Chapter 7~Let the Games Begin
It didn’t take long to get ready for the game after dinner. I was currently the only member of my cabin and my armor for the game was kept in the closet, so I never had to wonder where it is. In my pocket I pulled out the small switch blade and flipped it out. The blade extended to its full length and I took a few practice swings to get a feel for it. It had been awhile since I had practiced sword fighting or even had the chance to use it in combat. Every so often a monster would sniff me out and try and attack me, but thankfully they were weaker monsters that just got lucky. Stronger monsters tended to go after more powerful demigods, almost completely ignoring those with weaker scents. I wondered if it was like a sport for them or just a matter of pride. It could have been that because they never really die, they had nothing to lose by trying to take down a strong demigod. However I had more important things to think about, like how not to get creamed at Capture the Flag tonight.
Most of the bigger cabins had already taken sides, much like they always do. The Hades, Poseidon, and Ares cabins had all decided to join forces against the Zeus, Athena, and Hephaestus cabins. Those were the big ones as far as battle force and strategy went. The other cabins started picking sides over dinner. Hermes and Dionysus joined in with the Ares cabin while the Demeter and Apollo cabins joined with Zeus and Athena. Not every cabin was in the games, as the Hunters of Artemis weren’t at the camp this summer and the Aphrodite cabin decided to sit this game out. Some were acting as cheerleaders however, but normally when that happened they just liked to show off their uniforms and would cheer for both sides. The other smaller cabins with only a handful of members (or less, like in my case) decided to join whatever side had less people at the time. I decided to stick with the Athena cabin this time. Mostly because the Athena campers were good in a battle, but also because the Ares cabin scared me. While eating at dinner, I saw that Thresh had completely healed from his injuries last summer. When he tried to force my sword from the ground, it didn’t take too kindly to it and blasted him with a bolt of lightning. I haven’t been able to recreate it myself, so I wondered if it was like a defense system or something. Just then I heard a horn blow, signally that the game was about to start and anyone wanting to play should head for the field now.
“Alright, let’s get this over with,” I said as I walked out of my cabin and joined the flow of other demigods heading out. I arrived on the field and grabbed the helmet for the blue team. Cabin leaders got a special helmet to show they were the head of a platoon. However I was the only member of my cabin so I didn’t have a team to lead, but I still got the helmet by default. Chiron then walked out into the middle of the field at the boundary line of the two sides.
“Alright everyone pay attention, the game will soon begin. First off, the flag must remain in clear view and have no more than five defenders at any one time. Magical weapons are allowed, but no killing or serious injuries or you will be placed on dish duty for a week, as well as no dessert. Team Captains, please shake hands,” Chiron announced and the two captains moved forward and shook hands. The head of the red team was obviously Thresh, as he was the head of the war cabin. He scanned the crowd of blues and his eyes locked with mine. I tried to look away, but I wasn’t sure where to go and a devilish smile crossed his face.
“Hey, you’re crushing my hand!” our team captain said, who was the head of the Athena cabin. I had seen her here last winter and if I remembered correctly, her name was Shizune.
“If you can’t handle a handshake, your team has no chance of winning,” Thresh said and let go of her hand before walking back to his side of the field. Shizune rubbed her hand a little as she walked back and called all the head counselors over. She pulled out her notebook and started turning pages, trying to find a blank one to write on. As she turned pages, I saw notes telling her not to forget to brush her teeth, a message saying to look up the lyrics to a song, and even a few recipes for desserts. She finally found a blank page and pulled out a pen.
“Everyone take a look, I have a plan,” She said and we all watched as she drew a few lines with X’s and O’s like a football coach. She also drew a few trees that I think was meant to be a forest, as well as the creek and Zeus’ Fist. “Ok, I want the Demeter and Persephone campers to head into the woods. Use your power over plants to trap anyone that goes in there. I’ll send a few of my campers to direct your forces when you get there. The Poseidon campers will most likely stick by the creek so watch out for them.”
“Where should we go then?” Jake of the Apollo cabin said as he looked at his other campers, who were itching to try out their new arrows.
“You and your team will head to the right away from the forest. Keep behind those rocks and stay hidden. We can stop one or two campers that get past, so only aim to take out large groups of demigods,” Shizune said and Jake nodded his head. “However, keep two behind as lookout for the flag. You guys have good eyes after all.”
“We’re on it,” two of the campers said. In full armor they looked like twins, but I had never seen them before so I wasn’t sure.
“Alright, I guess that just leaves who will get the flag. I want the Hephaestus cabin to lay down traps around the flag and then you’ll cover the Athena cabin,” she said, still making notes in her book. “We’ll send the Nike and Hebe cabin to defend the middle while we sneak around the outsides. Lastly Joseph and Ash, I want you two helping to defend the middle with the other cabins. See if you can draw them toward the middle.”
“That shouldn’t be a problem,” Joseph said as he extended his spear. The sound of thunder could be heard overhead. “I’m on it.”
“Alright, then everyone should be in place. This should be a fun watch,” Shizune said as she slammed her book shut and smiled at everyone. Just then the horn blew to signal the start of the game. I pulled out my sword and Joseph wrapped his arm around me, pulling me toward the creek.
“Come on Ash, we get to be on the front line,” he said and we both walked toward the boundary line of the creek.