Camp Thárros: A New Beginning

13 year old Athena Williams believes she is an ordinary kid with nothing special about her or her life. But one day she finds a book on Greek mythology in her basement and discovers secrets about herself and her past that she never thought possible. She embarks upon a summer trip to Camp Thárros, only to find that these hidden secrets are not quite what they were cracked up to be and that a darker and more mysterious force is at work. She must complete a wuest along with her friends and encounter things far more ferocious and dangerous than any book could begin to describe.

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19. CHAPTER 19: FINISH WHAT HE STARTED

CHAPTER 19: FINISH WHAT HE STARTED

 

Once Ericarni was bandaged up, Jemeanii lead the two to Psychí.

“Now Athena, Psychí may be destined for you, but to gain his trust completely, you must first show that you can trust him” Ericarni urged

“By doing what?”

“Flying”

“What?” Athena said, quite shocked

“Let him fly you around the woods, it is the simplest way, you will find he obeys you quicker if you do so.”

“You said I’d seen his eyes before, right?”

“I did, but what does that have to do with anything?”

“Well you said you don’t know where he’s been for all that time”

“That was not strictly true. He vaguely knew your father, so when he died, Psychí somehow found us and stayed for the cremation, but that night he mysteriously vanished again.”

“Why?”

“Because of trust, and that’s why it’s important that he trusts you, because otherwise we risk him fleeing again. He came back for Andreas, and now he’s back for you.”

Athena was quiet for a bit. She had no idea what made it such a diverse decision. It was not that she was afraid of heights, no, heights she adored. It was the inevitable feeling of falling. She hated how it made you so loose and how you had no control over it. It was safe to say skydiving or bungee jumping had never been on her bucket list, let alone flying on a griffin.

 

“How do I get up?” she quizzed

“Have you ever been horse riding” Ericarni said, with an air of distaste

“Once, when I was six”

“It is the same principal, except use his under-body as the stirrups”

Athena tried to remember how it was done. Clumsily, she hauled herself up and Psychí tapped his feet and clicked his aurous beak.

Tréximo” Ericarni croaked in a hoarse whispering crackled voice. Was it a Greek word? Whatever it was, Psychí understood it and began to run, he charged through the trees, but he was coming dangerously close to the edge of the cliff. Would he rise in time? Athena could not watch, she closed her eyes and buried her head into Psychí’s miraculous feathers.  Could this beast really plunge off the cliff and let her fall, even if she didn’t have much faith in him? Surely not...

The cliff was so close now that Athena could feel the sudden rise of speed in Psychí’s legs. Then, she remembered what Ericarni said; she needed to trust him. Trust that he would not launch them off the cliff to their death beds, but that he would fly furious and high.

Steadily, Athena opened her eyes, just as Psychí threw them off the edge. They were losing height, but Psychí flapped his wings and soared back up, wind in his face, blowing his perky ears and feathers back. Whipping wildly, Athena’s hair flew behind her too and as Psychí glided with effortless grace around the forest, Athena felt a strong surge of freedom. She hadn’t felt that free in a very, very long time. Plus, now, despite the risk of falling, Athena really did trust Psychí to keep her safe. He was a griffin and as Athena had been taught, griffins were brave, courageous and loyal.

 

Now they were over Ericarni’s herd’s lair, and Athena spotted Emma, Tom, Robbie and Liam. Psychí lowered, with little toil, and whizzed right over their heads before zooming back up again and gallop-landing back on the cliff next to Ericarni. He playfully trotted round in dizzying circles, before slowing up.

“Wow” breathed Athena as she jumped down.

 

                                                                           ***

 

The five were having lunch aside the glamorous Poseidon Lake.

“Those harpies, I swear, weirdest thing I’ve seen in my life” Tom moaned

“Well you’ll have to get used to it” Emma was saying “if Athena really is the hero and she really has to defeat Diávolos and we must accompany her, then I can assure you Thomas, that there will be much worse things we’ll have to face, and much more life threatening.”

“Thanks for that” Tom said sarcastically “cheerful as a field of daisies you are”

“I’m just saying”

“She’s right though Tom” Athena chipped in “it’ll get way more dangerous”

“I don’t have a choice, your my best friend, I have to come” Tom eyed Robbie as if to say he didn’t.

“But would you if you didn’t have to?” Robbie asked, noticing the dirty look.

“Of course I would”

“Stop it!” Athena cried “look, we barely know each other and we’re already fighting. If the prophecy is true, and we really are the elite five that will bring down Diávolos, then you’re gonna have to get used to each other”

It went silent. Good. She liked it better than bickering.

