Okay. Hunter2 is done! I'll start work on Hunter3 soon. It should be good, I think. I want to do some planning for some other things. Also take a break from writing for a while. Thank you for reading all of this. If you have any questions, comments, feedback, praise, phone number requests, funny pictures, anything; Email me at email@example.com
Hunter woke up to a familiar scene. He was in the infirmary. Again. He probably had his own bed by now. How was it possible for one person to end up in the infirmary that many times? He took a deep breath and sat up on his elbows. His back and neck were still stiff and sore from the pressure of the sky. He rubbed the back of his neck slightly and swung his legs over the side of the bed.
“Whoa, whoa. Not so fast.” Hunter turned to see Dana walking toward him. She chuckled and shook her head. “So, we meet again, Hunter. If I started charging you, I would have more Drachmas than Hades.” She said with a chuckle before giving him an icepack. Hunter grabbed it and put it on his back.
“Thanks, Dana.” He said with a chuckle. “You’re worth every coin.” He said, standing up. He slipped on a camp shirt. He looked at her as she rolled her eyes.
“You know, if you’re going to ignore the doctor, than at least let me get the door for you.” She said, helping him stand and then opening the door. Hunter nodded and walked toward the door.
“Dana,” He said looking at her. She raised an eyebrow. “Thanks.” He said before flipping her a drachma. She caught it and chuckled.
“Anytime.” She said with a wave. Hunter walked out and saw a person that made him smile. “Philippa.” He said with a grin. She almost bumped into him, but ended up standing right in front of him. She looked up at him and grinned.
“Hi.” She said quietly before hugging him. Hunter smiled. “I was just about to go see you.” She said quietly before blushing and stepping backward. Hunter raised an eyebrow and looked at her. He was worried about the effect of the arrows. She seemed okay, though. “I wanted to talk to you.”
“Are you living at camp again?” He asked. She nodded.
“I’m no longer a hunter and I’ve been a hunter for a long time, Hunter.” She said with a sad sigh. “Lily and Odessa have left to pursue their ‘one true loves’. I’m here. Seemingly unaffected by the arrow. Maybe because I’m a daughter of Aphrodite or maybe because the arrow didn’t make a direct hit.” She shrugged. Hunter looked at her and realized something.
“So, do you remember anything from being possessed?” He asked quietly, taking a step closer. She studied the ground and nodded.
“I’m so sorry, Hunter.” She said quietly. “I couldn’t control myself. I wanted to stop them, but-“ Hunter pulled her into a hug.
“It’s okay.” He said, rubbing her back. “You couldn’t control yourself and it was nothing I haven’t taken before.” He said with a grin. She buried her face in his chest and Hunter pulled her close. He broke the hug and looked at her. “Since you weren’t affected though, does that mean you’re going back to the Hunters?” He said, his stomach clenched. She opened her mouth to speak, but she was interrupted.
“Hunter!” Hunter turned to see Arabella running at him. She hugged him and giggled. Hunter winced at the pain shooting up his neck and then smiled.
“Hey, Arabella.” He said with a chuckle. “I thought you were in Olympus.” He said breaking the hug.
“I’m back for a few days. I wanted to talk to Daniel about things and then he told me about you going on another quest and so I got worried and now you’re here! It’s good to see you, Stud Muffin!” She said hugging him again. Hunter and Arabella had always teased Brian by calling each other pet names and such.
“Good to see you too, Honey Bunch.” Hunter said with a chuckle. He looked at Philippa who seemed slightly bothered by the sight of Arabella and Hunter flirting. “Arabella, meet your sister. Philippa, this is Arabella. “ Arabella looked at him for a second and then looked at Philippa.
“My sister?” She said. Philippa cleared her throat and extended her hand.
“Daughter of Philippa at your service. Uh..I mean, Aphrodite. Daughter of…Aphrodite. I’m Philippa.” She said nervously. Arabella looked at her for a second before shaking her hand. There was a slightly awkward silence before Hunter heard his stomach grumble.
“Wow. I am starved.” He turned to Philippa and smiled. “You want to go to the mess hall?” He hesitated a second before taking her hand. “You’re welcome to join too, Arabella.” He said before turning toward the cafeteria. As he walked people looked at Philippa’s and his hands interlocked before looking at him and patting his shoulder.
