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When Two Worlds Meet-Full-Book 1
I put a Part One on Teen Ink a while ago but I figured I should put all of book one.
“How much longer now?” Keefe whined as he walked through the forest.
Sophie hesitated. When the Black Swan dropped them off in New York for the summer, they were constantly getting off-course. And, once again, they were lost.
“Um...I don't really know.” Sophie sighed.
Everyone groaned. Sophie glanced down at the ground.This was the tenth time it has happened.
“How are we lost?” Biana asked. “We have been following the path the whole time! Well, except for when Linh saw a fish that reminded her of Tam.”
Sophie was about to check the map once again when she heard snickering from the back. It was Keefe and everyone knew what he would say.
“The fish did have some ugly bangs.” He said as everyone groaned.
I sat in my cabin quietly. That was something that barely ever happened. Everything felt so quiet today. Something had to happen. Due to my ADHD, I would go bonkers if something didn’t. I started to think about my mom and Paul. They were always so happy together. That made me happy.
“I wish I was there with them.” I said to myself.
All of a sudden, Annabeth came in. She must’ve realized the same thing as me.
“Too quiet?” She asked as I nodded. “Something isn’t right. Somethings gonna happen today and I know it.”
She was right. Just in time, a boom happened like whenever someone or something entered the barrier. Annabeth and I shared the same expression. The barrier had been breached.
As the group walked through Camp Half-Blood, everyone stared at them in awe, disgust, and fear.
“Where are we?” Fitz asked.
Sophie shrugged. She had absolutely no idea. But, Sophie knew they had to stay low profile. Keefe, all the sudden, saw a small kid who had black hair and wore a skull shirt under his jacket.
“LOOK! TAMMY!” Keefe exclaimed. “It's your new bestie!”
Tam looked down and stepped on Keefe’s foot. The small kid just frowned. Then we came to a stop. A blonde haired girl and a messy haired boy, both in orange shirts, came in front of us.
“Who are you?” The blonde girl asked.
Sophie opened her mouth to speak but Keefe did it for her. “Well I am Keefe Sencen! I know, hold your applause!”
A few people, including Sophie, rolled their eyes.
“This is Lady Foss-Boss. Then there's Fitzy, Biana, Dexinator, Tammy, and Linh.”
Keefe said as he pointed to each person. Keefe was about to mention something before Sophie made him be quiet.
“Sorry about him,” Sophie began. “I'm Sophie. Who are you?”
“Uh, I’m Percy and this is Annabeth.” I replied.
The group of kids didn’t seem so evil. Then again, Luke didn't seem so bad either so I decided to keep my guard up.
“Nice to meet you.” Sophie said. “Anyway, we are kind of lost.”
They were lost and undetermined. They couldn't have entered camp if they werent a demigod. I explained that to them the best I could. Once I was done, Keefe burst out laughing.
“Yeah pal,” Keefe laughed. “I wish!”
I looked at Keefe with a worried look. This may take a while.
The “Big House” was chaotic. Dex, Fitz, and Biana were all crying, Keefe was celebrating, and Linh and Tam were just standing there. Sophie was internally crying and partying. Then, a centaur came in.
“Oh my,” he said. “This is very unfortunate.”
Everyone turned towards the voice.
“Hello all of you,” He said. “I am Chiron. Trainer of heroes.”
Sophie was confused. He was a trainer in Greek mythology, not in real life! But Sophie was still in shock so she stayed quiet.
“Percy and Annabeth explained everything to me. You will stay in the Hermes Cabin and hopefully be claimed soon.”
As Sophie walked into the Hermes Cabin, she knew they would be at Camp Half-Blood for a long time.
Annabeth sat at her desk and sighed.
“Hey wise girl,” I said as I sat next to her. “What’s up?”
Annabeth closed her book and looked at me.
“I just don’t get it!” She complained. “How did they get past the border? Their genetics or maybe they have powers? Oh! Maybe they are relatives of demigods! Yeah!”
I glanced away nervously. When Annabeth got like this, it never ended well. She liked having the answer to everything. I hugged her and then she started crying. She had a long day, especially with everything else going on.
“Hey!” I exclaimed. “It’s OK! Everything will be ok!” Eventually she calmed down and we slowly fell asleep.
Sophie just sat there looking at the ground. Keefe looked at her and sighed.
“You gotta stop worrying Foster.” Keefe assured. “Everything will be fine. Don’t worry.”
Sophie looked up at Keefe and smiled sadly. Keefe put a small strand of hair behind Sophie's ear and then he excitedly gasped.
“Hey!” Keefe said as if he came up with a great idea. “Wanna listen to some cool human music on your IPod?”
Sophie smiled. She hasn’t used her IPod in forever! Sophie started playing her favorite playlist and gave Keefe one earbud. At first, Keefe laughed and jammed out with Sophie. Sophie didn’t realize how tired she was until a quieter song started to play. They listened for a bit and eventually, Sophie fell asleep on Keefes shoulder.
Keefe and Dex seemed to fit in perfectly with the Hermes Cabin. But everybody else didn’t quite look like they belonged. Everyone still stared at them when they walked by and made small remarks about them behind their back. At the campfire, an Ares kid made a joke that went too far.
“Bet they are just like Luke,” he said. “Nice and sweet but will betray us the first chance they get.”
Now I didn’t know these kids too well but I knew they weren’t traitors. I glared at the kid and was ready to yell at him but everyone gasped. Each of the 7 demigod-elves had been claimed. Keefe was claimed by Hermes, Dex was claimed by Hephaestus, Biana and Fitz were claimed by Aphrodite, Tam and Linh were claimed by Hecate, and Sophie was claimed by Hera. All the gods and goddesses who claimed the kids appeared out of nowhere.
“Hello.” They all said in unison. “These are not our children but Percy said everyone must be claimed by age 13. We all decided to choose our favorites. This is a prophecy. We cannot say anything else. Goodbye demigods.”
Then they all dissolved into thin air. I sighed. We had a new prophecy.
“What on Earth?” Sophie said when Hera’s symbol appeared over her head. Annabeth gasped.
“It can’t be!”
Then she ran off without another word. Leo, on the other hand, yelled with laughter.
“Come on Dexie! Let me show you the cabin!” Leo said as he led Dex to Cabin 9.
Drew yelled with anger as Piper took Fitz and Biana to their new cabin. Tam and Linh were teleported to the Hecate Cabin by Lou Ellen. But Sophie just sat by the fire with Percy.
“So um…” He said. “Want me to go show you your cabin?”
Percy got up and offered her his hand and Sophie took it. But before she got up she saw Annabeth look out the Athena Cabin window and glare at Sophie. Oh no. Sophie thought. This was going to end badly.
I walked up to the Hera Cabin with a sigh. Hera, being one of my least favorite goddesses, never had a person actually sleep in her cabin. (I think.) I opened the giant doors with a creak. The cabin was extremely dark and cold. All that was in there was a single sleeping bag. Inside was an envelope with Sophie's name on it.
Hey, I thought. What's this?
Then Sophie’s voice filled my head with surprise.
I was just thinking the same thing.
I was caught by surprise and fell onto the cold stony floor as I backed up against the cabin wall. I looked at her with fear.
Sophie chuckled and looked at me.
“What did you just do?” I asked.
“I’m a telepath so I can talk to you mentally.” Sophie replied. She saw my face and frowned. “Sorry, I thought I told you that.”
I shook my head as I stood up and slowly started to smile.
“That. Is. So. COOL!” I exclaimed. “Wait, does that mean you're like Martian Manhunter, from the comics?”
Sophie laughed again. She put the envelope in her bag. She looked at me again and waved.
“Bye! See you tomorrow for training.” I said.
Then I headed to my empty cabin.
As the sun rose over the horizon, Sophie yawned and winced. Her back was now sore from laying on the hard floor all night. Sophie decided to look out the window to see if anyone else was up. Just Percy and Annabeth. Sophie knew it was wrong, but she really wanted to hear what they were saying. Sophie crouched down and lowered her breath so she could hear their conversation.
“Sophie’s really nice, you know.” Percy said as Annabeth frowned suspiciously.
“Oh yeah totally.” she replied. “She and Keefe are really cute together too.”
WHAT? Sophie thought. Keefe is just a friend! Nothing more!
Then Sophie froze. She started thinking and saw all of the little signs. Maybe he does like her? Then Sophie saw she was missing out on the conversation. Sophie focused back on them.
