Teddy Alexander: The Lost God

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  1. Lauriam I hope I didn't keep you waiting...

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    Teddy Alexander: The Lost God

    Alright, so this book is part of my secret santa gift for Te Deum, who just so happens to be a fan of Camp Jupiter. It also includes (or will include) all the characters from the character dump thread I made in the spam-zone awhile back, so if you participated in that thread, keep your eyes open. your character might pop up just about anywhere. It's not finished, but I'll add more chapters as I write them, so go ahead and read what I already have here and feel free to comment.

    Teddy Alexander had a miserable life. And yeah, I know everybody says that, but in this case, it was true. For one thing, he didn't have a dad. He lived with his mom in a two bedroom apartment in a crummy apartment complex in downtown Athens, a perfect representation of small town nowhere situated in Greene County, New York. There was never anything to do in Athens, other than go to school. And for Teddy Alexander, school was a living nightmare.
    Teddy went to school at Coxsackie-Athens, a joint school for the two towns of Coxsackie and Athens. He was always getting into trouble, too, but never enough to get expelled. He was dyslexic, which meant he had trouble reading and writing, and had ADHD, so his teachers never really knew what to do with him. He never remembered to do his homework and he never knew any answers for anything if the teacher called on him in class, so his grades were pretty bad. And he didn't have any friends, everybody avoided him. Well, except for the bullies. They payed him a visit everyday, even on the weekends, they would find him and mess with him. At school they would walk by and shove him into the wall, or they would trip him or knock books out of his hands, and they would make fun of him. "Hey Theadore Eumlaudamaus Alexander!" Johnny Wadkins would say. He was the leader, and whenever he or any of his "gang" talked to Teddy, they always used his full name, which was another thing Teddy hated.
    What kind of name was Theadore Eumlaudamaus Alexander, anyway? He once asked his mom why she named him such a long stupid name, and she told him that she named him Theadore after Theadore Roosevelt, and she wanted him to be like Theadore Roosevelt when he grew up, and although she had no control of their last name, Alexander, she was glad about it because Alexander the Great was, well, great. As for Eumlaudamaus, she said that was the choice of Teddy's father. He asked about his father once, and she told him kindly but firmly that he must never ask about his father again. He never did, but the kids at school mentioned him a lot. "Poor Theadore Eumlaudamaus Alexander doesn't have a daddy," Johnny Wadkins would say in a fake sympathetic voice. "Probably ran away when he saw Theadore Eumlaudamaus Alexander's ugly face!" Teddy always tried to ignore stuff like that, but it wasn't always easy. "Or maybe," Jamie Killigan would chime in. "Maybe Theadore Eumlaudamaus Alexander's mom scared him away with her snake collection!"
    Teddy's mom, Hannah Alexander, collected snakes. Not live ones, but little statues of serpents winding up trees or slithering along on their way, always traveling but never getting anywhere. She had more than a hundred, some made of stone, some glass, some that lit up or twisted around. She had collected snakes as long as he could remember, but he kind of liked it, they were cool in a creepy sort of way. He didn't think anybody would be scared away by a bunch of statues. Besides, Jamie Killigan wasn't one to talk. She didn't have a mom. She lived with her dad and step-mom in a small house above her dad's flowershop, and she had to work everyday after school, and she wasn't any smarter then he was.
    But Johnny Wadkins never picked on her, and he even let her into his gang. Probably because she always smells like a bunch of stinking flowers blew up in her face, he thought bitterly. That, and she's just as rotten as he is. In fact, she could have possibly been even more rotten. It was her fault that Teddy got bullied on weekends too. Johnny Wadkins lived in Coxsackie, but Jamie lived in Athens, just two blocks away from Teddy's house, and she never ever forgot to come over and make him miserable. Every Saturday morning, he found a bouquet of rotten flowers stinking up the front porch, and throughout the day, whenever she wasn't working in the flowershop, she was following him around and giggling with her silly friends about how ugly he was. And honestly, Teddy wasn't that bad looking. He had his mom's haircolor, a dark brown color, but his eyes were different, almost slanted, and when he smiled, his mouth kind of turned up higher on one side. When he was little, his mom had called him her "Little Elf." But still, everybody at school maintained that he was ugly, and so everybody in Athens that wanted to be somebody at school agreed.
    All in all, Teddy hated living in Athens, New York. Every summer, he asked his mom if they could move away to someplace else, maybe a big city with skyscrapers and movie theaters and malls, but his mom always said no, she liked Athens. She said it felt safe and out of the way, not very easy to find. He asked her why it mattered wether or not Athens was easy to find, but she just laughed and said it was "better off that way."
    But probably the worst thing about his miserable life was his next door neighbor, Mrs. Lee. Mrs. Lee had just moved in about a month ago, and every morning she was out in the front yard, working on her tomato plants. In the short month that she'd lived next door, Teddy had drawn three conclusions about her. One; that she was obsessed with the well-being of her precious tomatoes, two; that she hadn't taken a bath since she got here, or anytime before that for that matter. And three; that she wanted to eat him for breakfast. Every morning as he walked by on his way to the school bus, she watched him from behind her tomatoes, eyes wide open, staring at him greedily. He even thought he heard her making raspy gurgling sounds as he walked by, and once he thought he saw drool dripping from her open mouth. Mrs. Lee was fairly young, and would have been pretty if she kept herself clean, but it was kind of distracting to have her drool at you when you went to school. His mother would look out the window sometimes and shake her head, saying that something should be done about that woman, but nothing ever was.
    Everything would have been fine, though, if she hadn't turned into a snake and tried to eat him one morning. He would have gone to school and had his face shoved into the mystery meat, and he would have been called by his full name and made fun of for being ugly. Life would have been normal. Instead, he was walking up the front walk, trying not to look at Mrs. Lee out of the corner of his eye, when all of a sudden, she was in front of him, standing much too close for comfort. He took a step back, startled, but she just stepped forward again. "My, such a lovely boy," she said in a whisper. "Such a lovely boy with such unusual blood. Such special blood, so deliciousss..." She drew the last word out so the "s" lasted longer than usual, and he took another step back. "Uh, thanks, I guess." he said uneasily. What was wrong with her? She seemed so tall, and she was swaying back and forth as if there was music playing somewhere nearby. "Such a lovely boy drew me here," she said smoothly. "Yes, yes, much much better than tomato juice... I haven't had a good drink in quite awhile."
    With that, she turned into a giant snake, just like some of the ones on his mom's dresser, except alive and really, really big. Also, her head was still the same Mrs. Lee, dirty face and greasy hair, but something was different. Her mouth wide open, revealing a set of really long sharp teeth. Mrs. Lee had fangs. They weren't any cleaner than the rest of her, they were yellow and grimy, with reddish stains that looked like they could have come from her tomatoes, but he wasn't so sure about that now. She lunged forward at him, and with a yell, he jumped out of the way, falling to the grass. His mother opened the door and ran out, yelling something. He couldn't make out what it was, but he automatically felt better knowing she was there. The snake-Mrs. Lee hissed furiously, but she backed up a little ways, before lunging forward again, to snap at his mom. She dodged the attack and repeated what she'd said earlier. It sounded like a different language. The snake seemed to roar, and then it turned and slithered away down the street, leaving a trail of slime behind it, as if it were trying to prove that it was there.
    "To think, Lamiae, here! Oh, he was right, but I thought this place was safe!" Teddy's mom rushed him back into the house and locked the door. Then she tested it three times. "Mom," he said "What's going on?" She ignored him, running to make sure the back door was closed. "If I hadn't looked out the window at the right time... Oh, how horrible!" "Mom!" he said urgently, following her into the kitchen. "What was that... that thing? What happened to Mrs. Lee?" She looked at him for a second and said, more as if she were talking to herself instead of him, "I'll have to do it, it's not safe here anymore. Oh, what was the way? How did he say to do it?" "MOM!" Teddy yelled, and she finally stopped talking and looked at him. "What's going on?" he asked again. "Why did Mrs. Lee turn into a giant snake thing?" "Oh Teddy..." she said wearliy. "I'm so sorry. None of this was supposed to happen, I thought we were safe here in Athens, even if it was Greek. He said this would happen. I should have listened to him, but I didn't. I thought I'd found a safe place, where the monsters wouldn't find us." "Wait," Teddy said. "Greek? Monsters? Who said this would happen? What's going on?" She sighed. I think I'd better start from the beginning," she said. "But first, I need to go call someone. Wait here, I'll be right back." "But what about school?" She stopped in the doorway. "Forget about it," she said simply. "You're not going to school anymore."

