FoF 1

Ace Iverson and the Fabric of Fate

Season I: The Veil of Reality

Chapter I: Future Aspirations

By ACI100

Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction based on the PJO universe. All recognizable characters, plots and settings are the exclusive property of Rick Riordan. I make no claim to ownership.

Acknowledgements: Thank you to my lovely betas Umar, Luq707, Yoshi89 and Fezzik for their incredible work on this story.

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September 7, 2004

Elmdale Public School

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

4:43 PM

Ace Iverson, an eighth grade student at Elmdale in Ottawa, had mostly enjoyed his first day of school. As his stepfather reminded him, over and over again, it was his final year before high school. Or, as Thomas Ingles, his stepfather, called it “real school.” According to him, things would be getting a lot more interesting for Ace next year.

Ace smiled vaguely with amusement, only half paying attention to Mrs. Marquardt’s lecture on the Indian Act and the lawful injustice of the bill. Ace knew all of this already. He was rather fond of history and he very much doubted that he would actually be learning anything from the class this year. More than likely, it would be a way for him to pad his grades.

Thinking of that just brought his mind back onto his earlier train of thought and his lips twitched once more. It annoyed his stepfather to no end that Ace could show up to school, put minimal effort into most of his classes, and come home with grades in the mid to high ninety percent range. Thomas had always been insistent that Ace put more effort into his schooling, but the boy in question had always shrugged off what he considered to be a wholly wasteful request.

It wasn’t like his average could get much higher no matter how much effort he put in. Besides, what would a two or three percent boost to an academic average in eighth grade mean in the grand scheme of things?

Whilst all of that was true, Ace knew that to some extent, it was simply his cover story. The reality of the situation was that he had aspirations far beyond being a high academic achiever, enrolling in a prestigious university program, and then eventually living an extravagant, but likely mundane life slaving away over whatever intellectually centric job he’d decided to settle for.

None of that appealed to Ace. Not in the slightest.

From a very young age, he had always said his dream was to be a professional hockey player in the National Hockey League. He had been exposed to the sport at a very young age. This was hardly a surprise when you looked at his family background. His stepfather was a die-hard fan of the Montreal Canadiens. 

Ace had taken a liking to the sport of hockey at a very early age. Thomas had always encouraged it. When he first began dating Ace’s mother, Angela, it was actually one of the things, according to Thomas, that allowed him to bond with the toddler. 

If this wasn’t enough, Ace’s grandfather on his mother’s side was rather entrenched in the sport as well. He had almost made the NHL himself. He very well might have had he not found himself in some legal trouble that eventually led him desperately into the arms of the Canadian military after many other options had been taken off the table in light of said troubles. He had become an accomplished sniper out on the fields instead of on the ice, but his love of the game had never died.

Needless to say, by the time Ace was three-years-old, he was an adequate skater. That same year, he begged Thomas to bring him to the outdoor rink whenever he was able. His pestering eventually became so frequent that Thomas simply gave into Ace’s desires and built an outdoor rink of their own in the backyard. 

By the time Ace was finally old enough to join organized hockey the September before his fifth birthday, he was already miles ahead of the rest of his counterparts. Part of this, of course, was that he had dedicated a rather absurd amount of time to honing whatever abilities he could at that age. 

The summer after his first year in organized hockey, Ace had decided to take up soccer in the summers. He loved to run and was easily the fastest kid his age in the area. That made him a rather talented mid-fielder.

But nothing compared to the first sport he’d fallen in love with.

At the age of seven, he should have technically been playing against players nine years old and under. Instead, he was allowed a tryout for a rep team of those between the ages of nine and eleven. This was extremely rare. In specific cases, that honour might have been granted to a particularly exceptional eight-year-old. But even as a double-under-ager, he made the team with little issues. By the time he was nine years old, he was gaining notoriety all around the Canadian Province of Ontario for his prodigious skill.

Now, roughly four months short of his fourteenth birthday, Ace was more sure than ever he would one day be playing alongside some of his idols in the National Hockey League. 

