I watched frantically as my father collapsed again from what he perceives as Nadine's presence. This is the second time today that he collapsed. This is strange. The coma that Josh was in had changed him. Could Melody's magic be flawed? She gave Josh an amulet that helped him to sleep better. Did the amulet also contained fear enhancing feelings? I began to grow concerned.
I saw Melody and Stella taking care of Josh. They are carrying Josh to the infirmary, again. I approached Melody. "Melody, we need to talk." I whispered to her.
Melody nodded, and I helped Josh to the infirmary. I touched his cheeks, and it's warm. I got to admit that Josh here is in good condition, and all it takes for him to be awaken is to shake him to wake.
After Josh was placed in the infirmary, I went outside and Melody followed me.
"Yes, Jarren?" Melody asked. "You said you want to talk?"
"There's one question I'm going to ask you." I told Melody. "What type of magic did you use on our father when he wants to slip into a coma?"
Melody looked nervous, but nevertheless she regained her confidence. "I just used my barrier fixing magic on Josh. It's experimental since I had only developed it 3 months prior to Josh's coma. Besides, I tried to minimize all the possible side effects as possible in that time period."
"How did minimizing the side effects go?" I asked.
"It did went well." I told him. "I could see no side effects that Josh was experiencing, except for the fact that he is having trouble with his motoric system in the first 24 hours."
"Are you sure?" I wasn't convinced. "I got the feeling that Josh's fear of Nadine was caused by your barrier-fixing magic."
"What?" Melody gasped. "I've tried the barrier-fixing magic on the magic practice chamber, and I could see no fear or fear-enhancing magic."
I then started thinking about other factors. If Melody's magic didn't cause this, then who is? There must be some other factor that influences Josh's fear.
Or, could Melody's magic be flawed? Could she miscalculated her magic that included Josh's fear factor? There's only one way to find out: Wait and see.
I walked towards the infirmary and saw Josh lying down on the cot unconscious. Mary ran and paid Josh a visit.
"Josh!" Mary gasped when she saw Josh's face. She took a flashlight and shine it at Josh. Josh began to wake, and strangely, he is putting his hand over his eyes to shield from the intense light. This is strange, since Josh usually likes the light. But he put his hand in his pocket after a shortwhile.
"Dad?" I approached him.
Just then, Dallas walked inside the room, and he stared down directly at Josh. Josh's expression widened for a while but he eventually calmed down.
"Jarren?" Josh asked, his eyes wide.
"Father, you're alright!" I said, throwing myself upon him.
This really reminds me of how I was born. Apparently my father's story isn't fake after all. I could see it in his eyes. He was to hold the moon while the godslingers and Artemis deal with Nadine and her armies. That is the reason why I cannot shift to other forms, and I am stuck in silver form.
"Sorry about my presence." Dallas apologized. "I don't know that you have THAT amount of fear of Nadine."
"Yeah..." Josh rubbed his eyes. "And you're radiating almost identical presence to that of Nadine. And it's okay. You didn't know it in the first place."
"So, why were you suddenly afraid of Nadine?" I asked Josh.
"In my dreams, I know that Nadine is stuck, and that gave me relief. Now since Atalanta moved to make a football stadium sized running track, I was afraid that Atalanta will use Mount Othrys to kill off the losers, and the worst of all, Atalanta's move will set Nadine free." Josh told me.
I couldn't blame him. He has told me what Nadine did to me before I was conceived. He was brought to the brink of death and he would have died if his friends did not rescue him.
Josh got up and not surprisingly, he could walk. He got out of the infirmary, checked his next schedule and walked to rock climbing area.
My next schedule is rock climbing. Rock climbing was fun because of the thrill of the rocks falling when you climb, and the fact that you can alter its difficulties.
I met with Chiron, and he says that the rock climbing area is closed momentarily because of unknown reasons (Chiron didn't tell the campers). So Chiron told us to go to the swimming pool, where water polo game is about to commence.