“Too bad they can’t stay.” Annabeth said. “They seem really happy here!
Sophie had to disagree.
“Yeah,” Percy said. He looked at the sun and looked back at Annabeth. “Oh, I almost forgot to tell you! Sophie must be on our team for Capture the Flag!”
Annabeth looked at him with disgust but curiosity. “Why?”
Then Percy explained Sophie’s unique ability of how she could talk to people in their mind.
Annabeth’s eyes widened and she thought for a moment. “Fine,” she said with a sigh. “She could be useful.”
Percy pumped his hand up “Yes,” He kissed Annabeth on the cheek. “Now we will win for sure.”
Annabeth just rolled her eyes and the couple continued to walk around the empty camp.
Now all Sophie could think about was, Does Keefe like me?
After Annabeth agreed to Sophie being on our team, we spent the rest of the morning planning our team for capture the flag right by the pond. We obviously needed the Hades Cabin, Zeus Cabin, Ares Cabin, and the Hera Cabin. The other team took the rest, except for the Aphrodite Cabin. We took them and the Hecate Cabin by default. Then I looked at Annabeth. Ever since the campfire, she had been acting weird and protective. Way more than usual. I looked at the smooth water and decided to ask Annabeth.
“Hey,” I said calmly. “What's up with you?”
She looked at me with a slight glare. “What do you mean?”
“Ever since the campfire, you have-” Then I saw a look in her eyes. “You know what I mean.”
We stared at each other for a minute and then she sighed.
“Fine,” She said. “I don’t like Sophie. She's...important. But I don’t think in a good way.”
I paused for a moment to let that sink in. Sophie wasn’t bad. I could tell. But maybe Annabeth picked something up that I didn’t. I just had to stand guard. Only a little though. Maybe Annabeth was wrong. I gave her a hug and we sat there, by the pond, for a minute. Then Leo, Jason, and another camper came over.
“Hey!” Leo said. “You gotta see this!”
We followed them and gasped when we saw what was happening at the training center.
Jason told Sophie to fight Clarisse, an Ares camper, and give her everything she had. Sophie nodded even though she definitely wasn’t ready for this. Clarisse gave her smug smile.
“Prepare to be pulverized, newbie.” Clarisse said.
Sophie ignored her and looked at Jason. He nodded and started to count. When Jason counted down, Clarisse didn't have enough time to even charge. Clarisse took a breath and collapsed to the ground. Sophie stared at Clarisse’s motionless body. Jason ran over and checked at Clarisse. She was barely breathing and her eyes were frozen, looking forward like she was in a trance. Jason ran off with Leo and another camper. The moment they did, everybody started murmuring.
What kind of inflicting did you do? Fitz asked, telepathically.
Nothing! Sophie replied. I barely even breathed!
Apparently you did cause, she's not moving.
But she's frozen, Sophie thought of something. Or paralyzed?
Are you suggesting that it might have been a melder?
Yes! That's it!
Then all of the sudden, Percy and Annabeth arrived. They both looked worried. All they saw was Sophie with a frozen Clarisse next to her.
“What did you do!” Annabeth yelled at Sophie as she ran over to Clarisse.
Uh-oh, Fitz said.
Clarisse La Rue
Listen, I’m not weak! But, I couldn’t even control this! It's like Superfreak paralyzed me! Sure, I could hear, think, see, and breathe. But I couldn't move. I wanted to yell, punch, and destroy that girl. I saw Lightning Boy check my heart rate and pulse and then leave. Then I saw Kelp head and Blondie, with a few of my siblings, surround me. People started yelling and accusing each other. Then fights arose. I was extremely jealous. But the little new princess came and dug her hand into my neck. Pain shot through my whole body. But it stopped as quickly as it came. I was ready to punch her, but I realized that I could move and talk again. I got up and looked at Superfreak.
“What was that?” I growled, rubbing my slightly sore neck.
Superfreak looked around her as if she were checking for an enemy.
“It was a melder. But before you kill me, I didn’t do it.”
“I’m confused.” I said as I held Annabeth back. When it comes to friends, she doesn't listen to reason.
“A melder is something that paralyzes whoever you hit with it.” Sophie explained. “But I don’t have one.”
Annabeth got more and more angry with every word. She obviously didn’t believe Sophie. Luckily, Sophie got the message. Sophie looked into Annabeths eyes and they just stared in silence. Then, Annabeth's grip loosened and she nodded as she chilled out.
“Oh my gods,” I said in shock. “What did you do?”
Sophie shrugged. “It's kind of hard to explain.”
Keefe gasped and ran over. “Did you do the Magical Foster Calming Routine?”
I looked at Keefe in extreme confusion. Keefe smiled and put his arm around Sophie, who looked extremely uncomfortable and blushed.
“But right now, we have bigger things to worry about.” Annabeth said.
Chiron galloped over with 2 campers and Mr. D leading him.
“What's wrong?” Chiron asked with a worried look.”I heard Clarisse was ‘attacked by an invisible force.’”
He saw Sophie and Clarisse and his eyes widened.
“Percy, Annabeth, and Clarisse? Bring the 7 elves.” Chiron started.
Mr. D rolled his eyes and sighed. “We must see the Oracle, Miss.Reese Emily Davis.”
Most campers, including me and Annabeth, rolled their eyes at the bad pronunciation of Rachel's name and everybody followed them to the Oracles Cabin.
They all walked up a hill that led to a small cabin. Covered in vines with 2 purple torches in the front, it looked quite scary. Keefe was by her side and Sophie didn’t even realize she was holding his hand until he laughed.
“Scared much Foster?” Keefe said as she jerked her hand away. “Aww don't worry. I won't tell!”
Sophie rolled her eyes as they walked into the cabin. Rachel was painting on a canvas. She had red curly hair, green eyes, and tons of freckles. She wore a paint covered Camp Half-Blood shirt with jeans. Her eyes widened when she saw Sophie.
“I...It's you!” Rachel gasped. She started searching through the cabin for something. She grabbed a cabin and looked at Sophie and looked back at the painting. “It is you!”
Sophie looked at Rachel, filled with confusion.”I’m sorry,” Sophie apologized. “But do I know you?”
Rachel inspected Sophie like she was one of her paintings. Rachel looked at Percy and nodded. Percy sighed and shook his head.
“Not another one,” he said solemnly. “Please, not another one.”
Rachel nodded as Percy stormed out of the cabin with his friends following. They were telling him stuff like, “Maybe it's different.” or “You have to let go. They aren’t coming back.”
“Ummm…” Dex said awkwardly. “Can you explain what's going on? ”
Everyone practically jumped when they heard Dex.
“Deck?” Fitz said. Then he caught Dex glaring. “Erm...Dex...How long have you been here!”
Dex looked at everyone angrily. “Are you serious?” Dex yelled. “I’ve been here this whole time!”
Biana looked at Dex skeptically. “Nah,” she disagreed. “I don’t believe you.”
“I literally light leaped with you guys! Do you seri-”
Rachel cut him off since he had extended his page time. “Sophie,” Rachel began. “You are the leader of the 14. You must take everyone to the place you call home. You must earn and lose. Then, you will battle the hooded villains. That is when you collect the Oracles Lost Orb. This quest has not been completed yet. Many demigods have died. Please Sophie. You’re our only hope.”
Rachel looked at Chiron and started painting again. We left and Sophie walked to her cabin, still in shock about what just happened.
Me? Sophie thought. How is this possible? Percy or Annabeth would be better! Not me!
Only moments after Sophie arrived in her cabin, Percy rushed in.
“Are you ready?” He said.
“For what?” Sophie was extremely confused, again.
“For the quest!” He said with a brave smile. “We leave tomorrow!”
Sophie was not ready for a quest. With not even a day of demigod training, she was guaranteed death. But we didn’t have much of a choice. Sophie had picked her elf friends and all of my friends. Even though Sophie knew most of the quest, she never said that Rachel’s eyes glowed green. Maybe she was in shock? Chiron said he didn’t pay much attention so who knows!
“Are you sure you’re ready?” I asked Fitz. We became good friends over the course of a day. “Like, really prepared? The world isn’t all cupcakes and rainbows.”
Fitz looked at me confused. “You do know we are going to the lost cities, right?”
Then, it clicked. I knew I had forgotten something! We aren’t going to my world! We are going to their world! I sighed and looked back at him.
