Quest weren't really Ashley's thing. She had never been on one before, much less led it. That was probably where having Jesse/Josiah with was a good thing. Even if he was a little love struck. He was the only one out of the three of them that had any real experience and he was a top notch fighter.
It also didn't hurt that he had borrowed one of his grandfathers cars to get them the rest of the way to California. Ashley sat in the back seat, since Jesse had insisted that 'his love' take the front. Somewhere past the Nevada line she pulled out her cell phone and began flipping through her pictures. It was no surprise that most of them were of Heath. Either pictures she had forced him to take with her or him trying to dodge her camera. Looking at them was painful. She had never in a million years thought that she would lose Heath. Now that she had she felt like it was more then she could handle.
She turned off the phone and slipped it back into her pocket. With nothing else to do she laid out on the backseat and tried to get just a few more hours of sleep.
"Eris." A tall man with an almost girlish look to him, long blonde hair tied back in a loose bun and blue eyes that stared rhythmically at his book, said. Then woman he had been addressing stepped froward from the shadows of a tree. She had long white blonde hair and deep grey eyes. She was dressed in a simple dress with bare feet. Even as he looked at her he could feel the chaos within himself growing and he had to remind himself that it was her presences causing it.
"Eros," she said as she came to sit next to him.
Before she showed up he had been sitting on a park bench that had been hidden in the trees, immersed in his book, the Karma Sutra. He closed the book and sat it on his lap. Giving his full attention to the Goddess of Chaos and Discord.
"One of my daughters is on her way to meet with you. Something about your son playing with your arrows."
"Ahhh Chase," Eros said thinking about his eccentric son. "That boy is as reckless as he is brave."
"And Ashley is as ambitious as she is destructive."
Eros eyed her suspiciously. "What is it that you want Eris?"
"Nothing too complicated," Eris said placing a hand on either side of her and leaning back just a bit. "Don't give them the arrows."
"Don't play coy with me Eros. I know you have the arrows to break the spell on that Ares boy."
Eros raised an eyebrow. "That is an odd request. Pray tell why it is exactly why you want me to keep them away from her?"
Eris sat up straight and folded her hands into her lap, turning her gaze down to them. If Eros had known better he would have thought that Eris was concerned. But that idea was absurd.
"Ashley is Chaos. She is destined to destroy and cause havoc. It is meant to be a lonely life. It is better if she doesn't get anymore attached then she already is." Eris stood up and walked over to the tree she had emerged from and stood back in its shadows. "As you know there is a war brewing. Hades is not happy that Artemis has kept his daughter fro so long. If she does not return her to him soon he will set him loose. He will declare war on the Gods." Eris paused and placed a hand on the tree. "He'll want Chaos on his side and I'm worried he'll use the ones she cares about to get her on his side. I just don't want her persuaded to join the wrong side."
Eros could understand that. Nobody wanted another war. Especially not so soon after the last one. A time for peace was way too overdue. But she knew as well as he did that war was inevitable. The prophecy had already been spoken. Plus she wasn't the only God who had visited him, and the other was much more intimidating.
"I'm sorry Eris but you know as well as I do that this war has already begun. Ares is going to need all his children in their best shape. He can't afford to have them distracted by love. Your daughter will make the right choice. Trust in her."
Eris looked over her shoulder at Eros. "You know as well as I do Eros that it is hard to trust in Chaos."
Then she walked off and disappeared into the shadows.
Ashley woke with a start. Jesse had slammed on the brakes and it had flung her forward. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes as she peered out the car window.
The city of San Francisco loomed over them."We're here my love. Now where to?""How am I supposed to know!?"
Chase said slightly on edge. "Your crazy grandpa is the one who sent us here.""The park."
Ashley said. Both boys looked back at her as she continued to peer out the window. She tore her eyes from the city and looked to Jesse. "Jesse, take us to the main city park.""What makes you think he'll be there?"
Jesse asked putting the car into gear and already heading there."A dream,"
Ashley said turning her gaze to study the city outside her window. "It's fading now but I know we'll find Eros in a park."
