The Celestial Staff

Lea Reclin has just given up her divine powers. After Lea decides that because she's given up her lineage she'd also give up the demigod life completely. The Fates, however, have a different plan in mind. Lea must collect the pieces of the Celestial Staff that have been scattered across the country. If she succeeds the Great Stirring will finally end, but if she fails....


14. 12- Henry Takes me on a High-Speed Horse Ride

As I much as I don’t want to admit it; at that moment I panicked. 
I mean when you watch your inevitable fall to death, no normal person takes it lightly. 
I sat down on the lower bunk clinging to the sheets, my knuckles locking. 
For what felt like hours I sat on my bed staring at the wall, the image of myself falling replayed over and over in my head. There was this look in my eyes, a look of desperation, like I knew that there was nothing there to catch me. 
Then I did the only thing I knew to do; find someone to talk to. 
I sprung from my bed, launching out of my door and speed-walked to Percy’s cabin. I was intercept by Piper, who after taking one look at me, wrapped me in a tight hug. 
“Where’s Percy?” I asked her.
“Heading to Olympus,” she explained, “I’m on my way there now, all of The Seven were summoned there.” 
“Oh,” I sighed feeling even worse. My brain, being so wrapped up in my own problems, didn’t even take note of the fact that the seven most important demigods of the age were being called to arms. 
“He’ll be back soon,” she said looking into my eyes compassionately into my eyes as I avoided hers. Tears were starting to form getting caught on my eyelashes. 
I wasn’t so much sad as I was scared and frustrated. I was sick of the emotional torture the gods had been putting me through for the past three years. 
“I have to go,” said Piper squeezing my shoulders with her hands, “You’ll be alright, sweetie, I’m sure of it.”
Then she walked off in the direction of Half-Blood Hill, looking back at me remorsefully. 
I still needed to talk to someone, and with Nico and Percy gone there was only one person left to talk to. 
I jogged to the big house trying cover my face with my hands casually so that the other campers wouldn’t see the tears streaming down my face. 
I burst through the screen door of the Big House, I nearly ran straight into Chiron. He was in the living room, chatting causally with the leopard head on the mantle. The leopard snarled as I entered the room. 
Chiron turned, and upon seeing me, he face grew softer, “Sit child,” he said gesturing to the couch. 
I flopped down on the leather couch sniffling. 
I had a quick flashback of when I had sat here with Nico and Percy when I had only just met them. 
I chuckled lightly in recollection, wiping my eyes. 
Chiron handed me a glass of water and then called into the other room, “Henry, there is someone here to see you.”
From the room next door, my step-father sauntered into the room looking perfectly normal and content but upon seeing me his face fell. He strode up next to me and sat down on the coffee table in front of me, taking my hands in his. 
Chiron left the room, letting us sit in silence. 
“Dad,” I sniffled, “I think I’m going to die.”
“Well generally that is what happens,” he said, trying to joke around, “that’s kinda how things work for us mortals.”
“No, I think I’m going to die soon,” I added. 
“Why would you say that?”  He asked looking deep into my eyes, concerned. 
“The oracle dice…” I began.
“Darn it!” he cursed to himself, “I always was a sucky gift giver. Remember that one Christmas I got you that evil hamster.”
I laughed, he always knew how to cheer me up.
“You know what?” he said, “I think it’s time we took a break. Get away from all of this.”
“What do you mean?” I asked. 
“Pack your bags, Lea,” he said, “I think its time we go home.”
“Like to California?” I asked. 
“Yeah,” he agreed, “Just to get away from this messy godly business. Cool off for a day or two.”
“Than can we go to San Francisco?” I asked. 
“San Fran? Why?” he questioned, confused. 
“You know how I said I was on a quest again?” I prompted. 
“Yeah,”  he confirmed cautiously. 
“Well, that’s the other thing the dice showed me, tomorrow would be like a perfect time to go steal from the Titans,” I explained, “Except I have no idea how were going to get all the way across the country in one day.”
“I think I have an idea,” said Henry, looking distant with thought, “Go get your things and meet me at the Pine Tree.”
I stood up, hugged him and raced out the door. 
My tears were dry by now, but my face still felt hot as I ran to my cabin, hastily stuffing my clothes into a duffel bag. 
With my bag over my shoulder I raced outside to find Henry standing on top of Half Blood Hill, with a shining white horse with golden hooves. 
