“She wished that the characters in her book were real. But they’re in a fictional world, Crystal thought. And I’m here, in reality.”
Crystal woke up, finding herself in her bedroom. It was quite dreary in her room, so she turned on the lamp. She grabbed a book from her desk. It was a Heroes of Olympus book by Rick Riordan called The Blood of Olympus. She was very fond of this book. It had so many twists and surprises which kept her at the edge of her seat. Crystal sat down near her lamp, turned it on to a dim light and started reading in the shadows. She wished that the characters in her book were real. But they’re in a fictional world, Crystal thought. And I’m here, in reality. She continued to read. She was at the part where three characters— Leo, Frank, and Hazel —were meeting Apollo and Artemis to seek help. Crystal glanced at the clock hanging on the wall. It was 6:30 a.m., so Crystal decided to get ready to go to school. She put her homework in her backpack, and then put her book in there, too. Half an hour passed. Crystal exited her house, and walked towards the bus stop. She looked up at the gloomy sky.
“I wish that the characters in my book were real,” Crystal said, still staring at the ominous sky as if her wish would come true. She thought that her wish would never come true, but she was wrong. After one month, Crystal’s wish came to life.
It was May. Crystal had finished her book a while ago. Her wish was still in mind, but she was convinced that it wouldn’t happen. She looked outside, and it seemed pretty warm out, the usual spring weather. She texted her friend: Hey do you want to go running 2day? Her friend didn’t reply, so Crystal continued to stare out the window. It was suddenly cloudy and windy, as if the sun decided that Crystal’s neighborhood wasn’t worthy enough to shine on. She raced down the stairs to get a snack.
“Real sunny, don’t you think? You should go running with one of your friends,” Crystal’s dad said. Crystal raised an eyebrow.
“Dad, it’s cloudy and really windy right now. Not the right weather for running,” Crystal replied. Her dad looked outside and shook his head.
“It’s still sunny out, Crystal. Take a look,” Crystal’s dad said. She took a look. It was still windy, and she pointed that out. Her dad took a picture with his phone and showed the picture to Crystal. The sun shined brightly.
“What? But it’s….” Crystal decided not to argue anymore. I guess that if it really is nice outside I could go for a walk, Crystal thought. She put on her running shoes and went out onto her porch. It was still really windy, but this time it was stronger. The wind caused her to fly out of her porch and onto hard cement, far away from her beloved home. The wind was even stronger there, because this was where the wind was coming from. Crystal looked up and saw a giant shape over six feet tall. The exterior was amazing. With obsidian outlines, the shape was made out of diamonds. At the edges were…Percy Jackson books? Crystal discovered that the shape she was staring at…was a portal. Purple and blue sparks were everywhere, and inside the rectangle she could see hills and trees.
“I’m going in,” Crystal said. With her foot shaking, she stepped inside the portal.
Crystal did not want to leave. The first thought that entered her mind was, “Woah.” Across the meadow she could see a familiar pathway. Crystal approached an entrance, reading the words carved on the arch. “CAMP HALF-BLOOD,” she read. Her eyes widened and were as big as quarters. No way. Even if this was real, I can only pass if I’m a demigod, Crystal thought. She decided to step in anyway. However, Crystal passed. She stood there, shocked. A boy quickly approached to snap her back into reality.
“A new demigod? Did a satyr take you or…” The boy stopped talking as a centaur approached.
“Percy, remember that the barrier is broken. She could be a mortal. Remember that.”
Crystal gasped as the centaur said those words.
“You’re Percy Jackson?! Wait… it all makes sense…” Crystal thought for a moment. In the books, Percy was described as a tall boy with sea green eyes and black ruffled hair. This boy had met all of the criteria. And the centaur was probably Chiron! Before Crystal could say anything, Percy replied.
“Um, yeah I am Percy Jackson. Listen, I really don’t care if you’re a mortal, but we need all the help we can get.” Crystal had a puzzled look on her face.
“Huh?” she asked. Chiron sighed.
“Luke Castellan has returned, with a so called ‘friend,’” he explained. Crystal’s eyes widened, and if anyone looked closely they might have seen the fear in her brown eyes.
“What?! B-but Luke’s good now, right? I mean, he stabbed himself in his Achilles’ heel in order to stop Kronos.”
In The Last Olympian, Luke Castellan was the hero of the great prophecy all along, and had turned to the good side at the last second. Chiron went silent, not even bothering to answer Crystal’s question.
