The Princess of Olympus: Lone Wolf

"Who are you?" Leo asked, once they all had gotten into the helicopter, with him in the pilot seat and Jaia, beside him, in co-pilot. Jaia stared out the window trying to get her thoughts in order. 'Who actually was she?' Jaia did not know how to answer that question, and instead said, "Where do you want me to start?" Leo glanced at her, taking in her messed-up pin curls and her ripped, lavender dress. Then he look at her eyes. They weren't a harsh emerald-green as usual, and at the moment, seemed guilty. "From the beginning," he finally responded. Jaia sighed. "Very well." And then, Jaia Silverglass began the tale of the Princess of Olympus.

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3. Chapter 2: The Voices Won't Shut Up

        AFTER A “DELIGHTFUL” ENCOUNTER WITH A Blond Superman, a movie star’s daughter, and a very flirtatious Latino, Jaia wanted to jump out of the chariot—and she got her wish—just not the way she wanted it.

        Maggie Lindemann's, Pretty Girl, still looped on her phone, and Jaia had one bud jammed in her right ear, while the left one hung to her waist, motionless—however both earbuds in or just one, Annabeth wasn’t pleased with her, regardless.

        Not that Jaia cared much, she hardly cared about anything these last weeks, and even though Annabeth was mad, Jaia could tell she was worried about her—worried about her health, mentally and physically. As of right now, her visions were stronger, and maybe now was the time Jaia was suppose to regret drinking the stolen god wine from one of Mr. D’s hidden cabinets.  

        Jaia needed it. It was the only way to find Percy, because clearly the pegasus’ searching for him were not helping much, and Annabeth’s new discover hasn’t improved anything, except bring three new demigods back to camp. No Percy. Jaia blamed herself, if only she got there sooner, maybe then things would be much better. Then maybe, just maybe, she wouldn’t feel so guilty for her secrets. They weighed her down, and a lot more since the disappearance of her brother . . . the reason she kept them.

        She shivered. In the chariot, Butch handled the reins as Annabeth fiddled with a bronze navigation system, as she was left to watching her knuckles whiten, while the icy wind ripped through her soft, purple Aeropostale jacket. They rose above the canyon, heading toward the east. And then Jaia noticed the storm clouds gathering. Something bad was going to happen.

        “Future Jaia, what’s with the storm clouds?” she asked in her mind.

         No reply. 

        "And yet she said she was looking out for me, figures.”

        Great, just great. The chariot bumped and lurched, Jaia held on tighter—if that was possible. The three musketeers in the back, huddled together like their life was on the line. Maybe it was, but Jaia saw other things in Piper’s eyes: wanting, and right next to her stood Jason. It must’ve been the mist, before Jaia met them, or why else would Piper have such adimeration in her kaleidoscope eyes? Jaia looked to Jason, an energy surrounded her, it frightened her. It wasn’t bad, nor did it feel positive, must be how she felt around Zeus, it affected her badly. His diamond hues willed himself to not look anywhere but out the side; sadness, the poor teenager wanted to figure something out, but a power blocked him from finding himself. Then Jaia hadn’t needed to look over her shoulder to see Leo, who probably much to her dismay, checked-out at her curves. Thankfully, her golden, knee-length hair, partially pulled in a ballerina bun with the back dripping down to below her waist, hid her. It was her protective curtain from reality. Unfortunately earbuds and hair could not block the annoying sounds of Leo blurting yip-yap out.

        “This is so cool,” he screamed.

        Jaia almost covered her ears, besides having powers and seeing the future, sort of, she had very sensitive ear drums.  

        He spit out a pegasus feather, it disgusted Jaia, and those poor darlings! No one in the moving vehicle wanted to know what the flying horses were saying, Jaia couldn’t even bring herself to repeat them in her thoughts.

        “Where are we going?” Leo asked.

        Jaia couldn’t help but roll her eyes at his obliviousness.

        “A safe place,” Annabeth said. “The only safe place for kids like us. Camp Half-Blood.”

        Somewhere a voice in her head said, “There isn’t just one.”

        Jaia brushed it off, just another voice in her head, and that was exactly what Jaia needed at the moment, another crazy voice telling her things.

