Jason asked with hope in his voice.

"No," the man said the moment his daughter said "Yes."

"Why did you ask us to come up if you won't help us?" Victoria questioned with a frown.

"Because your mother is friend of mine, but I don't want to get mixed into this business. Now you know where she is, you can leave."

"Papa!" the girl said. She started talking in Albanian, and so did his wife, arguing with heat until he rose his hands in abandon a few minutes later. "Alright. Eat a bit, then my daughter will take you to Apollonia. But don't come back here afterwards."

Fifteen minutes later, they were in the car with the young lady who's name was Dafina, Jason on the co-driver's seat and Vic at the back.

"My father said I could drive you, but that I am not to talk to you," she said in her melodious Mediterranean accent.

"Why is he like that?" Jason inquired.

"He's afraid."

Victoria leaned forward. "Of what?"

Dafina focused on the road in silence. "I can't tell you," she finally stated.

"But why not?"

"I'm sorry," was her final reply. "I really can't tell you."

The drive to Apollonia didn't last more than fifteen minutes, but Victoria was glad she had changed again into her shorts back at the family's house. The temperature was scorching. Her stomach was still full with the delicious fish as well as the tasty baklava dessert the mother had insisted to give them; she recalled how kind she had been, smiling at them and encouraging them to take more.They had briefly explained their trip from New York to London to Paris to Tirana, without getting into details because of how hungry they were, but they had earned warm smiles from Dafina and her mother.

Once at Apollonia, Dafina stopped on the parking place, putting sunglasses on and smiled at them, her brown curls catching the sunlight. Victoria didn't notice how beautiful she looked in acid washed denim shorts and aqua tank top.

"This way," she kindly said and walked towards the ruins. They almost got flattened by a black Range Rover doing so, to what Dafina replied by a stream of what were undoubtedly Albanian insults, waving her fist at the car.

"Sorry," she said as she looked at the two teenagers.

They walked among old stones, Jason looking more and more impatient, the sun making his blonde hair shine like molten gold.

Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. 5558501308_2bed7a5f46_z

"Can we go faster?" He asked, his green eyes gleaming up.

They started jogging behind the willowy Dafina past the ruin of what looked like a temple, with only the front fašade still standing, towards a monastery, the red tiles shining in the hot sunlight. Dafina led them to the right, to a side door, which she pushed open, stepping in. The sudden freshness of the stone building was a relief to Victoria and Jason, who both wiped their sweaty foreheads.

"Follow me quietly," she said and led them through a silent corridor then down a stairway into an even fresher basement.
She passed several doors before knocking softly at one.

"Leka?" She whispered with the Albanian accent. No reply came so she opened the door... And stumbled against the wall. "Leka!" She screamed.

A man of about thirty was lying on the ground, his stomach opened in a gruesome way. The stench of blood filled Victoria's nose and she felt slightly nauseous. His eyes were closed but she could see he was breathing.

"What happened?" Jason shouted. "Where is she? Is she...?

Victoria pulled him back. "Call an ambulance!" She said to Dafina, who was still under shock, then knelt down next to the man. "Sir? Sir, can you hear me?" She asked in an urgent voice. "You will be alright. Dafina is calling an ambulance, you will be alright. You need to tell us who took her and where they went."

It didn't occur to her that she the way she acted was unacceptable. This man was dying in front of her eyes and all she cared about was where Jason's mother was.

He opened his eyelids just a little, and Victoria saw him try to look at her, vaguely aware of Dafina's voice in the background talking and crying into her phone. He couldn't speak, she realized. He was too weakened by his wounds. However, he slowly moved a blood covered hand and wrote three signs on the ground.

"The ambulance is on their way, but I have to take him upstairs, they have a first aid kit. It will perhaps help him staying alive until the emergency doctor comes."

Just at that moment, three persons burst into the basement. Victoria saw they worked here from the pins on their shirts, they had probably been alarmed by Dafina's scream and Jason's shouts. They gasped as they saw Leka, but didn't lose time. On Dafina's quick explanation, they heaved him up, carried him out of the room and up the stairs; Victoria and Jason stayed behind for a minute to look at the signs he had traced on the floor.

"ODM," Jason read. "What does that mean?"

"It's not ODM," she replied. "It's QDM."

She looked up at the nude stone wall, her thoughts running upwards in front of her as if a digital layer had been stretched over the world. She felt that twitch in her forehead, áthat familiar twitch she had when she was just about to solve a difficult problem in science, she could sense she was almost there, but there was still one thing she needed to complete her deductions, one last thing, the final piece of the puzzle.

"Don't stay there!" Dafina's voice called, cutting cleanly through Victoria's thoughts, infuriating her. She hated being distracted when she was reflecting so intensely.

Jason took her hand and led her out of the basement, running after Dafina. They sprinted as fast as they could, and when they caught up, the young woman was going back to the parking.

"Hey! Where are you going?" Jason called.

She spun around. "I am no doctor. I can't help Leka, I'm going back home. My father was right." Dafina turned towards her car and opened it, but Jason raced forward and caught her arm.

"Wait a second. You know who this is, tell me, who was it? Who is after her? Tell me just that and I leave you alone."

She wriggled her arm out of his grasp and stepped into her car, starting the engine.

"Dafina!" he called, but she was driving out of the parking area. Jason followed the car with incredulous eyes.

Just the moment she was going on the road, she suddenly stopped the car and opened the window.

"Tireas of Daulis!" she said, closed the window again and drove away.

Jason turned around. "Tireas of Daulis? Who's that?"

"Tireas...Tereus," Victoria replied. "Son of Ares, king of Thrace, he once vanquished Thebes...." She stopped.




Thebes... Tereus... qdm....

He paused. "Victoria, you alright?"

Athena's daughter had sat down on a rock, staring at the ground between her feet, her fingers on her temples. Her grey eyes were darting from side to side.

"Victoria?"

After several moments of silence, he put a light hand on her shoulder.

"How could I have been so dumb?" she suddenly shouted, jumping up and kicking the rock, infuriated. "QDM! The signs! By the gods, argh!"

She felt like she needed a good punching bag.

"QDM. It's not an acronym. It's a word, a Phoenician word. In Phoenician, you don't write the vocals. QDM... it stands for Cadmus."

OOC: I realize it should be MDQ, not QDM seeing you read it from right to left, but perhaps it's boustrophedon. Phoenician can be written in boustrophedon too.

BIC: "Cadmus? You mean, that one guy, the brother of Europe?"

"Yeah him. But wait a second....." She breathed in. "Okay, this is...totally delirious. You remember Tereus of Daulis? The only times he was mentioned was when he helped Pandion (king of Athens) overthrow Thebes, and when he ate his own son without knowing it."

"He's not going to kill her, is he?"

"If he had wanted to kill her, he would've done it by now. He didn't hesitate to heavily injure Leka and leave him there, but he took your mother with him apparently."

"So who is he taking her to?"

Victoria looked directly into his eyes. "It must be somebody mythological. Otherwise he or she would've sent somebody...modern."

"So who can it be?"

"Think, Jason. Why would anyone want to kidnap your mother? Why would that person send Tereus?"

Jason took a moment, looking at a nearby tree without seeing it.

"Tereus was asked to help overthrow Thebes," he finally said. "Without him, Pandion would never have made it, he didn't have enough men. That's all I know and I don't see any connection with my mother."

"That doesn't mean there isn't. Jason, do you know who founded Thebes?"

"Cadmus, the brother of Europe, the guy we just talked about. Why?"

"Do you know what alphabet he introduced when he ruled?"

"No I don--..." He looked at her. "Don't tell me..."

"The Phoenician alphabet. Cadmus is the inventor of the Phoenician alphabet."

"Alright, and my mother used that alphabet. Plus it's on that pin and Leka drew that acronym. I still don't see the connection though."

