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....


23. 21- The Third War Begins

As the army rushed towards the six of us, I began to feel fear creep back through the sadness and anger. There were so many monsters and Demi-titans I was almost sure we were outnumbered, even with both Camp Half-Blood and Camp- Jupiter. I rubbed at the hilt of my sword with my thumb nervously, and then jumped into action. 
“Will, take Ava and Maria and go warn the other campers! Lance, Nico, let’s go!” I shouted and the groups sprinted in opposite directions. I ran straight for the army in front of me. 
Everything faded into a blur of vengeance and adrenaline, I activated my shield and hacked and slashed through the crowd. I moved like a bladed spinning top, cutting through monsters as I went. Within minutes I was covered in the sulfurous powder of deceased dracaena. Lance and Nico were right beside me, black and gold blurs of power. 
Nico had summoned some skeletons for backup and so far we were doing pretty well, or so I thought. 
We had killed about thirty creatures so far, but they were only the frontline pawns, we still had to get through about eighty feet more of trained demi-titans. 
Lance saw what we needed and began to clear a path, he cut viciously through the monsters in front of us, like a man taking a machete to dense jungle, he swiped with his long sword. 
As I was going sword-to-club against a Laestrygonian I didn’t notice the  darkly dressed demi-titaness behind me. 
She screamed, “For Menoetius!” and she attempted to lodge her spiked blade in to my back. 
Before the blade you could hit me, something gold dived in front of it. 
The blade scathed of Lance’s armor with sparks flying out everywhere. 
“Lance!” I exclaimed as I plunged my sword into the Laestrygonian.
“I’m alright,” he ensured me, “Remember I’m invincible in this armor.”
“Never sacrifice yourself for me again,” I warned. 
“No promises,” he replied and then winked at me. 
He then went on to defeat the chick who had attempted to stab me, which felt like a nice consolation prize for scratching his armor and threatening his friend.
Although, we were virtually unharmed so far, the masses began to overwhelm us. I began to feel exhaustion burn in my lungs.
Suddenly, the crowd parted a straight cut pathway to the doors of the Empire State Building.  What had cut through them was a line of fire. Literal fire. 
“A blessing from my father!” exclaimed Lance. 
“Either Hephaestus or Hestia,” I agreed.
Lance ran out into the flames, unaffected. 
“Come on,” he yelled to Nico and I as we continued to fight, “It won’t hurt you.”
“Are you sure it’s not just ineffective on you since you’re a Son of Hephaestus?” I asked. 
I quickly turned and kicked an oncoming empousai in her face, to which she remark, “Ugh, rude,” and then I dived into the fire. 
The flames licked at my skin, but held no heat. Unfortunately for the enemy they could not say the same, many monsters even Cyclops hissed and retreated as their skin burned. I pulled Nico in with me and we ran. 
The Empire State Building must have had some new protection barrier on it, because easily slipped through the front doors whereas the monsters couldn’t seem to break an invisible barrier. But I could feel, in my instincts, that the barrier wouldn’t last forever, in fact it didn’t have much time left. 
We stood panting in the lobby for a few second and then I loped over to the elevator, with Nico at my side. 
Lance, however, did not follow; instead he stared out the sliding glass door into the streets of New York, looking at the face of the crowd. 
“I’m staying here,” he announced, keeping his eyes on the enemy.
“No, Lance,” I pleaded, “Come with us.”
“I’m gonna stay here and make sure if they get through the barrier they won’t get up to Olympus,” he explained. 
“But there’s too many,” I argued. 
“My armor makes me invincible,” he said. 
“And he’s not alone,” said a voice from the reception desk. 
The man who always sat, there, seeming eternally oblivious looked at me with fierce eyes. Then he stood his body turning from normal sized to that of a giant. At least twelve feet tall, and he was burly and muscular
“I am Itus, god of protection and I promise to keep your friend safe,” he announced his voice booming with power. 
I nodded a thank you, pressed the elevator button repeatedly until the doors slid open and Nico and I stepped in together. 
I took one last look at Lance, and gave him a wink just before the door closed. 
Nico pretended not to notice. 
The elevator ride seemed to last for eternity, as “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears For Fears blared through the speakers I leaned against the railing and caught my breath. 
I looked over at Nico, he had a cut on his lips that was bleeding, and I’m pretty sure I looked like I’d gotten run over by a chariot, but something about it felt right, like he and I were meant to be here, looking like this. Like this was the true us. 
“You look terrible,” he said, playfully. 
“Shut up, you look like death,” I snapped in response. 
“That’s probably cause I’m coated in monster dust,” he replied. 
“Whatever,” I said, rolling my eyes sarcastically. 
The elevator dinged and we stepped out, into the open air of Olympus. 
The sky had changed, something was different. 
The atmosphere burned with every color the sky could ever be. 
It was the longest day of the year, but something made it stop. 
In the west I could see the colors of sunrise on the horizon, fiery reds oranges and pinks although it was mid-morning. In the east, the sky was fading to yellow pink and violet, the first colors of dusk already beginning to form. The mid-day sun show above from directly at the top of the sky, and around it in a circle of charred black with smoke collected. It was like a bullseye of color. 
“Something’s wrong,” said Nico. 
“Oh really? I had no idea,” I barked at him, my fear and confusion spilling from me with angst. 
“Let’s go before this gets any worse,” he said and we began to sprint up the pathway to the Throne Room. 
The twisting and turning marble paths of Olympus seem to stretch, growing longer as my breaths grew shorter. 
