A Tale of Griffins and Half-Bloods

Being a monster is hard enough. Being a monster who needs demigods to help you is even worse. Being a monster who needs help from demigods against other monsters is living hell.
And you thought being human was hard.

(Okay so I'm now realising my huuuuuge mistakes in consistency with the actual books so please bear with me that will be fixed I swear.)

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3. This dude just keeps getting dumber. - Alyx

I have to admit. I was starting to think sparing this thing’s life wasn’t a complete waste. A threat to the camp itself was something worth listening to. And if it turned out to be false… Well, let’s just say I know a whole camp full of other demigods who would love to slice and dice this monster. We stood there for a few minutes, staring at each other, daring the other to make the first move, trying to intimidate each other. It didn’t help that he was at least a foot taller than me. Curse my height.

I sighed, lowering my sword. Slowly, though. I didn’t want him to get too comfortable. “Fine.” I said in defeat, stepping to the side. “But you’re going to walk in front of me, unless you really do want to take a trip to Tartarus, bird.”

His momentary look of triumph was wiped off his face and replaced with annoyance. “Jeez. If you just have to call me something other than griffin, then call me Cinder.” He took a step forward, mumbling something about unfairness. I grinned to myself. I could have a little fun every now and then.

“Move!” I barked at him. When he didn’t move fast enough for my liking, I poked him in the back. I held Skotono before me, prepared (willing AND eager) to stick it in his back if he tried anything. Monsters. Who made monsters? They’re just bundles of horrible wrapped up in a deadly exterior. I’d met monsters that liked eating faces, hands, feet, and all kinds of other demigod body parts. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that monsters did nothing but eat demigods. And get killed by us, of course. We did a lot of killing monsters.

The griffin- Cinder- raised his hands up. I smiled as he hunched over a little to try and protect his back. “You lot are nice, aren’t you?”

I didn’t say anything. The bird shuffled forward as fast as his injured leg would take him- the camp medics had dug out a celestial bronze arrowhead from his calf while he had been unconscious. The wound had been a couple of days old, they’d said. This guy must have been in a fight with demigods. No others used celestial bronze weapons. Not at we knew of, at least. Honestly I was quite surprised the bird could walk, but that’s monsters for you. They don’t adhere to the same rules as we demigods.

We reached the stairs for the… well, there really was no other way to put it. We reached the stairs for the dungeon, and I had to wait what honestly felt like an eternity for the bird to stop complaining and actually start scaling them. The cells were a new addition. Annabeth- one of my half sisters- had suggest it a couple of weeks ago, and some of the children of Hephaestus had just finished implementing them a few days ago. This was the first time we’d been able to use them. Everyone had been quite excited.

He stopped at the top of the stairs, standing in front of the door as though it were some barrier that was impossible to pass. I jabbed him between his shoulder blades as motivation.

“Whoa there-” he complained. The outline of his head turned to look at me. I assume he glared. I didn’t much care. “- Don’t dig in too deep or you’ll end up with a pile of dust and no useful information.”

I shrugged. “Don’t tempt me. Now open the door, it’s not rocket science.”

The bird leaned against the door, opening it. Sunlight poured into the dark little staircase. Finally. Some fresh air. I’d been guarding the monster’s cell for a couple of hours now. Actually, I was probably due a shift change.
I followed him into the warm afternoon, taking a brief moment to enjoy the gentle breeze that whisked through camp, carrying with it the smell of flowers and food. The bird seemed to appreciate the pause, reaching over his shoulder to gingerly press a hand over the wound.

Now we were out in the light, I could see him properly. The most obvious thing about him must have been his height. By human standards, he was a giant. Of course for monsters he must have been about average. He looked like someone that didn’t get out in the sun enough- skin pale, very lanky and honestly not looking too athletic. His hair was black, like the feathers that still clung to his dark green T-shirt, the few that had stuck around after he’d changed back into a human shape.

He wasn’t facing me right now, instead looking out over the camp. The bird wore knee-length shorts. And sandals. I mean yes, it was summer. But it wasn’t… that… warm. Most campers were wandering around in jeans and howdies. Not everyone had arrived yet- there were still half-bloods walking around, wheeling suitcases behind them.

“Do you live somewhere hot?” I asked. He glanced back, his expression quizzical. “Like, tropical? Sun all day every day?”

He tilted his head slightly, “No? Quite the opposite really. What gave you that idea?”

“Well you know, just your entire outfit.”

“You’re telling me you humans don’t wear this in the cold?” His tone was slightly hurt, his face falling a little. Oh gods this guy was serious.

I struggled to keep the disbelief from my face. “Are you serious? Seriously? You thought we wear shorts and sandals in the snow? Have you even been to a shop? Anything, I repeat anything, is better than shorts and sandals.”

“I… did think it was a bit cold. I mean you lot don’t even have fur or feathers, either.”

I must admit I started for a little bit, unable to bring myself to keep moving. A couple of other campers wandered past, staring at the bird. I shook my head to clear it, before I poked him in the back again. “Alright enough of your weirdness, keep moving.”

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