Demigods : Version 3.0 { Closed, Started }

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Gabriel crossed his arms as Freya replied in what was seeming to be her usual, arrogant way. He could've debated her paper-thin defense, but he knew his words would've fell on deaf ears. Sighing, Gabe pondered on the girl for a moment. From the comments said about her from the other campers, it was safe to imply that she was quite the bad apple, much before Gabe had arrived here. He began to shake his head at her words, but as the nurse began to work on his injuries (prompting him to lay down as she did), she continued her spiel with some hesitance.

"I will say that...reluctantly...I'm glad you were there." She said with some pause, as if she could see the words hanging in the air. Such a reply surprised Gabe (and Amanda, seemingly), and Freya still had more to say on the subject. "As strong as I am...I couldn't have taken them on alone." "Huh. Didn't seem like you had that much of problem, seeing as you did most of the work..." He decided on keeping that comment to himself, seeing as she really didn't need anyone stroking her ego. As demonstrated by what she tacked on at the end. "Don't think I'll make a habit out of saying things like that, though." It sounded more like she was saying it to herself than to Gabe, as if she needed reassurance to tell herself that she was going to refuse to change. Respectable, if not annoyingly stubborn. Gabe sighed at her brick-wall demeanor, but gave a small nod either way.

"Whatever." He stated, little-to-no weight behind the word. Soon, nurse Amanda completed what treatment she had for Gabriel, the remnants of the scratches that remained on his stomach was covered with a long bandage. Gabe quietly thanked the doctor as he sat up on the bed, and briefly examined himself. His pants were ripped, and dirty. His shirt was even more ripped (it was fairly tattered before he even arrived at Halfblood), and equally as dirty. And he was more than okay with that. He rose to his feet, and gave a half-glance in Freya's direction.

"It must feel like shit to think everyone's against you. Having backup is fresh." He said with some familiarity, as if they were words he's said or heard before. He took a step closer to her bed, and plucked her forehead. "Hmph." He gave the good doctor one last thanking nod before taking his leave. He paused at the curtains, his back turned to Freya.

"See ya around, chick." Was his departing words. A few steps more, and he appeared back on the campgrounds.

"I don't think everyone is against me. I just don't like people." Freya responded to Gabe's comment. She rubbed her forehead after he plucked it, not bothering to even respond to it with a sarcastic ow. "I guess I will." she said to him as he left the infirmary, leaving her alone with the nurse. She just stared at nothing in particular, thinking about the events of the day. Breaking the nose of the girl who got in her way, fighting against Jia, originally pranking Gabe but then having to fight off harpies. It seemed like a decent day for her, although she could have done without all the bleeding. Right now, she knew she needed rest, so she closed her eyes after asking the nurse to wake her up in an hour or so, or however long the nurse would think she needed.

Slowly and only slightly shakily, Nina came out of the bathroom, her face now well and truly back to normal.

Catching Elizabeth's last remark, Nina added "True dat. It's just that I'm usually not on the receiving end of it."
Unsure of what to do, Nina sat down on one of the beds.

"I'm sorry to worry you both so much." she said, slightly averting her eyes in embarrassment.
"Thank you both for helping me." she added, her voice going slightly faint. She was used to others thanking her, not the other way around.

Brandon was glad to be out of the infirmary. He wasn't the biggest fan of anything hospital related, and tried to avoid them as much as possible. He hadn't been admitted to one since his sophomore year of high school when a low hit from a McAllen linebacker snapped his Achilles tendon in the State semi-final. That wasn't a fun half a year.

"So where do you want to go Colt? Training or has this crap ruled that out for the moment?"

"Huh," he said, not really thinking about what he way saying. "I dunno. Guess we could probably take a spin round the woods. Make sure none of them other creatures got any ideas comin' out and gettin' some revenge for the mucked-up chicks. If we find somethin' lookin' the wrong way, I guess that can be trainin'."

"Sure that sounds like a good idea anyway. Last thing I want is more campers getting hurt from this. What if we umm don't find anything? Just a walk in the woods then?" Mitsuko asked still failing to hide a blush. Instead she tried to distract him from her reddening face.

"Today has not been a good day. That Freya, I don't understand why she hasn't been kicked out yet. Hell I don't know if people can be kicked out of here." she said still getting red as she walked close to him but then almost tripped over her own feet in the process. "Oh crap." she yelped.

It was tangible, heavy, visible in the air. The Sleep. She had fallen asleep again. The scent of poppies hung, and their brilliant red-orange petals decorated the floor. She was in the dreamland. Where there was only silence. Where there was no sun or moon. Close to her father, in spirit. She could feel her half siblings around with her too, their essence. In the Room With No Doors.

Then noise, and light. Ambrose put her arm up, blocking the sun. She was under a tree, near the lake. Lethe was bouncing around in the distance, chasing dragonflies. She rubbed her eyes and yawned. What woke her up? Lethe ran over when she noticed Ambrose was awake. She was babbling on about skeletons and stuff. Ambrose pushed her off her chest and sat up. Her hand felt the familiar grip of her scythe. No one stole it this time. She took out her pendant, which had a small clock embedded in the corner. It had been an hour since she left the cabin. Minutes, hours, days... Hypnos children were almost like nymphs, with no sense of time, just sleep.