This was the true reason Ace found himself rather unbothered by school.

How he managed to do so well in it in spite of that fact was a mystery that had always eluded him. Even his dyslexia hadn’t slowed him down much. It was a right pain, but he had learned to work through it with a lot of practice.

Thomas and Angela chalked it up to a number of things.

The first of these was the way in which they had raised their son. As Thomas put it, Ace had never been treated like a child. He had never been forced into anything, nor had his childhood been taken from him. But from a young age, they spoke to him as if he were an adult. This prompted a lot of questions in his early years, but he became a rather articulate speaker very early in life.

The second thing was that hockey necessitated a large amount of travel. As a child, Ace had never been fond of car rides. He had a rather severe case of ADHD, so sitting still had always been an insurmountable task for him in the best of times. When it came to long, monotonous car rides, he’d needed some stimulation. So at a young age, he had turned to books. For as little attention as Ace paid in school, books were still something that had interested him. He fondly remembered reading the first Harry Potter book when it had released in 1997 and immediately being completely in love with it.

The final thing Ace’s parents attributed to his naturally high intelligence was what Thomas thought had the most drastic impact. As a result of Ace playing on teams with kids much older than him from the age of seven, he had grown up fast. Indeed, most of his friends were currently aged between sixteen and eighteen, and were either high school sophomores, juniors or seniors. Years earlier, this had troubled Angela. When she realized very quickly that Ace was having no problem keeping up and that he was, for the most part, around a good group of friends, she had relented.

Even now, Ace had very few friends his own age. He just couldn’t level with them, no matter how hard he tried. Most weren’t mentally sharp enough to interest or stimulate him. A great deal of them looked at him as if he were some sort of celebrity. This annoyed Ace more than anything else. 

The problem with being very publicly touted as a prodigy from the age of seven was that it altered the public perception of you greatly. This wasn’t so much of a problem when he hung around with the older crowd. Mostly because a large number of them had either played sports with him, or knew him through those who had. Even when this wasn’t the case, he didn’t often have to put up with misty stares from them. However talented and well-known he was, he was still several years younger than them. This naturally negated the mystique that his public reputation granted him and allowed these kids to actually treat him as a person, something that he was profoundly grateful for.

He really despised being looked at like he was some larger than life figure when all he was trying to do was make friends who were roughly his own age. Seriously, all he did was play a sport. It wasn’t like he’d been out there curing cancer or something suitably spectacular. That alone had discouraged the practice, but there was more to it. A fair few of the kids his age were, instead of awed by him, envious. This was even worse because it just caused a great number of conflicts that he would rather have avoided.

It wasn’t that he tried to make trouble, per se. As he liked to put it, trouble just liked to create itself all around him. The worst trouble of all had probably been two years ago. It had been the only time he was expelled from a school, and Ace found the entire situation completely absurd.

After all, how on earth could he have had anything to do with Jeff White’s fall? It was true that the two of them hadn’t gotten along. Jeff was a year older than Ace and had made it his mission during that year to, as Jeff had so eloquently put it, “show the little shit that he isn’t as great as everyone thinks he is.” 

That campaign had been forcefully ended one day when Jeff decided to hurl basketballs towards Ace from one of the highest tree branches on the school grounds. He would throw one, it would miss, and his friends would supply him with another. He never actually came close to hitting Ace with any of them. The smaller, more agile boy was far too quick for that. But when the wind had mysteriously gusted hard enough to send one of the basketballs back into the bulkier boy’s face, and send him toppling from the tree branch he perched on, Ace had somehow been blamed.

He had no idea what he’d done to the teacher on patrol, but they had blatantly lied to the school’s Principal about what happened. According to the teacher and eye-witness reports, it had been Ace who threw the basketball that had been the cause of Jeff White’s fall. That was completely ridiculous, of course. Ace had spent the last three or four years prior to this getting blamed for all sorts of things he could never have actually done if he’d tried. By the time the confrontation had come with Jeff White, he had learned long before not to do anything that he could be implicated for later.

