please run

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"What does that mean?" Percy stared at the lady who smiled at them sweetly. Ciarda's lips curled into a fantastic sneer. "The Mother of Monsters," Grover answered, Ciarda and Annabeth three steps ahead of the two. "Echidna," Annabeth stated. 

Echidna chuckled humourlessly, watching  the demigods with pitless black eyes. The eye contact was broken when the rough animal in its bag growled and shook violently. Echidna turned and placed her manicured hand nurturingly on the top, shushing it gently. 

"Monster. It's an odd word, considering my grandmother is your great-grandmother," She glanced at Percy coldly, "And this has always been a family story. But... to my eye, the demigod has always been the more dangerous creature." 

Ciarda grabbed Percy's hand slowly so that it would go undetected by the Mother of Monsters; The Daughter of Ares was preparing to kill and run. 

Softly, as Percy heard the growling on Echidna's pet get louder and more erratic, she placed her glimmering knife in his hand - the same one she threw at him during their first encounter. 

She closed her fist around him, making sure he was holding her knife. If he lost it she would make him bleed. Severely. 

"Disruptive. Violent. If I exist for anything, it is to stand in the way of monsters like you." 

Ciarda gradually grabbed the other knives in her jacket pockets, watching Echidna's every move. 

Percy's head was with the object in his palms, but his eyes were trained on the growling creature hidden from his view. The box containing her pet kept shaking vigorously. "This one here, she's just a little pup now. Bless her heart," Echidna smiled at the purple cage. 

"Today," Echidna stopped patting the box her monster stood in, her hand stilling. She turned to face the young demigods with all warmth dissipated from her features. "You will be her prey."

"Are you afraid yet? That's alright. Fear is natural. It is also essential to the hunt," Echidna sat down opposite the children with a homely glow to her face. 

The most dangerous monsters are the one's who look like a friend. 

Ciarda heard Chiron's lessons echo in her mind, scratching at her skull. 

She had never felt fear in her life, perhaps when Eros pushed her off a cliff, falling 60 feet and toppling into the sea when she was only seven. But apart from that, the girl - as expected of Ares' few children - was practically fearless. 

"The fear. The doubt. The confusion. I needed you to understand what was happening so that she could track the scent." The Mother of Monsters bared her pearly teeth at them. 

Percy's horrified face would have amused Ciarda greatly had their lives not been in mortal danger. 

Ciarda felt the vibrations of Annabeth pulling her dagger out of her pocket, it reverbarated through the air. Weapons and violence, the spirit of battle, called to Ciarda in a way like that of sea which called to Percy. 

"So that she could learn and grow. Because that is what a good mother does for her children," Echidna nodded gently. The zip of the opaque bag began to undo itself. 

"Well, I am so sorry if we ruin this mother-daughter bonding time. You see this isn't very understandable for us," Ciarda shook her head as though she was thinking about it forcefully. Her hair fell in whipping braids around her cheekbones. 

"The issue is," She played with the hidden blades in her pockets, letting Echidna cock her head in confusion. 

"We all have mommy issues." Ciarda lunged forward and rammed the sharpened edge into what she hoped was a vital organ of the monster. 

A roar shook the train carriage, a screech of pain and anger. One small moment passed before a scaled black arm pounced out of the bag, hitting Percy in the arm. 

It grabbed Annabeth by the waist, the Daughter of Athena slicing it with her own golden dagger. Percy used the knife Ciarda had given him to chop off the end of the tentacle attacking him, before rushing out of the booth and running after Grover and Ciarda who were racing down the train. 


Ciarda felt sweat beads forming as she led the four questmates down a series of random carriage hallways. She used her Achilles sword to push people back into their cabins, leaving a free pathway for them to escape down.

Getting them off this train, protecting them from the dangers of this quest was down to her. This was the point of Ciarda's quest. 

They all heard Echidna comforting her devilish child as she walked after them down the train, as well as officers rushing behind the runaway devients. 

"Quick, through here now!" Ciarda pushed Percy and Grover past her, Annabeth rapidly entering the next section of the train. "What can you do with this?" Ciarda turned to Annabeth, showing her the chain lock next to the door. 

Annabeth handed Ciarda her golden knife, easily figuring out a way to tie the shiny chain and lock the door securely. The two didn't even wait to see if it worked against the police officers, bolting down the train to catch up with the boys. 

"Hey! Come back here and open this door!" The officers screamed at the four kids who stopped a few feet away from them. The police pounded at the door in aggresive manners, making Ciarda tut in response. 

"If only they asked nicely," She shook her head, getting a glowering stare from Annabeth in response. It was not the time for jokes - they were about to be the meal of one of Echidna's monsters. 

Ciarda's jokey demenour switched off suddenly when her eyes locked onto Grover, who was holding a thin ivory spike. "It was in Percy's shoulder," He explained to the girls, swallowing nervously. They rushed up to the other two, immediately taking control. 

"Always the one slowing us down, Honeybuns," Ciarda bit her lip whilst focusing on checking him over. Percy didn't understand how she was making jokes whilst placing the back of her hand on his forehead to check for an unusual temperature. 

"What is that?" He looked down at the spindle, remembering Annabeth and his' conversation in the New Jersey woods. Without question, Percy let Ciarda work on patting him down. "It's a stinger," Annabeth concluded. 

"Grover, do you know what kind of monster has one of those?" Ciarda's voice had gone perfectly still and calm, not a nervous chord in her speech. She was, with no panicked attributes, turning over Percy's hands to check them, moving onto his neck and eyes. 

"I don't know, but nothing good probably?" Grover concluded with a cheesy smile. "Do you feel okay?" Annabeth questioned, distratcing Percy whilst Ciarda checked him over for any signs of him dying. "I think so, why? You think it's poisonous or something?"

The violent shaking of the train paused the demigods train of thought. Ciarda and Grover were thrown into each other as they landed on the tilted side of the train. Officers stopped yelling and all of them looked back down the hallway. 

The crunching of metal doors and the sight of a dark monster made Ciarda's stomach turn cold. 

𝐖𝐀𝐑 𝐎𝐅 𝐓𝐈𝐃𝐄𝐒  | percy jacksonWhere stories live. Discover now