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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3. I Give The Arena A Well-Deserved Bath

     I shut the door behind me, then turned to meet my fellow cabin mates. I was in a large central room that was littered with socks, shoes, candy wrappers and firecrackers all over the hardwood floor. There were a few mismatched couches and chairs placed around the room, where people sat laughing. When they heard the door open and shut, they stopped and looked me up and down. I felt uncomfortable under their scrutiny, but decided to be the first to talk.

     "Hi, I'm Connor. Connor Alati." A boy with shaggy blonde hair and blue eyes stood up, then gave me a sinister smile. He extended his hand for me to shake, which I did.

     "Hey, Connor. I'm Colton Turner. I'm the oldest camper in Hermes, 19, so that kinda makes me counselor. So, you're the new kid who fried a hellhound?" I nodded. "Sweet, man. Anyways, welcome to Camp Half-Blood! Did you get the full tour?"

     "Yeah, Ava showed me around." Colton gave me an upsetting look, which I didn't quite understand. The moment passed just as quickly as it came, and Colton smiled again.

     "How old are you Connor?"

     "15."

     "That's unusual." Colton turned and gave a look to the other campers. They looked back at him with unease. Before I had the chance to ask why that was unusual, Colton looked back at me and spoke again. "Cool. Let me show you around here."

     He introduced me to everyone in the cabin. I had no hope at memorizing everyone's names, but I figured I had awhile to learn. There were fifteen people here, more boys than girls, and Colton told me there were still some people outside. I thought that was insane. The cabin was plenty big,more like a large one level house. All of us were really close in age, yet they had for sure the same dad. That was a topic I didn't want to dwell on for awhile.There were three other people that didn't know their godly parent like me. That didn't really encourage me since they had been here for weeks.

     Colton took me to the boys' half of the cabin, which smelled like gym socks and Axe. The room was a long, rectangle shape that had ten bunks lined up against the wall on each side, enough to fit forty guys. My bed was at the very back right corner, with someone's things on the top bunk. 

     "Lucky for you, I'm on top." 

     "Cool. Thanks for the introductions." I sat down on my bed, wishing I had something to put here. I patted the pillow, which hissed and started to writhe. "Ahh! What is that?"

     Colton laughed and picked up the pillow, tipping it upside down to release a small green snake that toppled onto the floor. "Sorry, man. Hermes is kind of mischievious, so we like to play pranks on each other." He stepped on the snake before it could get away and pushed his foot until its neck snapped. I flinched at the noise, while Colton looked unfazed. "Nice scream, by the way." I gave him a look, making him laugh. All of a sudden, a horn from outside sounded. "Supper time." I got up and followed him and the rest of the campers to the mess hall, where people were already filling their plates from the seemingly endless banquet. "Make sure you make an offering," Colton said, nodding to the brazier that Ava had shown me earlier.

     The setup was like an Old Country Buffet, with different tables with salads, appetizers, meats, and desserts. Campers and satyrs alike were filling their plates, then walking to the large golden brazier and tossing a piece of their food inside, then sitting at a table. I got in line behind Colton and grabbed some cucumbers from the salad table, then grabbed a large piece of pepperoni pizza. There wasn't much room left on my circular plate, but I decided to grab a piece of blueberry pie. Colton had disappeared, so I was unsure where to sit. Through the crowds, Ava met my eye and smiled. I threw the biggest piece of pepperoni in the brazier, then walked over her way and sat down across from her at the end of the table. She was absentmindedly picking at a strawberry. I noticed that there were at least ten other people sitting at this table, but on the other side, giving me curious looks.

     "Hey." Ava looked up startled, piercing me with her gray eyes.

     "Hey, um, you're not supposed to sit here, sorry..."

     I raised my eyebrow at her. "Why not?"

     She bit her lip. "Well, you're technically supposed to sit with your own cabins." She pointed over across the hall, where I saw Colton and a few other guys from the Hermes cabin sitting and laughing.

     "Oh, well. What's the worst they could do?"

     "You really shouldn't ask that here." Her sentence was serious, but she laughed. "So, how was Hermes?"

