Chapter 13~Setting Sail
“This is a highly unusual circumstance,” Chiron said to himself as he looked at Angel, El, and I. A few cabin leaders were still in the room and Joseph had returned only a few moments ago. “Well, it seems you have already picked the first member of your group. Any other members you are planning to take?”
“Well he is taking me of course,” Joseph said from the other side of the room as he walked up next to me. “The Oracle’s prophecy was directed at Ash and me, plus I don’t want to be cursed or whatever.”
“I see, and is that everyone?” Chiron asked, looking around the room at everyone.
“Well obviously they are going to need a ride,” El said, and I was kind of shocked. While she obviously was talented from her display on the Capture the Flag field, I didn’t expect her to volunteer. “Plus, someone has to look after Joe here.”
She put one of her hands on his head and he shot her an annoyed look. While Joseph may have been taller than her at some point, since his de-aging he was about 6 inches shorter than the girl and she seemed to enjoy making fun of him.
“Are you all sure? As you know, three is a sacred number so any more or less is dangerous. I can’t promise that you will all be safe,” Chiron said, looking somewhat uneasy as his tail flicked behind him.
“Oh come on Chiron,” Joseph said. “Even with three, quests are never safe and there is no promise that we will make it back safe. Plus, this will give us a chance to find some of the others.”
“Others?” I asked, but was immediately cut off as Chiron loudly cleared his throat.
“If there are no other volunteers, I suggest you all set sail in the morning,” Chiron said and looked over at El. “I assume your ship is ready?”
“It is currently sitting at the dock,” she said with a smile. “I could have it set up by tonight if I really wanted, but morning will work I guess.”
“Then everything is settled. You will leave in the morning, so I suggest you collect any supplies you need now and say any goodbyes you need to make,” Chiron announced, and with that the meeting was dismissed. Several cabin leaders got up and left the room. Thresh gave me a dirty look as he left the room, but his face seemed to always look like that so it was hard to tell. It was then that the last part of Chiron’s announcement hit me.
“Oh crud, I haven’t told my mom where I am,” I told myself and quickly left the room toward one of the camp’s rainbow fountains. Another extension to the camp, as they acted kind of like a public pay phone, but you only got a drachma for certain chores at camp, like washing dishes or picking up trash. I still had a few saved up from my last quest as they don’t really serve much purpose in the mortal world. I went to the closest one and dropped a golden coin into the fountain.
“Oh Iris, goddess of the rainbow, please accept my offering. I’d like to call my mom in Albany, New York please,” I said and the drachma disappeared into the rainbow. Just then an image began to flicker and I saw my mom, who seemed to be greatly upset. However, she was more angry than depressed as one might think when faced with a missing child.
“How dare he; I went through all the trouble of planning this trip and he skips school and disappears. When he gets home I am going to give him such a talking that his ears will fall off,” she yelled, so now wasn’t the best time to try and explain. Even if my mom helped other people deal with their problems, her temper was legendary even by Olympian standards. I passed my hand through the rainbow and the image faded. “I think I’ll call her back later.”
“Not a bad idea,” came a voice from behind me and I turned around to see Joseph. “I mean I have battled all kinds of monsters in my lifetime, but nothing as scary as that.”
“Hey Joseph, you ready for the trip yet?” I asked him.
“Pretty much, just need to grab a few things and I’ll be all set,” he said before walking up and wrapping an arm around my shoulder. “By the way, stop calling me Joseph, it sounds weird. I bet you even call me Joseph in your head, don’t you?”
“Maybe,” I said as I kind of looked away, as it was completely true.
“Ya, just as I thought. Listen, call me Joe from now on, it is what all my friends call me after all,” Joseph…I mean Joe said and he let go of my shoulder. “I’ll see you in the morning so try and get some rest, long trip ahead of us after all.”
“Alright, see you later Joe,” I called back and it felt kind of weird at first, but I figured I’d get used to it over time. From there I headed back to my cabin and opened the front door. I walked in and the lanterns lit up blue as they always did, as if they were motion sensitive. I hopped into my bed and took a quick look around the empty room.
“Well goodnight,” I said to the empty room and leaned back into my bed, covering myself in my blanket. Before long I was asleep and thankfully, I didn’t have any nightmares. However, I was woken up by a light knocking on my door. I hoped that the knocking wasn’t from the harpies or Mr. D, but that didn’t leave too many options of who it could be.
“Ash, let me in,” I heard and I instantly recognized the voice instantly. I got up out of bed and slid on my shoes before walking over to the door. I slowly opened it, trying not to make too much noise just in case.
“Hurry up before someone sees,” I told the person at the door and I watched as she ran inside with long red hair following behind her. I then closed the door as quietly as I could and I looked at Kimi, who was taking in a few short breaths. “Alright, I don’t think anyone followed you. So what is so important that you risked getting caught by the harpies?”
“I heard you were leaving already,” she said and I heard the hurt in her voice, causing me to feel like a jerk for what I had just said. I mean I didn’t mean for it to come out the way it did, but it did. “I just wanted the chance to say goodbye.”
“You can come with us if you want,” I told her, trying to lighten the mood and I felt silly that I hadn’t asked her before.
“No, that’s quite alright. I don’t think I would be any help. Plus, I’m a bit scared of water so the open sea wouldn’t be a great place to be,” she said and I saw her shiver at the mention of water. To some it would seem silly, but I was worried what would happen if she was attacked by the Water Elemental. Would she go out like a candle or would she simply feel uncomfortable? However, I didn’t want to find out and I saw that she would be much safer at camp. “Just be careful, ok? I don’t have many friends, so I would like the ones that I do have to be safe.”
