The years went by and Hunter grew up. He watched from his bunk in Hermes cabin in camp Half-Blood as the children of the gods came and went for the summer and the school year. As the years went on he saw numbers in his cabin grow and then shrink as new campers came in for the summer, unclaimed and left claimed by one of the 12 Olympians. It had been 12 years since he arrived here and no signal has been given as to which god he belongs to. Unfortunately, it seemed that whoever it was that was giving him reason to be in the camp for half-god, half-human teenagers had no intention of ever claiming him. Years of wondering how he got here and where he was beforehand. He has no memory of anything before waking up in the Big House in Camp Half-Blood those 12 long years ago. Those 12 years were filled with lessons and teachings by the activities director at the camp. Chiron, an immortal centaur. Years of him teaching me all of the things your average hero might need to know. Archery, swordplay, forging, reading ancient Greek, running, climbing, swimming, singing. Anything a hero might ever need to know. Hunter excelled at some things, almost like they were second nature. Others, not so much. He was a better-than-average singer, in ancient Greek, which he knew fluently after 12 years of learning the language, and 6 other languages, and a pretty fantastic all-around athlete. The forge had never been a difficult thing for Hunter to tackle for very specific reasons. When it came to combat, Hunter could shoot a drinking straw with an arrow from 25 yards away. He had an affinity for archery. He showed a talent for it very early. On the other hand swordplay was his kryptonite. He has tried hundreds of swords varying in weight, material, style, and length and to no avail he cannot find one that feels comfortable to him. He had almost started to believe that he was a child of Hermes after living in that cabin for so long. The children of Hermes were mostly renaissance children. A dabbler in all things an expert in none. This was the archetype that Hunter hoped to achieve. He figured that if he was going to become proficient in the sword he, obviously, needed to make his weapon himself. His experiences in the forge weren’t always successful and, with some help, could create a fine weapon. After many attempts, however he has not yet created the sword that has felt comfortable in his hand. It seemed increasingly hopeless as he entered that morning.
After 3 hours toiling on the forge, and a LOT of help from Hephaestus campers, he was walking towards the arena ready to try out his new blade. A long, straight blade made from celestial bronze with a hilt that’s made from Elm and wrapped in deerskin. As he passed the other campers on his way to test if this sword was the one he felt the weight of it. He tested the balance and the precision of the sword. This felt like this could be the one, but there was no way to be sure until he had practiced against a few dummies in the arena. When he arrived at the arena, he looked at the other campers practicing. A boy from Ares was using a practice sword that Hunter crafted himself, but wasn’t the right choice. Hunter walked to a dummy and gave a few light practice jabs with his new blade. He took a deep breath, thinking back to all of the lessons he had participated in, but hadn’t taken anything from. He swung the sword with a strong arm and struck the dummy with a thud. He recovered quickly and took a few more practice swipes with his new blade. He looked up and saw the dummy still standing, but in shreds. Onlookers observed and saw the destruction that Hunter had incurred upon this sack of wood and straw, but Hunter knew that this blade was not the one that would be perfect for him. He dropped the sword and started to walk out. In an act of frustration he took a spear from the weapons rack and threw it at dummy with all of his strength. It split the dummy’s wooden skeleton into splinters, crashed into the opposing wall with a clank, and then hit the ground. Hunter feeling a little bit better, stormed out of the arena.
’12 years. 12 YEARS!’ He thought as he walked toward his cabin. ’12 years I’ve been in this place and I still don’t have a parent. No god has claimed me. I’m not sure if I belong here. I have no symptoms. No dyslexia. No ADHD. I just don’t understand.” He was deep in thought when he heard the clop of hooves trotting behind him. Hunter turned around and said, “Hello, Chiron.”