Still, she couldn't just wander the camp with a bad case of narcolepsy. She got up and walked towards the infirmary. They usually had some caffeine tablets available for her and her half-siblings. On her way in she bumped into some tall, dark, kid. He looked pretty torn up for having just walked out of the infirmary.

Gabe couldn't seem to get any further than the infirmary. He surveyed his surroundings as he loitered about the infirmary's outside walls. It seemed as if he'd seen all that the camp had to offer. He was wrong of course, but he felt that way. "I could go back to the cabin, I haven't treated Marcy today..." He thought, referring to the small sapling that inhabited most of his bookbag's space.

After the harpy encounter in the woods, he kinda wished he had his bookbag with him, as he knew he would've been better prepared with a familiar plant. As he thought more on the moment, he realized a white kitten played around near him. It was the same cat he encountered at the lake, to be exact.

"Why do I keep seeing this cat? Does it belong to someone in particular, or is it just the camp pet?" He wondered as it began brushing against his leg. He began to kneel in order to pet it, but was interrupted in the process. A girl bumped into him with enough force to almost cause him to fall. "'Cuse me." He murmured as he straightened his posture. He managed to get a better look at the girl, one of which he towered over easily. What he noticed the most, however, was the black staff she had in her possession. The staff (which factually, wasn't a actual staff) had a long curved blade at the end, somewhat obscured by the dust it kicked up as it seemed the girl dragged it through the grounds.

"Seems to be a bit much for a little girl to be carrying around...a...what is that, a scythe?" As he thought, he watched as the ivory colored kitty began to linger around the girl. "That cat yours?" He questioned in his usual emotionless way. Her face looked about as neutral and disinterested as his.

Brandon nodded as Mitsuko accepted his suggestion of checking out the woods. It would sufficiently kill time, possibly offer a training opportunity and perhaps most importantly in the circumstances, appear to the higher-ups that he was actually taking the counsellor role seriously. Mitsuko, he wasn't sure why she was coming, aside from the fairly obvious reason that her reddening face confessed to, but still. Backup was backup.

As the two entered the wooded area near the cabins, the trails of harpy blood started to grow past faint to trickle.

"Today has not been a good day. That Freya, I don't understand why she hasn't been kicked out yet. Hell I don't know if people can be kicked out of here."

"Eh," Brandon shrugged. "I don't think they kin afford to be bootin' people out, you know, case they get skittish and start torchin' buildin's, or smashin' up people, shit like that. Hell, if they were gonna boot people, Leeroy woulda been gone a couple years ago, the dumb bastard."

Brandon heard a yell behind him as Mitsuko seemed to stumble. He turned around in time to catch the Asian girl as she tripped over an exposed root. "Come on now, Mits'ko. Thought you're more sure-footed than that."

"Awww shit." Mitsko yelped some falling into Brandon arms. "I'm normally more sure-footed then this. I'm sorry." she said blushing brighter then before. "Ummm." she said not sure what to do so she just did what she wanted. She cuddled softly to him relaxing into him arms just letting it flow.

"So umm what now Brandon?" Mitsuko smiled some resting her head on his chest tiring not to push things too fair.
This was kind of new to her, she wasn't one to start something like this but it seemed nice to her.

God I hope he doesn't push me away. I really hope I didn't mess up really bad with this. Shit shit SHIT.

Mitsuko was not helping herself with her own thoughts but she still enjoyed his warmth and the feeling of his toned arms around her. "So umm hi there Brandon." she said nervously giggling but relaxed some.

"I wasn't too worried about you. You were bleeding yea, but it wasn't like you were concussed or knocked out. Seeing as you are the healer of the camp I would have been more worried were you not ok." Elizabeth replied with a laugh.

"As for helping I don't think I did a whole lot more than follow you."

'Besides, for now I need to make my plan for that girl. Pretty obvious she thinks she can handle herself, before we can make any progress we need to hurt that thought a bit.' She thought with a tiny smirk that very few would recognize as anything more than a reaction to her own joke.

"Normally I'd love to, Royce, but I just got back from my run, plus I dueled for a while with that Hades girl. Rain check on it, maybe later or tomorrow? I need to shower and grab some food, I'm starving." She did regret missing the chance to see Royce in action, she'd heard about the weapons he used, but she was in no mood for another jaunt in the woods at the moment. "See you later, then?"

She made her exit from the arena afterwards, returning to the Athena cabin. She slipped inside without comment, everyone pretty much used to her return around this time, although she was a fair bit later than usual.

"Heard you fought Freya."

With her clothes in hand, she looked over her shoulder at her half-brother that had spoken, Eric Welch. He was two years younger than her, and liked to fancy himself the grand strategist of the Athena, never really putting any effort into the personal side of battle. He wasn't completely terrible in the ring, she was pretty sure he could beat most Humans, but he still wasn't much to speak of as a warrior.

Or a chess player.

"Yes. Knight to D5. Checkmate in three moves." She gathered up the rest of her clothes and headed for the bathroom. Welch scrunched his brow for a moment, and she knew he was envisioning the board, trying to figure out how to get out of the trap she had laid for him. She closed the door and turned on the shower.

