Alexandros snapped out of it once he heard both Kat and Jessica talking to him. He looked out at his hands and noticed that he definitely did not have the hands of an excessively pale white man and quickly reverted back to his normal form before noticing the tears on his cheeks. He must have focused a bit to hard on the people back at the theater troop, specifically Mr. Barber. He had been something of a brother to Alexandros and had been instrumental to his learning of the long dead language of Latin which he considered essential for properly understanding ancient roman plays. He also figured he must have been crying while he was lost in his memories, he turned to Jessica.
"Yea, sorry, I'm fine. Just remembered the theater troop, it's the first time I've ever been away from them. Have you ever heard the saying "it takes a village to raise a child"? Every last one of the people in that troop believed it in the very core of their being. Wonderful people every single one of them, and so I guess it just kind of hit me right there that I'm not going to see my family for a while. I'm fine now, honestly." Alexandros said as he got up in his normal form.
"I told ya I knew it," Brandon confirmed as he trailed Ruby as well as he could. He knew well enough what happened to lone people in these woods. Hell, it had just happened. That cloak was making things difficult, but his speed was enough to keep pace without bowling the tracker over.
He fingered the triggers on each of his handguns a little nervously. Just because he knew all about the beasts of these woods, didn't mean he still wasn't a little nervous. In fact it made him a little more nervous, since he knew exactly what these things could do. "Right then Ruby want do you want to do with this thing then? I know I got the bullets to take that sucker down but I gotta be able to get a shot in."
Mitsuko blushed as well hearing Gary speak. "Ummm I'm always happy with you as well Gary." Mitsuko said cuddling closer to him then looked up. She couldn't help but press her lips to his putting more power into is then she did before. Without thinking about it or even stopping to do so she deepened the kiss pressing her chest to his.
"Standard procedure. We follow the trail to the hellhound's lair, kill it and you'll take something back to Chiron while I raze the lair to the ground," Ruby answered shortly, continuing her tracking as she spoke. "I'll flank it while you face it down. You should've brought armour. Ah well. I'll have killed it before it even tries to take a bite out of you."
Gary kissed back, the arm around Mitsuko's shoulders moving down to her waist as she pressed herself to him. She seemed to be putting a little more force into it this time, and he liked it. And the feeling of her body against his was something new, and certainly pleasurable...
On a whim, without thinking it over or cautioning himself as he had done before, Gary shuffled over a little and leaned back, gently pulling Mitsuko down to lie side by side. He placed his other hand on her upper arm, and lightly touched one of her lips with his tongue, careful not to break the kiss accidentally.
Mitsuko couldn't help but moan feeling his tongue on her lips opening her mouth running her hands down his sides bringing her self close to him. She wanted to crawl on top of him but knew it was too far so she returned the favor by licking his lower lip. Mitsuko wrapped her arms around him softly starting to make out.
Kat crossed her arms, a gesture of habit for her. It hadn't occurred to her just yet that she probably wouldn't be able to see her mother for a while. Alexandros had hammered that point home. Briefly, she wondered what her mother was doing right now. Normally, her mother would be giving her homework to do as per the home school curriculum, but now that she was gone, there must have been a gaping hole in her routine. A small lump formed in the bottom of her throat.
Kat swallowed hard and stopped that train of thought. She didn't like to get sentimental. Some might have called her cold or heartless for that, but she never felt comfortable during "sappy" moments. The next time she got a chance to contact her mother, she would do it, and that was that.
"So, is there anything left to see?" she asked Jessica.
"Wait? I'm the decoy? Aw, dang it! Again!" Brandon was not thrilled with Ruby's plan, especially since he would be the one that would have to stare down the massive creature. "And I shoulda brung armor? I'm sorry, didna think I'd be dealin' with idjits today!"
He was shouting at this point and he could hear howling in the background. Whichever hound had gotten the mute, he was done eating. "Shit." Brandon brought both his guns out front. If that thing was done, and he knew that mute didn't look like a full course meal, he'd be coming out to hunt again.
"Ah... yeah, having to leave people you've known for years can be painful," Jessica said, helping Alexandros up. "If you ever need to talk about it, come find me and I'll spare some time for you." The two of them returned to where Katarina was standing, at which point she asked her question.
