This is the first of seven book in a series called The Protogenoi Saga.
I Have a Dream
The gods are trying to kill me.
Yes me, Zachery Aurelius. Some lightning throwing god (Zeus I think) is attacking me, no joke. Don’t believe me? I’m not even sure I believe myself.
I still don’t fully understand why these crazy things are trying to kill me. I'm just one of those normal kids at my school. Nothing weird happened in my life until today. Not until the giant snake attacked me, or when the crazy dude tried to hit me with lightning.
Why the hell is this crazy stuff happening to me? Truthfully, I have no idea. I mean, one minute you’re in math class, taking a midday nap and having a weird dream, and next you’re being attacked by the king of the gods.
Okay, I sound like I’m getting on the nutty side here, so maybe I should start from the beginning of all this.
I was having a pretty good day in my sixth period math class at school. Really, there isn’t anything special about my school. Jefferson Junior High is just another one of those middle schools in the outskirts of Long Beach. You know, the crabby teachers, the weird custodians, and all of the various groups of kids. My seventh grade class wasn’t any different than another school.
Anyway, Lance (my best friend) and I were randomly drawing stuff in our journals to pass the time. Lance and I, we go way back. We met in like, third grade and immediately became best friends. We have a lot in common, us both being pyromaniacs, loving to piss off teachers, and having adopted parents (or foster, in his case). Lance ran away when he was five. He grew up with foster families, and managed to stay with the Harris’, who were the first nice family to take care of him. Plus we connected really well. We told each other everything.
A description of Lance? Maybe a wild haired, down to earth, fearless twelve year-old? Yeah, that just about sums it up.
Next to me Jade was absentmindedly playing with her pen. I watched as her caramel colored hair fell softly on her shoulder. Then she looked at me with her jade eyes (hence the name) and smiled. Jade was my other best friend, except we were much closer. I’ve known Jade ever since preschool, and she’s really fun to be around, always being the funny and sarcastic one in the crowd. Plus we both lost our parents. Hers died on a freak storm in the Caribbean when she was five. She moved in with her Aunt Florence, who hit her. Sometimes I caught her crying on her porch, and we would go to the park for a couple hours to get away from that >insert other word for female dog<.
I don’t really want to go into details about my past, but basically my parents ditched me at Disneyland. And no, it’s not funny.
Anyway, I was really bored. Our teacher started going on about how to factor polynomials, and I was getting really drowsy.
“Zach,” Jade said, “Are you okay?”
“Huh?” I said, startled.
“You’re falling asleep…”
I didn’t realize it, but I was. Every couple seconds I was getting more tired. Which was weird, because I never fall asleep in class.
“I think I’m just going to take a nap.” I decided.
She rolled her eyes and told me to drink 5-Hour Energy next time. Then I put my jacket on my desk and closed my eyes. After a couple seconds I started to go in a half reality half dreaming state. And then as if something sucked my consciousness away, I was pulled into a dream.
It started with me sitting in a diner, more specifically, Ruby’s Diner. I was at a pier, and out the window the Pacific glowed from the midday’s light. A Californian beach was spread out to the right of me. It overlooked the Pacific, and people around me were eating.
Suddenly a voice behind me said: “Hello Zachery Aurelius.”
I whipped around to see a man with greasy black hair and scars on his face. He was around six feet tall, and wore a tattered white shirt, part of a tuxedo, that seemed as if it hadn’t been cleaned in a couple months.
I looked at him, and then said, “Who are you? And what did you call me?”
“My name is not important.” Then he looked at me with a gleam in his eyes, and then said, “But I just called you by your real name.”
I knew what he meant. That must’ve been my parents’ last name. Robbins is my adopted parent’s last name, so I don’t like being called by it. Back when I was four at Disneyland, I didn’t know my last name. I just knew I was Zach. I barely remembered both my parents though. I don’t remember much about my dad, but I knew that he was quiet and strict. He always yelled at me to work harder and other annoying stuff like that. I think he might’ve even hit me… On the other hand, my mom was really sweet, nice, and caring.
“Was that my father’s last name?” I asked.
“No, it was the name both your parents gave to you. You didn’t inherit a last name.”
I was about to ask a series of questions, like how he knew my family, or what happened to them, and how many markers I sniffed before falling asleep, but he stopped me saying, “But we are getting off subject. Let us speak of this matter later. However I have brought you here to warn you of oncoming danger.”
“Wait, this is a dream right, so none of this is real?”
“Believe what you want, although I suggest you listen to me.”
“Come sit down.” He ordered.
He walked over to a table and sat down. I sat across from him, and he called for a waiter. A blonde girl in her 20’s came over. The man ordered a Coke, and the waitress left quickly.
He returned his attention to me and said, “Long story short, you are being hunted by the gods. Within a couple minutes or so one of them will attack you.”
“What!?” I said a little louder than I meant to, “What do you mean by ‘gods’,”
He looked at me with a dead serious face, and then replied saying, “Gods, as in the ones in Greek mythology.”
“Wait, so gods are real? Are you saying that werewolves and vampires exist too?”
“Sorry Zach, your twilight fantasies do not exist,” I was taken aback. What made him think I liked twilight? “However, the gods have existed since the beginning of time. Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, there are more. Apollo and Artemis, they all live today. Read your myths, and everything will be explained, because I really don’t feel like doing this right now.”
“…Cool story bro.” I said.
The dude narrowed his eyes in annoyance.
“Okay, this is wack. What makes you think I’d believe you anyway?”
“Maybe because you have no choice.” He said.
“Ha ha. Very funny. So, let me guess. You’re a god too?” I said, playing along with him.
“Yes. Now would you please shut up and let me explain?” He said coldly.
I just gave him a quizzical look, but nodded.
He stared into my eyes, and then said, “I can’t tell you much, but you are a demigod. Your father was a god, and your mother was a human. You’re the hybrid in this story.”
Oh jeez, I have the weirdest dreams…
“However, most demigods, like Heracles, had Olympian parents, such as Zeus or Athena. But you, you aren’t an Olympian child. The gods don’t know what you are. Your father placed a protection on you so that the gods wouldn’t sense you until you became thirteen. That moment, the gods would know where you were, and attack you. Apparently, you’re a threat to them.”
“But I don’t know when my birthday is,” I pointed out, “It’s December 18. Is today my birthday?”
“Yes.” He said grimly, “But there are others half-gods like you, and you all must stick together to stay alive. Lance and Jade are already with you, but the other girl is elsewhere. I am going to transport her to you, and then you will all be activated. That means that your abilities that have been hidden you whole life will appear.”
“Sounds fun,” I said sarcastically.
“Look, you kids have a big plan set up for you, and you can’t change it. Once you are activated, you will meet with the four other kids and travel here, to this diner. And I do think you know where this is…”
I looked outside, staring at the golden beach and raging crowds of people on the sidewalk. When I realized we were on a familiar pier by the water, a light bulb lit up in my head. “Huntington Beach!” I exclaimed.
He nodded, letting out a smile.
I sighed, so many thoughts and questions swam through my head, and I didn’t know which to ask. It was weird how this felt real, like some instinct in my body immediately started to believe. I felt crazy.
“Wait, so if my dad isn’t an Olympian, then what is he, American?”
“Your father… your father is an enemy of the Olympians. He expects you to join him, just as the other kids’ parents expect them to join their side.”
“Should I?” I ask, wondering when this dream was gonna end.
“You kids will be part of a factor that determines the fate of the planet, no, of the universe. Your father will not do any good if he overthrows the Olympians, such as Western Civilization being obliterated. But bad may come if he doesn’t; Zeus is turning… not evil, but less good. More like his father, Kronos.”
None of this made any sense. I felt like I needed to know more, even though there was a fat chance that this is all some weird hallucination.
“Then what side are you on? The Olympians, my dad’s? And which side is right?”
He gave a very deep sigh, and then said, “Truthfully, I am on neither side. I know all of this info because I have sources from both sides. And about which side is right, that is your decision to make. However, the Olympians will help you if you confront them peacefully, well, after they’re finished trying to kill you. But no one is good forever. When you research your mythology, I want you to look at the pattern of how power has been shifted through the gods. First it went to Ouranos, and then to Kronos, and then to Zeus, who was the first god with truth and order. Think of who will be next, who was prophesized to overthrow Zeus.”
“Is this god good?” I asked.
“You will know when you meet him, when he is born.”
Suddenly thunder rumbled in the distance, and the man looked at me with worry in his eyes. “Our time has run out, for Zeus has already attacked. Escape this god and the obstacles that you face. Then listen to me very closely. You must go to felicissimi locus super terram.”
He wrote it on a napkin with a pen he pulled out of his pocket. “Remember this,” he told me.
“What are you smoking?” I told him.
He glared at me, and then said, “I speak the truth. Go to the place I spoke of, and there you must find the rest of the protected children, and they will lead you to me,”
“So… why should I do all these things?”
“Understand the words. Listen to my warning, and you will survive. If you do not do this, you will surely die.”
Suddenly the man tensed, and looked up. Then he said, “I wish you luck Zachery Aurelius.”
“Wait! This doesn’t even make sense! What the hell are you even talking abou—“
Suddenly, as if someone had grabbed my head and tugged, I was yanked out of the diner and into reality.
I woke up to screaming.
Above me, flames skimmed across the ceiling like wave of flaming water. I watched in horror as pieces of the roof fell on to tables. The whole room swirled in white-hot flames. Above me, a gaping hole was placed directly on top of the ceiling, right above Lance, Jade, and me. I realized lightning had hit the school, and it would’ve hit us. The dude from my dream was right.
