House of Hades – Chapter IV – Leo

Leo was living a brief internal dilemma: he didn’t know if he should broke down in despair and tears because of the stone that had sunk a piece of the deck of the Argo II, or if he should throw back the stone down there, or if he should activate the weapons or if he should maneuver the ship flying off the course of the new stones that stuck out on the horizon. Deciding that the safest and most obvious choice, he turned the ship around to starboard, having time just to shout to his friends hold on to something.

From the booth, Hazel, Jason and Piper emerged, trying to stay balanced on the deck that was now facing nearly 45°. Morgan slipped in the deck with the sharp turn, but she was hold to safety by Coach Hedge, who cast himself in the deck like a penguin in the snow, reaching the girl’s hand and keeping both on board holding the rail. Leo made another maneuver, this time to port, almost knocking Nico (who had held the rail in time, but was almost caught off guard in the new turn).

– Valdez, you better decide or I’ll shove these controls in your …
– Stone on deck! – Morgan pulled the coach, also preventing him from continuing the sentence
– Jason, you can’t keep them away?! – Frank emerged, finally, but his shirt was stained with barbecue sauce and cheese
– Leave it to me!
– Admiral Leo, cannons! How do I operate?! – Morgan went up to the bridge of the ship, where Leo was
– Here, take this control and this sight! – He throw in the girl’s hand a black control of Wii and a helmet
– How does it work?
– Aim and shoot!

Without ado, she slipped the helmet on his head and began to fire cannon balls towards the rocks, transforming three of the five rocks in debris the size of bricks, that Jason, in turn, could deflect with the wind better than huge rocks. Nico, Piper and Frank tried, with the help of the coach, to take the stones of the deck which were just leaving the ship heavy and unbalanced as Hazel tried to detect in those rocks anything she could use to divert them also. Leo maneuvered the Argus II in the best way for that situation, but while they not destroyed the enemy trebuchets from the army down there, wouldn’t help anything to divert from their routes.

– Guys, is this! We have to destroy those things down there, who are shooting at us!
– Great idea! How?!
– Still working on it!
– All right, Admiral, we have all the time in the world… or as long as cannonballs last!

Leo was momentarily taken from his reasoning when Frank, Nico, Coach Hedge and Piper managed to get the first stone of the deck, since he had to offset the extra weight to starboard with the controls until the stone was falling. He looked down, thinking that one hour the stones trebuchets would end eventually, but then remembered that they were on a mountain and that it likely would take a lot of time to happen. And so, the answer to that problem seemed to arise.

– That’s it! Morgan! – He screamed from the bridge, excited
– I’m listening.
– Let’s bomb the mountain with all we have and give these monsters a little of their own poison!
– You want to cause an avalanche?! – She shouted back, staring at the demigod with the helmet visor raised
– The greatest of them all!
– Man, I LOVE this job!

And with the most insane smile that Leo had ever seen in a person (including himself the list, especially when he woke up in a good mood in Bunker 9), he maneuvered the Argus II so the daughter of Hecate had a better view of the target. With a bang to bring all hands to ears she shot all celestial bronze cannons in a wall of the mountain, creating an avalanche of stones absolutely colossal (and awesome, to whom was watching from the top). Down there, the enemy army stirred, seeming to retreat, and many of them visibly crumbled into dust. Before they could regenerate, Leo took off the highest he could with Argus II, disappearing into the clouds. There was a celebration on the deck.

– Great Admiral! – Morgan returned the helmet and shooting controls for Leo, punching his arm amicably then
– That I’m awesome I already knew, but those shots were amazing! Nor did I know that those guns were so accurate!
– Just a few things I learned around. – She smiled, shrugging

The young man smiled back, happy to have someone as skilled as her around. Now they just needed to improvise coordinates to landing and initiate repairs well deserved on the deck, now that the lower levels of the ship had gained a sunroof which was not part of the original design. Fortunately, the area where the rooms were had remained intact.

It was late afternoon when they finally landed. As it was almost dark, it was decided it would be better to rest on the ship and then start setting up camp the next morning. With the help of others, Leo improvised cover with tarp over the hole left in the deck, in case of rain or something (although there was no indication that that might happen, but with the way that luck was nowadays, it was better not to risk), and dinner was a little more excited than the breakfast, what was undoubtedly because of the recent successful escape. Leo hoped that the appearance and vibrancy of Nico would improve over the days, because it was not like that to half-dead to semi-live there was really much of a difference, he had had no contact with the younger brother of Hazel before, but he ‘d bet the kid still had a lot to recover of his trip to Tartarus. For this reason he did not bother with the protective stance of the group in relation to the boy, though, if the son of Hephaestus could, he would bet his tool belt that Nico was not very happy with overprotection, yet he didn’t say anything.