Naturally, this hadn’t helped his case. Nor had the fact that — aside from a rather busted up face and badly bruised shoulder — Jeff was completely fine. The only silver lining Ace took from the whole thing was that he had been able to get the prick good on the last day of the year. Of course, he hadn’t started that fight either. On that occasion, he’d been jumped from behind and a fistfight had ensued. Unfortunately for the larger, older boy, Ace had started practicing martial arts a few years earlier when similar incidents had happened out of the blue. Oh, the joys of having a target on your back.

Needless to say, the day had not gone well for Jeff. Ace, having already been told he would not be invited back to that school the next year, hadn’t really suffered any repercussions from the altercation. His mother had been disappointed, which had been rather painful, but his stepfather had been indifferent. He had been taught from a very young age that self-defence was perfectly acceptable. He’d been warned just as vehemently that if it were he who started any such fights, he would be punished to hell and back.

In Ace’s estimation, it was a rather fair policy.

There had been other, troublesome incidents over the years as well, but none quite as major as that. He’d been suspended last year for supposedly rigging the light switch to electrocute Johnathan Ellerman. A boy who had been one of those who’d attempted to bully him quite ruthlessly. Seconds after one such incident, he had been asked to turn off the lights by their teacher, Mr. Hansen, who had been preparing to show them a presentation. When John made to dim the lights, he received a shock deemed too powerful to be natural.

How they had come to the conclusion that Ace had rigged the lights at thirteen to zap a fellow student, he would never know.

This year, he was hoping everything would go well. He had thankfully not been forced to move public schools after the prior incident. He would have been, but it wasn’t exactly something they could easily prove. Most of the staff now looked at him as if he were devil’s spawn, but some sacrifices had to be made. He was just thankful that his teacher this year, Mrs. Marquardt, actually seemed to like him, at least thus far.

Of course, it was still only the first day of school, even if it was set to conclude in a matter of seconds. Plenty could change between now and the end of June.

Right on cue, the final bell rang, prompting all of the students to slide their chairs back and scramble to their feet. Ace quickly gathered up his science textbook, his sheet of notes that had  turned into the start of an original work of fiction once he had become bored, his pencils, and his water bottle and quickly made to depart the room.

“Enjoy your evening, Ace,” the teacher said, as Ace was the first one to leave the room.

“Same to you, Mrs. Marquartdt,” he replied politely, offering her a genuine smile before he stepped out into the hallway and made his way towards his locker. The unfortunate thing at the moment was that his locker was quite far away from his classroom. It was actually the closest one to the school’s main entrance. As inconvenient as it was at the moment, Ace was going to very much enjoy that designation each and every morning.

“Ace, wait up!” a voice called out from behind him. His memory was rather solid and he recognized the voice at once. He considered himself very firmly agnostic, but in that moment, he uttered a silent prayer to any deity that may or may not exist to grant him patience in this inevitably taxing endeavour. 

Reluctantly, he slowed his stride a bit so that Isabelle could catch up with him. Ace had no real problem with her, he just found her presence taxing. She was one of the more popular girls in their year. She played basketball, volleyball, and ran track. Aside from hockey, and perhaps martial arts, track was by far Ace’s favourite sport, followed by cross country. He loved to run. So much, in fact, that the excuse it granted him to run was the only reason he still played soccer at all. 

During this last year though, track had been soured for him. He was convinced that the only reason Isabelle had signed up to run the 100 meter dash at all was because it put her in a training group with Ace, who had specialized in the 100, 200 and 400 metre sprints. The entire time, Ace had found her presence taxing. She was polite. Overly so, even. That wasn’t the problem. The flirting was just so blatantly obvious, and it didn’t seem to matter how many times Ace hinted that he was completely uninterested. Isabelle never seemed to get the hint. 