“Nice one, Hunter.” An Athena kid said patting him on the back. Hunter waved and smiled as the other people greeted him. He finally entered and looked at Philippa who was studying the ground. He furrowed his brow and got in line. He got food and sat down at the Artemis table where Philippa and Arabella joined him. “So, Arabella, how’s Olympus?” He asked taking a bite of food. Arabella looked from him to Philippa then to him again.
“It’s really good.” She said with a nod. “My mom is great. I’ve been learning a lot.” She said plainly. “So, is she still evil or what?” Arabella asked nodding toward Philippa.
“Does she look evil?” Hunter said with a chuckle. Arabella shrugged and picked at her food. He gave her a look in an attempt to tell her to be nice.
“Wait, so if you’re a daughter of Aphrodite, then how did you become a Hunter? I mean, how could you stand doing nothing that mom does?” Arabella said leaning over the table slightly. Hunter looked at Philippa who seemed a little hurt.
“Well, I was here at camp for a while, but I never really…had a place. I mean, even in the Aphrodite cabin, I was never the prettiest girl. I mean, not like you. You’re beautiful. I’m just pretty, I guess. I always wanted more than that, you know?” She said with a shrug. “To go on quests and be a hero. Stuff like that. So, when Lady Artemis showed up I was quick to join the hunters.” Arabella looked at her and then Hunter.
“She’s not a hunter, anymore, though.” Hunter said with a nod. He looked at Philippa who was studying her food with a sad look on her face. Hunter’s stomach hurt suddenly. “You aren’t a hunter though, right?” He asked quietly. Philippa got up from the table and walked out. Hunter looked at Arabella for a second before getting up and walking out of the mess hall after her. “Philippa! Wait!” Hunter finally caught up and lightly grabbed her arm. She turned around, but couldn’t look him in the eye.
“I’m not going to do that to you, Hunter.” She said quietly. Hunter stepped closer and furrowed his brow.
“Philippa, what are you talking about? Do what to me?” He said quietly. She looked up at him with tears in her eyes.
“Hunter, you have a place here. People like you. Arabella certainly does.” She said quietly, the last part under her breath. “We can’t be together. I’m sorry for putting the idea in your head. That’s why I’m joining back up. The arrow made me fall in love only temporarily, so I lost the oath, but Lady Artemis has welcomed me back. I have the rest of the day to make my decision.” She said, hanging her head.
“Philippa, don’t. I want us to be together. After you kissed me, it was all I could think about. After I thought about it, I realized that I want to be with you. I want this.” He said, looking into her eyes. She sighed and shook her head.
“I don’t want you to have to leave camp, Hunter. If you leave the hunters, you have to leave camp. You won’t be able to see it.” She said, shaking her head again. Hunter grabbed her by the shoulders. He wanted to be with her. He really did have feelings for her, but camp was all he knew. There was nothing waiting for him past the pine tree.
“One year.” He said with a sigh. She looked at him with sad eyes. She shook her head and looked away. “No, listen. In one year, we’ll revisit the idea. You get used to being a camper again. I’m going to say my goodbyes.” He said quietly. “We’ll make this work.” He took a deep breath before taking her hands and looking into her eyes.
“Are you sure?” Philippa said quietly. Hunter nodded.
“I’m positive.” He said with a small smile. Philippa smiled at him before walking forward and hugged Hunter. Hunter laughed and hugged her back. He had a good feeling things were looking up.
“You’re…..losing.” Hunter choked out. “Quit…Won’t…Hurt…You.” He said, noticing Kyle creeping up behind her. She laughed at Hunter.
“You won’t hurt me? Oh, no. I’ll watch out.” She said with another cackle. Kyle finally reached her and knocked her in the head with the end of his scythe. She dropped Hunter and turned around to look at Kyle. “That was a mistake, boy.” She said before waving her hand. Kyle’s scythe skidded off to one side as she waved her hand again. He slid along the ground again and Hunter saw that he was close to the arrow that had fallen to the ground. Hunter rubbed his neck as he stood back up and quickly ran toward Kyle. He tried to grab the arrow, but something stopped him. “Not so fast, Hunter. Come. Give Philippa a kiss.” She turned him around and Hunter started floating toward her. He was getting closer and closer as she drew her knife. She was waving it menacingly in the air and Hunter felt like this was the end.