“Percy, just… Tell Annabeth that we have a newcomer and uh, show her around. Crystal needs some armor, a weapon and a lot of training,” Chiron muttered. Percy nodded and motion for Crystal to follow him.
“Are you diagnosed with ADHD?” Percy asked, and Crystal knew exactly why he had asked it― it helped demigods fight monsters. She nodded.
“Yeah. Really stinks, but now I guess it can help me fight Luke and his sidekick,” Crystal replied, smiling to keep up the spirit. Percy smiled back, but Crystal could immediately tell that the smile was forced.
Camp Half Blood was packed. Even though Crystal had read all about the storage room for battle gear, she was still amazed. Daggers and swords were stacked against the walls, and hanging armor caught Crystal’s eye. She studied a celestial bronze sword, and she could tell that it was one of her favorites. Earlier, Percy had gotten Annabeth, a close companion, to show Crystal around camp, mainly because he needed to talk to Annabeth eyed Crystal examining the gleaming blade.
“I have a feeling that that sword is the one for you, Crystal. I know it,” Annabeth said with a lopsided smile. While touching the sharp sword, Crystal nodded.
“Yeah… I’ll pick this one.” Crystal replied, and Annabeth nodded back.
“Take it. Anyway, Crystal, what’s home like to you? I want to get a good backstory, like, I want to get to know you,” Annabeth said. Crystal sighed, remembering how earlier she explained her world to Annabeth.
“I kind of miss home, even though I’ve only been here for a few hours. Like, what’s happening back in my world? Hey, that reminds me… Will I ever get back home?” she asked. Now it was Annabeth’s turn to sigh.
“To be honest, I really don’t know, but I have done some calculations… ” Annabeth took out a folded piece of paper from her pocket.
“According to this paper, you got here through a portal, bringing you to this world. The difference between our world is that you’re reality and we’re from a book. Crystal, how exactly is that true? I’m not fictional, I’m a true being, I’m living a life,” Annabeth said with a puzzled look on her face.
“Well it’s hard to explain, you know? You’re part of this book series called― ” A rumbling sound interrupted Crystal’s reply. Demigods shouted their battle cries while raising their weapons. Some frantically rushed into the storage room, the same exact place where Crystal and Annabeth were, and grabbed armor.
“What’s going on?!” Annabeth screamed over the noise. Clarisse turned to her.
“Luke’s arrived, nit-wit! Get in gear!” Clarisse yelled back. Crystal remembered how Clarisse and Annabeth didn’t get along as well.
“What do I do?” she asked Annabeth, hoping she could hear her over the roaring noise. She seemed to hear her perfectly.
“Grab your sword. It’s time for your first battle!”
Battle was horror. Everyone was screaming or yelling, while some of the demigod leaders were trying to get control. Crystal could see Luke’s figure. He was tall and no longer wore a Camp Half-Blood shirt. By his side was a much smaller figure. Squinting, Crystal could see the figure’s features. He also had blonde hair, and dug his knife through a teddy bear. Crystal’s face fell. The ‘sidekick’ was Octavian, the main villain of the Heroes of Olympus series. She found Percy yelling at his peers, so she grabbed his arm when she had the chance.
“That guy with Luke is Octavian! He wants to take over our camp and he’s not Greek!” Crystal hissed. Percy’s face was blank.
“Then what is he? A mortal?” He asked.
“No, Roman! It’s really hard to―” Before she could finish, Octavian’s voice boomed through the air.
“Listen up, you stupid Greeks! I have a whole camp with me, and I finally convinced them that Greeks are dumb and do nothing for us Romans!” Demigods murmured after he had said those very words. Octavian continued to speak.
“Many Romans had objected, and said that I was wrong. What are their names? Oh, Jason, Reyna, Hazel, and Frank. I plan on killing them, after I take over this camp! Romans— ATTACK!” Swords flew through the air.
Someone grabbed Crystal. She turned around to see who it was, and it was Percy.
“We need to talk about this alone,” he said seriously. They turned to escape the battle, but two Romans approached. Percy took out his pen and opened it, revealing his sword, Riptide.
“Get out,” he growled at the Romans. They took out their swords and slashed at Percy. He dodged it right away and pulled Crystal’s arm, but the Romans wouldn’t let her pass. They slashed at her too and she almost was cut badly. She grabbed her sword and swung it at them as hard as she could.
