Family Feud: The Beginning Of The End Of The Earth

Ava Griffin is a demigod. Basically, she is half-human,and half-greek god. She is a permanent camper at Camp Half Blood, a camp where all demigods train for the hard-and normally short-life of a demigod. When Connor Alati arrives, Ava befriends him. Connor quickly learns that Ava has many layers, some that even the campers are afraid of. When Connor recieves a prophecy that has been forbidden for years, Ava and Connor are set off on a quest to save the world. And they are not guaranteed survival. With the ghastly past, horrifying present, and impossible future, Ava and Connor discover that the world is falling apart, and the gods are to blame.

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2. Connor Battles His Imaginary Enemy To The Death

     It was around 2 in the afternoon when Chiron came to tell me that the new camper had awaken. I had been in strategic training at the time. Basically, all the children of Athena were put into different scenarios, with only a certain assortment of materials, and then they have to figure out how to deal with the situation. Sounds pretty easy, but you try defeating a hydra with only a donut. Not so easy.

     I dreaded walking to the Big House. Inside was the infirmary, where I would find the person I was supposed to be the welcome committee for. The Big House stood tall and proud, pale blue against the sky that was roughly the same color. I realized I was wearing the same color shirt as the sky, the same one I had worn when I went to sleep last night. I didn't get any sleep after Chiron had sent me back, which gave me plenty of time to agonize over the situation I was in. Ava Griffin, official Camp Half-Blood welcome committee. Yeah, right.

     I pushed the screen door open, and headed inside to the infirmary. The area was a long hallway, of sorts, with only curtains seperating the individual beds. On each bed was a clipboard that stated the patient's name, reason for them being there, and stability. I asked one of the satyrs-who acted as the nurses-where our John Smith was. The satyr pointed me to a bed at the very end. I thanked him and walked past the long row of the injured. We didn't get a lot of sick people here, but as you can imagine, we got a lot of injured. The curtain to the boy's room was pulled back. He was sitting up, cross-legged drinking an ambrosia drink. I saw the clipboard on the bed, which still read, "John Smith". 

     Clearing my throat, I said, "Hello."

     The boy looked up startled, and for a moment I got lost in his eyes. They were a deep green, like seaweed. Not like the nasty seaweed, but the kind of dark,healthy green. I had never seen irises that color before. No one at the camp had eyes like that. 

     He was no longer covered in soot, so I could make out his facial features. He was pretty good looking, to be honest. He had a dark brown hair color similar to mine, that was flipped messily to one side. He didn't look very attractive otherwise, since he was in a standard hospital gown. Normally, they don't have the patients where these, since after some ambrosia they are normally fine, but the guy's clothes were charred.

     "Hey. Can I help you?" Ugh, I realized I had been looking for a tad bit longer than probably appropriate.

     "Oh, um sorry. I'm Ava," I approached the bed to extend my hand. "Ava Griffin."

     "Hi, Ava. I'm Connor. Connor Alati." He shook my hand and gave a smile. I returned it. 

     "Well, Connor, I've been kind of assigned as your 'welcome committee'."

     "Oh," his face lit up, "can you answer some stuff, then?"

     "Yeah, sure."

     He held up his glass. "What is this stuff? It has ice cubes in it, but when I drink it, it tastes like my foster mom's warm blueberry pie. And I know I should be in a lot of pain, after last night, but I'm not at all. There's not even scars! What about the nurses? Why are they part goat? Am I going insane? And how come the voice told me to come here, what's so special about this place? And-"

     "Whoa, there," I held up my hands for him to slow down. "We have until dinner, so that gives us about...5 hours. I'll answer all your questions. First, though, you should get some clothes. Aphrodite's cabin is pretty good at guessing sizes. These should fit." I handed him a gray Camp Half-Blood shirt and black shorts.

     "Thanks." He looked at me for a second, before I came to my senses.

     "I'll, uh ,wait outside." Feeling myself blush, I quickly pulled the curtain, seperating me from Connor. Connor Alati. He said 'the voice' told him to come here. What was that about? 

     I heard the sound of the curtain being pulled back. I turned around, seeing Connor in his newly found wardrobe.

     "What ya think?" he asked, spinning around for me to look. I laughed, and gave him a thumbs-up.

     "Very nice. So, ready to go see the camp?"

     "I guess." I led him out of the infirmary, into the main room of the Big House, and onto the porch of the Big House. "This, Connor," I said, extending my arms wide, "is Camp Half-Blood." I watched his reaction as he took in the scene before him. To our left were the volleyball courts, where kids from Apollo were being whooped by the kids from Nike. On our right were the strawberry fields, where Dionysus' children were helping the satyrs grow fruit. From this view, most of the camp was still hidden from view. "This is nice." I could tell he wasn't thoroughly impressed by sand and strawberries, but thankfully, he had much to see.