Ten minutes later she stepped out, dressed in jeans and her Metallica T-Shirt, then stepped through, noting with her amusement Welch assembling a chess board as she headed out the door towards the mess. Her venture through that was a quick venture, grabbing a tortilla and assembling a burrito of steak, brown rice, corn, beans, and mixed vegetables, wrapping it up and taking a large bite, then opened the fridge and pulled out the pitcher of her personal concoction. It was generally understood around the camp that you didn't drink Jia's Elixir. It wasn't that she became upset if you did, it was that most people found it fairly revolting, a mix of carrot, apple, banana, broccoli, cucumber, melon, celery, and mango, with peanut butter, wheat germ, yeast, powdered milk, eggs, and a bevy of vitamins and other supplements mixed in.

It was an acquired taste. She poured herself a large cup and downed it, then refilled it and headed outside, after putting the pitcher back up. She'd need to make more soon. She leaned against the wall, glancing around nonchalantly, munching on her burrito.

Jess gave a small chuckle at Nina's embarrassment. "No need to worry, you're fine," she answered, passing the Apollo girl her now blood-free coat as she took a seat beside her. To her, Nina still looked a bit shocked by the whole incident. "You sure you're alright? D'you want me to get you a glass of water or something?" she queried. It was generally a good cure for shock, as far as she figured. A small drink, time and changing the subject.

"Fair enough. Another time, then," Royce noted as Jia turned to leave. His improvised plan hadn't changed, though: it just meant he was going alone. Which, of course, meant he needed his armour as well as his weapon. He made his way to the Hephaestus cabin, the door of which slid open as he approached. Almost all of his half-siblings were hanging around watching what appeared to be two one-foot-tall robots fighting each other in a miniature boxing ring.

As Royce got closer to investigate, one drew back a tiny metal fist and smacked its opponent's head clean off with a sweeping blow. Sparks flew as the decapitated robot crumpled in a heap on the floor before its opponent. Cheers and groans were heard in equal measure, and coins and bills changed hands between a fair few of the observers. Royce chuckled at their gambling, but had other priorities right now. So he grabbed his armour's shoulder-pads and slipped them on over his head. The armour would be deployed closer to the time, once he was in the woods where it was cooler.

Hammer in hand - though still in its forge form - Royce headed out towards the forest. The trip over there was short: once inside, he flicked the hidden catch on his armour to extend it to proper battle-readiness. He did the same with his hammer, twisting the head to transform it.

"Alright... let's go hunting," he said to no-one in particular as he ventured deeper into the woodlands.

If it wasn't clear what Mitsuko was gunning for him before, her current action was the smouldering remains of a piece of target paper. She was all over him now, she was repeating herself, and if he didn't know any better, he'd assume she'd just start taking his clothes off to get closer. Brandon would be fine with this, but not in a wooded area populated by monsters. That was a good way to get one offed by horror movie logic.

"Hey Mits'ko," he said, "Not for nothin', but I'm not sure I can do much for trainin' with ya clingin' onto me and all." A rustling of the branches near the entryway gave another reason to not go any farther than this. "Plus, I'm pretty sure we ain't alone in here."

Mitsuko looked up hearing the rustling of the branches and grabbed her daggers. "I think you might be right about that Brandon. "And again umm sorry, things kinda took over me. Anyway yea I'm pretty damn sure we need to take care of something first then well maybe talk about what just happened later." Mitsuko said unlatching herself from him.

Maybe it's more harpies or something worse. Ether way we need to take care of this and I need to not let my feelings get the better of me. Mitsuko sighed and hung her head embarrassed. She readied herself for what was about to happen.
"I really hope it's nothing worse then harpies." she said out loud.

"Yeah. Sorry." Ambrose murmured in reply to the demigod.
Hello! Hello! Hello!
For some reason, Lethe turned stupid when she was around other demigods. "Hello" was the only thing she was meowing to this guy.

"Come on, Lethe, leave him alone..." she was already turning away, looking for one of the Apollo kids who usually loitered around here. "Caffeine. 500 milligrams. 30." The girl looked at her funny for a few seconds.
"Your name please?"
"Ambrose. Lark." she paused, waiting. "Cabin 17."
"Ah! Of course, there you are. Give me a few minutes..."
Ambrose sighed loudly, stifling a yawn in the process. Lethe was still playing with the other demigod, trying to claw her way into his lap.

Gabe looked on as the young camper disappeared into the infirmary. Taking it as his cue to move on, he began to rise to his feet. The white kitten, named Lethe by the sound of it, still seemed to want to play with him. Or attack him. It's hard to tell when it comes to cats. "N-no. Stop it." He flatly tried to shoo the kitten away. "Go to ya owner." He managed to eventually walk off.

After a series of quickened steps, Gabriel barged his way back into Cabin Four. It was quiet and empty, fellow campers most likely off on their on ventures. Save for one, the cabin's leader. She sat at her desk, seemingly tending to her own business, only to be interrupted by Gabe's entrance. "Hey!" She called out to him, rising from the seat. She began to approach him as he sat at his bed.