Suddenly Jade and Lance grabbed me and pulled me off of my desk. Sparks swirled around us and smoke filled my lungs. My eyes stung, but soon we were on our way out.
Fire scorched my skin. Pieces of plaster fell on us, and ceiling bits destroyed desks around us. By the time we got to the door, an intense fire blocked the path.
“We have to run through it. Don’t worry, we won’t burn in the process!” Lance yelled to Jade and I.
He dived through the wall of flames with no hesitation. Next went Jade, who hugged me before she jumped out of the room. I sighed, and started to run at the door when a scream behind me stopped me dead in my tracks.
There was a girl lying below a desk coughing. She looked Hispanic or Native American, and had glowing amber eyes. She was curled up in a corner, coughing under the flames. I quickly crawled over to her and helped her up.
I have to help her and get out of here.
The fire had destroyed almost everything in the building now, so I ran towards the door in full speed. When we got there, I told her to jump through the flames. She immediately did so, and I followed.
Finally, we had made it out. The entire building was engulfed now, and it had already spread to the other classrooms. And the science class did not smell good.
The girl I saved seemed confused. I asked her what was wrong, but she just stared at me with those glowing eyes. “Where am I?” she suddenly asked us.
“You’re in Long Beach California, at Jefferson Junior High.” I told her.
She looked at me, still confused, then said; “I live in Los Angeles. A minute ago I was in class, and all of a sudden I'm here, in your guys’ burning classroom.”
My blood went cold. The man’s words vibrated in my head: Her mother will send her to you so that the gods do not capture or kill her. Thus, the gods will discover you, and try to attack you. Could this be her?
“How about we just get to the field with the rest of our class mates? Then we can talk about this, later.” Jade said.
Slowly, the four of us walked down to the field with everyone else in the school. This whole thing put me into a state of shock. This can't be happening, can it? How could I not know all of this before?
We managed to get by our class without much notice. I looked at my skin, which was covered in ash and some burns. Around us, people talked nervously about what had happened
“So, what’s your name?” Jade asked the girl.
“I’m Serena Enriquez. What are your names?”
“I’m Jade Romano, this is Lance Trent, and this is Zach Rob-,”
“My last name is Aurelius,” I interjected.
“Since when?” she asked.
I wasn’t sure what to say, so I just told her that I was kidding.
Jade raised her eyebrow, and gave me a look that said: You suck at lying.
There was an awkward silence.
Then the ground trembled. At first it wasn’t very noticeable, but the second time I almost fell over.
At that moment I knew that another supernatural thing was going to happen. I looked at Lance and Jade nervously, and Serena stood still, as if she was a statue.
Suddenly a cloud of black dust materialized in front of us. It immediately took the shape of a golden snake. Its eyes were pitch-black, as if the white had been replaced with ink. Its golden scales stretched along its body, making it around twenty feet long.
The snake angled its head toward me, and then its voice echoed in my head saying: Hello Zachery Aurelius. I am Ananke.
It had a feminine voice, so I figured it was female, but I'm not sure. Then I stared at the snake, and it spoke in my head again saying, beware, for the god of the sky is attacking you.
I looked up to see dark billowing clouds filling up the sky. Lightning thundered from the heavens, but something seemed to stop it from hitting us, like a force field.
I am protecting you, the serpent said, and now I will test the extent of your abilities.
Ananke opened its mouth, revealing foot-long fangs that dripped poison. Suddenly it bit down on its mouth, and I realized it had cut itself, and I saw golden blood start to drip from its teeth.
My blood will awaken your dormant abilities. Although your powers will give you an advantage, they will make you vulnerable to gods.
What had the dude said about awakening my abilities? I’d never had any powers before, nothing very special. Was I about to get them now?
Before I could respond, she opened her mouth, releasing a golden spray that enveloped us. It tasted metallic and clogged my throat so I couldn’t breathe. It spread into my lungs, and I could feel it going through my blood and entering my brain. Then I started to convulse, and I glowed with a pale-blue tint.
After about a minute, it all stopped.
I felt energized, like I had drunk twenty Monsters (no pun intended). Everyone else looked the same too.
Now to test your strength, she said.
At that moment, I was pretty sure I was going to die.
“Look out!” I yelled to everyone. The serpent revealed her fangs and lashed out at Serena. She barely avoided it, and then the snake turned to us.
Lance immediately threw a large rock at Ananke. I'm not sure how he did it, but he threw it with great precision, nailing her in the face. The snake recoiled with a snarl and lunged towards Jade. I immediately jumped in the air, higher than I ever had before, and aimed at the serpent’s head. My foot slammed into a fang, making a loud crack.
The fang dropped on the ground in front of me, and I swiped it into my hand. The snake glared at me, and I held its tooth up like a weapon. Suddenly it held up a barbed tail and whipped it at me. I dodged it, but it came back again like a boomerang and wrapped around my stomach.
I was pulled right towards its mouth and I flew out of the tail’s hold, landing on the grass in front of its head.
I heard a snap, and barely rolled away as it chomped down where my head was. Then my reflexes kicked in. I dodged every attack it had and managed to stab its scales a couple times as Jade, Lance, and Serena helped by pinning down its body, making it easier for me to injure it.
It was like wrestling with a muddy pig.
Soon I started to wear out. In a final attempt to kill it, I ran towards Ananke, fang in hand, and lunged at it with all my might. I realized I was walking on the air like it was an invisible flight of stairs. As soon as I was close enough, I thrust my arm into its face and stuck the fang inside the roof of its mouth.
Agonizing screams came from the gigantic serpent and it writhed in all directions.
Slowly, it stopped convulsing and stared at all of us, who were frozen in shock. Zeus will kill you, it said, don’t just stand there! Run while you can!
Then we bolted.
I didn’t notice, but apparently the entire school ran away during our fight because the whole field was empty.
Then a flash of lightning descended in front of us, throwing us a couple feet backwards. My head rang, but I scrambled to my feet and kept running.
We quickly hopped the fence and jumped onto the sidewalk. Fear grew inside of me, and I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins.
Another lightning bolt exploded in front of me. A large, steaming hole glowed in where it had hit.
Fight or flight? I think flight.
We sprinted through the street, evading lightning bolts as they fell from the sky. I ran faster than I’d ever run before, making my lungs feel as if they were about to burst. My head ached as explosions destroyed houses around me, heat hitting me like a sledgehammer.
I watched as my friends’ houses erupted in blasts of lightning. All the people I knew, the people I’d grown up with, could die because of me.
We had to escape, or my dream guru was right, we would die.
Suddenly time slowed down, like I was in one of those slow-mo parts of the movies. There was an ear-shattering burst of thunder, and everything grew white for a couple seconds.
I realized I was on the ground, lying in the middle of a street. I could see Jade yelling something, probably my name, but I couldn’t hear her. I just heard a small ringing.
I figured I’d been hit by lightning, but I didn’t feel any pain. I tried to get up, but my body wasn’t responding. It was shaking, like I was having a spasm. My vision blurred, and I could feel the air turning brisk.
With another crack of thunder, a man appeared in front of me. He had shaggy black hair and blue eyes that raged like a storm. A thick, cleanly cut beard hung from his chin. His presence had sent winds fluttering around me. Was he Zeus?
The dude locked eyes with me, and I noticed an object in his hands. He held something bright, like a sort of weapon with lightning arcing through it. I figured he’s been shooting the lightning at us, even though I'm pretty sure that’s impossible.
But hey, a lot of impossible things have happened to me today, so what’s so weird about this?
I decided at once that I must be schizophrenic.
I tried to get up, but I was still paralyzed. However, my strength was coming back, and fast. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Lance creeping over, holding a pipe from a destroyed house. At once I knew he was going to attack the dude, and all I had to do was stall the man a little longer…
“Who are you?” I managed to say.
He looked at me with a blank expression and said, “I am Zeus, god of the sky and king of the gods.”
Okay, that clears things up.
I continued to talk to him, saying, “So… you like to kill innocent children in your free time?”
“You kids aren’t innocent, you pose a major threat to the gods. I have to obliterate you, no matter how long or hard it will be! Although I see that lightning doesn’t affect you…” he growled angrily.
“So um… besides the whole lightning thing, would you like to tell us why you have to kill us?”
Before he could answer Lance sprung up behind him and whacked Zeus as if he were a whack-a-mole.
At once my full strength came back to me. I started crawling away as Lance repeatedly hit him in the head. Serena and Jade helped me around as we tried to escape.
Suddenly Zeus turned around and grabbed Lance by the neck with one hand, choking him. He looked at us and held up his glow stick-thingy, sending up some sort of air-wall.
I tried to break through, but nothing worked. I was running into it, screaming Lance’s name, but nothing happened.
“Zach, help me!” Jade said angrily as she ran at the wall.
“How?” I yelled back.
“I don’t know! Just try to break through the barrier!”
But of course, it didn’t work when I tried.
“Nothing’s working!” I said in frustration.
I saw Lance’s face turning a dark shade of blue. Horror entered my mind, showing thoughts of Lance lying on the floor, motionless…
Then I started glowing, I don’t know how, but my body glowed a pale-blue, like when I got my “powers.” Somehow I walked right through the shield like it was thin air (well, I guess it was). Once I was next to them I took out the fang and lunged at Zeus. He held up his weapon, which now looked like a lightning bolt sort-of. Our collision threw me backwards, but he automatically released Lance, who fell to the ground gasping for air. Then I kicked Zeus’s knee, making a loud a crack and bending it inwards (which by the way, was not a pleasant sight).