        “Half-Blood?” Piper seemed immediately on guard, without revealing any information why. Her tone of voice intaken that she was insulted. If she were offended, that’d mean they all would be offended, being related to a god or goddess.

        “Is that some kind of bad joke?”  

        “She means we’re demigods,” Jason reflected. “Half god, half mortal.”  

        Annabeth looked back. “You seem to know a lot, Jason. But yes, demigods. My mom is Athena, goddess of wisdom. Butch here is the son of Iris, the rainbow goddess, and Jaia she’s the . . . ” Annabeth trailed off, unable to explain Jaia’s situation.

        “I’m the daughter of Poseidon. The god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses,” Jaia finished.

        “Uh, yes,” Annabeth said uneasy, shooting Jaia a questioning look.

        She replied with a stern glance, not with her face. Her shattered-glass eyes hardened, adding another layer of deep, emerald gloss. The three didn’t seem to notice what unspoken words and harsh expressions went on between the two girls.

        Leo choked. “Your mom is a rainbow goddess?”

        Jaia squeezed the bridge of her nose with her thumb and index finger. Leo was going to die, before they reached camp.

        “Got a problem with that?” Butch said.

        “No, no,” Leo said. “Rainbows. Very macho.”

        “Smooth,” Jaia sacrasted under her breath so only Leo could hear. “Taste the rainbow.”

        Jaia could practically hear the smirk on his lips.

        “Butch is our best equestrian,” Annabeth said. “He gets along great with the Pegasi.”

        Jaia cleared her throat gaining attention from Annabeth. She glanced at her for a second, thinking, before it hit her, and her lips formed a perfect ‘O’ shape.

        “And Jaia does too.”

        She smirked.

        “Rainbows, ponies,” Leo muttered.

        “I’m gonna toss you off this chariot,” Butch warned.

        “Please do,” Jaia said, giving him a pleading look.  

        He shook his head, sadly he couldn’t do it.

        “Demigods,” Piper said. “You mean you think you’re . . . you think we’re—”

        Lightning flashed. The chariot shuddered, and Jason yelled, “Left wheel’s on fire!”

        Jaia started to shake uncontrollably. Jaia’s frightened, emerald eyes met Annabeth’s grey eyes that gave her a look saying: hold on. 
        Jaia turned her head, sure enough, the wheel was burning and white flames lapping up the side of the chariot. The wind roared, and Jaia only got colder. She glanced back and saw dark shapes forming in the clouds, more spirits spiraling toward the chariot—except these looked more like horses than the usual angels. She remembered one of her lessons with Zeus: storm spirits can be human or stallions, depending on their chaotic behavior. 
        “Why are they—” Piper started to say. 
        And just what Jaia was taught, Annabeth replied, “Anemoi come in different shapes. Sometimes human, sometimes stallions, depending on how chaotic they are. Hold on. This is going to get rough.” 
        Everything that happened was in fast motion for Jaia. One minute Butch is flicking the reins the next . . . she hoped it wouldn’t come to that. The pegasi put on a burst of speed, and the chariot blurred. Jaia didn’t feel sick when they blasted through the air, she was used to that; Apollo took her riding in his Sun Car too many times. They arrived in a place she called her second home. A cold, gray ocean stretched out to the left. She could practically taste the salt water in her mouth. Then there were the snow-covered fields, roads, and forests spread to the right. Directly under them was a green valley, Jaia liked to think it was an island of springtime, rimmed with snowy hills on three sides and water to the north. Laid on the plot were the cabins, the Big House, the volley and basketball courts, the lake, and the very loved climbing wall. And then they came crashing down. Butch and Annie tried to take control. The pegasi strained to keep them afloat, but after bursting speed they weren’t able to for much longer. 
        “Jaia! The lake!” Annabeth yelled. “Aim for the lake!” 
        Jaia closed her eyes and raised her arms. To everyone except her she looked like a crazy lazy flaring arms, but she wasn’t just doing that. She paused for a moment content that the water was rising; she continued to pull it up, with the fish and anything else caught in it. She made it an arch-way, like a float, then placing something under them, basically enwrapping them, making a bubble. Until—her future self was back. 
        “Listen, this is important. I’ve got some information and I need you to listen closely—” 
        “No this is not a good time. Get out of my head!” 
        “JJ!” Annabeth was screaming out to her. “Come on, you can do it!” 
        “No, Annabeth it’s not that. I can’t hold it—I’m having another one of my—” 
        “Jaia, snap out of it!” 
        “I can’t, Annie!” 
        Jaia’s future self got louder, screaming things she couldn’t understand. She clutched her head. 
       “Get out of Jaia’s head, bastard! Leave her alone!” 
        “Annie, guys hold on—” 
        She barely finished her sentence and she found herself submerged in water. 
        “Jaia, I’m sorry. Something I needed to warn you. You’re going on a—” 