“Sorry,” I apologized. “I totally forgot. I honestly should be taking advice from you! Not the other way around.”
Fitz laughed. “No worries,” he said in his crisp accent. “It's fine! You just have to be careful there with us. The Neverseen are really evil. They don’t care if you die or get hurt. They will stop at nothing to get what they want.”
I nodded as he explained all of these evil people and how they want us dead. I was all too familiar with that. Then I sensed something. I got a weird feeling that somebody was watching us.
“Hey,” I said. “Do you...Do you feel like somebody's watching us?”
Fitz got real quiet and looked around. He nodded. Then his face twisted from fear to straight up anger.
“Biana!” He yelled.
Biana yelped and appeared out of thin air.
“What the heck!” I screamed. “She just appeared….like she was invisible…What is going on!”
Biana laughed. “I’m a vanisher...Wait...we never did tell you we have abilities...did we?”
I shook my head and started to listen so closely I’m pretty sure I looked creepy.
Biana started to tell me what ability everyone had. Everything was so confusing but started to make a lot more sense. It’s the reason why Dex was in the Hephaestus Cabin and why Sophie seemed so special. When Biana eventually finished, we all decided to continue packing. Despite missing Capture the Flag, we went to bed so we could be well rested for our quest.
After hours of Keefe trying to convince Sophie to sleep, she finally gave in. But usually Sophie had nightmares about the world burning or her friends being kidnapped. This was far from different. There was Fintan,Gethen, and another person Sophie couldn’t see.
“Our plan is going into action,” Fintan said. “They won’t know what hit them.”
Gethen nodded. “The farther ahead we are, the better. Now, about the fight. Here's the plan-”
Gethen stopped and looked into the other person's eyes like they were talking telepathically. The other person was about to turn around towards Sophie. Sophie was filled with excitement. She really wanted to know what mystery person was with the Neverseen. The person was only an inch away from revealing their face, but they froze. They whispered something to Gethen and Fintan who looked straight at Sophie.
“Looks like we have a little nosy enemy…” Gethen growled. “Spying isn’t very nice.”
Fintan’s hand ignited with flames. Sophie could almost feel it’s terrifying heat on her body.
“Maybe we should teach you a lesson.” Fintan laughed as the flames shot towards Sophie.
She woke up in a cold sweat and felt around her face and body for burns. Sophie sighed with relief once she realized no fire had actually touched her. She looked out the window and saw that the sun was only barely rising. Sophie was about to turn on a light when Keefe came in.
“Good morning Foster.” Keefe teased. “Looks like you had a nightmare too. Mind if I came and hung out with you for a little while?”
Keefe was clinging onto Mrs.Stinkbottom so hard she looked like she might explode. Sophie saw a scared look in his eye so she flipped the light switch and motioned for Keefe to sit down.
“What’s wrong Keefe?” Sophie asked, hoping it wasn’t like her terrible dream.
Keefe chuckled and shook his head. “It’s nothing.”
Sophie looked at him like she didn’t believe him, which she didn’t. Eventually Keefe gave in.
“Fine,” He sighed. “I had a nightmare about-”
Annabeth, Frank, Dex, Jason, Leo, Percy, and Fitz ran in the cabin.
“You guys have to see this,” Fitz demanded. “NOW!”
Sophie and Keefe both got quickly dressed in their cabins and headed to the Healing Center.
“Oh my gods-” Keefe said as they entered the room.
Now, I have watched people die but nothing terrified me more than this. Piper,Nico, Hazel, Biana, Tam, and Linh were all in the healing center and shivering. We all decided to go get Sophie and Keefe and bring them, which turned out to be kind of awkward. We found them in Sophie’s cabin together talking about something and, not gonna lie, they looked like they may be in love. Anyway, when Sophie got to the healing center, she nearly fainted. Keefe had to hold her steady when she saw Biana.
“Wh….who did this?” Sophie growled. “What made them like this?”
Fitz clenched his fists. “I woke up right before they were going to poison me.” Fitz stopped for a second to keep his cool. “But it was the Neverseen who did this.”
Sophie and Keefe were extremely startled when they heard the word, “poison.” Elves had a fragile mind so anything violent could shatter their minds completely.
“Was it…my mom?” Keefe asked as he started to shake. “Was she involved?”
Sophie grabbed Keefe’s hand as Fitz looked at the ground. I looked if anyone was watching but Frank was by Hazel’s side, Dex and Leo were with Tam and Linh and Nico, and Jason was holding Piper's hand.
“We don’t know it for sure!” I said. “It might not have been her! It could have been another cloaked villain...with long hair...and asking about you...I’m going to shut up now.”
Sophie glared at me as she held Keefe’s hand. She looked at Keefe and reached for his other hand.
“Trust me,” Sophie said with sadness in her eyes. “Please Keefe. They are probably trying to trick you. To ruin you so you won’t be on your best game when the fight comes. Please.”
Keefe looked at her with sadness and anger in his eyes. Then he looked away.
“Fine,” He said. “But only for you Foster. Nobody else.”
All of the sudden, Will ran in and saw Nico lying on the cot.
“Oh my gods,” Will gasped as he ran over to Nico. “Who did this?”
Will looked around the room to see if anyone in the center would fess up.
‘Listen Will,” I began. “Some bad people did some bad things. Again. We have a quest that we have to do or else the world will end. We are trying to defeat the person who did this so all we need you to do is make sure they don’t die. Ok?”
Will paused for a moment and nodded. That was good. We all grabbed our half-packed bags and said goodbye to everyone.
When we started to walk out of camp so we could ‘light leap’ I stopped. I took Annabeth’s hand and looked at Camp Half-Blood one more time. I had a feeling we wouldn’t be home for a while.
This is a terrible idea. Sophie thought as the demigods moved and thrashed as they light leaped. Mortals weren’t supposed to go to the Lost Cities, much less light leap. But, they had to do the quest. They didn’t want anything bad to happen to either world. When the light dimmed, Sophie opened her eyes. They were in an unfamiliar dark room. Sophie heard soft breathing and when her eyes adjusted to the light, she saw the most horrifying thing ever.
“Elwin,” Sophie whispered.Tears began to form and she clinged onto Keefe’s hand. “He’s…”
Sophie let go and ran over to him. The gag looked painful and the cuts on him were new. The ropes holding him down were imprinting on his skin. Sophie gasped as she saw what was on Elwins wrist. The same branding Dex got when he fought back during his and Sophie's kidnapping. Sophie stood up and Keefe had to resteady her so she didn’t fall down.
“It's ok Foster.” Keefe comforted. “We can fix this. We will fix this.”
Sophie looked at Keefe with her teary eyes and quietly added. “But why him?”
Percy turned on a flashlight and Elwin groaned.
“Oh my gods,” Annabeth said. “W..we need Will. These look really bad.”
Sophie shook her head. “We can’t go back. Or light leap again with Elwin barely conscious.”
Dex rummaged through his bag. “I might have something that could work. Maybe some wound wipe and a bottle of youth.”
Percy held up some ambrosia and nectar. “Can he have this?”
Annabeth smacked his hand. “Are you insane? We don’t want him to die!”
Percy looked down at the floor. “Sorry.”
Dex looked at Annabeth with curiosity. “What do you mean? How will Elwin die with ambrosia and nectar?”
Frank spoke up and made everyone jump. Frank had been so quiet since they left. “Ambrosia and nectar will kill anyone if they aren’t a demigod. That's pretty bad.”
Everyone nodded as Sophie checked her pockets for her home crystal. She patted her pockets over and over again. Once she had realized the harsh reality, she slid to the floor against the wall and started to breathe heavily.
“What's wrong Foster?’ Keefe asked as he sat next to her.
Tears began to form even though Sophie tried to hold them back. “I lost my home crystal.”
“What do you mean lost?” I asked. “And what the Hades is a ‘home crystal’?”
Annabeth glared at me as she ran over to Sophie. I probably said the wrong thing at the wrong time, again.
Fitz walked over to me as he watched Keefe and Sophie hold hands and talk to each other. “A home crystal is a leaping crystal that takes us to our home. Nothing special.”
A nodded and stared back at Sophie and Keefe. I looked at Fitz who I expected to be mad but surprisingly he wasn't; he was sad.
“Are you ok with this?” I asked him.
“What do you mean?” Fitz answered as if he didn’t know what I was talking about.
“This.” I pointed to Sophie and Keefe. “I thought you and Sophie were a thing.”