I saw Sarah Cahill, my friend that I hadn't saw in years. I felt quite nostalgic because for years I haven't seen her. And also Layla Jobs. I couldn't imagine how Layla must have felt, losing her father from some type of cancer. Such a brilliant man Layla's father was, and now he passed away.
I climbed the ladder and entered the pool with my toes first to check the temperature, and it's about the optimal temperature so I jumped into the pool.
I realized that I jumped next to Mary and Mary looked beside her and right at me. "Joshy! I'm so glad you can join us! We can start the water polo match soon."
"Yeah, I hope so." I told her. "Anyways, has anyone told you that this will be a special water polo match?"
Mary blinked. "Special? What do you mean?"
"Yeah, we can actually dive underwater, and carry the ball all the way across." I told her.
Now this game also carries a significant advantage for children of Poseidon/Oceanus/Thalassa, and other gods that are associated with water. But fortunately, they had promised that they won't use their powers inside this pool. when they're playing water polo.
Percy is the referee now, and our team consists of: Me, Mary, Melody, Sarah, Layla, Katie, Gary McKidd. The other team consists of: Clarisse La Rue, Adam Sinise, Melina McKidd, Stella, Will Solace, Jarren, and Leo Valdez.
I am ready, and so does the others. I breathed in and out to make myself ready, and when Percy blew the whistle, Percy threw the ball and all of us rushed to get the ball which is right in the middle of the pool.
Someone needs to make the pool smaller, because the ball was 150 meters away from either side of the ends, and swimming towards it is going to be a very exhaustive effort.
Fortunately, I have trained and trained underwater, and therefore I have become the fastest swimmer in the camp aside of the Poseidon's children. I reached the ball first and grabbed it and toss it to my friends. Mary caught it, and she made a swim towards the goal. The other team scattered around the pool as they made way for Mary since she is so much bigger than the others. She continued to swim towards the other end of the pool (Melina McKidd was the goalkeeper) and threw the ball to the goal post. Luckily, Melina deflected the ball to the left, but Melina was also thrown backwards due to the size of the force that Mary had delivered with the ball. Melina stops just in time before her head collided to the goal post. Stella caught the ball and she dived down.
At the same time, I dove with her. I swam under the players of water polo, and I met Stella's eyes. I swam towards her and seized the ball. I got the ball and continued to swim underwater. Apparently, the others didn't know where the ball had went, and they kept looking for it. I continued to swim towards Melina's goal post, and once I get a clear shot, I surfaced, gasping for breath, and threw the ball inside the goal post.
A cheer went from our team, and Mary is the one who hugged me. "You have done well, my little friend!"
We decided to stop the water polo game, and we swim around the huge pool.
I swam over to Melody, who looked a little bit troubled.
"What is it, Melody?" I asked her. "You look a little... troubled."
Melody looked at me. "It's Atalanta." She told me. "She has finished the stadium now, and lots of people coming to the newly made stadium."
Just like an ultimate trap made by Atalanta, I thought. Sooner or later, we will have to join in order to stop Atalanta from killing off all those people.
"This is terrible." I told Melody. "We're going to need a quest immediately to stop Atalanta's plan to kill off the athletes. If there are no more athletes, then there will be no more olympic sports championship to watch."
"True." Jessica walked towards us. "So it is best for us to prepare for the upcoming quest. We need to tell Chiron...."
"Chiron already knows." Chiron said from the rim of the pool. I wonder how Chiron can get up there. Perhaps the ladder were also for hooves, not only for legs.
"Then, can you grant us approval on our quest?" I asked him.
"Yes, you will depart later in the afternoon, about 16:00." Chiron told us.
I looked at my wristwatch. It said 14:00. This means that we have 2 hours prior to our quest. This is also strange, because we're going on a quest late in the day, which could only mean that this quest is very urgent to all of us.
I'm not sure if I could beat Atalanta in a foot race, since she is the fastest mortal alive in the history of greece. But since Melody, my daughter, has an immensely powerful magic, I think she can make me a superfast runner since Melody possesses some demigod-enhancing magics. However, it hasn't been tested yet. Someone is just making rumors that Melody can cast magic onto someone and make him/her do incredible superhuman feats.
