Chapter 1: Calling All Heros!
Hello! My name is Spencer Johnston, and if you’re receiving this call, one of your parents is an ancient Greek god. Suprise!
Now I know to some of you this may be a bit of a shock, but if you’re receiving this call, you’re a demigod. Yep, that’s right, half human half god. My dad is, fairly certain. Anyway, the reason I’m calling is because we need your help. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “What, me? A nobody who hasn’t touched a sword or seen a monster in his life?”
Yes, I mean you.
I’m broadcasting this message from a place called Camp Half-Blood. If you’ve ever read Rick Riordan’s stuff, you know what I’m talking about. It’s a camp protected from humans and monsters where demigods used to live or just spend their summers, all the while training in combat and participating in fun activities like Three Legged Death Races (don’t ask). Spoiler alert, it’s real. It isn’t the same place as it used to be, but the campers who have gotten here so far and I have tried our best to bring it back to its former glory. But what we really need is you. We need more campers, more demigods, more fighters for our cause. Cause if we don’t get more people, Camp Half-Blood won’t be much of a camp anymore. There are some crazy ancient demigods coming to Camp Half-Blood with only one thought in mind. Destroy.
But you don’t need to worry about that right now.
Right now you need to get on your bike, get in your car, I’m sure your parents won’t mind, get on a horse, I don’t care. Just GET HERE. I know it’s all really crazy but once you get here everything will fall into place. You will be trained in and taught the ways of a demigod. Also, you’ll probably find out who your other parent really is. It’s really cool. They, like, claim you and their symbol appears...[Spencer! Get to the point!]. Sorry, that’s my dad in the background. [Hi everyone]. So I guess if I’m asking you to come risk your life for a camp full of kids who are half god, half human that should only exist in books, I probably owe you some backstory of how I got here. Listen if you like, but just so you know it’s not a quick story.
Chapter 2: Animal Control? Nah, I got a sword
It all started 3 weeks ago, when I was attacked by my French exchange student. I had always loved my French class, and thought it would be a fun opportunity to have someone actually from France come to live with me for a week. Or, so I thought. Her name was Julia, she was about my height, pretty, and always wore weird Anime t-shirts. That whole week, she acted like the nicest person I had ever met. She was always helping me do stuff, always being super polite and nice, but on the Friday of that week that all changed. That day had been great, we had got to miss most of our classes for a presentation about France and to do projects with our exchange students. All in all, I was in a good mood.
Then when we were walking back to my apartment from school, I started getting this weird feeling, like someone was watching me. To be honest, I had gotten this feeling a few times during the week, but I always just kind of told myself to forget about it and move on. But that day for some reason I just couldn’t shake the feeling. I wished I could be like people in the movies and just know if anyone was watching me without seeming to look back. Unfortunately, I’m no spy. So I just kept walking, hoping the feeling was nothing. Then, as we turned the corner onto my street, I saw some shady dude near the entrance to the alley across the street from my apartment (makes for a great view from the front window). Now, when I say this guy was shady, I mean like for real, this guy looked like he had shadows rolling off of him like heat waves. He was pretty tall and had dark robes on like a Jedi from the dark side. I couldn’t see his face because he was wearing his hood low, but I could tell that even if I could I probably wouldn’t like what I saw. Lets just say I was glad I was on the other side of the street and not in the alley behind him. He seemed to radiate power, and he made me seem like even more of a skinny powerless teenager than I already was. I stopped right in my tracks as I saw him, which was probably the worst thing I could do, and then proceeded to stare at him, which was probably even worse. But then I realized he wasn’t looking at me, but at Julia. She looked like she was handling it worse than me, she was pale all over and looked like she was about to barf all over the sidewalk. Then just before I was sure she was gonna pass out from her little staring contest with Mr. Shadows, he disappeared further into the alley. I then proceeded to fast walk it into my apartment building, and Julia did the same. She still looked awful, and I stayed near her as we went to my floor for fear that she would fall over.
