I suppose I should start out by explaining why it’s been so long since I last wrote anything. About ten months ago we had a bit of a war. Our side won, so i guess bully for us. problem with war though is that no matter which side wins, for those of us stuck on the front line, it never feels like much of a victory. We lost a lot of good people. I lost friends. Thomas and Dick are dead.
I’ve watched a lot of people die in the past couple years. I don’t think any of them have hit me as hard of those two. Dick was a good man. There’s not much love lost between me and the Ares kids, in general they’re all dicks. Gotta be some sort of cosmic irony that the only one that managed to be a decent person was named Dick. He died in battle against a titan. He died helping us beat the shit out of a titan.
Then there’s Thomas. He died after spending the better part of a century protecting the camp. He spent what was left of his life and strength weakening the titan so that we would have a chance. In the end it was all we could do to defeat him.
We escaped Thomas’ cave just in time to meet up with all of the rest of the campers as they got back from the main front at Olympus. Guess things went well over there too. Western civilization is safe or some such, the gods are happy with all of us kids and I guess Percy struck some kind of deal so they’ll stop ignoring us so much. Great…. Just what I need, more attention from the gods. It’s not like I barely make it out alive and human every time I run into one of those pompous blowhards.
The weeks following the battle were a blur. We had funerals for all of the fallen campers. Di immortales we burned a lot of shrouds. Seems like we spent days burning them. For a week the only songs sung around the bonfires were funeral dirges. Even the sheer joy inherent in the realization that somehow, against all odds you’re still alive wasn’t enough to shield against the utter and complete sense of loss that those pyres brought.
My friends and I had a separate ceremony for Thomas and Dick. The night after the battle of Manhattan, we snuck out to the shore. I stole a pair of canoes from the lake. we loaded them up with what we could. Tim offered a few suggestions on proper funerary objects, said they were ancient greek traditions. Gabe used a flaming arrow to light the boats on fire and I made sure the fires really burned. Aiden gave a small eulogy. British guys have a way with words, not sure what half of it meant but it got tears in both Tim and Gabe’s eyes. As the boats moved beyond sight Gabe started singing. For the past few years he’s been claiming that he’s tone deaf. He’s never sung at a bonfire with his siblings and doesn’t play any instruments. All around he’s an oddity amongst his siblings in the Apollo cabin. But that night he put all the songs sung throughout the rest of camp to shame. I’m glad it was dark that night, i don’t think the others would believe the water on my cheeks was from the splash of the waves.
A week after the battle was over things had started to look almost normal around camp again. Repairs from the battle were being made and people were starting to smile agian. New cabins were even being set up for the lesser gods of Olympus. Aiden, Gabe, and I made a trip to the old man we borrowed the truck from. I managed to strike a deal with him. Landed myself a job as his official mechanic in exchange for permanent ownership of the truck. Funny how a summer job and my first set of wheels almost make me feel like a normal teenager. Ruxpin seems to enjoy riding shotgun with me. Sticks his head out the window and everything.
When I haven’t been at the Tractor Yard, I’ve been putting work into the truck. Gabe and I have been making some major modifications. We started with some basic maintenance. Got her running well enough to get me to and from Quogue, new tires and breaks. Eventually we added a towing arm that doubles as a catapult. Greek fire and Celestial bronze cannon balls should make our next encounter with the hydra interesting. And if all else fails there’s always the go-to Flying Bear Attack. By the time winter came around I had pretty much worked off the truck and every tractor in the fleet was operating better than the day it rolled of the line. Unfortunately one of the problems that comes with having adult things like cars is that you also have to have money to keep them fueled and working. I had been tossing around the idea of a battering ram for the front end something like what cop cars have, but that seemed a bit boring. Necessity is the mother of invention though, and my need for cash gave me an idea. It took a couple of weeks, but I managed to attach the snow plow just in time for the first storm of the season. Boring eh? Did I mention it was sixty pounds of reinforced Celestial bronze with retractable spikes? The winter storms were enough to pay for the last of the modifications on the Battle Wagon. I modified an old engine to run off of solar cells. Turns out that a couple of former campers have been working on something about quantum leaping dots. I don’t know all the details, but i know that they’re damn efficient. and with some help from Gabe, I’ve got the underside of the hood glowing like the sun while a thin liner of these dots absorb the light. Thankfully Aiden showed up with a new camper just in time to help me get the engine installed.
