Percy Jackson never really wanted to be here. He could not believe his god-awful luck. For nearly his entire teenage years, he had lived a fantastic life as the son of Poseidon, going on adventures and fighting monsters and saving the world. Now, just shy of his twenty-first birthday, he stood on the edge of an underwater city, sword in hand, and these half-man half-fish creatures were bowing to him. He really wanted to believe that it was not true. You see, once you spend too much time under the spotlight, you yearn to get away from all the attention. Diving had provided a getaway from such troubles of mind, and had he known that today’s dive would lead to this Percy would never have started.
But there it was. The sword glowed a brilliant turquoise in his hand, and he as he concentrated, he could perceive, ever so faintly, the movement of the currents in the ocean. “Alas, this was meant for you, sire! Finally, the King has returned!” An aged mer-man cried out as he emerged from the crowd. “All hail the king!” Echoed the prostrated subjects.
Percy hefted the sword in his hand. It was well balanced, and beautifully adorned. As he gripped it a loud wail echoed from the canyon behind him. A figure was approaching him. Clad in blowfish armor, a face filled with a full beard and braided hair, with an enormous golden trident in hand, the man walked menacingly towards him. “How dare you usurp my throne. Who are you to challenge my power?”
The crowd behind Percy let out a collective gasp. The people grovelled. Those who were already bowing bent lower still. Still confused, Percy, in a sudden bout of foolish bravery common to the young, bellowed in return, as hard as he could, “I am Percy Jackson, King of Atlantis. Bow to me, stranger, and no harm shall come to you.” He brandished the sword over his head and bathed the place in eerie green light.
The man was closer now, and in the light one could just make out a pair of fiery eyes under the heavy brow, and what at first seemed like mail, was actually a full set of body tattoos that stretched all the way from his fingernails to his bellybutton. “I am Arthur Curry, the true king of Atlantis. Have you forgotten?”
Percy was about to reply, when he stopped abruptly, for he realised that the stranger was speaking past him, and addressing the crowd behind.” The words of the stranger seemed to have a distinct effect on the crowd. They flinched collectively, and a murmuring dissonance spread amongst those gathered. The elder mer-man who had stepped out earlier turned as pale as a polished pearl. “Si…Sire…,” he stammered “We thought you were never going to return! We thought you were dead! We…we followed the inheritance protocol.”
Arthur had reached Percy by this time, and in one swift move snatched the sword out of his hand. Percy, still dumbfounded and pitifully confused, watched helplessly as Arthur stalked menacingly towards the elder. The mer-man cowered in front of the approaching King, his mind told him to run and hide, but fear rooted him to the soft ocean sand. Arthur stopped an arms length away from him. He thrust the sword in the air, as it glowed a brilliant blue. There was a flash of neon followed by a clap of thunder that drowned out the shriek of the mer-man as his insides were vaporized by the lightning. As the sound rumbled on into the distance all that was left of the old mer-man was a stream of bubbles.
At that Arthur seemed satisfied. His rage-filled eyes scanned the crowd. “This is what happens to infidels who discredit the words of the king. Let this serve as a warning.” Arthur turned back to Percy, “As for you, ignorance is forgivable at times, but for your transgressions you shall be exiled from this land forever. Now be gone.”
As he swam back Percy made a mental note never to dive in that same area again.