Midnight in Paris
I looked around the room at the shocked expression on everyone’s face, even my own as I glanced at a mirror. When I had gotten the letter from my dad, Hermes, I figured I would go on a mission here or there and take out a few monsters, maybe even train a few new demigods so they wouldn’t be killed. However, I had never expected a threat like this. Don’t get me wrong, demigods are constantly faced with threats on a day to day basis, but something as simple as a bomb designed by regular humans seemed like an odd threat. When the mention of a bomb was mentioned, the first thing that came to mind was that someone stole Zeus’ Master Bolt again.
“How are we supposed to get to Paris and find a bomb within 24 hours? I mean a flight there takes at least 8 hours, not to mention flights need to be made weeks in advance,” Joseph said as he read the letter over and over again.
“Don’t worry about it, I have it covered,” I said and everyone looked at me confused. I pulled at the pendant around my neck and a familiar weapon formed in my hand. I held the sledge hammer I called Road Maker in my hand and spun it around a few times for effect. “For a child of Hermes, Paris is just a short road trip away. But before we leave, we should get all our stuff together. Also, I can’t leave without talking with someone first.”
“The gods?” April asked me.
“No, my wife,” I said as I walked out of the base and headed for the Athena cabin. While Megan wasn’t considered a camper, she still liked to hang out with her half-sisters and brothers. Normally it was to give them advice about certain battle tactics or ways to improve on certain ideas they had designed, but sometimes it was to have a good old fashioned duel. I knocked on the door to the cabin and a girl about fourteen answered it.
“Hey, I know you. You’re Mr. Swift, right?” the girl asked and I mentally scowled at the Mr. included in the start of my name, as it made me sound old. She ran off and a moment later Megan came to the door, holding Aisling by the hand. She had a nervous look on her face and she walked out of the cabin, most likely not to worry any of the other cabin mates.
“What was that explosion?” she asked me and I saw her eyes running a mile a minute. “Look, if the camp is being attacked, I can leave Aisling with Jenny or Victoria to babysit while you and I take down a few monsters like in the old days.”
“No, that explosion was just a warning, but something serious is going on and I have to go,” I said a bit sympathetically. She looked back into my eyes for a few minutes as if trying to analyze the situation, but let out a huff and picked Aisling into her arms.
“Alright, but just get home soon. This is supposed to be our vacation after all,” she said as she poked my chest with her finger multiple times and had an expression that looked annoyed, but I knew she was proud that I was going out to save the world again or something like that.
“Daddy go bye-bye?” Aisling asked as she reached for me. I took her away from Megan and gave her a big hug.
“That’s right, Daddy is going to go defeat those big bad monsters,” I said as I poked her nose and she laughed. I then used my other arm to pull Megan into a hug. I then said my final goodbyes and headed for my cabin. As I walked into my cabin, I was amazed that really the only thing that had changed were the cabin leaders. However, as I looked around the room I spotted all the traps and pranks that everyone had set up to prank each other, just like old times.
“Hey Swift,” one of the older members of the Hermes cabin said. He was only twelve when I left camp, but was currently seventeen and in line for the head once the current heads retired. I had kept in touch with him from time to time, as he still thanked me for saving him from an out of control god and an army of Earthborn a few years back.
“What’s up Brent,” I told him as I gave him a hand shake, which he returned. He told me about how awesome it was that he was training for the Olympian League, how I was in it, and some of the pranks he pulled on a few campers.
“Want some lunch?” he asked me and pulled two sandwiches from his backpack. I pulled out two plates from under my bed and we pulled up to a table. I was about to take a bit when I noticed Brent trying to look away from me. I then looked over toward his bed and saw an open bottle of Hephaestus’ Hot Sauce, which was almost completely empty.
“Hey can you go get some napkins?” I asked him and he agreed. When his back was turned I switched the sandwiches and took up the same pose. He returned and handed me a napkin. I thanked him and took a bit of my sandwich as he did the same. I watched as realization came over his face as his eyes went wide in shock and he ran from the cabin, most likely to try and drink every bit of water in the lake. I on the other hand enjoyed my sandwich and gathered my equipment.
While I looked at the uniform all members of the league were suppose to wear, I couldn’t bring myself to put it on, going with a pair of jeans instead. I then ripped the patch with our symbol on it off the shirt and quickly stitched it onto my blue t-shirt before placing all my supplies in a small backpack. It didn’t take long at all for me to run back to the Team Alpha base and I saw that everyone else was already ready to go.
“That isn’t the official outfit,” Daniel said, but I just kind of shrugged him off.