See, Aiden’s spent most of the past year bouncing back and forth across the atlantic. As one of the few campers that’s from Europe he’s been picked as to help find Half-Bloods on the other side of the pond. When Jackson struck his deal with Zeus and the gods to make sure that all of the demigods were claimed he didn’t really take into account how dangerous being claimed is and how.. uh… busy the gods have been. Everywhere. Here in the U.S. there’s a whole system of satyrs out searching for us, back in the homelands not so much. That means the already stretched thin satyrs have to try and operate all over the world. So he’s been lending a hand.
Most recently he brought back Alexandros, a son of Hercules, straight from Greece of all places. Guess his dad doesn’t get out much. Anyways, he showed up just in time. The boy is a beast. He lifted the engine with his bare hands and just set it into the truck like it was nothing. took me chains and a pulleys to get it out and even then i needed help from Gabe.
Speaking of Gabe, the kid’s doing well for himself. His relationship with Aiden and Susan’s amazonian sister has actually picked up after a rocky start. Add to it that all the help he’s been giving me with the war wagon’s got him bulking up pretty well and that he’s hit a growth spurt over the winter, she’s had to actually fight off a few other girls around camp. He’s still a bit shy and awkward, but his knack for poetry’s had a few girls swooning.
Things with Susan have been going well enough. She tolerates the time I’ve put into the war wagon. I think mostly because me being one of the few campers with a car makes me seem a bit cooler to some of the other kids. She has a habit of sneaking up on me when I’m working under the truck and hijacking my stereo to play whatever gods awful music it is she’s into. She also gets control of it whenever I take her out to the city or to cruise around long island. I hope she never realizes that i’ve got a second set of presets that she hasn’t commandeered yet. We’ve had a few real dates since last summer, but when she had to go back to school come fall it was mostly letters which suck because Dyslexia’s a bitch, and Iris messages, which suck because I always feel weird talking to my girlfriend over a connection monitored by my great aunt (not sure the exact relation, but if Gaia was her grandma and my dad’s great grandma then I definitely don’t want her listening in.) I managed to set up a two way radio system by the end of winter break when she came to visit camp that uses alternating signals to confuse monsters. The connection’s still a bit sketchy, but it beats going months without contact. She was Definitely happy to see me when she finally got back a couple weeks ago to spend the summer at camp. Although not having Tim around has had her kinda down.
Tim spent the past couple months down in florida with her dad where he’s been lecturing on ancient Greek and Roman stuff. I don’t know all the details, but she seemed pretty upset about being interrupted when I sent her an Iris message to tell her that the War Wagon was finished. I figure she was just upset because she missed all of us. So I got the guys together for a road trip to test out the new ride. We made the trip from Long Island to Florida in record time. Ran into a few minor problems and detours with monsters, but let me tell ya, a five foot wide spiked bronze snow plow trumps most things you’ll find on a lonely highway through the Carolina’s
Susan was ecstatic when Tim climbed out of the truck. Happier than when she first got back to camp and saw me. Almost happy enough to forget that I disappeared suddenly one morning and forgot to tell her me and the guys were going on a road trip. I think I managed to get back on her good side when I told her that I had noticed how upset she was without her best friend and so I went over a thousand miles to try and bring a smile to her face. I think she chalked it up to my impulsive nature.
Which brings us to today and the explanation of why I haven’t been keeping up this journal for the better part of a year. Turns out I dropped it in Thomas’ cave. The cave that is bound to the Oracle. The cave that the new Oracle, Rachel, lives in. I’ve spent the past ten months avoiding that cave for a few reasons. Rachel’s nice and all, but after meeting Evie, both before and after her curse, the thought of a new Oracle just seems off. Especially given the way things went last time. Anyways, we were all woken up last night by dreams of Thomas. Even dead he still manages to boss us around. We were sent to the cave and given a new prophecy. Damned thing went on forever. Still trying to make sense of it all, but i’ve got a feeling it means a trip to Europe. Unfortunately, a snow plowing gig can only supply so much capital and the War Wagon isn’t equipped for transatlantic voyages. Looks like it’s back to the drawing boards because we’ve got to get across the ocean ASAP.