"Didn't you once tell me you two fled from Greece, to go to London?"

"Yeah. I never knew why."

"Well, what if it was linked to your mother's current disappearance? What if she fled Greece for the same reason she fled London now?"

"You mean that Tereus was after her back then?"

"I don't think so, but he's certaily linked to it. If he had been after her back then, he would've gotten her, like he did this time. I don't think it was a mortal being who was after her."

"A monster?" He asked, but she shook her head. "You mean a god? But in how far would fleeing Greece protect you from a god?"

"Their sphere of power. It's only in special places, like the USA or Greece. London...they don't have much power there."

"So you think Tereus is taking her to some kind of god? That doesn't make much sense."

"Exactly, which means he's not bringing her to a god. You know, Jason, how gods like mortals (especially demigods) to accomplish their will. Tereus is a demigod, and the person he's bringing her to must have some kind of link to the divinity, as well as your mother or your family."

"If you got this, why don't you just tell me? We're losing time!"

Victoria breathed in slowly. "I think I got it, I may be wrong," she corrected him. "There is only one god to have reasons to loathe Thebes, and it's Hera. She was asked by Pelops (remember Tantalus, the guy who once replaced Chiron? Pelops's his son) to cast a malediction on a king of Thebes, Laius, and his descendants, because Laius abducted his son."

"Wait a second. Laius, as in, Oedipus's father?" Victoria nodded briefly. "O... kay. Seeing what happened to Oedipus and his kids.... I get what kind of curse that is. But they're all dead. Where is the link to my mom and me?"

"They didn't all die. Ismena, Oedipus's daughter. She didn't meet any death in the myths, she must have escaped."

"....so?"

"Don't you see, Jason?" Victoria asked, shaking her head. "You're Cadmus's descendant."

There was a moment of dumbstruck silence.

"I wish I was wrong," she continued, "but it makes horribly sense. Your mother sent you these signs so you could find her, but they were directly pointing at your ancestor. We had everything right under our nose from the start!"

"So that's why it's Tereus who's getting her! He's the perfect choice to go get one of Laius's descendants.... ábecause he was the real reason the Thebes was vanquished. Who else could defeat Thebans again?"

"Hera chose the champions well."

Jason stayed silent for quite some time. When he spoke, his voice was a bit hoarse. "If this is true... Does...does that mean my mother carries the curse? And me as well? Didn't it like, disappear with time?"

"If my deductions are correct...no."

"Gods...."

He let a moment of silence pass before jumping up.

"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go get her!"

"We don't even know where she is, Jason. We don't know where Tereus is taking her. We don't know who he is taking her to. Not Hera, that's for sure. We don't even have further clues. We're on our own now, Jason."

"No, we do have clues. We just gotta know where Pelops is crouching at."

"Pelops?" Victoria rose an interrogative eyebrow.

"Pandion only had animosity towards the Thebans because of the borders. The only guy who has a true reason to kill us is Pelops, he's the one who cursed us, after all. He must have come back from the dead, just like Tereus."

"But that still doesn't tell us where Pelops is."

"Well, if you were him, where'd you ask your pet Tereus to bring you one of the last living descendants of Laius?"

"Probably at my home, so I can finish them off peacefully. But he could be anywhere."

"Let's admit he's at his home."

"That'd mean we have to go to Pisa."

"Aw hell no, don't tell me we gotta go to Italy!"

"No, not Pisa in Italy. Pisa is the old name of Archaia Olympia, in Greece."

________________


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PostSubject: Re: Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth.   Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Icon_minitime10/18/2014, 10:43 am

Chapter 9

Hijacking a car didn't prove as easy as they thought, seeing there was not a lot of traffic outside of Apollonia. They had to wait a bit more than five minutes before the first car came by, which didn't stop. Jason kept staring at his watch every few seconds.

Finally, they heard the sound of a car. Vic was lying on the ground, apparently out cold; it was quite dangerous seeing she was on the middle of the road, but she knew people were more keen to stop when they thought somebody was needing help.

The car was a small Mercedes; it did stop when the driver saw Victoria, and he opened the door, asking something in Albanian, probably if she was alright.

At that moment, Jason jumped from his hiding place, at the side of the road, and knocked him out with a powerful blow at the temple, making him fall like a stringless puppet. They dragged him next to the road, then Victoria sat on the driver's seat, starting the engine again, while Jason took the place next to her,

"I feel bad about this," Jason told her as they drove away.

"We can't afford to be sorry," she replied. "And we can give him his car back. With a little note."

"The Lannisters send their regards?" Jason smirked.

"Who're the Lannisters?"

OOC: Game of Thrones fans, please don't kill her, she has SPD ><'

BIC: The ride was long. Too long. During more than seven hours, Victoria and Jason swapped place when they grew tired, letting the other one drive to sleep a bit, seeing they had not gotten sufficing rest in the last night. Both of them gave the most of what they could to drive as fast as possible, stopping only once at a greek highway fastfood at 3 pm to buy something to eat with some money they had found in the car, as well as getting petrol.




Eventually, in the late afternoon, they passed a shield 'Olympia -- 12 km' and the two demigods exchanged an anticipating look; they were both wondering 'What if we didn't get it right? What if it isn't Pelops at all? And what if it's him, but he's not in Olympia' But they didn't have the time for such reflections, the Old Olympia was their best guess.

After several minutes, the outline of the sacred site appeared: temple ruins, lonely columns scattered across the foot of a hill, crumpled walls.... The site was huge. They reached the parking and left the car, their legs stiff from having driven so long.

"Aw, bloody hell," Jason said as he saw the huge line of people waiting to get in at the ticket house; at least fifteen meters of queue. "The gods must be joking."

"Look," Victoria pointed at a parking behind them. A black Range Rover was there, to what an angry frown wrinkled Jason's brow.It was the Range Rover from Apollonia.

"Let's get going," he said and took her hand, leading her to the entrance, but not to buy tickets. He looked at the huge map plastered to a panel. "If Pelops were hiding here... where would he be?"

Victoria couldn't help but sense something, a positive feeling she couldn't name. Despite the obvious worry and the feeling of panic that she knew overwhelmed him, he managed to stay calm and calculating, opting for logic and controlling himself. She felt closer to him.
They examined the map. Temple to Zeus, temple to Hera, the stadium, the palaestra, the archeological museum, the Philippeion....

"Jason!" Victoria suddenly pointed at a place of the map: the Pelopeion tumulus. They shared a glance. Without a word, they sprinted to the left, ignoring the looks of tourists. Out of sight, they climbed up the metallic barrier, not paying any attention to the pain in their hands. Once at the top, Victoria hooked her fingers into the metal bars such as to flip over to the other side, where she just let go and dropped to the ground.

"Hey!" somebody called behind them.

Jason joined her and they started running, looking over their shoulders to see a security guard talking in his phone. Sprinting faster, they made for the sacred site, jumping over stones, bumping into the tourists. The crowd was so dense. And the temperature was scorching, not to mention the sun at 6 pm was still vivid enough to make her protect her eyes with her hand.

They elbowed themselves through a group of tourists with their guide, earning scowls and disapproving snorts, but didn't care as they continued running as fast as they could. How could there still be so many tourists? Victoria asked herself in her head. They raced across the stadium, Vic cursing in her thoughts at the crowd in Ancient Greek, pushing her way through the human sea, the smell of sweat and heat omnipresent.

Finally, they came out of the ruins, now running next to a little path on which tourists were casually strolling. In front of them was the sacred part of Olympia, with the temple to Zeus, the temple to Hera, and a number of other buildings.

She jumped over the wall that symbolized the sacred borderline, leaving behind hippodrome and stadium; then Victoria turned around... and realized she had lost Jason. The crowd around her was thick, and she couldn't see anything.