I helped Lance up and carried him to Jade and Serena, who were running towards us, since the shield had been destroyed. How would we get out of here?
I figured we should get out of here before Zeus tries to kill anyone else. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a shiny black Prius.
“Everyone get in the car,” I said pointing at the Prius, “We have to get out of here!” I told everyone. I glanced behind me to see if Zeus was there, but he wasn’t. That was the green light for a safe escape.
Lance immediately hopped in the front and started to hotwire the car (don’t ask where he learned) as Jade and Serena ran over into the back seats.
I realized that my back didn’t hurt at all. I touched the very middle, and felt a burn mark on my spine, but I couldn’t figure out where the lightning had exited my body. Maybe it hadn’t. But I didn’t need to worry about that now.
“Where are we going?” Serena asked me.
“Somewhere safe.” My main thought was home, but soon that wouldn’t be safe either. I had to go to that place the man from my dreams had told me about.
“I'm done!” Lance yelled and turned on the ignition.
I climbed into the passenger seat, and Lance asked, “Where to, buddy?”
“Home,” I said, “Let’s all go to our houses and grab the stuff we need, and only enough to fit in a small bag. Bring all of your money too.”
“Wait, where are we going? Are we like, running away?” Jade said with a twinge of happiness in her voice. She’d finally be able to get away from Aunt Florence.
“We’re going to… be gone for a while. Until the gods stop trying to kill us.” I told them.
“Gods?!” Lance said, “What do you mean, ‘gods’? Are you nuts?!”
“Look, the guy said he was Zeus, the god from Greek mythology. He could fly. He could control lightning. That snake was some sort of god or monster too.”
“No way,” Jade said, “How could we not know about this before, even if it was real?”
“I… I don’t know. Just trust me.”
She stared into my eyes, as if she could read my emotions. We had a knack of doing that to each other, and she knew I was dead serious, and scared. She also knew I was telling the truth, that gods were real.
“Let’s go,” she said, confirming my theory to everyone.
Lance looked at me with a comical look in his eyes, then said, “Whatever you say, crack head,” with a grin on his face. I rolled my eyes.
“Wait then where do I go?” Serena said.
“You’ll go with me,” Jade said, “I’ll tell my aunt that you’re my friend from school.”
“Okay, but let’s hurry,” I said.
We backed out really fast. In a flash we turned to the side and shot down the street, heading to Jade’s house first.
For a couple minutes we went through our suburban area, trying to figure out how to use the navigator.
I looked at the neighborhood I was going to leave. I wondered what was going to happen, why this was happening.
Finally, we arrived at Jade’s house, which was a small, run-down house with a poor paint job and some toilet paper on the roof (courtesy of Jade, Lance, and me). Then we dropped her and Serena off.
“Okay, we’ll pick you up at four.” Lance told them.
“Yeah, and be careful you too.” Jade said to us.
“Hey, punch Aunt Florence for me, will you?”
She started laughing. “I will do a lot more than punch her.”
We both started laughing, because we were imagining Aunt Florence’s chubby body jiggling as Jade beat her up.
“Okay, see you at four,” I said to them.
They waved good-bye and we drove away.
After a couple minutes, Lance got to my house, a two-story white house with a fancy walkway.
“Where are you going to put the car?” I asked as I got out of the car.
“I’ll probably put it somewhere on my block.” he replied.
“Okay, well pick me up at four?”
“That’s the plan.”
“Okay, see you then.”
“Bye Zach,” he told me.
I started walking toward to my house, realizing that it would be hard to say bye to my adopted parents and my brother. Did I ever tell you about them? No, probably not. But you’ll learn about them soon.
“I'm home!” I yelled as I walked inside of my house.
“Zach!” my mom yelled as she ran to me, “Are you okay? What happened at school? We saw flames coming up from it!”
“Mom, I’m fine,” I said quietly.
She sighed, and then gave me a big hug, her dark brown hair covering my face.
Then Dad ran into the room, hugging me to. They must’ve seen the fight with Zeus. I’d explain everything soon.
After a couple minutes of them putting some bandages on my cuts, I decided to tell them about Zeus.
“So you saw what happened?” I asked.
They nodded, looking at me sadly. “The gang attacked your school, and then some of the members chased you throughout the neighborhood, shooting at you until you finally escaped. At least you’re safe now, honey.” My mom said.
I felt dumbfounded. Either I was hallucinating, or the world was wrong. Somehow, they didn’t know what was really happening. I have to figure out what’s happening.
“Um, I’m going to go into my room. Can you get me when Drake gets home?” I said, referring to my brother.
They agreed, and I ran upstairs into my room. My bedroom was on the second floor with my brothers, but we were on separate sides. As I walked in, I took one last look to remember what it looked like. There was a plain desk in the corner, a beanbag, and my bed sat on the far side of the room. The walls were painted blue, and a large window that I sometimes used to sneak out. I even had my own bathroom.
Did I mention that my parents were semi-rich?
Then I got on my laptop and started to research Greek Mythology. I immediately started memorizing the names of gods and what they did. Everything was really interesting, but I couldn’t figure out who my dad was.
Then I remembered how the dream guy had told me to search how the power shifted through the Greek gods. I searched it, and then realized what he had meant.
First, there was nothing but Chaos. Then Chaos produced Gaia, Nyx, Eros, and a bunch of other gods. When Gaia birthed Uranus by herself (don’t ask how, because I don’t know), they ruled the world and bore the Titans. But Gaia was mad because Uranus imprisoned some of her children, and told the Titan Kronos overthrow him. He did, but was just as bad as a ruler as his father. Rhea, his wife, wanted him gone because he had swallowed her children.
Finally, one of his sons, Zeus, who hadn’t been eaten, overthrew Kronos and became the current ruler of the world. However, Gaia was mad that he had overthrown her children, and made a prophecy that Metis and his son will overthrow him. Metis was pregnant, so Zeus tricked her into turning herself into a fly, and then swallowing her. However, she had already conceived Athena, and she sprung out of his head fully formed. The second son, who was destined to overthrow him, was never born. Zeus seemed like he was just as bad as his dad.
After that was finished, I went to Google Translate and typed in what I had read on the napkin in my dream had; felicissimi locus super terram. The results confused me; it was “the happiest place on earth.”
Now I understood. My greasy fortuneteller wanted us to go to Disneyland and save the other kids. What a coincidence, that he wanted me to go where my real parents had abandoned me. Then I heard someone knock on the front door. It was my brother.
I ran down the stairs to see him. Drake was taller than me, even though he was eleven. He had short, curly brown hair and a freckled face.
“Zach, what happened at your school? I heard there was a gang!”
“Um, yeah. Big gang. They shot at me.” I lied. I figured if I told him that they were gods, I’d be in a white room wearing a strait jacket within the hour.
“Oh, well I’m glad you’re safe, it would’ve sucked if you died” he said, winking. Then I realized I had tears going down my face. I would miss Drake a lot once I was gone.
“Dude, you’re crying, are you ok?” he asked.
“Uh… I have posttraumatic stress disorder. I saw some guy get er… shot? Yeah,” I lied, again.
To save myself embarrassment, I went to the kitchen and ate some goldfish before he could protest. Then I went back upstairs to pack up a pack of stuff for the road. I decided to bring normal toiletries, a jacket, my switchblade, my iPod, and my phone. I stuffed them into my water polo bag (yes, I’m a swimmer) and slipped it on my back, glad that it was extremely light.
I had about ten more minutes until Lance would come, so I decided to say bye to my parents.
Well before I start, I want you to know the full story of my past. All I knew was that my name was Zachery, and my parents left me when I was four. We were all at Disneyland, having a happy time, when they just left. I don’t know where they went, but they left me on the train that goes around the park. The police found me crying, searching for them at Main Street, and put me up for adoption. From my memory, Disneyland is not the “Happiest Place on Earth”; it’s more like the most depressing place in my life.
Then my two adopted parents, Layla and Casper Robbins, adopted me because they couldn’t have any more children besides Drake. They wanted to name me Fred, but I told them that I was Zach.
My real mom was the nicest person I've ever met. She had blonde curly hair and bright green eyes. She was the nice parent. My dad, on the other hand, was tall, cruel, and strict. He always fought with my mom, and they hated each other. Maybe that’s why they ditched me at Disneyland.
Anyway, I went downstairs to tell my parents good-bye. They were both sitting on the couch watching some soap opera, both having tears in their eyes as some lady was telling her friends that she had cancer. “Mom? Dad?” I asked.
“Yeah Zach?” My mom said, clearly not paying attention to me.
“Um, I have something to tell you guys. I’m going to-”
“No James, don’t commit suicide!” My dad yelled at the TV. Then I realized that they wouldn’t listen to me. I had to tell someone I could trust.
Then I ran back up the stairs and barged into Drake’s room. “Drake,” I said, “You have to listen to me. There was never a gang. People are trying to kill me, and the only way to protect you is if I leave,”
He looked dumbfounded, then asked, “Wait… why would they want to kill you?”
“Look, it has to do with who my real parents are. The gang was just a… just a cover up. Those people are going to kill me no matter what it takes.” I couldn’t tell him the full truth, at least, not yet.