And when we reached the floor of my apartment, she did just that.
She fell right over onto the floor, spasming like she was having a seizure or something. I rushed over trying to see what I could do, confused and scared all at the same time. But then she stopped spasming, and all of a sudden I saw something that I had not planned on seeing at any point in my life.
She started morphing into something not at all human. Her head grew to the size of my backpack, and six eyes popped out to make her total eye count 8. Her body then grew all hairy and everything except her legs and arms morphed into one giant abdomen. Then four other hairy legs grew out of her spider body, and voila, giant spider monster. Now, before this incident, I had not been one for spiders, so usually whenever I saw one I would just smash it with the closest thing resembling a shoe. But with Julia the spider, I didn’t think that was gonna work. So as she (or it, I have no clue) recovered from her little makeover, I ran to my apartment, opened and shut the door, and went and hid behind my couch. Which was a move I was not proud of but hey, it was a giant spider. But the door wasn’t an obstacle for Julia the spider, so she just broke right through. By this point I was under the couch praying those eight eyes wouldn’t see me. I saw the legs moving all around the room, scouting out the area, and looking for me. Just as the head was nearing my hiding spot, I see two human legs come running out into the room and a loud yell that almost sounded like, “TAKE THIS FRENCHIE!” Then I hear a big WHACK and the spider turns to dust. No fight, nothing. Whoever had killed it must have had some top notch ninja skills or something. Too stunned to move, I just froze under the couch and tried not to breath in any of the spider dust. But when I finally recovered, I crawled out from under the couch only to find my nanny standing in the pile of dust, holding a sword, like a nanny version of Hercules. I had a hundred questions circling around my head, trying to get out all at once, but I decided to go with, “Did you just kill that?”
“Yep, and you should be glad I did. That’s the worst one I’ve seen in years.” she said, just adding more questions to the hundred that was boiling up in my brain. I tried to ask a good one, but all I got out was a, “What?”
“Save your questions for later Spence, right now we gotta get out of here. There may be more coming. I want you to go and pack your things, cause we may not be coming back here,” she said. Like that was an answer to my question.
“Wha… where are we going?”
“We’re going to see your dad,” she said, “I’ll call him right now, tell him where to meet us. But right now I need you to pack your stuff!”
And I, really too dumbfounded to speak or really do anything on my own, went to pack all my belongings.
Chapter 3: Road Trip!
My dad wasn’t home that day because he was on a business trip. He was always on them, all throughout my life. He realized when I came into his life that he couldn’t take me with him everywhere, so he hired Tash, short for Tasha. Tash had been with me for as long as I could remember, she was the one who changed my diapers, helped me with my homework, all the stuff a parent would usually do. She was the stereotypical nanny, somewhere around mid 60s (she never told me her actual age) with huge round glasses and hair always in a bun. I had come to think of her as my aunt, so that’s what I called her, “Aunt Tash.”
After she told me to pack my things I rushed to my room and stuffed my suitcase full of clothes, chargers, and most importantly, Percy Jackson books. Ever since my dad introduced them to me I had been obsessed with them. I had always been fascinated with the adventure and the idea of ancient Greek gods having earthly kids and sending them on great quests. If you have a question about Percy Jackson, ask me. Because I am certain I will know the answer. Yep, that’s me, the Percy Jackson nerd.
After I had all my things packed, I brought my suitcase (which was full to the brim) into the living room to find Tash had already packed her things, some of the things I had forgot, and made us both sandwiches. Honestly, to this day I have no idea how she does it.
? ? ?