     "You haven't seen anything yet." I walked down the steps and beckoned him. "Come on." He hesitantly followed me down the steps and around the Big House. That's when he gasped. "Technically, this is Camp Half-Blood." This time, Connor's reaction was one of pure amazement. "You look like I did when I got here," I laughed.

     "I can see why. What exactly is Camp Half-Blood?" He pulled his shirt and peered down to look at the black letters sprawled across his shirt.

     "Connor, you are a demigod. All of the kids here are."

     "You mean, half human, half god? That means one of my parents is a god?"

     I gave him a questioning look. "You sound like you know what I'm talking about."

     "Kinda. Greek mythology was the only thing I was good at when it came to school. Greek was the only thing I could read straight." He looked up in surprise. "Um, I have dyslexia. It's totally embarassing."

     "Not here. It would be embarassing if you didn't, actually. All demigods have dyslexia. It's because our brains are wired to read Greek. Any other language gets mixed up."

     "Really?" I nodded. "Cool." He then looked at something and cleared his throat. "Um, are those real satyrs?" He pointed to one who was carrying a basket of strawberries to campers relaxing on the grass. I nodded again. Connor shook his head in disbelief. "So, all of the stuff I've read about, like monsters and titans and Mount Olympus is real?"

     "Yup, pretty much. It's a lot to take in." Connor nodded in an awestruck assent, still swiveling his head around to look at everything. There was something bugging me. "Connor, you said that 'the voice' told you to come here. What voice?"

     Connor looked down at the ground and shifted uncomfortably. "I'm not sure. It's this woman's voice, telling me what to do in my sleep. She told me one night to come here, and every night after, she's given me directions here." I studied his face, which looked confused.

     "Sometimes demigods get dreams from their godly parents. So your mom must be a goddess, and your dad a mortal, right?"

     Connor shook his head. "I don't know, I'm an orphan. I ditched a foster home for this place." Connor smiled to himself. "Definitely a step up."

     I felt my heart both sink with pity and leap with happiness. I'm not sure how that happened, but I was happy someone around here has had the same situation. "I still have to give you the tour. C'mon." I gestured for him to follow me. We followed the river which connected to the canoe lake in the middle of camp. It was off to our left, and on our right was the hill that led to the entrance. The source of the magical boundaries used to be found in Thalia's pine, a girl trapped in a tree-long story-but that had ended twenty years ago. Now, the boundaries were sustained by the Golden Fleece. It was hanging magnificent and glowing on a tree branch. A large purple dragon named Peleus guarded it at all times. I explained to Connor all of this, who regarded the fact that our camp was protected by a dragon and sheep's wool with sheer awe.

     "Up there," he said, pointing to the hill, "that's where I battled that monster. What was it?"

     "A hellhound. It's literally a hound from hell. It must've smelled you."

     Connor grabbed his shirt and gave it a whiff. "Do I really smell that bad?" I laughed and shook my head. "Good. So, how come I'm not dead?"

     "Well, you gave it your best shot. You passed out after you crossed the borders. We got you to the infirmary. That stuff you were drinking is called ambrosia, nectar from the gods for healing. A normal human would burn up if they ingested it, but demigods can have some as long as we really need it." His eyes became distracted. Great, I thought, he was bored.

     "You were the one I saw last night."

     I was taken aback by that statement. "Yeah, I was." He continued to look at me, comprehending that fact. After a few seconds I cleared my throat. "Let's uh, keep going then, shall we?"

     I pointed to the arts and crafts area, where we made clay statues of the gods. He didn't seem particularly interested in that. I was happy, I didn't exactly enjoy that either. I would much rather have a debate with someone, if the other campers would let me join.

     We continued heading north, passing the ampitheater. I told him that is where we have a bonfire every night after dinner. "The fire reflects the mood of the campers."

     "Seriously?" I grinned and nodded. "Wow..."

     Next, we passed the lava wall, where brave demigods scaled the wall. Some got pretty far, a whole ten feet from the ground. But most were sprayed with lava or avalanched before they even got on the rock. The heat gave me a sickening feeling. I had gotten to the top 5 times now.

     I showed him the mess hall, explaining how at every meal, you are supposed to throw an offering into the golden braziers for the gods.

     "Do they like the smell or something?"

     I laughed. "Who knows? I never give Athena anything."

     "What?" Connor asked. "So Athena's your mom?" Crap, I let my guard down.