        Jaia’s future self was cut off and the present Jaia scrambled on shore, drier than ever. Annabeth, Jason, and Leo came out, the two seemed half-dead, while Annabeth’s concealer must’ve washed away showing large bags under her eyes.
         “It took you guys long enough,” Jaia replied, with her lips in a tight smirk.
        The three were surrounded by campers who were drying them off with bronze blowers and blankets. 
        “Jaia, I so want to kill you!” Annabeth grumbled. 
        “You can’t I’m too perfect.” Jaia said. “What do you have against our sisterhood?” 
        “Whatever.” 
        “It’s not whatever. It’s a big deal.” 
        “Why being so dramatic, Silverglass?”
         Jaia’s fake last name rolled off her tongue with an over touch of sarcasm. Annie arched an eyebrow saying something like: how can you top that?
        “Do I need to remind you, Chase? I know you better than you know yourself.” 
        Jaia put on a cocky smile and Annie just rolled her eyes, draping an arm around her shoulders. 
        Jaia nor Annabeth realized that Piper had gotten out of the water and Butch had finished cutting the pegasi free from the destroyed chariot. A group of campers surrounded the new three, Jaia, and Annabeth. 
        “Jaia, how are you not—”
         “Wet? Yeah. Perks of being a child of Poseidon,” Jaia replied to Piper. 
        Piper looked as though she were trying to ask another question, but she didn’t get the chance as a guy with a bow and quiver on his back pushed through the crowd: Will. 
        “Annabeth! Jaia! I said you could borrow the chariot, not destroy it!” 
        Will had been infuriated, and Jaia . . . hadn’t cared. She had warned Will this was going to happen. Not a future event, just her average hunch. 
        “Will, where’s my Doctor Pepper?” Jaia asked with a sly smile on her face. 
        “What are you—oh, yeah. Here,” he said giving it to her and watched her as she popped the lid open.
        “Jaia, what did you do?” Annabeth questioned, her eyes had gone a hard grey. 
        “I didn’t do anything. I just told him that it’d happen. That’s all,” she retorted between sips. 
        “How could you tell him that, when you wouldn’t even—” 
        Jaia interrupted her. “It wasn’t that. It was a prediction. Totally different.”
        “Sure it was,” Annabeth muttered under her breath.
        “Girls what about my chariot!” Will exasperated, tired of listening to the girls’ hissy fit.  
        “Will, we’re sorry,” Annie sighed. “We’ll get it fixed, I promise.” 
        “When did I agree to this?” Jaia responded to Annabeth in her head. 
        “Just, now. Okay, when this is over you and I we’re going to be fixing a chariot. Now get out of my head!” 
        “Fine,” Jaia grumbled to Will. “We’ll get it fixed. Soon.”

        Will scowled at his broken chariot.  “Good. You better keep your word, Jaia,” he sighed. 
        Then he sized up Piper, Leo, and Jason. “These are the ones? Way older than thirteen.”