    ~<>~{SPQR}~<>~​

    When his mom came back into the kitchen, Teddy had gotten out two glasses filled with orange juice, and had pretty much decided that he already believed anything his mom was going to tell him. After almost being eaten by a giant snake that had the head of his tomato-growing kid-eating next-door neighbor, pretty much anything was possible. So he wasn't all that stunned when his mom sat down and said, straight off the bat, "Teddy, your father is a god."
    Well, he almost wasn't stunned. But really, any sane kid would have been completely stupid to believe such a thing. Then again, any sane kid wouldn't think they were attacked by a snake-lady. "Uh... what?" She sighed. "A little over twelve years ago, I met a man in New York City, who was the most amazing man I'd ever seen." Teddy stopped breathing. Was she talking about his dad? "He had eyes just like yours, and when he smiled, the corner of his mouth turned up, he looked just like an elf." An elf. So that was why she called him her little elf. Because he reminded her of his dad. "He was very sly, very cunning, but at the same time, very hospitable. The Roman god of Messages, of travellers, and of business. Mercury. He took a liking to me." She sighed. "That summer, you were born. He came to visit, to warn me about the dangers that were sure to follow you wherever we went. He told me that you are what is known as a demigod, a half-blood. Half god, half mortal."
    She let that sink in, and Teddy stared at his glass of untouched orange juice. So he was the son of a god. Cool. No wait, not cool! So what, a great and mighty god comes down to New York City and boom. Fell in love with Hannah Alexander? And now here he was, Theadore Eumlaudamaus Alexander, in his full name glory, being picked on and bullied, because he didn't have a dad, while the guy was up in... wherever the gods lived, Teddy didn't know much about mythology. The point was, he was out having a grand old time as a god, leaving his kid to deal with life with no one to help him except his mom. "So he shows up to tell you how dangerous I am, and then takes off, leaving you alone to face giant snake people? Some dad." His mother winced, as if facing a truth she didn't like. "Teddy, please." she said quietly. "He didn't simply leave me in the lurch. He told me about a special camp, a place where you'll be safe from the monsters. I just... I just didn't want to send you away, I wanted to keep you with me. I thought you'd be safe here in Athens." A half-smile showed on her face for a second. "Named after the city of Athens, in Ancient Greece, which, of course, was named after the Greek goddess Athena, goddess of wisdom, Patron of the city." Teddy looked at her. "How do you remember all that stuff about the gods, and the cities?" She looked at him. "Well, once you realize how real this all is, you start remembering the old stories, and trying to learn new ones." She frowned. "Besides, that's really not the issue here. We're talking about how you aren't safe here in Athens." Oh yeah. Mrs. Lee.
    "I thought that Athens would be enough protection against the monsters, even though Athena is Greek while Mercury is Roman, but I guess Greek protections don't work for Roman demigods. The Lamiae found you here, it won't be long before they'll come back, looking for you." She sighed, and looked out the window at Mrs. Lee's abandoned tomato plants. "I have it all arranged. The wolves will be here tonight, they'll escort you to the camp." Teddy blinked. "Wolves?" he said. "Yes, Teddy, wolves." His mother said with a smile. "They'll be here tonight, so you'd better get your stuff together." Great, so I was the son of a god, on my way to a camp full of other kids of the gods, being attacked by snake-people, and escorted by wolves. Just my rotten luck.
    The rest of the day was pretty boring, compared to the attack. I'd rushed while I was getting ready, trying to decide what I'd take with me to this camp. I packed my backpack with a couple changes of clothes, my toothbrush, toothpaste, and a water bottle. I also took this cool stone I found in the Hudson River one day in science class (We sometimes went down to the river to do our experiments) and my mom gave me one of her snake statues. Honestly, I wasn't sure I ever wanted to see another snake in my life, but she meant well and the statue was one of her favorites, so I thanked her for it and wrapped it carefully in newspaper before burying it in the bottom of my backpack. It was a pretty cool statue, made of porcelein, and it was a black snake climbing up an old knotted tree, intertwined among the branches and hanging it's head down halfway between the lowest branch and the ground. She told me that she hoped it would bring me luck, and then she hugged me and we put my backpack down by the door.
    That was ten in the morning. I spent the rest of the day pacing back and forth, cleaning my room, trying to read a book about Roman mythology (my mom said that I should try and learn what I was getting into), but I couldn't focus on it. Everytime I heard a noise outside, a car going by or an airplane overhead, I thought it might be another monster coming to attack me, so I was on edge the whole day. My mom was too, she tried to hide it, but I could tell. She was fidgety and kept glancing at the door, as if she expected a monster to come crashing in on us any second.
    Finally we turned on the television in an effort to try and distract ourselves. That was a big mistake. On the local news channel, a peppy looking anchor lady was talking about a strange attack that had happened at Coxsackie-Athens middle school, and how baffling it had been. On the side of the screen, there was a blurry picture of Mrs. Lee in her snake-form, slithering out of a cafeteria window. "Students claim that a woman entered the building during the lunch break and used a long heavy whip to destroy tables, chairs, and anything else in her way. The students all escaped without injury, except for one girl, who went into shock at the attack and began hallucinating." That's when it happened. The picture of Mrs. Lee dissappeared, and in it's place, a picture of Jamie Killigan showed up, her fifth grade picture-day photo, when she wore a stupid sweater her stepmom bought for her and was mad and irritable for the rest of the day. I thought for a second that she would freak out if she knew that picture was on the news station. But then the news lady kept talking.
    "Twelve year-old Jamie Killigan wildly told the teachers and other students that the woman had turned into a giant snake and tried to drink her blood. When the paramedics arrived, she told them the same story, and..." But I didn't hear anymore. My mom was freaking out next to me, and I turned towards her. "Oh my!" She was saying. "The girl's another demigod!" "Mom," I said. "How come nobody else saw the snake?" She looked at me. "The Mist," she said. "Uh, what mist?" I asked her. "The day was perfect, not a cloud in the sky." She looked irritated. "No," she said. "The Mist. It's this thing that hides stuff like monsters and weapons from the mortals, it makes them see something different than it actually is. So when a Lamiae attacks a school cafeteria, the students only see a strange woman with a long whip. The real question you should be asking is, why did that girl actually see the Lamiae? The Mist should have made it invisible to her."
    She looked at me and I suddenly realized what she was saying. "She's a demigod, too," I said quietly. My mother nodded grimly. "She's a demigod, too. And so when the snake left after attacking you..." She trailed off. "It went and attacked her at school." I said simply. She nodded again. "I'll have to get a message to Lupa about this." I looked up, distracted. "Lupa? Who's that?" She responded absent-mindedly, still thinking about Jamie Killigan. "Lupa is the leader of the wolf pack." Oh, well that explained it. My anxiousness returned full force, and I glanced at the door, almost expecting a pack of giant man-eating wolves to come crashing through the door and take me away. Nothing happened, however, and I turned back to the TV, where an arrogant looking guy was now explaining the weather patterns and a coldfront coming in. I turned off the TV. So Jamie Killigan was a demigod, too. Again, just my rotten luck. Here I'd finally gotten the chance to have a new life, and she ruins it by having it with me. Just my stinking stupid rotten luck.

