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The Peculiar Disappearance of Percy Jackson

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“Today, we’re going to cover a case, that is, in my opinion, one of the most mysterious cases we’ve ever investigated.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means, Shane, that there are a bunch of details in here that make zero sense and I can’t figure them out.”

“Well, that’s not new.”

“No, I mean no one can figure it out. There’s literally no explanation for half of this. Here, let’s get into it.

On June 6, 2006, twelve year old Percy Jackson was involved in a disciplinary incident at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. According to one of his teachers who was interviewed after the fact, he said, quote “Percy was never a good student, so it doesn’t surprise me that he was making up stories like this”, end quote. The story in question was one of his teachers trying to attack him by getting him alone while his class was at the museum.”

And they just ignored him? That’s fucked up.

I know.

Did they even do an investigation? Anything? Or did
they just write it off as him being a “bad kid”?

The name of the teacher in question was a Mrs. Dodds according to Percy. However, school records proved that there was never a Mrs. Dodds employed at the school and later investigation turned up no records of such a woman in the entire state.”

What? Like, this lady just up and vanished?

No, like, she was never employed in the first place. She never existed.

So, this kid is making up stories, to, to, what? Get someone who never existed in trouble?

I have literally no clue, but what happens next is even freakier.

The weekend that school ended, Percy Jackson and his mother Sally Jackson disappeared on a trip to a cabin in Montauk. Sally’s husband, Gabe Ugliano, claimed that, quote, “that runt son of hers must have done it. The little delinquent was always getting into trouble,” end quote. A quick look into Percy’s school records would indicate he seems to be right. Percy had attended six schools up to this point and Yancy Academy, his current school, was a private boarding school for troubled youth.”

Troubled youth? How old is this kid?

Twelve. I already said that.

Right, but like, damn. This twelve-year-old kid makes
up some story about his teacher who doesn’t exist and then
vanishes into the ether with his mom?

Yup. Wow, ‘ether’. I didn’t know you
knew that word.

I can know big words! I’m a dictionary wizard, baby!

(wheeze), sure

Gabe’s car was found the day Percy and Sally were reported missing, which was the day after they were supposed to return from the cabin. The car had crashed and the gas tank had caught fire. No evidence was found in the car other than some blood and goat hair. DNA testing done on the blood came back inconclusive.

Goat fur?! What the fuck?

Yeah, it’s weird.

No, weird is when you claim aliens and ghosts
are behind everything! This is, this is, stupid!

So, do you believe me that this is
the strangest case ever yet?

Look, I’m not convinced the police didn’t just
mislabel the fur. Did the Jackson’s have a dog?

No, they didn’t have a dog.

Fine, but, like goat hair? Seriously? Why?

(wheeze) I have no idea. This case is just
fucking weird.

With the Jackson’s reported missing, the NYPD issued an APB for anyone matching Sally or Percy’s description. Less than a week after the bulletin was issued, a picture was published by a major newspaper that seemed to match the description of Percy. The photographer was interviewed and was reported as saying, quote, “the kid was scary. He and two of his buddies fought a bunch of old ladies on the bus and then blew it up,” end quote. This story of the exploding bus was corroborated by the driver and several other passengers. The two people Percy was with were identified as an unknown male with brown hair and a rasta cap, and a girl matching the description of Annabeth Chase, a runaway girl from West Virginia.

Okay, slow down Ryan. So the kid and two of his friends
fistfight a group of old ladies on a bus, and then blow up the
goddamn bus? And no one catches them? All they do is take a
photo and call the police? Kids don’t run that fast!

(wheeze)

(imitating person on phone) hello, I’m calling about Percy
Jackson? The missing kid? Yeah, he fought a bunch of
old ladies and then blew up a bus. No, I don’t know where he is, why?

(wheeze) no, he just got away
we didn’t try to stop him or anything

And he’s travelling with another missing kid and someone in
a, a, fucking rasta cap? What does that even mean? Where
is this going, Ryan? I feel like we’re reading a, a, frickin’
choose-your-own-adventure crime here!

Yeah, or like, like, a Mad Libs! First he
disappears, then he, uh, blows up a bus.
With this other runaway girl! And a dude
wearing a, whatchamacallit, a
rasta cap! Yeah, we’re doing great!

Nothing else was heard about Percy or the others until a bomb was set off at the St. Louis Arch.

“No. No way.”

“Yup. You remember the bomb.”

“Of fucking course I remember the bomb, Ryan! Someone tried to blow up a national monument!”

“Right. Well, it was Percy Jackson.”

“He’s twelve, Ryan! He’s not a criminal mastermind!”

Percy Jackson was the only one initially connected to the crime by police, but eyewitnesses recall seeing another man there, quote, “dressed all in leather, the scariest guy you’ve ever seen in your life”, end quote. The NYPD began investigating the possibility that Percy was the victim of a kidnapping.

What does that even mean?

Exactly what I said. The NYPD began looking
into a kidnapper.

No, the other part. “The scariest guy you’ve ever seen”?
Is this guy, like, the devil?

He’s kidnapping kids, Shane, I’d say he’s
pretty fucking scary

So now we add kidnapping into this pot?
This is feeling like a grab bag of crime! Everything you
can think of, all in one!

