chapter 1 | T H E F I G H T

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The raven-haired boy spun in a circle. Monsters swarmed around him, each vying for the chance to try and strike down the legendary demigod.
Percy Jackson swung his sword up and began chopping through the monsters like they were nothing.
Metal crumpled, skin broke, bones shattered, and blood spilled beneath his blows.
His sea-green eyes were an intense mix of concentration and tiredness.
The battle seemed like it had been going on for forever, yet hundreds, maybe thousands, of monsters remained.
A new wave of demigods rushed ahead of him, giving the exhausted boy a moment to relax and catch his breath. He also took a moment to observe the battlefield, and cried out at the sight that met his eyes.
Jason lay on the ground, his sky-blue eyes staring at nothing. A spear was punctured through his chest, and blood had stained his purple T-shirt an ugly brown.
Piper lay near him, a dagger stuck through her scalp. One arm was splayed out, resting near Jason as though she had been reaching for him when he was struck down.
Leo was a ball of fire. A literal fireball. He was surrounded in flames.
His flames reached for the sky, fueled by his rage at grief at seeing his dead friends.
But even as the Son of Poseidon watched, a pack of hellhounds and telekehines swarmed behind the demigod, and proceeded to attack him.
Percy called out, and began struggling through the crowd to reach his friend.
Before he could get there, Gaea rose up in front of him and struck him down where he stood.
Leo obliterated into ashes.
Percy stopped and stared, struck dumb by grief and shock.
Gaea ignored him for the moment, and vanished back into the heaving crowd of fighters.

Percy leapt back into the fray, slashing and slicing, stabbing and struggling. He took down any monster who dared challenge him.
He stepped back from the fight to take another rest, breathing heavily.
His body was covered with blood, scratches, nicks, bruises, and monster dust. Not to mention ichor from the few giants that he had managed to kill, along with the help of the gods.
Afraid of what he would see, but knowing it was necessary, he looked around again, and saw something horrible.
Hazel lay on the ground, surrounded by millions of jewels and hidden treasures that she had managed to call up with her power. While it was an impressive feat, it had left her too tired and weak to defend herself.
Gaea herself stabbed her sword through the heart, and the young girl's final scream that echoed through the valley was abruptly cut off as blood stained the metal, forever rusting it with the blood of the innocent.
Frank lay on the ground a short distance away. His glassy eyes stared at nothing, his features permanently twisted in an expression of agony. A dracaena {not certain if I'm spelling this right. I don't have a book with me, so sorry if I'm not spelling the monster names correctly} stood not far from him, cackling her victory.
Ashes sat in her hand, clearly from Frank's firewood.

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Percy was numb from shock and grief. He couldn't even feel the pain from his many wounds.
His friends, so many of them, dead. Nearly all of the seven, besides Annabeth and himself, but Nico - the troubled boy who had always been like a little brother - was still alive. And so was Thalia, the fierce huntress who had grown to be like his sister.
He spun in a circle, desperately searching for a flash of blond hair. There!
Annabeth was fighting Gaea herself, and she was losing.
Gaea had her pinned down, and her sword hovered over Annabeth's abdomen. From the angle of the blade, it was clear that if it sunk in, several major organs would be punctured.
"Thank you for your contribution," Queen Dirt-Face said with a smirk before she drove the sword down. A spray of blood filled the air, along with a spine-curdling scream.
"No! Annabeth!" But Percy's scream was louder as he raced forward. Monsters cleared out of his way, as did demigods and even gods. No one would stand in his path, not when he was like this. No one had ever seen the Son of Poseidon lose control, but it was clear that he had reached his breaking point.
Even Gaea backed up when she met his eyes.
Percy's beautiful sea-green eyes were storms. They swirled with a rage and a grief so strong that it seems he would explode.

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