    ~<>~{SPQR}~<>~​

    The wolves showed up at precisely two in the morning, right after I'd fallen asleep. I woke up to my mom shaking me awake, and for a moment, I thought I'd dreamed the whole thing up. But then I heard the howling. I was wide awake instantly, and my mom told me to get my backpack. She gave me another hug, and then stepped outside to speak with the wolves. I shivered at the cold night air, and put my shoes on in a hurry so that I could get my jacket on. When I was bundled up, I stepped outside and heard my mom talking about Jamie Killigan. She told them where she lived and how to get there, and then she gave me one last hug and we were off.
    My teeth chattered as we walked the two blocks to the flowershop, and when we got there, two of the wolves went around back while we stood across the street. After a few moments of waiting, I looked around at the other wolves. "Uh, what are we doing?" I asked quietly, but I didn't need an answer, because just then, the two wolves returned, leading a stunned looking Jamie Killigan over to us. She looked absolutely terrified, and for a moment, I felt sorry for her, but then she saw me and practically exploded. "Theadore Eumlaudamaus Alexander, what in the name of everything in the universe is going on!?!" She hissed in a whisper. At least she had the sense not to scream at me in the middle of the night. "Oh, nothing much," I snapped back in a whisper.. "Just you and I both got attacked by a giant snake lady and now we have to go to a special camp because we're kids of Roman gods. Oh, and we're possibly related." That last part had suddenly occoured to me and by the look on her face, she hated the idea just as much as I did.
    "You jerk!" She hissed, and for a moment I wondered what could possibly be running through her deranged mind that made her mad at me, but then I realized she was looking at the house above the flowershop, and wasn't talking to me. "After twelve years of dodging my questions, I find out now that I'm in danger for my life? You could have told me or something!" Then she turned away and muttered "Some dad." Suddenly, the shock and anxiety of the day dissappeared, and it struck me just how alike we were, Jamie and I. I started to laugh, and then I started choking in an effort to be quiet, and the wolves started to lead us out of the neighborhood. Jamie scowled at me and asked what was so funny. "Nothing," I gasped, and kept laughing. One of the wolves looked at me angrily as if to say "Shut up!" and I got myself under control.
    We travelled for the rest of the night in relative silence, too cold and too tired to do much talking. I had a million thoughts run through my head, though, and as we walked, I took a side-glance at Jamie every once in awhile. She hadn't had a chance to prepare like I did, and she was wearing pink fuzzy pajama pants and pink snowboots. Over that was a pink puffy coat, and then she was wearing a pink furry hat that covered her ears. She had a pink backpack slung over her shoulder, and she was carrying a silver purse with pink pockets and pink zippers, and a pink handle. She looked like an explosion of pink, and she smelled like an explosion of flowers. What, had she thought to put perfume on before she snuck out of the house in the middle of the night with two wolves? But that wasn't all I thought about. So she was a demigod, just like me. I wondered who her mom was, and what her dad had told her all those years. I wondered how she had escaped from Mrs. Lee and I wondered if her dad thought she was crazy or if he knew what had really happened. I wondered if she was dyslexic or ADHD like me, and I wondered why she hated me, when I'd never done anything to her.
    I also wondered about my dad, Mercury, and wondered what he was like. My mom had said he was the Roman god of travellers and business, and that sounded boring to me. It made me think of all those commercials of business men trying to figure out what was the best hotel to use with their travellers points. Was that the kind of person my dad was? Would I ever see my dad? Did he live at this camp? What was the camp like? All these questions and more rushed through my head, but as the night went on and I got more tired and cold and hungry, I stopped thinking altogether and just walked.
    When the sky started getting lighter, One of the wolves looked up and then turned towards the other wolves. They led us deep into a small forest, and as we stumbled through the trees, two of the wolves went on ahead of us. We walked for a long while, and then we came into a clearing, with a small pool of water. It looked good, and I walked forward quickly to get a drink. After I was finished, I felt a lot better, and I found a sort of soft place on the ground where I could get comfortable, and then I fell asleep.
    I dreamed about a woman, beautiful and important, with rich brown hair and soft dark eyes, dressed simply in a pair of jeans and a v-necked flowy white T-shirt. As I dreamed, I realized something was different about her, she wasn't just some woman. An aura of power radiated from her, making her seem more strong than she currently looked. She was pregnant. Pretty far along, too. She looked happy, but very weak, as if this pregnancy had taken a lot out of her. Next to her was a man, strong looking and proud, with golden hair and eyes the color of a stormy sky, grey and ever changing, that practically shone with brilliance. He was obviously important, and wore a very nice business suit and polished shoes. The two could not have been more different, and yet, they seemed to belong together. As I watched, the man looked down at the woman and smiled, but then he turned and left, leaving her alone. The happiness left her face, and she looked sorrowful and pensive, as if she knew this was going to happen but didn't like it. She turned to me and in a voice that was soft and motherlike, but ringing with power and resolve, as if there were a different voice speaking through her, said "Child of Rome, you must remember what you see here, for it is very important."
    I woke up and saw the sky was getting dark. The wolves were stretching their legs and yawning, as if they also had just woken up. Over by the pool, Jamie was splashing her face with water and scrubbing it rather violently with some kind of soap. "Where did you get that?" I asked, surprised. Was there some kind of convenience store nearby that sold stuff like that? "I got it from wal-mart, Theadore Eumlaudamaus Alexander," she said, rolling her eyes as if I were stupid or something. I looked around. There was nothing around us but trees, as far as I could see anyway. She sighed dramatically and pointed at her backpack, which was wide open. It was crammed full of stuff, much more than I had brought with me.
    She had a hairbrush, a comb, a small bag full of makeup, shampoo bottles, lotion, all sorts of stuff. Folded neatly in the bottom of the backpack were at least three changes of clothes, including the fuzzy pink pajama pants she had been wearing last night. Now she was wearing a clean pair of jeans and a green T-shirt with pink flowers on the front, topped with a white hoodie. I must admit to you all now that I thought suddenly how pretty she looked. Her red hair, naturally curly, hung to her shoulders and her green eyes looked absolutely gorgeous in comparison. Her face was flushed with the cold of the water, and without any makeup on, I could see how naturally pink her lips were. However, she ruined the effect by twisting her face into a scowl and glaring at me as if I were a Lamiae come to eat her, and she had to decide wether to chop my head off or tie me in a knot. I frowned back. "You're a jerk, Jamie Killigan."
    Everything went on like this for days, as we travelled further and further west. We would travel at night, in cover of darkness, and camp during the day, often in caves or deep inside forests. Every day, I slept like a baby, but I didn't have any more dreams about the pregnant woman or the important business man. As we travelled, the landscape around us slowly changed, from the flat green of New York to the low hills of South Dakota to the craggy mountains of Nevada. We travelled until we reached sunny California, which, coincidentally, isn't all that sunny. The skies were grey and overcast, and it rained or drizzled more often than not. But then again, California's a pretty big place. It probably was sunny somewhere. We walked through the forests until we reached a strange house, built entirely out of stone, but charred and in ruins, as if it had burnt down a long time ago. Two chimneys rose from the house, but they looked ready to topple. All in all, the house didn't look very safe. There, we met Lupa, the leader of the wolf pack.