"I don't appreciate you stomping in-and-out of here like that. And without making yourself known, at that. I'm your cabin leader and I don't even know your name. The least you can do is introduce yourself." She said, crossing her arms. The one thing Gabe noticed the most about the leader, was her fairly pronounced Spanish accent. He scoffed at her as he reached for his bookbag.

"I'll pass." He told her quite defiantly. She became quite peeved by his demeanor, and grabbed at one of his wrists as he managed to place the backpack on his lap. "You got something against us? Huh?! You come in here, lookin' all angry and whatnot, drop off your things, and then leave again? Don't say a word to nobody? What's your damage, huh?!" Her words teed Gabriel off for more reasons than one. His usual neutral expression bent into a white-hot scowl as he sprung to his feet. He figured he could at least give her an explanation for his behavior, then he wouldn't have to worry about wrapping thorned branches around her neck. He seethed from between gritted teeth and stifled breaths, to avoid raising his voice.

"I was neglected a family. Two families. I went fifteen years without ever hearing the voice of my mom. And no one knows what happened to my dad. I was left under the care of a grandmother that could barely take care of herself. I left her care once my abilities manifested, and joined a colony of dryads in Central Park. What sliver of happiness I shared with those wood nymphs vanished when I realized that I was a constant object of extermination by monsters that live to kill me. Because I was demigod. Because I posses abilities I didn't fuckin' ask for. I became a vagabond to keep them safe, and discovered this place out of pure chance. "

"Could you imagine my surprise when I came to learn that, not only was I denied a mother my entire life, but she's had other children as well? And, like adding insult to injury, this place keeps us sorted out by the deadbeats that birthed us. Just keeping all the bastards in one place. Do you know what kind 'a picture that paints for me? How the fuck am I supposed to just roll over and accept that?" The cabin went deafeningly silent after the agitated spiel. As Gabriel looked into the leader's shocked expression, his eyes softened some, showing the slightest crack of pain. Of sadness. "I...i'm..." The cabin leader stammered hesitantly, breaking Gabe's intimate visage. As his gaze regained its hardened state, the grip the cabin leader had on Gabriel's wrist loosened some, and was promptly snatched from her grasp.

"So fuck you. If you don't feel at least betrayed by all of this, then you don't have the right to be angry." He added lastly, sitting back down on his bed. He calmed some, and made a long sigh. The cabin leader was still fairly astonished by the whole outburst. Unzipping his backpack, he released the small sapling from confinement. As he placed the potted plant in his lap, he looked back up at the leader.

"My name is Gabriel Emile Aeckard. Call me Gabe." He introduced himself plainly.

"R-rosa. Rosa Menendez." She replied. She offered to shake his hand. Gabriel ignored her to tend to his sapling. She asked for a name, and she got one. And, for the moment, that was all she was gonna get.

It took a couple of minutes, but Royce soon thought he heard something up ahead. The familiar growl of a hellhound upon whose territory someone has intruded. He pushed aside a thick branch to find a large beast in black and red colouring, worrying at a bone. The 'demon dog' was small by hellhound standards, about as tall as the demigod when straightened up, which it promptly did. It bared a set of black fangs at Royce, each canine equal in length - if not longer - than his middle finger. Royce could take it out easily: it was still young. The older ones grew to the size of a cabin. He hefted his hammer, assumed a combative stance and said, "Give me a reason."

The dog charged, making a pounce to try to pin down its prey. Royce easily ducked under its leap and scuttled forward a little while still crouched. Both combatants spun at the same time to face each other. This time the beast leapt slightly lower: Royce sidestepped. An opponent that relied on jumping to fight could be predictable, but Royce didn't exactly have the head for physics and trajectories and whatnot when in the heat of a fight. That was the domain of people like Jia, or the other Athena campers.

On the hellhound pup's third attempt, Royce stepped a mite closer than he had the previous time and smacked it in the back of the head with a backhanded swing of his war-hammer. The dog went down hard, and Royce followed up his attack by stabbing it in the neck with the spike in his gauntlet. Once it had crumbled to dust, as all monsters did when they died, there was nothing left save for a small pile of ash, smelling of burnt hair and sulphur. Royce hated the stench monsters left behind once they died.

No damage done to the armour: a little disappointing. Damage meant repair and the possibility of upgrades in the future. Royce moved on, wanting more of a challenge than a single hellhound pup. Up ahead, he could hear rustling noises in what was probably another clearing. He shifted the foliage aside to find... not monsters. Instead, a pair of demigods were standing in the middle of the clearing.

Perhaps Brandon and Mitsuko had wanted some privacy. As far as the child of Hephaestus knew, though, sneaking off for 'illicit' encounters was more a thing Jessica would do, rather than either of these two. "'Sup," Royce greeted the pair with a smirk, resting his hammer on one shoulder. "Am I... interrupting something?" He hoped he was going to get some entertainment out of these two.

Mitsuko looked up and blushed stammering. "Umm ummm ummm well.... you see. Umm no you're not interrupting anything you see Brandon and I were just hanging out." Mitsuko was at a loss for words. She struggled to even finish the previous sentence. Then she realized she was still close to Brandon.

