Chapter 1: Broods and Battles
- It was a pleasent December day. The snow had fallen yesterday so the entire camp was covered in a blanket of white fluff. It was not the snow that made it a good day it was the fact that in a few hours i will be welcoming a new sister-in-law. My brother Brogg who was a orc, would be claiming a brood-mate and i will be the one running the cerimony. I walked form my cabin where i was practicing my lines to the middle of the forest where the cerimony would be taking place. It would be a small cerimony just members of the Ironheads and a few others who wish to come. When i got to the clearing where it was happening everything was ready. There was an arch made of branches lined with wildflowers and a tent one either side. One for Brogg where him and the rest of the Ironheads were getting him suited up in his armor. The other for Lily and some of her Dryad sisters. I went to Brogg's tent first I opened the flap to find five adolescent girls fussing over a 7-foot tall orc in silver and red armor. When they registered my presence they gave me nod and continued fussing over Brogg except Jackie the veteren hunter who came over to me.
"Hes ready, Sir"
"Good. Is he nervous?"
"Like no orc before"
"Well that cant be good"
"No, not really"
As i left the tent, i felt a hand on my shoulder. When i turned around Brogg was staring at me with a look of complete fear. I had never known Brogg to be the timid type even in the face of death.
"You okay Bro?"
"Im claiming a mate, im the first orc to do so. How do you think i feel?"
"Nervous like hell, im geussing"
"Brogg, do you love her?"
"Do you love Thalia?"
I left Brogg to the mercy of the hunters and went to the other tent. I found Lily passing back-and-forth around the tent, She wore a long green dress, had a headband made of flowers with a green vale and had someflowers in her hands, she looked like the perfect dryad bride. Her expresstion was worried and scared.
"Whats wrong?" I asked
"Im getting claimed, im freaking out but i have nothing to freak out about!"
"Your worried about the future. Your worried if Brogg will fall in battle. Your worried what your kids will look like. Your conserned about everything yet to come"
"As usual your right. Any advice?"
"Im a dude so no mushy lubby-dubby advice, but i do know not to be conserned about the future and enjoy the now"
I was only half lying i had once had a dream that Thalia was giving birth to my child I had blacked it out until yesterday when i was practicing my lines, I was conserned about that but i still enjoyed the now. She gave me a tackl hug that almost made me lose my balance, she wispered in my ear
"Thank you.. Brother"
"Your welcome.. little sister"
She let go and her dryad sisters came in, with what i could tell enough make up and perfume that would make the Aphrodite cabin jealous. I left as i was almost choked by the amount of fumes in the air. Outside i found Thalia taking to her dad: Zeus. After they registered my presence Thalia gave me kiss on the lips. It was a tad awkward with her dad right there. When we broke our imbrace I turned to Zeus.
"uhh.. Hi Zeus"
"What are you doing here?"
"I want to be here for an Ironhead, and i have the new oath for the Ironheads"
"Okay after the cerimony Brogg willl take the oath and be on his way"
I looked at the sky the sun was beginning to set over the hills. It was time. I picked up a conch shell that layed under the arch and blew it with all my might. In a few moments a small group had gathered around the clearing. It was just Chiron (in centaur form), some satyrs and some dryads. Then Brogg and the hunters came out of their tent. Brogg was now fully armored in his new slick Red and silver armor. He had a an axe and a rifle on his back and his helmet hooked under his arm. Then Lily came out with her sisters all wearing green dresses and carrying flowers. The met under the arch and held hands. I stood behind them alowing everyone to see them. I gathered my thoughts and shouted
"We have come her to witness and historical moment. Brogg Brimtooth an orc has promised to claim Lily Everheart a dryad as a brood mate" I turned to Brogg "Do you Brogg Brimtooth swear to be a caring mate and provide for Lily in any and every way"
He repeated the oath.
"Do you swear to give her a home and to give her a brood to call her own"
He repeated the oath. I tunred to Lily
"And do you Lily Everheart swear to be a loveing mate and provide for Brogg with everything and anything"
She repeated the oath
"Do you swear to keep your home in the best condition while Brogg serves and will you bear his brood"
She repeated the oath. Turned back to the audience.
"As the Marauder the last of The Line I now pronouce you mates"
The leaned in to kiss when an arrow went in between them and planted itself in my chest. Thank gods i was wearing some kevlar under my jacket so it didnt go much more than a cenimeter into my body leaving anything vital safe. I stumbled back but i just broke it off leaving the head in my kevlar. As if one cue a group of girls in silver ski jackets and white jeans appered out of the forest. The huntres had finally made their move. The snow and horfrost almost made them invisable. Chiron ran to our side bow drawn and ready to fire. Brogg pulled out his rifle and my hunters and Thalia drew their bows. The dryads ran into the tents with the satyrs and Zeus run to my side his eyes seemed to spark with electricity.
"Who dares interrupt this cerimony" belowed Zeus
One of the girsl stepped forward and pulled up her hood to reveal her face. It was Artemis
I could feel anger serging through my vains, which helpd block out the minor pain the arrow had caused me.
"Artemis how dare you come here, you have betrayed your family, your followers and even your very ideals" Shouted Zeus.
As he yelled some curses in greek the enemy hunters began forming a half-ring around the clearing. A crossfire. It amused that they would even attempt a crossfire on me, i had lost count of how many times i had won against such a basic strategy.
"DAD just shut up" yelled Aretmis "Im not here for a battle, Im here to talk"
"Then why the hell did you shoot me!" I yelled
"I didnt, my hunters are still so very upset that you were so uncoperative last summer"
"Will they bloody get over that. I dont love any of them. I love Thalia"
Thalia moved a bit closer to me and smirked at the hunters.
"I just want to talk"
Artemis dropped her bow and all her weapons walked to the middle of the clearing and sat cross-legged with a calm smile on her face. Zeus remained suspious and really angry. I leaned over to Brogg and wispered in his good ear.
"Just like Sages Peak"
He smiled baring his tusks. He remembered that all to well. We were ambushed and when we were about to be over run when their leader some Hermes demigod came forward and asked if we could just talk. I wouldent just kill him and he wouldent kill me but our troops might not be so honourable. So we agreed that all over our troops would set a crossfire so if their was any sign of a fight me and him would be killed. It also worked to make sure that we wouldent begin killing each other. Brogg wispered to everyone and they began forming a crossfire while i sat infront of Artemis.