Ace enjoyed being single, if truth was to be told. It allowed him to wholeheartedly focus on his ambitions. He had tried dating, once. A blonde girl named Cassandra, who was two years older than him. That had lasted most of seventh grade. Eventually, she had become upset because Ace wasn’t spending enough time with her. In her opinion, he spent too much time practicing, competing, or travelling. 

She just hadn’t understood.

And if she, an older and much  more mature girl than the one who was currently tailing him hadn’t figured that part out, then Ace was fairly certain Isabelle wouldn’t either.

Plus, she fell into the multitude of people who just did not have what it took to actually interest Ace on any level. Ace felt as if he were sixteen trapped in an almost fourteen-year-old body. He just couldn’t relate to most of his classmates and peers his own age, Isabelle included.

It didn’t take long for her to catch up with him. She was a couple of inches shorter than he was and had rather delicate facial features, full pink lips, deep green eyes, and vivid red hair. 

“Hey, Isabelle.” He realized that this encounter would continue at least until he reached his locker — no matter what he did. He saw no reason to be a complete dick if it would get him nowhere. 

“Hey, Ace! How’d you find the first day?”

“It’s school. Nothing’s really changed. Same old, same old. It seems like we have a decent teacher this year though, so there’s that.”

Isabelle nodded along. “Mrs. M does seem like a really good teacher. Better than Mr. Hansen, at least.”

Ace’s jaw tightened. That had been their teacher the year previous and it was safe to say that he and Ace had not got on well. “Definitely better than Hansen. I’m happy to be done with him.”

Isabelle nodded once more. “Are you going to Adriana’s party Friday night?”

“I doubt it. Cross country practice is that day, and I have boxing that night as well. Friday night is usually sparring, so that plus cross country will probably do me in for the night. I doubt I’ll want to do much after that. Plus, the team plays its first pre-season game on Saturday night. I’d rather not be out of it for that if I’m being honest.” 

That was all true. Ace would be rather tired after both running and sparring back to back. His hockey team did indeed open their pre-season on Saturday, too. The part that he was leaving out was the fact that he wasn’t super interested in attending Adriana’s party in the first place. He already knew that Cadmus and Caleb, his two best friends and fellow members of his team were not attending. If they attended a party, he would sometimes tag along. Otherwise, he was rarely seen at such gatherings. 

“Come on, Ace! I’m sure you’ll be fine. You’ve won every cross country race you’ve entered for the last three years and you’re never even marked up after sparring! And it’s not like you have much to worry about in a pre-season game. Not that you have anything to worry about in general, but especially not in a pre-season game.”

“I’d rather not test that theory if it’s all the same to you.”

Mercifully, the pair of them had finally reached Ace’s locker. It was near both the main entrance to the school and the stairs that would lead up to the building’s second level. Thankfully for Ace, Isabelle’s locker was located somewhere in the middle of the second floor. It was a fact that he was immensely grateful for at the moment.

“You guys don’t have cross country tonight, do you?” Isabelle asked, gesturing to the downpour that was currently going on outside. Ace almost winced. That was not going to be fun to put up with as he made his way home. 

“No, we don’t. We were supposed to, but… yeah.” He gestured vaguely towards the rain in the same way she had done moments prior. 

“Are you walking home in that?” she asked incredulously as Ace unlocked his lock and opened the door to his locker, beginning to pack his school things away.

“Yup,” he said with a sigh, draining the last of his water bottle before adding it to the top of the pile and zipping his bag closed before straightening up once more and slinging it over his back. “My parents are both working and I don’t qualify for a bus.”

“Why not? Don’t you live like… on the other side of the city?”

“It’s about 6 kilometres from the school, I think. My place falls in the bus zone for Ridgemont.” He grimaced. “That’s where I went before coming here.”

“Ah.” It was clear that Isabelle had no idea how to respond to that. 

“Well, nice talking to you, Isabelle, but I should really get home. I won’t want to do all of the intro crap for Marquartdt after practice tonight, so I should probably get that out of the way.”

That was a complete lie. He had finished everything in class with no trouble at all, but she didn’t need to know that and he highly doubted she would call him out on it.

