The Daughter of Athena
It took much longer than Percy expected to get underway on his quest to save Annabeth. Originally he wanted to travel by sea, but the route to Sparta led straight through the Sea of Monsters, and frankly Percy wanted to avoid any monstrous delays. His second choice was to travel by Pegasi, but that would advertise that he was a demigod to all he passed. So Percy was forced to resort to his third choice, a horse drawn chariot.
The second obstacle Percy had to face was his mother. Sally Jackson was very distraught by Annabeth's kidnapping, but she w3as even more upset to hear Percy's plan.
"The Spartans are ruthless," Sally said to him. " There is no limit to their ruthlessness, Annabeth may be already dead."
"I can't believe that," Percy retorted. "If Annabeth can be saved at all, I have to try."
Mother and son stared hard at each other with steely resolve and a silent conversation passed between them.
Sally sighed. "I know you will do what is right, Percy. I'm just worried that none of you will return, please be careful."
"I will," Percy replied.
"Look after him," Sally said to the silent satyr who was standing beside Percy.
"I will, my Queen," Grover replied respectfully.
"May the gods go with you," Sally said, giving her final blessing.
An hour later Percy stood in the palace stables checking over his supplies. In a small bag he had some rations, a change of clothes, some ambrosia and nectar for emergencies, and a pouch full of drachmas. He also carried a mortal bronze short sword along with his celestial bronze Riptide. Since Percy planned to use stealth rather than direct force, he wore no armor, just a common straw hat that would shield his face from the bright sunlight, and would also hopefully conceal his identity.
Percy heard footsteps drawing closer and expected to see Grover approaching, but it wasn't the satyr. Frederick Chase drew closer, and Percy studied him, the man was completely miserable, the disappearance of his daughter had taken a toll on him.
"I'm sorry to interrupt," Frederick apologized. "I just wanted to thank you for trying to save my daughter."
"I will find her," Percy answered. "If I die trying."
Frederick winced, "I hope it won't come to that. My daughter is fortunate indeed to have a future husband who cares so much."
Frederick closed his eyes briefly and opened them again, his emotions were obviously threatening to overtake him. "Please save my little girl."
The journey from Corinth started out easily enough, the horses responded to Percy's every wish, and they made good time. People stared as he drove past in his chariot, and he was relieved when he reached the rural areas outside the city. Olive and grape orchards grew in abundance, and many of the people here were too busy to pay much attention to Percy and Grover. He pushed the horses as much as he dared, and when the sun set he finally found a secluded place off the road for them to rest.
"My hooves hurt," Grover complained.
"Nobody ever said that riding in chariots was comfortable," Percy remarked.
Grover grumbled to himself before pulling out his reed pipes and playing something that sounded like a cow being strangled.
Percy tended to the horses, made a fire, and a short time later they shared some food as they sat by the fire.
"We should get an early start tomorrow," Percy said.
"You really like her," Grover replied.
"No, I just need to save her before the gods' deadline expires," Percy answered.
Grover looked at him skeptically, "I can read your emotions, remember?"
"Grover," Percy complained. "I don't want to—did you hear that?"
The satyr stood, and grabbed his cudgel, Percy drew Riptide. There was something large moving through the trees, the horses whinnied and pawed the ground nervously. It stopped just as it reached the edge of the trees, just before they could see whatever it was.
"Show yourself!" Percy ordered.
The heavy footsteps resumed, and a large shaped trudged out from the trees. Percy's blood went cold as he recognized the monster standing before him.
"Cyclops!" Grover gasped looking like he wanted nothing more than to bolt.
The Cyclops stopped and looked at them with a baleful brown eye.
"I'm Percy Jackson, the son of Poseidon," Percy said. "You are outnumbered here, so go now and I will leave you in peace."
The cyclops looked up at him, new light in its eye. "But that means," It said slowly. "You are my brother!"
And before Percy could react, or bring up Riptide to protect him the cyclops barreled towards him and gave him a near rib cracking hug.
"I'm Tyson," the cyclops said pulling away and smiling fondly at Percy. "You are my brother."