"So what do you want to talk about?"
"I..uh.. I'm sorry"
I couldent hold it in I exploded into laughter.
"Do you honestly think you just come here let me get shot, and say im sorry for trying to kill me making deals with deamons and sending wolves after me"
"Those werent my wolves the deamons had taking a few of my cubs and have begun breeding them. The allience with me and the deamons is gone but they still wish to kill you"
"But arent you still going to try to kill me"
"I can wait you can live forever but even you arent invicable, I'll wait for some lucky monster to kill you and me and Orion will be together"
"Oh ya.. I forgot Hades has put and end to that deal" called Zeus
Artemis's face went pale and blank. She loved Orion like no other. I had mix feelings on this I hated the fact that she made deals with deamons and the attempts on my life, but i felt bad that she had lost her only love.
"Marauder what would you do for Thalia?"
"Thats how i feel about Orion and therefore you. I am so very sorry for how i have acted I only wish i could fix the mistakes that i have made"
I didnt sence any sence of diseption.
"I still dont trust you... However I forgive you. Forgive and forget right?"
The Ironheads and the Hunters had a feast to celebrate our coexistence and we had some negotiations. After we settled and agreement of Ironhead/Hunter rules of engament. If we both had target prey we share the glory and we celebrate the victory. The hunters that defected to me decided to stay in the Ironheads. When the negotiations were finished Thalia came forward and shared the new Ironhead oath. She told it to Brogg and my Hunters and the repeated it. The hunters left with a found farewell. The Brogg carried Lily to oen of the tents where they would spend their honeymoon.
Ewww... I love my Bro, I'm really happy for him and Lily is great but the thought of a orc and a dryad is just weird.
Chapter 2: First Campagin
- Two days later it was birthday. We didnt do anything that special me and Thalia just hang out in my cabin, watched some old movies and well.. made out.. alot. In mid breath STACI logged on.
"Oh Gods! Will you guys get a room"
Thalia edge off of me and.
"This is my room STAC"
"Well... Uh... I have reports that there is a monster sighting in... uh... about 1 day west. Im still getting used american geography"
Me and Thalia got up and went out the door. It was a bit curfue and the snow had begin to thicken over the past few days. I knocked on the door of the girls half of the Ironhead cabin while Thalia ran to Brogg's hut which he built in a day with his bare hands and my help. Jackie answered the door she had silver pajamas with a red teardrops all over.
"Is there a problem Sir?"
"We got reports that theres a monster a day west, get the hunters ready we're leaving now"
"Yes right now"
"We'll be ready in ten minutes sir"
"Pack light and be ready for heavy combat"
I went up the ladder on the side of the building and strapped on my armour over a thermal kevlar underskin and grabbed my campian bag which i strapped tightly to my back. I waited by my cabin for everyone. First came the hunters dressed in silver jackets over they're breastplates which they had spray painted white for the winter they each had two bottons on their ranks belts one we the Ironhead symbol the other with a silver bow with the words "retired Hunter of Artemis" painted in red ink. They had their backpacks and quivers slung over their backs and bows in hand. Then came Brogg and Thalia. Brogg had his silver and red armor over a thermal underskin his stuff was strapped to his back, He had his helmet on which covered his while face except his jaw so he could use his tusks. Thalia had her armor on too it was slick black greek style with a black cape making her stand out from the snow but blend in with the night sky.
"Sir, yes sir!"
"Then as our first mission as a group may it be a good one. We will run until tomarrow morning then rest. By tomarrow night we will find some sort of monster. Ready Ironheads?"
"Then lets go!"
I threw on my helmet, a green dot in the coner of my visor ment that STACI was uploaded to moniter our progress and help. We began sprinting up the hills and over the valley. When we passed through the magic barrier everything went weird. Brogg became a huge 7-foot tall foot ball player in full football gear. The hunters became gilrs in silver jackets with no weapons or armor. And Thalia.. well she looked normal a leather jacket and punk clothes. It still looked like i was looking through my visor but when i looked at myself it looked like i was wearing red and silver football equipment, but it still felt like my armor, light and deadly. As we went across the highway we slowed our pace so we wouldent pass out. We contiued running at that pace until the next morining. As the sun was rising we entered a forest a few miles from where the monster was sighted. We were in no shape to fight we needed to rest. I stopped and pulled off my helmet.
"We camp here!"
"Its about time" groned the youngest hunter Mallory
"You dont like running?"
"No! why couldent we just take some horses to get here?"
"Brogg! Tell Mallory why we run on a campaign"
He lead her awasy to gather some firewood. He would probibly say only the best warriors run to places not useing a mount, they use their own speed and energy to get where there going. It also keeps you fit. When they came back we had the camp ready, we had two silver tents and a fire pit. Brogg dropped a ton of wood into the pit and Thalia zapped some kindling to start the fire. Jackie had shot a deer for us to eat. Personly i didnt like it very much but i was hungry. After we all ate I took the first watch while everyone took a nap. I strapped on my helmet an went through some data files while i sat on a rock. According to the time of the year, climate and a few other things we were probibly up against an oger, which would be really bad. I tunred on my advanced radar so i could relax and let my gear alert me if anything was coming. I graabed my bag and pulled out my copy of A Warrior's Handbook. I flipped to a random page and read. As i read the sun began warming my body giving me energy. It made me feel good, i was born for campaigns i loved traveling and i was trained for it. After i read a few pages i felt something on my shoulder, I turned to find Thalia wide awake and with a smile. I tossed the book back into my bag and pulled off my helmet while she sat on my lap. She gave me a peak on the cheek, and shocked me not a normal shock one of her lightning shocks. I didnt even flinch i had grown so used to her electirc powers, not realizing she zapped me she spoke.
"So what do you think we're up against"
"Could be anything but most likely an oger"
"A big fat man-eater"
"No their... well... if it is one you'll see"
"Fine... My turn for look out. You go rest"
She go off of me and i walked over to the guy tent. I picked up my bag and as i went into the tent i looked back at Thalia who was sitting on the rock now and actually keeping watch. The morning light shimered off her (now) medium length hair. It was interesting how a military farmboy like me gets together with a punk rock-chick like her. Thank gods we didnt care. I went into the tent to find Brogg still in his armor and passed out on some animal skins and snoring really loudly. I purposly fell face first into some skins and fell asleep.