         Will meet Jaia’s emerald eyes. “And before you even say anything, Jaia. You’re a different. A lot, different.” 
        “One, I wasn’t even going to say anything . . . maybe. And two, that’s offensive,” she replied into his head.
         Will rolled his eyes. Everyone except Jason, Piper, and Leo knew they were talking internally. Jaia made it clear she could do that—she thought it was kind of funny how the three looked at them like they were insane, psychotic patients in a mental hospital. 
        “Why haven’t they been claimed already?” He asked, finishing his statement. 
        “Claimed?” Leo asked. 
        Before Annabeth or Jaia could explain, Will said, “Any sign of Percy?” 
        “No,” Annabeth admitted. 
      Jaia didn’t say anything, which surprised Will—scratch that, surprised the gathered campers. She let her shattered-glass eyes drop to the ground, feeling guilty, like it was her fault that he disappeared. 
        The campers muttered, and a cacophony of voices could be heard. Drew stepped forward—tall, Asian, dark hair in ringlets, plenty of jewelry, and perfect makeup. Somehow, she managed to make jeans and an orange T-shirt look glamorous. She glanced at Leo, fixed her eyes on Jason like he might be worthy of her attention, then curled her lip at Piper as if she were a week-old burrito that had just been pulled out of a Dumpster. 
Jaia twitched her eyebrow at Drew, and hidden under her poker face—had a facial expression of hate. 
        “Well,” Drew said, “I hope they’re worth the trouble.” 
        Leo snorted. “Gee, thanks. What are we, your pets?” 
        “No kidding,”  Jason said. “How about some answers before you start judging us— like, what is this place, why are we here, how long do we have to stay?” 
        Jaia gave him a sympathetic look—managing to do it without seeming like she was sorry, so a blank look with meaning. He must’ve noticed her, and studied her face, probably seeing the lack of emotion reaching her eyes. Jaia sighed internally, and the sadness settled in. Jason saw that too, she believed, maybe he saw right through her mask. That made shivers roll up her back as if the icy wind followed them here to camp. Though the way his eyes sparkled, it didn’t seem like he knew her fake smiles and laughs—his eyes made her think that he understood it, as if he knew her troubles. Then again, Jaia could’ve misinterpreted it for another person’s sympathetic gesture. 
        “Jason,” Annabeth said, “I promise we’ll answer your questions. And Drew”—she frowned at the glamour girl—“all demigods are worth saving. But I’ll admit, the trip didn’t accomplish what I hoped.” 
        “But she did. That girl just doesn’t see it does she?” the voice sighed, with what Jaia thought it was frustration or dreariness, or maybe both. 
        “Go away,” Jaia complained. 

        “Hey,” Piper said, “we didn’t ask to be brought here.”

        Drew sniffled. “And nobody wants you, hon. Does your hair always look like a dead badger?”

        Piper stepped forward, ready to smack her, but Jaia stopped her before Annabeth could do anything.

        “Piper, stop.”

        Piper turned to see Jaia and remembered she was here.

        “Oh, why hello, Princess Bitch.” Drew slyly smiled to Jaia, hoping that she’d get an reaction.

       The camp stepped back stunned; nobody called Jaia a bitch ever. Annabeth stepped on her tippy-toes trying to see how Jaia was acting to it. Jaia did rather well, she laughed like it was the funniest thing she ever heard.

        “So you called me a bitch,” Jaia said, a wicked smile appeared on her face. Drew nodded questionly.  

        “Oh gods, Jaia. Don’t do anything stupid!” Jaia heard Annabeth say in her mind.

        “I won’t,” she promised.

        “By definition a bitch is a female dog, am I correct?”

        The campers nodded their head vigorously.

         “And dogs bark. Bark is found on a tree,” Jaia said, “and trees are part of nature, and nature is beautiful. So thank you, Drew, for calling me beautiful!”

       The campers erupted into a clapping spree and a few get react, and other hoots and hollers were screamed. Jason, Leo, and Piper never saw anything like it before, and Leo looked at her in a way he hadn’t done, not flirtatious, but something else. Though she was positive he let out another feisty comment about her. The other two, Jaia couldn’t describe their emotions—they seemed to be a jumbled of them rolled-up into one.

        “Drew, do you have any more compliments you’d like to say to me?”

        “I . . . uh . . .”

        Her frightened, nail-biting look was good enough for Jaia, than hearing any real compliments about herself falling out of Drew’s mouth.

        “Alright, Jaia that’s enough,” Annabeth laughed lightly.