Fitz looked at the ground. “Not anymore. Just forget it.”
Fitz put his hand in his pocket where a lump was that wasn’t there before. I stared at him skeptically and then let it go. It was probably nothing.
“Hey,” Leo sighed as he walked over. “Does something feel..off..to you?”
I nodded and motioned for Jason to come over. “Bro,” he said. “What is it?”
We told Jason all about our weird feelings and about how everything has been going wrong. He just laughed.
“Are you kidding?” He said as he laughed again. “This place is awesome! By the way, Fitz makes great snacks!”
Leo and I just stared at Jason as he walked away. Yep, something was definitely not right.
“How could I be so stupid?” Sophie asked Keefe. “I lost something that could put Grady and Edaline in serious danger!”
Keefe sat next to her, holding her hand. “You probably left it in your cabin. Everything is OK! How many times do I have to tell you this, Foster?”
Usually, that remark would make Sophie smile. But she was so scared and worried. Smiling now felt like a gift.
“Hey guys!” Fitz said as he made his way over to the group. “This is cute and all, but how do we get out of here?”
Sophie was confused by the way Fitz talked but she was even more confused by his accent. It was just gone. Keefe got up and slowly walked towards Fitz like he was trying to approach a dangerous animal.
“Who are you?” Keefe asked. “And what did you do with my friend?”
Fitz just laughed and put his hand in his pocket. “Come on Keefe,” Fitz smiled like he had the perfect plan. “I am your best friend. Don’t you remember?”
Percy, Leo, and Frank all ran over. Percy was next to Annabeth, getting ready to fight. Leo’s hand ignited with fire and Frank turned into a grizzly bear. Sophie jumped up with her Suckerpunch ready. This wasn’t Fitz. Sophie looked around for Jason but he was sitting in the corner, shivering and knocked out.
“Who are you?” Sophie asked Fitz, one final time. “Just tell me.”
Fitz looked away from everyone, with his hand still in his pocket. “Fine, I’m-” Fitz pulled out a melder and tackled Annabeth. He put the melder next to Annabeth. “That wasn’t too hard. Very easy to disarm. Now, do what I say or the girl gets hit with this. Trust me, you do not want me to hit her more than once.”
Percy trembled, his sword shaking in his hand, “Who are you?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know, Perseus Jackson.” Fitz said as he looked at Percy with an evil smile.
Leo’s flames stayed strong as he glared at Fitz. “Listen buddy, I don’t know who the Hades you are but you are going to put Annabeth down and surrender your weapon or else you eat flames. Got that?”
Fitz laughed, a usually beautiful sound. “I have that power demigod. Pyrokinesis? Yeah, I wouldn’t do that.”
Everyone but the demigods gasped.
“Fintan,” Sophie whispered. “But..how?”
Fintan/Fitz laughed and smiled. His eyes flickered from teal to sky blue. The same color as Fintans eyes. “Well, I was about to poison Fitz when he practically begged on his knees for me to spare his life. He had already joined the Neverseen but I had other plans. Every once and a while I speak through him because our new member with a rare ability helped me out. He did all of this willingly. You can’t trust anyone Sophie. They will just betray you.” His eyes flickered back to teal, still smiling.
Sophie's eyes watered. The boy she had a crush on for so long was the unthinkable.
“You’re the spy,” Sophie gasped. She was extremely ready to inflict but she couldn’t risk Annabeth's life. “It's you and Alden. You’re with the Neverseen.”
Fitz smiled like he was waiting for Sophie to find out. “Join me Sophie. We can be together forever. Defeat the council and create a utopia together. Just take my hand.”
Fitz had put the melder down to offer Sophie his branded hand. Sophie was very tempted to take it but instead she motioned for Percy to attack Fitz from behind. Still trembling, he hit Fitz’s head with the back of his sword. Fitz crumbled to the ground, unconscious but breathing.
Sophie started to breathe slowly and tears raced down her face. Then she fell to the ground, crying her eyes out. Sophie couldn’t hold it back anymore. Her entire life, every moment she spent with Fitz, was a lie. A trick, to get her to give him information that he could use against her.
Everyone backed away so they could untie Elwin, help Jason, and tie up Fitz. Sophie thought everyone had gone to the other side of the room when she looked up. The only person left was Keefe, sitting next to her and holding her hand.
“You good Foster?” Keefe said as he added a sad smirk. “Or do you need another minute? Either way, I’m here for you.”
Sophie stared at Keefe. She hadn’t realized it but he had always been there for her. He had done everything for her and was always willing to wait. Sophie gave him a hug and started to cry on his shoulder. Keefe was more than a friend, he was the one.
Everyone stared as Keefe and Sophie hugged. They had been through so much today but they seemed to find peace in each other. Annabeth came over to me while continuing to stare and pointed at them.
“Why can’t we be like that?” She asked. “They are so cute and happy. You know? Just like, improve your boyfriend skills. Ok?”
I sighed and continued to tie up Fitz. The melder definitely didn’t do any damage to her. I was continuing my job with Frank and Leo when Fitz’s eyes popped open. His teal eyes were almost mesmerizing to me. Voices were yelling in the background but all I wanted to focus on was those beautiful teal eyes. I felt like I would do anything for him. Next thing you know, I hear a clang and I have to fight out of the trance.
“What happened?” I asked. “I can’t remember.”
Leo sighed. He was holding Riptide and he was breathing heavily. “I had to hit Fitz again. You were under some sort of spell. You were saying something under your breath. I only caught ‘directions’, ‘Neverseen, and something in latin. Deos, I think.”
A sudden migraine hit me and I wobbled. “It means ‘Gods’. I think I know what they were trying to get me to say. I don’t know why though.”
Annabeth looked at me and motioned for me to come over. “Jason is waking up but he keeps murmuring something in latin. I don’t understand it. We need a translator.”
I crouched down next to Jason and held my breath so I could listen. He kept murmuring a sentence that sent chills down my spine. He kept saying, Perseum Jackson. I looked at Annabeth and frowned.
“He’s saying ‘Kill Perseus Jackson’.”
After a bit of crying, Sophie sat up and sniffled. She wiped away her tears and gave Keefe a huge hug.
“Thanks Keefe,” she thanked. “That...that was nice of you.”
Keefe laughed, “Anything for you Foster! I have a shoulder you can cry on any day.”
Sophie stared at Keefe for a moment. “Did you know about Fitz and Alden?”
Keefe’s face darkened. “Actually, I didn’t. I know Fitz was my best friend and all but he never told me that. Neither did Alden. I hung out with them almost every day! They were like-”
Sophie nodded understandingly, “Family.” She finished for him. “They were like family. They have done so much for me.”
Keefe looked away. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have known you existed. I wouldn’t have-” Keefe stopped himself.
“You wouldn’t have fallen in love?” Sophie smiled. “We both wouldn’t have.”
Keefe’s eyes widened as Sophie pulled Keefe towards her. Then they did the unthinkable. They kissed. Sophie could feel everyone else stare but she didn’t care. For once, Sophie thinks she found love.
“What?” Annabeth asked. “He’s saying to kill you? Why though?”
I shrugged. “I have no idea. I guess they know I’m an enemy. But this is like a spell or manipulation. I don’t-”
Annabeth's loud gasp cut me off. “Spell? Manipulation? This sounds like Hecate or Aphrodite! Maybe their-”
Jason quickly woke up and yelled. “No!”
Everyone ran over, including Sophie and Keefe.
“What happened?” Sophie asked weakly.
Jason stared at everyone in horror. He kept opening his mouth but it refused to make a sound. I put my hand on his shoulder. This wasn’t like him at all. He was acting and looking different.
“You can tell us Jason!” Leo said with a smile. “It’s OK!”
Jason nodded. “I saw the camps! They were in a weird flame and cloaked people were running everywhere, spreading fire to whatever they touched. I also saw Drew wearing a cloak and Lou Ellen was too! They were laughing like they did this but their eye color was different! Drew had piercing blue and Lou Ellen had gold. It was terrible. Thank gods it wasn’t the future! ...right?”
Everyone looked away. I didn’t want to tell him.
“Is there anything else you remember, Jason?” Keefe asked. “Like anything else?”
Jason thought for a moment and then nodded. “I remember...us. We were fighting back but we couldn't win. We started going down, dying. They made us watch everyone else die. It was worse than anything I have ever seen.”
Everyone was silent for a moment, letting that sink in. Then Dex started searching through his bag.