“I took some liberties,” I told him, and by liberties I meant I changed everything except the Alpha team badge. Even my shoes weren’t standard issue, as the camp had supplied everyone in the league with a set of boots that could survive any kind of walking condition, but I always felt better in a pair of running shoes as I looked at my slightly worn out sneakers. “Plus, I’m your trip to Paris, so I think we can make an exception.”
“Fine, whatever,” Daniel said as he just waved his hand at me dismissively as April let out a small laugh. We never really got along as well as some of the other members of the team. While Daniel was the leader of the team and liked to plan things out, I still had a tendency to rush into things, making up plans as I went along. Although, even Daniel admitted that my ability to think on my feet was better than anyone else he had seen.
“So how exactly are we going to get there? You said Paris was a short road trip away, do you have a car that can travel over an ocean faster than a plane?” Jared asked. While everyone knew about my Blessing of Hermes, which allowed me to travel at supersonic speeds, and other people saw me shoot fireballs from my hammer during training, I rarely had a chance to show off my true power.
“We don’t need to walk, just follow me,” I instructed and we walked around back. I pulled out my hammer and drove it into the ground. Instantly, the dirt and rocks in front of my smoothed out and took the shape of an actual road. A circular portal opened up and I felt the small vacuum effect pull at me as I thought of Paris, France. Through the portal, I saw a back alley with the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Thankfully, it didn’t look like anyone was around so no one would question how a group of young adults managed to appear out of nowhere.
“Ok, that is seriously cool,” Joseph said as he gazed at the portal.
“Is that thing safe?” April asked, looking a bit nervous as she looked at the portal as if it would chew her up and spit her out looking like a Picasso painting.
“I only every lost one person going through,” I joked, but her face paled as she thought I was serious. I then felt a pull at my gut and the portal shrunk a little. “Hey, if you guys could hurry up, long distance teleports are kind of exhausting.”
Everyone took the hint and began going one at a time into the portal. Once everyone was through, I pulled Road Maker from the ground and watched as the portal began to close and the road leading to it return to what it once was. I ran forward and jumped into the portal, arriving on the other side with everyone else.
“I think I lost my lunch somewhere over the Atlantic,” April said as she held her stomach. Meanwhile, I was currently on my knees taking in deep breathes as I tried to recover my energy. Jared looked at me as if I was having a heart attack, but I quickly recovered and got to my feet, if a bit shaky.
“Guys, we may have a problem,” Daniel said as he gazed at the map. “It is showing us the general location of the bomb, but I can’t read French.”
“Here let me see it,” I said as I took a few steps forward, but I tripped over some garbage in the alley and April had to grab me before I fell, while Daniel walked over toward the street. “Thanks April.”
“Before we do anything, we need to get some food in you. Come on, there is a café over here,” he said as he motioned us over to a table. I took a small square of ambrosia from my backpack and took a few bites while I washed it down with the soda I had ordered. Soon, I was feeling back up to a hundred percent.
“May I get you anything else?” the waitress asked and we said there wasn’t. Personally, I was glad she spoke some English; otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to read a single item on the menu. She started walking away before she stopped as if she just remembered something and walked back over and pulled a small envelope from her apron. “By the way, one of our other customers dropped this off for you.”
“Thank you,” Daniel said as he took it from her and opened the letter, while the waitress went to her next table. We were all frozen to our seats as Daniel read the letter in silence, most likely so no one would overhear us, especially if it was about the explosive. He put the not flat on the table while everyone read it in silence. Unfortunately, I was forced to read it upside down and had a hard time figuring out the message.
“Does that say Bunnies Sun?” I said out load. April laughed while Jared rolled his eyes.
“Burning Sun,” Daniel corrected me. “Are you sure you’re ok?”
“Give me a break, I just drove 3600 miles in a few minutes,” I joked before he flipped the letter around, giving me the chance to read it better.
Glad to see you made it to Paris in one piece as we have been expecting you for some time. As you well know, the map will lead you to the explosive within the city, but there will be objects in your path. Think of it as a test, if you pass then everyone lives, if you fail…well we both know what happens then. Anyway, we are everywhere and will be watching your progress. As the French say, Les murs ont des Oreilles.
We all looked around our table at the people at the café. There must have been about 10 tables outside with another 20 on the inside, making find the person that sent us the letter almost impossible. The waitress also seemed to disappear as a new girl came over and asked if anyone was serving us.
“So where do we go from here?” Jared asked, folding up the note and placing it in his jacket. Daniel was still looking at the map in confusion and I snagged it from his hand before he even had time to react. All at once my internal GPS activated and my mind was already working on the fastest way to reach the spot on the map. While I still didn’t know how to pronounce or even read the French street names, a left turn was still a left turn in English or French.
“Don’t worry about it, I know exactly where to go,” I said with a confident smile.