     I ate a bite of pizza before answering. "Overwhelming. All of it is."

     "Yeah, it takes awhile. You're doing really well on your first day, though. When Chiron told me he wanted me to be your tour guide, I was a little nervous because I don't really have friends and-"

     "Wait what? What do you mean you don't have friends?"

     Ava bit her lip again. She obviously didn't mean to say that. Before she could answer, another horn sounded. I looked to where the sound had come from, and nearly fainted on the spot. I mean, I thought I was pretty awesome for not passing out at the sight of half goat humans-or was it half human goats?-but this was pushing it. Standing in front of the golden brazier was a man who was also a horse. No, I'm not mental. Am I?

     Ava reached over the table and grabbed my arm. "Hey, you okay?" I nodded, even though I was feeling very not okay.

     The hybrid thing was a man with a wispy gray brown beard and shoulder length hair the same color. He wore a bronze breastplate. That was the only human part of him. Where his torso stopped, the bottom half of a white stallion began, all the way down to the hooves. He stood tall and proud, much like a father admiring his children. Bare, muscular arms outstretched in a greeting. His deep brown eyes scanned the crowd, searching for someone. His eyes rested on me, and then crinkled as he smiled.

     "You must be Connor," he bellowed. Everyone turned to look at me. I nodded my head in response to the centaur. I remembered that from school. "Why don't you come up here?" I gave Ava a wide-eyed look, who gave me a look of pity and shrugged. The area was quiet as I joined him up front. "Connor, I'm Chiron, head of the camp."

     I gasped. "You mean, the Chiron? Trainer of Heracles and Percy Jackson?" He chuckled and nodded.

     "Welcome to Camp Half-Blood." The entire place thundered with applause, stomping, and a lot of whooping which I thought was pretty unnecessary.

     After pleasantries, and making me quite the stare object, Chiron sent me back to the table where I was sitting. Ava was in the middle of stealing a piece of pepperoni from my pizza.

     "Ah ah ah, my pizza." I wagged my finger at her, laughing. She laughed too, flashy her pretty smile. Did I just say pretty? Yeah, I think I did. We spent the rest of supper talking about things at camp. I found out that she was 15, same as me, but she had been here for a year, which she didn't say much else on. She mostly told me about Athena's cabin, but not the people, just the cabin's atmosphere, which to me sounded like a Fox News headquarters or NASA. Not really my thing, but I could tell she loved it. After supper was finished, we walked together to the ampitheater, taking a seat far away from the fire. She was right, the color did reflect the campers' mood. Tonight it was a dull yellow, happy but lacking anything special. We sang songs that I didn't know, but Ava promised she would write them down for me. Too quickly, the night was over and we were expected to be in our bunks soon.

     "I'll see you tomorrow, then. Maybe we'll have some classes together," Ava smiled as she prepared to retire to Athena's cabin.

     "I hope so." I gave her a smile and headed inside my new home. Laying down on my bed, after checking for any creatures in my pillow, I fell asleep quickly, dreaming about a silver bow and an owl.

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

     I woke up with a piece of paper stuck to my face. I peeled it off, groaning while I did. The piece of paper was my schedule, telling me where to go and at what times. From eight to nine-thirty breakfast was being served. My watch told me it was nine on the dot. I stood up and found a small duffel bag underneath my bed. Inside was a change of clothes, a toothbrush, and a gold coin. There was a note attached to it that read: In case you need to tell someone you're not dead. I wondered what a gold coin could possibly do. Was there some kind of magical phone booth here? I snorted. What wasn't magical here?

     I decided to walk to the bathroom when I noticed I was the only boy still in here. There were girls laughing in the central room, making me walk outside to the bathrooms a lot faster. Once there, I figured a shower was probably much needed after what I had been through.

     I was thankful to find shampoo and soap already in the shower. The hot water felt like a dip in ambrosia. More healing then blueberry, mind you. I rinsed my hair and tried to wash away the sheer panic that was settling in my stomach. I became distracted with the water, watching it drip from my fingertips. This calmed me. I always felt stronger after a good shower.