“Curse you, Greek. All of you belong in Tartarus! You’re weak anyways. Ryan and I can take you both down.” The Roman had spoke in a gruff voice, and had also cursed under his breath. Ryan, nodded. They were both distracted and was focusing on Crystal. Right behind them, Percy swung Riptide and the Romans cursed.
“Dang it Greek!” Ryan yelled and slashed back, giving Percy a huge cut. The other Roman hit Crystal, and she screamed as she fell to the ground. Before she passed out, she only had one thought left in her mind. I want to go home.
“Crystal, it’s okay.” She heard these words spoken by a familiar voice— Percy’s voice. Crystal got up, and saw that she was in the infirmary.
“Oh, hey. You weren’t hit as badly as… others,” Percy spoke weakly. She turned around and saw what Percy meant. Campers were groaning in pain, and the Apollo kids were doing the best they could to help.
“The sword hit you, but it’s a small cut. I think I knocked down those Romans, though.” Percy didn’t say anything else. Just then, Will Solace, a well known Apollo kid, had walked up to Percy.
“I’ve had it!” Will yelled. “Those stupid people, the Romans, are freaking killing us. We’re losing a whole bunch of people!” Annabeth walked up.
“He’s right. Many demigods were killed. Anyway, I was eavesdropping on Octavian and Luke. They’re planning a bigger attack by the end of the month,” Annabeth informed. Another Apollo kid raced up to Will and whispered something to his ear. Will frowned, and said nothing for a minute or two.
“Annabeth, this is really hard to say but—”
“What?!” Annabeth interrupted with a concerned face. He sighed, and finally replied back.
“Your half-brother died in battle. It was Malcolm… Sorry Annabeth..” Will drifted off. Annabeth was silent. Crystal could see a tear rolling down her cheek. Malcolm was the second in command in the Athena cabin. He had done so much for Annabeth. He’d lead the Athena cabin to battle while Annabeth was with Percy. Percy embraced Annabeth, and she cried. Even Crystal felt like crying, because she knew what it was like to lose family. When she was two years old, her mom was in a car accident. Everyday, Crystal would ask her dad: “When will Mommy come home?” Her dad would leave the room, and she would hear faint crying sounds. After a week, her dad would stop leaving the room, and say: “She went on a trip, Crystal. Just a few more days and she’ll be home, I promise.” Of course, this promise was always broken. When Crystal grew older, she understood that her mom took a drive to heaven, and was going to stay there forever.
“No matter what, Greeks will completely destroy these Romans!” Annabeth yelled loudly. Percy flinched, as she was right next to him. Crystal decided to say something supportive, but instead she said something else.
“I need to go home!” Crystal blurted out. No one really cared too much about what she said, except for Percy and Annabeth.
“You sure? I mean, you have potential you know…” Annabeth was about to say many reasons why Crystal was needed, but Percy cut her off.
“Sure. I mean, after all, this isn’t your home. Annabeth can calculate when the portal could be opened, and you can go home,” he said. Of course, Annabeth disapproved, and she pulled him aside for a little talk. Even though they were at the back of the infirmary, Crystal was still able to hear them.
“She can’t leave, Seaweed Brain,” Annabeth insisted. “We need her. She’s important.”
“It’s her choice, Wise Girl,” Percy shot back. “Besides, no mortal can be used to having battles every five minutes.” He grinned when she finally gave in. They returned to Crystal.
“As soon as I know where the portal will appear, you can travel home,” Annabeth said. Crystal felt like smiling, but couldn’t. She really wanted to know how the fight would turn out. After all, she was the only one who knew information about the Romans or Octavian. Then again, she wasn’t that brave and wasn’t a risk taker. She could never stand a chance against Luke. Annabeth sat down, writing equations about the portal arrival and whatnot.
“You can head to my cabin if you want. You might as well explore the camp, actually. I’ll come with you,” Percy said to Crystal.They exited the infirmary and looked at the cabins of the demigods. The cabins were all in the shape of a U. Crystal explored each cabin, but her smile immediately dropped when she saw the Athena cabin. She heard faint crying sounds, and she knew why the demigods were crying— because of the death of Malcolm.
Putting his hand on her shoulder, Percy said, “We shouldn’t bother them.”
Crystal agreed. They left, and bumped into Tyson, Percy’s half brother who was also a cyclops.
“Hi brother!” Tyson said cheerfully.
“Who is your friend?” Percy chuckled.
“This is Crystal,” he said. Tyson nodded, and spoke about working in Poseidon’s underwater palace. It took a few minutes, and then Annabeth suddenly raced up to Percy.
