House of Hades – Chapter II – Nico

When Nico closed his eyes and concentrated, calling Morgan in his thoughts, never came up to him that it would happen. But then all the weapons available in the Argo II were pointed at the girl and he realized that was probably a mistake to call a daughter of Hecate near the Roman demigods who handled much of the army of Kronos, unlike Percy which had faced only the crew of the Princess Andromeda; the already tense situation on the ship became even more tense with it.

It was… really a bad idea, ideal to cap the day’s events.

– So, you know these guys?
– How do you know her?
– Do you know them?!
The voices of Nico, Jason and Morgan sounded in unison, which would have been funny at any other time, but not now. She stared at the son of Jupiter again, her green eyes flashing.

– Of course I know that show off bully! As I tried to retreat with my brothers, he came with his buddies praetors and almost destroyed us all! We! No magic, no weapons, no nothing! – She narrowed her green eyes, fierce
– That was a war! You attacked us first!
– Hey you two! – Piper raised her voice, and they looked even without her using the charm – you are arguing about the war of Kronos, or about who stole who’s lunch at school?

Jason was quiet. Morgan shifted weight from one leg to another, uncomfortable.

– Now, you, Morgan right? – Piper turned her – You did not deny your participation in the war of Kronos. Why were you there?
– To save the magical rear of my stupidy brothers. As if anyone could really believe that Kronos would be all love and affection with the demigods if we helped him win the war… pff … – She rolled her eyes, huffing, as if she was tired of that kind of question

The firearms of the daughter of Hecate were reduced in the form of rings on index fingers of the girl. She pulled the black velvet cloak she wore and doubled on the left arm.

– Look, I really do not want to mess with any of you. Di Angelo called me with a spell that I gave him, after he helped me on a personal mission. I swear by Styx I’m telling the truth.

Hazel and Frank looked at each other and shrugged, half suspicious, but puting their weapons away. Piper seemed more calm, staring Jason as if to say stop being stubborn. Reluctantly, he sheathed his Imperial Gold swrod. Nico sighed, relieved. Morgan stared at him, curious.

– So you found what you were looking for?
– Yeah, actually I called you because of it.
– The spell worked? – Then she watched Nico from head to toe, noticing the state semi-deplorable from demigod – By Hecate, did not work right? Alas, I knew …
– No, nothing like that. I think that the protections have helped me so, and plenty. But after that I was captured by the Giants and … – He made a gesture as if to exhibit itself – is not a pleasant story.
– No, it should not be. Well, continue. You called me …?
– Because I though you could help us close the Doors of Death. The Prophecy speaks about seven demigods heed the call. I could not think of anyone else.

That seemed to catch her completely by surprise. She blinked a few times, staring at Nico, as if processing information.

– I, complete the quorum of mission that can decide the fate of the world as we know it?
– See how looks a bad idea?…
– Jason!
– I do not see why not. – She smiled at Nico, then turned to Jason with the same smile – You can count on me to do this mission work.

He did not seem too happy with the prospect of traveling with a daughter of Hecate and old adversary aboard the Argo II, but Morgan tried to act with confidence, even with the suspicious looks he received from Hazel and Frank.

– So… my name is Morgan Alcantara. LeFey, – she said the word with disdain sound – as Grace called me there was my alias in the war, so to speak. I know the Romans, but not you two. – She turned to Piper and Leo
– My name is Piper McLean.
– I’m Leo Valdez, the admiral of this ship. – He puffed out his chest, proud
– Classy, huh? – She looked around the ship, focusing on weapons – does not have a crow’s nest, but the weapons are well positioned. The ammo is made of which material?

Leo seemed happy to explain all those little details that only he and Morgan seemed to understand. The horizon was turning orange, indicating that it would soon be morning, and no one had rested all night. Hazel decided to set the table for breakfast, with the help of Frank and Piper. Jason watched Morgan suspiciously as she discussed technical (and boring) details about weapons on the ship with Leo. Nico took a deep breath, feeling responsible for it, but thought it wasn’t time to say anything. He went to the kitchen where Piper talking with others.

– … hm, but then is not that bad, I guess.
– She seemed to be in direct connection with the leaders among the demigods. Had a child of Hecate very strong there, called Alabaster. I think he was in the Princess Andromeda in the day of battle, because it was Morgan who appeared at the forefront by land. – Frank helped Hazel with the food trays
– Never had any big problem with her, in fact. But many children of Hecate overthrew many of ours. – Hazel sighed – the same way we dropped many of them. If she is really here to help us I think… well, I think we can not insist on those things that have already happened.
– The last part of the prophecy gains a new meaning with her here. – Nico intruded into the conversation – And Enemies with weapons / At Doors of Death, after all.
– Annabeth thought it was just from Camp Half-Blood and New Rome, but it may be that you were talking about her too.

Silently, they agreed. The breakfast was still quiet and without much conversation. The fatigue was visible on the face and dark circles of all. Before long, Leo and Morgan arrived, still talking about the weapons of the ship. She sat up and smiled, making a plate for herself, evidently trying to fit in, but it was obvious that she felt intimidated in that strange environment full of demigods, in which she had shot at least three in the past.