"Jason!" she called, looking around. For that moment, she didn't think about anything else, not his mother, not Tereus, not even the equations and theorems she was normally reflecting about simultaneously. "Jason!"

She pushed people out of her way, not caring as she almost shoved a seven years old child to the ground, her mother starting to yell at her, but Vic ignored her too. "Jason!" she called again, starting to get panicked. What if Tereus had found him too? What if he had killed him?

"Victoria!"

"Oh, gods, there you are!" she said and grabbed his wrist. "Come on!"

They raced past the Zanes and the Metroon, the muscles in their thighs starting to ache from running so quickly after seven hours of inactivity. They reached the nymphaeum of Herodos of Atticus, then sprinted as fast as they could next to the long Heraion, the old stones gleaming in the setting sunlight. The tourists didn't make it easy, but this time, they were not letting go of each other's hand, Victoria holding his with sweaty fingers. Her forehead was sticky and her breath was hacked; her body longed for cold water and fresh air, the surrounding atmosphere being hot and heavy, but as usual, she ignored her body's needs.

After the Heraion came the ruins of the Philippeion, and Jason looked around.

"Where's the Pelopeion?" he asked, and Victoria closed her eyes to remember the map, using her photographic memory.

"Left," she said the next second and both took a sharp turn to the side, little pebbles already finding their way into their shoes.

Jumping over stones, running on top of a bench to avoid tourists, they reached the Pelopeion, which was covered in grass and dotted with trees. Carefully, they went to the string that marked the limit, the straps of their backpacks printing red marks onto their shoulders.

"Where in the Olympus's name is he supposed to hide... I mean, those are ruins," Jason finally said, while Victoria was reading the panel.

"There must be an entrance somewhere, to the underground part of the mausoleum," she stated, talking in Ancient Greek so it would be difficult for others to understand them. "Jason, there was supposed to be a tomb under this. You're the Mist master, can you sense something?"

The child of Apollo closed his eyes, his fingers drumming on his thighs; Victoria had no choice but to wait, feeling her ADHD creeping in, having her get more jumpy each second. She decided to look at the ruins; the explicative panel had said Heracles had built Pelops's tomb under the Pelopeion. She knew some architecture from Annabeth, but tombs? She rarely talked about those. What Victoria knew of Ancient Greek tombs was that they were constructed with a passageway leading to a dome, beehive style... áThe time period approximately matched, since Heracles had built the tomb to Pelops under the Pelopeion...

"There's a passage at the side," they both said together; the two of them shared a slightly amused look before sprinting to the right, Jason in the lead and Victoria dashing off after him, catching up in a matter of seconds.
They ran around the limit rope and Jason stopped at the place between the Pelopeion and the temple to Zeus.

"It's over there," he panted, pointing at some scattered stones looking like the remnants of a floor, under a tree.

"You mean the entrance is under that floor?"

"Yes. I can sense it, it's like.... A layer over the physical world."

Victoria nodded. "Then let's get going."

They jogged over to the tree and crouched in its refreshing shadow, Jason immediately flipping the stones over to find an entrance of some kind. Victoria helped him, looking at the different stones before noticing marks on the earth, recent marks, the earth being fresh as she touched it.

"Here," she said; Jason turned his head, his green eyes feverish then quickly came over to her.

"Let's push it," he said but then a security guard arrived.

"What are you doing?" he asked with a thick Greek accent. "You cannot touch these stones! These are ruins, estate of...."

Without hesitating, Victoria turned around and hit him square in the chest powerfully, knocking the breath out of him for a second. Just enough for Jason to push the stone aside.

"Victoria!" he hissed; the young girl looked around and realized no tourists or security guards were looking at them. Even the one guard who had addressed them had an empty look on his face. Another Mist trick? Shrugging it off, Victoria came to Jason, who had pushed the stone aside, revealing a dark hole in the ground.

After taking her flashlight from her backpack and inspecting the bottom of the hole, Victoria jumped down, landing on dry soil. Jason jumped after her and Victoria inspected the environment in the beam of her flashlight.

"It's a tunnel. Come on."

The two demigods marched through the cold, dark tunnel quickly, Victoria's flashlight revealing old Greek decorations on the walls, crumpled and covered in very old dust. She absurdly hoped there weren't any spiders, then saw the thick webs hanging from the corners and ceiling and humphed. Fighting down her terror, she wiped the top of her head and advanced steadily, controlling her emotions. The tunnel smelled of soil and old stone, a quite new scent to Victoria.

Suddenly, they heard a scream, and both of them gave a start.

Victoria met Jason's gaze and slowly said: "That was a woman's voice."

Immediately, they started running, the tunnel being too narrow for them to sprint comfortably side by side so Athena's daughter had to run ahead with Jason on her heels; she was grateful for both their athletic training as they raced along the tunnel, fighting old cotton-wool-like spiderwebs off, and watching out for the ground's irregularity. The beam of her flashlight bounced along the walls, putting various places into crude light: soil, dusty decorations eaten away by time, grey spider webs, crumpled stones. Her backpack bounced on her spine, the straps on her shoulders painful.

Suddenly Jason pointed ahead of them.

"There's light!" he said in feverish excitement. Both doubled their speed, kicking stones out of their way; the sweat that had dampened Victoria's brow had cooled down in the tunnel but was coming back now again as she raced, looking at the growing rectangle of light at the end of light as if it was her only goal in life to reach it. Her legs were aching.

Then it was over. They had sprinted into a large, circular room lit with oil lamps, the air heavy around them. A man was standing in the room, dressed in leather motorbike jacket and trousers, his black hair held back by a blood red bandana. There was a white greyhound next to him, and he was holding a woman by the neck, gripping her; when Victoria and Jason ran in, both jerked around, and so did the guy in the ivory throne at the far end of the room.

"Who're those people?" the man in the motorbike outfit asked, his dog growling.

"Jason?" the woman asked in a low, shocked voice. Tears had dried on her face but her eyes were still red. "What are you doing here?" As Victoria looked at her friend, she saw his chin was trembling.

"Jason? Her son, Jason?" the dark-skinned dude in the throne said then turned to the other guy. "Wasn't Itys supposed to kill him back in London?" The motorbike person frowned, his furry eyebrows almost joining into one. Snorting disdainfully, the first guy leaned back into his throne. "Can't trust amateurs."

"Are you calling my son an amateur?" The man threateningly said, taking a menacing step forward.

"He got killed by your own wives, yes, he is an amateur," the other one snapped in a misogynous way, before stopping and getting a better look at him. "You see, I hate people like you who don't bother checking what they're eating and end up eating their own son."

The guy could only clench his strong jaw. "Careful."

"Or what? You're going to kill me?"

There was a tense silence, then suddenly, the two of them started laughing as if they were the best pals in the world.

"Is this Pelops?" Jason whispered to Victoria, motioning at the dark-skinned guy in the throne with a discrete jerk of his chin.

"Afraid so, look at his shoulder."

"I heard that!" Pelops said. "What do you have to say about my shoulder?"

"Um I don't know, it's made out of ivory?" Victoria probably shouldn't have said anything but the stress was getting her ADHD to higher levels.

"Not my fault Demeter was too blind to see what was in her plate," Pelops grunted, shifting on his throne, then the motorbike guy spoke again:

"So boss, what do we do with those kids?"

Jason looked at him. "You're Tereus, aren't you?"

"Who did you think I was, the Queen of freakin' England? Of course I'm Tereus."

Victoria cogitated; they wouldn't get out of this peacefully, she knew it. Instinctively, her hand closed around her pocket telescope which would turn into her xiphos. Tereus seemed to know exactly what she was doing because he turned to her, his dark eyes like smoldering embers.

"If I were you, I wouldn't do that, Blondie," he said. "Or this one here (he tightened his grip around the neck of Jason's mother) dies earlier than expected."