“What are you doing?” Sophie asked.
Dex shrugged. “Hoping I have some sort of crystal in here. We have to leave. But I guess it won’t just reappear.”
Leo gasped like he actually had an idea for once. “My toolbelt! I can get a leaping crystal from it!”
Everyone started to talk loudly. Most of them were excited but Sophie was a mixture of emotions. They had been in the empty room for hours and Sophie was going a little crazy. She decided to stay quiet because she didn’t want to cause more trouble than there already was. When Leo started to rummage through his bag, he gasped and pulled out Sophie’s home crystal.
“My crystal!” Sophie snatched it from Leo and then paused. “We need light to, well, light leap.”
Leo smirked as he lit his hand with fire.It was a long shot but it was also worth a try. Keefe grabbed Fitz while Percy and Jason grabbed Elwin. They immediately went to Havenfield. When they got there, Sophie felt light headed but it immediately went away after Sophie blinked a few times.Sophie looked at the demigods and they were in shock.
“This place is beautiful..” Annabeth said. “The architecture is immaculate!”
Sophie remembered her first time seeing Elvin houses. The demigods were a bit more chill then Sophie was.
I guess when you have seen Olympus, everything seems normal to you. She thought.
Yeah, Fitz said in her mind. Guess so.
Sophie jumped and she grabbed onto Keefe’s arm. Nobody said anything and Sophie turned to face Fitz. His eyes were wide open and smiling like a maniac. He sounded like Brant for some reason but still scared Sophie half to death.
“Hello Sophie.” He cackled as Sophie tried to move towards him. She was stuck in place. “I missed you.”
Sophie tried to move but she couldn’t. Everyone continued to walk to Havenfeild. Sophie was facing Fitz as fire ignited in his hand. He walked toward her, ready to burn her.
“Come back!” she screamed. “Please!”
Keefe turned towards her and frowned. “You keep trying to fix everything, Sophie. You even fixed Exilium. But you can’t fix me.”
Tears welled in Sophie's eyes. She hated it when he said that.
“You will never win,” Fitz said. “Your friends will betray you when you need them most.”
This can’t be real. Sophie thought. But if it is...no...it's not.
Grady and Edaline walked outside, coming to hug Sophie. Sophie put her arms out for them. Despite this all not being true, they looked so real. Right before their hands met, They stopped and stood normally with a frown on their face.
“We are cancelling your adoption.” Edaline said.
The words echoed in Sophie's head.
“We don’t love you.” Grady laughed. “Not one bit.”
The world started to spin. Sophie collapsed to the floor while she heard the voices of people talking.
“Join us Sophie.” Fitz said. “Help us fix the world.”
Then everything went black.
“Oh my gods.” I said as Sophie’s body started to lose color. “What's going on?”
Dex was rummaging through his bag and Keefe was right next to Sophie, watching her every movement. Keefe looked at me with a worried look.
“She’s fading.” He said. “But I don’t know why. I was putting some of my concentration on her even! Something happened.”
Dex pulled out a bottle and put it under Sophie's nose. She inhaled it and color started to slightly come back.
“This is Fade Fuel.” Dex explained. “Luckly, she hasn’t faded too badly this time. In the meantime, let's get some more help. Keefe, get Edaline and Grady. I will stay here with Sophie.”
Keefe nodded and ran towards the giant house on the hill. A million questions echoed in my mind.
“What's fading? How come the rest of us aren’t fading? Is she going to die? Where are we? What is going on!” I said out loud. I immediately wanted to take it all back, especially since Annabeth was hardcore glaring at me.
“Fading is something that happens when not all of your body comes together during a leap.” Dex said quietly. “Sophie keeps fading over and over for some reason. Oh, and we are at Sophie's home. Havenfield.”
Everything started to come together. I opened my mouth for another question when Annabeth pulled me away.
“What?” I asked, knowing very well what she was about to say.
She looked at me with the one look she always gave me. The angry yet knowing look. “You know what.” She said with the look still on her face.
I shook my head and used my best acting skills, trying to fool her. “I really don’t.”
Annabeth sighed and rolled her eyes. “You are acting weird. Do you....like Sophie?”
I gasped and grabbed Annabeth into a tight hug. “No! Never. I love you and only you. Don’t worry about us. Ok?”
I let go of her so I could see her face. She nodded slowly and then we went back to the group, where three adults were surrounding Sophie. Then, one with crazy glasses called out.
Sophie slowly opened her eyes and then looked around. She saw Elwin, Edaline, Grady, Dex, Keefe, and both Annabeth and Percy running over. Sophie looked at her hands and sighed.
“Not again!” Sophie groaned. “How did it happen?”
Elwin shrugged. “I, once again, have no idea. Keefe said he focused on you a lot. Maybe you focused too much on the other kids or-what happened to Fitz?”
Keefe frowned. “Long story.”
Elwin nodded. “I got that. But could Fitz have done anything?”
Keefe opened his mouth to talk and then got really angry. He stomped off towards Calla’s tree. Sophie tried to get up and follow him but once she got up she collapsed. Luckily, Elwin got her just in time.
“Slow down!” Elwin said. “You need a minute to rest. And a bottle of youth.”
Sophie nodded and slowly sat back down. She just hated seeing Keefe like that.
“How long do I have to rest this time?” Sophie asked Elwin.
Elwin smiled. “Maybe a few minutes. Luckily, Dex helped you out before I came. Anyway, here is the bottle of youth and Edaline thought you might want Ella. After what I heard so far, you have had a rough day.”
Elwin handed Sophie her stuffed animal, Ella. Sophie squeezed it tightly. Then, she heard a small snicker.
“You still sleep with a stuffed animal?” Percy asked.
Elwin looked at Percy like he was inspecting him. “Yeah, after being traumatized, you kind of need one. Do you want one? I have extras!”
Percy laughed a bit. “No, I’m good.”
Elwin shrugged. “Ok. But you will need one eventually.”
Percy laughed again and then freaked out. “Hold on. Where is Jason and Frank?”
“I can’t track their thoughts.” Sophie said.
“You can’t do what?” I asked.
“Track thoughts.” Dex said. “Another rare thing Sophie can do.”
I thought that was super cool but I needed to find Frank and my bro.
Annabeth looked around. “Is Fitz still here?”
Everyone looked around. He wasn’t.
“Oh gods.” I said. “This is really bad.”
I heard a soft yelp and then I saw that Edaline and Grady had disappeared too.
“Everyone get together!” Annabeth yelled.
Sophie was yelling at Keefe to come. She was tearing up and then ran towards him.
“Sophie!” Elwin yelled. “Come back!”
Keefe saw Sophie and jumped up. He was about to move when he turned invisible. Sophie collapsed to her knees and started to cry. Everyone was yelling so I couldn’t exactly hear her. Then all the sudden, she turned invisible too. I saw a flash of light, which Dex said it means that they left.
“What just happened?” I asked as I looked around me.
Everyone, except me, was trembling.
“A mass kidnapping.” Dex said. “Sophie, she could have inflicted on them. She didn’t though. This is really weird.”
Elwin patted Dex’s back. “She was in shock. She just watched Grady and Edaline get kidnapped, Keefe, and she was still a bit weak. But I do agree that it was a little strange that she didn’t put up a fight.”
Annabeth looked like she got an idea. “Could they be recruiting demigods? Pelios is the god of emotions! He has a few kids at camp. Maybe they were helping?”
I considered that and then got really scared. “We have to go back to camp. We have to.”
I picked up the leaping crystal that Sophie dropped and handed it to Elwin. He nodded and everyone grabbed hands. We picked up unconscious Elwin and then we leaped back to Camp Half-Blood.
“Oh my gods.” I gasped as I realized what was happening.
Ok, let me backtrack real quick. Sophie, Keefe, Jason, Frank, Edaline, and Grady all got kidnapped by the Neverseen. Yeah, pretty crazy if you ask me. Then, while we were light leaping, I realized what was happening. If Elwin was light leaping us, then whose body was I carrying? When we got to the forest next to Camp Half-Blood, I grabbed Annabeth who grabbed Dex and I ran far away enough so Elwin couldn’t hear us.
“Guys,” I said worriedly. “That is Elwin, correct?”
Everyone nodded, not really realizing the truth.
“Then who is this?” I asked, pointing to Elwins unconscious body.
Annabeth and Dex’s eyes widened. Then, luckily, Annabeth got an idea.