“So this is like… good-bye?” he said to me.
“Yeah, pretty much.”
I don’t know how, but he seemed to accept it. He took a deep breath, and then he hugged me saying, “Come back if you can, okay? We’ll be waiting for you.” He had tears going down his face.
“Don’t tell mom or dad until I’m gone for good. Tell them I ran away, and don’t have people search for me.”
“Okay, but keep in touch with me. Send an e-mail or something.”
“I promise.” I said to him. We said our finally good-byes, and then I decided that I was ready to leave. “Oh yeah,” I said, “And you can have all of my stuff.”
He seemed mildly happy about it, and thanked me.
I walked downstairs, trying to memorize how everything looked for one last time. Then I walked to the front area and opened the door.
“Where are you going?” My mom asked.
“Lance and I are going to hang out at the park.” I lied.
“Okay, well be safe!”
I nodded, and then said, “I love you guys,”
My parents were a little confused about why I said that, but they agreed that they loved me to.
I slowly walked out the front door and left my house, wondering if I’d ever be able to come back.
I walked down the street and sat on the corner, waiting for my ride. Soon enough, a black Prius filled with Lance, Serena, and Jade stopped in front of me. Everyone looked grim except for Jade, who was filled with glee at the thought that she was never coming home again.
I hopped in the shotgun seat, still feeling horrible about leaving my family.
“Where to?” Lance asked, already starting to open the navigation.
“Disneyland.” I muttered.
“Why Disneyland?” Serena asked.
“Okay, when I was in class, sleeping, I had this dream. A dude who apparently knew all about my future told me that you were going to pop up at our school, that snake was going to ‘test’ us, and Zeus was going to try and kill us.”
“Well all that happened… but what does this have to do with Disneyland?” Serena asked.
“He said that after we escaped Zeus, we had to go to a place called felicissimi locus super terram. There we had to save more kids and bring t I typed that into Google Translate, and the happiest place on earth was what it directly translated into. So we go there, save the kids, and they take us to Prometheus.”
“So why are we listening to him?” she asked.
“We’ll die if we don’t,”
“Well I'm all for traveling around, saving people!” Jade butted in, “It sounds fun!”
“Well that settles it,” Lance said, “We’re going to Disneyland.” He typed in Disneyland in his navigator and then we were off.
After about ten minutes of driving, Jade looked up at the sky and said, “What’s that?”
“What’s what?” I asked.
“That light up in the sky.”
Somehow, I could see extremely well into the sky, and what I saw was nothing good.
There were glowing balls ranging from all different sizes hurling toward us. As they got closer I realized they were meteors, probably ones that Zeus had sent toward us. Crap.
“Those are meteors!” I yelled, “We’re gonna get killed!”
“It’s Zeus,” Jade said, “He’s going to kill us.”
Suddenly, a crazy idea formed in my mind. I wasn’t sure how, but I knew it would work.
“Lance, open the roof!” I urged as I quickly unbuckled myself.
“What are you going to do?” he asked.
“Just open it!”
Lance opened the roof and I climbed on top of it, somehow managing to keep my balance on top of a moving car (which doesn’t make sense since Mythbusters proved it wasn’t possible).
I looked at the meteors, some the size of a car, others the size of a soccer ball. But I knew what I had to do. Those meteors would destroy us if I didn’t stop them. And somehow I knew that I could protect everyone. I'm not sure how, but I knew I could.
“They’re coming!” Lance yelled from inside the car.
Suddenly a baseball-sized meteorite whizzed right past me. Then a smaller one hit my arm, causing pain to erupt in my wrist. I cursed loudly, but another one almost hit me in the head.
“Zach, be careful!” Jade warned me.
I tried to focus, but I kept getting hit by pebble sized ones. All of a sudden, I had this weird feeling, as if my blood was doing somersaults in my veins. I'm not sure what came over me, but I slowly held out my hand, feeling energy coming from it.
At once a shockwave pushed a cluster of meteorites away. I smiled and blocked another group, realizing I had some sort of air control.
I blocked little ones for a bit, but their size was growing by the second. Soon pebbles turned into basketballs, basketballs into chairs, and so forth. It was difficult, yet I managed to deflect almost all of them.
Suddenly a car sized meteor almost knocked me off the Prius. I sent a powerful explosion of air at it and it fell to the side.
I quickly pushed the gigantic rocks over, but my energy was weakening, and their size was increasing by the tenfold.
Just when I thought I couldn’t take anymore, I noticed Zeus flying toward me, holding a gargantuan meteor. With a burst of lightning he chucked it at me, the monstrous object ready to crush into my face.
Everyone in the car was screaming, but I tried to be as brave as I could and braced myself. I gathered up every ounce of energy I had and just as it got within 100 feet of me, I released it.
An enormous blast of energy erupted from my fingertips. A hurricane of air hit the meteor, but it still shot at me, its speed deteriorated. I sent one final shockwave and the meteor skyrocketed right back towards Zeus. It ran smack into him sending him flying upwards.
How did I do that?
Then I felt my blood energizing again. My body started to quiver, and I felt lightheaded. With total confidence, I jumped up into the air, and believe it or not, I flew towards Zeus.
I have to admit it was amazing. There is no way to explain how awesome it feels to fly. Have you ever been on a drop rollercoaster, and had that little flip in your stomach? It’s like that, except it doesn’t matter if you drop or not. I immediately got the hang of flying, and I twisted and flipped in the air. Although I'm not really sure how it worked. I just thought of the direction I wanted to go, and I went there.
Within a couple seconds I was in the clouds, my adrenaline giving me an extra little boost. I looked down, looking at the Long Beach area. Then I aimed myself at Zeus. With perfect accuracy I hit him like a bulldozer.
He immediately recoiled, pulling out his lightning bolt. Suddenly, a blast of lightning hit me square in the chest, knocking the wind out of me, but not doing anything else. Yet somehow it made me feel energized, like I was a battery being charged up. With my newfound power, I soared into him like a hawk, surviving another explosion of lightning and snatching his weapon.
“How?!” He yelled, “No mortal could survive this! Not even gods can withstand the power of my Master Bolt!” Hm… Master Bolt. It had a nice ring to it.
But how was I supposed to know how I was immune to lightning? Am I psychic?
Then I pointed the Master Bolt at Zeus, and as if it responded to my thoughts, lightning arced out of it, colliding with Zeus. He seemed injured, and golden blood dripped from his mouth. Then he lunged at me, attempting to take back my new weapon.
We fought for control, but the energy that raced through my blood kept me going. Then we both held on to ends of the Bolt, trying to take it. But since Zeus is much better at flying than me, he almost had it.
Suddenly an ear-splitting crack echoed throughout the neighborhood. An eruption of fire and lightning exploded in front of me. I was thrown backwards, and I felt my neck snap. I plummeted to the ground at a dangerous speed, but I managed to start flying right before I hit the ground.
In my hand was the small tip of the Master Bolt. Then I realized that I must’ve broken Zeus’s favorite toy.
In the distance I heard a crash, and I knew that was where Zeus had landed. I flew over to him, already feeling my strength draining away.
I saw a gigantic crater in the middle of the suburban area. In the middle of it, Zeus was laying down vulnerably. I hopped inside and jumped beside him. In his pocket, there was a bag of “Ambrosia Treats.” I instinctively opened it, immediately swallowing the contents. It tasted like cookie dough, and I loved it. I felt all my injuries start to heal and felt energy flow through my body.
Then Zeus started to get up. I clutched his clothes and said, “Why are you trying to kill us?”
He smiled and replied saying, “As I said before, you pose a major threat to Olympus.”
“How? We’ve never done anything to threaten the gods!”
His eyes gleamed, and he said, “Do you call what you just did friendly? You just attacked me. And broke my poor Master Bolt…”
I let that hang in the air for a couple seconds, realizing he had a point.
“But what have we all done to threaten Ulympos?”
He glared at me then said, “We, the gods, don’t know who you are. You aren’t gods, but we are pretty sure you are demigods. Yet we don’t know whom your godly parents are. That mixed with the fact that that a new threat to Olympus is rising, we are assuming you are with them, trying to overthrow us.”
“Wait, a new threat? What do you mean?”
“Three years ago, the Titans tried to regain power over the world by destroying Western Civilization. Of course they didn’t, because of me.”
For some reason, I doubted that.
“So the Titans are trying to control Olympus again?” I asked.
“Possibly. However, it is probably something ancient. It could be minor gods, or some powerful monsters, but they are strong, and are a threat,”
“So we pop up around the same time as them, giving you the right to kill us?”
“All of the Olympians now have the right to kill you.”
“Well that’s just great…” I muttered.
For a second he didn’t say anything. Then he stared at me, and started glowing lightly. I tried to turn away, but I couldn’t. He was paralyzing me, and I couldn’t resist it. Then his brightness increased, and an intense fire exploded in my head. The pain was so excruciating, that death seemed imminent. I felt as if someone was deep-frying my brain, setting the temperature to max. Zeus came up to me and clutched my clothes. Then he whispered in my ear, “Prepare for the last moments of your life,”
Am I ever so glad that Priuses are like freaking ninjas, because without any sound or warning, our black Prius sprouted up behind Zeus. He turned around just in time to be hit head on by the Prius. The moment they collided Zeus seemed to explode in light. I looked away as a sonic boom shook the ground, and when I looked back, Zeus was gone.
The car stopped and Lance jumped out running towards me shouting, “Dude, are you okay?”