    Lupa was probably the biggest animal Teddy had ever seen. On all fours, she was about as tall as Teddy, and she had rich beautiful chocolate brown fur, almost red in the daylight, and she had silver eyes. As Teddy and Jamie came up to her, she looked at them both and then she spoke. That caught Teddy off guard. "Welcome, to the both of you. I am Lupa." Next to Teddy, Jamie jumped a little. "You-" she stammered. "You can talk?" Lupa nodded, the corners of her mouth turning up, almost as if she were smiling. "Yes, girl, I can talk. I can speak the language of the wolves, I am the creator of Latin, and I even speak your language, English." Jamie looked at Lupa, eyes wide, as if she couldn't believe what she was seeing. As for Teddy, he was startled at first, but soon he figured why not? Everything else has happened. Wolves inventing Latin? No big deal.
    Lupa turned towards him, then, and said "Teddy Alexander, your mother already told you who your father was, am I right?" Teddy nodded before realizing it probably was rude to not talk, considering she could. So he took a deep breath and said "Mercury." He wanted to add something to his sentance, but it didn't feel right to call her "ma'am," and he felt that just plain "Lupa" would be disrespectful. She seemed to understand, however, and she turned away for a moment. "Two new recruits," she said quietly. "Or are you two morsels for my table?" I felt the breath drain away from me. "Uh, what?" I said nervously, Jamie frozen beside me. The she-wolf turned back to us. "I am the trainer of the children of Rome," she said. "It is my duty to weed out the weak and strengthen those who show promise. If you are too weak to fight, you certainly cannot join the legion. Those who are too weak are not fit to live. They become food for my pack." I felt sick. "You eat anybody who isn't strong?" She looked at him, and he almost felt like she was laughing at him. "That is the circle of life, is it not, boy? You eat animals that are weak against your mortal weapons, you've eaten beef before, I believe?" I wanted to argue back, but she had a point. Next to me, Jamie muttered something about "turning vegatarian." I figured I'd join her, if we both lived through dinnertime.
    The next few weeks, we trained hard. We had good incentive to try, I mean, who wants to end up the main course for a pack of wolves? Not me. So everyday, We learned to expect an attack at all times, we learned to defend ourselves against everything. I was constantly sore from all the bruises I got just trying to survive. Finally, a month after we got to the wolf house, Lupa called us both together for a final test. We stood before her and she paced back and forth, and in front of her was a low table with two stones on it, carved in the shape of knives. "Now, young heroes," The She-wolf said. "Pick up your weapons." We both walked forward and we each picked up a stone knife. I held mine up and examined it, it was surprisingly light, but very strong. It was sharp and well balanced, and I liked the way it felt.
    Lupa stood in the center of the room, and looked first at me, and then at Jamie. "Your final test," she said. "Is to fight eachother to the death." Neither of us moved. "Uh, what?" I said, sure I'd missheard her. "You must fight to the death, to prove which of you is stronger. The strongest will be permitted to travel to Camp Jupiter. The one who dies, well, you are always welcome at my table." She began to cough, but after a minute, I realized she was laughing at her joke. What kind of sick joke was that? "I'm not going to fight Jamie!" I said, but with a yell, Jamie turned and ran at me, and it was all I could do to get my knife up in time to block hers. "Jamie, what are you doing? Stop!" But she kept swinging, making me back up just to not get stabbed by her knife. Lupa watched silently as we fought, Jamie advancing, me defending, until I realized I was against the wall and couldn't go backwards anymore.
    Jamie brought her knife down on top of me and I blocked, and we stood for a second. I looked up and saw fear in her green eyes, but also resolve. "I don't wanna end up as doggy-chow, Theadore Eumlaudamaus Alexander!" She said quietly. She raised her knife... and I my senses took over. I saw about a million things at once. I saw that she had left her entire lower torso unprotected, I saw that she would bring her knife down precisely where my heart was, and I saw the very small, almost unnoticable root sticking out of the dirt about five feet behind her. I moved fast, stepping to the side as her knife came down, grazing my left shoulder. It hurt, but I had no time to think about it. I used the hilt of my knife to hit her hard in the stomach, and she doubled over in pain. Then I knocked the knife out of her hand and taking her by the shoulders, rushed her backwards and let go right before she got to the root. She tripped over it and fell backwards, hitting her head on the hard ground. She was knocked out. I stood over her, my knife still in my hand. I could very easily finish the task, she was defenseless, completely unarmed, and wide open for attack. She would have killed me, and I didn't want to get turned into doggy-chow either, but I couldn't do it. I threw the knife down in front of Lupa and said. "I won, but I'm not going to kill her. Did I pass your stupid test, or what?" The wolf looked at me, the corners of her mouth turned up. "You are a very strange demigod, boy. Strange, but strong. Very well, you may go on to the camp." She gave me directions to the camp and I listened respectfully, waiting for her to finish.
    When she was done, she turned away as if she were about to leave. "Wait," I said quickly. She turned her head back, listening. "What about Jamie?" I glanced behind me, she was still lying on the floor, unconscious. "The girl failed the test," Lupa said simply. "She is not worthy to be a child of Rome." My mind raced, I mean, sure I hated Jamie and all that, but I wasn't about to leave her behind to be eaten by a pack of wolves. "But Lupa, Jamie is stronger than I am, she would have won if I hadn't seen that root." Lupa turned all the way around to face me. "You used strategy and planning, she only understands brute force." "Yeah, Lupa, but sometimes brute force is the best way to do things, It get's done what needs to be done" The wolf cocked her head. "You seem to be saying that she should have won. That you should be the one lying there. Is that what you're saying?" I was getting confused. "Well, no, but Jamie-" "Jamie would not hesitate to leave you, she would not give you a second glance." I paused, thinking. It was true of course, Jamie wouldn't have any problem with me getting eaten by wolves while she travelled to Camp Jupiter. I could do the same thing, I could walk out right now and never look back. But if there was one thing I knew for sure, it was that I didn't want to be anything like Jamie Killigan. So I kept arguing. "But... but she almost defeated me, she uh, she wasn't holding back or anything. If it weren't for that root..." I trailed off, Lupa was laughing again. "You are a very persistent demigod, Theadore. Very well, you have persuaded me. She may accompany you to Camp Jupiter. But know this: you have spoken on her behalf, she owes you a great debt. Her life now is yours, and the time will soon come when the debt will be repayed."
    With that, she turned and walked away, leaving me with Jamie unconscious on the ground, no provisions except what we had in our backpacks, which had mysteriously appeared by the door, and directions to Camp Jupiter. Even the two knives were gone, it was time to get to Camp.
    I was trying to figure out how to get Jamie to camp when she woke up. "Ooooh... What happened?" She asked, sitting up and rubbing her head. "Uh, I sort of knocked you out in the fight," I told her. Her eyes got wide. "I... I lost? Does that mean..." She trailed off and then she stood up, looking around her wildly and running at me. She pushed me towards the wall again and grabbed the front of my shirt, as if she were about to beat me up. "I can't believe you, Theadore Eumlaudamaus Alexander!" She yelled. "So what now, you gonna leave me behind to be dinner while you get to go to some camp for demigods? Uh-uh, I don't think so, I'm not done fighting yet!"
    "Calm down!" I said, pushing her away. "We're both going to camp, you idiot! Besides, even if I was going to leave you here, you would have done the same thing to me, and you know it!" She glared at me for another second, before backing off. "Fine," she snapped. "But what did you mean by we're both going to camp? I lost, why am I going?" "Uh, Lupa admired your strength in being the first to attack," I lied. Now that Jamie was awake, I felt embarrased about the whole "She owes me her life" thing. She looked confused. "She's letting me live just because I attacked first? Really?" I gulped, she was about to find me out. My answer was pretty out there. But she surprised me and shrugged. "Alright then," she said. "I'm not dinner, so I guess I should be grateful or something. So then, what do we do next?"I walked over and picked up my backpack. "Now we go to Camp," I said. "Lupa gave me directions. From here on out, we're on our own." Jamie followed me and picked up her pink backpack, slinging it over her shoulder. "Fine by me," she said. "I don't think I could stand staying with the wolves one more second."