        She hadn’t laughed or had a smile for a while. Jaia felt good to see her laughing. Percy would have been grateful to know that during the times of lost hope, Jaia continued to keep a smile on his girlfriend’s face. She could’ve almost imagine her brother right now saying: ‘I’m proud of you, even though you’re taking this hard; maybe a few godly wine drinks and you think you’re better, but keeping everyone, especially you and Annabeth laughing, is the greatest gift you could ever give me. I love you, sis.  I’ll be back soon, I promise, you’ll see me again. Until then, keep on smiling and making Annie laugh.’ Except that message won’t ever get through. But Jaia knew, if he were here, he would’ve definitely had said that. That seemed to be a Percy thing to do.

        “It’s good to see you laughing, Annie.”

        “You’re just like your brother.” Jaia thought she heard her say. “Keeping everyone laughing.”

        “Alright,” Annabeth called the group to order. “We need to make our new arrivals feel welcome,” Annabeth said, referring to earlier and shooting Drew another pointed look. “We’ll assign them each a guide, give them a tour of the camp. Hopefully by the campfire tonight, they’ll be claimed.” 
“Would somebody tell me what claimed means?” Piper asked. 
Suddenly there was a collective gasp. The campers backed away. Jaia saw everyone bathed in a strange red light, as if someone had lit a torch. Floating over Leo’s head was a blazing holographic image—a fiery hammer—just like future Jaia predicted. 
        “That,” Annabeth said, “is claiming.” 
        “What’d I do?” Leo backed toward the lake. The he glanced up and yelped. “Is my hair on fire?” 
        Jaia stifled a laugh. He ducked, but the symbol followed him, bobbing and weaving so it looked like he was trying to write something in the flames with his head. 
        “Hey Annabeth, should I put him out? He says he’s on fire.” 
        “In your dreams, Jaia.” 
        “What?” 

        No reply.
        “No, no, no! Annie, don’t you dare think that!” 
        “Too late,”
she whispered in her head, her voice lingering a few seconds too long. 
        “This can’t be good,” Butch muttered. “The curse—” 
        “Butch, shut up,” Jaia said, thinking about what he meant, remembering the memories from the Titan War. 
        He shot her a surrendering look, and put his hands up in front of him.  
        “Leo, you’ve just been claimed—” 
        “By a god,” Jason interrupted Annabeth. “That’s the symbol of Vulcan, isn’t it?” 
        All eyes, including Jaia’s, turned to him. 
        “Jason,” Annabeth said carefully, “how did you know that?” 
        “I’m not sure.” 
        “Vulcan?” Leo demanded. “I don’t even LIKE Star Trek. What are you talking about?” 
        “Vulcan is the Roman name for Hephaestus,” Jaia said, “the god of blacksmiths and fire.” 
      The fiery hammer faded, but Leo kept swatting the air like he was afraid it was following him. “The god of what? Who?” 
        Annabeth turned to the son of Apollo. “Will, would you take Leo, give him a tour? Introduce him to his bunk-mates in Cabin Nine.”
        “Sure, Annabeth.” 
        “What’s Cabin Nine?” Leo asked. “And I’m not a Vulcan!” 
      “Come on, Mr. Spock, I’ll explain everything.” Will put a hand on his shoulder and steered him off to the cabins. Leo looked over his shoulder at Jaia. She looked up and bit the bottom of her lip. 
      “Relax,” her voice echoed in his head, sounding more like Aphrodite to try to make it seem as though it weren’t really her. 
        “Jaia?” 
       She turned around and pretended that she didn’t just talk to Leo through his mind, and didn’t just hear him say anything back. 

        Annabeth turned her attention back to Jason. In Piper’s eyes she noticed a bit of jealousy, and then covered it up realizing Annabeth wasn’t about to go and flirt with him. Annie studied Jason’s face, more like he was a blueprint than an actual person. 