"Leave her be," Jason said in a loud but surprisingly calm voice.

"Or what?" Pelops taunted.

"Or I swear, by all the gods of Olympus, that I will --" Pelops's snicker cut him off, echoing through the large room.

"Who do you think sends me?" He finally said in a chuckle that made Victoria want to stick him into a human sized test tube with aluminium and bromine.

This is what it'd look like:
 

"The gods... All the gods?"

He grinned. "Just one, but that's enough."

"Hera," Victoria stated as she crossed her arms, trying to cool her ADHD down.

"Hera indeed. I've always gotten along very well with her, she's a lovely lady. And at least, she knows what the word 'family' means," he added, looking at Tereus while Vic audibly snorted. "You got something to say, Blondie?"

She just stared at him with a neutral smile, which Pelops mistook as a I-don't-know-what-to-say expression.

"Good," he said. "Now, Tereus, since I heard what I wanted to know, you can kill her. And the kids afterwards."

"NO!"

Victoria didn't know whose shout was louder, Jason's, his mother's, or her own.

"Haha, isn't that a nice little family right there," Pelops laughed. "Blondie, you her daughter or something?"

"I'm Victoria and I'm a child of Athena."

"Ah. Fascinating," Tereus said in a bored voice then took out a large knife that looked wickedly sharp from his belt. "Boss, shall I?"

"Please, go ah--"

"Wait!"

"What now, Blondie?" Tereus said in a tired voice. "Don't you see I have work to do?"

"Pelops, let's have a challenge. If we win, you let us live."

He openly laughed at her atop his ivory throne. "And why would I do that, Einstein? Do you even know what Hera is going to give me in return?"

"No, but I don't doubt it's appealing enough to be ready to kill three people for it who didn't do you any harm."

"Any harm? Her ancestor abducted my son!"

Victoria sighed.

Loudly.

"If we win, you let us live. If we die, you kill us all."

"Sounds fair, but why on Earth should I do such a challenge? You three are practically dead, and my new life is.... seconds away." He took the glass of red wine that was next to his throne and rose it as if about to give a toast before drinking a sip.

"You are the one who established the Olympic games. Surely you won't spit on a little race."

Pelops lifted his eyebrows and Victoria knew she was getting to her goal. "What kind of race?" he asked, taking another sip.

Victoria's lips twisted into a razor sharp smile. "A chariot race."

Got you, she thought as she saw the look on his face; then Pelops burst out laughing again.

"A chariot race? Girl, you don't know anything about this, do you?" he guffawed.

I know more about this than you think, you precambrian cyanobacteria.

"Since you are so sure, why are you hesitating?" she said instead. "We're dead either way. Why shouldn't you have a little fun and enjoy yet another victory over the Labdacides?"

"I'm not hesitating," he sharply replied, then smirked. "You're too cute. But don't worry, I accept that deal. One chariot race. The winner takes it all." He shrugged. "I'm game."

He had a sly grin Victoria didn't like at all, but she had gone too far now to go back.

"I need a guarantee you're gonna keep your word. Swear it on the Styx," Victoria insisted. "Swear on the Styx that if we win the race we are planning now, you let us live and won't kill us in any possible way."

Pelops shifted on his throne again, his blue muscle shirt revealing his ivory shoulder. It was as if Victoria could see the gears in his thoughts turn, argue and draw conclusions.

Then Pelops smothered a fake laugh and held his hands up. "I swear it on the Styx. There, happy?" A distant rumble sealed the oath.

"Extatic," Victoria replied, her smile even sharper. "When should this take place?"

"How about now?"

"Boss, you've been drinking alcohol," Tereus said, pointing at his glass and the almost empty bottle next to it.

"Oh, how absent-minded of me. It is going to be night soon and I would need some rest. Tomorrow at noon?" he asked with a devious grin. "On one condition. The boy drives."

"Sold," Victoria said.

Tereus let go of Mrs Duke and Jason ran to hug her under the disdainful gaze of Pelops.

"You know, even if you win (which is improbable), that oath on the Styx won't save you. My curse will get you sooner or later."

"No, it will not."

Pelops looked up. If Victoria's smile could cut at that moment, it would feel like a scalpel. "You swore you would let us live and not kill us in any way. That includes your curse, seeing it is a mean of killing us.... It will disappear if you loose the race. I'm sorry I forgot to mention that."

________________


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PostSubject: Re: Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth.   Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Icon_minitime10/18/2014, 10:43 am

Chapter 10

"That, Victoria, was awesome," Jason said as they came back to the surface, helping his mother out.

"Don't thank me just yet. I've won us some time, but you're gonna have to do the big part."

Mrs Duke fell to her knees on the soft grass, her forehead in her hands. Right after Tereus had let them go, Jason and her had hugged for a long time before leaving the áPelopeion, Jason introducing Victoria to her on the way out.

"Mrs Duke, are you alright?"

She slowly nodded and the two demigods helped her up. "Let's all get something to eat," she said, her voice exhausted. "And then we'll need some rest."

"I'm sorry ma'am, but I'm not quite sure about the rest part," Victoria stated.

__________________

They had found a hotel in Archaia Olympia and a nice pizzaiolo, whose pizzas they were eating right now in a small park.

"Jason," his mother suddenly said. "How did you find me?"

"But... the signs of course," he replied. "You left signs in Phoenician."

"Those weren't meant for you," she frowned. "They were meant for Cyril, my boyfriend." She sighed. "I taught him the Phoenician alphabet and we sometimes use it for fun. I put up that many signs because I didn't want just anybody to find Elban's number. And only Cyril had the keys to the house, apart from you. I wanted him to know what had happened if... well, if I died. Elban could tell him."

"Mum," Jason said after a moment. "You knew.... all this time you knew, why didn't you tell me?"

"I didn't always know, Jason," she slowly replied. "It's quite... complicated. What do you know?"

"That I'm the descendant of Cadmus through Ismena," he said, "and thus carry the malediction of Labdacides."

"Did Elban tell you?"

"Now, actually... Dafina told us Tereus was after you. From that point on... Victoria and I deduced everything."

"Not everything," she corrected him. "There are still shadowy parts. For example, how Ismena escaped. How the Labdacides could dive under cover for hundreds of years without Hera noticing."

Jason's mother slowly tapped her mouth with a napkin and once again Victoria could only note the resemblance between son and mother. He was blonde where she was dark-haired but they had the same sparkling green eyes, like manganate, with these nuances of paler green. They both had flawless skin -- okay, Jason had some teenage pimples, but they were barely visible -- and they had the same smile, the one that dug dimples into their cheeks.

"I guess I will just tell you what I know of this whole story," Jason's mother finally said. "I was living in Greece when I first met Apollo. He had disguised himself as one of my co-workers and had flirted with me. Short version, a bit after I got Jason, Apollo contacted me. He told me I was one of the descendants of Labdacos, of Cadmus. It was what had made me special in his eyes, you know. Apparently, Ismena was the only one to have approximately escaped the malediction for at that moment, Hera was busy dealing with Heracles and thus let her watch down. Ismena was clever enough to leave Greece and go out of the sphere of the gods's powers; that's how the dynasty survived."

"Elban, in Fier... is he...?"

"Oh... no, he is no Labdacide. But he is a descendant of Cadmus through Illyrius. A branch of his family has always lived in Albania, in Illyria, where they felt close to their roots. Illyrius gave his name to Illyria after all when he settled down there." She took a sip of her water bottle. "Back to topic. When Apollo told me all this, I didn't believe him. To me, it was a joke. But then he said we were in danger, you and I. It had been a big enough mistake to come to Greece, where Hera was the most powerful, but Apollo's love for me had attracted her attention. He said I had to get out of the country as fast as possible. So I sold our flat, took the next plane to London and had us live one month in a hotel before finding a minor flat and a minor job for me. I changed our first and last names..."