Chapter 3: Snowmen and a Hellhound
- I woke up to find Brogg standing over me. He had his helmet on.
"Time to go Brother"
"Is the monster close?"
"Less then a mile away, and its a group we dont know the exact numbers but its a group of fair numbers"
I felt both relived and even more anxious. I was happy that it would not be an oger you never find more than one, however a group of monster would prove a challenge. A challenge worth to be remembered as the Ironheads first conquest.
"Well then.. lets go show some monsters that the time of the Ironheads have began and.."
"Save the speech for everyone else..."
I got up and fished my weapons out of my bag along with a safegaurd staff (a magic staff that would protech the camp for a few hours). We went out of the tent ready for a good scrap. It was night again and the stars were bright. Thalia and the hunters were busy sharpening weapons and strapping on armor. The mist seemed to have thined alot so i could see everthing. When they registered my presence the hunters got into rank and Brogg joined them. I took my usual place standing infront of them with Thalia by my side. I let Thalia give the mission brief.
"Ironheads! We got a group of monsters 200 yards west of here. We dont know what it is but do we care?"
"They plan is a simple crossfire and after we take out enough of what-ever we're fighting, Me, Brogg and Marauder drop in for melee combat, keep us covered!"
"Anything to add Marauder?"
"Nothing much just.. This is our first battle as the Ironheads. So lets show evey monster across the planet that this is the age of the Ironheads, an age that all evil creatures will fear for all eternity and it wont end ever"
We let out a battle cry that would have been heard miles away. I quickly stabbed the safgaurd staff into the ground and we sprinted to the area where the monsters were. We found some foot prints in the snow, my best traker Arya kneeled over them confused and conserned.
"I have never seen tracks like this" I knelt next to her. The print looked almost human but was huge not big enough to be a giant but very big. I pulled off my helmet and sniffed the air i smelt rotting bark and a thick musk. Like an musk ox or an ape. A gorilla. A memory came to me. An expediton to Tibet i had during the second year leading the Ironheads.
"I know what we're fighting, But i dont know how they can be here"
"But what are we fighting?" asked Thalia
I tunred around to find a 10-foot tall yeti about to crush me into the ground with a ninja sword the size of a tree trunk. With pure instict I grabbed the sword at the hilt twisted around and stabbed it into the yeti's pot-belly. Its body went limp and it fell to the groud with a "thud." Its body had thick white fur with bones and trophies woven into the longest hair, its had simple belts and armor made of rawhide and treebark. Yetis were worthy opponents I had enjoyed my tour threw Tibet then we had to rotate back to North america. I looked at my team they were frozen in shock. Only Brogg came to search the body he had fought these things before, he was there during my tour.
"Guys! if you look like that whenever I kill anything you wont last long"
I joined Brogg in seaching the body for intel.
"What you got Bro?"
"Its a scout. looks like form the wue tang tribe"
"Anything on why yetis whould be here"
"Not a clue sir, maybey their commander could tell us"
"Then lets get moving. Hunters get into the trees, keep us covered. All of you remeber yeti's have sencitive hearing so be quite, unless your fighting then be as loud as you can get"
"Yes sir!" The hunters ran up the trees bows at-the-ready, and began jumping from tree to tree. Me, Brogg and Thalia continued truging through the snow. Then the snow began to fall and fall it did, really hard. Thank god my thermal underskin was very high quality or i would freeze, Brogg was godd too but Thalia was shivering.
"C-c-c-can we j-j-just find these guys, kill 'em and get back to camp"
"If we just rush against them we would be no better than the monsters we fight"
She went quiet and pulled her cape around her. It was so dark and the snow took the last bit of visiblity, if we were ambushed we had no chance. I flipped on all my advanced helmet functions: infer-red, targeting, sonar, the works. After a few more minutes of blindness i got something. The image in my visor shifted i could see that about 80 feet away a group of about 30 yetis were truging through the snow. They were in a tight box formation with a flag bearer in the centre-front rank. The flag had a ball of fire with a deamon head erupting from the flames. These guys were guns-for-hire and had been bought by the deamons. They were my enemies so i would show them the same mercy that they would show me: none.
"Guys find cover" i wispeared. I pressed them radio com on my helmet. "Jakie! form a crossfire. We have them"
"(zzz) yes s-s-sir (zzz)" I ran to the nearest tree and got my rifle ready. As did Brogg with his "hyper" rifle and Thalia with her bow. A glow from torches appeared, and a group of white furred, 10-feet tall apes marched throuigh the snow with ease. Then they stooped and the flag bearer stepped forward and sniffed the air. We were down wind but the Yeit seemed angry and suspicous. He spoke to the biggest one who seemed to be the leader in Tibeten, which i was fluent in.
"Sir, Im smelling a demigod to the north. What should we do?" his voice was deep and sounded like ice scraping against rock, it was creepy the way his voice seemed to carry through the wind.
"What we were hired to do, kill them change formation we go after this demigod" his vocie was much the same as the flag bearer but much more raspy as if he'd been a heavy smoker.
"NOW!" I screamed
I looked down my rifle's scope and shot at the flag bearer. It got a bulls-eye in the back of his neak, killing him instantly. My hunters must have been in the trees because arrows began sprouting from the yetis not killing many but letting them now they were in trouble. I let go of my rifle, letting the strap carry it and pulled out my sword and despenced my shield and charged. Brogg and Thalia came to my side. Thalia had her copy of Aegis and a spear. Brogg had a square wood and metal shield with the Ironhead symbol stamped on and a battle cleaver. We formed a phalanx and began marching. The yetis got over their confusion the formed two ranks, the front had hailbeards pointed downward and the second rank had crossbows and were fire bolts the size of swords at us, not even realizing that our wall of metal was hodling up.
"Jackie, how we doing?!"
"(zzz) Your less then 10 yard away, keep going for 8 more pases and then break (zzz)"
"Attagirl" We marched 8 more pases then i yelled.
We broke our tight formation and charged the lines. I jumped over the line of halibeareds and smashed into a wall of with fur and wooden armor. My first apponent pulled out a steel ninja blade, he went for a thrust, i quickly knocked it away and kick him into one of his commrades. I jumped and stabbed down killing both of them. I survaide the battle while smashing an enemy. Brogg was taking out two yetis with his cleaver, Thalia shot a bolt of lightning from her spear and yetis were being pegged off by my hunters who were invizible in the night. I jumped over a line and landed right infront of the leader. As i slashed the yeit behind me i turned on my voice changer on my helmet, making my voice deeper and more intimadating. I began speeking Tibeten and fighting him at the same time. The Yeti had a emborded ninja sword and thick hide armor.