        Finally she said, “Hold out your arm.”  
       Piper seemed confused, Annabeth just pondered the millions of questions bombarding her, and Jaia felt like she had seen it before and her face grew worried, highlighting the cresses in her forehead. A tattoo was etched in his skin—no Jaia took that back, it looked more like they were burned into his skin, with a iron branding. A dozen of lines like a barcode, and over that an eagle with the letters spqr. 
       “I’ve never seen marks like this,” Annabeth said. “Where did you get them?” 
       Jason shook his head. “I’m getting really tired of saying this, but I don’t know.” 
      The other campers pushed forward, trying to get a look at Jason’s tattoo. The marks seemed to bother them a lot—almost like a declaration of war. 
          “They looked burned into your skin,” Annabeth noticed.

       “They were,” Jason said. Then winched as if his head was throbbing. “I mean . . . I think so. I don’t remember.” 
            “An iron branding,” Jaia murmured to herself.

            Annabeth heard her say something and said, “Jaia what is it?” 
           “The marks,” Jaia said speaking up. “It looks like whoever burned them into Jason’s skin used some kind of branding, like an iron branding.” 
        Annabeth arched an eyebrow and her grey eyes squinted at Jaia thinking of her more of a comrade with actual critical information than her best friend. 
         “And how would you know that?” 
        “Sorry, I actually studied livestock branding for a while—not saying you're a livestock.” She directed to Jason. He stared at her emerald eyes swirling with a ideas and interest. 
        “And . . .” Annabeth asked. 
        “You see the markings . . . I find it interesting that they’re sort of like a military status, but clearly you, Jason, were not in the military. Though wherever you came from, by the markings, I’m assuming you were in some ranking system.” Jaia paused for a moment wondering if she should go on and by their intrigued expressions she did. “And maybe not to you, but I feel as though the eagle and those lines mean something higher level. I don’t know what SPQR means, but I have a good hunch that you were in some team and that was a code or an acronym they used.”  
        Annabeth just stared at her and the group around her had their jaw-dropping and widen eyes. Jason had a look like he couldn’t believe those words came out of her mouth.

          And Piper was just, Piper, with the confused expression still planted on her face, since they arrived at camp.
         “Guys, come on you know me. This is what is always expected of me. Come on! Please don’t stare at me like that,” Jaia whinned. “I’m not just a primpy princess you all expect me to be.” She murmured the last part to the group, not wanting the other two to hear. 
        Jaia felt they were special and she didn’t want them to know; Jason was her cousin after all and Piper technically would be her sister no matter if she wasn’t the daughter of Aphrodite, though Jaia still wouldn’t count it. She was blessed when she was still in her mother’s womb and her sperm donor was her dad, Poseidon, but when the Olympians figured it out, they had decided to curse her—bestow her with their gifts. Jaia was a mistake, even her father said that. Her own father! 
        No one said anything, they were still shocked, and Jaia rolled her eyes. Annabeth snapped out of her daze and faced Jaia. 
        “Sorry JJ,” Annabeth said. “You just made an excellent point I hadn’t thought of.”  
        ‘No, you just expected me to stand there and not say anything.’ Jaia wanted to say. ‘Come on, I’m not stupid! Stop underestimating me, I have potential too. Just because everyone expects me to be this girl, perfect, a living barbie doll, doesn’t mean you have the right to believe that too!’ Jaia thought. 
        An 'okay' was all Jaia said. She wasn’t in the mood anymore. Everyone waited for Annabeth’s verdict. 
        “He needs to go straight to Chiron,” Annabeth decided. “And JJ, you might have to go later and tell him your theory. Drew would you—” 
        “Absolutely.” Drew laced her arm through Jason’s. "This way, sweetie. I’ll introduce you to our director. He’s . . . an interesting guy.” She flashed Piper a smug look and led Jason toward the big blue house on the hill. 
        The crowd began to disperse, until only Annabeth, Piper, and Jaia were left. 
        “Who’s Chiron?” Piper asked. “Is  Jason in some kind of trouble?” 
        Annabeth hesitated, and Jaia just blinked with her usual blank expression on. “Good question, Piper. Come on, I'll give you a tour. We need to talk.” Annabeth thought for a moment her grey eyes landing on Jaia.         “Nevermind. We all need too.” 
        “Dang it!” Jaia muttered unenthusiastically.

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