"Duke as a hint to your royal bloodline. And Jason to appease Hera, right?" Victoria asked, to what she nodded.

"Yes. It didn't really work, did it?" she sighed again. "I did my best. I couldn't tell you Jason, I didn't want to scare you. When you went to Camp, I saw it as an opportunity to save you from the curse. Apollo shielded us from Hera's wrath, that is what kept us alive all this time. But last week, he told me he couldn't do much anymore, that she knew where I was. She couldn't directly interfere with mortal matters so she would use a champion. Well, several. I knew I had to get myself into security, so I decided to go to Albania to meet Elban, a childhood friend of mine. There, since I didn't want to draw attention on me, I opted for going to Apollonia, the ruins of a city sacred to Apollo. I thought your father could protect me better in one of his sanctuaries. Guess I was wrong." She exhaled and let out an exhausted chuckle before stopping to look at Jason. "Before leaving London, I asked Apollo to do one thing for me, give you the pin. Didn't you receive it?"

"Yes I did... Victoria?"

The young girl took the pin out of her backpack and handed it to him. "Fish tooth, it's what you wrote on it, isn't it?"

"Yes, but Nun doesn't just mean fish. In the extended sense, it means snake... or dragon. This pin is made from the tooth of Ares's spring dragon, which Cadmus killed. It was a wedding gift from Laius to Jocasta. Oedipus later stabbed his eyes with it."

"That's why you found blood on the tip!"

Mrs Duke frowned. "Didn't Chiron tell you this?"

Jason and Victoria exchanged a look.

"You didn't go to Chiron with this?" his mother asked again and both felt very dumb all at once.

Chiron was as old as the world, of course he would have recognized it; it would have spared them a lot of wasted time.
Victoria needed a punching bag again.

"If I asked Apollo to give you this pin, it wasn't because I wanted you to come after me, Jason. I knew my life could end quickly, and in case something happened to me, I hoped Chiron would explain to you what this pin is, so you could finally understand our family secret, and know why I had died. And also so you would stay at Camp Half-Blood, where you're safe. I don't want you to risk your life for me."

"I was worried about you," Jason said, "there was no time. I had that dream...."

"What dream?"

"A very vivid one. I dreamt you were in danger and I had to go to London, like, as fast as I could."

"Two days after you actually left," Victoria pointed out.

Jason's mother mouthed something in Greek that must not have been very nice to a certain godly queen.

"She manipulated your dreams. When you came to London.... you met Itys, didn't you?"

"The guy you killed with your shield?" Jason asked Vic.

"I guess so."

"Hera was angry she could not get your hands on you at Camp Half-Blood, that is why she had to lure you out with a dream. She selected her champions carefully. Tereus, who had vanquished Labdacus, his son Itys, and Pelops of course, the one who asked her to curse our family. Itys was waiting for you in London, where he was ordered to kill you."

"But how did they find you?" Victoria asked with interest. "If they had found the phone number, they would have taken it, but since we found it, it seems they did not. How did they know you were going to Albania?"

"Laelaps," Mrs Duke said. "The she-dog Tereus was holding on a leash. She catches everything she hunts, Tereus had just to give her something that carried my scent and so the hunt began. I guess Hera found a way to turn her from stone back to life."

Laelaps had been turned to stone by Zeus, along with the Teumessian fox.

"When you met Pelops, what did he tell you?" Victoria carried on.

"He wanted to know how I had escaped his curse, how my family escaped his curse."

"Didn't Hera tell him?"

"Gods can't say everything. She just wants us dead, and asked Pelops, Tereus and Itys to do it in exchange of a new life in our modern world. Their old lives was rather..... eventful. Two deaths for three new lives is a rather fair deal," she bitterly said. "Pelops was interested to see the last Labdacides, reason why he asked Tereus to take me to him before killing me. Something about looking his enemies in the eye as they die."

Victoria took another bite of her pizza as a layer of her mind processed the informations she had just gotten, and grimaced; her pizza was cold. She picked the olives from its surface and ate them as all finished their dinner silently.

"So, the chariot race," Jason said after a long moment. "Where are we going to find a chariot?"

"It won't be a chariot race, but a car race."

"What do you mean? You specified chariot race, we have to do it that way, Pelops has to, otherwise it's not fair, it's not our deal."

Victoria snorted. "What makes you even think Pelops is going to play fair? He didn't last time." She stood up and put her pizza box into the bin next to the bench they were sitting on and watched as a jogger ran by with headphones in his ears. "When he wanted to marry Hippodamia, he had to win a chariot race against her father, Oenomaus. He convinced Oenomaus's charioteer to sabotage his chariot and won the race. It's obvious he's gonna pull something of the same sort with us." She sat back down on the bench. "But that's okay -- we won't be playing fair either."

________________


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for the RP invite


Guest, you are awesome.
(My mystery box prizes: 2 god parent gifts+2 slots+1exotic pet)


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PostSubject: Re: Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth.   Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Icon_minitime10/18/2014, 10:49 am

Chapter 11

At noon, they were on the parking in Olympia, next to Tereus's black Range Rover; the door opened and Pelops came out, his dark skin emphasized by a white muscle shirt.

"We'll race next to Agios Nikolaos. There's a nice little road there, an unfinished one, so we won't be disturbed," he pompously announced, but his underlying tone clearly said 'so I can finish you off in peace'.

Victoria glanced at Jason and his mother then all three climbed back into their car without a word and drove behind Tereus and Pelops.
It had been a rough night for all three of them, they had lavender-colored bags under their eyes and a strained line barred Mrs Duke's forehead. Victoria's hair was disheveled, and a film of sweat was already glistening on her brow; she didn't know mornings could feel so hot. The Harvard sweatshirt she was wearing didn't really help. Jason was sitting on the front seat next to his mother, who has driving. It took them a couple of minutes to reach Agios Nikolaos, a small town of which Victoria did not see much, nor did she observe; her mind was focused on was what about to happen. She was acutely aware of the air she was breathing, she could sense it fill and leave her lungs with delicious ease, and the young girl knew these could be the last breaths she drew. It took them another five minutes to get to the isolated road, Tereus gleefully ignoring the panel that indicated work in progress to stop at bifurcation, right next to the sea.





Pelops jumped out of the car, sunglasses on his eyes. He looked overconfident, which only confirmed Victoria's opinion of him having something up his sleeve. Stressed to death, all three got out of the car too. Jason's mother was obviously controlling herself, her lips pressed together so tightly they were white, but even Victoria could see how terrified she looked. Jason didn't look much better, his knees were trembling slightly and he was chewing on the inside of his cheek very quickly. Victoria had seen him in a situation of life-and-death before, but never in a situation where three lives depended on him, including his own. He looked sickly pale, as if he was going to throw up any second now.

"The road goes straight ahead," Pelops explained. "After approximatively six hundred meters, you have a branch going left, which redirects to another road through the dunes that leads straight back here. It's a loop. The one who comes back first wins the race." He grinned. "Alright with you guys?"

All three of them nodded. "Yeah," Jason said in a choked voice.

"Oh, don't screw up your face like that," Pelops grinned, patting him on the back. "So that's your car?" He asked, looking at the Mercedes. "Yeah. Not that bad. Well obviously not better than mine, but still."

Jason looked at the Range Rover. "How many miles per hour?"

Pelops followed his gaze. "Oh, but I won't be racing with that car." He grinned, then took his shoes off, before heading towards the sea.

"Um.. what is he doing," Jason whispered to Victoria.

Pelops stepped into the water, brushing the waves with delicate fingertips, almost lovingly. He started talking, but they couldn't hear what he said. The only thing they heard was, moments later, a loud swooshing as the waves rearranged into a maelstrom out of which stepped four winged horses, their ears laid back flat on their skulls, pulling a magnificent chariot out of the water. The horses galloped past Pelops, obviously untamed, before stopping on the road and collapsing into a flamboyant blue Maserati. Victoria didn't doubt for a second it had all options included.