"Yes, there is one last thing before I show you to the cabins. Considering you're a child of Ares, I think you're gonna like the combat arena and the archery range to an extent," Jess answered, leading the other two over to the appropriate destination. The arena seemed to be deserted except for Javier Delgado getting some practice in with his staff. He looked like he was really into it, lost to all things around him.
Gesturing for both Alexandros and Katarina to pause there at the edge of the arena, Jessica said, "That's Javier Delgado, son of Hermes and leader of Cabin Eleven. Once he finishes his practice, we can go talk to him if you want, get a different opinion of camp."
"Mmmm..." Gary sighed softly as he felt Mitsuko move herself even closer to him. Then they started making out, gently at first. The sensation was new, unfamiliar and full of something else he didn't recognise initially: passion.
At that point, with their tongues winding together in a dance and their bodies pressed against each other, Gary wanted to take the next step with Mitsuko. But he restrained himself, knowing that it wasn't the right time, and it wouldn't be the right time for a long time yet. He didn't want to build their relationship on sex; there was far more to a relationship than that.
"No need to panic," Ruby said in a slightly snarky tone. "As I said, it'll be dead before it can take a mouthful of you. Now just keep going straight, you'll see the cavern entrance soon enough. Don't go any closer once you get to the edge of the clearing." She vanished into the trees completely at that point, circling around the large clearing she knew was further ahead. There was an entrance to a natural cavern in that gap in the trees, obvious to anyone who ventured this deep into the woods.
Arrow still nocked in her bow, the Chief Ranger took a position where she could see the entrance, but remained blended into the woodland around her. From her ambush place, she could easily take down the Black Hellhound that was undoubtedly chewing on demigod bones right now.
Mitsuko deepened the kiss running her hand closer to his ass stopping it right above it waiting to see if Gary would stop her. "Hmmmmm Gary." she moaned in the kiss bring her tongue deeper in his mouth.
She rubbed his hips softly getting as close as she could with him and moved her hand a little lower testing the waters yet again. Mitsuko ran a hand under Gary's shirt and broke the kiss to kiss his neck.
"Thank you, both of you." Alexandros said as he was helped up, he had met people like Kat before, and he though she was trying to help in her own way. He couldn't help but think of the troop somewhat as they walked away from the amphitheater. He hoped they were doing well and would continue to do so. He continued along these lines of thought until Jessica had spoken about Delgado.
"What kind of opinion will we get?" Alexandros asked.
Hunter had followed Ea not really paying attention to her. He heard her say something about skipping a dock and stable but after that Hunter had lost all interest in what she was saying or the conversation between her and Anny and instead focused on finishing his drawing.
When they arrived at the forest Hunter finished his drawing and turned the page to start another. Noticing his pencil was to dull at this point Hunter shifted his shield so his sword's hilt was beside him and he started to carve the pencil tip using the sharp edge and watched as Eric ignored the older demigods and walked into the forest. The sudden scream caused a massive chill to run through Hunter and the feeling on his skin turned from the summer heat to the coldest winds of winter.
Hunter's vision blurred and he stood there looking not at the forest but at a hallway with a door at the end just shutting. Hunter became deaf to the others but turned and moved away with them by pure coincidence as his mind was screaming at him to get away. Ea's question about there well being slightly shook Hunter of his spell and nodded and stopped with them. His flashback and reality were starting the merge and he could see the other's in the endless hallway he looked down which was now fading away back to normal.
Hunter had no clue what had happened. He couldn't remember where that place was that he saw but he started sketching down as fast as he could. Others arrived soon and Ea left with Anny so Hunter naturally followed them. Hunter wasn't looking at the paper anymore as he drew and followed Ea into the mess hall. Hunter wasn't hungry and looked back down at his drawing and it scared him. His subconscious had drawn eyes onto the wall looking at him and the door wasn't closed but wide open with out line of a man and a small child in the door frame.
Ea's question drew Hunter away from his drawing. "What just happened?" Came from Hunter, this time his voice was cold and solid like an iceberg; completely void of his normal hesitation and nervousness.