The night wore on and watch shifts were defined: Piper, Frank, Hazel, Jason, Morgan and finally Leo. The daughter of Aphrodite stood on deck with a blanket and a thermos full of hot chocolate to appease the cold empty night. However Leo, at that moment, was trying to solve an unforeseen problem, not computed before: the lack of rooms on the ship. Nobody seemed comfortable leaving Morgan and Nico with  the rooms of Annabeth and Percy, especially themselves. In fact, nobody expected more than 7 demigods to travel on board the Argus II at once, even Leo itself.

“Note for the future: the prophecies rarely mean what they seem to say out front… not consider quantities of whatever it may be, when these quantities are presented in the prophecies.”
At least, they had plenty of blankets, so Morgan did not seem really bothered about having to sleep on the floor, but Hazel looked worried with Nico then decided that the boy would be in her room and she would divide the floor with Morgan. Leo wondered offer your room in place of Hazel, but the girl was so resolute that it did not seem negotiable. Morgan and Hazel sat side by side on the deck of the Argus II, protecting themselves from the wind behind the cockpit and wrapping up in blankets parts.

Even at night, the mind of the son of Hephaestus was thousand per hour with ideas and resources to start repairs on the hull, in addition to implementation of the Sphere of Archimedes, but it would have to wait until the next day, with better lighting. Pushed away bad thoughts about all the possible reasons for being such a silent night, and went to bed.

Shifts lookout of all the demigods were normal. Leo was awakened feeling a hand on his shoulder. Morgan stared at him, with a mug of hot chocolate in hand, and a second cup of the same content, extended towards the boy.

– Good morning, Admiral Sleeping Beauty. The deck is all yours.
– Thank you Morgan. – He rubbed his eyes, still sleepy, he had fallen asleep on some scrolls that had been reading the night before
– Do not forget to clean all this drool from your face and scrolls, or you will get ugly on both sides shortly.
– Ah…

With this, the daughter of Hecate disappeared towards the kitchen. Leo walked to the deck, where Hazel had gone back to sleep after the end of her shift. He hated to admit it, but the young woman was particularly beautiful sleeping that way, with the first rays of the dawning sun in the sky. He took his lookout post looking towards Hazel time or another. Almost cried when he heard the voice of Morgan behind him.

– Better keep an eye on those around, not these. – She crouched beside the demigod, eating a snack and leaving the mug on the floor just in front of her, staring at the horizon
– How the hell did you do that?
– Do what?
– Girl, you walk like a cat with these boots!
– Ah, it’s easy when you’re used to. – She smiled a little naughty – have to be quieter than a cat if you want to sometimes be a sniper.
– Sniper? – He raised an eyebrow, feigning fear – its good that you don’t want to kill us.
– There is very little that I really want to kill, relax.
– Hmm… Morgan…
– Yes?
– Can I see the weapons you use?
– Sure, why not?

She grabbed a snack with his mouth, as he removed the rings celestial bronze, one on each hand, and gave to the boy. He realized that the parts were identical to the smallest detail, and felt that there was a method to activate them. Instinctively put one of the rings and stretched his hand, the gun magically expanding from the ring to fill the hand of Leo. He did not know much about guns, but believed that it was a Beretta model, all made of celestial bronze and mahogany with an application on the butt, which read “Stiria”. He repeated the gesture with the other ring and weapons would be perfectly equal if the color of the second application was ivory. The inscription read “Nix”.

– My master gave me as a gift when I passed the ultimate test of her training. She did it herself.
– They are amazing … your master must be great!
– Yes, she is – The son of Hephaestus returned the ring and she put them on the index fingers, as before – she is the most talented demigoddess of her time, probably.
– She is a demigod too!?
– Yes, she is a daughter of Hecate like me.

She smiled, standing up.

– Good lookout. I’ll investigate the surroundings and see what awaits us.
– Are you sure that’s good to go alone?
– You’ve seen that I can walk without making noise. Alone, I attract less attention from them, in case they are sniffing us.
– Right. Proceed with caution!
– Sure.

And with that, she went down the deck and stood to walk down the hill, out of sight. Leo returned to focus on the lookout.
Soon other demigods would wake up and he would have to explain where Morgan was. But perhaps more important than that, at that moment was trying to understand where was coming the storm that was brewing in the distance, on the horizon. And try to understand what were those nature spirits apparently so enraged.

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