     On my way to the dining hall, a girl with red-brown hair waved to me.

     "Hi, Connor." She smiled, flashing her white teeth.

     "Hey." I didn't know her name, which I felt bad about, but waved back. She giggled some more to her friends, who smirked and looked at me as I walked by. Wonder what that was about.

     I looked for Ava in the mess hall, but I couldn't find her. I found Colton, though, and after throwing a piece of toast to the gods, I sat down by him. He was talking to some guys about battle training today. Apparently, I was in the same class with them. I'll admit, I was a little scared for that. Defeating the hellhound was pure luck, so maybe I was a kid of Tyche. I didn't listen in on their conversation much, and they didn't bother to include me.

     After breakfast came my first class: Forging. That was a bust. I tried making a dagger, which ended up looking like a paraplegic giraffe. Hephaestus? No way. The class had left some grease stains on my hands, and the forge was hot, so I was pretty much soaked in sweat. First day status: sucky.

     Next was the battle training class, which gave me a queasy feeling in my stomach again. The class was held in the arena, nearby the forge. To make matters worse, I ran into Ava. 

     "I'm so sorry!" Ava apologized, looking down.

     "My bad," I smiled, which Ava returned once she noticed it was me. "Are you going to the arena?"

     She nodded. "Yeah, it's my next class. Are you?" I nodded. "Cool." We kind of had an unspoken agreement to walk together after that. Despite my obvious lack of cleanliness, Ava seemed genuinely happy to see me, which made me feel a bit less afraid of the next class.

     We entered the arena, and my breath was taken from me. Inside, it was like the roman colisseum, with white stone steps many rows up. The grounds were compacted dirt, with horse tracks splayed all around. Ava told me this was because they had chariot races. Sunlight lit the entire area, since there was no roof. We took a seat by a large cluster of campers, from a bunch of different cabins. I noticed Colton, along with a few older campers I had never seen before talking and laughing. All of a sudden, Colton stood up and addressed the entire class.

     "Hey, guys. For those of you who don't know, I'm the director of this class. Today, we're doing something a little special. Instead of dummies or holographs, we will be battling real monsters. Everyone has to participate, and we're using the glass dome." Next to me, Ava paled.

     "What's the glass dome?" I asked her.

     "Exactly what it sounds like. The children of Hecate create this glass dome that can't be broken until you defeat the monster, or until it defeats you."

     I tried to swallow, but my throat had gone too dry. "You mean, like, kill us?"

     "Oh, no. Just until it knocks us out."

     "Well that makes it a whole lot better." Ava grabbed my hand to reassure me, but put a finger to her lips. Her hand sent sparks through mine. I remembered that my hands were probably sweaty, so I prayed to whatever god was my father or mother to not let Ava notice. She took her hand away.

     "First up, Ava Griffin." I saw Ava's face flush out of the corner of my eye. I looked at her directly, who gave me a look of fear, then quietly got up and made her way to the center of the arena. It looked as if she was trembling in her purple camp shirt and black shorts. She unsheathed a small, gold dagger with a fiery red ruby on the handle. What happened to not having a weapon? "Ava, you will be fighting," Colton looked to his friends and smirked, "a spider."

     Now, I know that sounds pretty easy, but Ava turned as white as the stone around us.

     "Wait, please, that's not fair-"

     "Quiet! Summon the monster!" From the center of the ground rose a small cage, and on the inside a tiny, hairy tarantula. It was almost too tiny to see from this distance. "Emma, why don't you make it a little bigger for the entire class to see?"

     A girl with short blonde hair and a pixie-like face stood up and grinned. "Sure thing, Colton." Using the power of Hecate, I'm guessing, Emma pointed at the spider and began to chant. Ava yelled her protests, but it was no use. The spider grew until it broke through its cage, and continued growing until it was as big as a horse.

     "Please!" Ava cried. "Please don't make me fight it!"

     "Quiet! Emma, the dome." Emma chanted once again, almost being drowned out by Ava's screams. I stood up, only to be pushed back down by a camper near me. Ava's screams were muffled as the dome closed around her and the monster. Everyone around me elbowed each other and smirked. They were enjoying this. 