“Hunter! Catch!” Kyle shouted before tossing the arrow of Eros at Hunter. Hunter caught it and quickly slashed Philippa in the throat. There was a strong wind that blew Hunter back on his feet and immediately died down. He watched in amazement as another old woman dropped to her knees and then fell flat on the ground. Hunter was suddenly blinded by a brief flash of light and when he could see again the woman was gone. Philippa floated into the air and glowed just like Lily and Odessa had.
“Philippa!” Hunter shouted before running over and catching her. He set her down on the ground gently. He brushed the hair out of her face and made sure she was still alive before standing up. He glanced around to see Kyle standing near the unconscious body of Atlas and Marina, holding up the sky. He ran over and knelt down by Atlas. “We need to get him awake so that he can take his job back.” He looked more closely at the ring around Atlas’ neck. He drew his knife and sliced the rope the ring was tied to. Hunter kicked the ring away and watched as Atlas started to regain his previous appearance. He waited for him to wake up. He looked at Marina who was becoming shakier. “Come on! Wake up!” Hunter shouted. Nothing. Atlas was out cold. He looked at Kyle and then Marina. He looked back at Philippa briefly who was still unconscious. “Kyle, he’s not waking up.” He said quietly before swallowing. He stepped forward toward Marina. “Get ready to catch her.” Before Kyle could stop him, Hunter stepped forward and pushed Marina out of the way. A sharp pain shot up his spine as he dropped to one knee and held up the sky. He let out a cry of pain and cringed as the sky pushed down on him. He was able to see the action play out in front of him, but was helpless to do anything. He watched as Kyle helped Marina up and they walked around Hunter, frantically trying to find a solution. He also watched as Atlas started to wake up.
The titan stood up and exchanged words with Kyle and Marina that Hunter couldn’t make out. He watched as a fight between the three of them broke out. He wanted to scream. He wanted to help out. He couldn’t do either. He closed his eyes and prayed to Artemis that she would help in some way. Suddenly he felt an impact against his side. He fell to the ground and looked at Kyle who had taken his place. Marina was holding her own against the titan.
“Hey, ugly.” He said quietly as he managed to stand up. He caught his breath as Atlas looked at him, giving Marina a short break. He drew his knives. Atlas laughed.
“You’re not even a half-blood. You’re mortal! I am a titan!” He said turning to him. Hunter gave Marina a nod which said ‘take a break.’ She protested, but eventually relaxed and caught her breath. Atlas gritted his teeth and swung at Hunter. Hunter dodged and sliced his knives along his arms. The Titan turned and swung at him a few times. Hunter was forced to dodge around Kyle who was still holding up the sky. After another swing from Atlas, Hunter had to catch himself from falling backward into Kyle. Atlas chuckled before shoving him back under the sky. Hunter cried out as he caught the sky again. He watched in agony as Atlas turned to Kyle who was still weak. He couldn’t turn to see what happened, but he saw Marina drawing her hand cannon. A fireball shot out and zoomed past Hunter. Kyle carefully walked toward Marina on shaky legs. Hunter could see her feed him a little bit of nectar and immediately he looked better. The two of them turned and looked at Atlas who was walking out in front of Hunter. Marina turned a series of knobs on her cannon and Kyle stepped forward with his scythe drawn. Kyle stamped it on the ground and thick green vines shot up and tightly wrapped Atlas’ feet and hands. He easily broke out of them and started to walk toward them. Kyle stamped his scythe again and even more vines came out, focusing on Atlas’ feet. Kyle ran forward and hit Atlas hard with his scythe knocking him back a step. Hunter saw Marina shout something to Kyle who looked at her and dove out of the way. She fired her cannon and a massive ball of fire which made the cannon’s barrel explode shot out toward Atlas. It impacted with him and blew him back into Hunter who flew a feet and landed on the ground, unconscious.