As I walked up the horse snorted and unfolded its huge white wings. 
“A Pegasus?” I asked, “Sorry Henry but these guys aren’t exactly the most efficient form of air-fare.”
“Not just any pegasus,” said Henry proudly, “The Pegasus.”
I remember back when I had just been claimed when Henry had landed at the Campfire the same winged horse at this side. He had arrived from all of the way across the country in an hour, yet I hadn’t paid any mind at all. 
“Dude!” I exclaimed.
“I know right,” he agreed book of us staring admiration at the beautiful creature, “I called your mom to let her know we’d be home in time for dinner.”
“Tacos?” I asked. 
“Tacos,” he affirmed. 
My mom always made tacos when I was upset, it’s not like they were anything magnificent, but it was a good normal thing to come home to. 
Henry boosted me up onto Pegasus’ back and then climbed up behind me. 
Pegasus was larger that your normal horse, not big enough for you to notice on first glance but when you really looked at him, you could see he obviously was built for a more bulky rider. Henry and I, both being thin and lanky fit onto Pegasus’ comfortably. 
“Hold on tight,” said Henry and with that Pegasus launched into the sky. 
If you’ve ever been windsailing or sky diving you’d know the feeling of the wind pushing back the skin on your face, and you’d probably say it was pretty extreme. 
I can tell you right now this was way more extreme. 
By the time I pulled my bangs out of my mouth, we were already sailing over the Washington monument. 
“How?” I yelled to Henry, “Shouldn’t our faces be ripping off by now?”
“Magic,” he said shrugging, “I don’t know. I’ve just gotten to a point in my life where I just stop questioning good things.”
“Good point,” I agreed, “Why are we veering so far south?”
“A lot of Venti up north they are quit volatile,” explained Henry, “They don’t like tourists…  or pegasi.”
“Venti,” I cursed under my breath, a bit of unresolved rage bubbled in my chest, they had broken my sword last year. 
For the next hour Henry and I flew in silence in no time we had crossed over the Mississippi River and then the Grand Canyon.
By the time we arrived back home, in California, it was dark out.
I ran across the lawn, and met my mother at the porch. 
She hugged me tightly kissing my forehead. 
“Hungry?” she asked.
“No,” I admitted, “But I’m still going to eat a ton.”
She laughed lightly, and then walked up to Henry kissing him tenderly. 
Pegasus flew off without saying goodbye, I began to think that I really need a horse variant for transportation. Nico had the skeletons, Percy had Blackjack, Henry had Pegasus, I felt like I was missing out on the latest trend.
My mother ushered me inside and I ran upstairs quickly changing into the fuzzy pink bathrobe I had so dearly missed during my time spent at camp. 
I didn’t think I would ever use it there, not wanting to be caught wearing it, but I seriously missed the puffy plush fabric that I wrapped around me. 
I stomped back down stairs met by the intoxication aroma of heavily spiced beef. 
That night I ate at least four tacos, I finally felt like a normal teenager again. 
Just a normal girl eating Mexican with her slightly dysfunctional family, talking about how George Clooney could play pretty much any roll and still be handsome. 
Just a normal girl who saved the world at least twice, going on three times, who still had to do the dishes. 
My mother wouldn’t take, “But if I hadn’t saved the world these dishes wouldn’t even exist any more,” as a valid excuse. 
We watched a cute animated film about little forest people who ride birds after dinner. We feasted on ice cream straight from the carton and got a little weird out because the main character looked way too much like me. It was freaky.
I went to bed at nine and it was only then that the morning’s events caught up to me. 
I laid on my bed, staring up at my ceiling, having your typical teenage crisis, oh you know; a boy likes me and I don’t know how to react, I’m not as popular as I want to be in school and I’m fated to fall off a skyscraper and die soon. 
My mother came in to say goodnight, but upon seeing me stopped looking worried and said.
“So how is it that you going to die?” she asked. 
I groaned. 
“I’m your mother, I have the right to know,” she prompted. 
“I’m going to fall, or maybe even get pushed off the Empire State building,” I said. 
“Well, normally I would say stay away from the Empire State building but I think we’ve both seen enough movies to know that doesn’t work,” she sighed, “Prophecies always end up happening somehow.”
I grabbed a pillow and held it tight over my face, groaning even louder into the down softness.