I decided to stay longer in the pool. Mary was still in the pool, and I took a deep breath and went down underwater.
I touched the pools bottom, and found a couple of sandbag weights. I was thinking of strapping myself with the sandbag weights, since I want to see how much weight I could withstand while being underwater.
But with no one to do it, I was ready to surface, when Mary went underwater, and surprisingly, she can go underwater the same depth as I did.
Mary seemed to know what I want, and she grabbed the sandbags, and she grabbed me and strapped the sandbags onto my waist, my body, my wrist and my ankles. Then, Mary surfaced and gasped for breath.
These sandbag weights feel quite heavy. But I managed to swim up and gasp for breath, after an exhausting 6 minutes. Sure I can hold my breath for more than 10 minutes, but the strenuous effort to just swim up cost me almost twice the amount of air I can hold in.
I decided to go down, and Mary did the same.
"Hey Josh, I heard that you're going on a quest to stop Atalanta." Mary said.
I looked at her. "That is correct, yes."
"May I join your quest? I can't wait to send Atalanta back to the underworld."
"Yeah, but just be nimble and cautious." I told her. "Atalanta is the fastest mortal alive, and you have to be very fast to catch her. There's not a clue that says that Atalanta will fight you when you caught her, so when you catch her, make sure she doesn't escape."
"You got it." Mary told me.
Then, I got down from the pool and took a shower. I relaxed for a while, and I found Melody's pack beside her. Apparently, Melody had prepared for her quest, or the might decide to depart earlier. I decided to do the same, packing my stuff. Fortunately, I didn't have to pack as much clothes as Melody, so I got lucky. But in turn, I packed snacks such as french fries, and some big meals such as beef steaks. But what about Mary? Mary's going to need a lot larger portion that all of us. I hope that Mary brings her own meal so that she doesn't have to eat our meals and left us to hunger.
My bag is quite small, but you can pack it with lots of items. That's because I have learned how to maximize my bag space to carry the maximum amount of load in my back, cramming it, but not to the point where all the contents of the bag will fall apart when I open it. Most of its contents are food and water. I also stores my belt full of weapons, which I usually cinch it on my waist. After packing, I washed my hands and went relaxing on the bed.
Just then, Stella, Melody and Jarren entered my cabin. They told me that we will be departing soon. I already pointed to my pack, and Melody decides to look what's inside. Melody looked inside, and she smiled.
"Burgers..." Jarren hummed.
Jarren is a burger freak, and has been since he ate burgers a few days ago. He doesn't care what type of burger it is, but as long as it is a burger, Jarren is going to like it. Melody, Stella and I also like burgers. I looked in my backpack, and it turns out there's no sandbag weights. I really want them as a in-quest training so I can be more powerful.
I went outside, and I saw Mary just finishing her packing up. Her bag was huge, the size of 10 luggages. I wonder where she had made that from, or where she got it from. Perhaps it might be a present from her father because she had set her father free.
I wonder what is in that bag, so I asked Mary what's inside.
"Hello Mary, what is inside that bag?" I asked her.
"Here, take a look." Mary said as she opened up her bag. It was unbelievable. There were big and lots of beef steaks packed into her bag, and just what I expected, sandbag weights. I wonder how Mary could carry that without getting tired, but I guess Mary had exercises every day that is much much heavier than that so it should become natural for her. There's also her spear and bows and arrows, and they appeared to be folded up nicely so that when it's time to use them, she can easily unfold them and use them as usual. For so long, I have never thought Mary would have such retractable weapon.
Mary took out her bow, which she grabbed by the rubber handle and it sparks electricity. "This is thunder striker, my bow, forged by the cyclops in Mount Edna. It's powerful and deadly."
Jessica wanted to come, but she had something to settle in the underworld.
Jessica came to me. "Sorry, Josh. I can't come. There's a big riot in the underworld, and I was asked to help Hades and Persephone to control the riots. They have tried everything, including using their immense fear to control them, but still doesn't work."