Hunter, Kyle, and Marina walked to the street and busily tried to avoid the eyes of mortal law enforcement. They needed to get on their pegasi and get out as fast as they could. They walked into the middle of the street and in a few moments they heard a soft clip clop behind them. They turned to see their pegasi landing behind them. Hunter ran to Ulysses and hugged him. “I’m glad you’re okay, buddy.” He said patting him on the neck. Ulysses let out a happy whinny and patted Hunter on the shoulder with his chin. Hunter swung onto his back and took off into the sky, Kyle and Marina close behind. Hunter breathed a sigh of relief as they climbed higher and higher.
“Where do we go?” Kyle asked. Hunter wasn’t sure. He wasn’t positive of where to go. They had come this far only to get stuck again.
“What does the prophecy say?” He asked. Kyle reached into his pocket and produced the piece of paper Chiron had written it down on. He read it out loud again.
“We got the bow. We got the blessing.” Marina said calmly. They had slowed down to a casual cruising speed. “Keep the sky bound? Weaken Atlas’ might? How could they even do that?” Hunter stopped and turned toward San Francisco.
“I don’t want to wait around and find out.” He said before kicking Ulysses toward San Francisco. Hunter was already nervous about the Maniae showing up again. Now he was nervous of the sky falling. Today was not a good day.
“How would you even drain a Titan? It’s not like a human. You feed them some warm milk and they want to take a nap. You can’t do that with a Titan.” Marina said with a nod as they rode toward Mount Tam. “At least, I don’t think that you can do that with a Titan.” Hunter chuckled quietly at the idea of making a Titan fall asleep with warm milk.
It wasn’t a very long ride until they had reached the bottom of Mount Tamalpais. They landed and from the bottom of the mountain they could hear loud moaning. Hunter slid off Ulysses’ back and turned toward the mountain. “Guys, keep your eyes open. Every time the Maniae show up, things go wrong.” Hunter drew his bow and notched an arrow. “Let’s start the hike, then.” Hunter started the climb up the mountain. As they got closer and closer to the summit, the moaning from Atlas got louder and louder. They finally reached the peak with not problems. Hunter walked forward and what he saw made his stomach clench out of nerves. Atlas, barely holding up the sky. His legs were shaky and his body seemed drained. Hunter rushed forward toward the Titan. He looked exactly how he did in Hunter’s dream. Hunter looked more closely to see a small ring hung around Atlas’ neck. Hunter reached forward to grab it and could feel himself getting tired.
“Uh-uh-uh. I wouldn’t touch.” Hunter turned around to see the Maniae floating behind them.
“That’s ours.” Lily said with a devious smile. Kyle stepped forward and slammed his scythe down and vines shot up from the ground and began to wrap the Maniae.
“Tsk tsk tsk. Be nice, now.” Odessa said before waving her hand. Kyle flew off to one side. He slammed into the ground and fell unconscious. The vines disappeared.
“Hunter! Look!” Marina shouted. Hunter turned around to see Marina pointing at Atlas. He was down on one knee and his arms were shaking. Hunter could tell that he was moments from collapsing. Before Hunter’s eyes, Atlas let out a cry of agony before falling. He ran forward to catch the sky, but Marina beat him to it. She let out a choked scream as the Sky crashed down on her shoulders.
“Marina!” Hunter shouted and drew his bow. He notched a venom arrow and turned around. He fired at where they were, but they weren’t there. Hunter swore under his breath and sighed.
“You would hurt your friends like that?” Hunter turned to see Philippa place a hand on his chest. He shot backward and landed next to Kyle. Hunter stood up with a groan and turned to Kyle.
“Kyle! Kyle! Wake up!” Hunter shook him and finally Kyle woke up. He shook his head and stood up on shaky legs.
“That sucked.” He said quietly as he drew his scythe again. He glanced around for a moment before letting his eyes rest on Marina holding up the sky. “Marina!” He ran over to her. Hunter followed with bow drawn. Hunter notched an arrow of Eros and looked for any sign of activity. Hunter turned around to see Odessa right behind Kyle with a knife drawn.
