We Take the Star Trek Express
: We Take The Star Trek ExpressAuthor
: Jedi ButtercupRating
: PJO/SG-1/Atlantis. We wouldn't be the first demigods in space, but we would be the first half-bloods to ever visit a whole other galaxy.
: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.Spoilers
: Post-"The Last Olympian"; AU for "Heroes of Olympus"; post-series for Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis.Notes
: For starshinedown, who requested a continuation of "To Storm or Fire". I tried for Percy's POV this time, hence the title. The Poseidon-in-a-suit reference is an homage to Sheera Azm's short work, "Belief
", which was inspired by the prior story in this series.
My last week on Earth started off like a lot of others since I found out I was a son of Poseidon: with a long trip to someplace mythically famous. Well, I'd had a little more warning than usual since apparently my dad had to meet with actual mortal authorities as himself
to make it happen-- I'd dreamed of him wearing a suit of all things, signing piece after piece of paper with his trident on it, long before he actually Iris messaged me about it. But still. For a kid who'd navigated the Labyrinth, fought monsters and Titans on the streets of New York, and turned down an offer for immortality, going to Atlantis was just another day at the ocean.
Yeah, yeah, I'm kidding. It was more than ordinary; it was epic
. Even my dad had sounded a little awed when we talked about it; the city's even older than he is, which is kind of mind-boggling to think about. If it hadn't meant leaving all of my family behind-- blood, step, half, and
godly-- and most of my friends from camp, I would probably have been bouncing up and down as much as Annabeth at the prospect of going there.
Not that, you know, she'd wasn't going to miss her
family, too. But she'd been talking non-stop about technology and new opportunities and tapping away at Daedalus' laptop ever since Athena talked to her about joining me for a literally out-of-this-world vacation. We wouldn't be the first demigods in space-- you'd be surprised how many of Athena's and Hermes' kids end up working for NASA, not to mention heroes like Zoë Nightshade who got turned into constellations-- but we would
be the first half-bloods to ever visit a whole other galaxy
a big fly in the ointment, though, one that had bugged me the whole way to Colorado and through the totally unexpected flash-trip up to space and back down again. It wasn't going to be just me and Annabeth. There were going to be five more, Dad said, two of whom would travel there with us.
It wasn't the lack of privacy that bugged me, either. I'd been there when Rachel gave her first prophecy as the new Oracle, after all: "Seven half-bloods shall answer the call
." Not six; not eight; seven
. And I was supposed to believe it was a coincidence that that was exactly how many demigods had been asked to investigate a city that predated Western civilization?
Yeah, right. At least it probably meant the world falling "to storm or fire
" wouldn't be Earth. It would be nice not to have to worry about my mom being in danger because of me for once.
The new Great Prophecy was still a shadow on the horizon, though; and there was a still a lot more to do before we left Earth. First, Annabeth, Clarisse, and I had to actually drive out to Colorado; we couldn't use their spaceship-based transport system until they tagged us like wayward puppies, and Nico couldn't take all three of us through the shadows. Then we had to sign a bunch of paperwork to prove we agreed with the arrangements the SGC had made with our parents-- which of course meant more paper airplanes than signed pages after they left us alone, since severe ADHD is pretty much a feature
of being a demigod. We got through it all eventually, though.
Fortunately for the base sergeant's sanity, the rest of our training was going to be happening in the city. After the signing, we got jabbed in the arm a couple of times in the infirmary, and that was that. They called up to a ship called the George Hammond
, and we were gone.
They didn't actually say
"beam me up", but you get the idea. It always looked like it would tingle on TV, but I didn't feel anything; it was kind of disappointing. There was just a burst of white light, and voila! Change of scenery.
The city, on the other hand, was as spectacular as advertised. We arrived on a metal pier around four p.m., West Coast time; they hadn't actually told us where we were going, but I'm a son of the Stormbringer. I always know where I am at sea. I stared up at the gleaming spires while Annabeth grabbed onto my elbow like an anchor, and we both gaped for a long, stunned second. I'm not usually as excited about architecture as my girlfriend, but I'm a kid with salt water in his veins who grew up in Gotham: all that gunmetal grey, dark bronzes and sea blues, with skinny, skyscraping towers and the surge of the ocean underfoot, looked pretty dazzling to me.
