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Friday, November 11, 2011

chapter nine

When Addison woke up, he heard a great deal of clinking. He opened his eyes to see all of his friends bustling about the room. Annabeth was packing and shouting orders. (Addison did not know how he slept through that.) Leo and Piper were cooking, and Mae and Jason were helping pack and cleaning up. The creepy words kept echoing in Addison’s mind, and he looked at Mae. Annabeth did not give him long to think, however, and promptly set him to work.
"Where to next?" asked Leo, cheerfully.
"I’m not sure," responded Jason.
"We might have to stop looking for Percy and go on with the quest." said Annabeth, quietly. There was a pregnant pause while everyone stopped working and just stood there.
"Stop looking for Percy?" repeated Mae, slowly. No one could believe her.
"What was your prophecy?" asked Jason, to Annabeth. Her head snapped up sharply.
"Why would you think that I had a prophecy?" demanded Annabeth. Her eyes blazed in a wild way. Jason looked a little taken back.
"Umm, because you were told not to forget your original quest," answered Jason. Annabeth’s eyes calmed down to their calculating gray.
"I can’t tell you right now," said Annabeth, focusing mainly on her backpack.
"I have an idea where we could go next," said Addison, timidly. All eyes turned towards him.
"I’ve had this dream twice now," he began. Addison recounted his dream but left out the exact wording about Mae.
"Mae, the voice told me that you knew who he was," said Addison. Mae opened and shut her mouth.
"I don’t know," she admitted, shrugging. They all looked defeated. Suddenly, Mae bent over clutching her stomach.
"Bound by Gaea’s lie
A god from on high
A star makes up his eye
His body is our sky."
Green smoke and the faint hint of the smell of snake skin poured out of her mouth. Her voice was creepily layered. Her entire body shivered, and her body went slack. As suddenly as it appeared, it left her. Mae was coughing her lungs out on the floor. Addison knelt by her side and patted her back. Mae looked up to see everyone’s horrified expressions.
"What just happened?" she asked, sounding exhausted. Annabeth gave her a quizzical look. Her expression clearly stated that she was calculating what else could the daughter of Apollo do. Mae was held up to a higher power in her eyes.
"Ouranos," said Annabeth, snapping out of her daze and ignoring Mae’s question completely.
"That’s where we’re headed next." Mae glanced around confused. She had no idea what just happened.
"Apollo has blessed her." rang in Addison’s ears.
It was sad to see everyone avoid Mae like the plague. But in their defense, it was really disturbing to see someone speaking like the Oracle.
"I thought only Rachel could do that," murmured Leo, for the hundredth time.
"Shut up!" snapped Piper, irritably.
"Guys, stop fighting," said Jason, rubbing his forehead like he was getting a headache. Piper gave him a sympathetic glance, but it hardened when she saw Leo’s goofy smile.
"Yeah, whatever, Sparky," replied Leo, turning back to face the front. Piper gritted her teeth and walked on. Addison tried to comfort Mae, but she gave him a glare. Apparently, waking up asleep on someone’s chest was not her favorite way of waking up.
"Don’t," she warned. Addison walked on with the group.
"Anyone actually know where to find Ouranos?" asked Piper. Annabeth stopped stepping on twigs and glanced up.
"No, but we have to get back to the ship," she answered. Mae shuffled behind everyone else. When Addison fell in step with her, her expression cleared a little bit.
"No one will tell me what happened." she complained. There was a faint plea in her voice.
"You, umm, kind of did that weird prophecy kind of thing where your voice gets layered, and smoke pours out of your mouth." said Addison. "You said some crappy poem about some sky guy, and Annabeth figured it out." Mae looked even more miserable.
"But I don’t want to be an oracle." she sniffled, her eyes downcast, and her voice strangely muffled. Addison looked at her in surprise. He regularly forgot that Mae was not as tough as his guy friends.
"I don’t think you will be. You might just have one or two episodes, and then you’re done." said Addison, to cheer her up. "In my dream, Ouranos told me that you had been blessed by your father. I guess he knew that you had the second sight or whatever it’s called." Mae rubbed her runny nose and smiled. She surprised Addison by throwing her arms around him and hugging him.
"Thanks," she said, in a small, muffled voice as she spoke into his t-shirt. Addison tried not to eagerly attack her but gently slipped his arms around her.
"Oi! Love birds! Let’s go!" yelled Leo, from a ways away. Addison blushed and let go. They sprinted until they had reached the group again.
They had walked back to the boat and set sail once more when Jason came up on deck.
"So how are we supposed to find Ouranos?" asked Leo, suddenly. He had been tinkering with something from his tool-belt and now put it away with an irritated shove back into his belt. Annabeth stared out at the water.
"I don’t know," she replied, leaning on a shroud. Mae un-braided her hair and put them in new braids before she answered.
"Zeus is lord of the sky, right? He would know," said Mae, looking at Jason.
"I don’t have anyway to contact him. You know all connections are severed right now." said Jason, running a hand over his closely shorn head. Piper was staring at the mast when she spoke up.
"Who would know where we can contact Ouranos?" mused Piper. Annabeth jolted as if she had just come out of a dream, and her eyes blazed with energy.
"Only the old gods," she replied, as if the answer was obvious. The others looked at her blankly.
"Gaea is bringing back only the one’s who have grudges against the gods, right? Who has a massive grudge against the gods? Especially Zeus?" she waited, but there was still no reply.
"He was a Titan, and he has been around for ages," prompted Annabeth. She was clearly disappointed in the lack of answers from the others.