    We travelled without incident for a couple days, me leading the way by Lupa's instructions. We spent the nights walking and the days resting in a make-shift camp out, not for any particular reason, but we'd gotten used to the wolves hours. Neither of us spoke for the whole time. Finally, we got to a sort of cliff-type mountainside, a highway far below us. It was pretty late in the morning, but we hadn't settled down to rest because we knew we were getting close to camp. The highway led to a tunnel that split into two different tunnels, one for oncoming traffic, one for traffic going the other way. In the middle was a cement wall, with a big metal door. Probably a maintainance tunnel or something, at least, that's what it looked like. We carefully made our way down the slope, and finally got down to the highway. The cars went rushing past us, and we stared at the middle tunnel. It looked just like any other tunnel, nothing special about it.
    The only strange thing about it were the two Roman guards standing at the entrance of the middle tunnel. Cars were going right by them, not even seeming to notice that two kids in full Roman armor were standing there with long sharp spears, looking ready to attack anyone that came their way. We went their way. "Hi, uh, we're here to go to the camp," I said awkwardly. Jamie pushed past me and stood tall, frowning at the two guards. "I am Jamie Killigan and this is Theadore Eumlaudamaus Alexander. We were sent here by the She-wolf Lupa and wish to go into camp." The two guards nodded at her, and opened the doors. I stared at her, I had no idea she could talk like that, so commanding. I almost admired it. But then she turned around and glared at me. "What are you staring at me for?" she said. I stopped and looked away, the two guards snickered and I felt my ears getting red. We went into the tunnel, and I was sure that we were going to be hit by about a million cars, but we weren't, and before long, we stepped out into the light... and into ancient Rome.
    At least, that's what it looked like to me. Directly in front of us was a river, not as big as the Hudson, but still pretty big. It also looked much cleaner, and much more powerful. Across the river, I could see a high wall with buildings behind it, and beyond that, in the nearby distance, a Roman city on one side and a hill with beautiful temples on the other. I stopped and looked, eyes open wide, but Jamie snapped "Come on," and pushed me from behind. I tripped. Jamie laughed. I stood up, seething, but I didn't have time to pick a fight with Jamie. she was walking along the river towards a nearby bridge. I walked quickly to catch up with her.
    We walked over to the high wall, and we went through into what appeared to be a military encampment. There were barracks, and stables, a mess hall, an armory, and what looked to be a group of offices and important stuff like that. Jamie looked around and then she went straight for the important looking buildings, me walking behind her, gazing around at everything I saw. The camp was full of kids in jeans, purple T-shirts, and Roman armor, looking at them curiously, and there were also a bunch of people that shimmered and shone vaguely in the sunlight. They passed one up close and with a jolt, Teddy realized what they were. Ghosts. He shivered a little and resolved not to look at the crowds of people anymore. It seemed like everyone was staring at him, sizing him up, trying to figure out wether or not he was worth anything. So he focused on the buildings, looking at them all in awe. Before long, they got to the most important looking of all the buildings, and a woman was out there, ready to meet them.
    She was around thirty years old, and she had long black hair tied back in a braid. She also wore a purple toga decorated with gold and she wore it over gold armor. As they approached, she eyed them almost warily, seeming to size them up. "Welcome, young heroes," She said as they got closer. "I am Reyna, daughter of Bellona, former Praetor of the Twelfth Legion and current Senator of Camp Jupiter. What are your names?" I opened his mouth to tell her my name, but Jamie cut me off. "My name is Jamie Ariadne Killigan, and this is Theadore Eumlaudamaus Alexander. We were sent here by Lupa and wish to join this camp." I glowered at her as she talked, then when she was finished, I turned to Reyna and said "I'm Teddy. Just Teddy." Reyna laughed. "Well, welcome to Camp Jupiter, Teddy and Jamie. Before you can officially join the camp, you must pass before the two Praetors and the Augor. After that, if someone decides you are worth their time, they will stand for you and you may join their Cohort. Come with me, and I'll lead you to the Praetors." With that, Reyna turned and went into the building.
    We followed her and she went through the building, stopping in front of a door. Behind it, I could hear someone talking, and Reyna knocked, silencing the voices inside. The door opened and I saw a girl, perhaps one of the prettiest girls I had ever seen. She looked about seventeen, and had really long black hair that hung down to her back, and she was wearing a red toga over silver armor, a lot like what Reyna had only not as grand. Her eyes were lovely and kind, they were purple eyes, and she looked at the two of us almost shyly as Reyna brough us in. There was a low table in the room, covered with papers and parchment and stuff, and sitting at the table was a boy, also around seventeen, with blond hair hanging over his eyes. He looked strong, and he was dressed in a full suit of Roman armor, some of it silver and some of it gold, all polished so that it shone brightly in the light. He smiled as we came in, but stayed where he was, leaning back in his chair.
    "Well," he said casually. "New recruits? About time, we're running out of campers!" I looked over at Jamie, and she looked at me before turning to the boy. "You're... running out? What does that mean?" The boy almost responded, but Reyna gave him a warning glance and he shrugged his shoulders, smiling. "Never mind about that. I'm Alex Beucefilous, but you can call me "Your Excellency" or "Your Royal Awesomness" or something like that. I'm one of the Praetors here at Camp Jupitor, and this is my co-praetor, Ariana Walker. Say hi, Ariana." Ariana frowned at him and then turned to Teddy and Jamie, smiling. "It's nice to meet you both. We can always use new recruits. What are your names?" I felt uneasy about the whole "losing campers, always need new recruits" thing, but decided to just put it behind me and give it a shot. "My name's Teddy," I said. "Teddy Alexander." "What?" Alex said, sitting straight up in his chair. "No way! My name's Alexander too!" He smiled at me, and suddenly, Alexander didn't seem like such a bad name after all. "Well, it's only my last name, but yeah. My full name is Theadore Eumlaudamaus Alexander." I blurted. There was just something about Alex that made me feel trusting, like I had known him forever. Jamie next to me must have felt the same way, 'cause she started talking too, and not in a commanding tone like she had been doing earlier. "My name's Jamie Ariadne Killigan," she said. She looked at Alex almost as if she expected him to say that he shared a name with her too, but he looked a little startled and glanced at Ariana before masking his surprise and turning back to Jamie. She looked a little disappointed, but she continued talking.
    "I don't know a whole lot about the gods, but I'm sure I could learn soon enough. I'm a fast learner." Alex smiled and said "Yeah, well, that's a good skill to have. I wish I was a fast learner. The only thing I picked up fast was fighting." Ariana interrupted Alex and turned to me and Jamie. "Well, I think you could definitely stay here, but before you can, you have to see the Auger. He'll tell you wether or not you can join the Twelfth Legion. I would ask Reyna to take you, but we need to speak to her about something. Let's see, um... We need to have someone take you to the Auger." Alex stood up and walked over to the open window, leaning out. Then he yelled "Hey! Valeri Paul! Come up here for a sec!" Then he sat back down in his seat. A few minutes later, the door opened and a girl came in, wearing the standard jeans and purple T-shirt mixed with Roman armor. She had long blonde hair that went down to her back, and she had grey eyes. She looked very familiar, and I tried to think where I had seen her before, but I drew a blank. She looked at the two of them curiously before turning to Alex. "You wanted to see me?" She asked. "Yeah," Alex answered. "We have a couple new recruits here and we need to see if the Auger agrees to accept them. Can you take them to the temple please?" "Yes sir," she said. Then she turned to Teddy and Alexander and motioned for them to follow her. She led them out of the building and started to walk through the camp, talking as they went. "My name's Valeri Paul," she said. "I'm a daughter of Zeus." I looked at her for a second. "Uh, don't you mean Jupiter?" I asked. Valeri sighed. "No," she said resignedly as if she had expected him to ask. "I mean Zeus."