"What in the gods's names was that?" Jason breathed.

"That," Vic said, "was Poseidon, giving Pelops a car because they used to date."

"Seriously now?"

Pelops came back up, drying his feet and stepping into his shoes; the dismayed look on Jason's face made Tereus laugh.

"Let's start, shall we?" Pelops grinned, and got into his car, slamming the door shut.

Immediately, Jason turned to hug his mother. She held him tight, they whispered words Victoria was discrete enough not to listen to, then Jason turned to her and took her into his arms too. She rested her forehead against his, holding his elbows.

"Are you two lovebirds done?" Tereus complained. "It's boring."

They ignored him, but Jason let her go a couple of seconds later and opened the door of the Mercedes. He hesitated a second, moving as if he was going to look at them again, then caught himself and stepped in, without any glance at his mother and Victoria.
Something cold and sharp lodged itself under Vic's chin. "In case you get any more brilliant ideas," Tereus's voice rasped against her ear. "Laelaps!" The she-dog jumped out of the Range Rover and growled at Mrs Duke, stepping close to her, baring her fangs and forcing her to go backwards until she was with her back against the Range Rover. Tereus then drew a gun, which he fired; immediately, the Maserati raced off, its sound vibrating through the road into Victoria's feet. Jason followed seconds later, his hands sweaty on the leather-sheathed wheel. He knew how to drive a car, but race with one? His heart beating up to his throat, he flattened the accelerator under his foot. 80 km/h, 100 km/h, 150 km/h. Come on, come on.
"You know, your little trick won't work," Tereus whispered into Victoria's earshell. His breath was hot and damp. "Pelops swore your stupid oath on the Styx, but I didn't."
Victoria felt what was about to happen like an electric shock in the marrow of her spine. Before he could slice her throat, she sent her elbow into his Adam's apple as deeply as she could, making him gag, then twisted his wrist such as to make his gun fall out and kicked it. Breaking away from him, she spun around in the intent of hitting him whilst he was still in the shock of pain, but he was quicker than expected. The next thing she knew, she was flying backwards, her stomach kicked in by his large foot and landed face-first on the road. For one second, she knew nothing else than the pain in her belly, the pain in her head and the pain in her arms. She coughed. A sour, viscous liquid escaped her lips, and she spat it out on the asphalt, her eyes closed. Vibrations came up to her and she heard the sound of heavy footsteps. Immediately, she rolled aside.
Her head ached, now barred by a cut breaking her eyebrow in half, the blood slowly coagulating and crawling down sluggishly. She had bruises and bleeding cuts on her arms and hands, and the kick in her stomach still made her want to throw up. The moment she stood up, Jason was one hundred meters behind Pelops. The Mercedes could go fast, but it was nothing compared to Poseidon's Maserati. Victoria and him had worked on it together to make it go up too 240 km/h, but he was at barely 200 now and the speed scared him. One wrong move and he could die, condemning his mother and Victoria to a certain death. He was battling inside, trying to decide between prudence and full speed. Pelops's blue car looked so far away... How could he possibly catch up with such a power engine? If only Apollo had given him a car too -- he drove the sun chariot, didn't he? Finding a car to save his former lover and close-to-die son shouldn't prove so difficult, you'd think. But his godly father was probably off somewhere writing a song about how amazing he was. Jason gazed again at Pelops's car. Far away? Looking at the trail of dust the vehicle left behind it, he gritted his teeth. His father might not help them, but Jason was the one on whom everything was resting -- three lives. And as the saying goes: help yourself, and the sky helps you. Something welled up inside him.
Screw the prudence, he determinedly frowned and made the car go up to 230 km/h; the powerful sound vibrated into his body, forcing him to clasp his shaking hands tighter around the wheel. Slowly, he was catching up.... And Victoria's jaw exploded in electric bolts of pain. Tereus's fist came again, in her ribcage this time, and she sailed backwards until her back hit the asphalt.

"So that's a modern Athena kid, right?" He scoffed, Victoria's empi-uchi in the throat making him still cough a bit. "Not exactly brilliant."

Victoria let him approach, pretending to be down, but when he aimed a kick at her stomach, she passed her leg behind his knee and grabbed the front of his shirt, using his strength to make him topple over. Laelaps barked, baring her sharp fangs at Mrs Duke, forcing her to flatten herself against the car. And then she jumped. If the young woman hadn't kneed her back, she didn't doubt the dog's fangs would be nested in her throat right now. Quickly, she lunged for a stick of dry wood, about two meters from her, then jumped onto the hood of the car, landing on the sleek surface.

Jason was a couple of meters behind Pelops; the blue car kept going from side to side to prevent him from overtaking. He was focused though, his gaze locked on the car's spoiler, then his hood was directly behind the Maserati. He went up to 240 km/h, and suddenly, he was next to Pelops...who rammed his car into his, sending him into the side of the road. His head wobbled from side to side. Once that had stopped, he forced the car back on track, his hands and arms shaking, and even caught a glance of Pelops, who looked back, obviously relaxed and totally in control, before putting his index and middle finger to his temple. "Ciao!" His lips articulated.

BANG!
....He heard and smelled it before realizing what it was. The landscape started spinning around wildly, making his head move from side to side again as he tried to stabilize the car. But something was wrong, something was very wrong. Then he felt it.
The tires.
Alright, now was not the moment to panic. Jason breathed in slowly to control himself, then exhaled, his head still bobbing from side to side. In the chaos, he tried hitting the last-resort button he and Victoria had awkwardly wired in last night, but his index just wouldn't find it.
Until.... The car abruptly stopped. The stench filled his nose as he removed his security belt, feeling a vibration as the seat next to him popped open, revealing Victoria's hoverboard. Without losing a second, he opened the retractable roof, grabbed the flight control gloves, anticrash vest and goggles from the seat behind him and climbed out of the car with the board as fast as he could.
The hood of the car was too smooth; Mrs Duke kept slipping to the side as she fought Laelaps off with her stick, hitting her aside every time she made a move. The wood started to show cracks though, and she knew that sooner or later, she'd have to find something else.
Meanwhile, Tereus and Victoria were tangled in a furious battle. Both of them were too occupied with parrying the other one's blow to draw a weapon so they were limited to hand to hand combat. Victoria was using everything she could, tying her martial arts reflexes into a mixture of judo, karate and taekwondo techniques. She did a de-ashi-barai to make him fall over but he had a good balance and managed to resist it. She immediately attacked again with a yeop chagý, turning one time and a half in mid-air to give more power to the kick, which got him in the side and stomach just the moment the stick broke in half in Mrs Duke's hands. She used both parts to smack the she-dog across her head, but she knew she had to hit the vital areas: the eyes, ribs and abdomen. And if her sticks broke again, she'd have to look for stones to throw pretty soon. She looked over her shoulder, but couldn't see anything apart from heavy rocks and boulders she could never lift, while Jason made the board race at full speed, forcing maximum performance out of both magnetics and superconductors. Victoria had shown him how to make a board connect via magnetics to a vehicle, and Pelops's car was near enough for the board's panel to localize it. The magnets were drawing the board closer and closer to the car, the freezing wind flattening Jason's shirt against his torso like a geyser of aerial ice, which would've pushed him off the board if not for the magnets woven in the soles of his shoes. Well, Vic's shoes. They had approximately the same shoe size, so they had swapped shoes before the race.
Victoria's body was on autopilot. Harai Uke block, dwit chagi kick, do-jime trunk strangle. But Tereus was a son of Ares with years of fighting experience; his reflexes were excellent and most of Victoria's attacks didn't have a critical effect on him -- he blocked half of them anyway. He suddenly managed to grab her by the front of her sweatshirt and tossed her aside. She fell onto the sand like a rag doll, batting her eyelashes to get rid of the floating yellow dots in her vision. Her back hurt. When she looked up, she was staring at a gun, it's barrel pointed at her chest. "Fight's over, Blondie. Say hi to Hades from me." He pulled the trigger. The sudden sound made Jason's mother give a start, just enough distraction for Laelaps to jump at her and make her fall across the car's hood, burying her fangs in her shoulder. She shouted, clenching her eyes shut in pain. Jason didn't hear it, the roaring wind in his ears and the growling sound of the Maserati's engine shutting every other sound out. He was two meters behind Pelops, still catching up. To save the board some energy, he had turned off the superconductors, allowing the magnets to drag the board closer to the car, until he was hovering over it, right over the driver's place. This was the moment. He drew his sword and buried it in front of him into the hood of the car, right where Pelops was sitting at. He heard a cry of surprised pain and smiled grimly. But Pelops wasn't dead yet. He had obviously realized Jason was on top of his car and made his vehicle zigzag across the road; it took all of Jason's strength to remain steady, his feet taped to the board through the magnets and his hands clenching the sword's hilt. He swayed from side to side, trying to reach the key that'd make the board connect to the car like it had to the train in London. But the board kept wobbling, his fingers threatening to slip from the sword's hilt, without mentioning the extremely strong force of the wind which kept trying to push him off, flattening his hair on his skull and his clothes against his body. Then, just at that moment, he saw the curve in the road that'd lead them back to the beach -- they were almost there! Victoria cried out loudly, screwing up her face in the intense pain. The gruesome sound of a bone cracking still echoed in her ears. If Tereus had shot at her head, she would've been dead; instead, he had shot at her heart. The bullet ricocheted against her sweatshirt with such force it cracked a rib, only to bury itself in the side of Tereus's hip. He hissed in pain, looked at his gun then at her.