Kat allowed herself to grin. Combat arena. Sounds like my kind of place. Secretly, she was hoping this camp had some place where she could hone her skills. But considering that this was a camp for people who were half divine, it shouldn't have surprised her. As they approached the arena, Kat noticed the man that Jessica pointed out as Javier Delgado practicing rather intensely with a staff in his hands. His motions were smooth and fluid, as opposed to her own aggressive and unrefined technique. Her hand fell to the Xiphos, which sat in a sheath at her waist. She was anxious to learn from the more experienced Demigods here at the camp.
Javier finished his second routine with a sharp upwards strike with his weapon. Breathing heavily he slid his feet so that he was in the same stance he had began his routine with. Javier took a deep breath and grinned on the exhale. It had been a good practice session. He spent a moment regulating his breathing.
Turning to his stack of belongings Javier flipped his staff sideways in a lazy circle then leaned it against one of the empty seats. He grabbed his shirt and water bottle. The shirt he flung over his left shoulder and the water bottle he opened quickly. He took several good-sized swallows before he began scanning the Arena with a casual gaze. Javier's gaze stopped on Jessica and two younger people who Javier thought he'd seen earlier in the day. He lowered the water bottle and blindly screwed the cap back on.
With an easy smile Javier lifted his free hand and waved at the small group. He glanced at the two recruit's outfits. It looked like they'd already been by the armory. 'I wonder who their parents are.' Javier thought. He couldn't really tell from the garments. 'Maybe Cabin 11 will get a new addition!'
As Robin Hood disappeared into the trees, Brandon ventured into the clearing. He could see the cave up ahead. It was dark and it had the smell of death coming from it. "Fuck me," he cursed to himself. "If Little Green Riding Hood ain't as good as her word, I'm givin' her such a hauntin' as a ghost."
Brandon tentatively approached the cave, guns rigidly drawn in front of him. "Hey! Ya fat bastard! C'mon out if ya want a real meal!" He fired a couple of shots from the left gun into the darkness before him. That appeared to get some attention drawn. He could hear a yelp and then footsteps, pounding the earth like an errant locomotive. Brandon took a couple of steps back. Shit Shit Shit. This ain't gonna be good.
Jacob was trying hard to catch his breath. A talking horse-man is yelling at me. A mute was eaten by a demon. They sent a woman to try to kill it! This is beyond funny. "This is very funny, horse-thingy," he finally was able to say after a full minute of catching his breath. "Man deserved to die. Couldn't fight. I not want him around fight with me. He needed training. Why we here. Needed to die. He made everyone stronger." He pulled Ifrit out and un-collapsed it. Putting it in the ground, handle first, and dropped to his knees. Clasping his hands together, he quietly muttered the Lords Prayer in Arabic. Rising again, he pulled Ifrit out of the ground and approached Chiron. "What do we do next?" he asked, regaining his stoic appearance too quickly to fool anyone.
"Whatever just happened," Ea answered Hunter, "I can't do anything about it as I am, and you guys can't do anything about it, period. If it can be fixed, that woman you just saw will fix it. If it can't be fixed, then there's no reason to worry."
This was a very objective and analytical side of Ea that didn't pop up very often, essentially appearing only when she was responsible for the safety of others. She didn't like this side of herself and it didn't like her, but it did occasionally come in handy.
Ea thought of her weapon, locked away in her abode at the Hall of Heroes, and how she could be with Ruby right now. But Anny and Hunters priority came first. The two goals needn't be entirely exclusive, however.
"I know you're worried Hunter, but trust me, it's best for all concerned if we just head on over to the last stop of the tour."
Now Ea was back in control, back in her familiar zone. Setting off at a brisk pace, she led the two to the Hall of Heroes, her workplace, and the set of most the of the bizarre, impressionist movie that was her life.
Anny followed obediently, but in her mind she was mulling over one particular phrase from Ea over and over again:
"...can't do anything about it as I am."
As she opened the heavy, oak doors to the Hall of Heroes, a deep sense of quiet and calmth descended on Ea's mind and soul. If there was anywhere on the planet where she was in charge, where she was in control of the situation, it was here. Holding the doors open for the others, she said, "This is the Hall of Heroes: Trophy cabinet, cenotaph, and where I spend most of my time. Everybody in this hall was or is a treasured member of the camp, whose memory deserves to be honored. Most of them are dead, but some are still alive and kickin'. And some..." She paused here, catching her breath momentarily, "Some of them just...disappeared."