"Well ummmmmm." Mitsuko froze then looked to Brandon to see what he would do. Please don't say anything to make this worse.

As the rustling ahead stopped, Brandon was ready to start unloading on whatever emerged. He just managed to hold his charged when a suit of armor emerged from beyond the brush. Upon closer inspection, the smirking face of Royce Rahn revealed itself.

"'Sup. Am I... interrupting something?"

Ah hell. I was getting geared up for nothin'. Mitsuko started to try and stammer out an explanation, clearly more embarrassed about the situation than the tall Texan. I better handle this.

"Well Royce, dunno if you heard 'bout the ruckus that Devil Girl was causin' earlier. She got one-a Rosa's charges into the woods and they both got jumped by some harpies. I came on in here to investigate a little bit. Mitsuko offered some back-up, so I took'er along," Brandon explained. "We was in here makin' sure everything was calmed down. Seemed to be, those I thought I heard somethin' outta your direction not a few moments ago. Looks like ya stomped 'em."

There. Should be a good enough explanation. Now to the subject change. "Say Royce, meant to ask ya somethin'. You know how Ruby's got them magic arrows and whatnot? Think you or one of your techie buds could whip somethin' up, get me some magic bullets or somethin? I'd like to see the look on her face I shoot somethin' and it freezes up in fronta 'er!"

Royce gave a short laugh at the differing responses of the two demigods. The obvious blush adorning the Japanese girl's face gave him the impression that Mitsuko was lying when she said no. Brandon, on the other hand, seemed to be treating things a bit more casually. The Ares counselor soon changed the subject to special bullets, like the various arrows that Chief Ranger Ruby Lee frequently used. He probably wanted a different topic to cover up what was really going on: Royce went with it. He wasn't a pryer.

"Well... I'll check and see what Cabin Nine's got lying around. Could easily whip up some sort of specialised ammunition for you... for a price, of course," he added as an afterthought, still smirking. Royce's half-sister Katrina was into trick arrows and such: he'd have to see if she could take some time out of the 'Battle-Van' project. Six Hephaestus kids were upgrading one of the standard-issue camp vans with Celestial Bronze armour plating and more tricks and gadgets than a dozen spy movies. Regrettably they had yet to figure out how to enchant it to be bigger on the inside, like the cabins.

Royce could have continued the conversation, were it not for more rustling close by. This was more panicked than careful. Weapon raised, he turned to the source of the disturbance. Brandon, too, had his bat in his hand in case something hostile popped out.

Within a few seconds a satyr fell out of the brush. He was unarmed, bleeding from severe wounds and babbling in a fast and loud voice. "Gottagetaway - gottawarnthem - the camp can kill it - Chimaera, Chimaera in the mountains - and raiders in the city - they've got hordes - could wreak havoc if it's guided - " The satyr's voice began to fail, and he hacked up a glob of blood onto Royce's boot, since the demigod had gotten closer to investigate. He seemed not to notice the three.

"Lord Pan, forgive me... I didn't - didn't get there in time," the satyr wheezed before the last of his strength left him. He disintegrated, the way a monster did when it died, only instead of a pile of ash a small blue flower had sprouted and begun to bloom where he had lain. Royce could do nothing but stare for a few seconds, then got to his feet.

"What the fuck just happened?" he asked the others rhetorically. "D'you think we should report this to Chiron? I mean, if it's true and the gods-damned Chimaera is out of its prison..." It was well-known that the Chimaera, a fearsome fire-breathing aberration, was locked away in the Underworld due to its tendencies to run rampant. If it were free... who knew what it might do, how many it might kill. It was better to keep it locked up.

"Well," Brandon started. "If that little goat-man was tellin' the truth, then we better be gettin' somethin' over to the higher ups." He bent down and prodded the flower with his free hand. He had never seen anything die like that before, but it was something to process seing something go from living to flower in a matter of seconds. He stood back up. "Either way, sure if he don't know already, he's gonna have ta know 'bout that fella. Bird-brain bitches is one thing, but these guys need somethin' a Chimaera size to muck 'em up this good."

Mitsuko looked at Brandon and nodded. "Chiron does need to know about this. With the Chimaera loose we need to do something, hell, whatever we can. I don't want anyone to get hurt and if I can help stop it I will. We should go to him as soon as possible." Mitsuko looked worried as she looked at the flower, mourning for the fallen creature. She had never seen anything like the Chimaera but knew it needed to be stopped. She no longer cared that her time with Brandon was cut short.

The matter settled, Royce led the way out of the forest back the way he had come. Retracing one's steps was the best way to avoid being lost, short of knowing where one was. The trio made a beeline for Chiron's office, but found the camp director sooner than anticipated. Chiron had been taking a moment to admire the view and reflect on the past two thousand or so years. His attention was broken by the sight of the three demigods hastening towards him. "Royce, Brandon, Mitsuko," he greeted each in turn. "Is something wrong?"

