I'm Back, Baby!

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I smirked as I watched everyone take their positions. Although some zombies were still religiously paling out buckets of water form the boat, several had taken their positions below deck.

Clarisse insisted that she should be in the captain's cabin as she was the captain, meaning that there would only be room for her and one other person, ideally the person who would be manning the gun until Charybdis gave some sort of sign of giving up. Everyone else would be below deck.

And guess who was manning the gun.... Clarisse's favourite person, Percy Jackson!

I shook my head, smiling, as Ichneutae guided me below deck from behind me, as I tried not to push Annabeth down the stairs as she walked in front of me.

There wasn't really much we could do in our current position, so we all found various things to hold onto should our plan be successful.

Tyson decided to sit at the foot of a massive pole and wrap his limbs around it tightly. I watched fondly as he grinned excitedly, and his one big eye blinked in anticipation.

Annabeth still wasn't keen on him, I could tell, and she had told me a few minutes ago, when I had asked how she got down here in the first place, that she had already told Percy about the ordeal she had had with a Cyclops, which she had informed me of long ago.

Given that this boat had once belonged to Ares, God of War, there were obviously some cells down here for his Prisoners of War.

I didn't venture inside one, in the fear that should things go wrong and the boat sunk, I would have no hope of surviving when trapped in an iron cage.

But I did grab onto one of the prison bars as I continued to talk to Annabeth, I in the middle, her on my rights, and Ichneutae on my left, ready to jump in front of us if anything happened. 

Regardless of the fact that he was not, by definition, our Protector, he still took his job very seriously.

I took a deep breath, but any smile I may have been wearing was torn right off my face when I heard an almighty groan, and the boat began to shake.

Percy must have shot her enough.

I heard Clarisse screaming to him, and a door slam loudly, so they must both be in the captain's cabin... so things were going well so far.

I squealed though, when I heard all the water we were floating on rush up at once, and felt like I was on one of those drop rides at the theme park as we raced up towards the surface of the ocean at incredible speed.

My arms linked through the bars so that I was held steady, but so that my hands were free to grab one of Ichneutae's and one of Annabeth's and squeeze them just as tightly as I squeezed my eyes shut.

I heard a deafening WHOOSH and I knew we had broken the surface, but we kept on going up, which made my eyes widen in surprise at how fast and high we were rocketing into the air.

Then time slowed.

Before I knew it, everyone was screaming as we plunged back down to the surface. I squeezed Annabeth and Ichneutae's hands even tighter as my stomach rocketed up to sit in my throat.

And then we bounced. I say bounced... it was more like hitting a concrete floor at such a speed that it pushed you back up again, but the next time we fell back to the surface, we continued bobbing as if nothing had happened.

I tried to get my breathing back to normal as it came out in short bursts, and Annabeth helped me with it, using some breathing exercises she had learnt back at camp.

Everyone started getting up from their positions to return to deck, and I followed, allowing Ichneutae to pull me up as I stared vaguely and unblinking into space.

Ichneutae was in charge of telling Tyson that I was okay, while Annabeth took my arm, and guided me back up the stairs to deck.

The light was quite blinding after been underwater in either a stomach or a boat for so long, and I winced, although my expression was still vague.

"Casey!" Percy gushed, rushing to me and placing his hand on the small of my back to help me stand better.

"Huh?" I asked, somewhat incoherently.

"Casey, everything's okay, you're gonna be fine," he promised as he guided me to a metal benchy sort of thing and made me sit down.

I took deep breaths as one of the zombies watched me warily and the others were talking at the side of the boat.

Then I heard it.

I'm so proud of you, my perfect daughter. Almost there.

Dad? Yeah that sounded like him.

I looked around madly, trying to find the source of the voice, but found that instead, he must have projected it into my head, as he wasn't aboard the ship at all.

The whisper echoed in my head as the others came back over to me.

"Case, we're approaching Circeland. Grover's there," Annabeth informed me.

"How do you know?" I asked, shaking my head free of the endless whisper.

"The co-ordinates," Percy said.

"What?" I asked, not remembering any co-ordinates.

"She wasn't there Percy," Annabeth reminded him, annoyed, through gritted teeth, and his eyes widened before he gave me a sheepish smile, rubbing the back of his neck.

"Oh... erm... on part of our way here, we got in a taxi with three women who only had one eye between them," he told me, ranting, "And they told us some co-ordinates and that's where the island is- I'm sure of it!"

I nodded, trying to get my brain to understand the strange new concept.

"One eye between them?" I asked, and the others groaned at how I had focused on perhaps the least significant thing.

"She's back," Ichneutae chuckled, ruffling my hair, "Great to have you."

I stuck my tongue out at him, and he smirked, winking.

Then, to my own surprise, I actually started laughing. Genuinely laughing.

I can't remember the last time I did that...

Percy almost fainted.

"You're back!" Annabeth squealed, launching herself at me.

"Technically I wasn't gone," I mumbled, rolling my eyes.

But I did feel different. A good different. 

I didn't feel as constricted as I had before. I felt like myself ago. The 'myself' from a couple of years ago. And it was the best feeling ever. Who knew that it was that easy? I only had to be told a story about three ladies with one eye, and I was back to how I used to be; sarcastic, witty, one the ball.... Me.

"Remind me to thank said old ladies," I told Percy with a smirk.

"Because..." Clarisse urged, beckoning for me to finish the sentence.

"I'm back, Baby!" I screamed, punching the air.

Captured by Luke Castellan- the Sea of MonstersRead this story for FREE!