He had claimed it was for the Greater Good, a better way of life for the other demigods. In reality, it was just a selfish childhood dream. For the Veritas Monthly Prompt Challenge over on FF.net. Prompt: Forbidden fruit--what a character wanted the most but could never have.
When he’d first decided to avenge them, it wasn’t for their sake.
He liked to tell himself it was, of course. It made him feel better about the quest as a whole, made him feel like he was validated in some respect because it was for others, the others whom the gods on Olympus had decided to cast out.
But really, there was no denying it: it was for himself.
He made excuse after excuse in an attempt to fool even himself. Said he wanted better treatment for the other demigods. Said he was trying to aid his mother, who had thus far done nothing but take the sight in one of his eyes, leaving him incredibly bitter. Said he was fighting for a valuable cause, trying to improve the world.
Once everything was said and done, the only reason he had set out was for himself.
To try and put some meaning behind his needless suffering.
To do that, he needed recognition.
It didn't really matter how, in his opinion. Sure, being a big hero would have been nice: going down in the Greek mythology text books would have been more than a dream come true. But as long as his name was out there—as long as someone could say that he had made an impact, whether good or bad—that was all he cared about. He knew right away that to do that he might have to be, for lack of a better term, "evil". He might even end up on the losing side.
As long as the name Ethan Nakamura meant something, though... That was all he cared about.
And if the name Ethan Nakamura changed history and the way of life for demigods? Well, good for him.
So he took dodgy turns and listened to orders and following opinions he didn't believe in. He helped a group of people whose morals he wasn't entirely comfortable with, and he fought for a cause that only encompassed the exterior reasons for his journey.
And then he met Percy Jackson. And he hated Percy Jackson the moment they met, despite the fact that the other boy had saved him. He was a good for nothing show stealer who obviously didn't understand the ways of the world, and if there was one thing that bothered Ethan the most about him it was the ignorance. How could someone be on a quest to save the world and yet attempt to spare people?
It simply didn't make sense.
But Ethan thanked him and went on his way in an attempt to get what he wanted the most. Disregard Percy Jackson, he told himself. The boy would never amount to anything.
But then Percy Jackson was a hero again and again and again. Percy Jackson was a big name.
So Ethan began plotting the only thing he thought could salvage his mission: the death of Percy Jackson.
When it finally came down to it, all plans were thrown out the window. Fighting was animalistic and no amount of planning or forethought would ever be able to change that. He had a moment of inspiration, a blur even he didn't understand, and he nearly hit Percy’s one weakness. But in the end he failed.
Ethan Nakamura ended up dead.
And when Percy Jackson talked to the gods, he took his idea to them. He said "respect the minor gods and their children." And the gods listened, because he was Percy Jackson.
And so, Ethan Nakamura left an impact on the world.
With not even his name behind to show for it.