Anny, passing Ea in the doorway, noticed the hitch in her breath, but didn't question it.
Once inside, the first thing she noticed was the fact that, while the statues were genuinely beautiful and statesque, some entries in the gallery came with pictures instead. Walking over to the first of these, she read the following:
Douglas Darien Burns, Son of Hephaestus.
Killed by a medusa whilst trying to obtain an antidote to save a fellow Demigod.
Truly a selfless soul, and one that we shall remember forever. May he stand as a shining example to others.
The picture showed a young man with a morningstar on his belt, chatting with some friends.
He seemed like a nice guy, and Anny felt a sting of remorse at the idea that he died so young.
It was hard to imagine why anyone, and Ea in particular, would want to spend most of their time here.
"Well, that depends on Javier, really," Jessica answered Alexandros, leading the other two down the stone steps towards the center of the arena. "Most if not all demigods will tell you that camp is a pretty good place to hang around for the summer, even if the activities diverge from that which you'd see at any camp for normal humans. Sometimes there's a sea demon in the lake; that's always a challenge if we're surprised by it.
"Oh, and there's always the times when someone is sent out on a quest. Usually they'll return one way or another... but sometimes they don't. Anywho..." Jess shrugged the comment off physically and mentally, not wanting to get into a slightly less cheerful state, and approached Javier with the others in tow.
"Hey, Javier," she said cheerfully. "I suppose I should introduce the new guys. Alexandros, son of Dionysus, and Katarina, daughter of Ares." She indicated each of the two in turn as she spoke.
A loud growl emanated from the cave Brandon was facing, closely followed by the angry Hellhound as it emerged from the cave. About twice his height, it was predominantly black with some dark red colouring to it in places... although the red on its teeth was by no means part of its natural colouring. The demon snarled again as it picked up the pace, intending to earn itself a second course of fresh meat.
Before Brandon even had time to aim properly, three arrows flew straight and true out of the woods. As they sped towards their target, a loud snap of the fingers was heard and each arrow split into two identical shafts. All six buried their points in the Hellhound's neck, and it stumbled and collapsed to the ground at Brandon's feet, dying from both the severing of the throat and the touch of Celestial Bronze on monstrous flesh.
Ruby stepped out of the woods from where the arrows had originated, walked up to the fallen creature and ripped her arrows out of its neck to cause additional injury. The three extras that had been produced by her power faded into a small cloud of golden smoke, and as they did so, the Hellhound began to lose its shape and melted into a puddle of shadow which quickly faded.
"Dead and done. Just the way I like hellhounds," she commented, before getting back to the matter at hand and making her way to the cave entrance. "Let's go. Got to find something that proves it took the kid here. A blood trail isn't enough evidence."
"Your way of thinking is slightly flawed, Jacob. A reaction such as yours is not usually tolerated in this camp," Chiron pointed out. "As to what will take place next, I will wait until I hear word from Master Lee. You should make your way to the cabins and wait for someone to finish your tour of camp, since it was interrupted." With that he turned and trained his eyes on the forest, looking for any sign of movement, human or otherwise.
As Mitsuko shifted slightly and started kissing the side of his neck, Gary felt hands in places he didn't want them to be. Taking his own hands off of her, he gently took her... wandering hand by the wrist and moved it up to where he could see it. He hesitated before he spoke, looking at her for a moment and choosing his words carefully.
"Um... I know you might've gotten caught up in the moment there, but... I think that last bit pushed it a little too far," he said quietly. "Don't get me wrong, up until that point it was good, enjoyable... some might say pleasurable, but I'm not sure that I'd use the word myself. Anyways. It's okay if you want to cuddle up, just... please don't go that far just yet. You know what I mean, right?"
Gary hoped she did. As their relationship progressed, they would eventually end up going as far as Mitsuko had taken it, but only when they were both comfortable with it, he figured. And then later, of course, they would move further along that path; at least, he figured he would if he was alright with taking those particular steps.
