Capture the Flag
The two leading teams were the Ares and Athena cabin. A couple people from the Athena cabin ran into the pavilion holding a glistening gray silk banner with an owl painted above an olive tree, and Clarisse and a few of her friends came racing in from the other direction carrying a garish red banner painted with a bloody spear and a boar's head. Since the Apollo cabin was in an alliance with the Athena cabin, and since there was no way I was going to form an alliance with the Ares cabin, I decided to join Jaclyn and Alex's team.
Ares had teamed up with Dionysus, Demeter, Aphrodite, and Hephaestus, while Athena had teamed up with Apollo, Hermes, and me. The children of Dionysus looked athletic and strong, but there were few of them. The children of Demeter didn't seem look like much of a threat since they weren't all that aggressive. I definitely didn't need to worry about the children of Aphrodite. The only cabins that seemed to really pose a threat were the Ares and Hephaestus kids.
The Hephaestus children were big and strong, and they could easily take me out with one blow. The Ares kids looked similar, except they were bigger, meaner, and uglier. The evil look in their eyes made me want to sprint as fast as I could in the other direction until I was safe. Before I could chicken out, though, Chiron hammered his hoof on the marble floor.
"Heroes!" he brayed. "You know the rules. The creek is the boundary line. The entire forest is fair game. All magic items are allowed. The banner must be prominently displayed, and have no more than two guards. Prisoners may be disarmed, but may not be bound or gagged. No killing or maiming is allowed. I will serve as referee and battlefield medic. Arm yourselves!"
He spread out his arms and equipment suddenly appeared on each of the tables. The equipment consisted of helmets and other armor, bronze swords, spears, and oxhide shields coated in metal. Jaclyn and Alex immediately started arming themselves while I stood there, astonished.
Jaclyn, after she had fully armed herself, handed me my armor. "These should fit." she said.
I put on the blue-plumed helmet and armor, which looked ridiculous by the way, and I picked up of the swords. It was a bit heaver that my short-sword, but it would have to do for now. I was handed a shield from Jaclyn and my arm jerked downwards due to its weight. It felt like I had been handed a medium-sized dog to hold.
"How am I supposed to fight with this weighing me down?" I groaned to Jaclyn.
"You're going to have to deal with it if you don't want to be impaled by our dear friends from Ares." Alex told me solemnly. The leader of the Athena cabin shouted for us, the blue team, to move forward, so I tried not to think about the weight bearing down on my arm as we trudged down towards the other team's territory. Alex and I were on border patrol, so we headed down to the creek while Jaclyn went down the path towards the south woods.
The conch sounded moments after we reached the creek, and cries of war immediately filled the air. I was terrified; I jumped every time swords clashed. Alex, though, seemed to be fine. He patiently and silently waited, ready to attack at a moment's notice.
It was getting harder to see as the dark of night began to make it's appearance. The noise of the water flowing down the creek and over the rocks would have normally been soothing to me, but I barely noticed it over my fear. I waited in the light of the moon, hoping that it would be over soon.
Not long after, I heard footsteps tromping through the forest in our direction. From what I could tell, there seemed to be about three people heading our way. I stiffened, another wave of fear and anxiety coursing through me. The people didn't seem to try to mask their footsteps at all as they quickly approached us. The moonlight glinted off of Alex's face as I looked over at him, and it reflected a grim expression.
"And so it begins." he murmured before the three demigods burst out from the cover of the forest. They all were unmistakably from the Ares cabin. They were probably the strongest and meanest looking people I had ever seen in my life. Two of them were guys, and the other was a wicked-looking girl. I could feel all my blood rush from my face as I stood there pitifully, looking at them with a panicked expression.
Before I could bolt, though, Alex brought me to my senses. "I've got the two meatheads if you've got the chick." he said, and charged before I could say a word in response.
"Well," I muttered under my breath, "then I guess I've got no choice."
The hulking girl stalked towards me as Alex caught the attention of the other demigods. She had equipped herself with spear instead of a sword, and it looked exceedingly massive and menacing compared to my small weapon. I took the defensive stance that Annabeth had shown me and braced myself. She was the first to make a move.
The girl lunged towards me, with her spear aimed towards my stomach. I sidestepped her attack, but she stuck out her foot at the last second and tripped me. I crashed to the ground with the help of my heavy armor, and my short-sword flew out of my grip and landed a few feet away. Before I could stand, the girl launched her spear at my chest. I had just enough time to lift my shield before the spear smashed into the metal. The force of the hit jolted my arm and I cried out in shock and pain.
With no weapon, I was defenseless. I decided to take a risk and I ditched my shield completely. I jumped to my feet and ran straight for the creek. I could hear the girl stomping after me, but she wouldn't get to me in time. I sprinted into the creek, and the water crashed all around me as I waded in. My armor immediately felt immensely lighter, and I was filled with a burst of energy. The pain in my arm disappeared as I turned around to face my opponent. She had launched herself into the water also, with her spear back into her hand. This time, I decided to take offense. I sprang at her and swung my sword at her face. She jerked her head back, but not before the tip of my sword just barely scraped her cheek.
The girl touched her cheek in shock and looked down at the blood on her fingers. Her faced morphed into an expression of rage and she struck out blindly with her spear. I easily dodged her attack and smacked her head with the flat edge of my blade with so much force that she crumpled to the ground. I dragged her limp body out of the creek and stepped out of the water. My body sagged with exhaustion and I almost collapsed to the ground. Luckily, Alex was there to catch me.
He observed the girl and looked at me approvingly. "Nice work." he praised, and I looked back to see the Ares guys retreating. I nodded towards him in acknowledgement.
At that moment, I saw Jaclyn and the other members of the blue team race across the border into our territory, hoisting the Ares flag above her head. Cheers were let out as the Ares flag shimmered and changed into an Apollo flag. She let out a big whoop and my mouth quirked into a smile.
It was finally over.