“Seaweed Brain, I figured it out. In about a few days, the portal will arrive, and Crystal can get home,” she said. Crystal came up to her,with her face all red.
“A few freaking days?! I need to go home now!” she yelled. Annabeth backed away from her.
“Sorry, but it’s just the portal’s arrival and speed. I can’t change that for your needs.” She stalked off into the Athena cabin, and everyone could hear her trying to calm down her cabin mates.
“Where do I sleep?” Crystal groaned.
“You can sleep in the Hermes cabin,” Percy suggested.
“Fine,” Crystal mumbled. “When do I get home?”
“Don’t ask me.” He shrugged. Percy left, as it was getting late. Crystal decided to get some rest. She introduced herself to the eight people in the Hermes cabin. There would usually be a lot more, but too many of the demigods were killed. Crystal felt uncomfortable in her bed, but managed to get some sleep. It was a very dreamless sleep.
Days passed by. Crystal spent most of her time training. She was taught how to use her sword properly by Percy. Sometimes Annabeth would come by, asking about the Romans. She also tried bringing up what Crystal had said about her being in a book, but Crystal often changed the subject. She didn’t know what to say, and the thought process behind it drove her crazy. How exactly were fictional characters real? Crystal had decided not to think about it. After four days, Annabeth calculated that the portal would come in the afternoon, near the entrance to Camp Half-Blood. Once she had told Crystal, she had never seen such happiness from someone else. Crystal waited out until the portal had come. She checked her watch: 11:52 p.m. She glanced further through the field, and gasped. The Romans had come back.
“Oh my Gods!” Crystal screamed. “They’re coming right now!” Other yelled while pushing through into the storage area, and other groaned, clearly annoyed of the incoming event. Soon enough there was a whole battle going on.
“What the freaking heck Greeks, we beat you last time! Stop trying to fight us.” Octavion groaned, while Luke looked disgusted to have a partner like him. A portal zapped at the entrance. Crystal immediately ran towards it. She had stopped when she heard a terrifying yell. It was Percy. Luke smiled for a few seconds, but had frowned.
“What the hell!” Luke yelled at the Roman demigod. “I wanted him alive!” Crystal stood there, with her mouth wide open.
“Percy!” Annabeth screamed, pushing through. No one paid attention, they just kept fighting each other. Crystal came racing too, worried about her favorite character in the series.
“Fight, Annabeth. This is really dumb to die at a time like this, huh?” Percy mumbled.
“Seaweed Brain! You drive me crazy with those words! Here have some―” Annabeth started to get ambrosia, but Crystal stopped her.
“It’s too late,” she whimpered. “Percy’s dead.”
Annabeth cried. She was sobbing nonstop. She looked up to see Luke Castellan standing above her. He still had his scar, running down to his chin.
“Sorry,” he said. “I wanted him stay alive but hey, battle is battle.” Luke clenched his teeth together. Crystal tried hard not to punch his face. Annabeth turned to her.
“What are you doing?! The portal!” She reminded her. Alarmed, Crystal headed straight for the obsidian shape she had once saw. One foot was in.
“This is not what Apollo wanted!” Will Solace yelled at the top of his lungs. Octavian was a son of Apollo too.
“Kill the demigod scum,” Octavian said cruelly. At once, Romans had stabbed at Will, leaving him to die.
This world is vicious, Crystal thought. Too much violence. She shut her eyes. I need to help this place overcome this terrible battle. I choose not to go home. One foot was out. Taking her sword, she yelled, stabbing as many enemies as she could.
“Stop!” Luke Castellan said to her. Taking her arm, he shoved her into the empty Hermes cabin.
“We need to beat that stupid Octavian. He is unbearable!” Luke said sharply.
“Don’t you want to take over the Greeks and Romans? Or destroy Mount Olympus?” Crystal gritted her teeth. Luke rolled his eyes in return.
“Listen, I know that was all a big mistake. But Octavian is crazy. His orders are terrible, and he’s getting on my nerves. Some darn kid barking at me? Ugh,” he said, followed by a curse. Crystal wanted to believe him, but she still wasn’t so sure. Luke seemed to know what she was thinking.
“You want some proof that I’m against Octavian? Jason, Reyna, Hazel, and Frank! Come out,” Luke said. The four people shuffled out from a hidden wall.
“Luke!” Jason said with a frown. “There’s a demigod right there, we could get caught!” Crystal rolled her eyes. Jason was her least favorite character out of the series.