"We think... we think the Chimaera might be loose." Royce immediately outlined what had happened with the dead satyr and his message, backed up by the others. The centaur raised an eyebrow, but heard the whole story before speaking. "It is not often that such things are heard, and even then they are unlikely to be true... But Narissa has mentioned that grave changes may be coming. The Chimaera's release may be the herald of such events. We need to find it and eliminate it." Narissa Delaque, the Oracle of Delphi, often received premonitions and warnings during her sleep and meditative trances.

"Follow me to the amphitheatre and take a seat inside. I'll call everyone together to investigate this proper." The four of them soon crossed the camp grounds to the amphitheatre on the west side of the camp. Once inside, the demigods did as they were told, while Chiron made for the lighting and sound control room. There he took up a microphone and tuned the appropriate console to the setting to broadcast across camp.

"Attention all demigods and staff. This is Director Chiron speaking. We have a situation that needs to be dealt with. All demigods and staff, report to the amphitheatre for an emergency briefing."

Jia knelt in her usual place, a mat on the beach, her hands resting on her knees and her eyes locked on the horizon, still and unseeing, slowly blinking every half-minute. Her mind was utterly blank, her body so still and quiet that one could make the mistake of thinking her dead, her heartbeat slowed to only a handful of times per minute, her chest rising and falling only once a minute. Her reverie was interrupted by the sound of the loudspeaker broadcasting over the camp. She rose to her feet slowly, letting her body return to its natural state, thought once again filling her mind. She leaned down and collected The Rose of Sunrise from where she had set it, slinging it onto her back before going into a sprint, heading for the amphitheatre. As a general rule it wasn't so urgent that she needed to haul ass, but there was always a chance.

She seemed to be one of the first there, and quickly stepped inside.

After about twenty minutes or so, the nurse nudged Freya a bit to wake her up. Freya had no trouble waking up and sat up on the bed with little difficulty. Her wounds were mostly healed, and it looked like she didn't need any kind of help getting off the bed and out of the infirmary. She thanked the nurse and headed outside, heading towards her cabin when she heard the announcement.

"Attention all demigods and staff. This is Director Chiron speaking. We have a situation that needs to be dealt with. All demigods and staff, report to the amphitheatre for an emergency briefing."

"Guess I don't have much of a choice in the matter, huh? Besides, this could be something concerning monster hunting, and man, do I love me some monster hunting." Freya said to herself with a half grin, and headed towards the amphitheatre where there were already demigods assembling. She found a seat close to the front and sat down, waiting with anyone else who was already there until everyone arrived.

Even as the air of tension thinned out in Cabin Four, silence was still prominent through the house. Gabe had took to a more reclining position on his bed as he primped and primed his sapling. Rosa stayed at her position near the head of the cabin, supposedly affixed on some reading material. She kept a cautious eye on her reluctant cabinmate as she read, doing more watching than reading all the while. With what branches and leaves were clipped from the sapling, Gabe fiddled around with them momentarily before letting them fall from his hands.

"Can't do much with the scraps once they've been severed from their source of life." He thought as the leftovers lightly tumbled to the ground. He looked back to his sapling, admiring his work. "Maybe this way she'll take up less space in my bag." He added as he examined the plant. Before he could place the baby tree down however, some sort of message boomed through the cabin, making Rosa jump a bit. Gabe moved nary an inch as he kept his eyes affixed on his project.

"Attention all demigods and staff. This is Director Chiron speaking. We have a situation that needs to be dealt with. All demigods and staff, report to the amphitheatre for an emergency briefing."

"What's that supposed to mean?" He queried. Obviously, he knew what it meant, but sometimes he likes to make known how disinterested he could be towards certain events, sarcastically if he was in a neutral enough mood. Rosa rose from her seat, and began towards him. "It means that something big is about to go down. Whatever it'll be, we're gonna need all the help we can get." She said. Gabe scoffed in return.

"Not interested." He replied bluntly. She reached his bed, and knelt at his bedside.

"Please." She said in a tone of simple, soulful sincerity. Gabe took a look her direction, saw the pleading expression she wore. If she was giving him this much attention about the whole thing, the least he could was indulge her. He sighed in return, and sat up straight. Placing Marcy in his backpack, the two stood up, with Gabriel stretching an arm out towards the cabin's exit.

"Lead the way." He told her, slinging the bookbag over a shoulder. Within minutes the two arrived at the requested place of meeting, and while Rosa lingered about the entrance to get ahold of her more younger half-brothers and sisters, Gabe meandered inside, taking a seat as far away from the stage as possible. "Let's get this over with." A sigh accompanied his thoughts as he watched kids bustle in by the handful.

"Haven't heard that in a while. Wonder what it is this time?" Elizabeth said as she walked out of the cabin and began to collect the children she was in charge of. It took some time but eventually she had collected all of them and gotten them into some semblance of order. With that wrapped up she walked them into the amphitheatre and had them sit down in an orderly group, well as orderly as could be done with a bunch of super powerful children. She herself stood in the nearby aisle way to keep an eye on things in case something were to happen. Her bow already in hand with her quiver of arrows on her back.

Dorofei waited, patient and motionless. He didn't know when the Hades Child would show up in front of her cabin, but he would be there. He would be waiting. If she wanted to fight like a monster, he would hunt her like one.