"Why are you here master yeti?"
"We are being paid to fight demigods. Why do you attack us?"
"The Ironheads do not take kindly to monster terrorists"
"The Ironheads?! I have been waiting for my vengence against you for a long time Marauder"
"What did i ever do to you?"
"I was still very young but no so young that i would remember how you pillaged my home on your campaign and killed my eldest son"
As i paryed away his attacks I remembered the battle, we were attacking a fortress in the deep mountains. We had word that the creatures living there had been hunting a very sacred species of dragon, we were hired to stop them by any means. We had tried talking but it didnt work so we had to seige the place. We won easy we left many survivors but we sent the message through.
"Im sorry.. but your tribe broke a sacred law: slaying emperor dragons. We did what we had to"
Out of fury he tried a down ward slash but I hit him in the gut with my shield. He let out a cry of pain and i edned his life with a stab through his neak. The battle hushed slightly all the yetis around near me charged in a frenzy. After three seconds of fighting in a sea of yetis. I knew if i didnt get help I would be dead in the next few minutes. The i heard a bark so loud you would think it was gunfire. A hellhound rammed thorugh the yetis i was fight. I knew this Hellhound it was Mrs. O' Leary. I looked around to see NIco di Angelo standing in his aviators jaket, ripped jeans, His sword strapped to his hip and a smug look on his face.
"Hello Marauder. Whats up"
"Oh.. nothing, IM JUST FIGHTING FOR MY LIFE!"
He smiled and pulled out his sword. He stabbed it into the ground and about 50 skeletons chagred the last of the Yetis. In a few minutes the Yetis were dead, the skeletons fell to the ground and the hunters had come down from the trees. Brogg was searching the leaders body for intel and Thalia went over to Mrs. O' Leary and began scraching her behind the ears. I marched up to Nico and pulled off my helmet. Nico was a extremely powerful even to by Big Three standereds but he never got the whole your-my-student-so-im-the-boss thing. But he was young and had a darker past than even me so i usually over looked it.
"Marauder this isnt one of your elite classes, Your rank dosent exist here"
"My rank is universal, Private. So dont you eye ball me boy! Now tell me why your here"
"Okay, okay sorry. I decided to take a break from the underworld and go back to camp. But this storm hit and it screwed up my shadowtraveling"
"Then come on, we offer you food and shelter for the night. We're going back to camp in the morning you can join us"
"Thank you sir"
"Good boy. Ironheads fall in!"
My troops lined up and Thalia came by my side, Nico stood at the end of the lien and Mrs. O 'Leary took the librety to sniff each and every body.
Brogg stepped forward "The leader had some paper work in his pocket I think you might want to take a look at them"
"Thank you Brogg. What are the costs of battle?"
Jackie stepped forward "No serious injuries sir, permission to take trophies as this been our first campagin?"
"Teeth and weapons, no skins"
"Thank you sir"
The hunters ran to the nearest yeti and began pulling teeth the size of bananas. Brogg came closer and pulled out some parchment.
"Marauder, most of these are just cheaks but you need to see who their from"
I grabbed a papewr and at the bottom was signed by: The Greater Demon council. Finally they showed their snaky heads I had been at war with the Deamon council for years it was never offical but i had a feeling i would be soon.
"Well this cant be could can it Bro"
"No it cant"
Nico came forward "Bro? please tell me this.. thing is not realated to you"
"Is that a problem Nico?"
"Not to me, the rest of the camp is the ones that might have a problem"
"Then they're going to get a sword up their butts if they have a problem with having an orc at camp"
After the hunters gathered enough teeth we headed back to camp in a hurry. It was getting colder out so we wouldent last long without shelter. When we got to camp we ran inot our tents and curled up to a small lantern. I passed out to the snoring of Mrs. O'Leary outside the tent.
Chapter 4: Hello.. Dead person
- The next morning i woke up to find Brogg snoring and Nico gone. I stepped outside into the chill of the early morning air. Mrs. O' Leary was curled next to my tent with a deer skull in her jaws. I looked at my at my gaunlets the radar showed a lifeform not far. I headed toward the target. As i truged through the snow and while i walked i felt an ere prezence, like something was here but it wasent suposed to be. I got sight of Nico he was with four mysterious figures. three were ghosts the forth was the shape of a girl. It was coloured like a night sky and was covered in stars, the brightest being its mouth and eyes. I came forward showing no hesitation. To be honest the dead were the only creatures that made me feel uneasy, but that was only because i lost the old Ironheads to an army of undead. When I got close I recognized one of the ghosts. It was Charles Beckendorf, in the ectoplasim. The other two ghosts were both girls, the very attractive one was held in Beckendorf's arms. The other was a hunter a young hunter at that. When i got close enough Nico pulled out his sword not knowing it was me. He pointed it at my chest right infront of one of my ammo packs.
"Put down the sword, Private. And introduce me"
"Sorry sir" He gestured to Beckendorf "This is..."
"Beckendorf" I said
"Hello Marauder its been a long time" answered Beckendorf. I tried to give him a handshake but i couldent, him being intangible and all.
"Im Silena Beaurgard" said the attarctive girl "You knew Charlie?"
"Pleasure, Yes I knew Charlie he was my only connection to Camp Half-Blood"
"And im Zoe NIghtshade, former lieutenent of the hunters" said the girl that looked like a conselation
"Great..." i said sarcasticly
"Does thee not like the hunters"
"Dont conselations see whats going on earth?"
"Until four days ago i was at war with Artemis"
"I know of your dispute. Im sure my goddess had her reasons. Marauder as i have been in the sky i have learnt of your past life. His knowledge is always with you. I hope that it might help you one day"
There was a long awkward silence. The ghost hunter stepped forward.
"And im Bianca di Angelo"
I looked at Nico
I tunred back to Bianca "I have heard alot about you. May your soul be at peace, I will do my best to make sure your brother never gets hurt"
"Thank you, but im sure Nico can take care of himself"
Nico came between us.