 

Robbie had gone into Poseidon Lake, swimming. The tranquil peace gave Athena time to think.

“I wonder how Greg is” she muttered to Tom

“Hopefully he’s alright” Tom replied

“Who’s Greg?” Liam asked politely

“He lives in Perrenporth with us, well not with us, but he owns a cottage and a lot of land there. We walk Tom’s dog up his river.” Athena told him.

“I didn’t know you had a dog!” grinned Emma, with a keen interest.

“Yeah, Joey, he’s an Irish terrier, he’s one year old” Tom shrugged

“How sweet”

“Mhm” Tom grumpily agreed, vaguely amused at the idea that anyone could call Joey sweet.

“Anyway, do you remember what he said Tom?” Athena queried

“About what?” Tom threw the question back, his memory was terrible. Emma and Liam looked intrigued.

“He said ‘more dangers and adventures lay ahead for you than you can possibly imagine’”

“Oh yeah, your point being?”

“He was right! Or will be right”

“He was just saying th-”

“He knew Tom; he knows that I’m the hero”

“How could he have?”

“He’s a Magikós blood too, it all makes sense, it all fits”

“Athena, I really don’t-”

“She’s right Tom” Emma interrupted, she told me about the conversation a few nights back, it does fit with what happened. Either she’s right... Or it’s a horrible coincidence”

“And do you remember what else he said?” Athena persisted “he said that it would be worth it in the end”

“What end?” Tom couldn’t see round it.

“That’s exactly what you said last time I told you. I didn’t know before, but I do now, he meant the end of Diávolos; whoever it is that defeats him doesn’t matter. He just wants us to try. Don’t you see?”

Tom was silent.

“I suppose it does make sense”

“The other thing he said, that I didn’t tell you about” if Tom was discouraged by that, he didn’t show it “was he said that ‘our passion is our strength’ but... I’m not quite sure what that means yet”

“I’m sure we’ll find out” voiced Liam.

 

                                                                       ***

 

It was now week two and a Wednesday lunch time.

“Emma, you never got to ask Ericarni what you wanted to” Liam stated

“Oh don’t get her started on that” moaned Tom

“Oh yes!” Emma remembered now, but Athena got the feeling that she never truly forgot.

“What were you going to ask him?” Athena wondered

“Just a few questions about what we have to do as the ones to defeat Diávolos, the sooner the better, right?” she replied

“More like the younger the deader” Tom muttered, Emma glared at him.

“We could go now” Robbie suggested

“Oh yeah, and get back late for history” Tom stressed “Janscombe would love another opportunity to do us griffins in. In fact, he’s had it in for us from the word go”

“He’s a Minotaur, and the team leader of them, of course he’ll have it in for us” Liam said

“Professor Kwin ain’t like that with them though”

“We’ll go before dinner” Athena brought up

“Yeah, that’ll be best” smiled Robbie as he glanced at Athena, blushing, she looked away, and Tom scowled.

 

                                                                        ***

 

Psychí stood magnificent and proud, looking tough and fearless with his rugged main of shimmering gold feathers, as they entered the Mainland. Nothing like the boisterous blithe creature she saw before.

“Wow” cooed Robbie “he’s gorgeous”

“Watch out griffin, he’s got his eye on you too” Tom mocked; Robbie shot him a filthy glare.

“What happened to his eye?” said a sad sounding Emma

“You know the legend of Hope Fountain” Athena voiced

“Yes of course”

“He’s a part of it” Athena told them about his disappearing and re-appearing and how he came back for her, and his role in the legend. “His name’s Psychí”

“After the famous dried up lake!” cried Emma

“Is there anything you don’t know?” spoke a baffled Tom

“A few things she shrugged” with a sweet scented smile on her face.

“Psychí means fire” Athena giggled

“Let me guess, you knew that too?” laughed Tom, directing the conversation back at Emma.

“As a matter of fact I did. Maybe you should try reading up on your own kind”

“Why? I don’t need to know everything about the human anatomy to know when I feel sick”

“Wouldn’t you want to know what from, to prevent it from happening again?”

“As if I could prevent it”

“Anyway, you’re not human” interrupted Robbie “You’re a Magikós blood” Tom sighed at him, and Athena and Liam briefly caught each other’s gaze. Jemeanii landed in front of the pair, as Athena had just mentally called him. Slightly shocked, Liam jumped.

“I’ve got to get used to that” he grinned.