“We’re almost there.” Aunt Tash’s voice stirred me out of my thoughts. We had been driving for 2 hours, and now we were driving down what looked like a long forgotten road in the woods, with trees surrounding us on every side. It was getting dark out, but there was still a little sunlight, which made the trees around us cast long shadows into the road. Then the trees opened up and we found ourselves on a small beach on a lake with a dock going into the water. There was no sign of my dad, or anyone for that matter. Aunt Tash stopped the car, and we got out. I didn’t know where we were, but I was getting the creeps from that place. I turned around to ask Aunt Tash where we were, but I turned around and she was gone. I had about 5 mini heart attacks before realizing she had just gone over to the dock. I ran over to her, wanting the protection of her super ninja skills. It was then I noticed she was making signals with her hands out in the direction of the lake. I was just about to tell her she should get her glasses fixed if she saw anything over there, when I started to see something. Out of the mist over the water, a huge ship came into view. I backed away, thinking it was a ghost ship straight out of Pirates of the Caribbean when a familiar voice shouted, “Land ho!” From that moment I knew it was my dad, I could recognize that voice anywhere. As the ship pulled up to the dock, he jumped down and ran to give me a big hug. “Hey Spence, how are ya?” he asked.
“Well…” I would have told him about the crazy spider monster thing that had attacked me, but just then I heard whooshing sound and spun around to see what had made it.
It was my old friend, Mr. Shadow.
“Uh, Dad?” I said. Mr. Shadow kept disappearing into shadows and then reappearing into different ones. He seemed to be backing into the woods, and I got the impression he was signalling for my dad to be a man and run into the woods.
“Yeah I see him,” my dad calmly replied. “Get to the boat, I’ll take care of him.” And with that he pulled two long knives out of his pockets (could you think of anything more dangerous to put in your pocket? Like seriously Dad,) and raced into the woods after Mr. Shadow.
“Dad wait!” I called, and started to run after him, but Aunt Tash held me back.
“Don’t worry,” she said, “He’s got it covered.”
“That guy turned my French exchange student into a giant spider monster, and you’re saying Dad has it handled?”
“Well, do you think you would be any help just running into a fight without anything to defend yourself?” she smartly replied. That’s when I started to get an idea.
“Do you have a flashlight by any chance?” I asked.
Chapter 4: My foolproof plan gets... fooled?
So yeah, the next part is pretty embarrassing. But for the sake of a good story, I guess I have to tell it.
So as soon as I saw Shadow Man teleporting between shadows, I started to notice something. He was travelling to the biggest shadows there were, almost like he was attracted to them. His path into the woods seemed pretty straight, but one time I saw him go off to the side into a huge shadow. But, I had only gotten a few seconds to look at his movements. Thankfully, he was a pretty fast dude.
So really, I was only going on about 10% of a thought when I made a plan in my head.
As Aunt Tash searched her bag for a flashlight (she packs everything), I told her the basics of my plan. Surprisingly, she agreed that it might work. So when she finally found a flashlight, she got her sword from her trunk and we raced off in the direction of my dad. We could see his general path from all the cut up tree trunks and flattened bushes. As we started hearing the sounds of a fight, we slowed down and crouched as we walked toward the area where the sounds of whooshing and knives hitting trees were coming from. I was tempted to start taking cover behind trees and looking over my shoulder, Bond style, but then I realized we were chasing after a man who could teleport through shadows. That changed my mind. As we neared the fight scene, I scouted out the situation. Mr. Shadow Man had lured my dad into a sort of a clearing, with trees all around. There were shadows everywhere, and as the sun went down they were growing longer, reaching out to my dad like they were alive or something. He looked like a top, spinning around and around warding off his enemy, who was appearing and disappearing into the shadows surrounding my dad. Just as my dad would lunge out with a knife, Shadow Man would disappear, the reappear in another shadow, and the process repeated. I quickly looked around for what I needed for my plan to be a success, knowing I had little time before my dad grew too tired to fend his enemy off.
I needed a tree.