“Good luck!” She waved enthusiastically as she made off towards the stairs leading up to the second floor.

With a relieved exhale, Ace quickly slid through the crowd and out the doors. For the first few steps, the protruding ledge above the tall, glass entryway doors protected him from the rain. Then, it began to come down heavily upon him, like a hundred unrelenting, liquified bullets. Instantly, he became less sure of his decision to not wear the windbreaker that rested in his bag. He was planning to run home today in light of the cancelled cross country practice. If he wore the coat, it would surely be stuck to him and triple in weight within the first ten minutes just from absorbing the falling drops of water.

Resigned to an uncomfortable journey ahead, Ace tore out of the parking lot and onto the sidewalk that would take him closer to home, headphones on and MP3 player blaring. He’d often wished music was allowed during cross country races. At that point, he felt as if he would have been able to sprint the whole course. He loved music. When working out with it, it almost felt as if he were cheating.

About two kilometres in, Ace cut off of the sidewalk and ran into the woods, quickly merging onto a trail. This way was technically about a kilometre longer, but it was also much drier.

Some time later, Ace exited the forests and came back onto the sidewalk. Now, he was well away from what constituted as the “busy sector” of a fairly small suburb to a larger city. There was only one car on the road, a silver Toyota which seemed to be driving remarkably slow. Ace glanced over his shoulder. This felt very much like how somebody would get kidnapped. Not a moment later, the vehicle had sped back up and passed him by. Shrugging, he simply continued on his journey.

Until he rounded the next corner and saw that the car was pulled up on the sidewalk in front of him and that a man was getting out of the driver’s seat. He was just going to cut onto the grassy patch to his left to pass, but he faltered in mid-step, aghast at the sight before him.

This man, if it was indeed a man at all, had to be at least ten feet tall. He was almost twice as tall as Ace and easily twice as wide. Ace may have had a lithe sort of build, but he was very far from skinny. Yet, this man made him look as if he were a small child. Ace vaguely registered that the… thing wore a large, ornate, golden chain. It actually looked comically small on him, but it would be large if worn by anyone else. 

Ace looked up into the scarred face that peered cruelly down at him and a sharp, sudden realization was made.

This could not possibly be a man.

Not only because of his vast height and bulk but because there was only one eye staring back down at him. One dark brown eye that sat unnaturally in the centre of the figure’s forehead, like a single, coloured porthole on the rough face of a submarine.

‘Cyclops,’ was the only thing that Ace could think. It made absolutely no sense. After all, cyclopes were a thing of myth. He’d been quite fond of Greek mythology ever since studying its basics for a fourth grade history project. By now, he’d read the Iliad, Odyssey, Hesiod and several other Greek tomes. This man reminded him forcefully of what the Greeks had called a cyclops. He could not help but remember Odysseus’s clash with the monster Polyphemus in the Odyssey. This giant was smaller than the one Odysseus had tricked. Much smaller, even, but it was still the nearest comparable that he had.

He was forcefully broken from his thoughts a second later when a dinner plate-sized hand reached out to grab his arm. His initial impulse was to bat the giant hand away, but he quickly realized that meeting force with force would be a terrible idea. Instead, Ace quickly sprang back, pivoting as soon as his foot hit the ground so he was off centre from the hulking figure. Now, if he wanted to grab him, he would have to turn to do so.

But Ace underestimated one thing.

For all of his practical experience sparring, he was used to gauging distance against those of a reasonable size. The leg which shot straight out towards him was far longer than any human limb could have ever been. He could have dodged it rather easily, but he had been so concentrated on not getting grabbed and so pre-conditioned to feel safe at this distance that he didn’t realize what was happening until the last possible second.

The massive foot slammed hard into Ace’s chest like a battering ram and pain wracked his body. He was physically lifted off the ground and tossed through the air by the impact as if he were nothing more than a soccer ball which had just been struck by a well-aimed kick from a particularly talented striker. The thud of his body hitting the ground barely even registered with him. The first blow had sent a spasm of pain down his abdomen and had completely torn the air from his lungs. To put it simply, the second impact did the exact same, but his body had not yet recovered enough from the first to register anything more.

