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....

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21. 19-We Visit the Warehouse of the Gods

19-We Visit the Warehouse of the Gods
I groaned loudly. Of course it wasn’t over. Of course I had to go run another godly errand. 
“Why do I have to go get it? I asked. 
“Because the gods cannot touch it and there is no demigod we trust more than you,” he said. 
“What about the Seven?” I demanded. 
“They’re busy,” he refuted. 
“Of course,” I huffed, “Okay, whatever, where do I go?”
Another garage door opened to reveal yet another tunnel. 
“Come on Lance,” I said, “Let’s go.”
“You’re guide will meet you at the entrance,” called Hephaestus. 
I didn’t even bother asking, I just kept walking. 
The garage door shut behind us. 
There was brief moment where I let my eyes adjust to the darkness. 
Lance sniffled behind me and I turned to looked at him, I could just barely seem him but I could tell he was crying. 
There was an extremely awkward moment as I stared at him and he stared at the floor. 
He caught me looking and I expected him to make some snarky comment but instead he stepped forward and hugged me. 
The first things that went through my head were: What? What is he doing? This isn’t happening. This is weird. Help.
He was taller than me by a lot and we both smelled like sweat and burned clothing, but that wasn’t what made it so uncomfortable for me. This was the guy I used to hate, but now we were hugging. 
Relationships are stupid, I thought as I hugged him back.
“Thanks,” he said. 
I didn’t reply, I didn’t know how to. 
He let go and the awkward silence continued.
After a few minutes of standing in the dark I cleared my throat and said, “We should go.”
“Yeah,” he agreed, and we walked in silence. 
It took a few minutes to arrive at the end of the tunnel. 
Through an archway, we entered a large room.
It was large and open, the walls made from a yellowish stone and the ceiling covered in beautiful mosaics of the gods. T the end of the room there was three big windows and the more I looked at it, the more it reminded me of Grand Central Station, that is, except for the multiple displays cases scattered around the room. 
“Hello and welcome to the Warehouse of the Gods,” said a women’s voice from my left. 
I jumped reaching for a weapon I didn’t have. 
I turned to see a pretty blonde woman standing next to me with a clipboard. She wore a nice business-like outfit and was wearing glasses, her hair was pulled back in a neat ponytail. 
She shook my hand politely and said, “I’m Clio, muse of history and I will be your guide today. I understand Hephaestus sent you.”
“Yeah, we need the Palla-thingy,” I replied as she shook Lance’s hand. 
“The Palladium will be at the end of the tour,” she said. 
“Yeah, we don’t really have time for that,” I said, hesitantly. 
She tilted her head a little, “The Palladium will be at the end of the tour,” she repeated. 
“Okay,” I agreed, I didn’t want to piss of the immortal with a clipboard. 
She strutted off down the first aisle, pointing at various displays with her pen. It was all a macabre mix of ancient artifacts and modern day objects all of them oozing with power. I’d hate to let any Titan in here. 
First we passed by a small box with golden ring in it, it was a simple band with fancy scripture on it.
“The Ring of Gyges,” announced Clio, “It permits the wearer invisibility.”
“My precious,” I said jokingly to Lance, who chuckled.
Clio continued down the row, past the necklace of Harmonia, the Winnowing Oar, and the Girdle of Hippo-something.  
She turned left sharply and down a new aisle, “The Sword of Peleus, The Bow of Heracles and Harpe, the sword of Odysseus.”
She pointed at them mindlessly as she speed-walked by. 
I practically had to jog to catch up with her. For someone wearing four inch heels she sure could move. 
At the very end of the aisle on a special pedestal, lit up with golden light in the direct center of the back wall, stood a trophy.
I approached it disbelievingly; in the place of honor was a crappy trophy. 
It was like one of those plastic participation trophies you’d get after completing your first year of soccer. On the cheap metal placard at the bottom something was inscribed, “παλλάδιο”.
Lance, who was standing next to me peered at it, and said, “The Palladium?”
I forgot that he could read Greek and I no longer could. 
I picked it up and turned to Clio, “Seriously? This is it?”
She nodded. 