    ~<>~{SPQR}~<>~​

    As they walked up to the temple, Valeri told them her story. "It all started thousands of years ago, when Rome invaded Greece and the gods changed from Greek to Roman gods, becoming more warlike and disciplined. Each god had two different personalities after that, their Greek form and their Roman form. They could change their form at will, and would appear to mortals in whichever way the mortal believed them to be. So then the demigods the gods began to produce would either turn out to be Greek demigods or Roman demiigods. That's perfectly alright, of course, except for the Greek demigods hated the Roman demigods for invading their land, and the Roman demigods hated the Greek demigods, for being so stinkin' hard to conquer." She smiled, as if she thought that was especially funny. I didn't think so. "Anyway, the Greek demigods and the Roman demigods all hated eachother, and whenever they got together, there was war. Finally, it got so bad that the gods used the Mist to make each set of demigods forget about the other set, because if they knew of eachother, there would be a very bloody war on their hands. They also got a prophecy that a child of the big three, that is, Zeus, Hades, and Poseiden, or, um... Jupiter, Pluto, and Neptune, would pretty much change everything about anything in the world, and this like, really freaked the gods out or something."
    She paused and looked at them. "I never was really good at history, so don't be surprised if I get a bunch of stuff wrong. Just saying." Then she continued with her story. "So the big three swore that they would stop having affairs with mortal women, to keep the prophecy from coming true. Everything went good for awhile." They were out of the camp now and were walking along a stone paved road towards the beautiful city and the hill with tempes on it. Ahead of them was a fork in the road, and Valeri turned to the road on the right, leading them towards the hill. "Sixteen years ago," she said. "A hero named Percy Jackson and a hero named Jason Grace pretty much saved the world multiple times from the Titans and the giants and Gaia, and both of them were children of the big three, Percy Jackson was a son of Poseiden and Jason Grace was a son of Jupiter. After one of his world-saving quests, it turned out that Percy Jackson was the one the prophecy had been talking about, so the big three didn't have to worry about having kids anymore."
    Valeri looked straight ahead, but Teddy could see her grey eyes grow dark and angry. "Zeus lost no time in getting back to his old tricks," she said bitterly. "The very next day he met my mother. Nine months later, I was born. I was eleven when I found out the truth. A Satyr found me, and took me to Camp Half-Blood." I interrupted her. "Wait a minute," I said. "Satyr? Camp Half-Blood? And what about Lupa, didn't you meet Lupa?" Valeri laughed. "Okay, first things first," she said. "Camp Half-Blood is kinda like Camp Jupiter, in that it's a camp for demigods, only it's for Greek demigods. Does that make sense?" I shook my head. "No," I said. "Why would there need to be two camps?" "Well," she paused. "You now how I said the gods had to seperate the Greek demigods from the Roman ones? That's why there are two camps, one is in New York, and one is here in California. One for the Greeks, the other for Romans." "So then why are you here at Camp Jupiter if you're Greek?" I asked, bewildered. Valeri laughed again, and stopped. They were about halfway up the hill, heading towards the temples. "I'm getting to that, if you would like me to finish the story." Jamie snickered and I glared at her, my ears red. The I turned to Valeri. "Sorry," I said "Go ahead."
    She nodded her head. "Thank you. So anyway, after the first great prophecy happened, a second one came that was a lot worse, and the gods were way freaked out by it. So Zeus, or Jupiter, it doesn't matter, decreed that the gods were not allowed to contact the demigods anymore, so this prophecy wouldn't happen. Because, you know, they did such a good job preventing the first one. Anyway, Zeus's wife Hera figured out that the only way to stop this prophecy from coming true was if the Greeks and the Romans worked together. So she picked up Percy Jackson from the Greek camp and dropped him off here, and she picked up Jason Grace from here and dropped him in Camp Half-Blood. So then both sides learned of the existence of the other side. They all worked together, just like the prophecy said, and they all saved the world, just like they'd done so many times before. After that, to ensure that we never forgot that we were all part of the same family and started warring again, the gods decided that one Roman Demigod and one Greek demigod would switch places, and become part of the other team. Sort of like an exchange student thing. Well, I'm the Greek demigod that was chosen to come here to Camp Jupiter."
    All was quiet for a moment, and then Jamie said "So, what about a Satyr? What's That?" And I asked "So do the Greek demigods go to Lupa?" Valeri smiled. "No, we don't go to Lupa. The Greeks recruit demigods completely differently. When I was eleven, a Satyr found me. A Satyr is a Faun, but just like the gods, they have a Greek form and a Roman form. In Greece, a Satyr was a sort of embodiment of nature, a very powerful creature of Pan and Dionysus, and they were very merry and fun to be around, as well as being a powerful ally. In Rome, a Faun was a lesser sort of spirit, as warfare and discipline was at the forefront of their religion, and they were more bent on peace and nature. In Rome, Fauns were originated from Faunus and Bacchus, the Roman counterparts of Pan and Dionysus. So the Greeks gave their Satyr allies a mission to find and protect demigod children, while the Romans sort of treat Fauns as if they were just everyday hippies, choosing rather to let the demigods find their own way to camp, to conquer or die. So I was found by a Satyr when I was eleven, and taken to the Greek camp, where I belonged. There I met the activities director, a centaur named Chiron. He was our Lupa, but not nearly as strict. Chiron welcomed anyone to camp, there was no test, no prior training before you could join. As long as you wanted to learn, he would teach you. I went to Camp and I had a great time, making friends and learning to fight monsters. That was the best year of my life.
    Then the Greek demigod who had been living here died in a quest, and it was time to select another demigod to take his place. The Oracle chose me." "Excuse me," Jamie said. "The Oracle?" Valeri nodded. "Yeah," she said. "Here at the Roman camp, we have an Auger, which is a demigod that divines the wishes and intents of the gods by sacrificing small animals, or in our case, small stuffed animals. At Camp Half-Blood, we have an oracle, which is one person used to prophecy things, usually almost straight from the mouths of the gods. Personally, I think it's a much more reliable method of communication, but that's just me. But anyway, the Oracle gave me a prophecy, and I was the one chosen to come here to the Roman camp, and I've been here ever since. See?" She held up her arm and they saw a tattoo of an eagle, on top of the letters "SPQR" and three lines, like a bar code. "The Eagle is the symbol of my godly parent, Zeus, the letters stand for 'Senatus Populusque Romanus,' which is Latin for 'The Senate and the People of Rome,' and the lines represent how many years you've been a legionnaire at Camp Jupiter. You two will start out on Probatio, which pretty much means you haven't proven yourselves yet and aren't officially part of the legion." "How do you stop being on probatio?" Jamie asked. "How do you prove yourself?" Valeri looked up at the sky as they walked. "You have to do some really heroic thing, like defeat a monster or save somebody's life, and then you've proven yourself and they'll make you an honorary legionnaire. Of course, not everybody does something heroic, so if you survive a whole year here, they'll go ahead and make you a legionnaire. Just living in this place for a year means you've got a pretty good idea on how to be a hero." "So what did you do to prove your worth?" Jamie asked. It seemed like a pretty reasonable question to me, but Valeri ignored her and looked away. "We're here," she said. "At the temple of Jupiter. Come on inside, and the Auger will determine wether you're meant to be here or not." She led them inside, and I swallowed before following. I never would have admitted it, but I felt almost... nervous... about this whole Auger thing. Not scared. But nervous. What if the Auger decided not to let me join? But if I never faced my fears, I would never conquer. So I took a deep breath and followed Valeri Paul and Jamie into the grand temple.
    As long as I lived, I would never forget that trip to the Auger. When they first walked into the temple, The guy was standing dead center in the middle of the room, staring at the fire and muttering something to himself. He looked deep in thought, as if something was seriously bothering him. "Hey Alfie." Valeri said quietly as they walked up. Alfie absently looked up from the ground and studied Teddy and Jamie as if they could be dangerous or something. "Alfie, this is Theadore Eumlaudamaus Alexander and Jamie Ariadne Killigan. Teddy, Jamie, this is Napolean Alfie Godenot, our new Auger." "Wait a minute," I said. "New? As in, brand new, never been before, no experience?" Valeri looked uncomfortable. "Um, yeah. Alfie's new to the whole "Auger" thing. Our last Auger died last week in the middle of a prophecy. But that doesn't mean it'll happen again!" She added quickly, as the Auger looked at her angrily, like she'd just reminded him that he was getting a Lamiae for his birthday. Then he glanced at me for a moment, and I could see something else too. Fear. Just a smidge of it, behind all the anger and contempt in the bloodshot blue eyes. Alfie Godenot wasn't sleeping too well, and I could guess it had something to do with being the "new" Auger. I didn't have time to feel sorry for the guy, though, because Alfie glared at me for a second and then turned towards the fire. "Alright, let's get this over with," he said irritably, and walked up to the sacrificial stone in the middle of the room. He pulled a stuffed pig out of a nearby toy bin, and put it on the table, then he slashed at it vigorously with a knife. He looked at all the stuffing that had spilled out of it. He waited for a few moments, then he turned back to them. He didn't look at Teddy or Jamie, just Valeri. "They're both to come into the camp," he said quietly. "They are to spend much of their time together, and they are to spend quite a bit of time with you as well, apparently." Valeri looked impressed. "Really?" she asked. "Did the gods tell you all that?" Alfie shrugged. "Sometimes they're very specific. Oh, one more thing," he said. "According to the entrails, They are the ones who pave the way." Suddenly, Alfie gasped and shuddered, falling to his knees. He shut his eyes as tight as he could and said "Oh," before collapsing on the stone floor, unconcious. Valeri was at his side in an instant. "Alfie!" she said urgently. "Alfie, come on! You know we can't lose any more!" But it was too late. He was dead.
    "WHAT IS GOING ON!?!" I hadn’t meant to yell, but I felt like that was the only way I could get my questions answered. Jamie and I were standing in the back of the Praetors office, while Alex, Ariana and Valeri all argued about something to do with a prophecy and Reyna sat in the back looking thoughtful. Everyone stopped and looked up at me when I yelled, and Ariana pursed her lips as if she were really angry about something. Reyna sighed and stood up out of her chair. "I’m not going to lie to you," she said solemnly. "Camp Jupiter has been going through some very rough times.""You mean like, running-out-of-campers, our-Augers-are-dying-every-other-week kind of rough times?" I interrupted. My mom had said I’d be safe here, but I didn’t feel very safe. Reyna just nodded her head. "Yes. Ever since last winter, when our Auger was given the first of the Many Prophecies, we’ve had terribe luck. Campers go out on quests or vacations and are never heard from again. New Recruits are told in the entrails that they have no place here in Camp Jupiter and are forced to leave. Inexplicable injuries seem to happen to the campers at odd times, making them unable to fight or train. And then there’s the Many Prophecies. Every time a new piece is delivered, it takes the life of the one who saw it. Yes, we are in rough shape." I looked around. "Well, what’s the whole prophecy? I mean, you know, so far?" "We are not permitted to tell you!" Ariana snapped. "Prophecies are not meant for the weak or young to try and interpret."