“Did you actually see yourself dead?” asked my Mother. 
“No,” I said through the pillow. 
“Well then you might not actually die,” she exclaimed happily, “Look at this optimistically.”
“I might not actually die, just have near death falling experience?” I asked taking the pillow off my face. 
She poked my thigh, “Yeah, that’s the spirit! Knowing you you’ll probably just break a few bones, get a concussion and punch the doctor who tells you that you need to be in a wheelchair, again.”
I laughed in recollection, “Yeah, Dr. Naffeke really needed a doctor after that punch.”
My mother laughed heartily and then squeezed my hand, “You’ll find a way to make it through. You always do.”
“But what if I don’t?” I asked as she stood up and began to walk out the door.
“I’ll make sure to tell your funeral director that you like, excuse me, liked Orchids and Lilies best,” she said jokingly. 
She took all of this so light, I didn’t really worry about it anymore.  
Instead I curled up in my sheets and drifted off to sleep. 
Dreams twisted there way into my subconscious.
First I saw Nico, in the Underworld, he looked fatigued and his nose was bleeding, but otherwise he looked unharmed. 
He closed his eyes and the ground in front of him split open, I could see there was still around two hundred monsters left, only two of them tumbled in the pit, the others anticipated his move and stopped at the chasms edge. 
Nico took a swig of what I recognized to be ambrosia and then yelled behind him, “Father they aren’t falling for it anymore.”
Hades, who was standing hunched over behind Nico, looked like an old beggar, he was practically deteriorating. 
To be simple, Hades looked like crap. 
Percy had told me that Gods loose power when there realms are in danger. Also that they reflect the state of there kingdoms in there appearance. 
Hades was in bad shape- so was the underworld. 
Thousands of chasms, presumably made by Nico, broke through the ground.
“What do we do?” pleaded Nico desperately, tears streaming down his face, he looked weak and panicked. 
I wanted so bad to help him but I knew there was nothing I could do and he had no idea I could see him. 
Just as hope seemed lost a blinding white light and a crack of thunder crashed through the cavern. 
“Zeus,” sighed Hades, his eyes filling with a strange happiness. 
The dream swirled and turned into something else; Olympus.
The Seven; Jason, Leo , Piper, Annabeth, Percy, Hazel and Frank all stood in front of the Olympians, (all except Hades). 
“Although the threat in the Underworld has been at the moment absolved,” stated Zeus, “We are far from safe.”
“Why can’t the Titans just stay asleep,” muttered Leo to himself, “I know if I got the chance I’d want to sleep for a thousand years.”
“Why, indeed,” said Zeus, “The Titans have all woken from there sleep and now are gathering their children, the Demi-Titans, who have been in hiding. From what we have gathered it is rumored that there are hundreds of these half titan children, who have power equal to that of a minor god. We are working to find a solution but we fear that the Titans may launch an attack any day now. We are trying our best to keep spirits high and our children hopeful by giving them the Demigod Games at Camp Half Blood,  but we ask that you stay here to protect Olympus in case of a surprise attack.”
The Seven nodded.
“We have hope that Olympus will persevere, but if the attacks remain as constant as they are now, within months, Olympus will succumb and crumble,” said Zeus.
“Lea,” muttered Annabeth sadly.
“Yes,” agreed Zeus, “Our only hope lies in the hands of the Dream Keeper.”
I awoke with a start, morning light blaring through the window. 
I didn’t let my mind dwell on the dreams I had. 
I took a shower, got dressed, ate breakfast and did my normal morning routine, prepping for the ride to San Francisco, as my parents bustled around as if nothing was wrong. 
I threw my bags into the trunk of the Prius mentally going over the checklist of things I’d need. 
Armor- check. Sword- check. Shield-check. Henry-check.
I stuffed my fear down my throat and back into my chest, telling myself that well it didn’t really matter if I failed cause I was probably going to die anyways and I wouldn’t die in San Francisco, at least I’d make it back to New York. 
I slammed the trunk of the black Prius shut and was about to get in the passenger seat nest to Henry, when my mother walked through the front door. 
Oh right, I had forgotten to say goodbye. 
Except my mom didn’t exactly look like she was prepped for goodbyes. 
Instead she had her duffel bag in one hand and a crossbow in the other. 
“What are you doing?” I asked, extremely confused. 
“I’m coming with you,” she said.

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