“Dex, you can wake this guy up. Right?” Annabeth asked.
Dex nodded while Annabeth motioned for him to do so.
“Percy, watch me while I go to the other Elwin. I’m going to test something out. If anything happens, attack him. Ok?”
I nodded and quietly walked to a bush by Elwin. Annabeth followed but made herself seen by Elwin.
“Hi Elwin!” Annabeth said with a warm smile.
“Hi Annabeth!” Elwin replied.
“I don’t suppose you do but I was wondering if you had something I could defend myself with.” Annabeth patted her pockets. “I guess I left my knife in Havenfield and I don’t think we should go back just for a weapon.”
Elwin nodded and looked around suspiciously and then looked back at Annabeth with a smile. “Actually I might have something. Come here so I can give it to you.”
Annabeth slowly walked towards Elwin. Once she was close to him, he grabbed her, tackled her to her stomach, and covered her mouth. Elwin put his foot on her back and he was holding her arms together.
“Guess everyone was right.” Elwin laughed. “Humans are pretty stupid.”
I didn’t realize that I was frozen until Annabeth started to hyperventilate. I jumped out of the thorny bush, bad idea, and pulled out my sword.
“Let. Her. Go.” I growled.
Elwin looked at me like I was a new species that he had never seen before. Then he looked at Annabeth with anger.
“A trick!” He yelled. “You tricked me!”
I laughed. “It wasn’t a trick. It was a plan. Apparently, you don’t know anything about Annabeth.”
I quickly checked on Annabeth, who was now motionless and her eyes were closed. She looked...dead. I knew she wasn’t though, not yet. But I couldn’t risk it. I charged at Elwin. His face was frozen with fear. Then, just in time, he disappeared and Annabeth started to breathe again.
“I have places to be!” Elwin called while he was invisible. “Bye!”
The flash of light appeared and he was gone. I quickly went to Annabeth and cradled her head in my arms.
“It’s ok.” I said to her, “We are so close to camp. We will get there soon.”
Darkness filled Sophie’s mind. Sadness, betrayal, and misery were the only emotions Sophie could feel. Muffled voices were all around her. Sophie could feel something on her wrists, eyes, ankles, and waist. Restraints? Sophie could barely think. Despite the clouds in her mind disappearing, everything hurt still. Sophie conjured up the energy to try to talk.
“Where am I?” Sophie asked, not expecting an answer.
“Good morning Sophie Foster.” A familiar voice said. “We are happy to have you here.”
Sophie couldn’t identify whose voice it was but it brought back both happy and angry feelings.
“Who are you?” Sophie growled. “Tell me.”
The voice laughed. A beautiful sound. Then, it clicked. It was Fitz, the boy Sophie loved and got betrayed by.
“I think you just figured it out.” Fitz said.
He can’t be reading my mind.
“Oh, but I am.” Fitz replied to Sophie's thought. “I never told you since we were cognates that I can still get past your blocking without you feeling me. Another thing the Neverseen taught me.”
“Why?” Sophie said weakly. “Why would you join them?”
Fitz was quiet for a moment, then he finally spoke. “Alvar and my dad. They were my heroes. I wanted to be just like them. So, I joined the Neverseen. I joined them. The funny thing is that I did it after I joined the Black Swan. Easier to earn your trust.”
Sophie coughed. Her throat was so dry. “That's not all and I know it.”
Fitz laughed. “You know me too well Sophie. I guess I will continue. I hated that Keefe got all of your trust. Even after he joined the enemy! But I try to kill someone and everybody is against me. It gets old if I’m being honest. So, are you happy now?”
Sophie could feel her mind getting clouded again. “Not yet.” She was slipping back to the darkness. “Let us go.”
All of the sounds started to fade away. All she heard was Fitz laugh before silence and darkness consumed Sophie.
“Dex!” I yelled. “Come here!”
Dex ran over with Elwin running behind him.
“Elwin!” I exclaimed. “You’re awake!”
Elwin looked at me with confusion. “D...do I know you?”
I sighed. I had totally forgotten that the evil Elwin knew me, not the regular one. I opened my mouth to talk when Dex interupted me.
“Nevermind that! Why did you call?” Dex asked.
I was tempted to slap my face. How could I forget?
“It's Annabeth!” I said worriedly. “She won’t wake up!”
Elwin knelt down to her and snapped his fingers. A ball of light was over Annabeth and Elwin kept changing it.
“A broken ankle,” Elwin began. “With some damaged cells. She is going to need lots of bottles of youth and some wound wipe. Man, this is bad.”
I shrugged. “We fell into Tartarus. This is nothing compared to what we went through.”
Elwins jaw dropped. “You fell into the Underworld?”
I nodded as Dex rummaged through his bag. Then, he pulled out some ambrosia and nectar.
“Will Solace gave this to me,” Dex said as he handed me the ambrosia and nectar. “I don’t know what to do with them and you need it more than me.”
I quickly thanked Dex and started to feed Annabeth. She was slowly waking up and as she did so, Dex explained everything to Elwin. Elwins expression continued to change from confusion, anger, sadness, betrayal, and then all over again. When Annabeth woke up, she was shivering.
“What’s wrong, wise girl?” I asked, reaching for my jacket to cover her.
She looked at me with sadness and failure. “We won’t win.”
When Sophie woke up again, she could barely remember anything. She couldn’t remember who this boy was next to her or where she was. But tiny details seemed to linger in her mind. It was a puzzle that was missing pieces.
“Who are you?” The blonde boy next to her asked.
They were sitting on a bench next to a really tall tower in a city.
The Empire State building. Sophie thought but she didn’t know how she could tell.
“Excuse me.” The boy said again. “Who are you?”
“Sorry,” Sophie apologized. “I’m Sophie Foster. You are?”
The boy thought for a moment. “Keefe.” He finally said. “Keefe Sencen.”
Sophie smiled at him. Keefe had messy blonde hair with ice blue eyes. He seemed like somebody who would be friends with her. But, she couldn’t remember. That bothered her.
“Listen,” Keefe said. “I can’t remember anything about me but I feel like we know each other.”
Sophie nodded. “Yeah. It’s one of the only things I can remember. We are supposed to be friends.”
Keefe nodded. “I also have this strange feeling that we have to go north to find the answers. To find our memory.”
Sophie nodded. “Well, we need a compass. And a taxi. New York City isn’t a safe place for us by ourselves.”
Keefe looked at Sophie with confusion. “How do you know this? All I can remember is that we are, call me crazy, elves?”
Sophie nodded. “I think so. I just know it. Anyway, we have to find a compass unless “elves” have this uncanny ability to tell direction?”
Keefe laughed. “That's ridiculous! Why would you-”
Sophie stopped listening. Keefe's laugh was melodious like a bird's song. Then, something clicked.
“Song..” Sophie whispered. “That sounds familiar.”
“What was that?” Keefe asked.
Sophie nearly tripped when he said that. She didn’t even realize that they were walking in the park.
“Sorry,” Sophie apologized. “The name Song sounds vaguely familiar. Gods, this will be fun.”
Keefe smiled. It was happy but it had sadness in it. Love? Sophie couldn’t tell.
“This is North? Right?” Sophie asked.
The two of them were now exiting the park's gates.
Central Park. Sophie thought.
Sophie didn’t realize that she was zoning out until Keefe held her hand. Sophie looked at their hands and back at Keefe who was looking straight ahead, blushing.
I’m sorry Keefe. Sophie thought. I am really, really sorry. This feels like it's all my fault.
“It’s not though.” Keefe said, as if Sophie was talking to him through her mind.
“What?” Sophie asked, very confused.
“It's not your fault.” Keefe repeated. “It never was. I made a choice, Sophie. We both did. I knew what would come with that choice. We knew.”
Sophie looked at him, nearly tearing up. “Yeah. Wait, how did you remember that?”
Keefe paused and then groaned. “I don’t know. I just knew that we did that but now, the details are just gone. This is going to be annoying.”
Sophie laughed and then realized they were walking through the woods. “What are we doing here? Is this the way?”
Keefe nodded. “Yeah, it just feels...right. Doesn’t it?”
Sophie nodded. She didn’t realize the weird sensation of safety until now.
“You know Sophie?” Keefe asked. “Even though we can’t remember anything, I feel like we love each other. Don’t you?”
Sophie paused and then pulled Keefe in for a kiss. If she remembered anything, it was that she loved this guy.