    "Hey, Ariana, calm down!" Alex said quietly. "Teddy didn’t know, don’t be so rough on the kid." Ariana flushed and looked down. "I’m sorry, Teddy," she said quietly. "I didn’t mean to snap." Alex looked at Teddy and tried to force a smile. "Don’t sweat it, Teddy." he said. "We’re pretty sure it doesn’t involve you, so there’s no reason for you to worry. Apparently, you both are accepted, so tonight we’ll find out if anyone’ll stand for you." "But..." We all looked around, Jamie hadn’t said anything since Alfie had dropped dead. "But if it doesn’t involve us, why did... the auger... say that we were the ones who would pave the way? That was part of the prophecy, wasn’t it? That was why he... died, right?" Alex looked at Reyna like he didn’t know what to say. She sighed. "I’m afraid we can’t be certain," she said. "So until we are, you both must accept that we cannot tell you. Also, please do not tell any of the other campers what it is Alfie said. Valeri, please show them around the camp until suppertime." Valeri stood up and said "Yes, Reyna." Then she turned and opened the door, waiting for them to step through. I was about to argue, but she looked at me like "later", so I shut my mouth and followed Jamie out into the hall. Valeri closed the door and we started to walk down the hallway. "The first thing I want to show you is the Field of Mars," she said.

    The Field of Mars was probably the coolest field I’d ever seen. I looked around in awe as I followed Jamie and Valeri, taking in the sights. "You’ll see more of this tonight after dinner," Valeri said. "We have War Games scheduled for tonight." "Wait a minute," I said. "War Games?" Valeri nodded. "Yeah," she said. "War Games. You ever played Capture the Flag? The war games are kinda like that. The five cohorts get split into two teams, those who defend and those who attack. The defending team is given a flag to protect, and an hour in which to build a stronghold. Then we defend ourselves as the other team attacks, aiming to capture our flag. It’s pretty simple." "What Cohort are you in?" I asked. For a second, Valeri looked angry, and I wondered if she was mad at me or something, but then she smiled. "You sure ask a lot of questions," she said. "I’m in the Third Cohort. We’re kind of in a bad luck slump right now, but then again, who isn’t?"

    We were silent for a minute, but then Jamie spoke up. "So..." she said. "The Many Prophecies?" "Oh, right." Valeri glanced behind us, almost as if she were making sure the coast was clear. Oh wait, she probably was. "I was around when we got the first piece," She said. "It was about four months ago, and the Auger at the time, Paulie Jones, was determining the possibility of a quest. He told us that the team would be succesful, but would never return, and then he gave the first piece." She looked away, as if she could still remember the event. "He said; ‘three set out to find the lost,’ and then, he was dead." She paused and took a deep breath, then she continued. "We weren’t really sure what was going on, we knew it was a prophecy, but it was so small, so vague, we couldn’t understand it. Then, a week later, our new Auger gave out the second piece. I wasn’t there at the time, but the news spread fast. According to the girl who was there, he said ‘four will triumph, ending frost.’ Then he was dead. After that, three more Augers died, but I never heard what they said. Ariana made sure their prophecies were kept a secret."

    Valeri looked off into the distance, towards the hill with the Temples on it. "I think you were right," She said. "The prophecy must be about you two. They are the ones who will pave the way. He was talking about you when he said that. I know- er, I knew Alfie. He was a pretty strange guy, but... he always knew what he was talking about. If he didn’t know everything about a subject, he didn’t open his mouth. He knew what he was saying when he gave that piece, and he knew that it was about you two. Now if Ariana would just listen to me." I frowned. "Oh yeah," I said. "What’s her problem anyway?" Valeri laughed bitterly. "Don’t worry about it," she said. "Ariana is... really a nice girl, but she’s got a lot on her plate right now. Besides, she’s rather uneasy around people she doesn’t know. It’s nothing personal for you." I thought about that as we went to go see the rest of the Camp. I guess it made sense, I mean, Ariana was co-Praetor of Camp Jupiter, and, well, Camp Jupiter was practically falling apart. She was probably under a lot of stress. I would just have to wait and see how things played out, starting with dinner that evening, when Jamie and I would be placed in our Cohorts.

    ~<>~{SPQR}~<>~

    If you think that everything went smoothly when we were placed in our cohorts, then you really don’t understand the way my life works. Nothing ever goes smoothly. Jamie and I stood up front with Ariana and Valeri Paul, and Alex spoke to the legionairres below. "Colors!" He shouted. Five kids came forward, carrying long poles decorated with the emblems of each cohort. Then a sixth stepped up, carrying a long pole with an impressive looking golden eagle perched on top, positioned as if it were about to fly off. The kid holding it looked straight ahead proudly, and I could tell just by looking at the rest of the legion that this was an envied job.

    Once the guy with the eagle stood in his position, Alex continued. "Romans!" He announced. "Two newcomers arrived today, Theadore Alexander and Jamie Killigan, seeking to join the legion!" He turned to Valeri Paul. "As witness to the auguries, tell us the verdict of the gods!" Valeri looked nervous to be standing in front of the entire camp, but her voice didn’t shake as she recited what Ariana had instructed her to say. "The auguries are favorable. They are qualified to serve!" Teddy was startled as suddenly everyone in the room shouted "Ave!" He blinked, completely confused. He would have to ask somebody what that meant later.