"I needed to talk to my sister, and when i mentioned you i had to summon more dead heroes"
"Well dont let me stop your family reuinon" as i began walking back to camp i tunred back "Oh.. Nico we're leaving in less than and hour so dont make us wait"
He smiled. As i tunred back to camp all but Bianca dissolved into the air. I went back to camp and found everyone still asleep. It was getting late and they were all vulnerable to attack. I went into my tent, grabbed my bag and ran out without makeing a sound. I reached in and pulled out some sonic pulsars. They werent dangerous at all the just causes a very loud bang. I set three of them on a rock and linked their signal to my gauntlet. I carefully tossed one in Brogg's tent and two in the girls tent. I ran up a tree and got ready to press the activation botton.
"Morning troops" i snikered to myself.
I pressed the botton. When you hear a blowhorn right next to your ear its really loud, thats about half the volume i heard of the pulsars. In my tent i heard a throuty roar from Brogg and in the girl's tent i heard high pitched shreeks and some fights being started. I jumped out of the tree and came out Brogg was ready to leave, he realized his mistake of not being ready at dawn as was the tradtion in the Ironheads. Then the grils came out in pyjamas, stern expressions and a varity of scraps and bruises. Brogg ranked up and Thalia marched up to me.
"What the **** was that for"
"Come on Thal, you know protocall we need to be ready for breifing by dawn"
"Well we were out past two in the morning. We're tired we wont wake up at dawn just for a briefing"
"Sorry Thal, its protocall"
She glared at me electricty sparking in her eyes. She stomped back to the tent, with the hunters behind her. I turned to Brogg, gave me an orc glare. The thing about an orc glare is its almost as bad as looking at Thalia's magic shield. But as usual a felt nothing.
"That was really uncalled for Bro"
"Im sorry but you remember protocal and what happens if you dont follow it"
"Hey im on your side. Its Thalia im worried about. You scored with a real power house, and power is very dangerous when used a certain way"
"I know" After a few minutes the hunters came out and everyone ranked up. When Thalia came to my side i could feel the electric energy radiating from her. I decided to speek first
"Ironheads! i apologise for my little prank, however protocal stats that we need to be ready by dawn and its nearing noon. Again i apologise. We will be leaving in an hour. Now lets get to work!"
Within minutes the tents were backed up and any remains of the camp were covered. In the end you would never guess we were here. Except the sleeping hellhound. I walked up to Mrs O' Leary and kneeled next to her ear. I began scratching her behind the ears with my clawed gauntlet. Her tail began wagging and she opened her big brown eyes.
She yawned and then pinned me to the ground. She gave me a big wet slobbery kiss. If theres one thing i had learnt about hellhounds its their weakspot. I reached behind the right side of her jaw and tickled the rigth spot. She rolled off of me and layed on her pack asking me to scratch her belly. After a few minutes i stopped and double checked all my stuff. When Nico came back we were ready to go. The run back to camp was alot slower for a varity of reasons. Nico didnt have our upgraded strength, speed and power, so we had to slow down so he wouldent be left behind. Mrs, Oleary was really hard to control so at one point we had to make a leash out of grappling rope and we had to constatly duck behind cover from normal humans, not to arose suspition. When it began to get dark we quickly downed a few ration packs and kept running. When the moon began rising we had reached camp. We hiked up Half-Blood hill and went to the big house which now had its glowing light decorations. As we went down the hill I gave some orders.
"Ironheads, go get some sleep me"
"Yes sir! Thank you sir!"
My troops ran to our cabin while me, Thalia and Nico continued to the big house. We found Chrion and Mr. D playing cards in the reck room. Me and Thalia ranked up and Nico slumped into a chair exhasted from the run.
"Marauder my boy, Where have you been for the last two days" asked Chiron
We took our seats and filled him in over a game of cards. Afterwards we all went our seperate ways and went to bed.
Chapter 5: A meeting with the gods
- A few weeks later it was the winter solstice and the Ironhead command were invited. So it was just me and Thalia. When we finally got to the throne room we checked in with nymph who was standing by the door with a checkboard.
"Ironhead command reporting" i said
"Good you two will report to Zeus"
We strode into the huge hall which was filled with gods arguing and shouting over petty subjects when should the next hurrician be, my temple is better than yours blau blau blau.... they should be talking about the demon problem. The major gods were in there huge thrones trying to keep peace. Even Artemis was there with her new lieutenant: Phoebe i think. We walked to Zeus who know 30 feet tall and looked stressed.
"Hello sir" I said
"HI Dad" said Thalia
"Ah.. Ironheads, I could use your help. I have been trying to get into the demon probelm but.. well.. you can see"
"As you wish my lord"
I marched to the hearth in the middle of the room. I waited a few moments and let out an orc battle cry so loud i could feel vibrations.
"Now will you bloody immortals shut up, sit down and be quite!"
"Make me little mortal!" said a bulky guy in black armor covered in scars
"You want to go Pal!"
A javilin appeared in his hands and he charged me. Good thing i had my gaunlets. I caught his thrust and pulled the javilin sending him flying behind me. face first into the ground. When he turned around i had the weapon at his throut. He looked scared so he disappeared in a puff of smoke.
"Anyone else got somethin' to say!" All the gods ran to their seats. As marched back to my post most of the major gods gave me pleased smiles. When everyone was at their seats the meeting began. Zeus razed his master bolt and fired a beam of electricity at the hearth. It erupted into flames and bathed the hall in warmth. The flames had dancing images of demons fighting demigods, hellcannons fireing at a magic barrier and ther fight between me and Artemis. Zeus began speaking
"Gods It has been two years sence the last monster uprising and i fear we are at risk of another"
"Its his fault that human brought the demons!" shouted a minor god. He said human like it something dirty
"Dont forget that Artemis made deals with them! She betrayed us all!" said another
I glanced over to Artemis who seemed sad and guilty. I pulled out my pistol. I aimed at a spot right next to the gods ear and fired. A beam of red energy landed point-blank and liquid fire splattered on the marble throne. I lowered my smokeing pistol.
"Peace has been made between The Ironheads and The Hunters of Artemis! If i have forgiven her then all of you should! If any of you say otherwise i might have to aim better"
The minor gods got the idea. Getting seats here was a privilage that they were abusing and i would not be taking any of their back talk.