“What do you mean?” I asked Annabeth. “Of course we will!”
Annabeth had tears streaming down her cheeks. “No, we won’t. They have the most structured plan and we wouldn’t be able to beat them if we tried. Its-”
“Impossible.” I interrupted. “But, we won every battle thought to be “impossible”. We defeated the literal Earth and a titan. We can win this too.”
Annabeth shook her head and quickly stood up. She wobbled and then motioned for everyone to follow her. “Let's at least get to camp while we still can.”
I was still in shock. Despite me following Annabeth, I knew she was wrong. But if she wasn’t, things would be very, very bad.
“Do you think she is right?” A voice asked from behind me.
I turned around. It was Dex with tears about to come from his eyes.
“Is she?” Dex asked again.
I shook my head. “No,” I said. “She can’t be.”
I didn’t want to break it to Dex. When I first met him, he told me he had two loving parents, 3 slightly annoying siblings, and an entire business back at his home. I couldn’t tell him that I didn’t know. I had to keep that alive. That spark of hope that was always keeping us going. I zoned out for a minute and before I knew it, we were at camp. It was empty and you weren’t able to hear a thing.
“Hello?” I called. “Anyone here?”
There was no response. Then, Annabeth tried calling for campers by name.
“Travis!” She started with. “Connor? Katie? Lou Ellen? Will? Chiron? Mr.D? Where is everyone?”
I shrugged. I decided to walk into the Healing Center to check if anyone was there. Then, I gasped from what I saw. Everybody was asleep and something in there was making me want to fall asleep with them. I shook it off and started to run out of the Healing Center.
“Annabeth!” I yelled. “Dex! Elwin! Get out of camp now!”
I heard coughing from the Athena cabin and I ran there first. It was Annabeth. She was on the floor, curling up into a ball. I held my breath and ran in there.
“Come on Annabeth.” I struggled to say. “We have to get out of here.”
Annabeth tried to get up but she could barely stay awake. I managed to grab Annabeth and run out. I took her out of the gates of camp, where Elwin and Dex were waiting. They were coughing like crazy but it was slowing down. I was coughing a bit too but after I got out of camp, I stopped.
“What was that?” Annabeth asked, getting to her feet.
“A spell or-” I said before I got interrupted by Annabeth.
“Hypnos!” She exclaimed. “Oh gods. If I could just get my notebook-”
Annabeth moved back towards camp before I grabbed her.
“No.” I said sternly. “I am not going back in there with you. You were weak enough after almost dying and you almost just fell asleep. So, no. We can do it without your notebook. Ok?”
Annabeth nodded reluctantly.
“Good.” I said. “Now, let's try somewhere else to go. Maybe an apartment in Manhattan?”
Annabeth smiled and held my hand. “Let's go Seaweed Brain.”
Then, the four of us set off to Manhattan.
“Are we almost there?” Sophie asked Keefe.
“I think so.” Keefe replied.
They had been walking for a while and Sophie's legs were starting to hurt. But if she could get her memory back, she would go to the end of the Earth.
“Stop!” Keefe yelled adruptadly.
Sophie almost ran into Keefe’s back.
“What?” Sophie yelled back.
“It's moving.” Keefe said. “They are moving.”
“Wait,” Sophie paused. “The thing we need to get our memory back is a person?”
Keefe nodded. “I think so. It's on the tip of my tongue. I’m getting really tired of not knowing this stuff.”
Sophie laughed. The smirk on Keefe’s face implied that he was joking around and after this long day, Sophie needed something to cheer her up. Then, Sophie gasped.
“Percy!” Sophie exclaimed.
“What?” Keefe asked, slightly confused and surprised.
“Percy Jackson.” Sophie repeated. “That's his name. Right?”
Keefe smiled with joy. “Yeah! I think so!”
Then he picked Sophie up and hugged her. “Gods, Sophie! You are amazing!”
Sophie blushed and got butterflies. She didn’t know why but she knew she was very used to it. All because of teal eyes. She couldn’t remember anything else. Sophie was getting really tired of that.
“Keefe,” Sophie said, pulling away from Keefe. “What if we don’t find Percy? How will we be able to get our memory back? How will we remember our families and friends? How will we remember who we are?”
Keefe frowned with anger, sadness, and resentment. “I know that my family wasn’t good to me. It's like I know but don’t know stuff. I just know that they weren’t very loving or caring. I have a feeling one of them is actually evil but I don’t know for sure. But Sophie, we will find Percy. No matter how far he is, I will find him for you. For us.”
Keefe grabbed Sophie's hands and kissed her forehead. “Sit down, Sophie. Let's rest for a bit. I know that it's a bit random but you are barely keeping up. You need to sleep. I will stay watch. Ok?”
Sophie nodded and sat down. She put her head on Keefe’s shoulder and closed her eyes. She could feel herself going into the darkness when she said her final words before sleep.
“Thank you Keefe,” Sophie whispered. “I love you.”
Then Sophie drifted off to sleep.
“Percy!” My mom said as she opened the door. “Annabeth!”
She gave us both a hug and looked at Dex and Elwin, very confused.
“Who are these?” Mom asked.
“Dex and Elwin. But that doesn’t matter. Mom, we have to talk.” I replied in my most serious voice.
Mom rushed us in and closed the door. She made sure it was locked and then closed all of the blinds. The only source of light was a small flower lamp.
“What is it, Percy?” Mom asked, very scared. “Is your father sending you on another quest? I can help! I will-”
Annabeth cut her off. “No, Ms.Jackson. Well, yes and no. We do have another quest-”
“What?” My mom exclaimed.
Annabeth continued. “But Poseidon did not send us on it. We have to save two worlds this time, from chaos. We lost more than half of our group and we desperately-”
Mom nodded and smiled. “You need some help. Percy, find somewhere for you and your friends to sleep. I will prepare some stuff for you all when you decide to leave. Ok?”
I nodded, feeling quite happy to be home. I needed sleep, especially after the day I had.
“Thank you Mom.” I thanked her and then motioned for everyone to follow me to my room.
I pulled out some sleeping bags from my closet and told everyone to sleep. A minute later, everyone was snoring. I decided that I should too so I closed my eyes and almost immediately fell asleep.
“Who are you?”A familiar voice asked.
Sophie, I thought. She's OK.
“I’m Percy.” I said. “Are you Sophie?”
Sophie emerged from the darkness. She looked at me like she didn’t know me.
“You’re Percy?” She asked.
I nodded and smiled. “Yeah.”
I couldn’t think of anything else to say to her. She was alive and that is all that mattered. Then, her face twisted from happiness to seriousness.
“Percy, listen to me.” Sophie told me as she took a deep breath. “Where are you? We need to find you. We can’t remember anything and if we find you, we will be able to find everyone else. So, where are you?”
My mind was racing with questions. They can’t remember? Who is “we?” I pushed them aside and looked at Sophie.
“Sophie, meet us at the Empire State building at 12. Ok? We will find you there.” I said.
Sophie started to fade away, back into the darkness. I was tempted to run and try to grab her. Keep her here so I can make sure she is safe. I knew her for only a few weeks but she felt like a little sister. We shared so many secrets, so many hard times. We were so alike. But I knew that I couldn’t save her from the darkness. I had to watch her fade away. No matter how much pain it caused me.
Goodbye Sophie. I thought, hoping she could hear me.
Then I drifted into the darkness.
Sophie jolted awake. Keefe was still awake. He had horrible baggy eyes and he had a sad smile.
“Good morning, Foster.” Keefe greeted. “You slept in today. I heard somebody say that it’s 11:30. No idea what that means but I’m sure you can figure it out.”
Sophie jumped up. She instantly got lightheaded but she shoved that away.
“I know how to find Percy.” Sophie said. “He said that he will meet us at the Empire State Building at 12. That gives us less than 30 minutes to get there. We have to hurry.”
Keefe smirked and jumped up. “Whatever you say, Lady Fos-Boss.”
Sophie looked at Keefe with confusion. That name that Keefe had been calling her since she woke up felt right but it still made Sophie wonder.
“How do you remember those names?” Sophie asked Keefe.
Keefe shrugged. “I don’t know. It just felt right.”
Sophie shook it off, even though the nicknames did annoy her a bit. Then, they started to walk out of the forest to the Empire State Building.
That’s where we will get our memory back. Sophie thought.
Sophie was absolutely terrified. What if her past was terrible? What if there were things that she didn’t want to remember? Then, out of nowhere, Keefe laughed.