Nico and Clarisse were pretty bored by comparison, studying the city with disinterested, aloof expressions. Surprise, surprise; Nico's a nice enough kid, and Clarisse was a total hero in the end, but you'd be hard pressed to find two harder demigods to please. I rolled my eyes at them, then squeezed Annabeth's hand.
"You ready for this?"
"Are you kidding me, Seaweed Brain? This is going to be amazing," she grinned.
"We won't be able to talk to our parents here. And these Wraith they told us about...."
"They can't be any worse than telekhines or dracenae," she sniffed, reminding me of some of the other swarming monsters we'd fought.
"You're worried about puny life-suckers when you have the Drakon Slayer with you?" Clarisse interrupted, smirking down her nose at us.
"I'd be more worried about ghosts," Nico replied, frowning. "This place feels even older than Tartarus."
"Shut up, shrimp," Clarisse said, flicking him with a finger for spoiling her mood.
Of course, that was when the city group arrived. I was already self-conscious about our ages, and how the guys at the mountain had reacted; I'd been hoping we would make a better impression there. Fortunately, they didn't seem to have noticed us acting like the hyper teenagers we were.
The lead guy had short brown hair, squarish glasses, and serious blue eyes; he was wearing a dark uniform with an American flag patch. There were four others with him: a lean guy with military rank markings, spiky hair and a casually dangerous posture; a guy with a receding hairline that talked animatedly with his hands as they approached; a woman who walked with as much deadly grace as any Hunter of Artemis; and a guy wearing dreadlocks, a long coat, and an impressive number of knives.
I studied them back for a minute, getting an eyeful of the people who would be our hosts for however long our quest might take. We'd seen a few pictures and introductory videos, but it was different, actually meeting them in person. I took a deep breath, then approached the one I'd been told was their leader.
"Percy Jackson," I said, holding out a hand like a responsible grownup.
"Dr. Daniel Jackson," he replied, with a firm handshake. "No relation?"
"Not unless my mom is some kind of distant cousin of yours," I shrugged. I didn't think so, though; Mom didn't have a lot of family.
"And you're Poseidon's son?" he nodded. "Your father spoke of you when we first arranged for your group to come here."
"Really?" It still seemed weird to me, knowing that the gods had actually talked to mortals on our behalf who weren't our other parents. I wondered what my father had looked like to Dr. Jackson; did he see the guy in the Bermuda shorts, or the Olympian deity?
"We can talk about it later, after you've settled in," he offered.
"Sure," I said, then turned to introduce the others. "Dr. Jackson, this is Annabeth Chase, Clarissa la Rue, and Nico di Angelo. Their parents are Athena, Ares, and Hades; I don't know if you've met them, too?"
"Unfortunately, no; Hermes delivered most of the contracts instead." He shook each of the others' hands, too, even Clarisse's, though it took her a second to respond. "It's a pleasure to meet all of you."
He did seem pleased, too; and not too
pleased, either. It was like he didn't care who-- or really, what-- our parents were, which was better than I'd been expecting. His more excitable companion stared a lot at Annabeth, though, after I said who her mom was, and the spiky-haired one narrowed his eyes at Clarissa; though since they were Atlantis' scientific and military leaders, I guessed that made sense. It wasn't going to warn either of them, though, that they were biting off more than they could chew; it would be interesting to see what Dr. McKay and Colonel Sheppard made of my friends' skills.
The other two adults were Teyla Emmagan and Ronon Dex, the Pegasus Galaxy representatives on the Atlantis Council. They seemed friendly, but puzzled, like they didn't quite get what the fuss was. It made me wonder if they had their own gods, and if so whether those gods mixed with their people; the whole demigod thing might be as new to them as aliens were to us.
They didn't seem offended, at least; the woman, Teyla, pressed her forehead to each of ours in greeting, smiling in a way that reminded me of the goddess of the hearth. She saved Nico for last, as he was still short enough she had to kind of bend over to do it; he squirmed a little at the gesture, and her eyes danced as she straightened again. But her voice was perfectly serious as she repeated her greeting: "Be welcome in Atlantis, Nico di Angelo."Welcome
. Wouldn't it be nice if that was actually true? The only school I'd ever attended for more than one year had been Goode High School, and that
was only because my stepdad worked there. The only places I'd ever really felt welcome had been my mom's house, mostly after my first stepdad died, and Camp Half-Blood, in the summers after I turned eleven.
Maybe this Atlantis thing would be more than just another quest, after all.Thanks, Dad
, I thought. Then I followed the others into the oldest city on Earth.