"Thank you Marauder" said Zeus
After that the meeting was realitivly shot. After we told the council about the yeti mercenaries. Artemis told us how they had fought a Greater Fire Demon. Several gods gave information on how fast the demons were mobilizing. After that the 12 major gods went into a smaller meeting room for their final desion on the matter. We were stuck keeping the minor under control with Phoebe. The gods remained peaceful for a few minutes but then a group of minor war gods got restless and started a boxing match. While Thalia talked with Phoebe i sorted it out. The gods had formed a ring with two in the middle fighting.
"Oy! No fighting!" I yelled. The Gods stopped figthing and began throwing bunches at me. I quickly countered and hit them in the face. "Back to your seats! This meeting is not over!"
They ran back to theirs seats and i went back to my post. Then a woman came over to me. She had glossy black hair and a blood red dress with a golden scale picture on it. I could feel the goldy energy around her so i felt the need to bow. When i looked up she smiled
"Is there something wrong Lady..?" I asked
"Nemesis. Nothing is wrong young warrior. I havent seen you in a long time, you have grown"
"Forgive me but where have i met you?"
"We have never met officaly but i have followed you on your exploits many times"
"I admire you as do many other gods"
"Why?" I found myself feeling repeditive
"You are not a hero to take glory. You are a hero to keep balance. You will remain with your followers and keep the balance"
"So i get to stay on the side lines and be a referee forever"
"You make it sound simple, belive me keeping the balance is no where near simple"
The the major gods came back in.
"We will talk another time" she said
She went back to her throne and when it was quite Zeus spoke.
"We have come to a desion on the demon matter" he turned to Percy's Dad Posiedon.
"Until the energy created from Kronos's death runs out and the demons weaken" he turned to Hades
"This age will be called the demon wars"
The room when quite. It was good that atleast we had a plan on how to deal with the demons but it could take years for Kronos's energy to run out.
"What of the Ironheads" I asked
I felt a hundred pair of eys on me.
Annabeth's mom Athena stood up "You and your troops will be as you are figthing the demons. You will train demigods with Chiron and all we be as it is from now on"
"Meeting ajorned" said Zeus
Most of the gods simply disappeared in either puffs of smoke or a flash of light. The rest just began walking around. As me and Thalia left we were intercepted by Athena.
"Marauder i wish to speak with you. Come to my office"
We began following her
"Only the Marauder little sister" she said to Thalia, who hesistated
"Its okay Thal i wont be long"
"I'll be by the car"
She gave me a peck on the cheak and walked to the elevator. Athena lead me her temple and into her office, if you could call it an office. It was more like the biggest library ever. It was three stroies higy and lined books, scrolls, fileing cabnets and artifacts from multiple cultures. In the middle was a very neat desk with a computer, a bunch of other office supplies and a stuffed owl pearch on a branch. She took a seat behind the desk while i stood. She stared at me with her fingers crossed for a few minutes.
"Marauder, I would just like to say I am a big fan"
"I seem to hear that alot tonight"
"You have earnt that. You have done things fought enemies that even we wouldent fight. Did you not take a shot a the Typhon when he escaped?"
I had forgot about that solo mission. Solo meaning that i was alone and trying to get to camp. The Typhon was cutting through the country and what would be the point of getting to camp if there was no camp to get to. So i fationed together a plane and took a few shots at its face util i was blastes so far i was in Las Vegas. Good thing i had planed to be blasted to China.
"I took my shot"
"You are a credit to your race. But you are not a hero"
"Ive been told that. Im not like Percy or Annabeth, when people draw pistures of the demon wars i will be in the back while a demigod is in the front"
"Do you know why?"
"Its not my place"
"You are a wise one. I am pleased to be your ally"
"Thank you my Lady"
I went back to the camp's RV where Thalia was waiting. It was getting late and i had special plans for tomarrow.
- The next day was special it was Thalia's birthday. I quickly finished my chores and went to Half-Blood Hill. Where Thalia was checking the camps borders for any anomalies. I found her fiddiling with the activation clip on the Golden Fleece. I put my arms around her and kissed her on the neck. She seemed to enjoy it. She turned around the we kissed.,
"Happy birthday Thal" I said
"Thanks Babe" she replied
"So what do you want to do tonight? Its your choice"
"How about some Mcdonalds then we could go see that new action movie"
"Simple yet elegant. I'll get you at seven"
The night was awesome. It almost seemed like we were normal teenagers. After the movie I gave her a wrist band that had all the technology that was in my gaunlets all compact into a chain.
"Now you can always call me if your introuble"
As we were driving back to camp Thalia spoke.
"You havent asked how old i am. Ive been dropping hints all night for you to ask me"
"a wise man always remembers a womans birthday but never her age" (A/N:So very true. One day it may save my butt)
I didnt understand why she wanted me to know her exsact age. I thought best not to think about it. When we got back to camp we went our seperate ways at Half-Blood hill. I was just passing the arena I heard a scream and my wristband beeped. It was Thalia. I sprinted full force and when i got sight of her she was being chased by the Harpies.
"Dont run little half-blood you are late so you are supper" scremed one of the harpies
I ran and tackled two of them. I summer-sulted with my dagger claws ready.
"Harpies back to your posts. She is under my protection. Get out of here!"
They flew off screaming in fear. I turned back to Thalia who was on the ground. She had a few scrapes but she was fine.
"Thal are you okay"
I went with her to her cabin. When i was content with her safety i went back to my cabin and fell asleep.
Chapter 6: A Hybrid For Christmas
- For Chirstmas we were invited to Percy's mom's place. They even let us bring Brogg and Lily. We were going to stay the night so we could give presents in the morning. As we were loading into the RV I noticed Lily seemed to be a bit iritable. She snapped at Brogg when he forgot to get his best tusk jewelery. When he finally gave in we were all ready to go. Me and Thalia were in the front seat Brogg and Lily in the back. When we went through the borders of camp Brogg becam a huge football player (again) and Lily looked alot like herslef just less dryad-like. They wouldent stop arguing about anything and the problem was that Lily seemed to be starting the fights. She wasent being herself not cool and collected. As we entered Manhattan I finally got fed up with the fighting.
"If you two dont stop fighting I will drop you off here and you will need to find your own way back to camp"'
They shut up for the rest of the car ride. When we pulled up to the apartments Percy was waiting for us. I parked next to him and got our stuff.