"What's this? A magic shirt?"

"Kind of," Victoria panted, still wincing in pain. "It's called an aegis."

At the name, the gray Harvard sweatshirt hardened into a breastplate of gleaming celestial bronze chiseled with a replica of Medusa's head, which looked so real the serpents of her hair seemed to move across the metal. The breastplate's weight on Victoria's cracked rib made her give a small cry of intense pain but she kicked herself to sit up. The fight was all but over. She lunged at Tereus who was momentarily too stunned to act, frightened by the sight of Medusa, and gave him a powerful shin kick exactly where the bullet had hit him. The shock of the pain brought him back to the present, but Victoria had already torn the gun from his wrist. She was about to shoot him when she heard a cry of tortured pain at her right. Jason's mother was lying on the hood of the car, Laelaps biting down on her shoulder. If she didn't act fast, she'd bite through the artery and Mrs Duke would die of blood loss.

If she had pulled the trigger right now at Tereus's head, she would've made it. She could've killed both him and Laelaps and saved Mrs Duke. But at that moment, the low, powerful sound of a car engine came to her ears. Pelops's Maserati. She turned around to see the blue car three hundred meters away, racing towards them at full speed, Jason on its roof, but immediately felt Tereus's arm wrap around her neck in a choke position, his other hand trying to get to her wrist.

She could not let him have the gun.

"Catch!" she shouted and threw the gun over to the Range Rover, aiming the best she could; it landed with a thud on the car's hood, next to Mrs Duke's uninjured shoulder. Then Victoria butted her head up against Tereus's jaw twice, hard. He choked her more with both his arms now, threatening to pull her off her feet. Victoria's face flushed as she tried to breathe, her neck contracted in his grip. A vein bulged on her forehead. She kicked him, trying to untie his wrists from around her neck. At that moment, a gunshot echoed right behind them, then a second and third one. Tereus suddenly let her go and Victoria fell to her knees, breathing in sharply, with all her strength. Gods, this felt good. Then Tereus fell on her, flattening her against the asphalt as something warm started to soak the shirt she was wearing under her breastplate. She coughed, then pushed herself out from under him. Feet appeared in front of her, and she heard: "Jason, get ready!" Another shot echoed. Tires squeaked. Victoria blinked as the situation started to make sense. Jason's mother had shot Laelaps and Tereus and now she was trying to shoot at the Maserati's tires to prevent Pelops to cross the arrival line. Jason, propelled forward by the car's speed, would make it.

But at that moment, she heard a deep cough behind her.

"Oh hell no," she hissed and got up, still breathing loudly, just the moment Tereus got to his feet.

He was about to throw himself at Jason's mother, but Victoria jumped in between and threw her wrist upwards at his jaw. It was a difficult taekwondo move (forbidden in competition because of its danger) and it was the first time she used it against anybody else than dummies. Her wrist connected with Tereus's lower jaw with a crack and an agonizing pain. Tereus stumbled aside, holding his mouth while Victoria cradled her wrist. Jason couldn't really see what was going on, he saw his mother standing in a shooting stance about a hundred fifty meters from, Tereus and Victoria behind her. He had heard her shouting to get ready, and understood what she was up to. "Magnets off!" he shouted and felt the click in the board as the magnets switched place with the superconductors. Victoria looked up at Mrs Duke, saw her aim the gun at the tires. The car was still about a hundred meters away, but she could make it. Come on, she thought, shoot. Shoot.

The young woman pulled the trigger. An empty click echoed.

Victoria's heart sank. No ammunition left.
There was no stopping Pelops now, he'd cross the line and say he had won the race because his hood had crossed the arrival line before the hoverboard had.

And then they would die.

Victoria stood up slowly; She was weakened by her sprained wrist and her cracked rib, but she had still one solution. One last trick. It might cost her life but she had escaped death so many times in the past days that she had grown accustomed to the life-or-death stress. She mouthed a silent prayer to Athena, briefly closed her eyes and walked forward on the road with as much determination as she could bring up. Pelops's Maserati was coming straight at her at 250 km/h. She limped towards it, holding her injured wrist in her right hand before parting her arms to let her aegis breastplate shine up clearly in the sunlight. Tereus might be a bit immune to it because his father's charioteers, Phobos and Deimos, were gods of fear, but Pelops wasn't. His eyes, attracted by the light and the gleam of celestial bronze, couldn't help but be drawn to the terrifying image of the gorgon's head.

As he took in the frightening face of the Medusa, he flattened the break under his foot. The Maserati started spinning wildly on the road, the tires howling while the hoverboard shot forward with such strength it felt like somebody was shooting at Jason with an icy water canon. He flew past the arrival line but the speed was simply too much for him on his own, the pressure of the wind was too strong. When he had been on Pelops's car, it had been fine because he had had his sword to hold on to. Here, there was no such thing. The magnets in his shoes felt the intense pressure and did as they were coded to behave in such situations: they disconnected. Jason dropped forward and hit the asphalt, bouncing and rolling across it until he slowed down on the ground, feeling sand under the back of his hand. All that had happened in a handful of seconds.

Pelops, on his side, was losing control of his car. It was still spinning around on the asphalt but his attempts at bringing it back in the right track were useless. It seemed the wild spirit of the untamed horses hadn't quite left despite the transformation, they were not prone to obeying every command. What had to happen happened: he left the road and rammed the front of the car into nearby boulders, smashing the hood in with an eardrum-scraping noise. There were a few moments of deafening silence then....

A powerful blast knocked Victoria backwards. She sailed through the air, burning air scraping her skin and heavily fell on the sand, one of her arms smacking into a rock next to her with another crack, but she was too numbed and in shock to scream at the intense pain.

"No!" Tereus bellowed.

When the smoke finally cleared, Victoria managed to roll onto her stomach, coughing heavily, then propped herself up on her knees. Her rib, arm and wrist hurt like hell, almost droning out the pain in her back. She turned around, still coughing, and looked at the scene.