It took Jesse twenty minutes to find the park Ashley was talking about. The second he had the car in park Ashley was out of the car and running, looking at everyone
she passed. It didn't take her long to find him. He was sitting on a bench reading a book with sheath of arrows next to her. Her arrows."I've been expecting you Chaos."
He said without looking her way."Why does every God and monster I meet call me that? My name is Ashley.""I know what your name is child."
Eros said ignoring her rudeness. "I also know what you are and what you seek by coming here. I believe these,"
he gestured to the arrows then turned to look at her, "are what you seek?""I..."
Ashley was at a lost for words. She had come for those arrows. But what was she going to do once she had them? Stab Heath and then everything would go back to normal? Would she even want to take him back or had this whole thing put a hole in their relationship too big to cross? If she stabbed him would he instantly be back to his senses? Or would he have lingering false feelings of love for the daughter of Aphrodite? There was only one way to find out."Yes. I came for those arrows."
Eros smirked and stood up, grabbing the arrows with the hand that wasn't holding his now closed book. He held the arrows out to Ashley when he stopped in front of her. When she went to take them he pulled them back."Do not mistake this as a gift Ashley Crenshaw. I give these arrows to you not out of generosity but as favor to Ares, it is his debt you will be in once you take them. Also in hopes that you will choose the right side when the time comes."
Ashley knit her eyebrows in confusion. "What do you mean, which side to take?""You'll know when the time comes."
Off in the distance they could hear Chase and Jesse calling for her. "I must go now Chaos,"
he said placing the arrows in her hands. "Just remember when the time comes."
Ashley looked down at the arrows in her hands, which turned out to be a blessing otherwise she would have been burnt to a crisp. The arrows were not a gift, that much she had understood. But what she didn't understand was what Eros and Ares were expecting from her. She understood that something big was happening but she found it hard to believe that the Gods were so interested in some decision that she had yet to make. No choice of hers would have any importance. Why would it? She wasn't a fighter or anything. Just a girl who liked to cause trouble."Ashley."
She looked up from the arrows to peer over her shoulder. Jesse had pulled Chase with him by the hand and Chase was struggling to get free."I got them. I got the arrows."
She turned around and held them up for the two of them to see."What are you waiting for!?"
Chase said near hysteria. "Shank him already!"
Seriously? Who said shank anymore? Ashley pulled one of the arrows out before slinging the rest over her shoulder. She buried the head of the sliver arrow into his shoulder. She watched as it almost instantly dissolved. Then they waited.
Jesse blinked, as if he was waking up from an unexpected nap in an unfamiliar place. He looked at his hand that was entwined with Chases and then at the arrows on Ashley's shoulder. The look of sheer anger that crossed his face was something that Ashley wished to never see again. EVER.
The next thing she heard was the sound of Chase's wrist snapping as Jesse broke it.
Chase cried out and Ashley went to help him as Jesse walked away. Ashley examined Chase's wrist. Jesse had been nice and the break was clean. That or he had just been too pissed to totally fuck it up. It was easy for Ashley to set with her basic medical training.
Her and Chase made their way out of the park and back to the car. Over the sounds of Chase's whimpering she heard the sky rumble and looked up. The first raindrop hit on her cheek and it felt like she could feel something in the world shift. Something begin.
LoLa walked with her nose in her phone as her class group made it's way through the Georgia Aquarium. The screen flashed different colors, reflecting the game she played. She should have been paying attention to what their biology teacher was saying, since there was surely to be a quiz on all this when they got back to school tomorrow, but the sea life was just too boring for her to care about. Which meant it was going to be another quiz she failed.
LoLa didn't care. She was so close to finally beating this level. So close. Then the screen of her phone flashed a new incoming message. Marcus had better hope that her game would still be where she left it when she finished replying to this. LoLa clicked the show button and waited for it to open.
These sharks ain't nearly
as scary as there girls.
Need some GF damage.
LoLa rolled her eyes at her best friend slash "boyfriend". He wasn't really her boyfriend of course. The two just decided to fake date each other as a way to keep unwanted people off of them. It worked most of the time. The only downside is that LoLa had a slight real crush on Marcus. But whatever.
