Harassing the homeless, underwater seal wrestling, and revelations that knock me sideways. Also, I threaten Percy with an eggplant. All this and a little more in part 15 of Michael Reads Percy Jackson: The Titan’s Curse, which some may call…
I Wrestle Santa’s Evil Twin
This wound up being another stream-of-consciousness post, and it kind of just kept going, so it’s going to be more of a small river-of-consciousness post. Creek-of-consciousness? Yeah, let’s go with that. You can’t go wrong with alteration, after all.
“Tell me when it’s over,” Thalia said. Her eyes were shut tight. The statue was holding on to us so we couldn’t fall, but still Thalia clutched his arm like it was the most important thing in the world.
Wait, they’re flying? I don’t remember that. (Okay, so I just I had to re-read the last bit of Chapter 14 just to refresh myself. It’s been too long since I’ve gotten a chance to read this book! Plus my brain isn’t working so well today, I’ve noticed. Earlier I spilled a glass of water and, for a split second, my first instinct was to hit ctrl-Z.)
“Hank!” the other statue Chuck cut in. “They’re kids, man.”
Angels (well, angel statues) named Hank and Chuck? I’m good with that. Not sure why, but I am. 🙂
Every time she saw a Target department store— and we passed dozens of them— she would peg the store’s sign with a few bulls-eyes at a hundred miles an hour.
I wonder how often this happens in real life. Minus the flying bit, I mean.
I told her about the weird mortal girl, Rachel Elizabeth Dare, who seemed to be able to see right through the Mist. I thought Thalia was going to call me crazy, but she just nodded. “Some mortals are like that,” she said. “Nobody knows why.”
Oh, I’d bet for certain that SOMEbody knows why. And I’d bet even more so that we’ll eventually find out. Right after this Percy recalls how his mother saw things through the Mist. I’d always just assumed that was due to the fact that she’d already had her perception cracked by her previous interactions with Poseidon and the resulting knowledge of mythological entities being real. And now as I write this, it’s occurring to me that this may simply be the reason Rachel can see things, too. …Except she didn’t seem to understand the significance of the things she saw, did she? She just saw weird stuff and took it in stride, right? Hmm…
“Well, the girl was annoying,” I said. “But I’m glad I didn’t vaporize her. That would’ve been bad.”
Yeah, she helped you out of a tight spot by facing down things she could see were monsters, without even asking anything of you in return. SO annoying! (Percy, come here, so that I may bonk your head with an eggplant.)
After a brief discussion, we agreed that we needed to figure out just what this mystery monster was.
“But how?” I asked.
“Nereus,” Grover said.
I looked at him. “What?”
“Isn’t that what Apollo told you to do? Find Nereus?”
I nodded. I’d completely forgotten my last conversation with the sun god.
Oh! Heh. Me, too. Maybe I should cut Percy some slack for forgetting things. Then again, it’s not MY quest. …Geez, I’m really judgmental, aren’t I?
So Percy’s jumped Nereus, and I have to admit that Nereus isn’t really on my mythological radar. I’m curious to know how much of his characterization here is out of mythology (i.e., the smell and masquerading as a homeless guy). I’m not complaining about it, just curious to know more. One can never know too much about mythology, after all!
Nereus moaned. “Oh, wonderful. An audience for my humiliation! The normal deal, I suppose? You’ll let me go if I answer your question?”
I feel kind of sorry for Nereus here. I’ve had days when I didn’t want people to ask ME questions, and I don’t even have any all-encompassing knowledge (so far as any of you know). On the other hand, he did just try to drown Percy, didn’t he? But I suppose after millennia of people only wanting to talk to me for the information I could give them, I might get a little murderously cranky, too.
“All right, Nereus. Tell me where to find this terrible monster that could bring an end to the gods. The one Artemis was hunting.”
“Oh, that’s too easy,” he said evilly. “He’s right there.”
I looked down, and there was my friend the cow serpent, swimming next to the dock. She nudged my shoe and gave me the sad brown eyes.
“The Fates ordained a prophecy eons ago, when this creature was born. They said that whoever killed the Ophiotaurus and sacrificed its entrails to fire would have the power to destroy the gods.”
Cool. And it came out of the first Titan War? All sorts of fun secret weapons are just lying around from that thing, aren’t they? (This is where I allude to the Titan War relic from Zeus Is Dead that I just made up when writing that. But the details of that are a spoiler, so…allude-allude!)
So here’s me being pragmatic: Let’s kill the Ophiotaurus NOW, and then flush its entrails down the toilet or something so no one can burn ’em. Or, hey, just ring up Zeus and have him pick up the thing and eat it. Sure, it’s innocent, but I eat fish, I eat burgers. It’d be rather hypocritical of me to want to spare the thing and risk it falling into the wrong hands, right?
Don’t you look at me like that.
[Dr. Thorn] sneered. “I do not need those foolish undead! The General thinks I am worthless? He will change his mind when I defeat you myself!”
Oh, Thorny. You’ve never read the Evil Overlord’s Handbook, have you? You just shot yourself in the foot.
“What are you talking about?” Thalia growled. She had her shield and spear ready.
“Surely it is clear,” the manticore said. “This is your moment. This is why Lord Kronos brought you back to life. You will sacrifice the Ophiotaurus. You will bring its entrails to the sacred fire on the mountain. You will gain unlimited power. And for your sixteenth birthday, you will overthrow Olympus.”
That can’t be Kronos’s plan, can it? At least not yet. Thalia’s still pretty well on the side of the gods, right? Or, at least, definitely not on the Kronosian side of things… Did Kronos just not tell Thorn everything, or is this just a case of a bad plan? It could go either way, really, which makes it all the more interesting for me here, so I’m not complaining. 🙂
A picture-perfect moment, except for the fact that we were about to die and the world was going to end.
Life’s like that sometimes.
“How noble,” Mr. D said, stifling a yawn. “So what is the problem, exactly?”
I didn’t see that it would make any difference, but I told him about the Ophiotaurus.
“Mmm.” He studied the contents of the fridge. “So that’s it. I see.”
“You don’t even care!” I screamed. “You’d just as soon watch us die!”
I’m betting Dionysus isn’t as disinterested as he seems, here, mostly because I can’t see him ignoring a threat to HIS existence, which the sea-bull clearly is.
It was the sound of many minds breaking at the same time. The sound of madness. One guard put his pistol between his teeth like it was a bone and ran around on all fours. Two others dropped their guns and started waltzing with each other. The fourth began doing what looked like an Irish clogging dance. It would have been funny if it hadn’t been so terrifying.
I love being right. 😀 And I’m suddenly remembering that episode of Star Trek where everyone goes insanely drunk and Sulu takes his shirt off and some guy takes over engineering and gives everybody double portions of ice cream.
Also, frankly, that was pretty awesome. I’m not a big fan of “Mr. D,” but it IS fun to see him put the godly smack-down on some folks to remind us that he’s not just some shmoe running a kids’ camp. Sure, it was something of a literal deus ex machina, but I’m good with that, too.
So the chapter ends with Percy needing to take Mr. Moo (I’m going to call the Ophiotaurus that from now on, because this is my blog and I like it) to the garden of Zoe’s sisters. What could possibly go wrong?
I’m wondering how much of Thalia’s temptation had to do with her real feelings, and how much was just from what felt like a magical power of persuasion that Thorn possessed. It makes me want to go back and re-read more of Thalia’s parts so I can look for subtext along those lines. (Geez, I need to not go so long between chapters. I hate to think I read such things and then forgot.)