When the hellhound appeared, Brandon nearly froze up. They seemed a lot bigger than he remembered hearing about. With a lot more teeth. He was going to put up a shot to try and defend himself but he didn't need to. Robin Hood snapped that dog's neck in half with her arrows, melting it away in a pile of goo. "Well shoot I coulda done that too, if I had the fancy bullets and all that," he noted. "Gotta get me some of them then, huh?"
He followed after Ruby into the cave, it was empty and forbidding, a lot of bones scattered around the place, indicating that this was far from the dog's first meal. There was enough light filtering in now that things could be easily seen and that's when Brandon noticed something on the ground, something heavy. Wasn't a bone, it was too flexible. He picked up the mystery item and found it to be a scrap of leather, bathed in blood. Shoot, wasn't that kid wearing a leather jacket like this? Yeah, yeah he was I remember, it looked fake like this one.
"Hey Ruby!" he called out. "You want yer proof, I think I just found it right here. Or what's left of it, anyway."
Hunter didn't like how Ea tried to sidestep his question and change the topic. He would have challenged her with the question again but Hunter knew he wouldn't get anything out of her so instead he started to think and followed Ea out to the Hall of Heroes. As they arrived the decision of what Hunter was going to do dawned on him. If I want to know what's happening here I'll have to look for myself.
Hunter took a seat on the ground outside the doorway into the Hall of Heroes not interested in going inside. "Three questions," Hunter barely muttered. "Where... do we... sleep? Where... are our belongings? What... do you mean... by just disappeared?" Hunter said stopping with nervousness every so often.
Dathne had spent a few hours sitting in her little haven off the map. As the strings of her guitar echoed past the trees she let the final note drop before putting the instrument away.
"Shit! The TEST!"
Jumping to her feet, Dathne felt vigor rush through her body and adrenaline flush through her veins. When her absentmindedness got the better of her were not times of pleasure.
Her senses were honed and she bolted toward the archery range, praying that Ruby wouldn't notice her lateness.
A few minutes later she arrived at the forge.
As she entered, Max was sitting by his anvil with the bow at his side.
"Thought you forgot about it Dath" He said with a smile as Dathne quickly grabbed it and checked the strings.
After a farewell, she was off again.
When she arrived at the range, there was only one thing flowing through her mind.
Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit
Her eyes were flying all over the place, looking for Ruby. She had already showed up late for her test in attaching multiple arrows. If she was going to repeat that mistake, it would reflect badly on her arena entry.
She called out into the sunlight.
"She said to be here at dusk....Then, where is she??"
After trailing around the place for a few extra minutes, she sat down on a large stone by the targets and started memorizing the words of the spell and the movement of her hands. Last minute study was always helpful.
Mitsuko smiled and nodded. "I understand Gary and I;m sorry." Mitsuko said cuddling up to him again and wrapped her arms around his back. "Just the heat of the moment." she added and kissed him softly.
Anny moved further along the Hall of Heroes, reading the various plaques, looking at the pictures on the wall and beholding the statues.
At the same time, Ea turned to Hunter, noting the odd punctuation in his questions.
"Respectively," Ea began, "You sleep in your cabins, which are indexed according to your divine parent and which you may visit after this; your belongings should already have arrived and been delivered to said cabins and if they haven't, they should later today..."
Before answering Hunters last question, Ea had to take a second to compose her thoughts. During this, her eyes flashed to a certain plaque on the far side of the Hall for just a split-second.
Unfortunately for Ea, Anny happened to notice that split-second, and proceeded to casually make her way over to it.
"They never disappear into thin air, if that's what you mean." Ea continued, "It's just that sometimes, when they're sent out on long missions that take them far away from the camp, we just...lose contact."
Ea her eyes turned slightly downward, and her shoulders sagged by a notable degree.
"We can never be certain if they're intercepted by enemies, or disserting from the Camp, but the fact just is, we don't hear from them again. If we're very lucky, we can get reports of occasional sightings from Interpol and the like, but we've never actually managed to find any of them."
As Ea explained this, Anny read the plaque that Ea's eyes had strayed to momentarily.
Ayane Fisscher, Daughter of Poseidon.
Vanished without notice during a solitary mission in France.
Ayane was instrumental in the rescue of Apollo from Hades' capture, as well as safeguarding her fellow Demigods therein.
She was a brave and compassionate warrior, and we hope she will serve as an inspiration to others.