LoLa gave a short 'K' as a reply. She wasn't one for texting so she liked to keep it short sweet and to the point.
Luckily she wouldn't have to find an excuse to leave the group because the teacher had just announced lunch. With a relieved sigh LoLa made her way to the banquet room that had been reserved by the school. She did a quick scan of the room and spotted Marcus by the beluga whale tank. The blue light reflecting off of the water seemed to make his eyes bluer and he had a huge goofy smile on his face as he watched the whales swim. Of course he didn't notice the horde of girls behind him. These silly chicks would never learn. LoLa rolled her eyes and began walking towards him."Marcus,"
she said once she was in hearing range.
Marcus turned his attention from the whales to her and her traitorous heart did a little skip when his blue eyes met hers. He smiled when he saw her and his horde of fangirls giggled. LoLa shot them a glare, which they returned before walking away."I swear I need to stay around you 24/7 to keep the vultures away,"
LoLa said as she closed the small gap between them."I could say the same for you,"
Marcus said nodding at someone behind her as he wrapped an arm around her waist. He did that even before they were dating.
LoLa turned to see who he was gesturing to, expecting to see one of the beefy jock heads from their school. She didn't expect to see a girl with long chestnut brown hair and flawless features staring her down. The girls eyes sent a shiver down LoLa's spine."That's not creepy at all."
Marcus laughed. "Come on. Let's go eat."
The two chatted over lunch as they watched the fish swim in the tank next to their table. Occasionally one would swim by that Marcus knew, and he would explain it to her. If LoLa concentrated real hard she could pretend that she was on a real date with a real boyfriend. Not a field trip with her best friend. It was a nice thought.
They sat there after they had finished eating, just watching the fish when LoLa happened to glance up and see that girl from earlier staring her down again. LoLa furrowed her brow."That girl from earlier is back."
Marcus gave her a look before twisting in his seat, his gaze following the direction of hers. "She must really likeyou LoL's."
Marcus said as he turned back around. "She can't take her eyes off of you."
LoLa sighed and pushed her chair back, standing up. "This shit gets annoying."
LoLa said as she started walking towards the girl despite Marcus's calling out to her about how it was not a good idea to get into another fight.
The girl smiled as she watched her approach. When LoLa was within five feet of her she turned and started walking away. "Hey!"
LoLa shouted as she followed her. She didn't stop and LoLa had to push past people to keep up with her. She stopped just outside the beluga whale tank and turned back to face.
Her lips curled back and her eyes narrowed at her. "I have been waiting for you LoLa McCarthy."
Then she opened her mouth and began to sing...
After they left the park Ashley drove them to the airport. She wanted to get back to camp as quickly as possible. Luckily she was able to charter a private plane to get them to New York, it would not had made her week if she had to fly back on a public plane.
When they were on the plane she curled up in a ball in her seat, making it clear that she did not want to talk, and stared out the window. About two hours into their flight the pilot came over the intercom and announced that they were having engine trouble. They were going to have to make an emergency landing the Atlanta airport.
They sat on a tarmac for nearly half an hour before some came on board and told them it was going to take six hours to fix and that there were no other planes available. They were stuck in Georgis for at least six hours."What do we do now Ashley?"
Chase asked as they stood outside the airport while Ashley tried to hail a cab."I was thinking we could visit the aquarium."
The Georgia Aquarium was large and one of the only ones in the world that had whale sharks. Ashley had been there once before with her father when his company had held some fancy party there. She had spent the night meeting business people that she didn't really get to enjoy it. She had always wanted to go back.
There seemed to be a school trip going on when they got there and a teacher mistook them for one of her pupils so they were able to get in for free, which was fine with Ashley. The first place Ashley drug Chase to was the tunnel. They got see sharks and big groupers swimming above their heads. It was amazing."I wonder if this is what it's like for Stella and Lance. They can breathe underwater you know."