“Kyle, look out!” Hunter shouted as he took aim. He couldn’t waste the arrow. He needed a perfect shot. Kyle turned around and dodged Odessa’s first swipe. He drew his scythe and blocked another. He swung his scythe and Odessa dodged. Kyle dodged another attack and managed to knock the knife out of her hand before hitting her in the stomach. She stepped back a little giving Hunter the perfect shot. He fired and the arrow flew through the air, leaving Hunter with the smell of lavender and cinnamon. She saw the arrow and was about to dodge away, but the arrow moved to fast. It entered into her body and shot out the back. Hunter watched as a pale, old woman seemed to be impaled on the arrow and fly back as the arrow flew off the side of the mountain. Odessa floated into the air and glowed silver. She glowed brighter and brighter before dimming and falling to the ground, unconscious.
“Madness!” Lily flew up and watched as her sister flew off the mountain. She turned to Hunter and glared. “Today, you die!” She said before lunging after Hunter with a bow drawn. Hunter dodged an arrow, causing the arrow he had drawn to fly out of his hand and skid along the ground. Hunter cursed under his breath and drew his knife. He thought for a second and drew his Nemean lion claw. She landed and drew her knife. Hunter needed to get that arrow back. Hunter blocked attack after attack as he backed toward the arrow inch by inch. Hunter turned to see the arrow just as Lily knocked him off his feet.
“I told you two to stay away from there.” Lily turned to see Philippa appear. Lily left her spot above Hunter and walked to Philippa.
“They caught the sky, Frenzy. They ruined our plan!” Philippa glanced at Hunter and then glanced at Kyle. Hunter slowly stood up without them knowing and drew another arrow of Eros. He quietly notched the arrow and waited for a shot.
“Why must you continue to disobey my orders? The ring of Aergia would have made them fall asleep either way.” She said. “Come, sister. Let’s kill these two and then be on our way.” Philippa snapped her fingers and Kyle flew backward. She flew after him as Lily turned to Hunter.
“Insanity doesn’t suit you, Lily.” He said before firing. The arrow zoomed through Lily and impaled another old woman with crazed hair and large black eyes. She zoomed off the side of mountain. Lily glowed like Odessa did and fell to the ground. Hunter looked toward Philippa who was fighting with Kyle. “You’re sisters are long gone, Frenzy!” Hunter shouted. Philippa turned from Kyle and glared at Hunter. She vanished and reappeared right in front of Hunter.
“You’re not very good at dying, are you, Hunter?” She said before wrapping her hand around Hunter’s neck. She lifted him into the air. Hunter’s feet swung and he clawed at her hand, but she wouldn’t let him free. Hunter could slowly feel his brain becoming sluggish as his eyes became foggy. “You’ll regret hurting my sisters, Mortal.”
Hunter, Kyle, and Marina left the chapel feeling a little uneasy. Things seemed to be going well in Punxsutawney, but when Lily, Odessa, and Philippa showed up things turned to chaos. “So, where do we go, now?” Kyle said with a shrug. He turned around to face Marina and Hunter.
“You’re the quest leader. You tell us.” Marina said with a chuckle. Kyle opened his mouth to speak, but there was a low growl. Hunter raised an eyebrow when Kyle looked above them. The growl grew louder and turned into a roar. Hunter turned around to see an enormous lion roaring down at them. It leapt from the roof and landed in the middle of the road. It slowly approached, ready to pounce and razor sharp steel teeth growling. Hunter heard a whinny and remembered the pegasi.
“Guys! Pegasi!” He said quickly as he turned around and mounted up. He took off into the sky and the lion gave chase. They flew high enough that the lion couldn’t reach them, but high enough that they kept its attention.
“Hunter, shoot it!” Kyle said frantically. Hunter drew his bow and drew a normal arrow. He turned on Ulysses’ back and fired down at the lion. It flew straight and hit the lion’s back, but it didn’t leave a scratch.
“It’s the Nemean Lion! Don’t shoot it!” Marina said, looking at him like he was stupid. Hunter shrugged.
“Why didn’t you tell me that?!” He shouted, suddenly their pegasi all stopped. Hunter looked forward and saw a familiar face that made his heart drop. “Philippa.”