I shook my head slightly, my head throbbing painfully. I could barely talk, barely even move.
He picked me up and started to carry me to the car. Then I was buckled in next to Jade. Lance started the car, and we drove off.
“How did you do that?” Jade asked me.
“Yeah,” Lance said, “You saved our butts right there…”
“I don’t know, I just felt this energy inside me and I released it,” I said, exhaustion in my voice.
“So now you’re superhuman, huh Zach?” Jade said comically.
“Well we are all demigods,”
I guess I must’ve forgotten to tell them that part, because they started to freak out.
“Wait, we’re demigods?” Serena said.
“I want to be a daughter of Athena!” Jade said, smiling, “Or a daughter of Aphrodite!”
“Can someone please explain to me what a demigod is?” Lance said weakly.
I immediately explained every bit of detail that I could about what had happened. I know it’s outrageous, but I was one hundred percent sure this was all real.
But for them, it took a while. Although after a while, they all started to take in the info.
“Dude,” Lance said, “Are you sure you haven't been smoking anything recently?”
I just rolled my eyes.
“Wait,” Serena said, “So we don’t know who our parents are?”
“Yes Cerritos.” I replied.
“Well that really sucks…” Jade muttered, “I mean, they found my mother’s body in the ocean, not my dad’s. It makes sense that he’s a god.”
“And my parents, well I wouldn’t know.” Lance said, “Both of them were pretty mean and different.”
We all paused for a minute, trying to figure out which of out parents was a god.
“So, what’s your story Serena?” I asked.
She sighed, and then began saying, “My parents died in an Earthquake a couple years back. That’s all I'm saying,”
“Okay then…” Lance muttered.
“So we’re going to Disneyland?” I confirmed.
“Yeah,” Lance said, “If my GPS isn’t being stupid.”
I was pretty exhausted, so I gave Jade my iPod and got myself comfortable. I still held the Master Bolt fragment, and I slipped it into my pocket. It still had lightning powers, and would be a great weapon. Then, I fell asleep easily.
Of course, I just had to have a dream.
“Welcome back Zach,” Prometheus said with a grin, “I see you’ve survived your fight with Zeus and proved yourself to Ananke. You even took your own piece of the Master Bolt!”
“Uh huh, so why’d you bring me back here?”
“Well, you see there’s a change of plans… Originally you were just going to find those kids and bring them back to me, but now you have a whole army of demigods waiting for you!”
“How did they find out?” I said angrily.
“When Zeus started to glow, and then disappeared. Yeah, he read your mind when that happened.”
“So now they’ve captured the kids and are waiting to get you guys.”
“How many kids were we supposed to save?”
“And how big is the army?”
“Yes. And you aren’t the only one with amazing powers.” He said mischievously. “Oh, and they have the kids on a boat at eight o’clock. Be there to save them.”
“How do I know this isn’t a trap?”
“It is a trap, you just have to beat the trap and escape.”
“Oh, well that makes things a lot worse. A day in Disneyland being chased by demigods.”
“That’s the spirit!” He said smiling, “Well have fun at ‘the happiest place on earth!’”
And then I was jolted back into reality. Again. I'm really sick of Prometheus’s “messages” now.
I Hate Disneyland
I woke up in the parking lot of Disneyland. It was about 5 o’clock and everyone was getting out of the Prius. I groaned.
“Time to wake up Blondie,” Jade said in a mock caring voice.
“I don’t want to…” I said, curling up in a ball on the floor of our car.
Lance threw me out of the car and then slammed the door. I tried to open it, but he had locked it.
“Fine, I’ll go,” I said bitterly. Going here was going to bring back a lot of bad memories.
I made a mental note that we were on Goofy’s floor. Then we walked to the escalators and arrived at the tram area. Around us, kids were yelling gleefully and running around. Parents happily walked with their children. That made me smile.
After a couple minutes, we hopped on the tram and made our way to the unhappiest place on earth.
“This is so cool!” Serena said happily, “I’ve never been to Disneyland before!”
We all just glared at her. Lance and Jade new I was basically in a living hell right now.
“Wow, you guys are so negative sometimes,” she muttered.
Finally we got off the tram and arrived in Downtown Disney. Shops lined the area, and there was happy mood to the place.
I was disgusted.
We walked to the ticket area, and then I realized that we had no money. The ticket lady looked at us anxiously.
“Well?” she said, “Give me your money, now!”
“Geez lady,” Jade muttered. Suddenly we all realized we were broke, minus Lance’s twenty bucks.
“Um… Can we have some free tickets please?” I said quietly.
Mrs. Psychotic Ticket-Lady went crazy, screaming at us to give up the money or she would call for security.
Then Serena glared at her for a second. The lady seemed hypnotized by Serena, and then she whispered, “You will let us go to Disneyland for free,”
“I will let you go to Disneyland for free,” The lady repeated. She then gave us tickets in a robotic manor.
Suddenly, she shook her head, as if confused by something. “Hurry up kids, you can go through! And get out of my face!”
We briskly walked away and I sighed. What just happened?
“Serena,” Lance said, “How did you freaking do that?”
“I’m not sure,” She replied, “I just told her what to do and she did it.”
“So Serena is a Jedi… Nice.” Jade muttered.
Soon we arrived at the entrance to Disneyland. Gigantic lines filled every station, so we had to wait ten minutes to get in. As we walked through the gate, I noticed that Disneyland had changed since I’d been here last.
We walked past the flower garden shaped into Mickey’s head, and started to stroll Main Street. The place had an excited feel to it, and one of those trolly things drove past us. I enjoyed the happiness for a second, but painful memories started to flood my brain. Then I collapsed.
I was lying on the ground, crying as my father screamed at me to get up. People stared as he cursed loudly, yanking my shoulder up and dragging me along the street. My mother protested, but he brushed her aside.
He then pulled me into an empty bathroom and kicked me in the stomach, making me gasp in pain. “Come on Zachery!” he yelled at me. He then thrust his fist into my chest, forcing me to slowly get up and follow him out of the bathroom.
“Now listen to me, you are going to behave nicely and do what you’re told, understood?”
I nodded weakly as we walked back to my mother, who was crying. She embraced me, telling me everything was going to be all right.
Suddenly I gasped, realizing I was on the floor in the middle of Main Street. Lance, Jade, and Serena stared at me as I slowly got up off of the floor. This was the reason that I didn’t want to go to Disneyland. Painful memories followed me everywhere.
“Zach, we can make it through, okay?” Jade whispered to me.
I nodded, and shakily started walking again. After that incident, we all decided that I should be put in a nice calm place until eight, when the “boats” started to come in. We all sat down in the middle of the park, where there was small restaurant and places to sit down. In front of it was a large river that circled some sort of island.
We ordered some chicken wings and then started to brainstorm. What could the boat be? How would we find the kids? After a while, Serena got out the map and started to look for events that began at eight.
Then I noticed something. There was a large white riverboat that kept going around in the river, letting people on, and then coming back. I wasn’t sure if that was what Prometheus meant, but it was a good start.
“Hey Jade, you want to come check out that boat with me?” I said to her. She nodded, and we set off to investigate the boat.
I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be a replica of the big boat from Mark Twain’s books (I’m not sure which one). We decided not to get on, but to watch and see what happened. We observed for about ten minutes, and I came to the conclusion that it was normal. Maybe the other kids were being held on here. Maybe the army was hidden inside the boat.
But right now it seemed harmless.
I was about to turn around when something caught my eye. There was a guy in the water, maybe 20 years old or so. He was literally circling the boat. I watched as he swam to the back and started to push the boat. It moved incredibly fast, and left my mouth half open.
“Is that a demigod?” Jade asked me.
“I think so. Maybe we should get on…” I decided.
“No, if he finds out who we are…” She starts.
“Yeah, I get it. We’d be dead meat.”
I sighed as we walked back to Lance and Serena, who were both eating the chicken wings.
“So, did you find out if that was the boat?” Lance asked, as a strip of chicken hung out of his lip.
“There was a demigod in the water.” Jade told him. “It seems like the area is important…”
Lance ignored us and said, “Her Serena can I have a fry—“
“HELL NO!” she said, slapping his hand, “Buy your own fries, you fat lard!”
Jade and I exchanged glances.
“So… uh… What did you guys find out?” I asked.
Serena gave Lance a glare and said, “Okay, so at eight o’clock, the main thing to watch for is Fantasmic, which happens right here.” Serena said. “They might use the boat during the performance, though. Oh my gods Lance stop!”
That was good news. We had about an hour until it started, so I decided to stay put. The sunset was ending, and it was starting to get cold. Next thing I knew, I was asleep.
And for once, I had normal dreams.
I woke up to people crowding around in order to see Fantasmic. I stretched and climbed out of my chair. Then we walked to the edge of the river. Unfortunately, all the spots were taken.
But of course, Serena still had her mind control powers.
“Excuse me, can we stand here?” Serena asked a man who was standing with his daughter.
“Get your own spot.” He grunted back.
“Give us your spot, now.” She said, giving him the evil eye, which by the way, was scary as hell.
The man immediately shuffled away. Serena grinned evilly and stood where they did.
I held the fragment of Zeus’s master bolt in my hand. I had a feeling I would need it soon.
Within a couple minutes, Fantasmic began.
Okay, I don’t know about you, but this Disneyland crap creeps the hell out of me. So it began with Mickey acting all high, while making images appear in misty water. Mini boats moved across the water, showing creepy imaginative stuff. I closed my eyes half of the time.