Ace’s brain was screaming at him to get up, but his body wouldn’t comply. He was fairly confident that he’d suffered no serious damage in the last three or so seconds, but he also knew all too well that wasn’t the problem. This  had happened in sparring on occasion, usually from punches or kicks to either the liver or the solar plexus. The human body was just not conditioned to take punishment to that area. And it was certainly not conditioned to work optimally whilst being forcefully deprived of oxygen. With this in mind, Ace wasn’t terribly surprised when his body refused to rise. 

The huge… thing had bent over and grabbed him, and Ace suddenly felt weightless as he was easily lifted into the air, held firmly in place by one arm as the other, massive hand grabbed Ace’s head. He was pretty sure the thing was going to snap his neck, his spine, or both. Or possibly slam him so hard into the ground that it would be the end of him.

Just as Ace was sure the thing had decided on the latter, he felt weightless for a second time. Then, a large flash, and, confusingly, he slammed hard into the ground once more, dazed yet again. Still, he was coherent enough to realize that whatever had just happened, the cyclops-esque thing had certainly not piledriven him to death.

As the thought of the cyclops registered, Ace dazedly managed to sit up, at which point he came to several jarring revelations.

The first was that the cyclops was nowhere to be seen. He might have actually thought he had hallucinated the whole thing if not for the fact that one, he had never taken any hallucinogenic drugs in his life. And two, because there was one, small remnant of the beast which had attacked him.

The large, ostentatious chain the thing had worn rested unmoving on the ground, exactly where the monster had stood not seconds earlier.

Ace’s next revelation was that he was missing his right shoe and that his sock was charred and burnt.

Then, the dots all came together.

They had been struck by lightning! Like… actually struck by lightning. Right as imminent death had fast approached, its loving embrace reaching out to him as if he were a child in need of physical comfort. And before the arms of the reaper could entangle him, he’d been forcefully torn from its clutches by fate, or whatever the hell controlled out of this world occurrences like the one that had just happened. It was as if this was something out of a fiction novel or an overdramatized television program. Ace could hardly believe it, but it was the only logical conclusion his brain could come to.

Okay, that wasn’t right. Nothing about being struck by a fucking lightning bolt was logical. It was the most contextually logical thing his brain could come up with was a more accurate statement. 

How the lightning had completely dissipated his attacker, he had no idea.

Hesitating, Ace picked up the chain and draped it over his own neck. It was heavy, but naturally so. It had been comically short on the cyclops, but it fit Ace rather well. It looked quite expensive, and he suspected that the cyclops had stolen it off of a victim who hadn’t quite been as lucky as him. 

He decided in that moment to keep the chain.

It could serve as a memoir to whomever had died wearing it. 

Oh, and a reminder to Ace that he probably wasn’t going insane. That might be needed if he reminisced on this event in the future.

Out of all the crazy, unnatural things that had happened to him over the years, this one absolutely took the cake.

Ace sighed as he made his way towards his shoe, which had been forcefully blasted about twenty feet away from him. It seemed as if all hopes of a normal year at school had been dashed in the most dramatic way possible.

‘Like, seriously,’ Ace thought as he bent down, ‘I didn’t even make it a day!’

Some time later, in the depths of the Underworld…

Far beneath the mundane world, another realm was situated. In many ways, the Underworld was considered to be the world beyond death. Death was the metaphorical bridge between Erebus and the world that we all know.

But in some other ways, it was the Underworld that served as the bridge. 

Or perhaps, the barrier would be more apt.

Many men, women and children fear death above all else. They fear the uncertainty. They have no idea what will come after death, and even if they knew where the reaper would lovingly guide them, they would likely fear it. To not exist in the way you have become accustomed to existing is a natural thing for humans to fear.