     "Colton!" He turned and gave me a glare. "Can't you see she's afraid? Let her out!"

     "Not a chance, Alati. Sit down."

     "But-" His look told me to not say another word. I turned in my seat as I sat back down, watching Ava who was regarding her enemy with fear. Fear didn't even cover it. She was petrified.

     Colton raised his hands triumphantly. "Begin."

     Following his command, the spider clicked its mandibles in delight, taking small steps towards Ava. She stood there frozen, shaking uncontrollably. It inched closer and closer, until it was towering over Ava, mere feet away. The fight was practically over already! I couldn't take it any longer.

     "Ava, run!" My yell jolted her into action, causing her to dash to the left, narrowly avoiding the vicious grasp of the tarantula. She was now on the far end of the dome, facing the crowd. Jeers and shouts rang from the campers.

     "You're dead!"

     "Use your fire, Ava!"

     "Baby!" 

     I clenched my fists in anger. What the heck was going on? My focus turned back to the battle the whole class was making a spectacle of. The spider shot its silky web at Ava, wrapping around her arm and flying her back into the wall. Where she impacted, the symbol of Hecate-a woman in dark robes holding a torch in each hand-burned, protecting the dome from shattering. Ava hung suspended five feet from the air, her webbed arm sticking to the glass. She looked fazed, her head falling to one side, face shielded by her long, curly hair. The spider, excited with the catch of new prey, clicked some more and approached Ava. In the last second, Ava brought her dagger up and sliced through the web, causing steam to rise and condensate on the dome as if the blade had burned the silk. She ran again, straight to the edge of the dome closest to us. She pounded on the glass, causing Hecate's symbol to erupt wherever her hands hit the barrier. She was yelling something, but we couldn't hear. I watched her eyes, which were looking right at me. Then her lips, and I then knew what she was screaming.

     Please.

     I stood up again, despite various snaps from those around me, and looked straight at Colton. "Hey! Colton! Let her out!"

     "Quiet, Connor. You may be new here but you're disrupting my class."

     "Class? This isn't a class! This is disgusting! You're making a party out of it!"

     "A party, huh? We'll make it a party, then. Emma, I can't see the spider, it's too small." Emma got the message and stood up again, chanting once more. The spider started to grow again, this time to the size of a small elephant. Ava looked like all the color had just been sucked out of her. She fell to her knees, dropping her dagger in the process, completely paralyzed. The spider sensed its victory, making its walk slow and steady. Hopeless, Ava closed her eyes tight, bracing herself. I yelled to no avail, and the spider swung its ugly face into Ava, knocking her into the air, slamming against the wall. The slight nanosecond she was against the wall, Hecate's symbol burned, exactly matching Ava's position, making it seem like Ava was holding the torches. She toppled to the ground, completely knocked out. I was somewhat relieved that the torment was over for her, and that they would put down the dome now. But about 90% of me was so mad I was afraid of it myself. I waited for a few heartbeats, and nothing happened. Out of the corner of my eye, Colton motioned with his hand for the spider to continue.

     The spider obeyed, walking to the unconscious Ava. I couldn't believe what was happening. I yelled and yelled, being ignored. I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. My fury rose until it nearly exploded. I wanted to do something, anything, to stop that monster from hurting Ava.

     No, I did not have a crush on Ava.

     Okay, so maybe I did like her a little, but I would've been upset if it happened to anyone else. I think.

     I prayed to my godly parent, whoever they were, to help me save Ava. There was a sharp pain that came from my stomach, and all of a sudden I heard the roar of a wave. I could smell the salt, feel the water, and I willed it to come to me. The next thing I knew, Long Island Sound itself erupted over the sides of the walls, cascading down upon everybody. It continued full force into the glass dome. The symbol of Hecate burned, trying to block out the wet intruder. The magic wasn't strong enough, and within seconds, the waves shattered through the glass. Somehow, I knew where to move the water and glass, so it would not hurt Ava. Moving my hand, I motioned for the water to fall on top of the spider, causing it create so much pressure the spider spontaneously combusted.