Witnesses also claimed they had seen the same man on the bus, and an unnamed waitress in Denver notified the police after she saw the man threatening Percy and the two other children outside a diner. Meanwhile, Gabe Ugliano was still claiming Percy was behind it all, despite the fact he was twelve.

”I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here, but what the fuck? Did this kid beat up some old ladies or not? And what happened to that fake teacher of his?”

“So, there are two stories here. First, there’s the story that Percy and the other two with him caused a disturbance on the bus and there was no one with them, but later people start changing their stories. This guy enters the story that wasn’t there before and suddenly kidnapping is part of it. And I never found anything else mentioning the fake teacher.”

“Okay, you got me. I’m in way over my head. And what about that goat hair in the car?”

“Man, I don’t know. That’s never mentioned again.”

“Fucking – fine. Let’s go back to the story.”

Finally, in Los Angeles, ten days after the initial disappearance, a massive shootout took place between Percy and his kidnapper. Having managed to free himself and steal a shotgun, Percy fought his kidnapper who was armed with a rifle. An ensuing explosion destroyed five police cars, but no fatalities occurred. The suspect fled and was never apprehended by LAPD. The three children were rescued and sent back to New York via plane.

Who went with them?

No one. At least, I couldn’t
find anything saying they were
accompanied.

They’re kids! Does no one care?
Think of the children!

(wheeze)

Now, here’s the last crazy detail of the story. A statue was donated to an art gallery in Soho that bore a striking resemblance to Gabe Ugliano less than a month after Percy and Sally Jackson returned. Around this time, Sally filed a missing persons report for him.

“Oh, yeah, Sally! What happened to her?”

“Um, I don’t know. She was reported missing in early June and came back when Percy did. That’s it.”

“Probably someone losing some evidence again. Or a cover-up. How corrupt are the police these days?”

“This happened thirteen years ago.”

“So, the cops are still taking bribes?”

“I don’t know! Anyway, don’t you think it’s weird this statue looks exactly like Sally Jackson’s ex-husband?”

“I don’t know. Maybe the lady likes sculpting.”

“She filed a missing persons report for him!”

“Look, Ryan, I’m still caught up on the goat hair from the car in the beginning! And what about the old ladies on the bus?”

“Okay, fine.”

With all of this, somewhat conflicting, information we get into our theories.

Theory number one: the official story is correct. Three children were kidnapped by a mysterious suspect and travelled across the country over ten days before finally escaping in a shotgun-to-rifle shootout in Los Angeles. Evidence for this theory include that numerous witnesses saw this kidnapper with the children at various points, including the waitress in Denver and passengers on the bus in New York. However, this theory is somewhat shaky, considering that eyewitness stories don’t always line up with each other and there are several points unaccounted for, including the St. Louis Arch being blown up. No one seems to know how the bomb got up there or how it went off, and you would think someone would have seen something.

Not always. People can be unobservant.

What, like you?

Shut up. I mean, like the bystander effect and shit.
Everyone assumes it’s someone else’s problem and no one
calls the police, y’know?

A national monument blew up! This
isn’t some rando robbing your local 7-11!

I’m just saying. Maybe people got a little confused.

The second theory, and my personal favourite accounts for some of these mysterious details.

It better not be aliens.

Theory number two is that Percy and Sally Jackson were the victims of alien abduction.

Fuck off

Think about it! It makes sense
why no one can get their story straight!

Because he was popping all over the
States courtesy of aliens! They’re not Ubers, Ryan

(wheeze)

(imitating Percy) excuse me, can you just let me off
in St. Louis? Okay, now, once I’ve blown up the Arch
can you take me to L.A? I’ve got this guy I want to, want
to fight.

Can you say it isn’t aliens, though?

No, but that doesn’t mean I have to believe it.

This theory does account for the conflicting accounts, however. Alien abductions notoriously leave people confused and eyewitnesses often give mixed stories of what happened.

Yeah, but not like this! Two people don’t look
at the same thing and then one of them goes, “yeah
he beat up an old lady,” and the other one says, “no,
he was escaping a kidnapper,”! That’s not how aliens
work!

Oh, so now you’re an alien expert?

No, I just know how common sense and logic work!

Sure, sure

It’s not aliens, fuck you

Alien abduction would also explain the fact that Sally wasn’t seen between her disappearance and return. Often, there have periods of days, or even weeks, where people who have suffered alien abduction will be missing – if they’re even seen again.

Can you explain the fact that Sally wasn’t seen
for the entire time that she was missing?

No, but neither can you!

Sure I can. They were both abducted.

Look, just because you can say that aliens were
the cause doesn’t mean you should.

At least this makes more sense than three kids
being kidnapped and no one knowing who even did it!

Perps go free all the time!

I’m just saying the evidence –

Evidence?! You’re saying little green men took
this kid away in their spaceship! Flew him all over America!

(wheeze)

While the official story of the Jackson’s disappearance and return is a kidnapping, no one knows who committed this crime or why. The true reasons behind this crime are shrouded in mystery and will remain UNSOLVED.

“Did they ever explain the goat hair, Ryan?

“No, they didn’t.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t know. Why do you think goat hair was in the car?”

“It’s not goat hair.”

“What?”

“It’s Bigfoot.”

“Bigfoot.”

“Yup. He took ‘em. That’s where they were.”

“Uh-huh.”

“It makes more sense than aliens. At least Bigfoot’s real.”

“Fuck off.”