Yet there are things worse than death. Things worse than the Underworld. Things tucked away in the darkest, most desolate corners of the Earth in hopes their evil may never seep into the reality which we have sought to keep stable for so many millennia.

One of these corners was located in the depths of Erebus, hidden away thoroughly enough so that not even the dead would stumble upon it.

In a dark, deserted cave situated somewhere off of the Fields of Asphodel, an open, endless pit stretched wide as if to engulf everything,  to consume it with destructive malevolence. If one managed to fend off the irrational panic that accompanied getting close to such a place and looked down, you would think the black, all-consuming hole was endless, and that the drop one would experience if dragged into the abyss would be ever-lasting.

They would be wrong.

At the bottom of that pit was a place far worse than Erebus. A place that made the fear felt by its entrance akin to a firecracker compared to a nuclear warhead.

This was a place so inherently evil that the Underworld itself had to serve as a buffer between it and the mortal world.

Many things lurked within the depths of this unspeakable place. Things that would haunt the nightmares of children, and other things that would drive stable adults to insanity. Some things were just cruel, powerful, and quintessentially evil. Other things, if they ever saw the light of the world, would cause cataclysmic problems.

And other things, if they ever escaped the clutches of Tartarus, would serve as a threat to reality itself.

Something was stirring deep within this infernal place. It fell into the latter category of beings. Its obsidious nature was such that even standing in Erebus, peering down into the pit of damnation, one would feel the shift in the world. They would feel how all hope seemed to be sucked towards the pit, as if the very emotion was a helpless star being vacuumed into a black hole. They would feel the temperature in the cave drop just from such an evil being taking its first breath in several centuries.

But most of all, they would know two things.

Something immensely powerful was waking, and this seemingly simple event had the potential to change the world forever.

Author’s Endnote:

This will be a much longer AN than normal. Usually, I will have one or two very brief notes and an estimate on the next release date. 

Firstly, this is an OC centric series for the most part. Percy exists, but he is a Roman demigod in this story (sort of, it will be explained much later) and will not come up until then. He will still be important when the time comes, but if this is a turn-off for you, no hard feelings, but please don’t review asking where he is. If you don’t like it, you’re more than welcome not to read it, and I hope you find something that you enjoy.

I would also ask you not to judge too harshly on this first chapter. There was a lot of character background here that may seem pointless and obviously, quite a bit of it won’t play directly into the series. But it will all factor into the story indirectly, so I did have to include it. I also feel as if Ace came across as a bit Mary Sue here. Trust me, that is not the case, you just don’t know him well enough yet to see otherwise. The last scene is actually much more indicative of my writing style, to be honest.

This season takes place in the fall prior to Lightning Thief and will be completely original, following no canon plots. From season 2 onwards, I plan to follow the rough outline of the series, but events will happen very differently.

For those who have read my HP fanfics, this will be written a bit differently, at least from a stylistic standpoint. In Ashes of Chaos, (my most popular work) 10-15k word chapters full of intricately woven subplots are pretty much the norm these days. 

This is going to be different.

I use fanfiction as a relatively risk free environment in which I can experiment. In many ways, this series is meant as practice for an original story I have outlined. With that in mind, I am going to try to write chapters of an appropriate length for an original novel. So instead of 10-15k, I will ideally be shooting for 4-7k. Obviously, some major chapters will be longer, but I am going to try and keep them infrequent. 

I have never read PJO fanfiction. I stick pretty much exclusively to Harry Potter. I am not familiar with any of the PJO tropes. If I happen to follow them, it is done so unknowingly. If not, even better.

Finally, some things, (characterization of some of the gods, by example) will not be consistent with the PJOverse. This is because I will likely follow the myths closer than Rick did in the original series. I enjoy the original Greek lore and one of my betas is a historian. It’s kind of inevitable in light of that.

Thank you to my lovely Discord Editors Asmodeus Stahl and Athena Hope for their corrections/contributions this week!

PS: The next chapter will be posted next Wednesday, November 11th, 2020.

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