"Sup Seaweed Brain" I said to Percy
"Sup Metal head. Hey Pinecone face"
"Hi Fish breath" said Thalia
"Come on guys" he replied
We followed him to his parents apartment. his mom had set up a big christmas covered in greek theme ortaments and a big golden trident on the top. HIs step dad was sitting in a chair reading a newpaper, Annabeth was lying on the couch reading an architecture magazine and from the smell of food his mom must have been in the kitchen.
"You can put your stuff anywhere"
We tossed our stuff in a corner. Paul registered our presence. We crashed on the nearest piece of funriture. I crashed at Annabeth's feet.
"HI Owl head"
"Hows it going, mortal" As she looked up from her magazine she gasped. "You brought the orc!?"
Brogg moved nervously closer to Lily. I got up and stared down and Annabeth/
"What do you have against orcs?"
"Nothing" She was lying I knew it. I also knew she wouldent tell unless i had emotional leverage like Percy or Thalia. I got up and went to the kitchen to help Percy's mom who followed me. He put his hand on my shoulder and spoke.
"I know how you feel thats how she reacted to Tyson"
"Did you not deny your relationship with him? LIke saying hes only your half-brother"
He looked ashamed. "Good point"
we went into the kitchen. His mom was pulling a turkey out of the oven.
"Let me help you with that" I said as i lifted up th searing hot pan with my bare hands. I barley winced at the heat. Thank you what little orc i had in me for that.
"Are you okay!" she shouted
I put the turkey on a table and showed that there were no burns. She looked up and stared at me.
"You must be The Marauder. Percy has told us alot about you"
"Yep tha'd be me"
"Well he says your good with a knife so you can start on the salad and Percy you can set up the braizer. No buring the tree down this time. Okay?"
"Okay mum. You forget one little package of greek fire in your pocket and you can never forget it"
I picked up a knife and began cutting some lettus. Me and Percy's mom had a pleasent conversation while we made dinner. She was a cool lady. I enved Percy he had done alot and hadent lost his family. I lost them after my first few months of being the Marauder. When we were finished we cared the food into the dinning room. Peryc had set of a braizer fo sacrifices.
"Come and get it!" called Percy's mom.
Everyone ran into the room and took their seats. I sat between Thalia and Brogg and across from Percy. I looked at the food There was turkey, blue potatoes, greek salad with blue cheese dressing and plenty more blue food. Before we ate we each deposited a portion into the braizer. As i deposited my portion I razed the plate and shouted
"To the gods and spirites of earth!"
I sat back down and dug in. Over dinner i kept trying to gt Annabeth to give Brogg a chance. When Percy gave me a look i decided to let him try. After dinner we all gathered into the living room and shared some stories. Me, Brogg and Thalia told everyone about the yeti battle. Percy shared about the time he and Clarrise had to fight the gods of fear and terror to find Ares's chariote.
"Demios sounds like the god whos butt i kicked during the solstice" i interupted. When everyone stared at me my ears went hot. "Continue"
When Percy finished his story. Me and Brogg told them about the time we had to infultrate and blow up an rat-men fortress. After we finished it was getting late so the parents declared bedtime. Annabeth, Thalia and Lily were given Percy's old room and the gentlemen (me, Percy and Brogg) were sentenced to the living room. I crashed on the reclining chair, Percy on the couch and Brogg went face first into the floor. Before i went to sleep i place a mini minora on the window sill next to a flower which i could tell was not a normal one. I know Chanukah was over but what the heck.
I was woken up the next morning when Thalia jumped into my lap.
"Merry Christman, Babe" She said as she handed me a present. I pulled out a small jewelery box from i pocket and handed it to her.
"You too Thal"
I ripped off the rapping paper and opened the box to find a leather neaklace with a clay bead with a picture of my hemlet painted on.
"Its from Chiron too"
"I'll thank him later"
I put on the neaklace as she opened the jewelery box. I had forged some lightning bolt earing for her.
"Oh Babe these are awesome. Thank you"
She gave me a hug and kiss.
"Okay now can you get off of me" I asked
She did so. I took a look at the the apartment. Lily and Brogg were whispering to each. They both looked a tad worried. Percy and Annabeth were sharing presents and making out.
"Breakfast" called Percy's mom.
We rushed into the dinning room to find blue blueberry pancakes, blue bacon and blue eggs on out plates. We ate like animals the food was so good. Afteward we shared more presents. Percy got a new skateboard from his parents and a nucklebuster with a trident painted on it from Thalia and Brogg. Annabeth got a book on the achitecture of the dark ages from Percy's parents and a greave that shoots out little darts from Thalia and Brogg. She had desided to test it on Percy in which the darts either bounced off or missed. I stood up and grabbed my bag
"Percy i didnt get you a present cause i got something better" I said
I pulled out my copy of A Warrior's Handbook and flipped to the page about the manipulation of immortality and the curse of Achilles.
"You have to read this" i said
Percy came over and looked at the page
"What the! Really i can manipulate the curse of Achilles. How?"
"I have no idea we'll work on it at camp"
"And Annabeth there are some cool things in this book that you might want to take a look at" I tossed the book to her and she started reading as fast as she could. We shared a few more presents i got two daggers with a little ring so i could spin them. Brogg got chainsaw sword from me and Thalia. Then it was my turn again Percy's parents pased my a little box. I opened it to find some documents.
"What are these?" i asked
"Marauder Percy told us how you lost you family at a very young age so how would you like to be apart of our family"
I was overcome with happiness. Someone wanted me. But the only thing i could think about is the family i still had.
"What about Brogg and Lily?"
"them too" replied Percy
"Where do i sign"
As me and Brogg filled in some papers Lily stood up.
"Do you have something to say sis" I asked
"I might need to sign for two"
"What do you mean?" we all asked
Chapter 7: Back to school troops
- I would like to say i was happy i would be an uncle. I was freaking out, i had no idea what would happen. Monster Hybrids have happened but it was rare the only ones i had ever met was a Lycan/vampire hybrid and those were way too dangerous. The worse part was Brogg was the only orc able to repoduce, so there had never been a hybrid with orc in it. Brogg and Lily sat on the couch while I gave them i rant of how unpredicable and dangerous this kid could be. Everyone else just sat and watched me go beserk.
"Do you guys no how badly this can end! It could be a walking tree monster for all we know!"
Lily stood up. He stared into my eyes and slapped me across the face.
"Stop it Marauder! You should be happy first your getting a family and now its going to be even bigger!"
"Lily, you dont understand what this thing could be"
"Dont call it a thing! Its our child and were keeping it"
"And if it is a monster. What then?