 

As the five followed Jemeanii to Ericarni’s lair, Psychí clearly found it hard to restrain himself from pestering the graceful bird. And sure enough, as they arrived, Psychí forgot his strong stance and started following and chasing a grouchy Jemeanii.

“I knew you’d be back” spoke a grinning Ericarni “and I very much predicted that you’d come as a group, with Psychí of course”

“You know me well already” agreed Athena

“What brings you here?” Kynigós croaked

“I had some questions about what we had to do, or Athena as the hero, to defeat Diávolos” Emma told him.

“Ahh, I knew they’d ask sooner or later, Ericarni” Kynigós smiled.

“Well it can’t be done just like that, it will take years of hard work-” Ericarni started as Kynigós trotted off.

“You couldn’t seriously have thought that in one swift move it’d all be over, moíra’s filos” it was Vélos’ dark voice that emerged.

“Vélos” called Tóxo, Vélos backed up, sneering slyly as he did so, and joined his wife Tóxo.

“Back to the topic of discussion” Ericarni resumed the conversation “luckily, someone has already spent their life preparing for this, and sadly they did not get to finish”

“Your dad!” exclaimed Athena confidently

“Not quite” Ericarni replied “your dad”

“What did he do?” Tom asked

“His life’s work for the so called discovery at the museum was just a cover up, each day in his office he would find out many different things that would help him, and you, overthrow Diávolos, as well as just general things.”

“What kinds of things?” Liam queried

“Well, entrances to the Mainland, the study of creatures and astronomy, something I can say I helped him with, he found doorways to the Gods and found out some of Diávolos’ weaknesses, which he wrote down on a list.”

“That’s great!” Tom began “if we know his weaknesses we can do it quicker!”

“Precisely” finished Ericarni, Athena knew somewhere, deep down, that it would not be that easy. She listened out for a catch... “However...” there it was “as it happens, Diávolos stole and destroyed those papers when your father died”

“How did Diávolos even find them?” she asked

“They were in his pocket” everyone, excluding Athena, looked confused; they still thought he had been killed in a car crash. Luckily, they did know that it was sensitive subject and not to question it. “It’s a simple mistake, but one that was lucky.

“How on earth was it lucky?” Tom sounded confused and a tad hysterical.

“If they had not been there, Diávolos would’ve found a way into his study at the museum, and then found and destroyed all of his other studies. His life work would’ve been gone.”

“Then how will we find out about his weaknesses?” Robbie questioned

“For that, Robbie, I have a plan. You may or may not know that Diávolos is brother to the big three, the forgotten brother, the one that had no say, the one the gods wanted nothing to do with, and the one who never did anything good or anything right.”

“What about that?” Liam quizzed

“Who knows you better than your brothers?” Ericarni smirked

“Your parents!” Tom tried to say, missing the trick question

“Zeus might know!” Athena grinned

“If Zeus knew he’d have destroyed him by now” Ericarni sighed “unfortunately, the only one of the three other brothers who ever got close enough to know Diávolos, even a tiny bit, was Hades.”

“So we find him, then what?” Tom quizzed

“Thomas, Hades is the supreme ruler of the underworld, you’d have to travel the rivers, get past Cerberus the three headed dog, bargain with Hades, which is near enough impossible, find a way of getting out past Cerberus again, then find an eternal way out. Finding him is the difficult part, and you’ll have to pay him. Somehow, I don’t think drachmas will cover it.”

“What does he want?” Athena piped up

“I don’t know” Ericarni admitted “that’s the problem”

“Then how will we get it to him, to pay him?” Emma questioned

“You’ll have to make a deal” Ericarni announced “and it won’t be easy; so we’ll need a plan, and not just for Hades, but for the rivers and Cerberus.”

“Any ideas?” Tom pressed on

“A few, but we’ll discuss it on Saturday afternoon, meet me at the front forest of the Mainland at 2pm, and don’t be early, don’t be late. I’ll see you then, for now, farewell” Ericarni galloped off swiftly.

“Great, more mystery” muttered Athena

“I’m more concerned about the time, don’t be early! I’ve never heard anybody say that in my life! If we’re not early and we’re not late, then what can we be!” Tom stressed

“On time of course!” Emma smirked “something you’re not used to”

Tom mimicked her behind her back.

“Why so far away, it’s ages until Saturday, why not now?” whispered Tom to Athena

“Maybe he wants us to come up with plans too, or find things out” she replied

“Well, he didn’t make it clear”

“I know, but he’s full of riddles, I wonder if he knows Greg. Anyway, if there’s one thing I am clear on, it’s what I’ve got to do for my dad”

“Oh yeah, what’s that?”

“Finish what he started”

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