“I appreciate it, and don’t worry as I’ve got some powerful friends coming along to watch my back. I mean Joe is a son of Zeus after all and El is a daughter of Poseidon. They’re like the rock stars of the demigod world or something,” I said, trying to lighten the mood and it seemed to work as Kimi let out a small giggle. “So are you going to come and see me off?”
“Of course I will. I’m not sure what you did exactly, but this is the best sleep I’ve had in a long time now. I should be up bright and early tomorrow morning to see you off,” she said and the conversation seemed to die down. “Listen, I should head back. I don’t want to get caught.”
“Alright, I’ll see you tomorrow,” I told her and she started heading for the door. Just then I heard the sound of flapping wings overhead and I instantly grabbed Kimi’s shoulder. “Shhh, I think I hear the harpies.”
We remained perfectly still for a long time, but the harpies didn’t seem to move, as if they knew she was around here. However, they didn’t seem to know where as they were hovering over the spot with all the cabins and there were a lot of cabins.
“Listen, you might be better off just spending the night here until they pass over,” I told her and a blush crossed her face. I instantly realized what I had said and my face turned a bit red as well and I looked away toward the ceiling. “I don’t want you to get caught or anything is all.”
“Right, of course. I think I’ll take this bunk if you don’t mind,” she said back and walked over to the bed on the other side of the cabin to mine.
“Goodnight,” I told her and got into my bunk. She laid down in the bed and I got into mine, but I didn’t fall asleep right away. Kimi also seemed a bit restless and several times during the night, I saw her get up and move a bit closer to my bed. At first she moved one bed at a time, but then she would skip two or three until she was in the bed next to me. I obviously pretended to be asleep the entire time, but she quickly fell asleep and I followed soon after to the sound of her breathing.
The next morning, my alarm clock went off and I hit the button to turn it off. I quickly remembered the events from the night before and turned to the bed next to mine, but Kimi had already left. I slipped out of my pajamas and got into a pair of jeans, while slipping on a simple blue shirt with the Camp Half-Blood logo on the back. I had heard that the camp used to only have orange shirts, but the Aphrodite cabin had started a petition to allow more colors and Mr. D reluctantly agreed as Aphrodite herself had told him she would put in a good word with Zeus and maybe get his punishment reduced by a year or two. While the camp was given new shirts, the length of Mr. D’s punishment was never mentioned again and I wondered if the goddess had mentioned it at all to Zeus. There was a knock on the door and I walked over to open it.
“Come on Ash, we’re going to miss the tide,” Joe said and I nodded. I followed him to the dock and saw a somewhat large ship tied up. It wasn’t like the kind of ship you would see in history books, with three masts and huge sails. It only had a small single mast with a sail large enough to catch the wind, but it wasn’t made for deep ocean sailing. There was a large crowd of demigods gathered around the ship and had signs saying things like Smooth Sailing and Bon Voyage. Kimi was also there, but wasn’t holding a sign.
“I missed you this morning,” I told her and her face turned a bit red, which matched her hair.
“Ya, I didn’t want to stay too late or the others would have noticed,” she said quietly so the others wouldn’t hear. I saw her point, but then she surprised me by giving me a hug. “Remember what I said last night, be safe.”
“I will,” I told her, but I started seeing weird looks from some of the others. We broke apart and minute later and Joe dragged me on the ship.
“Come on lover boy,” Joe joked as he pulled me on the deck. While the deck of the ship looked amazing, I noticed there was something missing.
“Hey, where is El?” I said and Joe’s face dropped, as if he had this problem with her before. Just then I saw a girl running from the direction of the camp waving her hand in the air.
“I’m coming, I’m coming,” she yelled as she ran onto the deck. She then ran up the plank and jumped onto the ship. As if it had a life of its own, the ship responded to her. Ropes began to move on their own as the sail dropped down and tied itself in place. The rope keeping the ship tied to the dock began to move by itself and wrapped itself in a pile near the bow of the ship. The chain holding the anchor began to wind itself, pulling the anchor up until it completely came out of the water. However, the ship didn’t move as if the waves had no power over it and wouldn’t bring the ship out to sea until El told it too.
“Glad you could show up,” Joe said to her.
“Ya, well it isn’t like I’m the last person here,” El remarked, and I remembered that Angel still wasn’t on board. How could someone that lives in the water be late?
“I’m right here!” I heard Angel call from the side of the ship. I walked over and looked over the side. Angel was simply floating in the water and seemed to be a bit annoyed, possibly because she was a fresh water nymph in salt water. Just then, a pillar of water shot up with Angel standing on top and she jumped off it onto the ship. “I’ve been waiting here all morning for you mortals.”
“Well, at least now we’re all here. Any more volunteers?!” El shouted to the crowd of demigods, but none of them stepped forward. “Oh well, let’s go!”
Just then the ship came to life and it was like we were shot from a canon. I wondered how a simple sailing ship could move this fast and I also hoped the speed wouldn’t rip it apart. I wasn’t the only one that didn’t have their sea legs as Joe rolled backward and ended up hitting the center mast. Angel on the other hand grasped onto the rail of the ship and held on for dear life. El on the other hand seemed to be enjoying herself greatly as she looked out over the open sea in front of her. We were finally on our way to the Sea of Monsters.