"Underworld riots happen everyday, doesn't it?" I asked her.
"Yeah, it does." Jessica told me. "But not as organized as this." Jessica tapped me in the shoulder and my vision was immediately in the underworld.
There were Hades and Persephone, trying to control the souls, but it simply did not work. The souls in the Fields of Asphodel were rioting and the souls in the Fields of Punishment were also rioting, throwing whatevery they could find to the barriers separating the fields of punishment and the fields of asphodel and they were rushing to Elysium. The rioters banged on the gates and fortunately, the gates are magically sealed, so brute force won't work, unless done over time.
I was back on Camp Half-Blood.
"That is horrible." I told her. "But.... I have a quest to go to so, sorry Jessica! Perhaps you or I can catch up in case one of us finishes our quest first."
Jessica nodded, and she asked Stella if she wanted to join her. Stella nodded, and both Jessica and Stella ran towards the nearest cabin, and when she collided with it, shadow enveloped her and disappeared.
Meanwhile, Me, Jarren, Melody and Mary were ready for our quest. We departed early, about 15:30, since we're going to need all the headstarts since this quest is timed since all people from the world is going to watch the stadium. Of course, the stadium is going to be fitted with cameras from all angles, so there won't be any blindspots on the stadium.
We went to Thalia's pine, which was right where the boundary line of Camp Half-Blood is. Then, with our packs, we got to the road and waited for buses. Mary will need to curl up into a ball everytime she went to a bus, which we find quite funny.
They thought I'm going to take another bus, but I have something better, a gift from my father, which is a grey coin that can turn into any vehicle, including humvees, tanks, etc. All I have to do is just flip the coin and think of a vehicle and the vehicle will be there. However, it only works for ground vehicles at the moment. I am looking for a way for the coin to transform to air and sea vehicles too.
I took out the coin from my pocket and flipped it and let it touch the ground. Bus... I thought.
Sure enough, when the coin reached the ground, it turned into a bus, just as I expected.
Josh looked at me with astonishment. "Wow Mary, I never see that magic coin of yours before." Josh told me. "Is it a gift from your father?"
"Yes." I told him as we're heading inside the bus. "It's his token of appreciation because I have set him free. Ever since, he has become a good father."
"So, how was your life without your father? I mean, when you're still a child." Josh asked me.
It was hard for me to tell him, because my mom is probably the same as his mom when I was a baby. I remember my mom as a mad scientist.
"My mom was a mad scientist." I told him. "She is obsessed on finding out how things work. I'm sure I've told you the details when you're with Hippolyta, am I right?"
"No, you only lashed out at me because of that research paper." Josh said.
"Ohh... sorry about that." I said to him. "Anyways, this time, my mom is working on something, and she is apparently staying up all night, and I was sleeping. When I was awake, I noticed that I am in this chamber, and it smells quite toxic. Hippolyta was the one who got me out of this. Then, the years after that, I started growing abnormally. I thought it was a tumor on my pituitary gland, as explained by my biology teacher, and it turns out that I was used as an experiment by my mother."
"And that's when you snapped and kill both Hippolyta's and your parents with a poison." Josh finished...
"Yeah..." I told him, feeling guilty about the memory. "Now there's no way of curing our gigantism disease. But however, it gave me a considerable advantage over the monsters."
I set the bus on automatic drive and finally we're on our way to San Francisco, California. It's going to be a very long journey, so I decided to sleep.
Dreams found me, and I was back in Atalanta's Stadium. This is amazing. Atalanta and her workers were able to finish a stadium that is over one square kilometer and now many people are gathering to see what the new stadium looks like. This is what we call: Mega Engineering.
Atalanta was racing back and forth, telling the workers to hurry up and finish the stadium. I watched Atalanta as she went from one end of the stadium to the other with negligible effort. It's as if Atalanta is becoming superhuman.
"Come on! Hurry up!" Atalanta was shouting from her megaphone. "We have audience to entertain!"