No, it wasn’t something heroic like a sword in a stone or at least a magical tree, I just needed a plain old tree, one that wasn’t making that big of a shadow to be especially tempting to our shady friend. Once I saw a tree that would mostly suit my needs, I quickly calculated in my head how far up I would need to be for plan to work. Once I did, I kept my eye on my target branch, and raced off around the clearing. I didn’t care about what Aunt Tash would do, I had a plan and I was sticking to it. I raced to the tree, and climbed (or more like scrambled) up the tree as fast as I could. When I reached the height I wanted to be at, I turned around to face the clearing. Then came my downfall. I did probably the worst thing possible, I yelled, “Dad! Over here!” He turned and for a second I was terrified that I had just killed my dad by distracting him, but it turned out Mr. Shadow was more interested in me than my dad. He suddenly appeared in the shadow right in front of my tree, and knocked it so hard I fell out.
I then proceeded to black out.
? ? ?
I was woken by a gentle rocking back and forth. I didn’t know where I was, then I remembered what had happened just before I blacked out. I nearly jumped out of my skin and tried to get out of the bed, but I got tangled up in the sheets and fell out onto the floor. My head quickly reminded me that I had just fallen out of a tree, by upping my headache from a dull pain to a much less dull pain. I must have made quite a noise, because one second later there was someone in my doorway.
“Aw dude, no way! You’re up! I gotta go get the Cap’n, b-r-b man.” I would have liked to know who it was talking like he was texting, but my vision was a bit blurry from my fall, and I didn’t have the greatest view from the floor. A minute later I heard more footsteps and that familiar voice said, “Oh! Well you could have at least picked him up off the floor!”
“Sorry sir, but you told me to come get you the second he woke up, so I did!”
“Oh, well thank for that. Here help me put him back in bed.” The stranger and my dad then proceeded to pick me up, which cause another wave of pain, but I figured the bed was better than the floor.
“Thank you G3,” my dad said. “If you could go manage the crew for a little bit it would be much appreciated.”
“Aye aye, Captain!” G3 replied, and he left the room.
“So,” my dad said softly. “How are you?”
“I feel like I just fell out of a tree,” I replied.
My dad chuckled, “Well that you did.”
“So what happened Dad, how did you beat that shadow guy?”
“Well, I don’t think I could have done it without you and Aunt Tash. Once you yelled at me and that servant of Nyx knocked you out of the tree…”
“Wait,” I interrupted. “Do you mean Nyx as in the Greek goddess of the night and pretty much all evilness?”
“Let me finish. So once you fell out of the tree Aunt Tash jumped out from behind the bushes yelling something about wanting revenge for some type of French student? Anyway, between you and Aunt Tash the ‘shadow guy’ as you call him was pretty distracted. So I used that opportunity and stabbed him with both my knives. He was pretty much done by then anyway.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well shadow travel takes a lot out of a person, even if that person is a monster who serves the goddess of night. He couldn’t have gone on with that forever. But enough of what happened to me, what happened to you? I asked Tash but she was too busy unloading her car,” he said. I then recapped on all the things that had happened to me that day. Seeing Mr. Shadow in the alley, Julia’s transformation into a spider monster, and Aunt Tash’s heroic victory over said spider monster. I left out the part about the huge hole in our apartment wall, I figured that was for another time.
“He was near our apartment building?” my dad said in reply to my story. “Man, that’s not good.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because that means people know who you are,” my dad said in a serious tone. “Can you get up?” he asked me.
“I think so,” I said. My head still hurt, but not as bad. And I was going to take every chance I could to learn more about what the heck was going on. My dad helped me up, and we walked out into a short hall. We then went to the end of it into a huge room that looked like some sort of HQ. There was an oval table in the middle with 8 seats around it, and on one wall was a huge screen with a map of the world displayed on it, with tiny red dots scattered across all the continents.
“What is this place?” I asked.
“Spence, welcome to the Argo III!” my dad exclaimed.
“Wait, like the Argo II? Built by the one and only Leo Valdez?” I asked, excited to hear the answer.
“You got it!” I spun around to see who had spoken, “My grandpa was on the original once, and now here I am! How crazy is that?”