     My hand moved the water back to Long Island Sound, tons of sea water-and some poor, angry nereids-returning to their rightful home. Somehow I knew exactly how many tons of water-25.7, to be exact-had infiltrated the arena. Don't even get me started on the very colorful language I recieved from the nereids. Yes, they talked to me. I could hear them in my head, and they were not happy. I had felt like the king of the universe when all the water washed around me, but now I felt like collapsing.

     Apparently I wasn't the only one. Kids around me were coughing, soaking wet and shocked. After the initial confusion passed, everyone turned to me and gasped. I looked down at my feet, completely dry. Stunned, I looked at the rest of my clothes, not a drop on them. Everyone in the entire place had been drenched to the bone, except for me. But no one was looking at my clothes, or my face, they were looking right above me. My eyes drifted upward, finding the source of all the gasping. That's when I gasped too.

     Above me, hovering a foot over my head, was a holographic green trident. The mark of Poseidon.

     I was a son of Poseidon.

     In a daze, I walked down the steps to the now muddy ground. Ava lay in a crumpled heap, stiff and pale. I crouched down, shaking her softly. She wouldn't wake up. No one else seemed quite in the helping mood, so I scooped Ava in my arms, and walked out without a word. 

     My mind raced as I walked to the Big House. Would I get expelled or something? Expelled after a day, new record. Ava was also dry, I noticed. How did that even work? I protected her from the water that had glass, but not all of the water. And that thing that glowed above my head. There was no mistaking it, I was the son of Poseidon. I glanced up, it was still there. My eyes found that there were many people running towards the arena, and many others to me. They stopped short when they saw the mark and who I was holding in my arms. Chiron galloped past the campers, full speed right to me. I thought he was going to trample Ava and I. He stopped short, giving me an extremely stern look. Well, more like the mark above my head. Without a word, he took Ava from my arms, and brought her to the Big House alone, handing her off to a satyr in a nurse's uniform. I sat on the steps and held my face in my hands. What had I done?

     Chiron cleared his throat. I already knew what he was going to ask, so I just went ahead and told him the entire story. His face turned red with rage, but I sensed it was not directed towards me. When I told him of my newly found powers, he sighed and regarded me with sadness. We sat on the steps for about an hour, neither of us saying anything. Which bugged me alot. Chiron seemed unsurprised about what Colton and the rest of the class did to Ava, yet saddened by my discovery. 

     A satyr came to tell us Ava was awake. Chiron gestured for me to go inside alone. I did, hearing an odd metal clanking sound when my back was turned. The satyr led me to Ava's bed, staring at me the whole while. I gave him a thanks, then pulled back the curtain. Ava had her back to me, and I could hear her crying. She hadn't heard me enter. I sat down on the corner of the bed, making her turn over. Her eyes were red and swollen, similar to the large bruise that was forming on her forehead.

     "Ava, why are are you crying?"

     She ignored my question, pointing to my head. "Connor, is that what I think it is?" I nodded, then explained the story to her, starting from after she passed out. "Son of Poseidon, and you did all that for me?" She sniffed. I nodded. Instead if being happy, she looked even more upset. "You shouldn't have done that. People here don't like me, as you can tell." I meant to ask her why, but then Chiron came in. Except he wasn't Chiron anymore. The top half was, anyways. Where his horse part should've been, were two fake legs attached to a wheelchair.

       "Ava, how are you feeling?"

     "Fine," she held her head in her hand. "Wafer told me the swelling should be gone by the end of the day." While Chiron looked relieved, I was in confusion. What kind of name was Wafer?

     Chiron turned to me. "Connor, it is now no question who your immortal parent is."

     "Understatement of the century. But what does that mean?"

     "Well, now you will have to move into Poseidon's cabin." I digested that new fact. I would be alone, before I even got a chance to make friends. Too much was going on at one time. 

     "But, Chiron, we have to tell him about the proph-"

     "It's not the appointed time, Ava. You need to rest, and he is not ready." I was getting a little annoyed that they were talking as if I wasn't here. "Connor, let Ava rest. Head to Hermes and gather your things. I need to speak with Ava alone."