After a few minutes we arrived at the fountain of Aphrodite, and we weren’t alone. 
Standing side by side in beautiful pearly opalescent armor stood two of my favorite immortals. 
Eros and Mea stood smiling at me encouragingly. 
I ran to Mea, throwing my arms around her happily, “Its so nice to see you again!” 
She grinned down at me, her beautiful turquoise eyes glittering like gems, “I’m here as your escort and emotional support.”
I laughed, but then froze, realizing something. 
“You have legs,” I stated, remembering that her usual turquoise tail had been replaced. 
“Indeed, I do,” she replied, “Thank for noticing.”
“Hard not to,” I said, “You didn’t sell your soul to a sea witch did you?”
She laughed, “I’m no naïve little mermaid, I know to stay away from the Caverns of the Nereids.”
We laughed and I looked to Eros, who was smiling in my general direction, “We should set off, delaying your arrival any longer could be catastrophic.”
I pulled away from Mea, and we were about to continue up the path when something flashed past us. 
“The Eidolons of Asia,” hissed Eros, with fear. 
“Asia?” I asked, “Like the continent.”
“I wish,” replied Eros, looking around warily, “These are spirits, who once worked for Gaea but upon her demise changed their allegiance. They now serve Asia, or Clymene, Titaness of  and orchestrator of the Great Stirring.”
“I hate her already,” I said. 
More white lights danced past us. 
“Go,” commanded Eros, “Go, go, go, before they can find a host.”
We sprinted up the walk way, leaving the white swirls to whisk around the fountain. 
I began to feel hopeful as we drew closer to the peak, but of course my hope was smashed to pieces as a roar erupted from behind us. 
Harpies, Furies and various other nefarious winged creatures were flying in our direction. There had to be at least fifty of them, all looking very angry. 
“Keep going!” said Eros, unfolding his white-feathered wings.
Mea nodded to me, and said, “Get to the throne room, Zeus will meet you there.”
I hugged her one last time, and grabbed Nico’s hand, sprinting into the first open circular room.
The room was one of the many circular classic Greek temple style buildings, with open air flowing through the columns. 
It was not empty, as I expected it to be, instead there were fourteen people already there, The Seven, Jason, Leo, Piper, Percy, Annabeth, Frank and Hazel. Standing across from them were seven titans. 
The Titans had arrived at the exact same time Nico and I rushed into the room. 
They stepped through the spaces between the columns and each faced one of the Seven. 
“Who are you people?” asked Leo, looking more confused than afraid. 
As if they were waiting for this que, the Titans began to dramatically announce themselves. 
The one facing Jason declared, “I am Mnemosyne, Titaness of memory.”
That was ironic, given the fact that Jason had his memory taken from him. I almost snickered, but found that it might be rude. So I constrained myself. 
Piper’s, who looked like a hippie who just seem someone dump oil in the ocean said, “I am Rhea, Titaness of motherhood.”
Annabeth’s declared, “I am Phoebe, Titaness of intellect.”
Percy’s sneered, “I am Oceanus, titan of the sea.”
Hazel’s said, “I am Themis, Titaness of divine law.”
Frank’s spat, “I am Lelantos, titan of hunter’s skill.”
And finally Leo’s declared, “I am Theia, Titaness of  shining light.”
“Glad to see we’re evenly matched. Now that we’ve got that completely pointless introduction out of the way, we can get started. Titaness of shining light, eh?” Leo laughed, “What are you going to do tan me to death? Do you not see my complexion?”
Theia stalked towards him, getting right in his face, “What pretty eyes you have.”
“Oh so your going to stare me to death,” said Leo undaunted. 
“Yes,” she smiled, and then her eyes began to glow. 
“Leo!” I shouted, “Look away, she’ll blind you.”
“Good thing I brought my welding goggles!” he exclaimed pulling a pair from his belt and strapping them on quickly. 
Then he lit himself on fire and kicked her in the chest. 
It was a t that moment that the fighting jumpstarted, like a dam breaking. Every hero and every titan went at each other. 
Percy took a second breaking away from his combat to yell to me, “Lea, get to Zeus!”
I almost argued, but when seven new figures entered the room, I felt relief. 
Artemis, Apollo, Athena, Ares, Poseidon, Hades, and Dionysus, joined the battle.
Hades nodded to his son and then began to assist his daughter.
Nico grabbed me by my hand and we sprinted out the other door, leaving my friends and family, behind to continue there hand-to-hand combat with the most powerful beings on earth. 
“Where are Aphrodite, Demeter, Hermes, Hephaestus, Hera and Hestia?” I asked.
I was answered by a beam of pink light and when I peered over edge of the walk way I could see orange and purple shirts mixing in with the monsters. Behind them on chariots were the rest of the Olympians along with multiple minor gods.
Aphrodite was shooting pink beams of love, and whoever was struck by them stopped fighting and began hugging each other, until they were jarred back to reality.  Not exactly the most effective offense, but it gave the warriors more time. 
I could see my father, along with the other Oneiroi who had come out of their safe alternate reality to fight. They rode of chariots made from black stone and ivory and who ever they passed fell asleep. 
At the moment the battle wasn’t really looking all that epic, just chaotic and weird. 
Nico pushed me, his way of keeping me moving and my eyes returned to our destination. 
We entered the second open room and once again we were not alone. 
Standing in the middle of the beautifully mosaic floor was the woman from my dreams and who I’d seen in the mirage mirror. 
The beautiful geisha woman, she wore a white kimono the same color as her skin. She stood before us, smiling. Swirls of white whizzed around her, a cloud of Eidolons at her feet. 
“Hello,” she crooned, “I am Clymene, or you might know me as Asia, the new leader of the Titans and soon to be queen of the earth.”

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