“Spence,” my dad said, “Meet G3, my, as he likes to call it, sidekick.”
“G3, that’s me!” G3 said happily. “The satyr for any job!” It was then I looked down at his feet.
G3’s whole lower half of his body was the lower half of a goat.
Chapter 5: My dad’s “How I Met Your Mother” story is not what I expected
If you’re not familiar with the term “satyr,” it is a Greek being that is half human and half goat. So after I recovered from the shock of meeting a satyr, I realized what G3 meant. Grover the 3rd.
My mind then exploded. (See, I told you it would happen again)
If you’re not familiar with Percy Jackson, he has a friend and protector who is named Grover. He is also a satyr. That’s basically how I made the connection between him and G3. I don’t know many satyrs.
“Wait, let me get this straight,” I said. “So you are the grandson of Grover from Percy Jackson, and I am currently aboard a replica of a magical ship made by his friend, Leo Valdez.”
“That’s correct one hundo p my man! I couldn’t have said it better!” G3 said in response.
“Come with me,” my dad said. He led me out of the room, through the hall, and out onto the deck of the ship. I had expected to be flying, because the ship from Percy Jackson could do that, and I was disappointed to see we were just on the water.
“We couldn’t figure out how he got it to fly,” my dad said in response to the look on my face. We went and leaned against the railing of the ship.
“I know all this is a lot, but I’m just gonna tell it to you straight. All the stuff you’ve read by Rick Riordan, all the mythology stuff, it’s all real. The gods, the demigods, the quests, everything. It’s all real, and now I’ve got you all tangled up in it. Which I’m very sorry about, I didn’t want it to happen this way, but I knew someday I would have to show you all this.”
“Dad?” I said, “Who’s my mom?” I had to ask. I didn’t care about all that was happening as nearly as much as I cared about who my mom was. Now was the perfect opportunity to hit him with the question, and he couldn’t back down now.
“Well,” he said, “It’s a bit complicated. But I guess you have the right to know. As you’ve probably guessed… your mother is a greek god.”
“DUDE NO WAY!” I yelled (way too loudly). I was imagining riding waves and breathing underwater and making lightning rain down from the sky and turning into dragons, when I realized something. “Wait,” I said, “Who is it?”
“Your mother is the Greek goddess Athena. And you’re a demigod,” my dad said. I had hoped for someone who would give me a little more powers, but I was still ecstatic. I was a demigod! Just like Percy Jackson! “What was she like?” I asked.
“She was the most beautiful person I had ever seen. As soon as I saw her I knew she was the one. It was only when she had you that she revealed that she was actually Athena. I was stunned, much like you are. She showed me a world that I thought only existed in books. But, unlike the parents of all the demigods in the books, I couldn’t turn away from this world and live a normal life. I had to see it all. So I started working for Chiron, the director of Camp Half-Blood. He would send me on ‘missions’ you could call them, all around the world. Defeating monsters, protecting a lone demigod, anything that needed to be done, I was glad to do it. The only thing different about me was, I don’t have a drop of Greek god blood in my body. I’m fully human. But Chiron accepted me, and for that I am grateful. But that was years ago. Over the past few years the Greek gods have started to be slowly forgotten. The only thing that keeps them alive and present is if people know about them. The more people believe in them, the stronger they are. Now there aren’t many demigods around, and Camp Half-Blood is deserted. So is the Roman camp. Now Chiron has every person, including me, working to acquire the demigods that remain and join forces to bring the Greek gods back. Because if we don’t, there are forces that will take every opportunity they get to snuff out the Greek gods for good.”
“Wow.” I said, taking in all the information. “What does this have to do with me?”
“You’re my first demigod!” my dad said, “And I was hoping you would be up for helping me find more. Will you help me on my quest?”
“Don't have anything else to do I guess,” I said, smirking.
“Alright then,” my dad said,
“Let’s go bring back the Greek gods.”
To be continued...