"Prometheus," she said, rolling her eyes and letting out a huff.
"Where would he be?" asked Leo, already edging towards the engine room to set their course.
"On top of Caucasus Mountain," remembered Piper. Leo stopped, and a look of confusion crossed his face.
"Why are we going to see a guy who has a grudge against the gods? Wouldn’t that be kind of stupid?" asked Leo, his eyes narrowing. Annabeth rolled her eyes again. This was becoming a daily habit for her.
"He’s chained to a rock, Hammer Head," said Annabeth, in a duh kind of voice.
Mae sat in her little nook and trailed the tip of her sneaker in the water. It caused the water to ripple out behind the ship. Addison dropped beside her. Mae was still confused about the predicament, but she tried to look over that. Mae could see Addison staring at her in their reflection.
"Is there anything that you would like to talk to me about?" dared Mae, cringing at her own boldness. A mixed expression crossed his face. His mouth opened. It shut just as fast.
"Nope, anything with you?" asked Addison, biting back his original answer with some difficulty. Mae’s gaze drifted back up to the deck.
"I’m-" she began. Addison leaned forward to see her expression. Her expression was so full of despair that Addison hugged her without even thinking. She did not cry, but her body shivered like she was suffering from some sort of illness. The sun was dropping below the horizon. Mae’s head emerged from the folds of his t-shirt and smiled at him. Her blue eyes were tinged slightly orange from the light, and her hair burned his vision it was so vibrant. All at once, her freckles stood out each separately. Addison could not help himself. His lips closed on her’s, and everything blurred. He vaguely remembered taking deep breaths, but when they broke apart, he was breathing heavily. Mae’s face was filled with so much emotion, Addison knew at once he had made a mistake. Mae was gone before he even acknowledged it. He sat dejectedly on the small board that served as a seat, and his head was buried in his hands. He smashed the seat with his fist in frustration. He had been so stupid. The sun disappeared, and dusk settled in.
Mae had rushed to her hammock and thrown herself on the bed. WHY?! She screamed in her head. Too many tears had been shed. She was going to tell Addison her feeling concerning that blasted "gift" that her father had given her. He would listen. Then he had to go and make it all weird and confusing. The others, they would not understand. They looked at her strangely as she walked past. She might be a tomboy, but she still had feeling of a girl. Why did no one get that? She let out a frustrated scream in her pillow and finally had the courage to sit up. Her face burned, and her head ached. In a fit of frustration, she hurled the pillow across the room. It hit a lantern off of the shelf. The glass lantern shattered all over the floor. She was trembling so badly that she sat down heavily next to the broken bits. You have to stop, ordered Mae, to herself. She took a deep breath and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. She picked up a big piece of glass, and her reflection peered back at her. Her eyes were rimmed with dark bags from so much exercise and so little sleep. Her freckles were more prominent from all the sun, but her eyes were filled with pain. She could see a flash of memory regarding the make-out with Addison. She hated to admit it, but she really liked it. She also hated the fact that she hated not liking Addison. She balled up her fist and rubbed her eye. A shot of pain electrified through her hand as the glass cut into the skin. Mae released it with a wince. Blood dripped down the cut and stung.
Mae reached the deck the next morning with a splitting headache and a newly bandaged hand. Addison seemed to have had a rough night too. The bags under his eyes were darker than all the others. He seemed even more withdrawn than usual and steadily avoided contact with anyone’s gaze.
"Prometheus’s rock is up there," said Annabeth, pointing up to the large cliff that rose out of the water. A large bird was circling above.
"Get your weapons ready, demigods. We are going to need them." said Annabeth. The others followed her to shore and started the steep incline up the slope. Addison glanced up at the others and noticed his brother’s lack of enthusiasm. He had been completely quiet since that morning. Once you look closer, you could tell that his eyes were darker as if he had not had much sleep either. He ran a hand through his curly hair and sighed to the ground. Sweat drenched every person as they struggled up the gradually steeper slope.
"I better be toned after this quest," grumbled Mae, taking a giant step forward. The others laughed besides Leo. A sad pause followed that statement. What if they never came back from this quest? Rang through everyone’s minds. It was scary when they finally made it to the top. The massive rock mountain stretched out for miles. The teens’ legs ached, but there was still something off about Leo. He had still not said a word, and it was nearly nightfall. The kids were settling down for a rest before they struck out to see Prometheus the next day. Everyone was so exhausted that they barely found enough energy to set up their tents. Just when everyone had collapsed in their sleeping bags, there was a fierce screeching and a thunderous yell of pain. Every demigod rushed out of their tents with their weapons drawn. There was nothing out there, but the noise continued.
"It’s the eagle eating his liver," said Annabeth. The others groaned and stumbled sleepily back to their tents. Little sleep was to be had that night. A very restless night soon followed, and each of them barely got two hours of sleep. By the time they had all woken up, the screeching had stopped. Annabeth permitted them to rest for several more hours, and they were sleepily tugged out of bed around noon.
"Let’s go," said Annabeth, taking a sip of nectar. This re-energized them, and they headed warily to where Prometheus was chained.

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