Chapter 22

“Where could he have gone?” Hunter was heart-broken. The being that had caused him pain for so long was within his reach and he let him slip away.
“Think, Hunter. Did he say anything before he disappeared?” Marina asked him trying to figure this out. “Think hard. We don’t have all the time in the world.” Hunter tried to think if there was anything Dolos said that would tell Hunter where he was going. Hunter heard a soft moan coming from Kyle.
“Kyle! Are you okay?” Hunter said looking at Kyle trying to comprehend what mental state he was in. Hunter heard Kyle barely mutter something. “What is it, Kyle? What did you say?” No one said anything as Hunter listened for it again.
“The…prophecy. Follow.” Kyle said in a tired voice. Hunter had completely forgotten about the prophecy. He pulled out the piece of paper that Rachel Elizabeth Dare had written it down on. He unfolded it and started at the 7th line.
“‘The Daimon of deceit will be laying in wait.’ Well, that must be Dolos. He’s the god of trickery. ‘but the heroes of name will be far too late.’ We weren’t fast enough to stop Dolos completely. He got away. ‘his former father will show them the way to get back out into the light of day.’” Hunter turned to Hermes. “I lived in your cabin in Camp Half-Blood for a long time. I guess that makes you my former father.” Hermes smiled at him.
“I was glad to have you as my son. You and Will both. Now that you’re claimed, though I’m gonna have to find another kid to take pride in.” Hermes rolled his eyes and let out a heavy sigh.
“’The temple to the strategist’s greatest son is where the true enemy will be cast.’ That looks like where we need to be.” Hunter folded up the piece of paper and put it back in his pocket.
“Well the strategist it probably Athena, right? Goddess of wisdom?” Will said. “But which one of her son’s has a temple built for him?”
“I don’t know about temples, but I think I know which son it’s referring to. You know Abraham Lincoln? Well let’s say that Nancy Hanks was his stepmom. So maybe the memorial?” As soon as Hermes finished talking, Marina screamed.
“Kyle just passed out! I don’t think he’s breathing! We need to get him to a hospital.” Hermes walked over and put his finger on his neck.
“He’s still alive and I can do you one better than a hospital, but we need to leave NOW. How about Olympus?”
“Marina, go with Kyle. Go to Olympus with him. Will and I will go find Dolos.” Hunter said shifting Kyle’s weight onto her shoulder.
“But, Hunter, I-“ Hunter cut her off before she could finish.
“Go.” He turned to Hermes and pulled the orb out of his pocket. “You’re the messenger god so can you deliver something for me?” Hermes rolled his eyes and simply pointed to the label on his Uniform, which said ‘Hermes Overnight Express.’ Hunter rolled the orb around his hand in a few times before handing it to Hermes. “Deliver this to Zeus as soon as possible, okay?” He hugged Marina and Kyle goodbye and then watched as the three of them disappeared. He turned to Will. “Are you ready, Will?” Hunter put one hand on Will’s shoulder and then stared him in the eye. Will swallowed hard and then nodded. Will and Hunter left the area with the columns and started walking the path that would lead them back to the street. They could see the street in the distance and started running towards it.
“Hey, you! Kids!” Hunter turned around and saw five large biker-looking men walking toward them. They were dressed in leather jackets and had bandanas tied around their heads. “You seem to know your way around here. You mind giving us directions?” He stared at the very tattooed arms and bodies of the mountainous bikers. They were explaining how they needed to get to the Lamos hotel and needed directions.
“Sorry, gentleman. We’re only guests here. We don’t know our way around.” Will said. “Now if you’ll excuse us, we are kind of in a hurry.” He grabbed Hunter’s arm and led him away from the group of men.
“Yeah we know. And that’s why you’re going to join us for dinner.” The bikers smiled toothy grins revealing their sharp teeth. “Dolos sends his regards. He wants to know how Kate is.” Hunter’s mind burned with anger. He turned around and stared into the face of the front biker.
“Why would you work for that coward?” The biker held out his hand and in it was a pile of Drachmas. Hunter reached out and grabbed one. It was fake. He could tell that these giants were under Dolos’ spell. “So you were paid, big guy? It’s a good thing you were, because you’re not smart enough to do anything that doesn’t involves those oversized hams you call fists. It’s a shame you’re not smart enough to realize that the money you were given is FAKE!” The giants smiled their jagged grin again.
“He said you’d say something like that. He also said that you would be easy to kill if you were angry.” At that moment the lead giant swung his giant fist Hunter who barely dodged the assault by rolling out of the way. Will drew his sword and entered the fray immediately. Hunter drew his knife. He gripped it tight and leapt onto the torso of the head giant. He started cutting and slashing as fast as possible. “He wanted to know how Kate was doing. How is she, kid? Hmmm?” The giant chuckled as he grabbed Hunter and pulled him off of his chest. Hunter, in response, found a heart tattoo on the giant’s arm and drove his knife into it. ‘J.B. loves Babycakes’ is what the tattoo read. Hunter smiled as the beast dropped Hunter to the ground.
“How’s Babycakes, you waste of space? Is that your girl’s name?” The giant’s eyes grew big. “I promise you that when I’m finished with you, I’m gonna find her and I’m going to slit her throat.” Hunter was done playing games. He was going to find Dolos and kill him, no matter what he had to fight in the process. The giant roared in anger. And charged after Hunter with two more giants following him. Hunter threw his knife into the face of JB. It hit him in the forehead with a ‘thluck.’ The giant toppled over and disappeared into dust. Hunter dodged the fist of one giant and the foot of the other. It took a second, but his knife returned around his neck in pendant form. By the time it returned Hunter had already summoned Kate and was firing arrow after arrow into the chest of the giants. He ducked the swing of an arm and sidestepped a downward strike. He jumped on the arm of the giant and nimbly climbed up to its shoulders where it fired an arrow straight into the top of the head of the giant. He dismissed Kate and jumped off onto the back of the other giant. He grabbed his knife and slit the throat of the remaining giant. They vanished into dust. He turned to Will to watch him topple the final giant with a slash to the back of the knee and then another to behead the beast. Hunter walked over to Will and said, “Let’s get going. We’re running out of time.”