Ashley rolled her eyes but it did strike her as interesting. If Lance and Stella could have this view all of the time she wondered why they ever even bothered coming back up to the surface.
They sat on the main floor of the cafeteria during, watching as the people chatted and talk about the fish. It was boring but they didn't want to raise suspicion by doing anything out of the norm.
Chase was the one that spotted them. He slapped Ashley on the arm and pointed. A girl with long chestnut hair was being followed by girl with bright red hair who was being followed by a black guy. It was the girl in the front that raised Ashley's eyebrow. Everything about her screamed monster to her, and if she was leading that girl somewhere that meant..."Come on,"
Ashley said grabbing Chase by the hand and pulling him to his feet. She kept as much to the shadows as she could but didn't take her eyes off the trio. The redhead seemed to be unaware that her male friend had followed her.
The chestnut girl opened her mouth and began to sing. A soft low melody. It was nothing extraordinary, but Ashley wondered why she would lead her away to sing to her.
But then her voice was joined by two others and Ashley looked all around for the other two but they seemed to be hidden. Movement next to her made Ashley glance over at Chase. He had pulled his hand from her grasp and was moving towards the stairway that led to the tank along with the other guy, almost like they were hypnotized.
Ashley looked at the tank and after a minute she saw them, swimming around with the whales. Sirens. They must have lured that girl out there in hopes of her male friend following so they could get him. They had also unknowingly gotten Chase as well."Damn it,"
Ashley said as she unclasped Kake. She had really hoped that she was going to make it through this quest without running into any monsters. She jumped out from her hiding spot and pointed her weapon at the siren that stood closest to her.
She turned her red eyed gaze on her and smiled. "Chaos. I've been waiting for you."
The redhead turned her gaze to Ashley as well and looked at her even more confused then she had previously. "Who the hell are you?""Chaos,"
Ashley said sarcastically. "Seriously? You're standing face to face with a siren and your asking who I am? You should be asking yourself that question."
The siren chuckled. "I can see the chaos growing in your soul. You want to destroy me don't you Chaos?""Well yeah you are a monster and I'm a demigod. According to my boyfriend I'm supposed to like kill you."
The sirens eyes narrowed and she looked almost happy. "You are why we are here. The other three demigods are just bonus'."
Three? She did a quick scan. Her and Chase made two, the redhead and her friend made four. Ashley had been right in assuming they were demigods. It also meant she had two more people to keep safe other the Chase. Ashley found him and the girls friend. The two of them were still climbing the stair, but if Ashley didn't do something to shut up the two in the tank then they were going to be swimming with the whales."Would you shut up already? You're pissing me off."
Ashley lunged at the siren with her sword and the redhead let out a scream. The siren dodged Ashley and joined in with her sisters singing. Ashley lunged again and this time she sprouted wings, flying up and diving over the edge of the tank.
Great. Swimming. Ashley's favorite thing. Not.
There was no way she was going to ruin her clothes or shoes with the salt water so she took them off as quickly as she could, stripping down to her underwear. She ran towards the steps, making sure to push Chase and his new friend back a few steps to keep them from getting up there. Last thing she needed was the idiots drowning their selves.
Ashley looked down when she reached the top of the tank and said a silent pray to whatever God that was listening, hoping that it was Poseidon, before she leapt in. It didn't occur to her that the whales were from Antarctica and that the water was going to be freezing.
The cold hit her like a big slap in the face and it took all of her power to keep diving. On a normal day she would be happy to swim with whales, but the sirens were eyeing her like she was their next meal.
On the plus side they had stopped singing.
None of this made sense to LoLa. The blonde with an attitude problem, seriously who gave her an overdose of bitch?, had called the creepy chick a siren then lunged at her with a sword. How had she got that past security. Then the creepy chick flew, actually flew, over the edge of the tank into the water. That's when LoLa noticed the other two swimming in the tank.
Next thing she knew the blonde was naked and rushing up to the top of the tank. LoLa watched her go and that was when she noticed Marcus. Where the hell had he came from?"Marcus!"
LoLa shouted as he climbed the stairs with some other. He acted like he didn't hear, he should have known better then to ignore her. "Marcus!"