“Hello, again.” She said with a smile. “Off you go.” She waved her hand and Hunter, Kyle, and Marina flew off their pegasi and down into a swimming pool. People around them scattered as they quickly climbed out. Hunter drew his bow as he listened for the sound of the Nemean lion approaching. He heard something, but it was different from the thumps of the lion’s paws. It sounded like…hooves. Suddenly, several satyrs burst into the pool area with glowing red eyes and makeshift weapons raised. Hunter cursed under his breath as he blocked an attack.
“I can’t kill a satyr! Especially, when they can’t control themselves.” Marina said as she blocked a muffler swung by one of the crazed satyrs.
“Is anyone else curious why there are so many satyrs in Vegas?!” Kyle said as he knocked a pipe out of a satyr’s hand. “Oh, right. It’s Vegas.” Hunter heard a loud roar followed by a lot of bleating from the satyrs. They froze in place and stopped attacking.
“Why did they stop attacking?!” Hunter looked up to see Odessa frantically flying between the satyrs. Why weren’t they attacking? Hunter thought. Maybe fear overrides the frenzy?
“Who are you?!” Hunter said as he drew his bow and took aim with a regular arrow. Lily looked down at him.
“Hunter, hello.” She said with a head tilt. “You haven’t figured it out, yet? We are the Maniae. I am Insanity.”
“I am Madness.” Odessa said as she appeared next to her.
“And I am Frenzy.” Philippa said calmly. Hunter’s heart sank. “You haven’t heard of us? Hmm…tsk tsk tsk.”
“You obviously didn’t understand what the consequences of killing the goddess of Chaos.” Odessa said, shaking her head.
“As much as she caused chaos-“
“She was in charge of controlling it.”
“You killed her.”
“We got out.” They vanished, but the spine-tingling sound of their laughter hung in the air. Hunter turned back to the satyrs who were all unconscious. He was unsure as to what had happened, but he wasn’t going to complain. He was reminded again by the situation at hand when he heard another loud roar. He looked up to see the lion charging through a line of beach chairs. Hunter fired an arrow at the lion, but it missed and grazed the side of the lion’s mouth. Hunter saw the water behind him and got an idea.
“Guys, we need to get on the other side of the lion.” Hunter said quietly before dodging the charging lion. He ran to the other side and changed to boxing glove arrows. The lion turned and charged before Hunter could get the shot off. He cursed under his breath and dodged out of the way. Kyle and Marina gave a few slashes which harmlessly glanced off the side of the beast. Hunter found the angle and fired. The boxing glove arrow hit the lion square in the face. It snarled at them before charging again. Hunter waited for his moment with a new boxing glove arrow at the ready. He dodged around the lion and fired. The boxing glove hit it in the side causing it to topple into the water. It sank like a stone in a flurry of splashing. He heard it land with a loud clunk. The splashing continued for a few moments before it looked like the lion started coughing. Thick black dust came pouring up to the surface with every hack from the lion. Hunter looked down into the water and after a moment the lion was gone, in a thick sludge of monster dust and poolwater.
“Sick.” Kyle said poking the sludge with the end of his scythe.
“Shouldn’t we get the pelt?” Marina said with a shrug. Kyle and Hunter looked at her oddly. “The pelt. Hercules skinned it and wore it as armor. It’s basically impervious.” Hunter looked down into the water and something at the bottom caught the sunlight. It wasn’t big enough to be the golden pelt of the lion, but it was still there. Hunter dismissed his bow and dove in. He swam through the sludge and down to the bottom. He grabbed it blindly and hauled it back up. He sat on the edge of the pool and rubbed the water out of his eyes. He looked down and in his hand was a large lion claw. It was shiny silver and about the length of Hunter’s forearm. He held it out and before his eyes it transformed into a curved knife. Hunter held it out and took a few practice swings. It was perfect.
“Looks like we didn’t get the pelt, but I’m totally okay with that.” He said with a chuckle as he practiced with his new blade again. “I’d like to keep it, unless someone else would like it.” He held it up and really hoped that no one else wanted it. “Fine. It’s mine. My precious.” He said with a smile. He stood up from the water and tucked it into his belt. “Shall we?”