“That's a major wave of worry you are hitting me with.” Keefe laughed again.
Sophie looked at Keefe with, once again, confusion. “How do you know that I’m worrying?” Sophie asked.
Keefe shrugged. “I’m getting really tired of saying this but, I don’t know.”
Sophie shrugged it off but she knew that all of the answers will be here soon enough. Everything will soon make sense.
“Where are they?” Annabeth complained. “We have been waiting forever!”
I stood there patiently, tapping my foot. When I woke up, it was 11:45. Plus, we had a car to get there. Sophie had only her feet and Zeus knows how far she is. Then, in the middle of the crowd. I saw two kids that looked to be about my age. I pointed to them.
“I think that’s them, Annabeth.” I said.
Dex looked a little closer and his eyes widened. “Its Sophie and Keefe!” He exclaimed.
Elwin started to get a little excited too. He smiled really wide and was talking to Dex in a language I understood but couldn’t identify. It wasn’t Latin or Ancient Greek but somehow, it came naturally. Anyway, Sophie saw us and she smiled. She ran towards us, smiling wider with each step. Keefe followed her, smiling a bit with each second.
“It's them,” Annabeth whispered. “They made it out.”
Once Sophie and Keefe got to us, I gave Sophie a huge hug. I had been so worried that she wouldn’t make it. Keefe hugged Dex and slowly, it formed into one big group hug. Then, Sophie put her hand to her head, wobbled for a moment, and collapsed. Keefe, luckily, caught her.
“Memory overload.” Keefe said with a gentle smile. “You know how that is.”
I nodded. Sure, I hadn’t passed out, but it came a little more slowly and it gave me a crazy headache almost every time I got a memory back. Sophie’s eyes blinked open and she slowly stood back up.
“What happened?” Sophie asked, putting her hand on her head.
“You passed out,” Elwin said with a laugh. “Is it because you missed me that much?”
Sophie looked at Elwin with a smile. “I missed you so much. Now with my memory back, I can remember what everything means. Everything that happened-oh my gods.”
Sophie started pacing back and forth. She was whispering random stuff under her breath like “the kidnapping,” and “faint smell of raspberries.”
“Sophie,” Annabeth asked. “What are you doing?”
Sophie looked at Annabeth with worry. “I have clues to where everyone else is being held captive.”
Laughter and screams of terror echoed through my mind. I knew I was mostly unconscious. It was a sort of familiar feeling. Despite not being fully awake, I could feel somebody's hand. It was Sophie's hand. I drifted fully into the darkness but when I fought out of it more, Sophies hand was gone. My only sense of reality was gone.
What did they do to her? I thought. They couldn’t have-
I cut off that thought. The guilt could break my mind and I would be like one of those criminals in Exile. I couldn’t let that happen. I wouldn’t let it happen.
“Jason?” A sweet voice called. It was motherly and soothing. “Are you OK?”
Edaline. I thought. She was awake. Now, I was hoping I had enough energy, like her.
“Edaline.” I whispered. “Is that you?”
Something started to move across the cold, flat floor. She was probably crawling, trying to get to me. I was trying to open my eyes but they were heavy. So very heavy. I decided to keep them close, hoping the dark misery doesn’t come back for me.
“It’s going to be fine, Jason.” Edaline whispered and a motherly way.. “We will all be fine. Just sleep.”
I heard heavy footsteps come. Edaline gasped.
“Misbehaving, I see.” A deep voice said. “That's very naughty. And right before I was going to stop sedating all of your friends. Guess the telepaths will have to do mental torture.”
“No,” Edaline said sternly. “You won’t hurt us anymore.”
The deep evil laughter echoed through the room. I heard hard noises, like attacking and defense. Then, Edaline screamed. I peeked through my eyes, which were now much more open, and saw Edaline unconscious. The cloaked figure was dragging her out of the prison. Then, my eyes closed again, hoping this was all a dream.
“Clues? Why just clues?” Percy asked, extremely confused.
Sophie paused and just stood there for a moment. She was looking at two different colored ants fighting. One ate the other one. Everyone was disgusted but she had no reaction. Then, her eyes flickered teal and back to brown. She looked at Percy with tears streaming down her face.
Sedate me. She said telepathically. I’m too dangerous.
Then, Percy did something she wasn’t expecting. He went and hugged her. Sophie could feel her tears leak into his shirt and she tried to push him away. He refused to move.
“I can’t Sophie.” Percy said, almost crying. “You are like a sister to me. I can’t do it.”
Sophie went to Annabeth and grabbed her arm. Sophie felt her eyes flicker to teal again.
“Annabeth, listen to me.” Sophie said with a Vacker accent. “Capture me or sedate me. I don’t care what you do. But, you can’t let me stay awake. I’m trying to break through it. I just can’t stay out here or I will kill all of us. I will end the world and nobody will be safe. So I beg of you, hide me and put me to sleep. Don’t let them find me.”
Annabeth nodded, also crying. She must know the feeling of being a weapon or having your mind messed up. Whatever it was, she disappeared with Sophie, taking everyone with her.
Before I knew it, we were at Percy’s moms house. It was strange yet cozy. Percy pulled everyone to his room. Once they arrived there, Elwin looked at Sophie.
“Listen Sophie,” he said. “If we do this, you may not wake up for months to come. Are you really OK with that?”
Sophie nodded and walked over to Percy’s desk. There was a piece of lined paper and a pen. Then, she started to write. Everyone watched for a few minutes as she wrote, never taking the pen of the paper.
“Read this.” Sophie said, folding it up. “But only after me and Keefe are asleep. You can’t tell anyone what it says and you must burn it after you commit it to memory. Promise me this.”
Keefe looked at everyone with confusion. “Wait, I’m going to sleep? I don’t-”
Elwin shoved a sedative down his throat. Sophie muffled a scream as Ewlin did the same to her right after. They both collapsed to the ground, motionless and dead-like.
Then, Sophie faded into the teal abyss. She hoped everything would be fine when she woke up.
“How do you do that?” Annabeth asked, staring at the two motionless bodies on the ground. Tears welled up in her eyes and she reached for my hand.
“What?” Elwin asked, nearly crying too.
“How do you do that?” Annabeth repeated. “Without hesitation? It must be a terribly hard thing to do.”
Elwin nodded, bending down to pick Sophie up. “It is. But when you do something so often-”
Annabeth finished his sentence. “It becomes too easy. I know the feeling.”
Elwin nodded and laid Sophie down on my bed. He tied her arms together and her legs together. Then, her whole body onto the bed.
“It’s not much different from what you do.” Dex said, touching Sophie's hair. “Killing monsters everyday with a weapon? Yeah, this is just like that for us.”
“Is that sarcasm?” I asked.
Dex looked at me with a blank stare. “No, it's true. Our fragile minds will break even if we slightly hurt somebody. So this is just...brutal.”
Annabeth nodded while I just stared, hoping my mind would cooperate with the rest of my body. I still didn’t really understand it that much. The awkward silence in the room started to get worse. Everyone was just staring at Keefe and Sophie. They were both tied up on the bed, passed out. They seemed so...dead.
It's ok. A soft voice said in my head. It started to fade. I’m going to be ok.
Tears started to stream down my face. I never cried this much. Not even when my mom was taken to the underworld or when Annabeth fell off a cliff. Sophie was just...special. I started zoning out and repeating those words in my head. Then, I felt someone grab my hand. It was Annabeth.
“You ok, Seaweed brain?” She asked, holding the note in her hand. “We have work to do.”
I nodded slowly, trying to hold back the tears. “Yeah,” I whimpered. “Let's do it.”
Annabeth opened it and read it over and over again. Her eyes were tracing over the paper for at least 10 minutes. I tried to peek over a few times but she would always pull it closer.
“You good, Wise girl?” I asked, very impatient. ADHD really sucked sometimes.
Annabeth put the note down and laid her hand on her head. She sighed and just sat at the table, breathing slowly.
“This is a lot to process.” Annabeth said. “I mean, a lot.”
Dex picked up the paper and instantly dropped after a few seconds. He backed away from the paper like it had some sort of disease and he was afraid of it. I decided to pick it up next.
To my dearest friends, I read. I have these memories implanted in my brain. Straight from the Neverseen. Some of it is impossible to understand. But, I need you to know something first. Everyone's lives are in danger.
“What else is new?” I groaned. Then, I continued to read.