Still no response. He was so in for it.
LoLa heard a splash and looked into the tank. The blonde had jumped in and was swimming towards those things, with her sword clenched between her teeth. She was about half way down when they cornered her. It was a blessing in disguise because they quit their God awful singing."LoLa,"
LoLa looked back towards Marcus. Him and that other guy were holding their heads like they had been bonked on it too hard. "What the hell is going on?""No fucking clue."
The other guy looked around, like he was looking for something and when he didn't find it he turned to LoLa."Where's Ashley?""Who?""Bitchy blonde.""Oh! She's in the whale tank.""What...?"
The guy looked over at the tank and it was almost comical how big his eyes got when he saw his friend in the tank. "Shit! Heath is going to kill me if I let sea whores drown his girlfriend!"
The guy raced up the stairs and Marcus and LoLa both stared after him, giving them questioning looks. "What the hell! Where did he pull that bow and arrow out of?"
LoLa wrinkled her nose and climbed the stairs to stand next to Marcus. "I'm not sure I want to know."
Ashley wasn't sure how long she had been in the water but it felt like ages. Her skin was on fire where the icy water touched her and her lungs were burning from lack of oxygen. SO far she had only managed to take out one the sirens with a lucky swipe of her sword. The other two were still dancing around her.
That was until an arrow zoomed through one and disintegrated her. LoLa looked up and saw that Chase was standing up there with his bow drawn. He gave the okay sign and Ashley nodded, returning it. Then she looked back at the siren who was glaring up at Chase.
She decided to take this opening but at the last minute the siren saw her swatted her away, causing her to slam into the think glass. the siren dove for her and Ashley rolled out of the way into one of the whales. Totally gross. Ashley tried not to think about that. then turned back to the siren who had that evil happy look on her face."You and your friend may have gotten my sisters Chaos but you will not get me. We will meet again."
She said despite being underwater. She turned to the glass and swam straight at it full speed. Was she suicidal? Ashley had never met a monster that killed itself before.
But instead of splattering against the wall she went straight through the glass, leaving a body sized hole. The water was pouring out of it and where the hole was cracks began to form, spreading outwards. Ashley only had a moment to be thankful it was only the whale tank and not the shark, before it broke.
She was caught in the waves as they washed her out, luckily the whales had been smart and had swam down the water from the tank could only fill up so much of the room before it reached the bottom of the glass and stopped.
What Ashley was left with was knee deep water and soaking wet underwear. She was coughing up water as she stood on her feet."Ashley!"
She could hear Chase calling. "We need to get out of here.""No shit sherlock,"
she said as she got to her feet and looked around for her clothes. They had been pushed up into a corner by the water and like Ashley they were soaking wet. "Where are the other two? They need to come with us.""Over here with me.""Okay lets go."
Ashley got to her feet and headed to the nearest gift shop, pulling the first things she found off the hangers and slipping them on."Ashley?"
Chase said as he led the other two along. "I think we broke it.""What was your first clue cupid?"
Getting the other two to leave with them and hop on a plane to New York was easier said then done. The black guy was all for it but the redhead bitched her face off. Claiming kidnapping and all this other bullshit. In the end Ashley had to slap her across the face and point out the facts to her. After that it was a little easier to coerce her into coming along.
Chase and Marcus, she found out that was his name, sat and talked the entire trip. While Ashley and LoLa, the redhead sat on opposite ends of the plane and did their best to ignore each other.
When the plan touched down they were picked up at the airport by Argus. Who successfully creeped the new kids out. Ashley always got a kick when New kids met him.
The ride to camp was quiet, Ashley sat in front next to Argus so no one else could sit next to her. Her arrows stored between her legs. Once at camp she jumped out of the van, leaving the other two behind and set off to find Heath.
It was crazy, thinking that she was the daughter of a Goddess. It had to of been her mom because she knew her dad. But she couldn't ignore the facts and the strange thing that had happened back at the aquarium. Putting two and two together it all made sense.
She was a demigod. Could this week get any worse?