House of Hades – Chapter VII – Morgan

Earlier, when Morgan had left to check which points she would use to the magic barrier for the camp, she noticed an unnatural disturbance in the wind. If she still remembered well her training with her master, that meant that the spirits of nature were moving, although she didn’t knew where nor why. When she returned to camp the tempers were not the best, but wasn’t like they could, with all that storm falling endlessly. She thought it was best not to ask unnecessary questions, and when Leo asked everyone to help him fix the deck, she did not question the sudden rush.

And now she was with her sawed-off shotgun with non-lethal rubber ammunition, aimed towards the face of Jason Grace, the bully praetor, demanding the withdraw of his offenses  against her brothers at that moment, or she would be willing to put “non-lethal” to test, with point-blank shots.

– Apologize for the shit you said Grace, or I’ll shoot you until you regret it!
– Settle down you two! – Piper ran, using all the charm she could focus at that time.

Morgan hesitated and felt two pairs of hands dragging her away from Jason; apparently Leo and Frank had run at the same time than Piper. At that moment, there was no better example for the expression “seeing red” than the daughter of Hecate, her green eyes flashing with anger; she didn’t stirred when Leo and Frank carried her a few feet away from Jason, trying to control her own breath and calm herself down. She knew she could not fall into the  provocations of Jason, especially at such an important moment of the mission. They could not draw even more the attention from the monsters, though the rain would help with that. She was there to help Nico, as she promised she would, and she knew she couldn’t be the person to ruin everything. But still, she felt the sudden urge to put Jason in his rightful place.

– I expected that you two would know that this is not time for that! – Piper continued, staring alternately between Morgan and Jason – we need to fix this deck soon and put the ship in the air before we have to deal with a horde of very enraged nature spirits! If you two won’t help us, at least don’t ruin everything!

Piper’s words were making Morgan began to calm down and think with more reason. Really, there was not time to lose with such trivialities. She stood up, breathing deeply, facing herself with the apprehensive look of Nico. She felt a pang of shame staring at the gaze of Nico, imagining that a simple apology might not be enough.

– Di Angelo, you see…
– I knew from the beginning that it was a bad idea for her to come with us! She is a traitor like all her brothers, you are the only ones who don’t realize that!
– Sorry… I’m really sorry. You didn’t deserve this. – She sighed, picking up the shotgun again.

Jason was still recovering from the shoot, holding his chest when Morgan ran towards him and hit him with the rifle’s butt in the flank, making the son of Jupiter retreat. In response, he invoked his Imperial Gold sword, unleashing an attack that she was able to catch with the gun barrel for very little.

The rain was even heavier than before, making the movements of both fighters harder. They climbed down from the deck, splashing in the mud under the apprehensive eyes of the other demigods, who didn’t know how to stop them. Morgan moved with more speed than Jason, but found few gaps to shoot the demigod, who attacked with skill and precision instead, almost hitting her by little at different moments. She had cocked the gun when she felt a gust of wind burst into her chest, forcing her to slide in the mud a few feets back. Now that her combat senses were more alert, she thought it hadn’t been a good idea to attack a son of Jupiter in the middle of a storm with lightning and high winds. But she was determined to bring him down anyway, and would do it under any circumstances.

With recovered determination, the daughter of Hecate planted both boots in the mud and fired four shots at Jason, hitting two. Accuracy was not what one would expect from rubber bullets in the rain, but she wasn’t trying to kill anyone. She jumped, dodging a blow and landed on a nearby rock, gun reloaded and ready for another volley of shots. Both shots hit Jason on the same leg, making the boy kneel momently. Another gesture of the son of Jupiter and Morgan was hit by a lightning, plummeting to the ground with the horrible feeling of electricity across her muscles, nerves and veins. Her shotgun was too far to reach just stretching the hand, and this gesture was still too painful at the moment. Morgan noticed the approach of Jason, probably to declare the battle finished, but she was not finished. With her muscles still protesting, but ignoring the pain, she threw mud on Jason’s face with a fast and accurate gesture. She rolled over to reach the shotgun and reloaded the gun.

– I should imagine a fair fight would be impossible for you LeFey!
– I have no arguments against it. – she circled Jason, who were still wiping his face – there are things that I would fight to the end for, using every resource at my hands.

She cocked the gun and waited for Jason to turn around to deliver four shots in the boy’s body, sending him back a few feet. The pain was visible on his face.

– I can take any offense against me, I do not care. Want to call me a traitor? Go ahead. Want to make fun of my powers? Grab a number and get in line, because I’m definitely not the most prominent member of my family in those terms. But you dare say anything about my brothers who fell in combat and I will make sure that not even Nectar can repair the damage that I’ll cause.
– Have you finished?
-Yes.

He straightened himself up, going for another exchange of blows. Morgan reached into her pocket, searching for more bullets for the shotgun, but she had used then all. Reprimanding herself mentally for not carrying more non-lethal ammunition, she holded the blows with the gun barrel, sliding through the mud to stay behind Jason without protest when she felt the boy’s sword opening a gash in her right thigh. She observed the wound briefly, deciding that it was not as serious as sore, even though her mobility was finished with it. Jason turned to face Morgan when she ran against the guy, taking advantage of a gap in his guard to hit him with a violent head-butt in the nose. Jason retreated until he fell back. Morgan fell to her knees where she was, the searing pain in her thigh causing her to see stars in addition to the head-butt. The fight was over.

Morgan could hear the mobilization of the other demigods to help them, jumping down the Argus II. She held her own forehead, still dizzy from the impact against the Jason’s nose and now the cold rain began to make her shake. With a sidelong glance she noticed Frank and Piper helping Jason, but stopped to focus on that when realized Leo crouching beside her.

– Can you stand?
– Probably. – With the help of Leo she could go limping to the ship – Valdez…
– Look, no need to apologize for anything. – He lowered his voice – Jason went too far.
– I wasn’t going to apologize for that. – She laughed at the expression that Leo did – I was going to say to give me a few minutes until I came back to help fix the deck. If get late, the fault will be mine.
– If you can do against the nature spirits half of what you did against Jason I think we could have a shot.
– If I can lift the magical barrier they might forget that we are here. – She grimaced when she  landed her right foot on the floor – Festus brought us to a very rich magical point.
– Rich? Why? I only see the sea and mountains on all sides.
– Exactly for that. And tonight is the waning moon. The earth represents the underworld, and then we have the sea and the moon… the three aspects of my mother.
– And that is…. Good?
– This is great! – She smiled, her eyes shining – it will save me a lot of energy. And it’s not like I have much to waste right now.
– I noticed. – He took a piece of ambrosia and gave it to the girl – eat that, and after throw some nectar on top of this cut, that I think I’m getting to see your femur.
– What an overstatement. – She ate a piece of ambrosia; tasted like apple cake with cinnamon, fresh out of the oven, making her feel warmer instantly – just a little cut.

She pulled a flannel from her shorts and filled it with nectar, putting on the wound. She bit her lower lip, suppressing the urge to growl in pain, bending herself over the wound. She let out a long sigh, thinking of the task that would be circulate throughout all the rugged terrain of before with a wounded leg, but did not let herself down. It was time to show to what she had come. “Besides… this cut totally worth it…”, she though.

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