Part Twenty-Four:

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Part Twenty-Four:

Charlie woke up from his peaceful nap on the train by Alex lightly shaking his shoulder. "We're here." She told him, and Charlie stood up. He stretched for a moment, then followed the other three off the train onto the busy platform.

Now that he knew Zoe was still alive, Charlie felt a bit better. Before, he was feeling down and gloomy, but now he didn't really care about the others who were giving him weird looks about why he went sad to happy so quickly. All he cared about now was saving Zoe.

"How much longer?" Charlie asked Sammy who was holding a map.
"We should be at DOC Recording Studios in a few more hours." Sammy replied.

"Maybe we should stop for lunch." Alex suggested. Everyone agreed. They headed over to a nearby café and ordered sandwiches and cake, because who doesn't like cake?

"Funny how there have been no monster attacks whatsoever." Michael said through a mouth full of food.

"I know. Maybe they sense that we're coming for them so they're regrouping in Tar--" Alex started to say, but Charlie cut her off.

"Don't say the name! Names have power!!"

"Sorry." Alex leaned back in her chair and winced.

Charlie sighed. "Sorry sis, I've just been so stressed and tired the last week and a bit. Our quest has only just begun yet we've already lost one of our team."

"What are we going to do?" Sammy asked. "The prophecy said that five of us will go to the Pit, but there's only four of us!"

"Maybe we could try and find another demigod to join us?" Michael suggested.

"No, I think we should just continue on." Charlie replied, finishing off his cheese sandwich. "Zoe was one of the original five. We can't change the prophecy."

"Speaking off prophecies." A voice from behind them said, and they all jumped. Charlie turned to look at the woman standing behind his chair. "There's been another one."

Michael gasped. "Rachel?"

"Hello." Rachel grinned, frizzy red hair bouncing up and down. "Sorry to disturb you, but I was in town for an Art Show for a few days so I decided to see how things were rolling." Rachel slid into an empty seat.

"Rolling? More like crashing and burning." Sammy sighed.

"I'm sorry about Zoe." Rachel said, putting her hands on the table in front of her.

"So what do you need to tell us?" Michael asked, leaning forwards.

"Well, I need to explain a couple things to you. About three days ago there was another prophecy, and I fear that it will take place directly after the one based on your quest." Rachel fiddled with her green and red bracelet on her wrist. "And it doesn't sound good. Especially since Annabeth has gone missing-"

"Annabeth is missing?!" Alex cried.

Rachel nodded. "Everyone thinks she's gone to bargain with Hades to get Zoe back, but I have a feeling that she's not going to the Underworld." She took a deep breath. "I know why she's gone, but I can't tell you. If I did then it would ruin your quest. Instead I'm going to give you the next prophecy."

"Okay then..." Sammy said. All four of the demigods were staring at Rachel intently.

"Wisdom and war's legacies shall go west,
To find the four heroes with a trial and a test,
One shall perish searching for the crown that was lost,
The daughter of the waves must pay her final cost." Rachel said.

"Four heroes with a trial and a test?" Alex asked incredulously. "The daughter of the waves? That has to mean a child of Poseidon. But the four heroes, I don't like the sound of that."

"Neither to do." Rachel agreed. "But it might not actually be about you four. Now, I need to go. Good luck!" And with a final wave, Rachel was gone.

•••

The four demigods arrived at a small one-storey building. They stood in front of the doors, staring at the run-down dump, all knowing that this was the place. Above the door was crooked sign that read: 'DOC Recording Studios'.

"This is it." Alex breathed.

"The start of a journey." Michael agreed.

"As soon as we step through these doors, our lives have officially changed forever." Charlie murmured.

"I know right." Sammy replied.

"What are we waiting for?" Alex grinned. "Lets go!" They pushed open the door and walked inside.

The disappointment was obvious on everyone's faces. It was only a small room with an elevator bank, a desk and a row of chairs along the wall. But the odd thing was that there was no one in sight. The place was completely deserted.

Michael was the first one to move. He went over to the elevator and pushed the only button that was there; the down button. As soon as his fingers had connected with the button, the silver doors slid open, revealing the inside of the elevator.

"Well, what are we waiting for?" Michael asked. The four of them entered and Michael examined the arrangement of buttons on the panel by the door. There were only minus numbers down to fifty, except for a word in ancient greek.

"ᾍδης" Sammy said. "Hades. This is the place." They looked at each other nervously before Michael pushed the button and the doors shut.

Suddenly, the elevator was thrown into darkness and it dropped down so fast, Charlie's ears popped. The floors flashed on the only piece of light, a screen that rapidly changed every second. It was overwhelming, and Charlie felt like he'd left his stomach back up a dozen floors, at least, he felt like he had.

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