I have a feeling that Atalanta is not going to just invite the athletes to run on her new course. She's going to invite all the audience to run! 10 by 10, they're going to race Atalanta, and if they lose, they are killed. Of course the audience are not going to know about it since that will scare them off.
Among the workers, there are about 5000 men and women combined, each doing separate things. Some are forced to work without the use of cranes, so they're very exhausted indeed.
Atalanta spared no mercy on the workers. They were just forced to do, and every now and then, Atalanta manipulated the mist of the workers into thinking of they already had quite a lot of rest and now it's the time for them to keep working. It works, but some of them died from malnutrition and exhaustion. It was Atalanta who carried the body back and forth the stadium to be dumped on a hole in the ground that Atalanta herself made. It was full of rotten corpses, and even Atalanta had to wear a hazmat suit so she wouldn't get contaminated by the bacteria that is invading the corpses.
Atalanta poured gasoline over the corpses, and she lit it ablaze. This reminds me of the holocaust on Germany in the last century.
Atalanta then get to the washing basin, washes her hazmat suit, and then she took it off and put it in her living room. Then she continued to harass the workers, who apparently are eating, since they are starving.
Atalanta just sat there, and do nothing. Besides, the olympic stadium and the decorations is done. They just need to put on cameras that can record from every angle. That is, the camera that can travel along the rim of the stadium and capture the moment inside the stadium. There are at least 10 cameras, so every moment is captured.
Suddenly, I was awaken by the sudden jolt of the bus. There was a minotaur attacking us. What I saw in my dream was very cruel at how Atalanta was treating the workers. Now, we have to deal with this minotaur. I can't let this minotaur attack my ride just like that.
I got out of the bus, and pushed the grey button just beside the door, and it shrank back into a coin.
I put the coin in my pocket, and as the Minotaur charged at me, I was hoping of catching its horns and breaking it. The minotaur slammed into me, just in time for me to grab its horns, and with a little twist to the right, I broke both of its horns.
The minotaur roared in pain, and Josh got out and charged at the minotaur, knowing that without its horns, the minotaur is powerless. Josh stabbed the minotaur and the minotaur disintegrated.
I looked around us. This is just right after Arizona! Which means we are close to San Francisco, California! I looked at Josh's wristwatch. It says 18:00. This ride of mine is very fast indeed! We just travelled more than one thousand kilometers in just more than 2 hours!
I could see the city of California from just here. It was a city that I liked to visit, and I can't wait to show Josh my home.
"Hey Josh." I called.
Josh turned around and faced me. "Yeah?"
"I forgot to tell you. I actually live around here." I told him.
Josh looked a bit surprised. "You? Live around here? Isn't that kind of dangerous with monsters crawling like every meter around here?"
"Well, they learn not to mess with me." I told Josh. "Come, it's not very far from here."
I, Jarren and Josh followed Mary. Mary went to the 5th house from the nearest block and opened the fence, which is about 17 feet tall solid steel. I don't think anyone can open that, because it's so tall and heavy.
Josh got inside and looks at the tall structures that made up Mary's living. Even the floors are made of thick steel rods reinforced ceramics, which doesn't crack under pressure.
"This is amazing!" Josh said, as he looked around her house.
I got to admit they're amazing. The couch, the refrigerator, the washing basin, they were all gigantic sizes just for Mary. I doubt there would be any intruder that can reach her house.
Mary toured us around and I looked at Josh's wristwatch, and it's about 20:00, a good time to rest.
"Now, you all need some rests, right?" Mary told us. "Well, you can rest here."
What? Is she kidding? We can't use any of the furnitures! They were so tall, so difficult to reach! But at least the bucket in the bathroom is not as large as the other furnitures, about the size of my waist. I use it to clean my hands, and Mary grabbed a frying pan and use it to cook a steak.
"Now, anyone wants to eat?" Mary asked.
We all raised our hands.
I was beginning to worry about Stella and Jessica. They are still in the underworld, trying to bring the underworld riot under control.
Mary cooked us enchiladas, satyr's favorite foods, and some beefs and noodles. It's been quite a while since we ate noodles.