The car was a wreck. The front was completely crumpled and smashed together like a ball of aluminium. Smoke and flames were rising from inside the windows and the hood, but apparently Pelops had made it out in time, as he was lying on the road. Tantalus's son looked awful. His muscle shirt was ripped and stained with blood where Jason's sword had dug into his shoulder and he had cuts across his face and arms from the shattered glass as well as bleeding red burns.

"Boss?" Tereus asked, but Pelops didn't get up. Behind him the Maserati seemed to undulate weirdly, but Victoria realized it was dissolving. Slowly but surely, the car turned into a puddle of salty sea water which ran down the road towards the beach.

Pelops coughed. His ábreathing slowed down gradually, his chest rising up and down decreasingly, then a yellow cloud escaped his mouth; his whole being started to shrivel and dry, as if he was an old piece of paper. Victoria watched as he evaporated during several moments until he had completely turned into yellow dust, leaving behind him only the faint smell of a lotus flower, Hera's sacred plant.

"No!" Tereus shouted again, unsheathing his knife, and turned towards Jason's mother. She was kneeling on the beach, a bleeding gash in her shoulder, but she was ignoring it the best she could, cradling her son's head in her arms, holding him protectively. "Pelops is dead, but I didn't wear the oath on the Styx! I can still kill you and earn my reward! Hera, watch!" He stomped over to Mrs Duke, rose the knife and brought it down with all his might on the woman's neck.

The blade never reached its destination. It fell harmlessly in the sand with a thud, right next to Mrs Duke's knee.

"What?" Tereus looked at his hands. "No! Not again! I didn't swear! I didn't sw --" His last words ended in a screeching noise as his mouth hardened out into a long, thin beak. His leather jacket and camouflage trousers melted away into a coat of light coffee feathers striped with black and white. A couple of seconds later, a little hoopoe was all there was left of the mighty son of Ares.

________________


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PostSubject: Re: Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth.   Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Icon_minitime10/18/2014, 10:54 am

Epilogue

A week later, all three of them were at the airport in London. They had gotten out of hospital two days after the fight and their wounds had gotten visibly better now that Jason had quickened the healing with the powers he had inherited from Apollo.

Mrs Duke was escorting the two to the plane that'd lead them back to New York. Jason was walking with crutches, his legs still trapped in plaster cast: when he had fallen from the hoverboard, the magnet's sudden deactivation had relieved the legs from the burden of maintaining his body up against the wind and the impact had broken his shinbones. He had of course earned several contusions and cracks from the hard fall on the asphalt, but he was very lucky to have survived. The anticrash vest had saved his spine from damage, though smashing a majority of the coded circuits in the process. He wouldn't be needing the crutches for a very long time, he had told them, as he was a son of Apollo and his children generally healed quicker. Jason's mother had a bandage around her injured shoulder, the wound neatly stitched; she didn't move her arm much but apart from that she was fine. As for Victoria, she had a simple, comfortable bandage around her sprained wrist, a rib belt to relieve the crack in the bone (which still caused her occasional pain when breathing) and her right arm was in a sling. It had broken when the car had exploded and her arm had smacked into the rock.

They stopped in front of the security but instead of hugging them goodbye, Mrs Duke gestured for them to come aside. They sat on a bench, Victoria folding her arms on her blue tee from the university of Geneva. It still hurt a bit, but at least she could move without screwing her face up in pain every few minutes.

"What you two have done," she said, "don't do it again."

"You're welcome."

"I'm serious. We had luck this once, we can't expect this every time."

"Every time? Do you have more family curses up your sleeve?"

"Don't make fun of it, Jason. Our family, the house of Thebes, was extremely unlucky. This is why I have a favor to ask of you. I didn't ask before because I didn't think it would come to these extremities but... I really want to get rid of it."

"Rid of what?"

As a reply, Mrs Duke pulled a small wooden box out of her satchel and opened it.

Inside lay probably the most beautiful necklace Victoria had ever seen, and that was saying something seeing she couldn't care less about jewelry. It was made of delicate gold, beautifully wrought and chiseled into the scaly shape of two slim, undulating serpents, their mouths forming the clasp and their bodies decorated with rings of amber and lapis lazuli. The details of their scales and mouths was breathtaking. Their fangs looked sharper than razors, their dark blue eyes seemed to move.... They looked alive.

"Don't touch it," Jason's mother said and only then did Victoria realize she had extended her hand to touch the masterpiece. "This is the necklace of Harmonia, given to her at her wedding by Hephaestus himself. It grants every woman who wears it beauty and youth."

Victoria looked up. "Why would you want to get rid of it?"

"It also brings misfortune to the bearer. Harmonia wore it and got transformed into a snake by her own father, Ares. Semele wore it the day Hera came to her to trick her into asking Zeus to show himself to her in his godly form. Queen Jocasta wore it and you know how she ended. These stories are countless. The necklace has been kept hidden and safe in the family so it wouldn't cause accidents, but I don't want it near me. Jason told me you keep this kind of objects in an attic, in a house at Camp Half-Blood."

"Indeed we do," Vic replied. Between Kampe's broken scimitars and Ladon's claws, it would probably be among the most dangerous things up there.

"Please take it with you. Explain to Chiron. Don't let anyone touch it."

"Why haven't you destroyed it yet?" Jason wondered. "Or broken it or attempted to melt it?"

"I've tried. Whatever corrosive substance I use, no matter how many times I throw it around, it just doesn't break or dent or somehow show damage. It's Hephaestus's work after all, not a random shiny you can get in an alley shop."

Victoria nodded in agreement. She knew what Hephaestus's work could be like, she had seen some weapons crafted by him as well as the efficiency of his netting on a group of maenads who had lost themselves into Camp Half-Blood's borders during winter. It was nigh impossible to break for a god, so for mortals, nymphs or demigods, it was simply hopeless.

Jason's mother gave them the wood box and Victoria slid it into her backpack, next to her bubble-paper-wrapped hoverboard.

"Don't worry," she said. "We'll take care of it."



************

Aaaand that's it. Roll credits.

Just some little things I'd like to point out.

→ The mythical parts of this story are real, except for the pin. Yes, Oedipus stabbed his eyes out with a pin that belonged to Jocasta (some versions say there were two pins), but it's nowhere stated that it was made from the bone of the dragon Cadmus killed. I made that up. Teehee.
→ I have never been to Olympia or Apollonia so sorry if my description of the places don't correspond to reality.
→ The gif at the beginning was made by the wonderful Sienna :3
→ If you as a reader would like to point something out or give constructive criticism, please do :)
→ As I said before, this is an impro so I basically made it from scratch with what I know about the mythical dynasty of Thebes and Phoenician alphabet. Because ancient alphabets are awesome shurrup Josh.

________________


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PostSubject: Re: Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth.   Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Icon_minitime10/18/2014, 4:21 pm

Woah...this is fantastic! The best thing I have read all week!!! It's absolutely amazing, the detail, the knowledge, mystery.....the tech shown itself is beyond amazing! I don't have really any critique because I think it's perfectly written, the only thing that could make this better is well, FANART! Or a sequel, or both! :D You've certainly sparked my interest as a writer to create something as grand and amazing as this, and you've taught me several new things about Greek mythology!

You should totally have some art done, or draw it yourself, or add another story, maybe now that you've done the Jason and Victoria, a Chiara and Nathan story would be...intense and well welcomed!
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PostSubject: Re: Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth.   Demigod short story// Gift to Maybeth. Icon_minitime10/19/2014, 12:55 pm

Thanks Zach :D

Though I don't know if I'll write something like that again. It took me a week to type it up and well, I was inspired.
As for a Nathan Chiara story, if I find an inspiration, I'll be sure to PM Dylan with a plot and see what he thinks about it.

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