Disappearances, Chapter 1

July 1, 2012
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This was supposed to be her quest, her chance to shine. She was the daughter of Aelous, the wind god, a minor god. This was the first ever quest given to a minor demigod ever since they were given their own cabins thanks to the great and might Percy Jackson. She balled her hands to fists at the thought of his name and glared at the boy at her side. Percy freaking Jackson, with his boyish good-looks and tousled hair. She had her partners all planned out, Marcia and Avery, daughters of Nemesis and Khione. But because of the last line of the prophecy---

Alive, none of you will be,
without the son of the sea.

Percy Jackson had to be part of the quest. Of course, she had the right to refuse Percy as a member of her group of three since the Oracle gave the quest to her. But she knew she would only look like a stubborn fool if she didn’t. So here was, with Emily and Avery. With the team set, the three left camp for their quest, two days later, they found themselves tired and worn in some sloppy old motel.

“Room for three please.” Said Avery to the young woman behind the counter. The woman regarded the three dirty and grimy teenagers with disdain. As if she didn’t see worse, though Emily to herself.

“$500” she replied, which caused the daughter of Aelous to sputter in outrage.

“But the place is a dump! How the hell can a room here cost $500!?” as if on cue the plaster in the ceiling fell of and slammed onto the vomit-stained lobby.

“It’s $500 for three bedrooms girls. If you want, we can offer $300 for a double and $100 for single. If you don’t have the cash, then go sleep in the alley.” replied the clerk, still looking at the three demigods like they were the most disgusting things in the motel. Emily’s fingers twitched as she imagined what it would be like to suffocate that pompous clerk but Percy quickly intercepted.

“We’ll take the single please.”

Without so much as an acknowledgement the woman typed some things on her computer before throwing at the group a rusty key and snatched the money from Percy’s hand.

“Fifth floor,”

Gritting her teeth, Emily stormed out of the reception area and slammed up thumb on the ‘up’ button of the elevator.

“I could have handled it you know.”

“Your way of handling things is destroying them.” Replied Percy

“Well she was asking for it!”

“You insulted the hotel she was working in.”

“Well it is a dump.”

“ENOUGH!” screamed Avery, “This is our first place to stay in other than a damn forest or moat since we left camp. And I would want it to be peaceful without you two bickering all the time!”

Emily gave shot one more dagger-eye at Percy before looking back straight into the slowly opening sliding doors of the elevator. The ride towards their room was realitvely quiet, letting Emily have a chance to cool off.

And as the trio entered their room, it was painfully obvious that Emily was right; the place was a dump and not worth a hundred dollars.

The room’s only bed was stained with what suspiciously looks and smells like urine and the carpet underneath their feet was riddled with rat poop and insect carcass. The sofa was covered with dust, tissue papers with stains that Emily hope was not poop. The toilet was in no better condition. The sink, toilet bowl, and bathtub/shower hybrid was heavily stained brown and more insect carcass littered the floor. The only saving grace for this room was the fact that it had running water, but Emily had the sneaky suspicion that it was only because Percy was pulling up water from the plumbing.

“Okay,” started Percy, “Why don’t we look on the bright side and---”

“Rest? No duh.” Scoffed Emily as she shoved past him and exited the bathroom, throwing her bags on the part of the bed without the stain. “by the way mister spend-a-lot, this place wasn’t worth a hundred bucks. Thanks for wasting our money.”

Looking offended, Percy glanced at Avery, one of Emily’s only friends at Camp, and mouth What’s with her?

Just…forgive her she mouthed before attempting to enter the room, but Emily stopped her.

“Wait. I’m gonna clean this place up.”

Weaving through the poop and dead insects until she pressed her back against the far wall of the room. The door to the hallway was still open, and with a flick of her wrist she sent a powerful gust of air sweeping through the room and sending tissue papers, insect corpses, and every speck of dust flying towards the door. Then with a snap of her fingers the door shut. Yeah, it was good to be the daughter of the wind god. She looked quite pleased with herself as her companions inspected her work.

“Definitely cleaner,” said Avery with a nod of approval.

“Why don’t you take a shower now, me and Avery will continued cleaning whatever else needs cleaning,” said Percy. Emily’s head whipped towards the boy, eyes cold as ice.

“You saying I didn’t do a good job?” she said, hands on her hips.

“No, it’s not that…it’s just that it needs more than just wind to clean.”

“Oh so now you’re the son of the god of cleaning? Is that it?”

“No, um…Avery?” flustered Percy as he backed up behind Avery, using her a human shield. He may have battled Titans, war gods, and more monsters that majority of the demigods at camp, but there was just something about Emily that scared Percy.

“What he means to say is, that you’ve done so much. Let us do the rest of the work.” She said in a soothing voice. Emily still narrowed her eyes at Percy but decided that Avery was right, even though she was obviously trying to save Percy, plus she did need a shower. So Emily walked away, grabbed her bag, and left the two to their own devices.