Then the boat came.
I watched as the large boat from Peter Pan came sailing across the river. However, it was different. Instead of Pirates being on the ship, teenagers with real life swords, arrows, and a bunch of other weapons stood guard. There was no Peter, just the kids. They all had body armor on, as if they were preparing for a war.
“Look,” Lance whispered, pointing at the poles the mast was attached to. On the pole was a beautiful girl with wavy light blonde hair and fair skin. She was knocked out, and hung limply along the pole. She was the first demigod we had to save.
Suddenly I caught the eye of one of the warrior kids. He looked at me quizzically, and then grinned as if he knew something I didn’t. He glanced to another one and said something, but I didn’t have time to guess what they were saying.
Next thing I knew, dozens of arrows shot in our direction. I immediately held out my hand, and a burst of air forced the arrows to plummet into the water.
“Save the girl!” Lance yelled. People screamed in chaos around us, and more arrows flew towards us. I then took a running jump, and flew into the air. Faces of the warriors looked at me in shock, and I knew that I would be able to hold their attention long enough for the civilians to escape.
More arrows, flaming spears, and glowing javelins were thrown at me. I dodged all of them, and then pulled out my small weapon. I felt energy course through the shard of lightning and aimed it at the ship.
An explosion launched me backwards, making my vision double. As I spun through the air, I saw the ship lean from side to side, the mast charred. People were running around on it, diving off of the edge or screaming for help.
Meanwhile, I struggled to regain control of the sky. But instead of having the weird power I had back when I fought Zeus, I just collided with ground. I ached all over, and my hands were bleeding.
Slowly I got to my feet again just in time to see Jade get punched in the face by some burly girl. Jade looked pissed, and then a wave of the river started to rise. It crashed over them, and swallowed the girl whole, pulling her into the depths of the river.
“How did you–” I started to say, but a kid with an axe charged me. I jumped inhumanly in the air, soaring at least ten feet above the kid. As I fell, my foot slammed his face, probably cracking a couple teeth.
Serena was fending off more demigods, and she somehow could control the trees around her at will. A branch smacked one kid in the stomach, and razor sharp leaves flew around her body, cutting anything that went near her.
I saw Lance, who had somehow already gotten on the ship, climbing the pole where the girl was held. I ran towards the ship, and took a soaring leap that ended up with me on deck. Two kids swarmed me, but I just did a back flip over them. I had to find the other kids.
I ran below deck, and saw that it was empty. A window was broken, and in the distance, a boat with three tied up kids and three warriors arrived on the main battle scene. I saw the girl Lance tried to save and an auburn-haired girl arrive on another boat after them.
I recognized one of the dudes; the one I’d seen swimming under the other boat. The other person was a punk chick with bright blue eyes and black hair. Beside her was a kid, maybe 15 or 16, with dark brown hair and olive skin.
The water boy whistled, and four Pegasi flew down, picking up each warrior and their prisoner. They flew away in different directions, and I groaned in despair.
I turned around and checked on Lance, who was swimming to the shore. Jade and Serena were coming towards us, and they both looked pretty beat up. I had to think of a plan, and fast.
“FOLLOW ME!” was the best I could come up with.
They followed me to where I guessed the auburn haired girl went. We ran to the entrance of the Indiana Jones ride, and sprinted through the jungle like area. As we ran through the rocks, warriors followed us. I walked up the Maya fashioned pathway, and then took the path to the tunnel. Everything was open to the world until we entered the tunnel, which was full of fake stalagmites and dead bodies. Or at least, last time I checked, they were dead.
As we ran, skeletons reached out to grab us as if we were in a nightmare. Somehow, Lance could crumble the stalagmites and crush the skeletons. It also gave us time, as the warriors were being delayed.
We entered the large circular room with roped and wooden frames hanging from the ceiling. Before we could run through, a super big muscle kid blocked the way.
Lance opened up a fissure that swallowed him.
More demigods swung by the ropes, and we passed through the area before they could get to us. We finally got to the area where the ride began, which was a jeep that went through another big tunnel.
“They’re probably in there.” Jade said.
“Let’s jump on!” Lance said in a half fear, half excited voice.
We climbed in, and the ride started. As we left, a hoard of warriors ran behind us, and went through the back. Then I realized what that meant. They would trap us.
We went through a dark tunnel, and it showed Indie in a corner. Then we went up a dark hill. Suddenly a warrior swung a sword at me, but I kicked him in the chest. We kept climbing until it showed the entire area. Directly in front of us was a bridge with lava under it, and curves to the side that led into darkness. As we turned to the left a noticed a girl fly off of the jeep, hitting a wall.
As we rode through the quick darkness, I tensed myself for an attack from anything. Suddenly we turned into a room with snakes that should’ve been plastic. They turned alive, and attacked all of the warriors. I felt confused, but then I realized they were helping us.
There was a sharp turn, and time slowed as I saw Ananke’s face, mouth completely open, and swallowing a warrior. I almost threw up. How did she get here? She must be trying to protect us.
They are not here… Ananke’s voice whispered in my head. I tried to comprehend how she was here, but then we were yanked into another dark corridor, full of rabid bugs that could’ve ripped our skin apart had I not toasted them with lightning.
We then rolled onto the lave bridge, and our jeep stopped for a second. The lava below us was real, and Serena almost fell off. We sped away, and Lance cut the rope behind us, forcing the warriors to stop following us.
We went down a gloomy hall with skeletons on the wall. As my worst fears were confirmed, they all turned their faces at us and charged. I slashed at them with air, cutting some to pieces. Electricity exploded from my chip, tearing their bones apart.
Then there was a rush of air, and a spear flew behind us. More spears shot around us, forcing everyone to dodge them. In the midst of the chaos, I realized that the fake trap could actually kill us.
I deflected another spear, but then one grazed Lance’s shoulder. I called for his name, but another one ripped into my shirt, somehow missing my skin…
Serena and Jade were fine, and we moved down another dark corridor. As we rode, demigods started to climb onto the jeep like zombies in a horror movie. Cold fingers wrapped around my neck, and I started to gasp for air. Nothing entered my lungs. I tried to attack the person strangling me, but it was fruitless. Then I managed to elbow the person in the face, and he fell off of the jeep.
We were almost at the end of the ride, but a group of six or seven warriors blocked our way.
“DUCK!” I screamed.
We hid under the seats as weapons of all types flew over our heads. As we passed them, an arrow thunked into the headrest in front of my face.
The ride stopped, and we jumbled out of the jeep, injured and tired. More demigods were in our way. Lance closed his eyes and whispered something, The walls and ceiling around the kids collapsed.
“Come on,” he gasped, and we started to run out of the place. Still, people were on our tails. We ran through the temple, and skeletons were popping out of the walls. We exited the tunnel, and another group of warriors blocked us. To the right, there was a drop off of a bridge. If I could jump off… maybe I could bring my friends with me.
I built up a powerful gust of wind, pulling the four of us off of the edge, and sending us straight into the empty waiting line. Then, I looked up at the sky.
There were four bright lights across the sky, all varying in colors. One was at the corner of the park, another at the Princess Castle. There were two nearby. Those lights must indicate where the other demigods are waiting. But they also mean that the enemies are waiting for us to go there.
The nearest one was behind us, in a seemingly real forest with a river blocking the way.
Without saying anything, me and Jade understand what we had to do. Split up and search for the demigods. I wanted to go with her, but I wasn’t sure if that was possible.
“Ok,” I say, “Serena and I will search this area, Jade and Lance, you guys go to the one to the other one. But before you go, open up the river for us.”
Jade and Lance climbed with us to the river, and Jade pushed the water to the left and right, opening a path. Lance raised the land, giving us a raised road.
“Gracias,” Serena mutters as we run to the forest.
I Save Some Kids
The ground was mushy and hard to run through, and the plants cut at my face. I had a feeling that there wouldn’t be much of a fight, since Serena can control plants and all.
Suddenly a knife flew through the air, but I blocked it with air before it could impale Serena. I immediately crouched behind a plant, while Serena hid next to a tree.
All at once the fern I was behind grabbed my neck, arms, and torso, starting to rip me apart. The redheaded girl I saw came into view, and pulled out another throwing knife.
I struggled against the plant, but the girl whipped around and seeds pierced my skin. The scathing pain made me stop.
Serena then flew from a treetop, tackling the girl from behind. Serena tapped the ground, and the plants stopped attacking.
As I got to my feet, I noticed an auburn haired boy with a splash of freckles hanging from a tree, upside down.
I ran to him and got out my bolt fragment, starting to cut away the rope. As he fell, I noticed the light in the sky disappear slowly.
Behind me, Serena slapped the girl across the face, hard. The girl fell unconscious, and Serena nodded. I put the boy on my back, and we ran to the river.
As we got to the waters cool edge, I dropped some water on his face. Slowly, he came to. “Are you okay?” I asked.
He nodded, and coughed haggardly. “Are you the ones Prommy told us about?”
Er… Prommy? Who the heck is that? Oh, right. Prometheus.
“Yeah, we’re the ones. What’s your name?” I asked inventively. Serena nodded beside me.
“My name’s Sebastian Diaz.” He said quietly.
“Come on Sebastian,” I told him, “We gotta find your friends.”
We waded across the river, and searched for the other light in the sky. There were still three, and we headed toward the direction of the nearest one that Jade and Lance were at.