“Don’t worry, she’s with us, idiot,” Luke said while shaking his head. He turned to her.
“These are the Romans that think that us Greeks aren’t so bad,” he explained.
“Octavian is a terrible praetor. He isn’t even a praetor, he just thinks he is,” Reyna muttered to herself.
“So, you guys must have vital information on the Greeks,” Crystal guessed. Everyone nodded except for Luke.
“They’ll be able to help. Anyways, you guys get back to your wall. I need to talk to Crystal.” Luke shooed them away like animals. The Romans rolled their eyes and went back into their secret base. Pulling Crystal’s arm, Luke took her outside of the cabin. He looked down at his feet right away, after he saw the terrible damage the Romans had done. The Apollo kids were working harder than ever, getting the demigods to the infirmary. Annabeth continued to cry, right until Luke approached. Tears were still in her eyes, but she managed not to be so loud.
“Your soldiers killed…” she was not able to finish that sentence.
“I wanted him alive! Don’t you think that I care, Annabeth? I’ve cared for a long time, but Octavian had gotten the best of me. I have heard that Thalia had died, Annabeth. I’m broken.” Luke hung his head in shame. Crystal was mortified. Thalia was a very good friend of Annabeth and Luke, and now she was dead.
“I’m so sorry,” Crystal said shakily. How many times has she said that? The fictional world was terrible to its people living in it. Suddenly a horrible thought struck her. What if I die?
Training was important. Crystal trained every day, slowly becoming better and better. Percy was no longer there to help her. The incoming battle was so important that no demigod had any time to mourn, or to even do a proper burial. Annabeth did perform a burial ceremony for Percy’s body, but it was just by herself. Crystal stayed around, but she decided to train some more. Days passed, turned into weeks. Months came around. The Romans decided to attack a bit further into the year. The Romans that had declared a truce stayed in hiding, but trained too. Luke decided to teach Crystal about strategies in battle. This had made her improve a lot. Later that week, the Romans attacked.
Octavian turned up, as expected.
“We have come, once and for all! Attack, Romans!” Octavian screamed. Luke turned to Crystal.
“We need to get to Octavian. Don’t mind the others,” he said quietly. Crystal nodded, and soon they were hiding. Octavian was near, so Crystal was very scared.
“Get the onager!” Octavian called. “It’ll blow up these Greeks for sure!” Luke frowned, but Crystal whispered her plan to him. In The Blood of Olympus, Octavian had died due to his toga tied to the onager. When it fired, he flew through the sky and died. First, Luke had to find a way to get the Romans on their side, not Octavian’s.
“Crystal, sneak up and tie Octavian’s toga to the onager. Tyson will impersonate Octavian with his voice, so the Romans will be lured away. I’ll distract him,” Luke whispered. He went off without even bothering to listen to Crystal’s thoughts. That didn’t matter anyway, as she thought it was flawless. It got passed on quickly to Tyson. Luke made some awkward noises, and lured Octavian away. Tyson knew that it was the time to act.
“Hey! Get over on those rocks over there!” Tyson barked. “We’ll get a much better view of the death of our enemies!” The Romans seemed to hear, and they went over to the rocks. Demigods ambushed them, and they were cornered. They cursed, but no one could hear or care over the noise. Luke then motioned for Crystal to sneak in.
“Octavian, get further towards the onager,” he said. “I’ll teach you where to aim perfectly.” Octavian nodded, and Crystal cheered in her mind. He fell for the bait! He didn’t seem to notice Crystal. She quickly tied his toga on the onager.
“Why do you want to take over the two sides?!” Luke said loudly. Octavian rolled his eyes.
“Whatever. I want to prove that I am superior. I hate these two sides, and the Romans are really dumb sometimes!” Octavian quickly covered her mouth, as everyone had turned silent to his words.
“I uh, didn’t…” Romans yelled and screamed at Octavian and surged forward to kill him.
“Crystal, now!” Luke screamed. She powered the onager, and Octavian was soon flying through the sky with a girlish scream.
“Good work!” He said, and then hugged her. She wanted to say so many things, but suddenly the portal zapped in.
“What? No! I can’t go home now.. I just..” Crystal tried to say something, but couldn’t. The portal had already sucked her in.
Crystal stood at her porch. Coming inside her house, she could here her dad crying.
“Missing children.. My child was missing..” Her dad murmured.
“Dad?” He turned to Crystal. He didn’t say anything. He just ran to hug her.