Chiron started a little, then said, “Oh! Hunter. I see those senses are quick as always. I was actually looking for you. I wanted to ask if everything was okay. I saw you in the arena. That dummy never really saw that spear coming.” Hunter had always been somewhat of a father figure for Hunter. He had essentially raised him since he appeared at the age of 4. The only thing Hunter has earlier memories of than Chiron, is Orion, his wolf. That and the small deer pendant he wore around his neck. And even in the case of Orion they aren’t memories they’re more just feelings. The feeling that Orion has been with him since is birth. The feeling that Orion could be trusted. The necklace was something that he had when he arrived here.
“Yeah I’m just a little frustrated. I can’t seem to find a sword that works for me. Every other Hermes camper has found a sword to suit them. Just none of them….feel right.” Chiron was giving him the look that he always gave him when it had something to do with who is parents are. “Chiron. I’ve known you a long time. You practically raised me. How did I get here?”
“I’ve told you this, Hunter. Your 4-year-old self was left on the back of your wolf at the top of Half-Blood hill. I brought you into the Big House and as much as I tried to make Orion go away he would not leave your side. After we found got some things sorted out you became a regular camper here at Camp Half-Blood. We keep Orion in the big house. Even though he’s a ferocious beast, he still has a way of cheering up the sick people in the infirmary.”
“I feel like I just don’t belong anywhere. I have my talents and I have my flaws just like everyone else. But I have been here for 12 years. No one has claimed me. Apparently, no one wants me anywhere! One parent won’t claim me and the other left me here to rot!”
“Hunter, don’t talk that way. Your time will come. Everyone’s always does. You just nee-“
“I’m done waiting! Percy Jackson was here for what? A day? And he got claimed! His brother Tyson shows up and gets claimed the same day! I’m done waiting around here!” Hunter was fuming. I’m not sure he had ever talked that way to Chiron. He felt bad as soon he closed his mouth. He looked around and people were staring at him.
“Listen, Hunter, I understand your feelings. It’s unfair. I’m not the enemy, though. Go take a walk in the woods. Take Orion with you. That’s always made you feel better.” Chiron gave Hunter an almost genuine smile, but Hunter could see the pity in his eyes. “There is a reason for everything I’m telling you. There is a reason for everything that I have told you. There is something big in store for you. Capture the flag is tomorrow. That always seems to be a way for you to blow off steam. Maybe something will finally present itself to you.” Hunter gave Chiron a small bow and then turned around and started to walk away from the conversation. “Oh and Hunter.” Hunter turned around. A lump was forming in his throat. “About the sword. You excel using daggers and spears. Take me seriously when I say, don’t worry about it.”
“Thank you, sir.” Hunter bowed again and strolled off to the Hermes cabin. When he got there Orion was already waiting for him, giving him a small whimper and a concerned look. “How do you always know when something is bothering me?” Hunter said to Orion as he walked over to his bed where he sat down and got his bow and arrows from under his bed. He shouldered his bow and put on his quiver and then sat there for a second petting Orion. “You have always been there for me, haven’t you?” Orion gave him a look of acknowledgement. “I feel like you could actually talk back to me. I wish you would sometimes.” Hunter had started to get up when he heard, “I do talk back.” Hunter looked around. It was the middle of the day, everyone else was gone doing chores or practicing something. He looked at Orion. ‘You didn’t…no. Never mind.’ He shook his head then headed out the door with Orion trotting behind him.
He had been walking in the woods for 20 minutes and he had to admit that Chiron was right. He did feel better. It always made him feel better. The smell of the plants. The rush he gets from climbing the highest tree in the woods and looking at all of the animals down below. He had always had an interest in animals. He credits Orion’s attachment to that fact. He climbed into a tree and balanced himself into one of the crooks of the branches. Orion, at the base of the tree, kept a watchful look out for any sign of danger. With the peacefulness Hunter gained from being relaxed in his favorite place in Camp Half-Blood, he was finally able to think. As he lean up against this tree he noticed how much safer he felt here in the wilderness than in his bed in Hermes cabin. He thought about the other campers. He thought about the only real parent he’s ever had, Chiron. He thought about everything that he has seen in the 12 years he’s lived in Camp Half-Blood. The thoughts seemed to flow so easily here. And deep in thought Hunter fell asleep.