Once she locked the door behind her, Emily sighed and took a look at herself in front of the mirror. Her auburn hair was tied in a tight ponytail and it was filled with monster ash and dried blood. There were now bags under her bright blue eyes and her nails were chipped and full of grime. She inspected a large bruise on her abdomen where a minotaur punched the wind out of her.

Tutting with disapproval, she began to strip off her dirty clothing and step into the tub. She turned the knob, allowing cold water to wash over her body. She didn’t mind the cold really; it felt relaxing after running around America for the past few days.

Emily knew she wasn’t a very nice person, and people normally said she was extremely grumpy, but even she noticed that she was grumpier than usual. But it wasn’t her fault. It was Percy and his friend, the Oracle’s fault. This was her chance to be in the limelight and make her dad proud. But that son of the Big Three had to take it. Sure she was the leader here, sure she was calling the shots, but still, once all this was over, nobody will remember her and Avery. They would only remember Percy, son of Poseidon. What were two daughters of minor gods compared to him anyway?

“No,” she muttered to herself, “stop thinking of that. Concentrate on the quest.”

She recalled the prophecy. Some of it she understood, the other still boggled her. But the part that worried her most was:

One of you will cross the Styx,
Through sleep your problems fix.

The first line must mean that one of them will die. There was no chance in hell the son of a Big Three will die, that meant either Avery or herself will be killed in this quest. But what about the second line? Did the oracle want them to take an afternoon nap and forget the fact that a demigod was killed?

“Prophecies. Why can’t they just say what they mean in English.” Turning the shower off, the girl dried herself off then donned a fresh new shirt, jeans and pulled her hair back into a tight pony tail. She walked into the room feeling as fresh as a battle-worn maiden could feel.

She felt a chill in the air as she realized that she bathed, Percy and Avery were busy finishing up the cleaning of their little room.

It looked cleaner now with most of the stains on the furniture, walls, and roof washed away. Percy and Avery were sitting on the bed with smiles on their faces; obviously they were proud of what they did. Not bad.

“I still won’t say this place is clean, but it’s good enough. So how did you do it?”

Avery stood up and clapped her hands, “Let’s just say we discovered the children of water and ice could make wonderful janitors.” She turned around and faced Percy, “Percy, why don’t you go take a shower. I wanna have some girl talk with Emi.”

Percy nodded “Sure.” Dashing into the restroom far too quickly. Emily wasn’t sure whether he was relieved to be saved from having to spend some quality time to her, or because he just really wanted a shower. The wind demigoddess walked over to the bed and jumped on it. She moaned with ecstasy. Just lying on a real bed reminded her sore body that she was deprived of sleep and rest. Who knew quests were so tiring?

With a smile Emily sat down next to her friend. There was a moment of silence before Avery finally said,

“Why are you so mean to Percy?”

“I’m mean to everyone.” Emily said with a wave of her hand.

“Your not mean to me.”

“We’re friends.”

“You could be friends with Percy too.”

“Is this going somewhere?” Emily propped herself up on her elbows and looked into the bright blue eyes of Avery; they too had bags under them. The quest wearing down on all of them apparently. Avery’s fair skin looked paler than usual, causing the freckles on her arms and face to stand out more. Then littered all over her body were bruises and cuts, courtesy of the monsters they fought.

“He’s part of the team Emily, you need to---”

“All we need to do is work together to finish this quest, nothing more, nothing less.” Interrupted Emily. Avery shook her head; she was obviously not getting through to her friend. So she decided to take a different approach. She ventured into the topic none of them dared discuss since leaving the camp. The part of the quest where one of them was destined to cross the river Styx. The river you cross when you die.

“Emily…the part of the quest where one of us will cross the Styx. It means that one of us will die. And when I die, I want you to---” but yet again Avery was interrupted by Emily

“When, you die?” asked Emily incredulously. “You won’t die, you’ll live!”

“Then whose gonna die Emily? Percy?” Avery whispered with tears welling up in her eyes “That’s impossible, that boy is so powerful nothing will defeat him. And you won’t die because you’re the leader of this quest and you’re one of the fiercest warriors I’ve known. You even rival the skills of the Ares kids!”

“Well maybe crossing the river Styx doesn’t mean f****** death! Maybe it meant…something else.” But Emily knew she was only fooling herself. There was no other reason for them to cross the river Styx unless they died. Or unless they decided they had to go to the Underworld and that would just be as bad as dying. Avery opened her mouth but just then Percy walked in, causing her to snap her mouth shut. Emily whirled her head at Percy and stared right into him. He looked cleaner now as well, and he was wearing a fresh new orange Camp Half-Blood t-shirt and some jeans.

Avery got up, rummaged through her bag, pulled out some clothes, and made her way into the bathroom. “You two organize our supplies please and thank you!” she said without waiting for either of them to reply and slammed the door shut. Emily and Percy looked into each other’s eyes; this was not going to be fun for either of them.

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