"Then i will do what no parent should have to resort to"
Brogg came forward. "And to make sure we dont need to resort to that... Marauder we will alow you to do tests to try to figure out what it is"
"Fine. But we need to work fast , we dont know how long the pregnancy will be"
Thalia came between us. "Okay now lets just enjoy what Christmas is left alright"
We finished filling out the adoption forms, packed up and went home. The entire time i was trying to figure out a way to study the baby without harming it or Lily. When we got back i called in the rest of the Ironheads. They were thrilled to be getting a new commrade, only Arya and Jackie relaized the dangers of a Hybrid. They volunteered to be my lab assiatants. A week before school started we had repurposed my entire cabin into a lab complete with ultrasound equipment, cat-scan and an advanced holo-projector. The three of us had brushed up on anything to do with nymph pregnancy (which seemd alot like human) and orc genetics. On the last day that the hunters could stay we were ready for the first set of tests.
Me, Arya and Jakie put on some lab coats and sterilized our hands. Brogg wanted to be here but had to teach some classes. Lily sat on a chair while be preped the ultrasound. When things were ready Lily pulled up her shirt to reveal a baby bump that had grown rapidly over the past few days. Jakie aplied the goo and Aray used the machine. I paid very close attention to what the embryo looked like. It looked like a slightly bigger than s human embryo at four months. However it seemed like it had a smaller fram and a bit more muscel than a human. That worried me.
"How long have you been pregnant Lily?"
"A littel bit over a month"
"Your baby is growing at an excelarated speed, I judge you have a month and a half before the baby comes"
Next we set her up in hte CAT scan to get another few of the baby. As we sacned her we intergrated the ultra-sound data with the CAT scan data creating a full image of the baby. When LIly got out i pressed a botton on my Holo-projector. A floating image of the baby appeared. We all stood in ashonishment, the baby had massive arms and shoulders, and two small tusks which belonged to Brogg's orcness. Its skin was rough and bark-like which belonged to Lily's dryadness. I rotated the image to the left.
"Its a boy" said Jackie
I glaneced over to Lily who was tearing up and rubbing her baby bump. I sat down next to her and gave her a hug.
"We have one more test"
"What is it?"
"I need to find out if he will be dangerous, with telepathy"
We set up a some wires from my forhead to Lily's belly which was really awkward but nessisary. I reached out with my mind and directed it into Lil's belly. When i made contact with the kid i could feel a mind, so the baby had gained it sentientship. I reached in more and felt the kids emotions. In the first instant i knew i was going to have a really good kid for a nephew. I felt all positive emotions love, caring, selflessness stuff like that. This kid would never be dangerous on his own. I retreated back to my mind and pulled out the wires.
"Lily you have an angle for a child"
She broke out in tears and gave me a tackle hug.
"Thank you Marauder, thank you"
When she got off of me we cleaned up and ran to the Arena. Brogg was teaching some kids how to use staff as a weapon. Without warning Lily tackled him to the ground and screamed.
"hes not a monster our child will be a force for good!"
While Brogg and Lily went to their yurt to talk i taught the class of staff fighting. Whe i finished it was getting late the hunters needed to be ready to get back to school. When i got back to the Ironhead cabin the hunters were all packed up and ready to go. When they saw me they ranked up and saluted.
"At ease troops. Your new mandate is to go to your selected schools and classes and continure your studies. I want you to work hard and be safe. Am i understood!"
"Sir! yes Sir!" they replied
I excorted them to the camp's Van where the camp's security officer Argus. As i loaded up the hunter's stuff they each gave me a heartfelt good-bye hug. I wispered in Jackie's ear as they buckleed their seat belts.
"Keep them safe. alright?"
"Apon the book of grudges i will keep them safe"
Chapter 8: Uncle Marauder
- The next month and a half went by very fast. The snow had begun to melt and some satyrs brought in a few more demigods. Me and Thalia had were as happy as ever. Then Lily's water broke. We rushed her to the infermary and Chiron called up the council of Cloven elders, who would be waiting outside. Sence the hunters were gone and the camp had no older campers, i was the only one qualified to run the birth. It was done right the most disturbing thing i had ever seen in my entire life. And there was alot of distubing things i have seen.
Besides the first traumitizing moments everything went perfectily. I cleaned off the goo of the screaming baby, and took a good look at the kid. He had bark-like skin on his back and waxy skin on his front. He had a puggy little square face with a fang comming over his lip. His hands and feet had short claws and he had pointed ears. I rapped him in a blue blanket and passed him very carfully to Lily. When in her arms he stopped crying and began sleeping.
"What are you going to name him?" I asked
Brogg and Lily looked at each other "We hadnet really though of it" siad Brogg
"What about Gorbad after the great warboss?" I suggested
"We dont want a name after some great warrior. What about Cooper?"
"I like Cooper" said Lily
Borgg held little cooper in his arms for a while then he passed him to me.
"Go see uncle Marauder" he wispered to the sleeping baby
I held the baby in my amrs and let him squeeze my finger.
"Hi there little buddy. Me and you are goignt o be best buddies okay" I felt like a dork saying that but who wouldent. Then Grover underwood came in. Me and him hadent been the greatest friends but he and Percy had been like brothers so that almost made him my brother too.
"Could i see the child?" he asked
"Of corse, Goat Boy"
I passed Cooper to him. After a few minutes he blew on Cooper's chest and an image of a laurel appeared.
"He has a blessing of the wild now. He will be safe from the untamed"
He passed the baby back to me.
I gave Cooper back to Lily and went on my way to find Thalia. Who was teaching Greek history. I wanted for the class to end before speeking to her. I was delaid by my buddy AJ.
"Hows it going pal?" i asked
"Good ive been training really hard"
"Thats good. Now go to your next class"
As he ran off i walked up to Thalia.
"I have a nephew named Cooper"
She gve ma hug and kissed me.
"Thats great, Babe" She broke our imbrace e and stared at me " Marauder i want a baby"
I was shocked at her request.
"Thalia, I love you but its too soon. We cant, it would be a mistake"
"We're immortal we can afford to make these mistakes. We told eachother we loved eachother after a month why not a baby after a few months"
"You right but atleast let us get more settled before we do anything. Okay?"
"Now come here"
She came closer and we had a nice moment.
Next book A Spring of Serenity