– So… where you are from?

She continued eating, not realizing that the question of Piper had been directed at her. Realizing, she stopped eating and swallowed the food.

– Hm, well, I was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. – And then she grinned – and no, we do not have monkeys walking in the streets, if that was the next question.
– Ah… – Leo shrank again in the chair, as he had thought to ask what
– Hey! – She stared at him, falsely incredulous, returning to normal after – Actually… Levesque, Zhang, I think I need to apologize for all those shots in your shields in the war. Believe me, it was not as personal as the others wanted to make it appear. Really.
– Do not worry about it, it’s not as if we had left it just like that. – Frank shrugged – but if so, I have to apologize for when I hit that spear on your shoulder.
– Yeah… I guess we’re even then.

Nico seemed relieved. When Jason finally appeared, the mood at the table was very light and relaxed, and the son of Jupiter and daughter of Hecate do not argued as before. Since they had not suffered any attacks in that morning, they took the time to recover and discuss which strategy they would adopt from there.

– We can not simply continue to face attacks from Gaia without any strategy. This will undermine our strength, just as she wants.
– Yes, but go by land definitely does not seem the best idea you could have. – Hazel watched the map they had on the table, along with all other
– From the viewpoint of artillery, it is better to stay with the advantage of height. – Morgan said, while eating a bowl of cornflakes with milk – in the sky, the advantage is yours, Grace.
– But what about the attacks? Not all of us have the advantage in the sky. – Frank shrugged – although our trip flying is much faster to Mount Epirus.

Everyone silently agreed with that. Nico was quiet, thoughtful, when he realized Morgan’s eyes on him.

– I know we have to save the world and stuff, but can someone explain what is our hurry, exactly?

Nico began the story of his search, and the others proceeded when they found out Nico had been captured by the Giants and was held hostage inside an amphora. Hazel and Jason told her about the search for Annabeth while seeking for Nico, and how she and Percy had been pulled into Tartarus by the webs of Arachne. They also revealed that needed cross the Apennine Mountains in Italy and then go straight to Mount Epirus, where they would find the mortal side of the Doors of Death within the temple of Hades. She absorbed every piece silent and thoughtful, green eyes twinkling.

– Okay… I completely understand the rush you have, but we need to think about some things. We do not know about the enemy war effort near Epirus, so we do not know how much of our we’ll spend to create a secure perimeter. Thus, we do not know how long we can keep the perimeter secure. We do not know how long it will take two wounded demigods to cross Tartarus to the Doors of Death, and I think we agree that it would be unwise simply go inside and get them back there when we reach our destination.
– So, what do you suggest? – Jason stared at the girl idly, seriously
– Nothing. I do not know what I can suggest. – She shook her head negatively – Levesque is right, keeping us the air is better. But we’ll get quickly at the meeting point, and this is not exactly an advantage.
– What if we set up a camp there? – Piper suggested – not that close to the gates of death, but we can try to find a safe place that is close. We can study the the area and try to take some advantage there.
– Set Camp? And how do we avoid being found?
– I can provide magical protections. – Morgan ate another spoonful of cornflakes – is not exactly my specialty, but it will save our asses for a while. Of course we can’t stand in the face of the army of Gaia but…
– We need to examine the ground to find a strategic place to retreat and defense. – Jason concluded – Leo, Festus can help us with this type of scan?
– Of course he can. I can ask him to check for relief patterns more favorable as a hideout, material sources, things like that.
– That’s great!

Shortly after, discussed what would be needed in the region of the camp. They had no much to worry about food and drinking water, thanks to trays bewitched as the Camp, and the Cornucopia, but decided that a site rich in resources such as wood, Heavenly Bronze and Imperial Gold would be a good choice, since Leo could further develop the necessary improvements to the Argo II.

Festus found a spot near the Mount Pindus, near the border with Albania. Immediately started moving there at full speed.

Nico never thought he’d live to see a place like that. The valley by the countryside Italian went beyond sight and was full of nuances of green and earth tones. The sky was blue and clear, dotted with fluffy white clouds, and it was possible to see some birds flying across the sky. On one side, the great wall / backbone of Italy stood stately and majestic, but looking very carefully you could see the movement of troops of monsters in the soil, towards the mountains. A bad feeling took hold of the boy as they approached, the same feeling when he realized he could not escape the Giants who had captured him. Leaving those bad thoughts aside, Nico returned to focus on the landscape that flew by when Morgan approached the boy.

– You almost can not believe how close the Doors of Death are here… – She leaned on the burwalk, looking down – but as we have company down there, I’m sure we are in the right place.
– Yeah… I thought we were to find the army of Gaia, but not imagined it could be so many of then.
– We need to prepare for an attack. We are very close to the enemies now, we will not go unnoticed as easy. – and made to go away – before I forget, Di Angelo, thank you for trusting me to complete the team.

She smiled and walked towards Leo, wondering if the boy could fly upwind to avoid the monsters feeling the smell of the demigods. The route of the Argo II was changed. Nico did not knew exactly why, but he felt good with the smile that Morgan gave, so sincere and spontaneous.

It was when the first stone fell on the deck.


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