As we went through Adventureland, we had a brief conversation with Sebastian. “Who are the other ones?” Serena asked.
“Rose is the blonde one, Wolf is the dark haired guy, and Miranda is the black girl.” He said gruffly. I like how he categorized Miranda as the “black girl.”
When we rounded a corner, light poured out of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The river that encircled the dark, indoor island was spinning around it in a perfect circle, moving at fast speeds. It was seemingly floating, like it was a giant hula-hoop. Occasionally, a kid would be spun around like he was on a deadly merry-go-round.
As we neared the spinning water, I was unsure if we would be able to get through and help them. I decided that we’d be save, and said, “Ok, let’s jump in.”
Without waiting for them, I dived into the spinning water.
I guess if you are moving fast enough, you don’t float to the surface of the water. I was stuck in the middle with no air, trying to traverse the floating current. Then all at once, the water fell.
I looked around to see that I was a cave-like room. Incapacitated demigods scattered the ground, and an African-American girl, Miranda, lay on the floor. Jade and the water boy were fighting, but the kid was clearly stronger. He pulled a wave of water out of the river and hit her like she was a baseball.
While Jade fell into the water, Lance destroyed a part of a stalagmite, causing it to collapse onto the boy. Instead of knocking him over, the pieces of rock shattered when they hit him.
Uh-oh was the only thought that went through my mind.
I grabbed Jade out of the water and launched an arc of lightning at the guy. Somehow, it affected him, making him fall over in shock. Lance hopped over the side, and picked up Miranda.
We sprinted through the tunnel, hopping over the bodies with girls on our back. As we exited the cave, we entered the big room that was supposed to be a town by the ocean. The ship was knocked over, and all of the moving plastic people were broken. Torches gave everything a dark glow.
On all the walls, archers who survived the water fired flaming arrows at us. I sent an airwave that protected us.
As we sprinted through the area, the indestructo-guy followed. He sent a wave that crashed into the wall behind us. Lance and I were getting tired, and as we crossed a bridge, another wave threatened to throw us into the water.
Suddenly the wave stopped short, and I felt Jade’s breathing get slow and inconsistent. She must’ve stopped the wave for us. I heaved her up, and kept running.
We were just about to exit the ride when a flaming arrow plunged into the muscle of my calf. White hit pain spread up and down my leg, and I fell into the water with Jade.
Then I felt Jade’s hand grip my arm. Oxygen entered my blood, even though I wasn’t breathing. We were moving through the water, almost at the exit. I felt the current pushing against us, but somehow we broke free of it.
As we ascended out of the water, an all out fight was going on between demigod warriors and Serena and Sebastian. I was in too much pain to walk, and Jade set me off to the side. Miranda had woken, and Lance was making the earth under the kids explode. Miranda closed her eyes, and a tendril of darkness surrounded her.
Then she was gone.
After a couple of seconds, she reappeared behind a kid and knocked him out cold. She did this multiple times until Lance and Sebastian had defeated the rest of them.
Meanwhile, Jade had been tending to my wound. A steady flow of blood flowed out of it, and then Jade did something I never knew was possible. She made water float in her hand, and then swirled it around the puncture wound. Slowly, but not painfully, the cut began to heal, and the arrow slid out of my leg. After a minute or so, it was fully healed.
By then, everyone was defeated and Sebastian, Lance, and Miranda were rousing us go to the next light, where either Rose or Wolf was.
We ran through the park, racing across Adventureland and arriving in the center of the park. A circular garden sat in the middle, and Main Street was to the right. To the left was the glowing castle.
We run across the drawbridge and go under the castle. As we get to the other side, Serena notices the door inside.
We all run in, and go through the dark halls. There aren’t any demigods inside, or around corners, making my fear grow every step. As we go through a skinny passage, I notice that there is no light shining anywhere near.
Then I realize that she must be at the top of the castle. I’m about to say it when Jade says, “We have to get to the top.”
I guess great minds think alike.
We get out of the castle, and then look at the top of it. Lance then stomps on the ground, causing step-like pieces of cement lead to the top.
As we climb, I see that the light is getting dimmer the closer we get. It must be a signal that we almost have her.
When we get to the top, we come eye to eye with the punk girl. Now that I’m here, I notice she has a sort of silvery glow to her. She pulls out a spear and smiles. Beside her, Rose is hanging in midair asleep.
“Rose!” Sebastian cries, running towards the girl. He pulls out a good-sized sword with flaming patterns on it and swings. The sword catches on fire midair, and some of the sparks touch the girl’s clothes. As she blocks with her spear, a crackle of lightning echoes from them. Flames and electricity fly through the air, sending the two of them backwards.
The girl spits out ash from her mouth and stands next to Rose. “Follow me if you want,” she grunts, and then holds onto something above Rose’s floating body. No, it must be some sort of wire. I look up to see the long chord connected to the Matterhorn has as second one hanging down.
The girl and Rose jump off the edge and then go racing to the Matterhorn like a zip line. All the while, the punk chick is screaming her head off.
In the time she was racing towards the artificial mountain, we were running through Disneyland.
Once we arrived at the base of the Matterhorn, we decided to split up again. Sebastian insisted on helping Rose, while Miranda wanted to help Wolf, who was at Space Mountain. Serena and Lance went with Miranda, while Jade and I went with Sebastian.
Instead of using the carts, we climbed up the Matterhorn by walking. About halfway up, a Yeti blocks our path.
We all stop dead in our tracks. It glares at us with red eyes, and I’ve learned that at Disneyland, everything comes to life when demigods are in town.
Then it lunges at us. Jade and I spring to the side, but Sebastian stands his ground and attacks it with his flaming sword. He successfully impales it in the chest, and the Yeti falls to the ground.
We keep going up the spiral path until we are close to the top. The light gets brighter the higher we go, and I begin to worry about what’s happening at Space Mountain.
When we get to the highest point on the ride, I look over the cliff. “Hang on to me.” I tell Sebastian and Jade. They nod, and I take a leap off of the cliff. Gravity doesn’t seem to affect us as we go fly towards the top.
We land on the top, and Rose and the girl were waiting for us. Rose is on the floor, and the punk girl is pointing her spear at me.
Without thinking, I lunge at her, even though I don’t have a formidable weapon. She points the spear at me, but I dodge and send a gust of wind at her. She doesn’t even falter.
This time I attack. I pull out the lightning bolt shard and release a burst of pure lightning. But the next thing I knew, it was barreling right back at me.
I felt it touch my body, but no pain came through, just a weird tingling sensation. I then saw that it had bounced off me and was headed towards her again.
In the next few seconds, the lightning shot between us multiple times before dying out. We looked at each other in confusion, trying to understand how we had the same powers.
To my right, Sebastian and Jade were untying Rose. I knew the shocking chick would stop them, but I had to protect them. I didn’t know if she could fly like me, but it was my only chance. I ran towards her at full speed, and side tackled her, throwing the two of us off of the Matterhorn.
As we fell into a freefall, I let go of the girl soared to the right, looping around the mountain. In the distance, the girl was screaming her head off.
I fly back to the top of the Matterhorn and see that everyone is safe. “Ready?” I asked them.
They all nodded, and then I made a gust of wind throw us off of the cliff. I enjoy the feeling of air whipping through my face, and open my arms as if I were a bird. I made an air cushion on the ground, and we land safe fully.
And then, there is skull-rattling explosion that knocks us to our feet. The ground starts to shake violently, and I watch as the top of Space Mountain implodes.
And then, without even thinking about everyone with me, I shoot towards the ride like a bullet.
Fireworks and Ferris Wheels
Within the next few seconds, three things happened.
1. Sirens started blaring throughout Disneyland.
2. I lost total control of my flying abilities.
3. Space Mountain now has a large hole on the side.
Look, I’m sorry for causing a crapload of damage to Disneyland. It wasn’t entirely my fault anyway, so calm your horses. Plus, the place pissed me off, so I let out some internal anger by blowing a hole in the side!
Okay, back to what happened. I flew inside to see a couple crazy things. It was pretty dark, but I could hear and see the little carts shooting across the tracks, filled with screaming families. Bluish flames burnt from where I flew in, and they were spreading across the dome-like ceiling like a cold at preschool. My favorite part was the disco light thing in the middle of the ride.
As I looked inside, I could see a flying wave of darkness shooting to and fro like a black comet. There was a kid standing on the tracks, deflecting it with his pitch black sword. It took me a second to realize Miranda was the comet, and one of the demigods I saw was blocking her attacks.
On the ground, more warriors were fighting with Lance, who was throwing large chunks of concrete and metal in their direction. Farther away, I saw Serena and a tall guy with short, dark hair running through the ground level, towards the exit.
“Lance, Serena, Miranda!” I called, hoping to catch their attention.
All three of them, including the dude with Serena who I didn’t know, looked up at me. Suddenly, the guy I saw on the tracks jumped to the ground, raising his hand like a mummy. A dozen or so skeletons rose from the earth and pulled out weapons of all different kinds.
I swooped down immediately, grabbing Serena and the other kid, presumably Wolf. Arrows flew around us, and I struggled to hold up their weight. To my right, Miranda was holding Lance and flying upwards too.
We shot out of the hole in the wall like a bullet, and soared through the air. I looked below to see a couple wrecked rides and hoards of people running towards the exit. I couldn’t see Jade, Sebastian, or Rose, so I figured they were making their way out of the park like everyone else.
I let us fall towards the parking lot where our car was parked, on Goofie’s floor. We landed softly, and the large amounts of people trying to get out as fast as possible were blocking the path of the car.