     Ava smiled through her tears and nodded. "Go on ahead, Connor. When I'm done I'll write down those songs for you, okay?"

     "Okay." Although it was definitely not okay, I exited, saying my goodbyes to Ava and a stern-faced Chiron. On the way to my one-day home, people and creatures alike stared at the holograpic image protruding above me. When I got to the cabin, I found that my backpack wasn't even half-full with my lack of belongings. I swung it over my shoulder, not saying a word to my used-to-be-cabinmates, and walked up the stone path until I stood in front of my father's cabin. It was decorated like a modest beach house, run down with salt erosion. Even in the midst of the other cabins, Poseidon's smelled of the sea, which instantly made me feel calm. I opened the door that was decorated with an old wooden steering wheel from a boat. A helm, I think. Okay, I know. I knew everything about boats. Pretty much the only thing I could be intelligent about, what with my dyslexia and stuff. Just to prove to you that I have an extreme lack of brains, I was still hung up on the fact that a satyr was named Wafer. I'm losing my mind.

     Inside the central room there were deck chairs like you would find on a cruise ship, no one occupying them. The cabin was a quarter of the size of Hermes'. Since no one could tell me otherwise, I took the right side as the boys. In there were only two bunks. The wood holding them was carved with intricate designs depicting sea monsters, mermaids-yeah, seriously-and fish similar to Nemo. I took the bottom bunk, sitting heavily on the anchor-designed sheets. A cloud of dust erupted. Coughing, I got up and walked back into the central room. In the corner, there was a faint glow coming from something I couldn't see. My conscience told me, curiosity killed the cat. I shot back, cats hate water, and I'm the son of the sea god, beat that. 

     The glow was coming from a small fountain, sitting on a windowsill. The fountain was old, not even running water. With my mind, I reached out, finding a small pocket of water inside, trapped by rust. I willed the water to break free, and after a second it did, bursting with new life. That gave me an idea. Something I remembered from a greek mythology book. I moved the fountain towards the sunlight, so that the mist coming from the water cast a small rainbow. I fetched for the gold coin-that I remembered was called a drachma-in my bag, but something stopped me. More like someone.

     At first I thought it was my conscience again, but this time, the voice was old, deeper. Yet familiar. Connor, you will not like the outcome, trust me.

     I laughed. Trust you? Where's the hi son, haven't talked to you in well, never. Congrats on being the new camp freak!

     Connor, Poseidon chided. This is not the time. There are things happening in Olympus, things you need to be prepared for. You must not use that coin.

     What does this coin have to do with Olympus?

     Like I said, you will not like the outcome. We need you to be on our side. need you, my boy.

     Yeah, and I needed you. I threw the drachma into the rainbow. It disappeared in a shimmer of light. I prayed to the goddess Iris. Iris, please show me my mother. I don't even know her name. Please. All of a sudden, there appeared a vapor in front of me, like a flat screen but nonsubstantial. In the vapor an image appeared. There was green grass all around, with roses put on slabs of stone randomly. There were some slabs of stone that stood up, some marble, but most granite. My stomach hitched, and I then knew what I was looking at. A cemetery.

     In front of me was a small, barely noticeable granite gravestone almost completely covered by grass. In small, black letters read the words: 

     μία αληθινή αγάπη μου , Farah Alati. My one true love, Farah AlatiThere wasn't even a date that told me her death. Rage built inside me unlike any I had ever experienced. He let her die! The god of the freaking sea let her die! That's why he didn't want me to see, he wanted me to think he was good. But he was evil, he stripped away my own mom from me, I didn't even get to know her. I swiped the Iris message away. They were all evil, all the gods, and I wanted absolutely nothing to do with them. 

     My thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door. My hands were shaking with fury as I opened it. Ava was standing there, hair pulled back into a ponytail, bandage on her forehead, and smile on her face. In her hands she waved some paper in front of my face. 

     "Ready to write? I brought some paper and pencils so we could write them toge-" Her sentence was cut off short as I slammed the door in her face.

   

     

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