We hope she is at peace, wherever she may be.
The picture above the plaque (again, no statue) showed a well-muscled Asian woman repairing a spear.
Anny began to suspect she knew why Ea spent her time here, but she would keep it to herself until later. Ea had offered to show her her weapon later. She'd ask her then.
Ask her about quite a few things, actually.
Gary immediately relaxed when Mitsuko's lips touched his again, allowing her to take the lead for the moment as he gently kissed her back occasionally. His arms gently encircled her - one at the small of her back, the other touching her shoulder blades - as the kiss continued. Just like earlier, it seemed to Gary that the world around the two of them faded into the background and his senses opened up, bringing Mitsuko, and the feelings he was experiencing during their embrace, into a little sharper focus.
"Mmmm..." Gary sighed quietly, taking in Mitsuko's cherry-blossom scent. Coupled with the gentle, passionate kisses they were sharing, everything else was driven out of his head. It was just the two of them and nothing else mattered at that moment.
Ruby looked round, careful not to turn her back on the deeper areas of the cave, and backed up to get a better look. "Good enough. Get that to Chiron, I'll block the entrance off," she commanded, drawing a special arrow from her quiver. The head was like any other arrow, but had a colour similar to that of dynamite, like someone would see in old clichéd movies.
As Brandon ran out of the cave, Ruby heard another low growl. There was more than one of the demons living underground. She turned and quickly dashed out of the lair before they could turn up, and stopped at the entrance while Brandon continued on his way.
"Since taking them all out is a waste of my time..." she said quietly to herself as she nocked the arrow and fired it into the roof of the entrance. The arrow in place, she spun around and sprinted to a safe distance before looking back. No sign of any hellhounds coming after the two of them.
Ruby pointed one finger to the arrow sticking out of the roof, flicked it in a swift gesture, and the cave roof exploded in a muted BOOM. The sounds of falling rocks and crumbling dirt soon followed as the roof caved in, sealing the entrance to prevent the hellhounds from getting out and running rampant. Her job done, Ruby set off at a casual walk through the woods to return to Chiron.
Hunter continued to sit on the ground, looking down, tracing a figure eight on the ground with his hand as he listened to Ea. As she spoke three of her words rang in Hunter's head, "...your divine parent..." As Ea finished answering Hunter's first two question she stopped for a second giving Hunter a second to think. Why wasn't this part of the tour? What if we don't know who our divine parent is? A sad and angry look crossed Hunter's face as he quenched his fist.
As Ea started to anwser Hunter's third and more informative question. Hunter banished the look from his face and released his hand as he looked up at Ea for the answer. He continued to sit in silence as he heard he out. Noting a familiar level of sadness coming from within her. Hunter sighed. He now had two more questions to ask and they were becoming increasingly more difficult to ask due to the overwhelming feeling of not wanting to say anything coupled with Hunter's normal timidness.
Hunter swallowed and nearly choked on his tongue as he slid himself up the wall. "Thank you... for the answers." Hunter managed to get out attempting to emulate the level of sadness he was getting from Ea with his voice. Hunter didn't have a natural feeling like Ea was displaying, but he knew the feeling of never seeing and hearing of people again which became the case for some in the foster system. Hunter felt his throat dry as it didn't seem right to say anything beyond that but the two questions loomed forward in front of him. "What cabin do we stay in if we don't know who our parents are?" Hunter let out with a cracked but understandable voice. "And can I leave now?"
As Hunter and Ea were talking, Anny was about to leave the plaque of of Ayane and move on to the next one, when she noticed something with the tail of her eye. The plaque and photograph of Ayane Fisscher were both polished to a near-mirror shine. She could actually see her own reflection in the glass of the picture-phrame. Looking around at the others in the Hall, she didn't find a single one in as pristine a condition as this one. There was not a scratch on it, nor was there a single fingerprint to be seen.
Her attention shifted however, from the condition of the picture to the picture itself. The woman had faced the camera with her left side, so it was kind of hard to see, but Anny could distinctly make out a dark and vaguely Celtic tattoo on the womans right arm, cheek and shoulder. It clashed rather prominently with her Asian skin, and Anny could help but think that it would look better on a naturally darker skin, like Ea's for example.