     "Yeah, she is." I left it at that, hoping he would get the hint that I didn't want to elaborate. Thankfully, he did. Changing the subject, I pointed to the north woods, which was now straight ahead of us. I was walking along the magical borders, making a ring around the camp so I could introduce the cabins last. I told him about how we played capture the flag there every Friday night without fail. I warned him of the dangerous monsters that were allowed to roam there, waiting for a foolish demigod to wander there alone.

     We walked along the edge of the woods, watching dryads-tree spirits-move about, collecting berries and laughing amongst one another. Or, at least until they saw me. When they did, they dropped the objects they were holding and retreated to their various tree homes. 

     "They don't like you much," Connor pointed out, grinning. I know he meant to tease me but his words cut deep.

     "Yeah," I agreed. I pointed to the pegasus stables. "The pegasus stay there."

     "You mean, the pegasus? Like winged horses?"

     I nodded. "Yep. If they like you, you can ride them. But normally once a week, you'll get put on stable-cleaning duty. Thanks to you, I didn't have to today." I smiled at him.

     "Your welcome." He returned the smile, then glanced wistfully back to the stables. I had the strangest feeling that he actually wouldn't mind scraping pegasus droppings off the floor. Or was it pegasi? Whichever.

     On our left was the armory, where all camp weapons are stored. Well most, anyways. Each cabin had an assortment of their own hidden. As daughter of Athena, I thought the best weapon was your mind, but an anvil to the face was just as effective. There was no stash like the Hephaestus cabin, though. Being the children of Hephaestus meant that they generally spent their free time tuning up old motorcycles or building robots to do their chores. The robots actually worked, by the way.

     "I wonder what weapon I would be good with." Without warning, Connor walked away from me and headed straight to the armory.

     "Hey, slow down!" I chased after Connor, catching up to him at the door. He was staring agape at the rows upon rows of different shields, helmets, daggers, bows, and swords. "Cool, isn't it?"

     "Yeah. I dreamed about being a warrior as a kid but, this is just awesome." I laughed as he grabbed a helmet much too big and put it on, so it covered his features. Next, he grabbed a shield made for a person 200 pounds heavier than he was, so when he tried to hold it up, he nearly fell back down.

     "Your insane." I laughed as he took off the helmet and tossed the shield aside, reaching instead for a silver bow and arrow. "Maybe you're a child of Apollo." Just as I said that, Connor knocked the arrow and accidently released it, lodging the arrow in the door frame right by my face. I nearly peed as I felt the wind of it pass by my face, missing my face by a few hairs. "Maybe not."

     Connor paled and ran to my side. "O my gosh, Ava, I'm so sorry!" He looked at my cheek to make sure he hadn't hit me. Standing this close, I realized he was pretty tall, 6 feet at least. His arms were muscular and tan. 

     I moved to the side, so I was standing in the doorway. "It's okay. Worst things have happened." I put on a smile, changing the mood back to lightheartedness. He grinned, but still looked really sorry. "Why don't you try a sword?" I suggested. 

     "If I chop off your head, it's all on you,'' he laughed. Connor reached from a shelf and pulled down a celestial bronze sword. The color was a gold-brown. Where the blade met the handle sat an emerald, the same color as Connor's eyes. The handle was an intricate gold design of a sea serpent wrapping around and around.

     "This is celestial bronze. It can kill monsters and gods, temporarily anyways. But it cannot harm a mortal. It would pass right through."

     He took it from me and gazed at the stone. "Wait, can it hurt demigods?" I nodded. "So, demigods can be hurt by mortal weapons like guns, and also by immortal weapons like these?" I nodded again. He caught up fast. "Well, that stinks."

     I laughed. "Sure does. Give it a try." I stood back this time, giving him room. Connor looked at the sword uncertainly, then picked it up and swung it with ease. He jabbed and parried at an imaginary adversary. I'm pretty sure his enemy just lost its head. "I think we just found your weapon. You can't fake that."

     "You think so? I was just messing around..."

     I smiled. "Connor, trust me, your weapon is this sword." I picked up the sheath that went with it. "Here you go." He uttered a thanks and placed the sword expertly in his sheath, and attached it to his belt loop. 

     "What's your weapon?"

     I bit my lip and stared at the ground. "Nothing. I use my head." I tapped my temple to emphasize. "Let's go." We walked back out of the armory, squinting at the sun. "That's the forge," I said, pointing to a large building where a lot of noise was coming from. "Mostly Hephaestus' kids hang out there. Maybe he's your father."

     Connor shook his head. "Doubt it. I failed shop class. Twice." I laughed and pointed to a large arena similar to the coliseum in Rome. On a much smaller scale, though.

     "That's the arena. We have battle-training classes there." Connor looked a little shaken at that statement. I couldn't blame him. The first few weeks here are pretty scary. Scratch that. Every day in the immortal world was scary.