“Great, thanks, let’s go,” I said, clutching the measly little thing in my hand. 
Clio pointed to our right, “Down the aisle and take a left run, there should be a door in front of you.”
I began the walk to the exit, following Clio’s directions. 
I reached the door within a few minutes, but lost Lance along the way. 
I groaned and started back to look for him. 
I found him at the beginning of the aisle staring in awe at one of the display cases. 
I followed his gaze. 
He was gawking at a set of armor; it was golden and extremely well crafted. Definitely the best I’ve ever seen. It was built for someone burly and athletic, obviously. It glowed with power. 
“The Armor of Achilles,” gaped Lance, “Commissioned by Thetis, forged by my father, the wearer is invincible.”
“Is it cursed?” I asked. 
“No,” replied Lance, confused. 
“Then let’s take it,” I suggested casually. 
“What?” exclaimed Lance. 
“Well its obviously of no use here, and a wars coming so I think we could use some invinible armor,” I said. 
“But,” Lance argued.
“It’s only one thing, no one will notice,” I explained. 
“Are you insane?” he hissed. 
“That’s debatable,” I replied unlatching the display case. 
“Hmm, how will were transport it?” I asked myself. 
I looked around for a second, my eyes catching on a simple looking messenger bag. 
“Delivery Bag of Hermes,” I read out loud, “This should work.”
I pulled it out of it case and went back to the armor stuffing the shining metal into the bag and then handing the bag to Lance. 
Luckily, it was an infinity bad like Mary Poppins’ so all the armor fit and Lance shouldered it easily, so it must have been weightless too. 
As we walked through the door he continued to stare at me like I was a psychopath, but said nothing. 
On the other side of the door was Manhattan, we had just come out of a back door of a dirty grey building.
“We should put this back,” said Lance regretting his decision to keep the armor, he turned and opened the door again. The open door revealed the kitchen of a Chinese Restaurant. I guess it was a one way trip.
“Too late now,” I joked. 
He stayed silent and we got into a cab together that took us as close as we could get to camp. 
As we climbed Half-blood Hill he stopped for a minute and turned to me. 
“Thanks,” he said, “Thanks you know…for everything.”
“I didn’t even pay for the armor,” I chortled, punching him in the shoulder, “No problem man.”
Then we headed past Peleus and into camp. 
I waved goodbye to Lance as he went to find his brothers and sisters, undoubtedly to show them the armor. 
I stood in the late day sunlight and clutched the Palladium on my hand. 
It seemed so peaceful and I knew that it wouldn’t last for long. 
“Not dead I see,” said a familiar voice from next to me. 
“Hardly,” I replied, turning to look at Nico. 
“A bit scratched up though.” He said gesturing to the cuts.
“Nothing I’m not used to,” but when he mentioned it I began to notice how badly it was hurting, “Were you waiting for me to get back.”
“Possibly,” he said with a grin, “Let’s go get you cleaned up.”
He and I began to walk to the infirmary, but I was stopped by something. I could sense a presence, I recognized it, but it was from a long time ago and something had changed. 
I whipped me head around to see a boy dressed in all black. 
“Lyssan,” I hissed. 
It was the boy that had attacked me with his sister on my first quest.
He held his hands up in surrender. 
Nico placed his hands on my shoulder, “He’s on our side now.”
“Yeah sure,” I muttered bitterly, I’m not one to easily forgive people who’ve attacked me, “What do you want?”
“I have some things to tell you about the Titan’s army,” he said nervously. 
“Spill,” I spat contemptuously. 
“All twenty of them have risen and are nearly at full power, in five days they will attack Olympus and they have army,” he explained. 
“How big of an army?”
“Each of them has twelve children,” he said. 
“Only about two hundred and fifty that’s not bad, we’ve got nearly twice as many campers here and if you add in Camp Jupiter that’s another five hundred,” I said. 
“They also have all of the monsters on their side, that adds a couple thousand, plus every demi-titan is extremely well trained and powerful. We don’t stand a chance,” he said. 
“Yes, we do,” I argued, “We have this.”
“A crappy trophy?” asked Lyssan indignantly. 
“A good luck charm,” I replied, “And I have a plan.”
“You do?” asked Nico. 
“Yeah,” I said, “We’re gonna set New York on fire.”

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