    "Thank you, Valeri," Alex said. "You may now return to your station." As Valeri slowly walked to one of the groups of soldiers, Alex turned to face Jamie and said "Recruit, do you have any credentials or letters of recommendation?" I didn’t know what he was talking about. Letters of recommendation? Did I need those to get into the camp? If I did, I was screwed. Jamie stood up a little straighter and said, to my surprise, "Yes sir, I do." Then she reached into her pocket and pulled out an envelope, sealed with red wax. Alex looked a little surprised as well, but he took the envelope and broke the seal, then he opened it and pulled the letter out from inside. He read it quickly and then he turned to the rest of the camp. "Jamie Ariadne Killigan is recommended to the first cohort by her father, Benjamin Killigan, a retired legionnaire of that same cohort." He turned to the first group of soldiers and said "Do you accept the recruit?"

    Simultaneously, the campers in the group began banging their shields on the ground. A tall, thin girl, who somehow managed to make the jeans, tee-shirt, and armor she wore look sophisticated and expensive, addressed Alex as the cohort quieted down. "My cohort has spoken," she said clearly, but not loudly. "We accept the recruit." Her tone was decidedly bored, with a slight air of superiority, and Jamie looked even more nervous than usual as Alex turned to her with a small smile. "Congrats, Jamie," he said. "You are now on probatio. You will be given a tablet with your name and cohort, and a year from now, you’ll be a full member of the Twelfth Legion Fulminata. Unless you complete an act of valor before hand, in which case, you’ll become a full member a lot sooner. Serve Rome, obey the rules of the legion, and defend the camp with honor." Then he turned to Teddy.

    "Recruit," he said again. "Do you have any credentials or letters of recommendation? I shifted my weight nervously and said "No, I don’t have any letters." "That’s alright," Alex grinned, for the moment reverting back to his usual jovial self. "I didn’t have any letters either." I felt a lot better. At least I was going to get in. "Ahem," Ariana cleared her throat and looked at Alex pointedly. He sighed and then continued, back to his intimidating praetor mode. "Now then," He turned and addressed the legion. "Will any legionnaires stand for him?"

    If the room hadn’t already been completely quiet, I would have sworn it grew so then. I swallowed loudly during the awkward silence which ensued, and immediately regretted it, as it seemed everyone noticed. Then, a quiet voice from the back of the third cohort spoke up. "I will stand for him." I craned my neck to see who it was, and saw that it was Valeri Paul, looking straight ahead angrily. Before Alex could say anything in return, however, Ariana spoke up. "Valeri Paul," she said coolly. "I am sorry to say that you are not eligible to stand for the recruit."

    Alex looked from Ariana to Valeri with a look of worry that didn’t seem to go very well with his character. Valeri directed her angry gaze to Ariana and said "On what grounds am I ineligible? I became a full member of the Twelfth Legion Fulminata three years ago, and have loyally served Rome in every possible way since." Ariana glared back. "You are ineligible," she said quietly, "Because you are not a true child of Rome. You participate in our games and wear our armor, but at heart, you are a Graecus, and are therefore ineligible to stand for a Roman recruit."

    Throughout the legion, there could be heard a few snickers, and as Teddy looked around, he saw several legionnaires glance smugly at Valeri, who had turned red with anger. But she closed her mouth and bowed her head, and after a moment of silence, another voice spoke up. "I will stand for the recruit," said a male voice, and Teddy looked at the speaker, another legionnaire from the third cohort. He was somewhat tall and slender, and underneath his helmet, Teddy could see blue eyes, also looking up at Ariana angrily. She looked at him and sighed. "Very well," she said. "Kile Blake, you will stand for the recruit. Does your cohort accept him?" Reluctantly, the rest of the third cohort began to pound their shields on the ground, and another girl spoke up as the cohort quieted down. "My cohort has spoken," she said. "We will accept the new recruit."

    Ariana turned towards Teddy. "Congratulations, Theadore Eumlaudamaus Alexander," She said as Teddy felt a brief pang of annoyance that she had used his full name. "You are now on probatio. A year from now, or when you complete an act of valor, you will become a full member of the Twelfth Legion Fulminata." Then she turned towards the rest of the legion and said "Senatus Populusque Romanus!" As the rest of the legion echoed the cheer, Teddy looked at Valeri again. Her head was still down, and he realized why she always seemed so miserable. It must not be very easy, being the only Greek demigod in an entire army of Romans. He wondered if everybody treated her like Ariana had. It just isn’t fair, he thought. She’s such a nice person, why does it matter whether she’s Greek or Roman? The room quieted down again, and he had to return his attention to Alex, who, red-faced, cleared his throat and said "Alright, everybody, you have one hour for dinner, and then it’s out to the Field of Mars for some war games!" Then he turned to Teddy and Jamie as the cohorts started filing out. "You two come with me, I’ll get you your probatio tablets and then you can join your cohorts for dinner."
     
  2. Te Deum Hollow Bastion Committee

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    Best. Gift. Ever.


    Oh my gods this is wonderful...
     
  3. Lauriam I hope I didn't keep you waiting...

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    Haha, thanks, I thought you might like it. XD

    I'm also thinking about turning this into a trilogy, after the first book is done. I've had the idea for the basic plotline for awhile now, I just never started it before I got your name.
     
  4. Loxare Hollow Bastion Committee

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    Wow Marushi, this is awesome!

    A major error I noticed though is when Teddy first meets Lupa and Reyna, you switch from first person to third person. From "I" to "Teddy". Also, you mention that Reyna is about thirty, but also that she's a girl.
     
  5. Lauriam I hope I didn't keep you waiting...

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    Hey, just popping in to finally post chapter four of Teddy's secret santa fanfic. XD
    I know, it's been six months since my last update, and I feel really bad about it. I got stuck on a part that I'm no longer stuck on, so it shouldn't take as long for me to write chapter five. Hopefully.

    One quick note: Previously, I had Alfie, the Augor, state that Jamie and Teddy would be placed in the same cohort. I have since changed my mind, and have edited that statement accordingly.

    Other than that, enjoy chapter four. Again, I'm really sorry it took me so long to update. Teddy? Here's chapter four of your christmas present!
     
  6. Te Deum Hollow Bastion Committee

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    I'm coming to see this two years later.

    So it's been buried under hundreds of Writers' Nook threads, and never did it surface to New Posts (when I was on, at least).

    Then I discovered where the Watched Threads button was.

    And viola!


    YOU HAVE NO ****ING CLUE HOW HAPPY I AM RIGHT NOW I AM SCREAMING INTERNALLY I'M GOING TO FLIP A ****ING CAR THIS IS A GEM. THIS IS A ****ING GEM AND I'M SO GLAD I FOUND THIS AGAIN THANK YOU SO MUCH I JUST. THANK YOU I LOVE YOU SO MUCH JUST OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. TWO YEARS. IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT.
     
  7. Hyuge ✧ [[ Fairy Queen ]]

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    I'm glad you found this and bumped this. I haven't started reading it yet but now I'm super excited for a Camp Jupiter OC Fanfic. Augh. Will read the chapters posted when I have time later today. So excite.
     
  8. Lauriam I hope I didn't keep you waiting...

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    Wat. How did this resurface after two years!? I... I haven't written a new sentence in two years! And I don't have the time to write this! I barely manage to get a new chapter for a story written once a week like I tell myself to. In fact, I never updated last week. And I was supposed to get a new chapter out today and never wrote it.

    But for you, Teddy, I shall try my hardest to get you a chapter five. Possibly by the end of 2016. XD

    EDIT:

    Just re-read the whole thing. OMG THE SPACING. That was horrible. And even after all the hours I spent editing and re-editing and editing again, I still had trouble keeping first-person/third person perspectives straight. I'll tell you, when I do get around to writing chapter five, the writing will have improved much. :P
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  9. Te Deum Hollow Bastion Committee

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    Necrobumping magic. *twiddles fingers*

    It's fine. Time flies when you're having a life.

    You don't have to. I can bask in these vibrant rays of creativity forever.

    Wha-

    I can wait until 2035 and I'd still be happy to see it.

    It wasn't that bad.
     
  10. . : tale_wind Ice to see you!

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    ...So if you ever do decide to bring this back from the dead I'm gonna be stalking it and expecting a cameo of some sort *SHOT* 'cause I really like it.