     Our last sightseeing area was the cabins. Years ago, there were just twelve cabins, representing the twelve Olympians. Now there were twenty, to appease the minor gods and goddesses. I told Connor of Nike, the goddess of victory. It's not much fun playing sports against them, no contest. Even Shaq would have a tough time against Derek, a nearly 7 foot tall giant who had an obsession with basketball. Next on the right was Hebe. Her kids were so kind, always volunteering and helping. They sometimes even said hi to me. Her kids, no matter how old they got, seemed to age no older than twenty five. Tyche was next, and her cabin was like a miniature casino. Never bet against them. Tyche was the goddess of fortune. Continuing in a straight line was Hecate, goddess of magic. When Peleus was asleep, Hecate's children would guard the magical boundaries, whispering encouraging words to the Golden Fleece like, "You can do it", or, "Don't let the bad monsters get in Fleecy." when I told Connor that part, he laughed and looked at me like a crazy person.

     "I'm not kidding." Turning north, to make a sort of backwards L, were the rest of the goddess cabins. Regardless of gender, you stayed in whatever cabin your immortal parents were. All the cabins were split within to seperate boys and girls, with a middle area in between. For some reason, Dionysus was on this side, which I never understood, since he was a god. His children normally helped with growing fruit and making grape juice. Their grape juice was better than you could ever buy. The wine was even better I've heard, but of course we don't get samples. After Dionysus was Aphrodite, goddess of beauty. Her kids were all shallow and loved drama too much. Next was Artemis. She didn't actually have kids because she had a marriage rule. And she was a hunter, no time for children. The cabin was only honorary. "This is Athena's cabin." I gestured up to the owl above the doorway. Moving on, I showed him Demeter's cabin, which looked like a greenhouse. Demeter was the goddess of agriculture. Most of her children came from Wisconsin or Nebraska. Hera stood tall and proud, also without kids like Artemis. Next to her began the gods' cabins.

     Zeus stood cold and empty along his wife's cabin, Hera. Children of Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades were extremely rare, because they were extremely powerful and dangerous. Connor regarded Poseidon's cabin with an interest I hadn't seen in him throughout the tour. 

     "I thought Poseidon was cool when we had to learn about him," Connor explained. I nodded. 

     "I like water, too." Glaring, I pointed out Ares cabin. Ares was the god of war, and his children shared the obsession with him. All they did was pick fights and bully people. Their cabin had a decapitated bloody pig head hanging above the door.

     "Charming." I laughed at Connor's statement, walking along the stone path. We were now straight across the goddesses cabins. The shape of all of them together represented a rectangle if you looked from a bird's eye view. Apollo was next, straight across from Artemis. Unlike Artemis' silver cabin, her brother Apollo's cabin was all gold. "Definitely not his kid," Connor mumbled, obviously thinking of his failed attempt at handling a bow.

     "Agreed." I had already explained Hephaestus, so his cabin that looked like a factory went by fairly quickly. "You'll be staying here," I held out my hand to show him Hermes' cabin. He was the gods' messenger, quick on his feet. His kids were normally adept at running and stealing. "All new campers stay here until they find out who their godly parent is." 

     "How long will that take?"

     I shrugged. "It varies. The shortest time has been five days, the longest a month." Turning the corner, I finished up the last leg of our tour. There was Hades, god of the underworld. As of right now, it was vacant. Iris was next, the goddess of rainbows and messengers. If you had a gold drachma to spare, you could Iris-message some friends. Hypnos was right beside Iris, and you could hear his children snoring from out here. 

     "Maybe I'm a child of Hypnos, I like my sleep." 

     I laughed. "Me too." Last, but not least was Nemesis, the goddess of revenge. If you can avoid it, do not make them mad at you. We turned around and walked back to the Hermes cabin, following the stone path. "Well, this is it. They should have a bed ready for you."

     "Why don't you come in?"

     I bit my lip and shook my head. "Probably not. I have to get going, Chiron will want to see you at dinner."

     Connor looked disappointed, but nodded. "Okay. Thanks for showing me around, Ava." With a grin, he turned around and opened the door, then just as quickly shut it and disappeared. I sighed and headed over to my own cabin, cutting across the grass. In the middle of all the cabins there stood a hearth with a fire that always roared. I tried to avoid it whenever I could, but I had been so distracted by my new friend that I didn't realize where I was walking. Until I bumped into her.

     Hestia turned around from her position tending to the fire and looked at me with surprise. Right now, she was in her child form, making her about eleven years old. She wore a brown robe cinched at the waist with a rope. Her eyes were ablaze. Literally. Hestia was the goddess of the hearth. What she said next was extremely awkward, since she looked eleven and sound five thousand.

     "Hello, my child."

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