Meanwhile, Ea might have noticed Hunters obvious discomfort if she hadn't been getting increasingly uncomfortable herself. Regardless, she did answer his question, albeit slightly hesitantly.
"There is a common cabin for people who've yet to discover their lineage, it's smack in the middle of the cabins, so you can't miss it. You'll have no problems going in there, and your baggage will be delivered there as well. Also..." she continued,"...Yeah, I guess we're pretty much done here if you don't want to stay. You have my leave to walk freely across the camp, so long as you don't go into the forest or near the sea-shore without an escort."
"I'll stay here for a while." she finished, her eyes turning to Anny, "We still have something to discuss."
Anny now also finally noticed that in the back of the Hall of Heroes there were three identical doors set in the left, back and right wall.
One was labelled "Director's Offices", one was labelled "Archives", and the last had no label that she could see. This was also the only one of the three doors with a discernible lock.
She took off her hat, and took a deep breath, slowly letting the air out. She felt like she was about to take a very large dive into a very deep pool.
Brandon was safely into the forest when he heard a fairly loud BOOM behind him. Ruby must have done something else back there. "Dang show off archer chick. I've got to talk to Chiron bout gettin' me some of them magic bullet things in here. I can fire 'em off pretty well I think. Gotten enough practice with these babies since I got 'em couple months ago. Yeah. Maybe I will."
Brandon exited the woods, lucky it was only a short walk from the edge of the woods to the director's office. He wouldn't have to lug that drool and blood infused scrap of pleather too far. Even luckier still, it turned out Chiron was already there outside the woods.
"Hey, Chiron," he said, holding out what was left of the mute. "Yeah, yer boy ain't nothing but dog kibble, in a dead dog, thanks to Ruby. Speakin' of which, can I get some of them magic bullets already? Think I've proven I can handle 'em by now."
Kat nodded and gave a brief wave to Javier when she was introduced. She had to admit, his skill with a staff was very impressive. The man's display was practically a work of art.
The fact that he didn't look too bad without a shirt on wasn't hurting matters either.
"Hey," she said to Javier. Watching the tail end of his routine had only served to fuel her enthusiasm about beginning what she could assume was her training here at the camp.
Mitsuko smiled and cuddled to Gary. Things started to fade away as if the world contained just them. She pressed her lips to his even more cuddling. "So who should we tell first?" she asked laughing some. Mitsuko was falling even deeper into heaven with Gary leading her the way.
Mitsuko sighed and licked his lower lip softly checking to see if even that was too far. Things in her head were starting to become clear, she loved Gary, she had for awhile. He was the one she spent the most time with and the one she could tell anything to.
"Hmm..." Gary mused, mulling over the question as he let Mitsuko kiss him, one hand absent-mindedly stroking her soft black hair. Telling people that the two of them had started dating would have to be done carefully; as he had said previously, the Aphrodite kids would spread it like wildfire, so perhaps they would tell them later than others. Gary's half-siblings would find out sooner rather than later; there was one in particular who was practically a psychic. At age sixteen, Wendell Clarke possessed the magical power to pick up on people's thoughts incredibly easily.
"I guess we could just tell our close friends, and they'll spread the word soon enough," he answered Mitsuko's question with a quiet chuckle, pausing as her tongue touched his lip. "But that can wait until another time," he added, drawing her a little closer to him and playfully rolling over so that the Japanese girl was now lying on him. She felt a little heavy due to the unfamiliar weight, but Gary cast that thought aside as he gently brought her face down to his and held it there for a few seconds, their faces mere inches apart and one hand cupping her cheek.
Gary paused there, holding off from kissing Mitsuko again as he gazed into her eyes. Words and thoughts failed him in that moment of serenity. With that, Gary simply held the gaze as one hand returned to her hair and the other rested on her back. He could feel a certain article of clothing under her shirt; the thought was sobering, and he shifted the hand in question to avoid it.
Chiron took the scrap of bloody leather, mentally reconstructing the jacket in his mind. "Di immortales," he muttered quietly, closing his eyes for a second in respect for the dead. The words were akin to a swearword commonly used by Chiron, the other directors and the older campers. "Take a moment if you feel the need, but you should probably finish the tour to show Jacob here around the camp. I'll be in my office if you need anything else." With that, the centaur turned and began walking at a slightly slower-than-normal pace back towards the Directors' Offices.