"Attention all demigods and staff. This is Director Chiron speaking. We have a situation that needs to be dealt with. All demigods and staff, report to the amphitheatre for an emergency briefing."

"дерьмо!" He swore in Russian. Chiron calling everyone was something incredibly important. Dorofei didn't have time to wait for the Hades Child. This argument would have to be settled later.

Picking up his length of Celestial Bronze, Dorofei quickly made his way to the amphitheater. He didn't know what to expect, but whatever it was, he expected it to be violent. Dorofei was never one to be unprepared.

As he walked, the air around him grew cold. The grass beneath his boots began to freeze and crunch. Ice formed from the air and collected around Dorofei. It piled on, thicker and thicker, until his massive frame was coated from head to foot in a thick layer of ice. Then he turned his attention to the shaft of Celestial Bronze. Ice began to coat the shaft, expanding to the length of a long pole. Then the far end began to bulge and harden. Soon, the small piece of Celestial Bronze grew out to a large battleaxe. He was fully dressed for combat when he walked into the amphitheater. He sat down and rested he head of the battleaxe on his shoulder.

"So," he said, "we got bad problem, then?"

Mitsuko watched as the other demigods joined them then she looked at Brandon. "Hey, I'm sorry I was so... forward shall we say in the forest. I might as well just admit to it, not like you don't already know but." she sighed while trying to spit out what she was trying to say. She knew it was an odd time to be talking about this but she wanted to clear the air first. "I well.. like you. There I umm.. said it." Mitsuko looked at her feet and blushed a deep red. "I know this is a bad time to get this out but I want to clear the air between us." she finished still looking at her feet.

She felt like she had butterflies in her stomich waiting for Brandon to respond to her. She didn't like this feeling but she just had to take it.

"Attention all demigods and staff. This is Director Chiron speaking. We have a situation that needs to be dealt with. All demigods and staff, report to the amphitheater for an emergency briefing."

Ambrose was just getting out of the infirmary when she heard the announcement. With a long, drawn out sigh she started towards the amphitheater, Lethe bouncing out behind her.

When she got inside, she went over to her cabin's seating area. There were demigods that Ambrose hadn't ever seen awake with their eyes open. It was almost like meeting your cabin for the first time, except they were more interested in finding out why they had been woken up than who these people were around them. Ambrose stared at a few who were rumored to be able to enter other people's dreams and imprison them there, so they slept forever. Demigods that knew how to completely purge memories from their targets. Campers who could travel between the earth and the Underworld through their dreams, in spirit.

"Lethe, don't go too far... stay here." The white kitten jumped on Ambrose's lap, preening her fur.

While the confirmation of Mitsuko's attraction didn't come as a surprise to Brandon, the timing did. The hell she doin' comin' out with this now? I don't get it. She could'na tell me this some other time?

"Uh, all right Mitsuko," he said quietly, wanting to keep this conversation private. "That's great an all. But I ain't lookin' to be tied down to nothin' at the moment, you know? I mean, you up for foolin', I'm cool with that. I like you enough for that, for sure. But I'mma just let ya know, I ain't looking for a serious thing."

All right, you wanna speak up there Chiron, cut off some response and we should be good enough.

"You hear that, Nina? We should get moving before we miss out on the details," Jess commented, turning to the rest of the cabin. "That goes for the rest of you too! Shift your butts! We might have work to do," she called out, bringing the Apollo girl with her as she led the way to the amphitheatre.

Within a minute the last of the stragglers were gathered in the building, and Chiron took the stage. "Gentlemen, ladies, we may have a crisis on our hands. Royce, Brandon and Mitsuko reported a satyr arriving in camp boundaries, with a message presumably for myself. They have given me reason to believe that the Chimaera is out of its Underworld prison. We must find and contain the threat by eliminating the beast before it can cause widespread damage."

"The Chimaera won't have just broken out of the Underworld on its own," Forgemaster Dugan commented. "It would have likely had outside help."

"I had guessed as much myself, Lucas," Chiron commented. "But we cannot know for sure until we have seen the truth for ourselves." He snapped his fingers, and a light began to shine down upon the stage's muted-white backdrop. The plain light shone through a prism to create a rainbow, with which someone could call upon the messenger goddess Iris to show them certain requests. That was just the reason the centaur had activated that particular light. He pulled a gold drachma, the Olympian currency, from a pocket on his belt and tossed it into the rainbow.

"O Iris, Goddess of the Rainbow, show us the Chimaera and its liberator."

The light shifted and changed colours to reveal two separate scenes playing simultaneously. On the left was a vista of a snow-capped mountain, part of a range, and shown as if from a nature shot in a film. The white and brown of the mountain was marred by a large dark hole near the summit: a cave entrance. Figures were walking back and forth in front of the cave... they were armed and on patrol.

On the right, the Iris-message displayed the southwest of New York City in the mid-afternoon sun. A warehouse district of some kind. One slightly ramshackle building stood alone in an open square: it too was patrolled by more humanoid figures than the mountain's guards.