I threw Lance the keys to the car. “We’re getting the others. Try and get out ASAP, and we’ll find you.”
He nodded, and hopped in the car. Miranda gave me a determined look, and started to glow with darkness.
“Ready?” I asked.
She nodded, and we hopped off the side of the structure, blasting through the sky towards Disneyland.
I looked around desperately, trying to figure out where they were. I scanned the entire park, but I was too high up to recognize them.
“If they see us, we’ll know!” Miranda yelled to me as we skimmed across the sky.
“What do you mean?” I called back.
“Rose and Sebastian will release an explosion of light and flames to show us where he is.” She said it like it was a simple procedure she went through a lot.
Suddenly, a bright flash of red light cascaded into the sky from California Adventure. Why were they at California Adventure?
No time for questions. I shot toward the glowing light, Miranda trailing behind me. The source was coming from the large man-made lake in the middle of the park.
I dropped down, my speed increasing dangerously. My stomach flipped multiple times, and my legs tingled as I got closer to the ground. Jade, Sebastian, and Rose were somehow standing in the middle of the lake, all standing completely still. The pier spread out to the far left, and directly behind them was a roller-coaster-California Adventure. The Mickey Mouse Ferris Wheel loomed overhead, like it was about to fall on them. I was about five-hundred feet above them, gliding down in a circular pattern when I heard a loud crack.
A fiery hot explosion screamed past me, and I veered to the right, the world spinning around me. I heard a deep boom and my vision filled with a blur of blue, green, and yellow. A loud crackle of energy rushed through my body, and I started to drop, my whole face and arms burning with heat. The lights of the city spun downward, and I screamed at the top of my lungs.
I managed to regain control, and shot back towards to my friends. Another explosion whistled past me, and soon the entire sky was filled with angry fireworks out to get me.
I realized that they were all standing on a large metal panel, which was launching the fireworks. They could get killed any second…
I dodged multiple blazes of light, and landed next to the trio. I looked around, and Miranda was still trying to weave through the explosions.
I looked into Jade’s eyes, which were glowing with fear. The moment I looked into them, I understood. She was trying to warn me.
I released a blast of air behind me, and a yell filled my ears. I spun around to see the dude back at the Pirates ride glowering at me.
I pulled out the lightning tip and aimed at him. He raised his eyebrow and pulled out a golden sword.
I took a step backward, standing in front of Jade and the others. He tightened his grip, and then lunged.
I released a burst of lightning, but it deflected off his sword, though knocking him backward. He climbed to his feet and swung at me again. I dodged, and then released another shockwave of air that knocked him down.
Suddenly, a burst of white light shot up between us. I had completely forgotten about the fireworks. Then I realized I could use them to my advantage.
I didn’t have much more energy, but I jumped into the air, waiting for another firework. I kept an eye on the dude, who was advancing towards the others. I had to hurry.
A firework sailed towards me, and I sent a gust of wind towards it. It moved to the right slightly, but didn’t change direction much.
I needed more power, and Waterboy was almost to them.
Another one launched towards me, but I failed for the second time. I groaned angrily, and my hands started to glow faintly. I was ready for this.
A firework exploded directly in front of me, and I released the glowing power in my hands. The blueish explosion collided with the firework instantly, making an ear-splitting crack. It raced towards the guy, instantly transforming into a comet-like figure, creating a fulmination of energy. The bright light from the collision illuminated the entire park.
I stared at his body, which was charred from the explosion. In a way, I felt kind of bad, hoping I hadn’t hurt him too bad.
“You killed him!” Rose said, gasping.
“I did not!” I said defensively. Sebastian and Miranda just stared at his body.
“He can’t die though…” Jade whispered; the glazed look of fear still on her face.
I paused, trying to comprehend what this meant, when a hand yanked me underwater, pulling me away from my friends. My head was submersed underwater, my throat being tightened by the ice-cold liquid. I panicked, trying to kick down from the platform, but nothing worked. Bubbles escaped my mouth quickly, and my entire chest area seared in pain from lack of oxygen.
Suddenly I was released. I shot my head forward, gasping for breath haggardly. A glowing sword was being pointed at my neck, and I tried to control my breathing.
“Who are you?” Waterboy asked.
“Who are you?” I demanded back.
“I asked you first!”
I grumbled quietly and said, “My name is Zachery Aurelius. And I think I’m a demigod.”
“I’m Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon.” He said, gripping the sword tighter.
“Yeah, well that’s cool and all, but I you’re kinda pointing a sword at my neck, and I don’t feel very comfortable with that.”
He cautiously pulled the sword away, staring at me with his creepy green eyes. I looked around awkwardly, wondering what was going to happen next.
There were a couple quiet seconds, and then a distant roaring sound, like all the water in the park was being sucked into one spot. Percy and I whipped around to see a thirty foot wall of water rising behind us, crashing through the colorful fireworks, and creating a magnificent wave of light.
Before he could react, I released a quick jet of air, throwing my body over the wave and letting myself drop down with it. On the other side, Jade was holding out her hand and concentrating. I turned my head back to the wave to see Percy get pounded by the force of water. As the water level returned to normal, nothing remained.
Suddenly, a shrill scream came from the pier. A girl with golden blonde hair collapsed into tears, probably because she thought Percy was dead. The boy we had fought a Space Mountain ran along next to her, gasping as they stared at Percy’s immobile body.
“Come on,” Jade said, pulling my hand, “We have to get out of here.”
I nodded, still in shock out of what had happened. The fireworks had stopped, and our group of five ran along the metal platform until we reached the gigantic Mickey Mouse Ferris Wheel. As we climbed onto ground, I noticed that the two teenagers were almost towards us.
“Hurry!” Sebastian said with a tone of panic. We started to run towards the other side of the park when the earth started to rumble. Behind us, the guy had stabbed his obsidian colored sword into the earth. Fissures crawled away from him, going into the building and advancing towards us.
We bolted away, faster than the cracks themselves. I had a small moment when I thought we would escape, until I heard the sound of an insanely loud metal screeching. Above us, the Ferris Wheel was slowly turning off of its hinges. There was a crash as the gigantic mass of the ride touched the earth, and started to roll toward us.
If maybe Lance were here, we could’ve stopped it. Maybe we could’ve prevented California Screamin’ from getting destroyed, but we didn’t have enough power. We were exhausted and energy less, and the only thing we did was dart to the side, making the Great Wheel of Death roll into the side of the park.
We were all panting on the floor as the two demigods came up to us. The girl, who I noticed had intense dark eyes, was wielding a dagger. The other dude still had his black sword.
“What did you do to Percy!” The girl said, a tear going down her cheek.
“And Thalia too,” The boy said.
“Um… Thalia? Who’s that?” I asked.
“Girl, black hair, blue eyes, punk clothes, fifteen.” The guy said.
“Oh yeah, her.” I said, “I threw her off the Matterhorn.”
The dude gaped at me, and impulsively started to swing his sword when the girl stopped him. “Nico, don’t. Thalia is a daughter of Zeus, maybe she managed to fly to the ground.”
He looked angry, but put his sword down. “And where did Percy go?”
I looked at Jade, hoping she knew what she did, but she just shook her head.
“Well… I don’t know what to say about that…” I say quietly.
Nico and Annabeth start to whisper to one another. I don’t know what their planning, but it couldn’t be good. We had to get out of here as fast as we could, and we needed to act quickly. If we got captured… that would be no bueno.
I glanced at Rose and Sebastian, and mouthed “Get ready”. I did the same to Miranda, and then locked eyes with Jade. She nodded, and then we sprang into action.
Jade created a tidal wave that rose above land and started to barrel towards us. Sebastian released a dash of flames at Nico, while Rose blinded Annabeth with a bright light. I then grabbed Jade by the waist, and shot into the sky. Miranda created a sort of floating panel of darkness that lifted Sebastian and Rose, and carried us away from the wave that devoured Nico and Annabeth.
It felt a little awkward, holding Jade by the waist. She was laughing the whole time, occasionally looking up and grinning at me. I laughed too, trying to block out how cute I thought her laugh was.
After a couple minutes of admiring the beauty of Southern California at night, we lowered down near Downtown Disney. I had seen a couple Black Priuses, but I recognized ours by the very noticeable dents on the sides. The car was parked by the IHOP in close to Disneyland. Next to the Prius was another car, a red Expedition. Lance, Serena, and Wolf were all sitting on the sidewalk nomming on their pancakes.
“Hey!” I said as Jade and I landed. The others touched down next to us.
“We bought you all pancakes! The smiley face ones!” Lance said, holding up five boxes of pancakes.
“I also got us a car that fits us all!” Serena said, revealing the Expedition.
We all climbed into the truck, with Wolf driving, Serena in shotgun, Rose, Sebastian, and Miranda in the middle, and Jade, Lance, and I in the back.
“Enjoy your pancakes now.” Wolf said calmly, “We’re going to a hotel by the Huntington Beach Pier, and we’ll discuss what we’re doing from there.”
I felt completely exhausted as I chewed on the delicious chocolate pancake. Lance had already fallen asleep, and the others were talking amongst themselves. Jade had immediately devoured her pancakes, and was curled up next to me, her head on my shoulder.
I could tell she needed comfort, probably because she thought she had killed Percy and maybe others. I put my arm around her, in more of a brotherly way. After a while, she drifted off to sleep. And soon after, I joined her.