While camp-related deaths and disappearances were thankfully rare, they happened too often for Chiron's liking. Over the past two millennia, the last time he had seen so many demigods die within the same time frame was World War Two.
MItsuko put a hand in Gary's hair playing with the tips and kissed his nose and giggled. "You're cute when you're thinking. Well we should hold off telling Jess, after all look at who her mother is. You're siblings might already know as it is." Mitsuko said. "But I agree, tell our close friends, other then Jess, first." she said cuddling to his chest.
Without thinking two words slipped out of her mouth, words that it was too soon for her to say. "I love.. spending time with you Gary." she said smiling softly but on the inside thanking the gods she didn't finish what she was going to say.
"Hey guys. Welcome to Camp." Javier grinned after greeting the recruits. "Hello Jessica." He added with a slight nod to the other counselor. His accent lent a soft emphasis to his consonants. 'Ares and Dionysus. So they'll be with Brandon and Lily. That'll be interesting. ' No new cabin members. But Javier would still be seeing the newbies around of course. This was camp after all. Javier started to lift his hand to wave but then remembered he still had his water bottle in it so he stopped. His free hand thumped lightly against the clear plastic as he switched the bottle to his non-dominant hand.
"If Jess hasn't already told you guys yet I'm Javier, son of Hermes." There was a slightly dramatic flare on his parentage but Javier's smile remained. He also gave his name the proper pronunciation that some at camp still managed to mangle. "I'm in Cabin 11, actually I'm the senior counselor there. And if you", he addressed both recruits but his gaze settled on the daughter of Ares, "ever need an early morning sparring partner I'm here every day." He spread his arms out to indicate the nearby seats of the Arena. He could actually use a sparring partner. But judging from the weapons the recruits were carrying neither would be in the staff courses. Close-quarters would probably be the only thing they had in common.
"Hello Javier, I'm Alexandros. Thanks but no thanks for the sparring, I'm not much of a fighter honestly, don't really enjoy it and would rather avoid it when I can." Alexandros said as he shifted in place. Just being in the arena was an uncomfortable experience and he would prefer to leave sooner rather than later. It wasn't even that he had anything against fighting so much as he just didn't want to engage in it or watch it.
Gary smiled when Mitsuko said she loved spending time with him. It was an odd choice of words, though, and the hesitation before she finished the sentence... he was a little puzzled by it. But it didn't matter, really. They had the cabin to themselves; it was a secluded place in the hustle and bustle of camp, and he liked the deviance from the norm, both in the case of a new girlfriend and catching a break with the girl in question.
That was another word that felt strange to think about. But Gary ignored his confusion, and leaned up to kiss Mitsuko again, their lips meeting for a few seconds before he pulled back. An idea had just struck him, one that would allow the couple to escape the usual rush in the mess hall that happened around midday and maybe head down to the beach soon after. That way they could spend the afternoon under the sun instead of the relative darkness of the Nyx cabin. Of course, Gary would suggest that later once they had eaten.
"Say... d'you want to get lunch early and avoid the rush?" he asked Mitsuko, gently moving his hand back up to its previous spot on her back. Tracing the curve of her spine made his fingertips tingle a little. "It beats getting caught out by a full mess hall as we walk in together," he added, surprising himself with the stability of his voice; he had expected to stammer slightly as a result of the closeness and the touching.
Jessica looked sideways at Alexandros with slight skepticism and raised eyebrows, having stepped aside to let Javier speak to the new recruits. He would have to get used to fighting sometime, even if it was just in the training arenas. Even the Aphrodite kids received basic training with their weapons of choice. Jess had learned to use her paired daggers from the first time she had entered the Arena, and wasn't one to avoid combat if the situation presented itself unlike most of her half-siblings. Her father had told her many a time that she had received that particular trait from him rather than Lady Aphrodite.
However, Jess did not voice these thoughts aloud, as she let Javier, Alexandros and Katarina continue talking.
Mitsuko smiled and nodded. "That sound like a good idea Gary, the rush should be there soon so might as well get ahead of the game." Mitsuko said kissing Gary softly and sad up. "I was starting to feel hungry anyway." she added.