In the blink of an eye, the Iris-message changed shape and revealed two stormcloud-grey eyes, narrowed in menace. A commanding tone blared from nowhere: "Do not think you can challenge us, disillusioned campers!" The voice changed to the throaty roar of a monstrous beast for a second, then the pair of eyes vanished and the Iris-message faded to nothing. Chiron snapped his fingers again to turn off the light source.

Before the assembled demigods could start to discuss what had just unfolded amongst themselves, the centaur spoke up again. "We will need to assemble two strike teams of demigods, one to visit each location."

"The mountain is probably Mount Eolus in Colorado," Chief Ranger Ruby Lee spoke up. "I remember tracking similar monsters in that area. It's highly likely that the Chimaera would have made a lair there. Whoever volunteers for the mountain team should be prepared to face the beast."

"A wise assumption. Do we have any volunteers to join either team?" Chiron asked of the audience.

Both eager and nervous about the prospect of taking on a powerful monster, Royce was the first to stand. "I'll volunteer to head for the mountains." Now was as good a time as any to give his wargear some proper field tests. Whacking hellhounds just didn't cut it sometimes, and training matches never yielded proper results since it was generally frowned upon to try to split open the opponent's armour or shatter their weapon. In a fight against something like the Chimaera, he could go all out for a change.

Jia leaned back, rubbing her chin. This was an interesting situation.

"Obviously didn't take lessons in subtle acting, but what do you expect from a giant monster." She rose to her feet. "I'll head to the warehouse, sir." She was one of the few martially-capable Demigods who didn't have to rely on the Mist to keep from drawing attention. The Mists were a problem - they weren't clearly understood even compared to Magic in general and Jia had a distaste for relying on things she couldn't grasp on any level other than purely its effects.

The Mist was useful - kind of - but it couldn't be relied upon.

Besides which, her ability to blend in was useful for whatever creatures were guarding that warehouse. They wore a Humanoid shape, but she doubted they were Humans. Most likely the warehouse was the domain of the Chimaera's master or servant, whatever had pulled it free. So what were they dealing with?

Jia was no optimist, and her mind almost immediately went for the most obvious solution - a rogue Demigod.

"I recommend we bring lead as well as bronze to the warehouse, those entities out front may be fully Human. With our usual loadouts they're ideal for killing us - most of our weapons are useless against them. And given that little message, they know we're coming."

*accidental double post*

Once the message was displayed and offers for volunteers to go on either of two teams were up, Freya stood up with a small grin on her face. "I volunteer to go to the mountains. Taking care of monsters will be more fun than taking care of the campers here." And there will be lots of snow there, so it'll almost be like home. This would hopefully prove to be fun, as she couldn't wait to go. She would probably have left on her own, but she knew better than just wander off alone towards wherever they would go, and Chiron probably wouldn't take kindly to that. Plus, she was sure that others would want to join in on the mountain team, which she annoyingly admitted to herself that there was strength in numbers.

"Nope." Gabe scoffed soon after watching the supernatural presentation end. By the way it sounded, he still wasn't all that interested. He took it as signal to move on once Chiron started asking for volunteers. "I thought this place was to be a refuge, not a military base." Rosa didn't have to look far to see her fellow camp-mate making his way out of the amphitheatre. In some form of protest, she hopped to her feet.

"I volunteer Gabriel Aeckard, my cabin's newest addition." She announced, pointing towards the bewildered harvestchild. "Come again?" He paused, realizing he made a mistake in giving that girl his name. The Cabin four leader began squeezing out of her aisle, stopping Gabe before he could successfully leave. "Don't make a scene." He told her quietly. A bout of feverish whispering broke out between the two, pleads and begging amongst blaming and shots at redemption. Gabe sighed lastly. "Ugggh..." Looking over the Demeter cabin's leader, He turned his attention towards the stage.

"Alright. Fine. That warehouse looked like it was in Brooklyn, around the Naval Yard. I'll go there. I know Brooklyn." He begrudgingly decided, giving the much shorter cabin leader one last look that displayed the sheerest of annoyances before returning to his seat.

Dorofei bolted upright the moment Freya called the mountains. The cold air swirled around his armor. He was close to being his own ecosystem.
"I will be volunteer for mountain."

Chiron stamped a foot nervously. "Dorofei, lad. I thought your arm was broken? Maybe you need more time to rest."

Dorofei slammed the shaft of his axe against the ground and beat his chest. "Magic fixed arm. Beside, I know mountain, I control snow, and I know to fight monster. You need me."

The old centaur sighed slightly, but consented. "You make a good point. Your skills would be needed on this type of mission."

Dorofei smiled, said a quick thanks, and sat back down.

Soon I will have two monsters to take down. One just happens to look human, he thought to himself while making a quick glance at the Hades Child across the theater.

Brandon was all set to head out to wherever he might be needed to fight a beast the size of the chimaera, but he couldn't decide what team he wanted to be on. Well, I'm sure that a big ol' beast like that ain't hidin' in no warehouse in Brooklyn. But dang I don't wanna be headin' all the way out to Nowhere, Colarado, freezin' cold 'n all that. When the burly Russian camper made his declaration, that pretty much Brandon's mind up.

"Well, I'mma throw my hat in to have a look at that warehouse there. I'mma better fighter in them melee spots anyway," he announced.

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